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Old October 29, 2018, 09:15 AM   #26
Wyosmith
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Guns don't defend homes.
Humans do.

If a man or woman is well trained with ANY firearm they are no one to try to mess with, and the fact you are within room distance would only work against an enemy if facing someone who could kill a running deer at 150 yards. Moving men at 4 yards are a LOT easier to hit then moving deer at 150. And rifles are deadlier then handguns in most cases because they are more powerful.

The down side to home defense with a high powered rifle is simply power. Excellent for dealing with an enemy, but when it goes through him it's still deadly, and those behind that enemy may be in grave danger. So using a rifle as you tool to defend your family and home has to be made on a case by case basis. At my house it's not a problem because my nearest neighbor is 1.4 miles away. My go-to gun is a semi-auto 308 loaded with the same ammo I'd hunt elk or deer with. Addressing the ammo and specifically the bullets used for home defense is FAR more important then worrying about the gun used to fire them.

And there are plenty of bolt actions is less powerful calibers, from 22 up to 7.62X39 (just as an example.)

The prevailing idea today is that you must "defend your home" with a handgun or a shotgun just like the cops would use, and nothing else is a good choice. I reject the idea that such things are as important as we are led to believe. What is important is skill.

EVERY army on earth is trained to fight with rifles. That's because rifles are best for fighting! So if a rifle is the best choice for fighting in an open all-out war, how did it become less able of less suitable if defending the home against a few bad-guys?
Do you think that somehow "suppressing fire" is not going to work against you both in a fight (giving away your position as well as empting your weapon) and also in the court room later? How would a 17 or even a 30 round semi-auto be "better" then one round that does the job?

In civil shootings, missing with ANYTHING carries it's own set of dangers and penalties because you don't just keep walking like you would in a war. You deal with cops neighbors, passers-by, lawyers and judges after the shooting is over. If we acknowledge that it's the rounds that hit that do the job to eliminate the threat, and also to keep "collateral damage" close to zero, is there anyone out there that thinks a hunting rifle in the hands of a hunter is somehow less dangerous to an enemy then a Glock 17?

It's the shooter that is the focus, not the tool!
Any gun will do if the shooter can do a good job with that gun.

Anyone that thinks a handgun welding fighter is more dangerous then a rifle welding fighter is someone that has never been in a fight. Let alone many of them. They are reading and believing wrong information.

I believe that any rifle is better then any handgun in home defense situation. I'd concede that in the hands of a national champion (or even just a good marksman) a handgun is a fantastic weapon, but can you think of any national champs that shoot better with their handguns then they do with rifles at home/room distances?

Is there any handgun round that is any "better" at killing an enemy then any middle-of-the-road deer rifle round? Would you do better in front of a jury, having killed an invader with 1 round from a 30-30, or your old 243 Bolt Action, then you would if you'd used 3 or more (maybe a lot more) from a 9MM?

Think folks!

Missing with the rifle is far less common then missing with the handgun.
That's why most hunters and soldiers use rifles.

So do SWAT cops, and even patrol cops, if they have any time to make the choice.

Last edited by Wyosmith; October 29, 2018 at 09:23 AM.
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Old October 29, 2018, 11:59 AM   #27
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Power wouldn't be the ONLY consideration, and as a retired cop I chose then & now to use a handgun in going through buildings.
Simply infinitely easier to handle indoors.

But, the argument isn't specifically over which is best, it's more confined to rifle- good or bad for HD.
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Old October 29, 2018, 12:49 PM   #28
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With the exception of one 22 RF, all my rifles are bolt actions. Been that way for a lot of years. I would not consider it! I have two self defense weapons. Both are 9mm semi auto's. I also have a few DA handguns and another 22 LR handgun. The only thing I'd consider for self defense is an auto handgun in the cartridge of your choice. Been proven that a 38 spec will stop a grizzly bear. It is not what I'd choose to do it with though! Buy yourself a gun designed for self defense and start from there. My carry gun hold's 8 rounds and the gun on my headboard 16 rounds. Forget the bolt action!
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Old October 29, 2018, 02:05 PM   #29
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If you are using a bolt action for your home defense gun, your house is entirely to large.
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Old October 29, 2018, 02:10 PM   #30
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If you are using a bolt action for your home defense gun, your house is entirely to large.
Now that was good, seriously good!

