mobile homes and guns


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moonpie
June 4, 2011, 08:52 AM
here's a subject that hits close to home, because it is my home. i'm starting this thread to address the issue of home defense in the mobile home community. with neighbors on all sides and light exterior walls my main concern is with overpenetration. it's entirely possible for me to shoot thru my wall plus my neighbors into his neighbors trailer on the opposite side. this influenced my choosing twelve gauge birdshot as my primary and standard velocity 45ACP as a backup. first hand reports are requested all opinions are welcome.

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philpost
June 4, 2011, 09:20 AM
Although I've seen birdshot put down on THR for its lack of penetration & stopping power, I think you made a wise choice in your particular situation. Do you mean 7 or 8 shot, or even smaller? I doubt getting a face full of shot would tickle, and most times a shotgun goes boom, folks don't wait around to debate the effectiveness of the size shot you're using.

JVaughn
June 4, 2011, 09:21 AM
Birdshot is a pretty good compromise for your situation. I would not go smaller than about #4 however due to the lack of real stopping power with smaller mass pellets. inside a trailer at 0' - 10' range, #4 birdshot from a 2 3/4" 12GA is just as deadly as 000 buck shot from the same weapon. I agree totally with the overpenetration concern, killing a friendly accidentally is worse than getting killed yourself in an invasion.

WeedWacker
June 4, 2011, 09:27 AM
I've heard rumor that No. 4 Birdshot from a .410 long gun is an effective defense load at point blank range, say the inside of a trailer or singlewide. But I have yet to verfy whether or not the report exists.

I would concur that if it is your only viable mode of self defense with a firearm, is not the worst option out there. Being unarmed would be far worse. What size shot are we talking about here? 6? 4? BB? BBB?

kingpin008
June 4, 2011, 10:14 AM
Birdshot is for birds. If you're really that concerned about overpenetration, invest in some quality defensive ammo for the .45, perhaps even frangible rounds.

Also, think about ways to harden your home and prevent a round from exiting once it's exited the BG. I know space is limited in a trailer, but a few book cases on key walls will help to absorb and contain an errant bullet. Heck, even a heavy wall-hanging will help.

Lastly, think about maneuvering a longarm in the confines of a trailer. Not an impossibility, but I'd sure want all the maneuverability I could get in the event of a violent encounter, and a pistol fits the bill, IMHO.

bigfatdave
June 4, 2011, 10:23 AM
this has been addressed extensively on the Box-O-Truth
www.boxotruth.com

Any load capable of causing an involuntary cessation of violent criminal activity can penetrate drywall and particle board and siding.

dirtykid
June 4, 2011, 10:41 AM
3.5" mag's #4 turkey-shot is my choice for HD-shotgun ammo, my house is a "sears-roebuck" house built in the mid-to-late 50's , the walls are composed of a 2x3 laid flat with a layer of 3/8" plywood on each side,, even though plywood is harder to penetrate, i still fear over-penetration into one of my childrens bedrooms.
With a close-quarters shot im thinkin that turkey-load would knock-down ANY sized intruder regardless of weight or clothing, I hope i never have to find out as Im pretty sure i would suffer some hearing-damage though :(

Sam1911
June 4, 2011, 11:03 AM
Is there a relatively safe direction that you could fire a weapon? Is there any way to try and focus your resistance to attack in that direction? (I understand that many mobile home communities are arranged and oriented such that the answer may be no.)

Any weapon that will be stopped by the wall of a house trailer (or two...three...four?) is probably not a very good choice for defensive purposes. Even a load of No. 8s is likely to pass through as though there was no barricade at all.

Some size of shot, maybe No.4s or BBs (look at some of the common turkey hunting loads, perhaps) would certainly be effective for close-range defensive purposes but they WILL damage things on the other sides of walls.

Going back to my first question, I would consider a practice of getting and staying low and planning to shoot in as much of an upward direction as possible. This makes sense anyway, as you'd normally want to be taking cover/concealment behind something like a bed or dresser. If your shot does end up missing the attacker, it will probably leave your home, but it would most likely pass above your neighbors, lose energy and fall to earth relatively harmlessly as shot tends to do.

USAF_Vet
June 4, 2011, 11:51 AM
I used to live in a double wide in a park, very much like you describe, no real safe place to point and fire without risking collateral damage.

