My take on the "best" gun for defense


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chopinbloc
February 24, 2014, 10:17 AM
I got another article published in a minor blog. Not much to crow about I guess, but I'm still proud of myself.


What gun is best for home defense? You may as well ask “What car is the “best” for driving kids to soccer practice?” or “What computer is best for watching squirrels water skiing?” It’s a very broad question that has been covered approximately as many times as the question of whether Kirk or Picard was the better captain (Kirk), but I intend to put a little finer point on it, to look at it from a different perspective than you may have seen before, and perhaps remove some misconceptions you might hold.

In practical terms, the “best” weapon is the one you have when you need it. The best weapon to have at hand is the one with which you are most proficient. You should invest your time and training budget on learning to become most proficient with the tool that is most technically suited to the job. If you believe that you don’t need professional training, then you REALLY need professional training, but that’s another article. So what weapon is best suited for the job?


The rest is here if you're interested. (http://www.homedefensegun.net/what-gun-is-best-for-home-defense/)

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Noah
February 24, 2014, 12:44 PM
That's a really good write up on that issue, actually. You covered all the bases of every type of weapon while staying objective (the usual problem in the numerous forum debates on this topic) and you backed up your points really well without rambling, with just the right amount of detail and technical stuff.

I like it. :cool:

tarosean
February 24, 2014, 01:09 PM
You covered all the bases of every type of weapon while staying objective

"Five minutes to reload" was objective? LOL

JSH1
February 24, 2014, 03:16 PM
I should carry a holstered handgun in my home? Not likely. Do you also wear a helmet at all times and have a roll cage installed in your car?

gym
February 24, 2014, 04:14 PM
The best one is the one I always have, my PM9, I may have another one, but the least I will ever have is the Pm9, it goes everywhere with me from the gym to the bathroom. It takes up no space so that one is the least I will have at any given time.

Queen_of_Thunder
February 24, 2014, 04:29 PM
The best gun for defense is whatever gun you have be it a 22 or 454.

Monkeybear
February 24, 2014, 04:39 PM
Having a gun and knowing how to use it are great assets when someone is trying to kill you. That said I think it's important to find a Home Defense solution that is pragmatic, sustainable and to avoid getting caught up in "@ss-kick fantasies."

AK103K
February 24, 2014, 05:00 PM
I think to be realistic about it, having a handgun (or two :)) on you all the time is the only way to have yourself covered. If you dont have it on you, you really dont have it, no matter how close you think it might be, and/or how fast you think you might be able to access it.

Im sure we all have rifles and shotguns, and maybe a few other things floating around and handy, and some have training with them as well, but if you needed something "right now", no matter where you are, or what you were doing, are you truly as prepared as you think you are?

JSH1
February 24, 2014, 05:52 PM
Having a gun and knowing how to use it are great assets when someone is trying to kill you. That said I think it's important to find a Home Defense solution that is pragmatic, sustainable and to avoid getting caught up in "@ss-kick fantasies."

Exactly. Statistical speaking the most dangerous thing most of us do is drive a car. If one wants to reduce the likelihood of being injured or killed that person should focus on making the act of driving as safe as possible. That would include taking advanced driving classes, installing a roll cage, and wearing a helmet. How many people do that? Almost no one. Why? Because your friends and family would think you have gone crazy paranoid and make fun of you.

Yet how many men that won't even wear a seatbelt in a car think that carrying a gun with them everywhere is a completely logical way to reduce their risk of injury or death?

I fall into the camp that believes a shotgun is about the most practical gun one can own. Not only can someone protect their home in the very rare case of a home invasion, they can also hunt every game animal in North America, and shoot clays.

Frosty Dave
February 24, 2014, 06:03 PM
Good writeup, I'm bookmarking it to pass on to others.

By coincidence I read someone else's much longer dissertation on the topic this weekend. That author proclaimed the shotgun to be the greatest HD weapon ever, but then when he went on to discuss rifles, his objections were that a rifle's length meant it could be grabbed by an assailant and also made it difficult to maneuver inside the home.

Logic that makes you go "hmmmmm."

Glad to see you didn't fall into anything like that.

AK103K
February 24, 2014, 06:09 PM
I suppose this is really just an extension of the "do you carry a low cap, or a high cap, and a reload or not?" thing.

