Pistol Caliber Carbine for HD (Concerns?)


June 30, 2006, 09:52 AM
Hello, my wife is very proficient with our handguns but I'd like her to have the option of a long gun for HD.

I usually keep my 870 next to the bed, but she can't stand the recoil and won't practice with it. Before I start looking into the effects of a Knoxx stock and other recoil-reducing efforts, I wanted to look into other options for her.

Would a pistol caliber carbine be a good choice? I would like your opinions on effectiveness, danger of overpenetration, concerns, etc.

I know a trusty 12ga is about the best bet for HD, but tell me what our other options are for her long gun. Thanks.

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June 30, 2006, 10:30 AM
I've been wondering if they are the worst of both worlds. Not as handy as a handgun yet not shooting a truely effective round.

Have you tried very light 2" loads in your 870 for her.

June 30, 2006, 10:40 AM
Tried light birdshot loads and my Reduced Recoil HD loads. No go.

...not shooting a truely effective round.
You're not happy with the effectiveness of a 9mm or even a 357mag out of a carbine for HD? Our purpose for it won't be for making 300 yard kills. I was worried people would say it's too powerful for bedroom duty and the bullet will exit the perp, penetrate our walls, and enter every house on the block. :)

Brian Williams
June 30, 2006, 10:45 AM
Have you looked at a 20 gauge auto???
I have a Marlin 1894C filling the HD role in my house, look at a pistol caliber carbine.

June 30, 2006, 10:49 AM
Have you thought about a 9mm AR variant? They seem to work VERY well (with the right mags) and aren't heavy at all. Little to no felt recoil.

(Tamara's 9MM AR (http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/2006/01/boomsticks-ar-15s-with-skinny-mags-new.html))

June 30, 2006, 10:51 AM
Thanks, Brian. I'm certainly interested in the 1894C. "Looking at a pistol caliber carbine" and answering the questions I posed is the purpose of this thread.

June 30, 2006, 10:51 AM
I have a Sub2000, 9mm Glock mag well and find it a pretty effective gun out to 50-75 yards. I put the lower rail with a light on it and I think it would serve effectively as a HD gun. I've got several 31 round mags loaded with Federal 124 gr. Hydrashocks so feel like it will get the job done. Would probably penetrate more than a shotgun, but it is much easier to move around with than a shotgun. They are very small and light, and with something like the Sub2000 you could keep it folded and in a drawer.

Oleg Volk
June 30, 2006, 11:13 AM
Advantage is that the report isn't as loud as with a pistol, follow-ups are faster. I would not advise to use tube-fed carbines because she'd tear up her fingers ont he loading gate even during practice. At least for my taste, box magazines are the way to go...maybe a KT Sub2000 with a 33-round mag or an AR in 9mm?

June 30, 2006, 11:21 AM
.45 Colt lever guns have been killing people dead for eons. Winchester makes a short 16" barrel "Trapper" that holds 9 + 1. You can use .44 Mag level loads, cowboy loads or anywhere in between, whatever is your pleasure. They make a good hole.

I would also give serious consideration to a 20ga.

Good luck.

June 30, 2006, 11:49 AM
You have 9mm and 45 acp autos like the CAR15, marlin camp carbines, the HK USC (I have been itching for one for a while) and many others. Then there are the lever guns in 357, 41 mag, 44 mag, 45 Colt. I would get her one chambered in the same caliber as you side arm that way you can exchange ammo if TSHF big time.

freedom and guns
June 30, 2006, 12:10 PM
rounds, even out of a long rifle barrel, are not the way to go if you want a long gun for HD. I would suggest a 20 gauge shotgun or an M1 carbine. .30 carbine has alot more power than any common pistol cartridge, espescially in a carbine.

June 30, 2006, 12:31 PM
What I meant was that a pistol caliber carbine has no advantage over a rifle caliber carbine like the SU16 KelTec.

Overpenetration is no better or worse. (the pistol rounds penetrate more through walls than a 50 gr 5.56)

Neither weapon is any more handy than the other.

Recoil is no worse for the 16 than for most pistol cal carbines.

Mags are readily available for the SU16.

Ammuniton is roughly equivalent.

The energy on target is much greater for the 5.56 out of a 16 inch barrel compared to a 9mm or .45 out of a 16 inch barrel. A .45 will give you another 100 fps or so from the carbine. Call it 440 ftlbs vs 1000 ftlbs for the 5.56. It looks like more bang for the buck (both dollar and recoil) from a lightweight 5.56 carbine without any more disadvantages than the pistol calibre carbine would represent. If the two weapon systems are equal in all other respects I'd have to find a reason not to get the one with more energy on target.

June 30, 2006, 12:34 PM
Last poster beat me to it. M1 carbine. Light weight, easy to handle, light recoil, stone reliable, mags up to 30 rounds, and more oomph than a pistol round.

I've heard good things about the replicas that AutoOrdnance (Kahr) is putting out.

June 30, 2006, 01:39 PM
I have a 30 caliber M1 Carbine, cool gun! 30 rounds are nice. If I ever have to hit a BG in my home, I would rather have my big, fat, heavy, 200 to 325gr .45 Colt rounds slapping him in the chest than the smallish 110gr 30 carbine or .223 round. That's just me though, go figure. I would rather have a shotgun slug over that though. Maybe there's trend there? Maybe that's why I don't hunt deer, pigs, hogs or bear with a small, lightweight caliber? I figure a 250lb BG is just as deserving. Who knows? I'm probably all wet. Maybe I'll through out the big stuff for the small stuff.

