small caliber for home defense?


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bt3128
March 16, 2011, 06:39 PM
Recent developments in my town (muggings and home invasions are up while law enforcement budgets are down) have caused me to think more about home and personal protection. Since my .22’s are generally considered inadequate in a defensive situation, I have been looking at stronger stuff and am enrolled in an upcoming CPL class. I don’t think its practical to try to figure out one gun for both carry and home defense, so I’m looking at options for home defense specifically.
I’m having a heck of a good time doing my due diligence. Yesterday I shot a S&W 38+P ultra light revolver with a 2” bbl. Owner claims it has an aluminum frame and titanium cylinder and it is amazingly light. I also got to shoot a Ruger single six chambered in .32 H&R Magnum. The .38 bruised my knuckles and almost flew out of my hand. I don’t think I could be sure of hitting a man size target at any range with that gun, unless I had a lot of practice. The single six was a joy to shoot and gave me about a 6” group at 25’ with very manageable recoil. In contrast my 22/45 with a red dot put 10 rounds of 40 gr blazer into a 3.5” circle almost as fast as I could pull the trigger at the same distance. That’s 400 grains of bullet just about where I want it in about 5 seconds. The .32 threw 25% more lead and was nearly as accurate but I took much more time re-acquiring my point of aim. The .38 would have been almost as effective if I had just thrown it, but it’s widely considered to be a highly effective weapon with outstanding “stopping power”. So - what is the gun that can be aimed reliably and also throw enough lead to be a dependable real-world home defense solution for a recoil sensitive shooter or non-professional? Is it possible that a MK III is enough? In my informal test, it put out nearly as much or more total lead faster than either of the others. Is a 9 or 10 shot cluster of .22 caliber hits comparable, ballisticly, to one or two well placed .380’s, 9mm or .38’s? Please forgive the longishness of the post, but also please share your knowledge and ideas. I bet there are others who have similar questions. Thanks in advance for any and all insights.

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Shadow 7D
March 16, 2011, 06:47 PM
Why??
unless it's what you carry, you can just as easily have a service size pistol or even a shotgun near at hand in your home.
You don't have to carry what you have in the safe, open or one off (for a dial combo)
as for your carry gun, go with what works best for you, small caliber require different tactics and styles of shooting vs. larger calibers

But in the end, more people have died of .22s than most other calibers (outside of war).

JoelSteinbach
March 16, 2011, 06:48 PM
A full sized 38Special like a S&W model 10, would be great for your needs and is faily conceable. Another choice would be the new S&W 38special bodyguard. Any gun would be good as long as you spend time knowing it and practicing with it.

Shadow 7D
March 16, 2011, 06:55 PM
Another point, is this
safety and security is like an onion, if you rely on a single layer, you will have it breached, quickly,

Do a search here, it's rather well covered, reinforce your latches, even using a NY door brace/kick stop (it's kinda like the chair under the door knob idea, but even stronger)

Put shatter resistant film on your window, a video and security system, a driveway alarm to let you know when someone is walking up to your house, spiky plants, TRIMMED SO AS NOT TO BLOCK THE VIEW FROM THE ROAD to deter someone breaking in your window, and if they try, to be seen by the public/neighbors.

AND, don't tell people what you have, don't let it be seen from the window, don't have friends who talk/tell people what you have. Most stuff isn't random, it's someone who knows what you have, either a friend or a friend of a friend.

And most importantly

LOCK YOUR DOORS

M2 Carbine
March 16, 2011, 06:59 PM
Here's the thing. The bad guy isn't going to just stand there while you try to empty your 22 into him. Chances are he will be shooting at you with a 9mm, 45, shotgun, etc. So the idea is you want to stop him as quickly as possible.
That means a shotgun, rifle or big caliber handgun.
And as important as the gun is, being able to quickly, accurately shoot it is more important.

So, IMO start out thinking 12 ga shotgun and decide what gun will work best for you.

Then practice to become fast and accurate with your choice.
Remember the BG will probably be as fast and accurate as you and he has the element of surprise.



