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Old May 16, 2021, 01:12 PM   #1
Willie Lowman
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9mm instead of 5.56 for HD

For years my main home defense firearm was a 14.5" Noveske AR loaded with Winchester bonded 64 grain JSPs. Seemed to me that it would do well against any critters that threatened my chickens or any ner-do-wells that came into my home to do harm to me and mine. The carbine is handy, short enough to move through the house with, accurate at 200 yards for shooting coyotes. What's not to love?

Well a few months ago I had an eye opening and ear damaging experience when I fired my .44 mag inside my barn.
https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...ooting+indoors

So with the information that was shared in that thread about pressure and powder volume I have decided to change from the AR to my 9mm MP5.

From all the tests I have seen 9mm JHPs preform pretty well from a 8 inch barrel. They expand well and penetrate within the FBI recommended depths.

But more important to me 9mm from a longer barrel (especially when fired inside) is not going to be as earth shattering loud as 5.56 from a shorter barrel. The MP5 is even shorter and handier in the house. It is accurate to about 100 yards with the AimPoint.

Then there is the ever looming specter of over penetration. People always bring it up. In my opinion any round worth shooting someone with is going to go through a great deal of dry wall. 15 to 20 sheets from what I have seen for both 5.56 and 9mm. So it is what it is. One isn't really better than the other as far as I can tell. (Yeah 45 grain .223 varmint rounds over penetrate less but they don't pass the FBI gel criteria.)

So that's my decision. I have chosen to go with a 9mm SBR instead of a 5.56 carbine.
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Old May 16, 2021, 04:36 PM   #2
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You might even consider putting a suppressor on your 9mm.

https://www.silencercentral.com/

Disclaimer: I have not done any business with the above company. I do not have a suppressor and have only shot one on one occassion, a 9mm pistol at an indoor range. I was impressed with how much it suppressed the shot but the shot was still loud, hardly the Hollywood 'silenced' pistol level.
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Old May 16, 2021, 04:41 PM   #3
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You might even consider putting a suppressor on your 9mm.

https://www.silencercentral.com/

Disclaimer: I have not done any business with the above company. I do not have a suppressor and have only shot one on one occassion, a 9mm pistol at an indoor range. I was impressed with how much it suppressed the shot but the shot was still loud, hardly the Hollywood 'silenced' pistol level.

Hearing safe doesn’t mean quiet, as you found out personally.


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Old May 16, 2021, 06:03 PM   #4
Willie Lowman
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I have fired my P226 with the suppressor indoors without ear pro. It was uncomfortable but clearly much better than without. I think my 9mm can is rated at 28 to 30 db of sound reduction. I have a can for my MP5 ordered. It is currently in transfer and I expect to have it late summer or early fall.
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Old May 16, 2021, 06:06 PM   #5
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When you say MP5 you mean a select fire sub machine gun produced by HK, or do you mean a clone/semiauto variant?


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Old May 17, 2021, 02:26 AM   #6
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I do think its wise to be well armed for home SD.
You do it your way. I assume you are welcoming comment.
Just my opinion,
It really doesn't matter too much. Your 5.56 carbine sounds very "Up to the task"
And I'm sure your 9mm is,too.

Both of them seem relatively close to what an anti-terrorist or hostage rescue team might select.

To my way of thinking (you are free to disagree) overthinking and splitting hairs is a sport unto itself. If it gives you something to pursue and develop,
Go right ahead!!
In either case, IMO, if you are faced with a "gravest extreme" situation, you could choose either gun and I do not think it would make or break the outcome.
Concern about your hearing??? OK. Thats prudent. Particularly for practice.

A real life gunfight might cost you some hearing. But our Veterans have been invoved with up close room to room fighting with 30-06 Garands,Thompsons with comps,grenades, M-14's, M-16's ,M-4s and Car-15 variants.

For the most part,they remain on the green side of the sod.

For myself,(you do it your way) once I have a tool that is perfectly adequate,

It might make sense to go catch big Northern Pike in Saskatchewan,or float a river,or go have any sort of experience that trips your trigger. Pheasants in South Dakota....

Especially in these times of high prices and scarcity, arming and rearming chasing diminishing returns and unicorns...

I don't know..There is something to be said for going and having experiences.

AND !! FWIW, I should listen to my own advice!!
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Old May 17, 2021, 08:46 AM   #7
Willie Lowman
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Quote:
When you say MP5 you mean a select fire sub machine gun produced by HK, or do you mean a clone/semiauto variant
Its a PTR 9CT that I SBR'd on form 1
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Old May 17, 2021, 11:25 AM   #8
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Advice from my grandfather when I was young and asking him about which caliber to hunt game with (deer and hogs etc.) ... " I'm going to tell you a secrete ... it doesn't much matter "what" you shoot them with ... What matters is "where" you place that very first shot ." Every year he killed wild hogs with single shot 22 LR rifle ... I saw him take squirrels , rabbits , coons and possum with tha same single shot 22 ... Mom told me during the 1930's depression , when they had no meat , he would kill a deer with it ...