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Old December 13, 2018, 01:34 AM   #31
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Sorry for reopening a dead thread (last post was about a month and a half ago), but I'm currently shopping for a home defense carbine and this thread popped up...

I think what most people answering here have missed is how specialized you can go with a bolt action rifle. Not all are long range or high powered hunting rifles.

Many people, myself included, are fans of revolver caliber lever rifles as home defense guns. They are light and handy, and while not great, the 8-10 rounds of the typical mag isn't terrible. Other people are big fans of loud, heavy recoiling, low capacity shotguns for home defense.

Well, I'm strongly considering a bolt action scout style rifle for home defense. In .223 you don't have to worry too much about overpenetration (hence the popularity of the AR and similar carbines for HD). Something like the Ruger Scout or Mossberg MVP Patrol have useful iron sights. Both have 10 round detachable mags for a decent round count and easy reloads. The Ruger American Predator and the Mossberg MVP use cheap, plentiful AR mags which can be had with a pretty decent capacity if you wish. I'm thinking a scout type rifle with irons or a low power scope, or the American Predator and MVP with more standard scope placement but a suitable low power scope or red dot scope, would work quite well for home defense.

It is definitely on my radar (along with more conventional choices like the lever rifle, M1 Carbine, and Mini-14) for my HD carbine.
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Old December 13, 2018, 01:54 AM   #32
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Why?
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Old December 13, 2018, 10:15 AM   #33
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Though I have a very nicely sporterized Model of 1917 Eddystone in the safe, it's one I'd never think of as a home defense arm. But if it's all you have...(besides a WWI vintage 1911 for backup, and a trench knife)

This video has always impressed me, and a lefty to boot! Rifle, handgun and "Doughboy" attired. This guy's good, and using maybe the most (one of, undoubtedly) unwieldy of bolt-action rifles ever mass produced (IMO). I certainly do love mine as a hunting rifle.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=JZLKtm7HcG4&t=304s

The old Brit .303 has most always been considered the best bolt-action battle rifle through small arms history the way I understand it. 10 quick shots, and a time-proven and very effective round. Maybe the No.5 Mk.1, "Jungle Carbine," for fast handling as you jump out of bed @ 3a.m.?
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Old December 13, 2018, 11:30 AM   #34
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Its probably been over thirty years since I read the story in,I believe,Gun Digest. It may have been a JM Pyne story.It had to do with a family scene in a backwoods cabin,and a car showing up with a couple of armed gangster types on the run.
The situation deteriorated to a hostage scenario.
Problem for the bad guys was The Old Man,who had a 32-40 single shot . And he was an accomplished offhand marksman. As I recall,the bad guys "lost their minds" suddenly.
I recall reading the book "Unimtended Consequences" where a single shot bolt .22 made the character "armed" and he was effective
The Peckenpah movie "Straw Dogs"illustrates its not about what gun you have.

Wyosmith already said it well. Your mind is your primary weapon.

As you are selecting your SD tool,you might consider scenarios that you are surprised and off balance. What is the storage situation for your bolt gun?


How quickly can you react? I recall a 3 AM situation when I was sound asleep.The quickest ammo access I had was a few 20 ga shells so the gun of choice was my SKB SxS. The frantic woman at my front door said my likely foe was her husband ,armed with a knife. Then she asked what the shotgun was for.


At this point,you have the luxury of choosing your primary tool. Use your mind well.


For a number of reasons,I don't think the old Remington Over/Under derringer is the best choice for a SD handgun. If you are slammed to the ground by someone bent og killing you,the Rem Derringer you have on your person may be better than the MP-5 in the gunsafe.
I suppose if you can manage the lifestyle of an infantry rifleman,and lay your rifle on the table as you enjoy your breakfast and coffee...you have a SD plan.