My HD gun at the time was a 12gauge pump, loaded with #4 3" loads, followed by two 00 buck 2 3/4" loads. Standard off the shelf Winchester silver box shells. Thankfully, I never had to use it. My primary defenses were big dogs, strong doors, good locks and a well lit yard. If I ever had to grab the shotty, all hades had broken loose.

jiminhobesound
June 4, 2011, 12:01 PM
Maybe this is the place for a .22 pistol with HP. Seems like they should expand and not penetrate too much.

content
June 4, 2011, 12:06 PM
Hello friends and neighbors // Tough situation.

Maybe place some reminders around.

A candle/s inside, in front of the propane tank locations outside.
A picture in line with neighbors sleeping spots.

Try some #6 or #4 shot ,at different distances, shooting into similar materials as the walls.
This way you will not have to guess how many stray pellets you need to account for at different ranges. If you get too much penetration drop to smaller shot then to smaller shell size.

You might check the Box of truth for their tests.

If you need more penetration than this ,I figure your best bet is going to the .45 you are used to and Sam 1911s upward shooting psition.
Good luck

Kliegl
June 4, 2011, 12:06 PM
Attempting to say this as politely as possible: Using birdshot for home defense is....not wise.

You should try Glaser Safety Slugs and not use birdshot. Use birdshot....for birds.

That 45 will penetrate a lot of stuff.

Ramone
June 4, 2011, 12:44 PM
I live on a boat, and like USAF Vet, I use a 'progressive' load in my 12Ga. In my case, three #4 Bird Loads followed my 2 1oz slugs. I have a matching reload in a sidesaddle.

My thinking is that my first 3 shots don't stop them, it will at least slow them down to give me a chance to consider my backstop.

Sam1911
June 4, 2011, 12:47 PM
Glasers are a conundrum. They've been on the market for years, but no one (except the manufacturer) really seems to believe that they'll do either of the things they're supposed to: i.e.: break up in light barricades or sufficiently penetrate an attacker's body structures.

Birdshot (the smaller stuff) is not generally a very suitable choice for defensive purposes, but the truth certainly is that it does make a mess at quite close range. Enough of a "mess" to take a drugged-up and determined felon in a leather jacket out of the fight? Hard to say. It is certainly better than harsh language. And probably much more effective than pepper spray or a Taser.

If the penultimate concern is not harming folks in very close proximity who have no cover ... well, I think I'd choose a load of No.6s over a Glaser safety slug.

One thing I don't think anyone has said is - practice, practice, practice. If you don't miss, your shot spread is likely to remain small enough at house-trailer distances to be contained within, or mostly within, an attacker. Not missing is a VERY tall order in a defensive situation, but it is one thing you can actively attempt to work on that will increase the safety of your neighbors.

oldvet53
June 4, 2011, 12:49 PM
#6 or #7 bird shot is perfect for a shotgun in a mobile home.

josephbw
June 4, 2011, 12:54 PM
How would a 12 ga. frangible breaching round work? Would there be enough mass in a trailer to stop a breaching round from penetrating the walls of a MH if you missed the bad guy(s)?

I have no idea, the thought just popped into my head and I thought I would throw it out for consideration.:)

I don't know if it would be deadly, but it sure would ruin some fools day.

hermannr
June 4, 2011, 01:04 PM
Inside a mobile home the distances are not great. I would think a turkey load with #4 (+/-) would work well. I do not live in a mobile home, but my SD shotgun is loaded with #2 bird shot.

Actually, I think facing a homeowner with a shotgun pointed at the offender would often probably be enough. Looking down the receiving end of a 12 ga is pretty intimidating.

22-rimfire
June 4, 2011, 01:19 PM
I suspect that I would be doing the same as you and my choice would be #4 and #6 shot with a back up handgun.

medalguy
June 4, 2011, 01:27 PM
I recently assisted a neighbor with the purchase of a HD firearm. He settled on an 870 with 20 inch barrel as they have a vacation home with an Airstream for living. We wanted something they could use to kill snakes and other varmits as well as 2 legged varmits.

