Home defense


August 5, 2009, 08:18 AM
Question guys, I am trying to choose between a AR-15 or a 45 cal CX4 for home defense, primarily for my wife.

the shotgun is a little large for her.

But I am worried about muzzle blast from the AR, how obscene is it indoors?

Is a 45 carbine much quieter? Is the 45 effective enough in semi-auto?

Should I just force her to train with the shotgun and then put it away for longer periods?

I guess what I am really wondering is, the effectiveness of a 45 caliber carbine. How does it stack up vs the 223 or shotgun.

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August 5, 2009, 08:31 AM
Could she handle a Rem 870 youth model in 20 guage? Its not a fancy gun but will get the job done.

August 5, 2009, 08:41 AM
What about a .410? Those are pretty good for HD...

August 5, 2009, 08:46 AM
you know that never occored to me even for a moment.

I will pick one up and find out!

thanks guys.

August 5, 2009, 09:06 AM
What does she prefer to shoot?

Personally, I'd choose the .45 carbine over the .410, for both capacity and terminal ballistics. And in a defensive scenario, a few decibels either way aren't going to make much of a difference; the .45 with a 16" barrel will be less loud than a .45 pistol or a .223 with a 16" barrel (which are comparable to each other, dB-wise), but the primary consideration here is what she personally feels most comfortable with, IMO.

August 5, 2009, 09:22 AM
The report and muzzle blast from short barreled AR's is obscene. I don't like being next to them at the outdoor range either. In a SD situation I probably wouldn't care and might even be desirable vs. bad guys.

Another alternative might be a lever action 357. Using 38 specials gives you near the lethality of a 357 in a pistol with a greatly reduced report, virtually no blast or recoil.

August 5, 2009, 06:12 PM
The report and muzzle blast from short barreled AR's is obscene. I don't like being next to them at the outdoor range either. In a SD situation I probably wouldn't care and might even be desirable vs. bad guys.
The worst muzzle blast I've ever seen was a 14.5" barreled .223 with a permanently attached muzzle brake. Short barrels make blast worse, and brakes multiply it.

A 16" barreled .223 with a flash suppressor is not bad, though.

fireman 9731
August 5, 2009, 06:16 PM
I vote for a youth sized 12 or 20 gauge.

August 5, 2009, 06:17 PM
I say a carbine in .44mag, .357mag, .45Colt or ACP.

They will deliver plenty of hurt, but only on one end.

August 5, 2009, 06:27 PM
ARs aren't really layman (or woman) friendly. Id rather pick up my Marlin 336 thutty-thutty half asleep, but I'm old school. I really like the idea of a .357 lever gun for her situation best. Keep the mag loaded with an empty chamber and the (useless) safety off. Rock that lever and your good to go! Easy shooting, good capacity, and good handling. Couldn't really ask for more from a home defense gun, except perhaps to look a bit more "Tacticool";)

August 5, 2009, 09:03 PM
It all depends if you are expecting zombies or a foreign invasion and you will not be home. I keep different guns in several spots around the house. Mainly they are .40 and .45 caliber semi auto handguns, I figure if I have to go to go to one of my rifles, its not a personal defense issue, its a dam invasion. If she is comfortable with a handgun, she will be comfortable with a shotgun but, for quick response in a tight area a well balanced, powerful handgun will handle most situations. Throw the safety off, if you have a safety, and all she has to do is point and shoot. The other side is. pick up a heavy shotgun or AR,in the dark, half asleep, make sure its chambered, , do not get it hung up on the door, clothes or wall, as you look around for the target, point and shoot.:cool:

August 5, 2009, 09:08 PM
ARs aren't really layman (or woman) friendly.That would definitely depend on the woman. Any person who can competently handle a rifle can handle an AR15.

August 5, 2009, 09:26 PM
My wife digs a mini-14. Very light and handy, and the controls are very straightforward.

Any muzzle blast indoors is going to be bad. Short barrels and muzzle brakes make things worse.

August 5, 2009, 10:23 PM
taking all that into consideration, I think the .45 carbine would be the way to go.

August 5, 2009, 11:20 PM
My primary is a 870 loaded with #4 buck. My wife's primary is an M-1 carbine.

This is in the grey area a little bit. I ALWAYS tell someone to grab a long gun when they have the time. I justifyt the M-1 by pointing out that out of a longer barrel generates a good bit more velocity than say, a revolver with the same cartridge. By that logic, a pistol-calibered carbine, especially a hot pistol cartridge, should work. But when I think of the .45, it's a cartridge specifically designed to work best at low velocity. In a carbine, you've got a very slow bullet, made somewhat faster by a longer barrel, using defensive bullets that were engineered to work at lower velocities.