All things considered,the handgun you wear like your wallet and keys is probably your best primary SD gun..Many folks choose a small,light 9mm. If you want to back that up with the long gun of your choice,great.

If that is an Arctic Warrior in 338 Lapua,the after shoot investigation might be interesting.

Last edited by HiBC; December 13, 2018 at 11:40 AM.
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Old December 13, 2018, 12:17 PM   #35
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I have bolt actions, semi's, and shotguns. Nightstand gun is chambered in 45acp and has one light hanging on it. Rest of the time around the house is a 9mm in my pocket. Works for me. But you use what you got and train with what you use.
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Old December 13, 2018, 02:54 PM   #36
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Obviously ANY gun you happen to have on you or access to in a sudden defensive situation CAN be used.
The old anecdote about the 150-year-old Eskimo woman who killed a polar bear with one .22LR shot through the eye because she only had a .22 single-shot rifle is a fun story, but that's ALL it is.
It is certainly NOTHING that justifies depending on a single-shot .22 rifle for defense.

My question is WHY would you deliberately select a bolt-action rifle up front as your go-to for home defense?

This is not a matter of being suddenly confronted by smug drugglers along the trail when all you happen to have during the deer hunt is your trusty ought-six.

This is not a matter of only having Uncle Joe's inherited Browning Hi-Wall single-shot as your sole gun in the entire house during a late-night break-in.

This is not a matter of wheeling your shopping cart past the gun section at WallMart one Saturday & noticing $200 off on a boltgun deal you just can't pass up regardless of need or use & making an unintended impulse buy.

This is sitting here in your house today, with money available, considering a tool you are acquiring to bet your life on, with all afternoon (or all month) to make your decision.

There are simply so many better options, why deliberately & intentionally handicap yourself?

I was offered an article assignment a month or so ago from a regular editor on the bolt-action for HD.
Had to turn it down.
Just could not get my head wrapped around the idea to be able to write it up in any positive way.
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Old December 13, 2018, 03:09 PM   #37
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Just could not get my head wrapped around the idea to be able to write it up in any positive way.
How about you already have him in the crosshairs before he even makes it through the door or window?
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Old December 13, 2018, 03:17 PM   #38
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I have a Remington XP-100. (all original)

it's a handgun (ok, its a LARGE handgun) but its a handgun, so its maneuverable inside the house.

It fires the same bullets as the .223, so with varmint bullets, get the same "low wall penetration" score.

It's a bolt action.

Why isn't this an ideal home defense gun??

ok, its magazine capacity is 0+1, so it does lack something there....


(yes, the sarcasm is intentional)

If you are going to deliberately choose a bolt action rifle as a home defense weapon, then I suggest you get one of the milsurps (SMLE being the best for ease of bolt operation and magazine capacity) and FIX BAYONETS!

And, get the blade bayonet, not the spike one. A foot or foot and half of sharp knife on the end of your rifle can be useful under the right conditions, and its, intimidating as hell!

It's amazing the number of people who will stand fast in the face of being shot, but will run as fast as they can to keep from being stabbed!!
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Old December 13, 2018, 04:25 PM   #39
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I wouldn't choose one.
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Old December 13, 2018, 04:43 PM   #40
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Crosshairs before he makes it through the door or window has such a limited range of viability that you'd pretty much be limited to living out in the prairie with a herd of wild bikers circling the house & shooting guns toward you.

Not a realistic scenario.

Middle of the night break-in, you're not going to see anybody coming.
Front door busted in suddenly, same.
Unable to even notice a threat is building before it's in the house, same.

MAYBE a gang-related drive-by, but even then why slow yourself down with a boltgun?
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Old December 13, 2018, 05:17 PM   #41
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[QUOTEI was offered an article assignment a month or so ago from a regular editor on the bolt-action for HD.
Had to turn it down.
Just could not get my head wrapped around the idea to be able to write it up in any positive way.[QUOTE]

OK.So this is not about any real person considering a bolt gun as a serious first choice for an HD gun.