To familiarize him with the gun we set up some 2 x 2 foot sheetrock panels and allowed him to fire into those. No. 8 shot completely penetrated the sheetrock at about 12 feet with a pattern of around 18 inches, pretty close to center of mass of a man. We put a piece of 1/2 inch OSB about 1 inch behind the sheetrock for test purposes, and some of the #8 shot penetrated the OSB but not all. I believe if you add in insulation and any other material you might very well be able to contain 12 ga shots within the mobile home.

The wad did penetrate the sheetrock but not the OSB. We felt this was adequate for HD use and would not exit the trailer exterior wall which is aluminum. It might damage it but would probably not penetrate it. Since this trailer is in the woods I'm not really sure why this was a concern to him but it was.

ants
June 4, 2011, 01:30 PM
Someone abandoned an old motorhome out in the desert, back in 1996, where Mike and I went shooting. Every weekend, we saw the effect of yet another group of yokels shooting up the poor coach.

The coach had all its seats and beds and cabinets. And all the wall panelling. And carpet. And ceiling. And doors. It just didn't have personal effects like clothing and blankets and food on the shelves.

Every single shotgun blast - bird and buck - went straight damn through, and right out the other side.

So did every centerfire rifle, and every centerfire handgun. It was scary.

Lots of 22 rimfire got stuck in woodwork and the 1.5" metal channels they used for framing. More than half the 22 rimfire went through.



Several years ago someone shot at my race car trailer parked in the back lot. It passed all the way through both sides of the trailer (aluminum exterior panel, insulation, fiberglass inner panel) and also went through the plexiglas plastic window and fiberglass roof of the race car inside the trailer. The slug hit the stucco of the neighbor's building and fell onto the driveway, we recovered it. It was a 124 grain 9mm fmj.



In both of these stories, the shots were fired 5 to 10 feet from the vehicle. At that range, it's still moving nearly muzzle velocity. Don't underestimate centerfire metallic or shotshell. Flimsy construction won't stop it.

ants
June 4, 2011, 01:39 PM
If I lived in a dense environment like a mobile home park, I think I would focus on securing my home to the greatest possible degree, no holds barred, as my primary defensive plan. Make it a fortress within which you are safe. The gunfight is the last last last resort.

If it came to last last last resort, I'm trained and skilled in handgun. That would have to be my last last last resort weapon. If I switched to shotgun, I would have to get very-close-quarters defensive shotgun training to feel competent.

bsg
June 4, 2011, 01:45 PM
this has been addressed extensively on the Box-O-Truth
www.boxotruth.com

Any load capable of causing an involuntary cessation of violent criminal activity can penetrate drywall and particle board and siding.
+1.

bigfatdave
June 4, 2011, 01:52 PM
How would a 12 ga. frangible breaching round work? Super! (assuming you're trying to blow a lock off your invader)

Actually, I think facing a homeowner with a shotgun pointed at the offender would often probably be enough.You're missing the difference between "voluntary stop" and "involuntary stop" ... I don't know about you, but I hope like hell I get a "voluntary" if the fecal matter ever encounters the air circulation device ... but I'm prepared and capable of producing an "involuntary" if things go even worse.

Gryffydd
June 4, 2011, 02:00 PM
Inside a mobile home the distances are not great.
Actually the distances in a mobile home can often be quite long due to their floor plan, especially in the older style single-wides with their long hallway.

Your best bet will be to hunker down in defense and have a planned lane of fire. This gets you the upward angle of fire Sam1911 described, as well as the advantage of a defensive position where you can have a good idea of where your rounds will go if you miss. Most professionals strongly suggest that house clearing is a bad idea without a team to back you up (with you and the team properly trained of course. Dealing with over penetration is a lot easier when you don't have to look at a 360 degree picture. Though of course it's worth noting all the safest fire directions in case something doesn't go according to plan.

Only you know your floorplan and the park's layout, so you'd have to look and figure out what this means for you.

oneounceload
June 4, 2011, 02:09 PM
Birdshot is for birds. If you're really that concerned about overpenetration, invest in some quality defensive ammo for the .45, perhaps even frangible rounds.


This statement does not make sense as frangible 45 ammo isn't any better than using birdshot. If number 4 or 6 will kill a pheasant at 45 yards, then I would suspect at HD distances, it will perform admirably, especially into the face, neck, groin or knee area

kingpin008
June 4, 2011, 02:43 PM
This statement does not make sense as frangible 45 ammo isn't any better than using birdshot.