At this time I'm helping a lady choose her home defense guns by shooting on my range. I let her shoot a lot and make up her own mind, with some guidance from me. She bought a 9mm Saturday and a 12 ga shotgun yesterday.:)

AlexanderA
March 16, 2011, 09:15 PM
I would think that a .22lr pistol is inadequate for a home defense gun, mainly because of the lack of "intimidation factor." Yes, you can put some lead into a target using a Ruger Mark III, but that's under range conditions. In a dark house, with the adrenaline flowing, you might not be able to shoot with such precision. My #1 choice for HD would be a 12 ga. shotgun, either a pump or double barrel (with 18-20 in. barrels). Remember also that if you can hold the guy at gunpoint until the police arrive, that would be better than actually shooting him -- ergo, a cellphone is almost as important as a gun.

sm
March 16, 2011, 09:36 PM
Still those that know me, and especially those few that know my life and life experiences...will back me up.

1. Try before you buy. Whatever you end up, it has to be one that fits YOU and affords you quick, effective hits.
I don't care what make, model, or caliber. The reality is, non of us Internet folks are going to be present, when a serious situation comes into your life.

2. One should have a .22 rim-fire, period!
Besides all the the other reasons, the reality is, one never knows when "life will be life". Meaning, in a blink of an eye, one can find themselves in a "no-recoil" situation. Anything from detached retina, to neck/back/shoulder surgery and the like and the Surgeon/Doctor/Physical Therapist will order "no recoil", but, in my experience, will often approve a .22 rimfire.

My deal is simple, and comes from Mr. H, and I have done this with students I have assisted with, and instructed.

Get a piece of typing paper, fold in half, then again. Then only load five rounds in whatever gun and shoot that paper at five yards. The paper will NOT lie. It will show what platform, what caliber, YOU shoot best, at "this" time".

Meaning, one might shoot a certain gun, in a certain caliber, and loading, but with say injury, arthritis, or whatever, one CANNOT shoot that loading, instead same gun, with a milder loading that affords shot placement, and quick effective hits.

i.e. Going from .357 to .38spl.
Another being, having to go to 148 grain wadcutters...

Hits count, not Internet folks that will not be there, when serious happens.

Even a .22 has been known to stop a threat...

lvalmont
March 16, 2011, 09:50 PM
I have an airweight j-frame. Shooting normal 38spl and 38spl+p, that thing has more felt recoil than my Desert Eagle (in .44 mag). I have it because its very easy to carry, I would NOT use it for home defense.

Don't be quick to discount the caliber, maybe just the gun.

NMGonzo
March 16, 2011, 09:53 PM
A mid size revolver in .357

Can't go wrong with that.

klutchless
March 16, 2011, 09:56 PM
If recoil is a concern I would say a 20 ga pumpgun loaded to meet your house needs if you have no close neighbors go for a 00 buckshot slug combo no handgun will compare in the intemidation factor. If you have close neighbors number 4 or even number 6 will shop a threat without over penetrating. I recomend you do not chop of the stock or go with the tacticool pistol grip four pressure switch six attachment shotgun. Instead go get a mossberg 500 20 ga and a couple boxes of shells. Short barrels 18in are great for HD.If you are economy minded my 20 ran me a whopping 120 bucks at a gunshow.I have found them cheaper since then.P.S they have a house alarm that sounds like a pumpgun being racked and one that sounds like a large dog barking to deter intruders.

BHP FAN
March 16, 2011, 10:03 PM
If you like the .327 mag, go with that.The Ruger SP101 is controlable, and accurate.
http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger-SP101-327.htm
To quote the article '' In the world of rugged and reliable compact medium bore double action revolvers, the SP101 is king, and I will not hesitate to recommend the .327 SP101 to those needing an accurate defensive piece. It is a very versatile weapon, firing the .32 S&W, .32 S&W Long, and the .32 H&R cartridges in addition to the .327 Federal Magnum cartridge...''

Ala Dan
March 16, 2011, 10:19 PM
2.5" barrel Smith & Wesson model 19's or 66's work well in HD situations~!

BHP FAN
March 16, 2011, 10:24 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g88qCzi1Ia8&NR=1

MtnCreek
March 16, 2011, 10:35 PM
If I was comfortable with the 10-22, that would be my home defence weapon for the time being. A couple of 40 gr .22 rim fires will likely be more than most folk will be able to bare. I would look at getting something a little larger like a slightly heavier .38 and get some training before making that your weapon of choice. Training doesn't have to be a paid class; a few sessions with an experianced friend may be all you need.
Main thing is; if you can shoot the 22, it should do fine for now (maybe longer).
Purchase high quality 22 ammo for defencive stuff (22's seem to misfire more than others).
Also, don't worry about 6" vs 3.5" groups so much; Either one will fill your needs.