Its about an editor in la-la land offering an article assignment to convince people of something you don't believe.

Apparently your integrity got in the way.

So this post isn't really about bolt guns and SD,its about the trials of being a gun writer and dealing with an editor.


OK.
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Old December 13, 2018, 05:27 PM   #42
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My personal set-up is AR for out-the-window/door into the yard or vehicle engagement and 14 rd 45acp handgun with back-up magazines for inside-the-house engagement. Shotgun stashed in bedroom for "last stand."
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Old December 13, 2018, 08:57 PM   #43
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No, this thread is about the idea of using a boltgun for HD.
I merely mentioned the article thing to illustrate how seriously I do NOT understand the appeal, as in I even turned down a chance to make money off the idea.

Has nothing to do with the "trials of being a gunwriter".
Might be beneficial if you obtain help from a professional translator to help you with reading comprehension on this forum in future.

OK?
OK.

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Old December 13, 2018, 09:38 PM   #44
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Quote:
Why?
Denis
I assume that why is why am I considering it...

There are a few factors.

First, I absolutely wouldn't be considering a 3-5 round fixed mag bolt action rifle. That would be too limiting, and unlike a lever gun with a loading gate, very slow to reload individual rounds. The guns I'm considering all have removable mags, and a minimum capacity of 10 rounds (the two that take AR rounds can go to about 20 round mags and still work reliably).

Many people (myself included) consider pistol caliber lever rifles to be suitable as a home defense carbine. The round count on these particular bolt rifles will be the same or better with much quicker reloads.

Second, I live in MD which is very anti-gun. States Attorneys in some parts of the state have been known to charge people regardless of the facts after a self defense shoot and let the jury decide it. Even those areas where it isn't quite automatic, many parts of the state, the county prosecutors will be looking for any excuse. So, I want as PC looking a home defense gun as possible so the prosecutor won't think I'm a Rambo want-to-be that he/she has to charge, and if charged, a jury that hates or does't know guns won't see an "evil black rifle." The more it looks like grampa's hunting rifle, the better (I really need to retire my AR from potential home defense duties).

Bolt actions have some benefits. They are highly reliable. Two of the bolt rifles I'm considering are significantly cheaper than the M1 Carbine and Mini 14 that make up my top two choices, or the further down the list lever rifles. Both bolts actions and lever actions can be pretty quick to operate with practice, they aren't as slow as many people envision (or don't have to be). I'm not spray and praying, especially for home defense I will be taking a moment for aimed shots as much as I can.

In general, I think these 10 (or greater) round removable box magazine, short and light, bolt action rifles with iron sights or the right optic can make a good home defense gun. For someone in the right circumstances (live in an anti-gun state and want to improve your post-shoot chances, you are a hunter with a lot of bolt action experience, you seriously want something different) these can be more than adequate and can be quite a good choice for many people. I wouldn't say that as a blanket statement about all bolt rifles, but about the scout and similar lightweight rifles in the right calibers (mainly .223/5.56), they can work well.

Yes, a semi-auto is still my first choice right now. My emotional first choice based mainly on want and not how many boxes it checks would go to a Winchester 92, Uberti Win 1866 reproduction, or a Henry Big Boy. However, I am seriously considering those few bolt action rifles that look like they'd make good home defense rifles. Partly to do something different, but largely to get something as PC looking as possible yet still quite capable as a home defense gun.
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Old December 14, 2018, 01:59 AM   #45
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I grew up in Monkey (Montgomery) county--what Chaim says is not far off the mark about political courts--though at the end of the day I'd rather take chances in court than be on the losing end of who had the more politically correct bullet. I've looked at the ruger predator ranch rifle--though I haven't shot one--and thought it would be a handy rifle to have around the home but I personally probably wouldn't be coordinated enough to shoot a bolt gun rapidly under pressure.
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Old December 14, 2018, 12:23 PM   #46
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If you live in a restricted environment where a good semi-auto rifle is not feasible, then I fully understand that you have to go with what you have.