How do you figure that? Frangible pistol ammo is specifically designed for situations where the chances of overpenetration are high. They're made to pass through soft targets (like bad guys) and disintegrate when they contact hard ones (like doors, walls, etc)

Bird shot, on the other hand has none of those characteristics, while possessing questionable man-stopping capabilities.

If number 4 or 6 will kill a pheasant at 45 yards, then I would suspect at HD distances, it will perform admirably, especially into the face, neck, groin or knee area

No offense, but I'm going to need a little more evidence of bird shot being an effective man-stopper than the fact that it'll drop an animal the size of a house cat.

oneounceload
June 4, 2011, 02:51 PM
Frangible ammo disintegrates upon impact, not after it passes through a selected target. A body, made up mostly of liquid, is a harder target to penetrate than a static door.

If the payload can reliably drop your house cat, aka pheasant, moving at 45 mph at 45 yards and drop him like a rock, I do suspect that at 15 FEET - especially as I mentioned - hitting him in the face, neck, groin or knee - will immediately stop that intruder.

Don't agree? fine with me.........I use a handgun with a 12 gauge for backup, it has 00 buck...........but I do not live in a MH as the OP was asking about. Having lived in one at other times, you can punch your fist through most interior walls without a scratch, and the exterior walls are thin as well.

Most likely, for him, a 30 carbine would be best

JerryM
June 4, 2011, 03:08 PM
At the ranges inside a mobile home shot, and I would probably go with 6 or 4, would be very deadly. I recall as a teen needing to get a shed to collapse. I used small shot and shot the 2x4s. If you would see the damage at short range you would not be concerned about stopping power at the ranges we are talking about.
Jerry

kingpin008
June 4, 2011, 03:11 PM
Pardon me, I mis-spoke. I realize that frangible rounds will disintegrate in a target harder than they are, regardless of what that target is.

The point I was trying to make is that if you hit with a frangible pistol round, it'll break up in the badguy and hurt him. If you miss, it hits a wall or door and disintegrates. No problem.

If you miss with a shotgun blast (even partially) those pellets will continue on (and very possibly through) whatever it hits next.

To me, that's a pretty significant difference.

ball3006
June 4, 2011, 03:52 PM
Then don't miss..................................................or, practice until you won't....chris3

kingpin008
June 4, 2011, 04:08 PM
Then don't miss or, practice until you won't.

Agreed. Unfortunately, that sort of practice isn't practical or affordable for most people. Training for accuracy in a violent encounter often involves more than just busting clays or punching paper at the range. It'll help, but everyone reacts differently under stress.

Owen Sparks
June 4, 2011, 04:13 PM
Spend 2 bucks and get a BEWARE OF DOG sign and put it on your door. The potential thieves will just move on to the next trailer.

moonpie
June 4, 2011, 11:12 PM
my choice of birdshot was influenced by Ernest Hemingway.
In 1934, Hemingway reported on the hazards of leopard-hunting for Esquire in the following dramatic terms: "Philip Percival [who lead him on his second safari] ranks leopard as more dangerous than lion for these reasons. They are nearly always met unexpectedly, usually when you are hunting impala or buck. They usually give you only a running shot, which means more of a chance of wounding than killing. They will charge nine times out of 10 when wounded, and they come so fast that no man can be sure of stopping them with a rifle.

"They use their claws, both fore and hind, when mauling, and make for the face so that the eyes are endangered, whereas the lion grabs with the claws and bites, usually for the arm, shoulders or thigh. The most effective stopper for a leopard is a shotgun and you should not fire until the animal is within 10 yards. It does not matter what size shot is used at that range. Birdshot is even more effective than buckshot as it hangs together to blow a solid hole. (Mr P took the top of the head off one once with a load of number sevens, and the leopard came right on by and on for 15 yards. Didn't know he was dead, it seems. Tripped on a blade of grass or something, finally.)"

kingpin008
June 4, 2011, 11:24 PM
Spend 2 bucks and get a BEWARE OF DOG sign and put it on your door. The potential thieves will just move on to the next trailer.

Maybe. Maybe they'll keep an eye on your place and realize that you never seem to buy any dog food or take it for a walk, and realize that you're bluffing.

my choice of birdshot was influenced by Ernest Hemingway.