B yond
March 16, 2011, 10:39 PM
If you can, try out a Ruger P345.

It's a .45 DA/SA with a second recoil absorbing spring under the primary recoil spring. I have one, and it recoils less than my .380.

It's fairly thin, and dehorned, and I find that it's easy enough to conceal. I carry it frequently, and attach a light when I get home and keep it ready as my go-to home defense pistol.

I strongly urge you to try one out. Light recoil and DA/SA trigger allows me to put a lot of lead on target quickly. I bet it'd work the same for you.

Hypnogator
March 16, 2011, 10:39 PM
If you can shoot your .22 rapidly and accurately, and it's 100% reliable, don't let anyone talk you into a heavier caliber that you shoot poorly or that will cause you to develop a flinch. Stoke it with CCI Mini-Mags and keep it handy.

At the same time, there's a lot to be said for having a good HD shotgun in 12 or 20-gauge to back it up with! :cool:

ATBackPackin
March 16, 2011, 11:09 PM
I would recommend a 20 gauge shotgun for the home. You can use your .22 to fight your way to the shotgun. Anything from #4 to 00 buckshot is usually considered to be a good load for HD. If you liked the .32 H&R then I would recommend that for when you get your carry permit. The previous suggestion for the Ruger SP101 is a good one especially since it shoots all four rounds.

Lighter gun = more recoil. Practice, practice, practice.

Best of luck.
Shawn

Manco
March 16, 2011, 11:39 PM
Since my .22’s are generally considered inadequate in a defensive situation, I have been looking at stronger stuff and am enrolled in an upcoming CPL class. I don’t think its practical to try to figure out one gun for both carry and home defense, so I’m looking at options for home defense specifically.

It's quite reasonable for some folks to use the same handgun for both home and carry, depending on the person and various circumstances (particularly if they're able to carry a large, easy-to-shoot, often more powerful handgun).

I’m having a heck of a good time doing my due diligence.

Yeah, I bet! :D

Yesterday I shot a S&W 38+P ultra light revolver with a 2” bbl. Owner claims it has an aluminum frame and titanium cylinder and it is amazingly light. I also got to shoot a Ruger single six chambered in .32 H&R Magnum. The .38 bruised my knuckles and almost flew out of my hand. I don’t think I could be sure of hitting a man size target at any range with that gun, unless I had a lot of practice.

Ultra-lightweight revolvers are really designed for pocket carry, or some other mode of carry that is greatly impacted by weight. For those who plan to use a sturdy rig, such as a reinforced gun belt with a good, stable holster, heavier handguns are usually preferred because they're inherently easier to shoot (all else being equal). Obviously for home defense, heavier guns are preferred for the same reason, and given your experiences so far, I'd recommend staying away from those ultra-lightweight revolvers (unless you're going to shoot .22 LR).

So - what is the gun that can be aimed reliably and also throw enough lead to be a dependable real-world home defense solution for a recoil sensitive shooter or non-professional? Is it possible that a MK III is enough? In my informal test, it put out nearly as much or more total lead faster than either of the others. Is a 9 or 10 shot cluster of .22 caliber hits comparable, ballisticly, to one or two well placed .380’s, 9mm or .38’s?

In general how well you shoot is more important than the caliber, especially if you can land more hits with one than another. That said, in a real defensive encounter, you may not be able to land multiple hits, so you have to balance shootability with per-round effectiveness. Basically, use the largest caliber that you can shoot pretty fast with confidence. If a particular caliber feels overwhelming, then it's almost certainly too much. Shootability depends a lot on the gun being used, though, so what you need to do now, if you haven't already, is try out a heavier steel-framed revolver with .38 Special to see how that suits you--something like the Smith & Wesson 686 or Ruger GP100 (4" barrel or longer). While you're at it, you might want to try a full-size 9mm semiautomatic pistol (whatever looks and feels good to you). There are many intermediate options available that the rest of us can help you with, but I think that knowing how you'd fare with these combinations would be helpful.

Others have suggested shotguns, and that's a great idea if you're open to it.

A .327 Federal Magnum revolver has also been suggested, and that may possibly be the perfect option if you're recoil-sensitive, but I want to see how you handle heavier handguns first (unless you want to talk shotguns now ;)). On the other hand, if you're significantly slower at recovering your sight picture with that Single Six, then maybe a .22 LR is the best option, at least for now.

CZsp01
March 16, 2011, 11:59 PM
You just brought me back a lot of memories of my house(s) in NY. Still got robbed twice lol.

