Under the pillow caliber war!


December 29, 2006, 11:10 PM
This one is for the 4" revolver fans. Assuming you don't need 15+ rounds of 9mm for handling a break in, which would be your favorite choice, and why?

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Texas Colt
December 29, 2006, 11:20 PM
The 357 magnum! My trusty Colt Trooper Mk III (4 inch) is always in the bedside table.

Why? No jams with a wheel gun and with a 158 grain JHP, it has plenty of knockdown power. The 357 still has one of the best one-shot-stop records of any handgun caliber. I personally have no trouble with the recoil and I don't have to worry about over penetration since the kids are gone. And if 6 rounds isn't enough, I have two speed loaders standing by :evil:

December 29, 2006, 11:41 PM
When I carry, I use .357 mag. Gold Dot Short Barrel.
For nightstand, I use .38+p glaser safety slugs. I don't need the huge blast and flash blinding me at night in my home when I've just woken up.
I figure if I'm carrying, I'm already awake, and more prepared to deal with the blast, so a .357 mag isn't as terrible.

Oh, and incidentally, I use my 4" 19-3 for nightstand. and SP101 3" for carry.
And I would NEVER EVER keep a gun under the pillow. I feel like that's a really BAD idea.

December 29, 2006, 11:46 PM
Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel .38+P here too loaded in my 4" S&W Model 619. I don't want to leave myself deaf-dumb and blind if I have to protect my home at 2 AM. Why would anyone want to squeeze off a full house .357 flame thrower that sounds like a cannon in a small dark room? The .38 +P is loud enough for me!

December 29, 2006, 11:58 PM


I cant aim when I first wake up:neener:


December 30, 2006, 12:51 AM
.22 lr because the guy my mom helped in the hospital, who shot himself in the head with his under the pillow gun, lived.;)

December 30, 2006, 02:28 AM
I can't imagine firing a .357 indoors with no ear protection. Actually, I can... NO WAY.

December 30, 2006, 02:36 AM
Pillow gun is 45 Super, 230 grains, at 1100 fps.
Back up guns are .475 Linebaugh, 400 grain XTP's, at 1350 fps, or, 525's at 1350fps.

Should really have a rifle....


December 30, 2006, 09:54 AM
Being temporarily blinded and deaf is better than being dead.

December 30, 2006, 12:00 PM
I can't imagine firing a .357 indoors with no ear protection. Actually, I can... NO WAY.

It'd be about like the time I fired my new Contender .30-30 hunter compensated TC barrel out of a box blind. I killed the deer, but I couldn't talk much about it over the campfire that night. Mumble, mumble...ring, ring...EH? WAZZAT?:banghead: I'm glad I don't have permanent deafness from that one, though I'm sure it didn't improve my hearing. I ain't anxious to repeat the experience. I carry my muffs if I'm hunting a box blind and a .38 resides in my night stand. I sometimes carry my 3" .357 IWB, but I hope I don't have to fire it indoors especially in the dark.

As for the effectiveness, a hit with a .38 beats six misses with the .357 when you can't see after the first errant shot.:neener:

December 30, 2006, 12:03 PM
Seems like .38+p and .357 are tied so far. I wonder, if you're going to use .38+P, at that point doesn't 15 rounds (or more) of 9mm +P out of a super reliable wonder nine win out? I love my revolvers, though.

December 30, 2006, 12:04 PM
.45ACP, the lower pressure round is better on the ears for indoor shooting.

Don't ask me how I know, but trust me it's not that bad.:evil:


December 30, 2006, 01:24 PM
.38 spcl +P in my 4" model 66. I would never keep .357's in this gun for home defense.When I first bought this gun it was my first "true" handgun after being raised on .22's all my life. I went out to my girlfreinds house to try it out and loaded it up with 158g .357's and BOOOOOMMM!!!...lost my hearing for three days:cuss: and I have permantly lost a bit of my hearing.:banghead: When I'm shooting something other than my Marlin 60 I always were hearing protection now when I target practice.BTW I have fired one cyl of .38+P's unmuffled and it is NOTHING compared to .357's.