I've never shot a 9, .40, or .45 carbine, and I don't ever see myself wanting to. My wife prefers the carbine, but she knows how to use the shotgun too. In your house, you aren't constrained by concealability or carry-all-day comfort. Make it as big as you can handle.

August 6, 2009, 12:02 AM
The most important consideration is what she feels comfortable with and likes shooting. Assuming that criterion is met, the next question becomes what you and she are most concerned about: recoil, blast, stopping power, overpenetration, utter reliability, etc. Each of those will produce a different result. Can you narrow the question down by indicating what attributes are important to you in a home defense rifle?

August 6, 2009, 12:34 AM
Something that should be stated. Here are some facts.
An Ar can be had with an adjustable stock to fit many differant sized persons.
A .223 / 5.56x45mm will not over penetrate through a house as much as ANY pistol bullet, including 45 acp, 40 S&W, 9mm. Also less than a shotgun with slugs or buckshot.
The muzzle blast from ANY longgun is VERY damanging to ones ears. However a pistol caliber carbine will be less than an AR or Shotgun.
Long guns are always easier to shoot than handguns.
Oh and a note to LAV8000. Have you ever shot an Ar-15? they are the easist long gun to teach someone to shoot, or use, apart from probably a 22 rimfire.

August 6, 2009, 01:35 AM
Personally I don't care for the AR family, as I had to use it in combat at one time in my life.

Not withstanding, a modern AR is an excellent first rifle for a non shooter. Effective on target, easy to shoot and run, and virtually no recoil. What more could you or your wife ask, for.

Several of the AR systems strengths is it was built for non shooters, and folks who could not tolerate the recoil of full caliber weapons. Exactly what you are looking for.

If you should decide to go shotgun, for HD in many ways I think the 20ga is superior to the 12ga, particularly for a slight built shooter, and or beginner.

A pistol caliber carbine is superior on target and deploying to any handgun, but the effectiveness on target with most calibers in not enhanced. Particularly in 45acp it is in fact often reduced marginally. In the handgun carbine the most gains of effectiveness on target are for the 9mm and 357magnum, of the fighting calibers. IF you should boost your game to the loads of Buffalo bore, you are shooting rifle type numbers again particularly in 357mag.

About Buffalo Bore 357 Mag. ammo

Our 357 mag. ammo adds more power than ever before to the 357 mag. This ammo is safe to shoot in ANY all steel 357 revolveróthis includes J frames. This ammo is no harder on your gun than any other normal 357 ammo. Please donít phone us and ask if this ammo is safe in your gun. It is, providing your gun is in safe condition for use with any normal 357 ammo.

We donít recommend this ammo to be fired in super light alloy revolvers as bullets may jump crimp under recoil, but the ammo itself wont hurt these super light weight revolvers. These revolvers are simply so light that the recoil is severe enough to cause crimp jump.

The below velocities are offered so that you can see what guns/barrel lengths give what velocities with this new 357 mag. ammo. Youíll notice that new S&W revolvers with short barrels are often shooting faster than older S&W revolvers with longer barrels. The new S&W revolvers are very good and are made with equipment that makes them more consistent and faster than the S&W revolvers of yesteryear.

Make special note of the Marlin 1894, 18.5 inch barrel velocities. Item 19C/20, supersedes 30-30 energies!!!

1. 3 inch S&W J frame
a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard cast LFN = 1302 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC (jacketed hollow cavity) = 1299 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 1398 fps
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 1476 fps

2. 4 inch S&W L frame Mt. Gun
a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard cast LFN = 1375 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr JHC = 1411 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 1485 fps
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 1603 fps

3. 5 inch S&W model 27
a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard Cast =1398 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC = 1380 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 1457 fps
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 1543 fps
4. 6 inch Ruger GP 100

a. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 1707 fps
5. 18.5 inch Marlin 1894

a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard Cast = 1851 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC = 1860 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 2153 fps---- Can you believe this?!!!
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 2298 fps---- Or this?!!!

I disagree with another poster who stated that the lever action being easier to deploy than the AR., the AR system is far EASIER for a non shooter to deploy for HD, then a lever carbine will ever be, by design. Takes a bunch less training and practice, in most cases the AR system will be shorter too.

Have you ever watched some new woman on a lever action, you would swear they need all their strength to work the lever. With practice it does get better, but strength, in some cases is a factor. I have never seen strength being a factor with the AR.

Good luck.


Stupid should hurt

August 6, 2009, 07:04 AM
Can't speak for your house or your wife but in our house.....
Various pistols are in various places but the primaries are the 870 for me and a Marlin .357 carbine for her. She is experienced with, and really likes, the lever over the sidearms.

Don't own an AR..... but I'd like to!