TexasBill
March 17, 2011, 01:02 AM
You fired a lightweight, snubnose revolver with .38 Special +P ammunition which is one of the most punishing combinations there is. You shouldn't let that be the representative of the .35x caliber. Simply switching to a steel revolver, like a Ruger SP101 or a Smith & Wesson Model 60 (either one with a 3-inch barrel), will work wonders at making the .38 Special round manageable.

Going a step up in size, the Smith & Wesson Model 10 (or Model 64 in stainless steel) is one of the finest self-defense handguns ever made. It's been on the job in millions of holsters and night stands for more than 100 years. It's not fancy but it's easy to learn to shoot, always ready to go and can handle .38 Special +P with no problem.

Walther makes a dandy little pistol: the PK380. It holds up to nine rounds of .380 ammo and the recoil is negligible. The Bersa Thunder is another good .380. Stay away from the mouse pistols, like the Ruger LCP, they tend to have fairly snappy recoil.

In full-size 9 mm pistols, you have a wealth of choices. A lot of people will recommend the Glock, but I am not one of them. I prefer a real hammer, so I like pistols like the Beretta PX4 Storm, FN Herstal FNP-9, Stoeger Cougar, Ruger P95, Sig 2022, Sig P226 and Browning High-Power. However, there are very good striker-fired pistols, as well, including the Smith & Wesson M&P, Walther P99, Springfield XD9 and others. The Glock is definitely worth a look; it's a good gun. It doesn't meet my personal preferences but my sister sure likes hers (she has a Glock 19).

Yes, a .22 will work - eventually. But if you have to use a firearm, you want something with a bit more impact that creates a larger wound channel. Even with a .45 automatic, there's no guarantee one round will do the trick, so you should always plan on firing multiple shots. Remember, the idea isn't to kill your attacker, the idea is to persuade them to stop the attack.

mr.trooper
March 17, 2011, 01:40 AM
Chances are he will be shooting at you with a 9mm, 45, shotgun, etc. So the idea is you want to stop him as quickly as possible.

Yea, because burglars REGULARLY engage in gun battles over a few hundred dollars worth of crap.

Remember, the idea isn't to kill your attacker, the idea is to persuade them to stop the attack.

Why then, is the size of a wound channel everything? If they are prepared to fight though a gun shot wound over your X-box, then you have other problems - like crystal meth... in which case what bullets your slinging wont matter much.


Is a 9 or 10 shot cluster of .22 caliber hits comparable, ballisticly, to one or two well placed .380’s, 9mm or .38’s?

From a purely technical point of view, the combined wound channels of ten 22lr will be about equal to three 9mm or 38 wound channels... Though many other factors effect how much shock that will produce (regardless of its relation to a 9mm, a cluster of 22lr hits will be a high devastating and debilitating wound).

OP - Long story short, there is no reason why your 22 rifle is not adequate for the time being. You can feel free to save up and shop around for a larger gun of moderate recoil at your own leisure.

Famous quote - "Many of those shot with a .22 experience only minor pain... and then they die."

shiftyer1
March 17, 2011, 01:47 AM
I would go with a mid size .357 like a ruger security six and shoot .38's. The larger gun eats recoil better than an airweight. You also have the opton to fire 357's if you need a little more boom. If it's going to be a bedside gun 686's feel huge but the extra weight and site radius are worth it. I'd hate to try to carry one concealed.

Someone mentioned a 327 and someone else mentioned firing .32's thru it, I know nothing about a 32 but now I have something new to learn about :)

mljdeckard
March 17, 2011, 01:48 AM
You are assuming you will get 9-10 hits. What if you only get one?

I use 12ga #4 buck.

Ignition Override
March 17, 2011, 03:07 AM
sm:

I thank you for explaining that any of us could somehow end up in a "no recoil" condition. Your enlightenment beamed through my thick skull.

Even being 55 with just a swollen finger or knuckle, now and then, which requires mostly just two Motrin pills, anything is possible in the near future.

The only gun with rds. in the magazine is the SKS -no children (under 22) visit- being in a development (400 homes?) on the edge of a rural area, which has never had a home burglary.

db_tanker
March 17, 2011, 09:15 AM
reading this post actually got me to thinking about my own personal situation...

And realized that I am more covered than I realized...

I have three pistols loaded with spare mags salted through the apt.

At my mom's house I have a shotgun loaded and ready.