Mabe it's not so much what you shoot but how well you shoot what you have that matters most ...
Next to my nightstand stands a 12 ga. pump loaded with buckshot ...the old man taught me how to shoot well ... I feel adequately armed .

Gary
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Old May 17, 2021, 07:03 PM   #9
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How about door #3?

Get a pair of electronic ear muffs and keep them with your rifle. You will be able to hear when moving around, and will keep your ears intact in the event of shots being fired.

I would also consider something like a linear comp. It pushes the sound wave away from the shooter. It is still loud, but, its a discernable difference. I have had very good luck with the kaw valley brand. they have a standard, magnum, and modular system.

IMHO shooting a firearm, in this case a 223 or 9mm, whether it be indoors or outdoors, without hearing protection, is going to be an unpleasant experience at best. Especially if you have any sort of brake or compensator (besides linear) that will push the sound wave back toward the shooter. Not to mention, if someone is shooting back, you don't get to choose what they have, and nothing you do, besides ear protection will make a difference.

Final answer, IMHO just switching to a 9mm will not solve your problem, keep ear protection with your gun.
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Old May 18, 2021, 01:13 AM   #10
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even a .380 outdoors from a small pistol will put the "hurt" on you ears, especially with multiple shots.

Shadow 9 is right get some electronic muffs. The better ones improve your hearing in the forest...but I have a bad habit of forgetting /misplacing them in a time of need...and .223 is very loud (even outdoors)...9mm is a bit better, but it's still an issue....

On the bright side: I have had ringing in my ears since my youth, also selective hearing from the get go, some familial hearing loss as well, being able to blame it " on the gunshots" makes me feel better about it. Even if its just a contributing factor.
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Old May 18, 2021, 02:17 PM   #11
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A short barreled 12 gauge is a better choice than either of them.
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Old May 18, 2021, 02:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawg
A short barreled 12 gauge is a better choice than either of them.
As someone with a 590 in a SBS configuration, I'd personally disagree.
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Old May 18, 2021, 02:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Lowman
Its a PTR 9CT that I SBR'd on form 1
How do you like the PTR? I've thought up picking up that exact model myself.
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Old May 18, 2021, 05:39 PM   #14
Willie Lowman
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A short barreled 12 gauge is a better choice than either of them.
I have a 14" 590A1. It is not my choice for a HD gun. I don't think you understand the point of this thread.
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Old May 19, 2021, 03:36 PM   #15
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fired a shotgun a couple times while hunting without ears but its been a while. seemed to be more of a boom than a crack. Not as hard on the ears. Never shot one indoors and I don't think I would want to try it though.
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Old May 19, 2021, 05:53 PM   #16
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A short barreled 12 gauge is a better choice than either of them.
NO! One of the worst possible options for this situation. A shotgun serves a role, but in reality it is very limited. Certainly not a good option for this purpose.

There was a time when I'd have said 223 all the way. But I'm coming around to a PCC for home defense. Anything discussed will be loud enough to possibly do damage to your hearing. If you have time to use hearing protection then go for it. But I'm betting you won't have time. You just have to decide what is more important, losing some hearing, or losing your life.

Indoors a handgun is still the 1st thing I'm reaching for. At close range the better handgun loads are every bit as effective as rifle rounds, even fired from a handgun. Firing a long gun improves the odds of hits at longer ranges. By longer I mean over 15'-25' or so. Indoors ranges will often be at contact distance and having one hand free can be helpful.

Where a shotgun comes in handy is outdoors at ranges between 10 and 30 yards, particularly when trying to hit moving targets. At indoor ranges a shotgun doesn't offer an advantages over a short barreled rifle. They just kick harder. Typical 12 ga buckshot loads are comparable to 300 WM rifle recoil.
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Old May 19, 2021, 05:59 PM   #17
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When i was 15 or 16 my older brother bought a used Mossberg at a pawn shop in MI. As three brothers we went to the free skeet range with nothing but cotton wool in our ears...got lots of looks from the guys shooting skeet.

But an SG does not have the range the OP needs out in the country to reach the stated 100 Yard minimum. Having 20 AC of land in FL, I think a 9mm Carbine would be the minimum. Even in heavily wooded areas of the country you have clearings, Access roads, easments and paths that benefit from having something that can tackle that.
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Old May 19, 2021, 10:15 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jmr40 View Post
NO! One of the worst possible options for this situation. A shotgun serves a role, but in reality it is very limited. Certainly not a good option for this purpose.