While Hemingway was a great writer, I'd personally rather base my choice of weapon on someone a little more familiar with the realities of self-defense against human adversaries.

And honestly, the paragraph you quote isn't exactly a ringing endorsement - if an animal continued to come at them for another 15 yards after having it's head blown apart, that's a bad thing. Translate that to a violent encounter with a human, and you're talking about shooting the person only to have them retain enough strength to get at you and possibly do damage before they drop.

USAF_Vet
June 4, 2011, 11:26 PM
Unless the perp is hopped up on some serious drugs (which is not all that unlikely) being shot by anything short of a Daisy Red Ryder is gonna hurt and possibly make them stop and rethink their decision. A face full of 7 1/2 shot is going to ruin anyone's day, even if it isn't fatal. Just ask Dick Cheney's hunting buddy.

moonpie
June 4, 2011, 11:55 PM
"after having his head blown apart" the cat seems to have lost interest.

Tomcat47
June 5, 2011, 12:13 AM
This one is kinda puzzling...:confused:

Who in there right mind thinks bird shot from a 12 ga. would not be effective at the range of a typical room width...say 15 - 20 feet!

I have .38 special and 9mm handguns mainly for HD, with a Winchester 1300 pump 20 guage at the ready with 2-3/4" Federal Premium 4 shot in it.

I would not at ONE second doubt (because I Know) what the 1300 would do to target at the range of 20 feet!

New carpet! New Wall!, Possibly new Door, and Definately without a shadow of a doubt....Will Need A New Bad Guy!

And the neighbors will only be wandering what happened next door?

jbkebert
June 5, 2011, 12:24 AM
A little off subject. For those who think bird shot is ineffective on anything but sparrows consider this. A buddy of mine who has a buffalo ranch heard a bump in the night. He got up and grabbeb his 20ga pump shotgun and headed out to the barn to see what was going on. He finds a 1,000 # plus buffalo had gotted into the barn and was helping himself to sacks of grain. So my buddy fires a shot into the air to scare the buff off. Well things didn't go as planned. The buffalo charged him. He side steps and puts a 7 1/2 birdshot load into the buff's shoulder. From a distance of about 10-12 feet. The result one dead buff in the yard by the barn.

The wound channel was pretty nasty and the shotshell wad was buried in the buff's shoulder. If it can do that kinda damage just think of the 125# tweaker trying to rob you in the middle of the night. I have a hunch it just might do the trick.

kingpin008
June 5, 2011, 02:28 AM
"after having his head blown apart" the cat seems to have lost interest.

Yeah, but:

Mr P took the top of the head off one once with a load of number sevens, and the leopard came right on by and on for 15 yards

Note the bolded bit. I'm not necessarily saying that birdshot is never useful for self defense, but if you're going to choose to use it based on something Hemingway wrote, don't cherrypick the bits of his writing that you think best support your choice.

Ironclad
June 5, 2011, 03:07 AM
Considering how fast leopards are, I dont feel like 15 yards is an unacceptable distance to take one down. It could cover that in a second or so.

Birdshot seems like a pretty good choice to me at real close ranges.

moonpie
June 5, 2011, 03:35 AM
Yeah, but:



Note the bolded bit. I'm not necessarily saying that birdshot is never useful for self defense, but if you're going to choose to use it based on something Hemingway wrote, don't cherrypick the bits of his writing that you think best support your choice.
you can't compare a leopard to a man . a leopard eats things that could kill a man. hemingway was a great author because he lived the life he wrote. he was not the sort of man to risk his life on some whimsical gimmick but would listen to and follow the advice of those he respected who happened to have some experience with the subject. i quoted the entire text available to me including the last sentence. my point was that i listen the advice of those whom i respect that have more knowledge and experience than myself. you then edited to suit your view and i "cherrypicked" off you

kickbacked
June 5, 2011, 05:58 AM
use double ought buck. shoot for the chest of the intruder. Practice low light situations where you pick the gun up off the ground and shoot as fast as possible at distances you would expect to encounter in your home. If possible maybe get some kind of night sight setup on your weapon. or throw on a laser. i realize most people dont like lasers on guns because of the whole tacticool thing but if properly set up it could make aiming at a target at night easier and youll know your rounds are going where your shooting. If your shots are on target you shouldnt have any problems with errant rounds killing innocent people. a quick drawing of the setup of your trailer could help with some suggestions and also locations of where people are sleeping in your house. so we could determine proper shooting lanes

WeedWacker
June 5, 2011, 06:25 AM
Two things, one well thought out and the other kinda spontaneous and probably not a good idea.