20 or so years ago I would probably have called myself paranoid...now I consider myself semi-ready...kinda shows how society has changed. :(

natman
March 17, 2011, 11:54 AM
I’m looking at options for home defense specifically.
Yesterday I shot a S&W 38+P ultra light revolver with a 2” bbl. ... The .38 bruised my knuckles and almost flew out of my hand. I don’t think I could be sure of hitting a man size target at any range with that gun, unless I had a lot of practice.

If you want a gun just for home defense you DON'T want an ultra light pistol. They offer ease of carry but at the expense of extra recoil - as you have discovered.

You do not want to rely on getting 9 or 10 shots of 22 off. You should get a larger, heavier pistol. You don't have to carry an HD pistol very far. Get it in the largest, most powerful chambering that you can hit with.

You will find that a heavy barreled 4" 6 shot 38 special is a pussycat to shoot, as opposed to the featherweight you shot before.

ball3006
March 17, 2011, 12:03 PM
Look at it this way.....ANY hole in a bad guy is good. Who wants to get shot? A 22 can kill you as fast as any other caliber. Multiple holes in a bad guy is better. Sure, it would be better to have a large caliber pistol but you have to go with what you got. I carry small caliber pistols sometimes because my dress at the time dictates it. But, I am proficeint with all my guns. The word "practice" is not out there for nothing.....chris3

TGReaper
March 17, 2011, 12:31 PM
If your .22/45 feels good to you and you shoot well with it,perhaps you might want to look at a full size 1911 chambered in 9mm.
Also they can be carried easier than a revolver of comparable power of the need comes up.
TGR

JTH
March 17, 2011, 12:44 PM
Shotguns are one of your most versatile choices with varying loads and they won't break the bank. The thing about many shotguns they are just too long to be efficient in close quarter encouters. Check out this Mossberg 12 tactical without the shoulder stock,sells for about $250.
JT

Cosmoline
March 17, 2011, 02:06 PM
ultra light revolver with a 2” bbl. .... The .38 bruised my knuckles and almost flew out of my hand. I don’t think I could be sure of hitting a man size target at any range with that gun, unless I had a lot of practice.

Ultra light = More recoil. The problem isn't the cartridge, it's the size of the firearm you're using. You can increase to a standard steel J frame in the 20 oz range and you'll find recoil somewhat easier to deal with. Increase weight to 30 oz and .38 special is very easy to control.

For CCW the size of the firearm is obviously a factor, but by adjusting carry methods you should be able to conceal a 25-30 oz firearm without undo recoil problems.

For home defense you don't need to worry about making the thing small. Just use a shotgun. But get one WITH the shoulder stock. You will thank me for it if you do ;-) PGO shotguns are real painful.

rstull85
March 17, 2011, 02:31 PM
I would recommend a decent 9mm that is easily accessible and then either a shotgun or some type of carbine kept in a safe or closet. Right now I am using a Sigma 9mm (i don't carry that often because the sigma is a bit bulky) and a Mossberg 500 with a 18.5" barrel.Once I finish school I am going to pick up a few Glock 9mm's, 17 for home defense (great mag capacity and you can easily throw a flashlight on it) the 19 and 26 for ccw. Mags are interchangeable between them and they all three function the same. The 19 would probably be a good in between that you could use for both home defense and carry. Just my .02

pioneer461
March 17, 2011, 02:52 PM
Self defense isn't necessarily about killing. It is about stopping an attacker. Will a .22, .32, or other small caliber pistol kill someone? Yes, they have been known to kill, but in most cases death is a result of blood loss after several minutes of bleeding. Consider the amount of damage a doped up attacker can inflict in the time it takes him, or her to bleed out.

History has shown that the most effective pistol calibers against aggressive attackers are generally larger, heavier bullets, that because of physics and shot placement, can cause quicker incapacitation. Generally.

The better choice for defense is a rifle or shotgun, with proper ammo, but they tend to be a bit more difficult to deploy in tight spaces.

Is a .22, .32, .380 better than nothing? Sure they are, but so is an aluminum baseball bat.

Madcap_Magician
March 17, 2011, 03:19 PM
If it's just for home defense, why all the snubby recommendations? Get a 4" service revolver or semiauto.

OP should also try some semiautos. It looks like he only shot revolvers. I personally find that 9mm semiautos recoil less than .38 Special revolvers of comparable size and weight.