Brian Craig

December 30, 2006, 01:44 PM
The .38 +P is loud enough for me!

.22LR is plenty loud enough out of a short barrel indoors w/o hearing protection. Personal experience on this one.



December 30, 2006, 02:34 PM
The nightstand revolver at our house is my wife's favorite DW 15-2 4" VH. It's loaded with Federal Nyclad 158 gr. HP .38 Spl +Ps from my dwindling stash, and two HKS loaders are right next to it. She prefers the revolver because she sometimes has trouble racking the slide on an autoloader with similar power and is more confident about her administrative handling skills with the DW.

On my side of the bed it's a S&W 4586 and WW 230 gr. SXTs. I'd use my 625, but like the tritium sights on the auto better in this role.

FWIW, potential hearing loss would be about the last thing that'd come to my mind if I found myself in the doo doo at O-Dark Thirty. Hearing aides are cheaper than funerals, and I'd rather spend years communicating with my loved ones in sign language than mourning them.

December 30, 2006, 11:54 PM
Shrinkmd. You left the .44 special out of your poll.

A .44 special seems like a reasonable under-the-pillow-weapon.

Shawn Michael
December 31, 2006, 12:40 AM
I am for the .44 special!!! Not sure on hearing loss though. I work in a busy CCU in a bad part of los angeles and I cannot tell you how many crooks I have seen over the years riddled with 9mm that survived! I know there are many reasons for this, the more I talk and listen to guy who have been shot/or shot someone, the more I like .45...I happen to love .44 special and think it is an ideal home defense round with .45 a close second...problem being I would only use a revolver for home so better choices with .44

December 31, 2006, 12:51 AM
I voted 44 mag, tho rarely use full power loads unless in the high mountains where the grizzlies hang out (all of 5 miles from home). Medium vel loads, or 44 spl medium power loads are MUCH more pleasant to shoot, under ANY cicumstance, then 357 loads. I believe 44 mag loads are even easier on the ears than 357 loads.

Funny this came up, there is a 4" Smith 29 under the off side pillow at this moment.

No, I'm not a big 357 fan.

December 31, 2006, 12:56 AM
While I can attest to the problems of indoor and confined space firearm discharges.
You all might consider the Military history of firearms and the lack of hearing protection.
I don't have any information on Civil Police hearing problems.
On my own reading of Hatcher, Cooper, Jordan, and others I have never read anything to worry about using a round such a A .357 as a home defence weapon.
I have read incidental accouts of tunnel rats during the Vietnam war that liked the .357.

December 31, 2006, 12:57 AM
44 magnum with 320 grainers, who needs hearing anyway:D

Green Lantern
December 31, 2006, 01:05 AM
Heh, glad you put the .22 on there. That way I can point out that my non-gun-enthusiast cousin feels that an old .22 short revolver is perfectly fine for a home defense gun....:what:

Ah, another of the reasons why I lose sleep and my hair thins... :brickwall:

(please note - NOT a caliber snob! If it's a .22 short or NOTHING, I'd use the .22 short! But it's only the .22 short for her because she hates even thinking about needing to use it!

December 31, 2006, 05:15 AM
I'm torn between 38 and 357, so I picked my compromise:

A 9mm with a flashlight attached and 15+1 capacity. :evil:

And before you call me a a mall ninja, I've shot my guns single handed at night while holding a flashlight and I can tell you that a switching to a weapon mounted light is much, much better and easier. I always keep my hand held flashlight handy too, though.

P.S. I voted .357

December 31, 2006, 05:27 AM
I said .44 Magnum, but not because of bears. I consider the .44 Magnum revolver to be the most versatile revolver choice for me, so I would load it down with Specials or lighter Magnum loads for HD use.