1) Is there any way to use materials to build up your walls to make it more energy absorbent like extra insulation or placing materials against the wall to prevent penetration. Even setting up a shooting lane with a likely backstop where an intruder will probably be. I have seen .40 S&W hardball from a 3" barrel enter a cardboard box with synthetic stuffing and not exit the other side. I doubt a #4 pellet would carry the same energy as something over 120 grains.

2) Spontaneous: What about a .410 pistol with #4 bird shot at ranges under 7 yards? Or even the PDX ammo? It would probably take a couple shots to stop a determined person, but just to throw that out there. Shorter barrel so less velocity, less momentum, less penetration. The FBI standard is not the be all end all, it's the ideal not the minimum.

BHP FAN
June 5, 2011, 06:39 AM
according to the late Gen Julian Hatcher, size of shot at close quarters didn't really matter as whatever the size shot at fifteen yards they all left a ''bloody rat hole''.

oldvet53
June 5, 2011, 09:03 AM
I used to use a 1929 Belgium Browning pump my Grandad passed to me but it got so I could not shoot 3 shots without messing my back up worse than it already is so I passed it to my Grandson and now use a Mossberg 500 in 20 ga. they have got the power now of what a 12 ga. does with the most modern ammo and the 20 doesn't kick near as bad as that old Browning.

buck460XVR
June 5, 2011, 02:24 PM
We're talkin' SD inside a mobile home, not a shootout with Indians circling the wagons on their Paints:rolleyes:.

Anyone that does not think a 2oz load of 4s or 5s delivered to the head or COM of a bad guy within the short distances found inside a trailer will not stop them, has been smokin' something similar to what the crackhead intruder has. Altho the shot may penetrate the walls of the victim's trailer and possibly the neighbor's, odds are by then it will not have enough power left to break the skin of the neighbor's cat. I too have my 12ga 20'' pump sitting next to the nightstand loaded with 3'' turkey loads. In a true SD scenario, the longest shot possible in my home(two story Victorian) is 7 yards. I doubt that unless I'm attacked by a hoard of zombies, that I'll ever be undergunned when it comes to the defense of my home and family within these parameters.

ball3006
June 5, 2011, 04:28 PM
If you cannot, or will not, practice to become proficient with a firearm, then you shouldn't own one........chris3

BIGGBAY90
June 5, 2011, 04:39 PM
Although birdshot is not as lethal as buckshot, even at close range, it may make sense for home or apartment defense where the opportunity exists to injure or kill innocent people behind thin walls in adjacent rooms. For defending a single family home, buffered by land, 00 buck is preferred. The choice for birdshot loads is BB or #4 birdshot. Stopping power I THINK WILL BE REASONABLE

hermannr
June 5, 2011, 05:12 PM
To anyone that doubts the effect of birdshot, I challange you to build a 24"X24" box out of plywood or OSB. Fill that box with old phone books or wet newspaper, mount it securely and dump a load of birdshot into it at 20 feet or less, then tell me that load would not kill whatever it encountered.

I care not whether it is a 12ga or 20ga, 2 3/4" or 3 1/2" at that distance makes no difference. Use any shot 7 1/2 and larger (I have not tried this on smaller shot sizes) , the penitration and distrabution will definatly get your attention.

My shotgun is 12 ga, has a 20" cyl bore, and every single pellet will be within 12" of the 24" box. 15" is about the width of a mans chest, think about it. That is what you want, nothing going out and endangering the guy in the next house (mobile home), but if you want to stop a home intruder with as little collateral damage as possible, bird shot works well.

Sam1911
June 5, 2011, 08:28 PM
If you cannot, or will not, practice to become proficient with a firearm, then you shouldn't own one........chris3 Not quite sure what the point is with this.

Many of us train pretty regularly. And for most of us it tends to reinforce the understanding that stressful, dynamic, hostile situations produce stray rounds -- even for the most well-trained. Good to think about that when assessing your armed response.