Nushif
March 17, 2011, 03:29 PM
this is a bit of a tough issue, but there is one common thread throughout arguments like this, and that is the rule to go as high in caliber as you feel comfortable and then get good with it.

So my advice is to feel out where you like sitting in terms of caliber, and then going with that.

As an example I've settled into the 9mm for pretty much all my "serious" shooting. Also, I reload for it.
My wife, on the other hand likes her .380 and oddly enough her .32. She reloads for hers as well.
The difference is that in the time I can fire two rounds, she can fire three with similar accuracy. So frankly I'm not worried.

I've found in taking out a bunch of people for the first time, and teaching some of my less "martial minded" nugs to shoot that avery large factor in shooting well is comfort level. My PMI confirmed this, when he showed us his long distance shooting hold on an M4. I swear the average NRA instructor would have had a heart attack.
And too often comfort gets ignored. We don't go work out in our jeans and down jacket, so why would we get a gun we can't shoot with?

skoro
March 17, 2011, 04:17 PM
please share your knowledge and ideas

As others have already mentioned, a S&W 38spl revolver with a 4" barrel makes an excellent home defense gun. For HD, there's no need for small, ultralight snubnose revolvers. As you found out, they kick like a mule (I know, because I have one) and they make a good carry weapon, but a HD gun doesn't need to be compact or super light.

In a service size revolver, 38spl is very easy to handle and to shoot accurately. The S&W Model 10 has been the standard for most of the past century. And with good reason; it's a tremendous handgun. They're readily available on the used market in good shape at reasonable prices.

bt3128
March 17, 2011, 05:10 PM
I never really considered a shotgun in my circumstance – only had a couple of chances to use one before now. Fortunately I have been invited to try to “bust some clays” this week end so I’ll have an opportunity to get familiar, if not comfortable, with a 12 gauge. Gotta see that Mossberg up close! CPL instructor will be supplying 9mm or .38 for class, so will have more data there also. As I look at what has been recommended in light of what my real needs and perceived capabilities are, I expect I’ll be looking seriously at a .327, 9mm or .38 special for the night stand and a smallish carry gun like an LCP or similar or a Bersa Thunder if its not too bulky for a pocket. I’m going to have to hit a rental range to try ‘em. I have no prejudice regarding revolver or semiautomatic for the home, but slimness seems good for carry. Shotgun seems like a lot of firepower for the comparatively close quarters of my house, (awesome intimidation factor though) but I’ll know more next week. I guess I am better prepared than I thought I was. I already have an aluminum baseball bat. I am extremely grateful for all the excellent, thoughtful input. This is the best forum on the web.

Ole Coot
March 17, 2011, 05:13 PM
Get a 20ga coach or pump and use low brass ammo. Anything #6 shot or heavier is fine for in the home. I DO not recommend any defensive shotgun without a shoulder stock, too many reasons to list. The heavier the revolver, yep a revolver the less felt recoil and a 4" bbl is about right. Use what you can hit with above a 380. A regular 38 load at 158gr LSWCHP will serve you well. Skip semi auto pistols unless you are very very familiar with shooting under stress.

rstull85
March 17, 2011, 07:03 PM
I have to agree with Ole Coot on the shoulder stock. Pistol grips are pretty much useless and a 20ga will do for HD. I personally use a 12 because there are more options for guns and ammo but either one will stop an intruder. I do have to disagree with you on the autos though. Revolvers are a great option for home defense and CCW as long as you practice with it and are comfortable. The OP might have an easier time learning how to properly handle a decent auto. You get higher mag capacity, faster reload time and they are very simple to operate in a stressful situation. There are also many more options for home defense with autos. Not trying to step on anyones toes but thats just my opinion.

Moose1995
March 18, 2011, 12:48 AM
Ammunition is not very readily available for the 32H&R magnum. I'd stay away from that one. Have you considered maybe an FN five seven? The 5.7 X 28mm round is well suited for personal defense, is becoming popular enough to be able to find ammo, and has VERY minimal recoil. Although, the guns themselves are kind of pricey. If not, the tried and true 9mm has pretty low recoil, and has a ton of ammo options not to mention firearm options.

doc2rn
March 18, 2011, 05:06 AM
If you can shoot a .32 H&R Mag (my personal favorite by the way), then you should do well with a S&W mod 10 in .38 spc or GP100 in .38 spc. I have physical issues from war wounds that limit me to medium calibers. I would also recommend the FNP-9.
These 3 choices are hands down gonna outlast me and I shoot them every chance I get. You can even get a Marlin 1894 to match the .38s, there is something about a matching pair;)

mdauben
March 18, 2011, 01:23 PM
I’m looking at options for home defense specifically.
I vote for a full sized .357 like a 4-inch S&W 686. Load it with .38 +P ammo and you will be well served with minimal recoil problems. If you put enough rounds throug the gun that you feel comfortable with a stouter load, you can jump to full-bore magnum rounds with no problem.