December 31, 2006, 06:25 AM
That is a lovely weapon, but it looks too short to be legal. So who cares, and where can I get one?:evil:

I voted for .45 ACP only because there was no .45 Colt, or .44 special. The big, slow bullet thing. I love .357s, but I live in a condo, and there's that over penetration thing.

December 31, 2006, 09:45 AM
My vote is for .38 spl +p...I have a nice stash of Federal Nyclad 158 gr lead semiwadcutter hollowpoints that I use in my S&W 642-2 snubby and S&W 19-4 multipurpose sidearm (4" barrel); this load is the ole FBI load without the lead fouling that occurs with the softer lead; the powder is flash retardant and is good for low light shooting

to be fair though, if I could find a non +p load that would reliably expand/penetrate as advertised out of both snubby and longer barrels, I would use it...the +p recoil in my airweight smarts after @ 15 rounds during a practice session\

again, on the flip side...my Beretta 9000S went back to the manufacturer to have an extraction issue addressed...I'm not sure if I'll keep it in the long run; if it makes it back into the rotation, it gets Federal HST 124 gr jhp 9mm +p

December 31, 2006, 09:47 AM
Oh it isnt mine

I just want one

I found it on Serbu shorty site


December 31, 2006, 09:59 AM
If i couldn't have my 12G or my 1911 .45 .....my next choice woud be my S&W 686 .357 loaded with remington Golden Sabers.

December 31, 2006, 10:05 AM
Being temporarily blinded and deaf is better than being dead.Being temporarily blinded and deaf can lead to deadness.

The .357's blinding flash and deafening roar will be amplified in a dark confined place eliminating the possibility of an aimed folow up shot.

.45s don't seem to have a great a flash and as sharp aa report

That is a lovely weapon, but it looks too short to be legal. That gun is perfectly legal and sold commercially as the Super Shorty. All you have to do is pay the proper tribute to the government

Brian Williams
December 31, 2006, 10:07 AM
That shorty is legal, just needs a tax stamp and the hassles of dealing with the ATF. As a matter of fact it is only a $5 tax stamp to own a Short Barreled Shotgun because it is declared an AnyOtherWeapon (AOW).

I have fired a number of 223 and a couple of 357 and a 9mm all indoors with out hearing protection. Young and Dumb in the Corps. I might have a little hearing loss but not a lot.

Ala Dan
December 31, 2006, 10:43 AM
Well, I could not vote cuz my "under the pillow" gun isn't a revolver.:uhoh:
Rather, its the world famous West German .45 ACP SIG-SAUER P220A
stoked with 200 grain Hornady T.A.P. JHP's~!:cool: ;) :D

December 31, 2006, 11:04 AM
My Kahr...Jeje

Green Lantern
December 31, 2006, 11:09 AM
I'll echo grimjaw and point out that even a .22 short is nothing to sneer at in the "noise" department when coming from a tiny pocket auto. Remember my aunt's Astra Cub? When I went up to her house to clean it up and fire it (thanks to a generous THR member for a magazine for it!), I brought everything I needed...EXCEPT my earplugs.

It wasn't a horrible experience, one mag of .22 shorts, outdoors...but my ears STILL rang for a little bit....

FYI, I voted for 38+P, but my nightstand gun is my G19 and Gold Dots. Don't fancy sticking it under the pillow, though! In fact, I'm a pretty rough sleeper, I don't think I'd stick ANY gun under a pillow, for fear of it ending up God-knows-where as I toss and turn through the night! :what:

December 31, 2006, 11:22 AM
Use enough gun...



Think muzzle flash and blast would be a problem indoors??? :p

For the record, I voted 38 +P (specifically Remington LSWCHPs) in my 686+ for nightstand duty. Shoots to POA, simple, reliable, and the FBI load has an impressive track record. To echo others, the 686 gets loaded with Federal C357B 125 grn semi jacketted HPs when CCWing away from home.

