SKS for HD


October 13, 2004, 09:42 AM
OK, maybe this is nuts, but what do you think of using an SKS as a home defense weapon?

I know overpenetration would be an issue, but for the sake of argument let's assume we have ammo for it that would cycle reliably and wouldn't overpenetrate more than the common HD handgun cartridges like a .45.

I figure a BG coming into my home in the middle of the night might expect to be confronted with a baseball bat, or maybe a handgun, but imagine his surprise when confronted with an overweight guy in his underwear holding a rifle with bayonet extended. The old anti theory that the gun would be taken from you goes out the window, just try grabbing a rifle with a foot of sharpened steel protruding from the front of it. Being a military weapon it would stand up should it be a good idea to use the rifle butt for attitude adjustment.

The downsides would be that it would be harder to get thru doorways with the bayonet extended, and of course overpentration issues I mention above. Plus, if I touch one off indoors I probably wouldn't be able to hear for a while.

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October 13, 2004, 10:05 AM
I keep a 45 and an SKS for HD. You are not alone!

They are definitly sturdy enought to deliver a non-lethal attitude adjustment, if needed.

White Horseradish
October 13, 2004, 10:39 AM
I was actually thinking of keeping a 91/30 Mosin with the bayonet fixed for HD. Those buttplates are steel for a reason. :what:

October 13, 2004, 10:51 AM
Mosin M44 - more "tactical", with that carbine length, and permanantly attached bayonet. Not to mention, if you can get close the muzzle flash will set the BG on FIRE!

Note, picture stolen from someone here, I believe.....:D

October 13, 2004, 11:06 AM
Yeah, umm, I don't know of many houses that allow for the easy maneuvering of a 5'+ rifle (91/30).

And I wouldn't worry about sound, I once touched off 2 .45 rounds outside, and my ears were ringing for days. Any gun in a house is going to equal sore ears.

October 13, 2004, 11:39 AM
Depending on the construction of your home (brick veneer?) and proximity/direction of any neighbors, 7.62x39 can be a viable choice for HD; just consider your fields of fire carefully with penetration issues in mind. I'm not sure I'd extend the bayonet, though; BG may not be able to see it if you're pointing it in his general direction, unless the lighting is really good, and you'd hate to have the bayo snag on something while you're trying to maneuver. And the hole in the end of the muzzle is the part he really needs to worry about, anyway.

October 13, 2004, 12:59 PM
I'd trust a soft-point Barnaul to penetrate no more than soft-point 223.

October 13, 2004, 01:28 PM
what do you think of using an SKS as a home defense weapon?

Beats harsh language. :)

Yeah, I'd be concerned about penetration issues, and I certainly wouldn't count on the bayonet to deter anyone. (Just like I never liked the "when I rack my shotgun they'll run" position -- smart folks with good sense will leave certainly.. but if they're smart folk with good sense what are they doing in your house to start with?)

But all that said, sure.. wouldn't be my first choice, but I certainly wouldn't feel bad about it if that was what I had.


October 13, 2004, 05:21 PM
The little lady (former anti) likes the SKS, so it's our backup HD weapon. We have a code word for 'hide in the closet and shoot anyone that comes in who isn't either me or a cop.' I figure that if a BG gets past the 110 mastif/lab/ridgeback, my 300lbs+ butt with a remington 870 HD, and comes into the closet in my room, then overpenetration is the least of our worries. :) Besides, good lines of fire from the closet. lol

Marko Kloos
October 13, 2004, 07:31 PM
A Yugo SKS is my main social rifle. *shrug*

It's cheap to feed, very sturdy, totally reliable, fast to reload even from stripper clips, cheap to replace, and accurate enough to ruin anyone's day out to 200 yards. It also makes .30-caliber holes, which is always a bonus.

Jim K
October 13, 2004, 08:03 PM

Not too far from here a man fired an SKS accidentally in his living room. (No comment on this!)

The bullet exited his house, went completely through a neighboring house and into a third house. Fortunately no one was hurt and there was no serious property damage. He was arrested for reckless endangerment, but was put on probation when he agreed to pay for all damages. Of course he can no longer own a gun.

Most people, even gun people, simply do not understand the power of even a medium caliber rifle. Overpenetration may not be a problem in some place where the nearest neighbor is 35 miles away, but it can be a serious problem in built up areas. True, in a life or death situation, I would fire without overconcern about where the bullet might go, but no one wants to kill or injure a family member or other innocent person even in that situation.


October 13, 2004, 08:44 PM
Based on what ?

October 13, 2004, 10:07 PM
Based on trust. The reason I used that word was because it was the truest way to state my position. I have little empirical evidence outside of what I have unscientifically observed with both 223 softpoints and the Barnaul softpoints.

I explicitly identified my opinion as nothing more than an opinion - I hope that's OK. :scrutiny:

Zeke Menuar
October 14, 2004, 06:00 AM
Shotgun first
Then .45
Then Yugo SKS. It isn't my first choice, but it isn't a bad choice either. Just be sure your backstop is a BG.


October 14, 2004, 08:52 AM
Even a .223 will go through a couple houses. Everyone thinks they know that it won't because they read about it on the internet (Olympic Arms .223 article on Arizona police tests). I have done it and witnessed with my own eyes the MASSIVE overpenetration.


(this is the part of the thread where dozens of internet commandos will post telling me how the .223 will harmlessly breakup and not overpenetrate when none of them have bothered to test it themselves. It will be like convincing them the world is round.)