There is no reason to consider small frame or ultralight guns except for CCW.

Have you considered maybe an FN five seven? The 5.7 X 28mm round is well suited for personal defense, is becoming popular enough to be able to find ammo, and has VERY minimal recoil.
Is there any reported news on actual street performance of the 5.7? I've hear conflicting "theoretical" opinions on the round and wonder how it has worked out in real life.

thorn726
March 18, 2011, 04:38 PM
I really like the .32 myself, small yet not tiny, very easy to handle, low recoil but expensive ammo. slightly less chance of going into a neighbor's apt in the small space, I'd not feel safe with anything bigger myself although even a .32 will go through the wall

Ole Coot
March 18, 2011, 08:51 PM
I have to agree with Ole Coot on the shoulder stock. Pistol grips are pretty much useless and a 20ga will do for HD. I personally use a 12 because there are more options for guns and ammo but either one will stop an intruder. I do have to disagree with you on the autos though. Revolvers are a great option for home defense and CCW as long as you practice with it and are comfortable. The OP might have an easier time learning how to properly handle a decent auto. You get higher mag capacity, faster reload time and they are very simple to operate in a stressful situation. There are also many more options for home defense with autos. Not trying to step on anyones toes but thats just my opinion.
I agree with the semi auto for someone really familiar with one. I carry a 45 myself and the only revolvers I carry are J frames and a 12ga defender with 8rounds is for the house. No children so no problem there. My personal opinion only is with a heavy steel revolver as a 357 using 38spl or +P if it can be handled is much easier(just pull the trigger) than learn the semi auto. It takes far more practice with more felt recoil and if recoil sensitive consider the limp wrist stovepipe jam. My opinion only on the revolver vs semi auto.

PoserHoser
March 18, 2011, 09:43 PM
kel Tec pmr 30 30 rounds of .22 magnum low recoil and a lotta bullets

rstull85
March 19, 2011, 02:08 AM
Ole coot, definitely right on the stovepipe with an auto. Revolvers are much more reliable than autos. But couldn't the trigger pull be an issue for the shooter. The pull on a double action revolver is pretty hefty. I know its much less if it's fired single action but that could be a little more difficult in a stressful situation. Ultimately I guess it just comes down to personal preference. Do you go with a revolver that won't jam, has tremendous power (with the ability to jump upmto .357 if desired). But has a heavy trigger and slower reload time or do you do with an auto where you get higher mag capacity, lighter recoil (depending on caliber) and faster reload times but run the risk of jams and have less power. Either way as long as the shooter is proficient it doesn't really matter either way.
Also I would recommend that the op stay away from the smaller pistols for home defense. Small frame revolvers and sub compact pistols are intended to be used for ccw, I would try to stay with at least a 4" barrel. The added weight will help with recoil. I wouldn't go with anything smaller than a 9mm for home defense and .380 for CCW. .22's are better than nothing and they can kill, but I have heard a ton of horror stories where a .22 didn't do the job and it got ugly. One in particular I remember, a guy walked upnbehind someone at a bar and shot him in the back of the head with a .22. The guy that got shot responded by taking the .22 away from the shooter Ns proceeded to beat the crap out of him with the pistol. I know that wasn't being used in a defensive manner but it shows that a .22 isn't the best option for personal protection. My brother in law also accidentally shot himself in the leg with a .22. The bullet went in and tumbled around and actually ended up pointing the opposite way it entered and he wasn't really sure that he had shot himself till he dropped his pants to check and found blood.

mdauben
March 19, 2011, 02:13 PM
kel Tec pmr 30 30 rounds of .22 magnum low recoil and a lotta bullets
I wouldn't care to rely on "volume of fire" in a self-defence situation. One or two .45ACP slugs are much more likely to stop an agressive attacker than a whole magazine of .22's. Reports of non-performance of even large numbers of .22 shots are too common to consider a .22 as anything but an absolutly last resort when something more effective cannot be employed.

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