August 6, 2009, 10:22 AM
Don't own ether of these , a 20ga or lever gun, but both would be a outstanding home defence gun. It might be more on what you or anyone else can handle better. Both would do the job. Both allow the use of lite recoiling rounds to learn to shoot well and both will get the job done. An AR would be last for just home defence and the 45 might be on you, away from home while someone at home need defending. A shotgun would be cheaper to get into.

August 6, 2009, 10:33 AM
I don't care for the AR family of weapons either.

For home defense:
My lady has a Winchester .357 Mag trapper carbine and her choice of a G17 and G36.
I have a .45-70 Guide Gun, Benelli 12 gauge, a pair of G21s and an assortment of "other" rifles.

August 6, 2009, 12:38 PM
No matter what system you choose please make sure you (and she) train with it.

August 6, 2009, 03:37 PM
No matter what system you choose please make sure you (and she) train with it.


You betcha.

Do your preparation and recon's, get the proper tool(s) for the problem both house/apartment hardening and security. (fences, screens, landscaping, monitoring, etc. and of course if possible, IMNSHO best of all, a good watch dog. It doesn't have to be big, just noisy.) Put your defense plans together (don't ever forget plan 'B') and include everyone living in your home. Then acquire the best home defense shoulder weapons you can afford.

I presume you already have at the very least a CCW handgun, first aid & trauma kits. Get as much and the best quality training you can afford for all your fighting weapons, then regular quality practice (although you may enjoy your practice, understand the difference between fun or competition shooting vs combat practice).

Do not ignore maintaining your weapons properly. Regularly review your recon and plans and don't forget to up date your training regularly too.

That's what it takes.

Go figure.


Stupid should hurt

August 6, 2009, 03:50 PM
Don't "force" her to do anything. If she isn't comfortable with the firearm, forcing her to use it isn't going to make he any more comfortable, and she won't have confidence in her ability to use it in a crisis.

She has to be the one to accept she might need to use a gun for self defense and then she needs to pick what gun she is most comfortable with herself.

If she doesn't accept the fact that she might need to use a gun, she won't take learning to use it seriously, no matter what you say or do.

If she does accept that she might need to use a gun for self defense, the best thing you can do is provide options for her to try and then have her pick what works best for her.

How much of a shooter is she now? How comfortable is she with firearms in general? Does she have any favorite guns she likes to shoot? If so, look into one of those as her home defense weapon, even if it's not what *you'd* pick for her.

Now, obviously some guns are better choices then others, and I wouldn't recommend a .22 for self defense, even if that's her favorite, but if she likes a particular centerfire handgun better then any of the rifles or shotguns you've picked, have her use that.

If she does want to try various long guns, there are some options. For shotguns, she needs a gun that fits her. How tall is she? She might need a "Youth" or "Bantom" model shotgun depending on her overall stature. A shotgun that fits properly is going to be easier for her to use and she'll be more accurate with it.

Other options include the M-1 Carbine and the various pistol caliber carbines. An AK or an AR are also options, but only if she enjoys shooting one and is comfortable with the firearm. The weigth and balance of the gun and how the controls operate are all things to consider.

I'd say take her shooting more, have her try as many possible candidates as she can, and then pick what she likes best that works best for her.

August 6, 2009, 04:17 PM
Trebor +1

A lot of folks say that they are getting their wives a gun and what they really mean is that they are buying themselves another gun and using their wives as an excuse.

Home Defense is what she can shoot well and with confidence. She is better of with a .22 she knows and can shoot / manipulate well than with an AR-15 she can't.

August 6, 2009, 04:31 PM
i keep a 9mm at my night stand loaded with gold dots that should be enough to stop any attacker that breaks in...if i have enough time i will go for the Bushmaster AR that sits in my gun safe..

August 8, 2009, 03:01 AM
the sound of a round being chambered in any pump shotgun usually makes most perps pee in their pants, nothing like that sound.

August 10, 2009, 02:07 PM
How do you figure Chieftain?

I find the AR15 operating handle extremely awkward to use, and have yet to meet a woman who could find it and operate it without instruction on the platform. On the other hand, I have not yet met a woman who cant operate a lever gun. The .357s are really easy to operate. Sometimes the lever will almost operate itself on well used specimens!

August 10, 2009, 03:06 PM
Should I just force her to train with the shotgunAt gun point, presumably? :uhoh:

Listen to Trebor.

August 10, 2009, 07:08 PM
You all might have forgotten this but the inline stock of the AR-15 can be awkward, especially for pointing, if you are used to traditional stock styles. However, everyone else very correct when they say to practice tons with any gun you plan on using for SD or HD, and if you practice with AR style you get plenty used to it.

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