W.E.G.
June 5, 2011, 09:16 PM
The only thing I know about trailers and guns is, don't shoot skunks from the front door of your trailer unless you close all the windows first.

Taurus 66
June 5, 2011, 09:52 PM
A little off subject. For those who think bird shot is ineffective on anything but sparrows consider this. A buddy of mine who has a buffalo ranch heard a bump in the night. He got up and grabbeb his 20ga pump shotgun and headed out to the barn to see what was going on. He finds a 1,000 # plus buffalo had gotted into the barn and was helping himself to sacks of grain. So my buddy fires a shot into the air to scare the buff off. Well things didn't go as planned. The buffalo charged him. He side steps and puts a 7 1/2 birdshot load into the buff's shoulder. From a distance of about 10-12 feet. The result one dead buff in the yard by the barn.


Multiple wound channels from birdshot at 12 feet would in all likelihood open a major artery. Birdshot is lethal at close range.

jbkebert
June 5, 2011, 10:02 PM
^^^ I just have to smile when folks discount how leathal a load of birdshot is or even the neglected little .22 lr.

In a close in encounter either one is more than effective with less chance of overpenatration and unintended damage or harm to others.

Vyacheslav
June 5, 2011, 11:08 PM
killing a friendly accidentally is worse than getting killed yourself in an invasion.

talk about a lack of self preservation instinct

THplanes
June 5, 2011, 11:41 PM
Although birdshot is not as lethal as buckshot, even at close range, it may make sense for home or apartment defense where the opportunity exists to injure or kill innocent people behind thin walls in adjacent rooms. For defending a single family home, buffered by land, 00 buck is preferred. The choice for birdshot loads is BB or #4 birdshot. Stopping power I THINK WILL BE REASONABLE

Here are some gell tests. You do have to read to see exactly what type shot is being used. Some of it is lead and some is a tungsten matrix. Another problem is they don't adequately control the temperature of the blocks so you may get less penetration than shown.

Warning it's a big file.

Edit for this. You can see the calibration BB in many of these photos. It should penetrate a bit less than 3.5". As you can see it's often well over this. You can reduce the penetration numbers by at least 15% and 20% or more in some cases.

http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=109958

#7.5 killing a buffalo is real lucky, unless you think 5" of penetration or so will kill one reliably. The closest test is #8 and average penetration looks like 4".

#1 tungsten matrix or lead BB looks like the bare minimum and that's in bare gell. Clothes will reduce the penetration.

By the time you correct for the BB penetration, these are very marginal. According to Fackler on a frontal shot with no barriers 8"-9" is adequate. That will get you all the way through the lungs. In properly calibrated gell #4 buck should be around 12".

jbkebert
June 6, 2011, 12:14 AM
Interesting read. However given the situation of the OP birdshot is more than effective enough. I don't know to many folks that have vital organs 18" deep in their chest.

IMHO hunters have a much better handle on what the true effectiveness of rounds are. Charts are nice but I'll take real world experience everytime. Reading some of these things just makes me laugh.

moonpie
June 6, 2011, 11:48 AM
The only thing I know about trailers and guns is, don't shoot skunks from the front door of your trailer unless you close all the windows first.
in some of the older trailers it don't make no difernse'

bigfatdave
June 6, 2011, 01:10 PM
I don't know to many folks that have vital organs 18" deep in their chest. Yep, and home invaders NEVER EVER do anything but hold still right in front of you facing you with no extra obstructions between your muzzle and their organs.
Nope.
Never!
They attack just like the paper targets on the square range, you betcha!

rugerman
June 6, 2011, 03:11 PM
A friend of mine who was a doctor and the local coroner (sp) (he has since passed away) once told me that the best home defense load was a load of bird shot. At close range it acts like a slug and at longer range it leaves so many little holes that the bad guy will likley bleed to death before all the holes can be patched. He was a great shot and was ex-udt and sniper and a gun collector with a collection that was out of this world, miss the hell out of him.

BBQLS1
June 6, 2011, 05:30 PM
As been stated earlier, if it doesn't penetrate walls, it probably won't penetrate enough badguy to stop a determined attacker. IMO, use good defensive ammo, hit what you are aiming at and figure the best direction to shoot and attempt to set up your tactics with this in mind.

Good luck.

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