Chuck R.
December 31, 2006, 03:16 PM
My nightstand gun is a SIG 220ST with a M3X weapon light, loaded with 230 grn REM Golden Sabers.

When I travel for business which is pretty frequent, I switch to my wife's gun which is a Python loaded with REM 125 grn .38 +P Golden Sabers. She handles the recoil of the .38 +P much better than the .45ACP, and try as I might, I can't get here to like any of my autos.


December 31, 2006, 08:40 PM
Chose .357 of those listed but my hd at night is a G17 with attached light. and spare mag. Wife gets the 642.

The Real Hawkeye
December 31, 2006, 08:50 PM
Out of a four inch barrel, .38 Special +p lead SWC HP is a proven stopper, equal to the .45 ACP using military hardball. In additional, follow up shots are easier, and it won't blind you as badly in the dark. And I just plain like my lightweight barreled Model 10. Just finished a practical style shooting match with it, and did pretty well. That's a gun you can really get good at placing your shots were you want them fast.

December 31, 2006, 09:08 PM
My .38 Rossi with .38+P is good enough for me. Why turn over my nice gun to the cops after having to shoot a bad guy? BTW, if you ever do have to shoot anyone with your .44 magnum, take the body to Fort Marcy Park and dump it there. Put a .22LR RG in its hand and they'll call it a suicide. Those Park Police will think he shot himself twice in the same place. Two times .22 equals .44!

Open and shut case.

December 31, 2006, 09:45 PM
My night stand routinely has my S&W mod 19 w/ factory magnum loads in it...I do rotate my guns for HD duty so I also have a 45 acp & 9mm to split the duty.

January 3, 2007, 09:02 PM
So far, in this poll 1/3 of the respondents chose a 38+P, which is arguably the same or less effective than available 9mm+P loadings. I wonder if people have different thoughts about their ccw vs hd pistol. It seems like the caliber wars usually disparage the .38+p/9mm+p options in favor of .357 or .45

Another interesting thing is the number of .45acp, almost 1/5. I guess if you're a big .45 fan and willing to give up the reloads of a semi, you can gain the peace of mind of not needing to lube, check on, play with, or otherwise maintain your hd piece. Especially if you tend to bring other things to the range to play with.

I'm also curious to hear more about the .44 special option, and how that compares to a .45acp in similar loadings.

Thanks for all the replies!

January 3, 2007, 09:07 PM
I keep a 44 mag in a nightstand clock-radio safe with a lighted keypad for opening. In my present house, a bear is the only thing that has tried to break in.

January 3, 2007, 09:50 PM
M1 garand w bayonet and gen II night vision, and it even fits under 2 pillowshttp://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=50431&stc=1&d=1167878868

January 3, 2007, 10:18 PM
I went with .38, but don't really like the idea of the gun literally under the pillow. I think it's a much better plan to set up some other security (alarms, dogs, etc.) that would keep me from being in a situation in which I'd need to grab a gun from under my pillow. Come to think of it, don't think I'd get much sleep in such conditions anyway. :(

Nice moose sheets, alucard0822 -- my wife would really like those (her central decorating theme is moose). Where'd you get 'em? Though personally, I'd go with my '96 Mauser -- not as attached to it as to my Garand (wouldn't hurt me as much to use it as a club or give it up "temporarily" as evidence). :D

January 3, 2007, 11:15 PM
All four of our 38 and 357 revolvers are loaded with 158gr LSWCHP, for home defense or carry.

As for my ability to control follow-up shots, there's absolutely no comparison between the FBI load and any magnum round. The 38 wins, hands down.

I also like our wondernine, but greatly prefer double-action revolvers for defensive roles.

January 3, 2007, 11:17 PM
Oh, and three of our revolvers are kept next to the bed, with none under the pillow.

And although we keep speedloaders handy, I expect a reload would be grabbing another gun.

January 4, 2007, 01:04 AM
SA revolver in .45 Long Colt loaded to about 900 FPS with lead SWC of about 250 grains. Good compromise with very effective round and reasonable muzzle blast. The SA would be kept hammer down on empty chamber so that I don't shoot myself in the head.