June 30, 2006, 02:39 PM
I think a good carbine in the same caliber as your pistol would be a great choice. The KelTecs and Berettas are good ones.

Though, as some have already stated, a good little rifle would be better. The KelTec SU16 is a good rifle for this, as is a Ruger Mini14. A rifle round trumps a pistol round in terms of power. A light weight frangible 5.56/.223 wont go through everything behind the BG too.

June 30, 2006, 03:03 PM
Why would you want a 7 lb pistol for home protection? Personally I'd pick a short-barrelled AR in .223.

June 30, 2006, 04:02 PM
For someone not comfortable using a shotgun or pistol, a pistol-cal carbine is a good choice. It becomes an even better choice if there could be a need to step outside for a 50-75 yard shot (fox in the hen-house?). There may be a place for shorter barreled 223s in certain house settings, but a set of electronic ear muffs should always be with the rifle IMO.

Otherguy Overby
June 30, 2006, 04:09 PM
Sheesh, .44 mag, .45 Long Colt & .357 mag pick up significantly in power when fired from a 16 inch barrel. Load specifically for the longer barrel, higher pressure and the gains are even more. Just wear your ear muffs.

June 30, 2006, 04:14 PM
I have an Olympic Arms K-40, an AR style that takes 40 S&W ammo and Glock magazines. I love it for HD, very accurate at 100 yds (and that's a whole lot longer shot than I'll need in my house) and I can put any magazine I grab into it or my Glock 23. I put 200 rounds through it last Saturday and the recoil is about the equivalent of a Red Ryder BB gun. Sweet.Only problem is Glock doesn't make big magazines (in 40) and the aftermarket ones I've found (Scherer) are nothing but problems.

June 30, 2006, 04:48 PM
A 9 or 40 or 45 cal carbine would work great for her. The 9mm have virtually no kick at all.

Ranger J
July 1, 2006, 10:11 AM
Consider the .44 mag Ruger Deerfield. Granted it holds only 5 rounds, one in chamber and four in clip, but I doubt that anyone would still be around, one way or the other, if she would have to empty the gun at them.

Doug S
July 1, 2006, 10:40 AM
Another vote for the Kel-Tec Sub 2000. I don't currently use mine for HD, but I have been considering it. I do keep a 33 round magazine loaded for it in the fast access bedside safe where I keep one of my Glocks. I think it would make a fine HD gun. I've put 368 rounds of both fmj and hp through mine without a single failure. It's also fun to practice with at the range, and the folding option would make it a nice backpack or briefcase gun.

July 1, 2006, 12:27 PM
Marlin 1894 in .375 magnum for me. Ghost ring iron sights and a holo sight. Excellent gun.

July 1, 2006, 01:21 PM
Holosight on an 1984? That's just wrong. It's like a tactical light mounted on a Colt SAA.

July 1, 2006, 01:46 PM
Well 9mm or 40 cal carbines have some advantages. Yes, they do in fact have less recoil than even an AR. They are far quieter indoors than an AR or even a lever gun in 357 or larger. I have seen it with several women. They are just far less intimidating than even an AR. More than I would have thought. Yes even with women who otherwise shoot regularly. They also are usually just a bit smaller in all the ways of fitting. You may think it doesn't matter, but try adding just an inch here or there to what fits you. In other words, the carbines usually just fit the women beter. If it fits, feels good to handle, you will practice with it. Not be uncomfortable with it. And that is very important in a firearm to be used under stress.

July 1, 2006, 09:23 PM
I think a pistol caliber carbine would be a good choice, and I'll step up and mention..........Hi-Point carbines :what: (GASP !!).

I bought one last week, took it out of its fugly stock and put it into an ATI stock. From 10 feet, you'd be hard pressed to tell which was the Hi-Point and which was the Beretta Storm. I also put a Millett red-dot sight on it. :cool:

The trigger was klunky to say the least, and the bolt was harder'n heck to pull, until I'd shot about 150 rounds through it, that is. I now have about 300rounds through it, not a hiccup at all. The ONLY thing I've done to it other than swap stocks was to spray a little Break-Free on the action, once. The trigger and bolt fairies have must visited because the difference now is unbelievable. :)

With this set-up, I can shoot the alligator clips off of the targets at 15-20 yards and a pop can at 60, all day long.

The recoil is virtually non-existant, and I can shoot it comfortably without ear muffs. It is short, handy, accurate, reliable, and inexpensive. It is a carbine she will not have problems practicing with.

Any round missing its target, could be a concern for over-penetration, but in a SHTF scenario, I doubt that this would occur to her.


PS: For those who want to flame about Hi-Points, please, save the bandwith. ;)

July 1, 2006, 11:21 PM
Marlin 1894 with 180gr. 357mags is a nasty proposition for any out of line BG. 158gr. probobly get the job done neatly too.

I want one to go along with my GP and SP .357's.

But until that happens I'll get by with Mr. 12 gauge and Mr. AK in 7.62. :D

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