A rifle in general is typically not the most efficient tool to use in interior home defense because it's long & bulky, but a bolt-action usually adds slow speed to that equation with little practical advantage over a handgun.

Using a rifle with a scope adds further handicap.

To be clear:
My comments are not intended to generate a debate over which specific gun is better for HD, they are very simply expressing bafflement over why anybody would choose a longer gun that's distinctly un-handy for such use, and a slower-to-fire action type, with a limited magazine capacity, over something more efficient.

In that role, I don't include "something different" or something "as PC looking as possible" among the list of selection criteria on a tool I bet my life on.
I want the most EFFICIENT tool for the job.

And I remain baffled over the selection of a bolt-action rifle as such a tool.
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Old December 14, 2018, 12:44 PM   #47
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An iron sighted CZ527 Carbine would fit very nicely for home defense. Not bad for shooting deer out of your bedroom window --- either...
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Old December 14, 2018, 12:58 PM   #48
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@DPris: Now that I understand the scope and conditions of your question, I'm kind of baffled too. As you acknowledge, the regulatory reasons are genuine. There are several jurisdictions where handgun ownership in this country is banned or where the administrative hassle and cost of obtaining a handgun permit are out of reach of the average citizen.

I have also known several serious hunter and target shooters who simply had a personal antipathy towards handguns (tool of the criminal, etc). You could take away handguns but don't mess with their shotgun and rifle. In years past, I tried to explain, that as gun owners we needed to hang together or we would hang separately, but that message never seemed to reach them. But again, that response is outside your scope of a reasoned and informed decision. Many of us just make decisions on emotions.

I also understand that your criteria rules it out, but using a bolt action rifle because it's what you have should, perhaps, be recognized a little. A few months back we had some car and garage break ins during the night (which was totally unheard of and shocking for everyone). My neighbor, who is an avid trap shooter and hunter, simply loaded his Remington 700 and left it by his bed. He did that simply because it was "what he had", and I guess that could be an answer in an overwhelming number of cases.

Another reason could be a "novelty" factor. I rotate my nightstand guns, and occasionally I'll throw in a single action, 44-40. I know it's not the best choice, but I believe it is effective enough for my likely scenario. Again, I do it just for the change.

Anyway, great thought provoking question! Give us another one? LOL

Last edited by hammie; December 14, 2018 at 01:08 PM.
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Old December 14, 2018, 01:39 PM   #49
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As I said- if you don't take HD seriously enough to provide yourself with a serious HD tool, then you're FORCED to use whatever you've got.
Hence the constant use on screen of the intrepid hubby responding to a noise-in-the-night with his trusty baseball bat or 9 iron.
Or in the case of an actual gun owner, a deer rifle.

Those are deliberate cases of "I don't care enough to take my home defense seriously to bother getting a REAL home defense gun."

We're talking here about making a bolt-action rifle the first choice, as part of a conscious effort to make THAT choice in the face of so many better alternatives, while there's time enough to GET a better alternative, and money to PAY for a better alternative.

And, as with the PC thing mentioned earlier, I don't do "rotation".
I choose the best tool for the job & stick with it.
That includes concealed everyday handgun & dedicated HD gun.

I ALWAYS know how to run those even half awake, I don't have to stop & think about how the gun of the day functions, and I do NOT select ANY defensive tool "just for the change", or for its novelty value.


A life-saving shield is not a matter of buying a gun because you like it, and THEN deciding to MAKE it work for SD or HD.
It should be the most efficient tool you can find, based on your situation & your ability to run it well.

If local law offers restrictions, then you do what you have to do.
Otherwise, I remain baffled at the deliberate choice to handicap yourself, IF you CAN do better.

PC & emotion should not apply.
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Old December 14, 2018, 02:00 PM   #50
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Don't mean to prolong unduly & not much else I can add.
We can probably move along now.
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