Since .45LC is not one of the options I would choose .44mag down loaded to similar levels. That said I will probably end up with a Blackhawk or Uberti in .357 before I get my hands on a .45. And if I had to do it tonight my .22LR Sportsman would have to suffice.

Of course even a .38-40 would do nicely.


Old Grump
August 26, 2008, 02:10 PM
voted 38+ but my normal bedside gun is a 357 loaded with standard loads of 38 special in lead 158 grainers, sufficient at bed to bedroom door range and anywhere in the house. Dead on accurate at any range up to 75' . right now that gun is down for a little work on my workbench and my 44 mag loaded with 44 spcl is filling in, shoots to the same point of aim as the 38's do with similar recoil in the bigger gun.

August 26, 2008, 02:55 PM
This thread is a year and a half old.

August 26, 2008, 03:06 PM
A girlfriend of mine fired 7 shots from a 22 rifle at an intruder who entered her bedroom. The cops found 2 holes in the wall, suggesting 5 hits, and a blood trail leaving her apartment. No hospital or doctor reported treating these gunshot wounds and no body was found...

After the customary interview at the cop house and weapon confiscation, she was sent home with NO WEAPON.

My bedside weapon is a 40.


August 26, 2008, 03:10 PM
I'm w/ the 1911 crowd on this one, but out of whats up there, I choose .357 Loaded w/ .38spl Glasers. or magsafes. Overpenetration would be a problem in my neighborhood

August 26, 2008, 03:29 PM
I went with 45acp, big and slow....Plus there was no 44spl listing.:)

August 26, 2008, 03:37 PM
ive been forced to shoot a service caliber handgun in self defense....the felt noise was almost nothing.....when the adrenaline dump occures fine motor skills deminish rapidly and you get tunnel vision/hearing.....

i choose the .357mag from past experience.

i should add that my HD handgun is a Glock 17, my wife's is a S&W model 13(with 38s) or 36.

August 26, 2008, 03:45 PM
wow, I forgot about this poll; here's my updated scenario:

S&W 642, Ruger Security Six, Taurus 651: .38 spl +p; either Remington 158gr lswchp (FBI load) or Winchester Personal Defense 125gr sjhp;

S&W 629: .44 spl; Hornady 180gr XTP

no more semi's in the collection :evil:

August 26, 2008, 05:44 PM
Why a .357 Magnum, of course. I don't WANT to hear anything at night. After the Magnum magically blows my foe through seven or eight walls, my ears will ring peacefully, and the sound of crickets won't bother me whilst I go back to sleep. :p

Old Fuff
August 26, 2008, 05:56 PM
I have used a .44 Special for this purpose, but at the moment it's regular old non +P .38 Special. Seems like a good idea when there are other residents around, and big windows in the front open toward a well traveled street. I always remember that the rules of engagement say that one is responsible for the consequences caused by any shot they fire. :eek: :uhoh:

August 26, 2008, 06:49 PM
I'll use whatever handgun is closest.... my 9mm, the 7.62 Tokarev, maybe the 1895 Nagant, the wife's .357.... to fight my way to the AK loaded with hollowpoints.

Ya'll might wanna keep one eye shut when you gotta wake up and cook off a .357 Mag first thing.... :D


...when the adrenaline dump occures fine motor skills deminish rapidly and you get tunnel vision/hearing...

Roger that.

The first time I had to open up with my M2 on some roof-top muj taking pot-shots at us, I distinctly remember only hearing two sounds; the clatter of belt-links & empty .50 casings hitting the top of my ring mount, and the kachunk-kachunk of the barrel & bolt reciprocating. But even so, I was completely deaf for at least 2 days afterwards.

August 26, 2008, 10:01 PM
I mean, this was a great thread a year and a half ago but why would anyone bring it back from the abyss?

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