There was a time when I'd have said 223 all the way. But I'm coming around to a PCC for home defense. Anything discussed will be loud enough to possibly do damage to your hearing. If you have time to use hearing protection then go for it. But I'm betting you won't have time. You just have to decide what is more important, losing some hearing, or losing your life.

Indoors a handgun is still the 1st thing I'm reaching for. At close range the better handgun loads are every bit as effective as rifle rounds, even fired from a handgun. Firing a long gun improves the odds of hits at longer ranges. By longer I mean over 15'-25' or so. Indoors ranges will often be at contact distance and having one hand free can be helpful.

Where a shotgun comes in handy is outdoors at ranges between 10 and 30 yards, particularly when trying to hit moving targets. At indoor ranges a shotgun doesn't offer an advantages over a short barreled rifle. They just kick harder. Typical 12 ga buckshot loads are comparable to 300 WM rifle recoil.
IMHO this is pretty much what it comes down to. The main factor to deal with it is to ensure you don't get disoriented from the concussion/blast. There are ways to mitigate it, but without ear protection it is going to be an unpleasant experience.

My go to is the handgun that is on me or in my night stand when I am in bed. But that is only to buy myself time to get to my rifle.

My rifle has a linear comp to try to deflect some of the blast away from me to help mitigate the concussion. I have a set of muffs by the night stand

Gun first. muffs if I have time. hearing loss is cumulative. If I have to shoot so be it. if I get a chance either prior to shooting, or during the gunfight, I am getting my ears on.

The blast from the rifle works both ways, it effects you and whoever you are shooting at. All you can do it try to leverage the concussion to your advantage to try to distract/disorient your assailant.
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Old May 20, 2021, 11:37 AM   #19
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hearing loss is cumulative
Maybe yes, maybe no. Loud enough concussive blast and it can be permanent right there, right now.
NO way I would use an AR inside, not even suppressed. I'll use either my 9mm PCC or my 12 gauge
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Old May 21, 2021, 11:17 AM   #20
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Your 5.56 with that heavy bullet might work fine for coyote's after your chickens. I've had chicken's here for about 30 yrs and none lost to coyotes! In the house that 5.56 with that heavy bullet will likely shoot through every wall in the house! The 9mm with a short barrel probably won't. My defense weapon is a S&W shield 9c with maybe a 1" barrel. It doesn't shoot through many walls but I suspect it will stop a bad guy! And I never fire it farther than 15' max, I simply don't shoot handguns well and I suspect you shoot a human much farther than that your gonna have some explaining to do!
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Old May 21, 2021, 02:05 PM   #21
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Your 5.56 with that heavy bullet might work fine for coyote's after your chickens. I've had chicken's here for about 30 yrs and none lost to coyotes! In the house that 5.56 with that heavy bullet will likely shoot through every wall in the house! The 9mm with a short barrel probably won't. My defense weapon is a S&W shield 9c with maybe a 1" barrel. It doesn't shoot through many walls but I suspect it will stop a bad guy! And I never fire it farther than 15' max, I simply don't shoot handguns well and I suspect you shoot a human much farther than that your gonna have some explaining to do!
Light bullets will go through a lot of walls as will pistol rounds. Check out the box o truth website
https://www.theboxotruth.com/the-box...l-box-o-truth/

Jerry did a great vid on it too
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5heCtqpaLws
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Old May 23, 2021, 10:46 AM   #22
Willie Lowman
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I suspect you shoot a human much farther than that your gonna have some explaining to do!
All of my shooting to date has been on varmints. Raccoons, coyotes and such. So far the 5.56 has preformed well. But that said, a .22 pistol has been used successfully in the past. But this shooting has all been done out doors... If the time comes where I have to shoot in my living room or from my bed room to the hallway, I don't want to do it with 25 grains of powder at 55,000 psi. I was shocked by the blast of a .44 mag indoors WITH electronic muffs on. I simply don't want to go there with the 5.56.

As I said, a 9mm JHP at 1300 fps (5 grains of powder at 35,000 psi) will do what I need it to and won't be AS BAD as the 5.56.
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Old May 23, 2021, 12:07 PM   #23
4V50 Gary
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Remember what Clint Smith said? "The purpose of the handgun is to fight your way to the rifle." I'd rather have a centerfire rifle for home defense than a handgun. Handgun is backup.
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Old May 23, 2021, 02:31 PM   #24
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Not a fan of a rifle if movement is necessary to use 2 hands.

There are times when a handgun is prudent and when a rifle is. Keep both at the ready and be trained to use them at the proper time. That would resolve the issue and debate.
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Old May 23, 2021, 07:18 PM   #25
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So after a bit of light googling these are the rough numbers the internet offered up

5.56 is approximately 165db
9mm is approximately 160db, even with subsonic loads as I understand it.

Changing your entire platform to save 5db is kind of a moot point IMHO.

I think there is something to the tone and crack of different calibers. however the actual db's seems to be relatively similar.
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