October 14, 2004, 09:19 AM
Something else to consider when you're using a rifle with a fixed bayonet (whether permaenently attached or otherwise) for home defense is that, if you're holding the weapon so that you can fire it accurately (i.e., the weapon is shouldered and your looking down/over the sights), your position is such that you can't effectively employ the bayonet. You can kind of poke from that position, but you can't make effective thrusts or buttstrokes. Conversely, if you're in the proper stance for bayonet fighting, you can't effectively shoot the weapon. For inside the house ranges, you might was well be carrying a spear.

October 14, 2004, 09:35 AM
For home use, try Magsafe's 7.62x39 Swat Sniper
1,343 ft-lbsm

deep penetrating, but not overpenetrating (lots of little fragments)

October 14, 2004, 09:38 AM
I have done it and witnessed with my own eyes the MASSIVE overpenetration. Was this a FMJ round, a hollowpoint target round, or a softpoint round?

October 14, 2004, 10:28 AM
I remember running some "phonebook" penetration tests out in the deserts of Vegas with the Vegas shooting club..

The .40SW and .45ACP just penetrated quite a bit.. Went through all 4 phone books. (Hollowpoints) The 9mm almost did all 4 (Don't recall, went to the like the J's or something like that on the 4th phone book), and the .223 softpoint, went to the 3rd phone book, but seriously tore up the 3rd, (The first 1 just had a hole, the 3rd one was like confetti). The 7.62x39 softpoint went to the end of the 4th phonebook, but did not exit. Did considerably less damage to the phonebook than the .223. The 308 just left a hole (milsurp was all I had, so FMJ), and the .223 FMJ did all 4 phonebooks as well. All FMJ's from handguns, went through all 4 phonebooks as well... So...

Overpenetration is a problem for anything and everything.. The .22LR was the only one that didn't have overpenetration problems, and even then, a few rounds did make it to the middle of the 2nd phonebook..


I highly recommend this absolutely unscientific test..

One of the guys suggested we went down the phonebooks to closer simulate human muscle. Of course he suggested that AFTER we used up all the phone books..

BTW.. The 12 and 20 gauge shotguns, just blew the 1st phonebook to smithereens :D

October 14, 2004, 12:31 PM
My tests were with American Eagle 55 gr. hollowpoints and FMJ. I could not see a measureable difference between the two. The both overpenetrated.

October 14, 2004, 01:00 PM
Yeah, I'd have expected that. The hollowpoint stuff isn't really meant to expand - it's a FMJ target round with a hollow point to move the center of gravity to the rear. A hunting-oriented softpoint will be designed to expend it's energy early, and will offer LESS (but certainly will not eliminate) overpenetration.

Not trying to take away from your point - just making/seeking clarifications on what data is relevant to what scenarios.

October 14, 2004, 03:46 PM
The single dumbest thing, in my opinion, that most gunowners believe is the myth of the tactical urban carbine. The thing that makes it dumb is that 99% of gunowners believe that .223 is an acceptable urban round. It they would just get off their butts and do their own tests, they would learn the truth. However, most would rather get their data off the website of a rifle manufacturer that has a bias towards selling "urban rifles".

If you live in a dense urban area, buy a shotgun. The six year old kid next door might thank you someday.

October 14, 2004, 03:59 PM
Did you bother to test brick? I live in a brick house. Should I rely on tests someone did with some thin siding material and a couple of pieces of drywall?
Many condos and apartments being built these days are mostly poured concrete. Did you test that?

Congrats on performing your tests and finding out what works for you, but we don't all live in the same house and while your concerns may be somewhat valid, there are more effective ways of getting your message across.

October 14, 2004, 04:22 PM
It all boils down to knowing your backstop. Given the layout of my house and the defensive location that I've set up, my backstop is most likely to be a 12" thick concrete slab, behind which is about 8000 miles of dirt. Only after penetrating all that will my round be likely to come in contact with any unintended bystander. I don't think that my SKS is likely to be an issue.

I'm not suggesting that a SKS is THE BEST weapon for home defense. I'm simply trying to point out that there is no single rule to all of this, and calling my intelligence into question isn't really helpful.

BTW - I would expect (note qualification, indicating that I have no empirical test data) that 00 buckshot would penetrate common building materials fairly easily. And, of course, you can move down in shot size to reduce building material penetration, but you'll not likely get adequate penetration on a human chest cavity if you step down below #4 buck.

Or so I've read on the Internet. :D

October 14, 2004, 05:02 PM

I'm inclined to agree with you. I did some "barnyard ballistics" testing to see how the .223 penetrates. First I fired an FMJ through a 2x6 board with two blocks of ice behind it (about 12" of ice). Range was about 20 ft, easily within home defense range. Bullet put a nice clean hole through the board and punched all the way through the ice. Never recovered the bullet.

What about a hollow point, you ask?

I tried that next. The hollow point went through the board without expanding and left a neat .22 hole, just as the FMJ did. Then the hollow point blasted through twelve inches of ice. Again, bullet not recovered.

My point? Both types of bullets poked right through a 2x6 with significant energy to spare. Somehow I don't think sheetrock is going to impact it much. Next time I'll try multipe boards and see how far it penetrates. I can easily see how a .223 could pass through multiple houses, barring a solid barrier like rock or brick. Even then, I wouldn't be surprised if the bullet penetrated.

October 14, 2004, 05:25 PM
Next time, if you have a chance, it would be useful to try soft point rounds. That would seem to the data that we're missing here.

October 14, 2004, 05:29 PM
my SKS is 41 inches long, adn 51 inches with the bayonette extended. My 870 is 39 inches, the Bushmaster is 35 inches.
I think a shorter weapon is better for home defense. Frankly, I like a handgun better than a long gun in close quarters. Make mine a 1911, thank you.

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