We all live (or die) by the choices we make, so make your choice, and youre good to go, or not. Makes no never mind to me! :)

I got mine, and if and when I need something, and after the hounds get done with you, and I figure out if the AK clashes with my jammies, or if the AR goes better with my Gumbo Monster Mudder tread slippers, I'll deal. Awww screw it! I got time, I'll set up the belt fed, it goes with anything. Not to mention, Mr. Manly will be proud (just see pg. 2374 of your Manly manual). Now wheres my damned ear plugs? :D

MedWheeler
February 24, 2014, 07:46 PM
JSH1 writes:

If one wants to reduce the likelihood of being injured or killed that person should focus on making the act of driving as safe as possible. That would include taking advanced driving classes, installing a roll cage, and wearing a helmet.

.. as well as buying the latest, most-expensive European "safety" sedan offered each year.

I've tried this point before as well. Just look at all the gun-show commandos touting how "safe" they keep their families and themselves with the most-expensive guns, then follow them out to the parking lot and see what they (and their families) arrived in. I've seen quite a few of those types trust some rather-questionable heaps to get around in.

AK103K
February 24, 2014, 08:52 PM
Hey, since we're bringing cars into it, a month or so ago, there was a bad case of road rage here in south central PA. The boy was driving a pretty nice car, but oops, he forgot his gun. The other guy didnt, and the victim got exactly the kind of help you'd expect from 911. The cops got there after the fact, and took the report.

On the plus side, they just had a little blurb on the news, they figured out what color the other guys car was from paint chips. :rolleyes:

tarosean
February 24, 2014, 09:27 PM
I've tried this point before as well. Just look at all the gun-show commandos touting how "safe" they keep their families and themselves with the most-expensive guns, then follow them out to the parking lot and see what they (and their families) arrived in. I've seen quite a few of those types trust some rather-questionable heaps to get around in.


You can afford a lot of fancy gear if you don't have car payments. Just as some view guns as "tools" the same can be said of vehicles.
Course I drive a 1 ton dually with real steel bumpers, so what do I know?

JSH1
February 24, 2014, 11:03 PM
You can afford a lot of fancy gear if you don't have car payments. Just as some view guns as "tools" the same can be said of vehicles.
Course I drive a 1 ton dually with real steel bumpers, so what do I know?

As I well know, I haven't had a car payment is quite a few years. Just remember that you can't deny the laws of physics. Lots of mass and rigid bumpers are only good if you collide with another car. When you smash into a immovable object extra mass is just for energy for your car to absorb. Oh and medium-duty trucks are held to a lesser safety standard than passenger cars and light-duty trucks. Statistically the safest class of vehicles is a full size passenger car.

As to guns and self defense. There is no "best" gun for self defense. That choice comes down to a person's comfort level with different types and their experience. I personally would never recommend a semi automatic to a new shooter or someone who isn't going to spend a lot of time at the range. Sometimes simple is better and it is hard to beat a revolver or break-action shotgun with external hammers for simple reliability.

gym
February 24, 2014, 11:21 PM
If you have never had armed intruders in your home, it's easy to think no one else has either. A gun on your person is the only real form of self defense, not thinking you will have time to get one out of the safe. That door crashes in real fast, get in touch with me if you think it can never happen to you.

Tedzilla
February 24, 2014, 11:54 PM
A Ruger LCP (or comparable pocket pistol) in the right hip pocket and the wallet in the left is a nice compromise if you don't want to carry a service size weapon to defend your home. I live in a very low crime area. I am not involved in high risk activities and subscribe to the theory pistols are a tool to get you back to the rifle you should have been carrying...
That said, I'd feel awfully foolish if my door was kicked in and those I'm responsible for suffered from me not shooting back.
(Ak103K's right... Where are those ear plugs! I 'll forget/have no time for them! I know, win lose or draw the rest of my hearing is gone if I fire a 12ga/.308 in the house!)

Theohazard
February 25, 2014, 01:47 AM
Carrying a gun everywhere -- even inside your house -- isn't for everyone, but it works well for me. My wife and I live in a three-story house near a bad neighborhood that would be easy to break into, and we have one child with more to come. Stashing guns around the house for easy access just doesn't make sense from both a tactical and a safety standpoint. Instead, I just carry my Glock 19 everywhere. If I'm not wearing my normal jeans and a holster, then I wear a belly band and sweatpants or shorts. It's really not inconvenient and it saves a lot of steps if my door is ever kicked in. Also, it doesn't hurt having a 70 lb. pit bull mix and a 70 lb. German Shepherd/Dutch Shepherd mix, both of which are pretty protective of the house.

BigBore44
February 25, 2014, 02:30 AM
Your best "weapon" for SD/HD is preparation. It's not the gun.
Remember the 6 "P's" rule: Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. You can have the highest quality firearms manufactured. But if you haven't or aren't fully prepared how to use it, you will still perform poorly.

A person with $3,000 custom 1911 that they can't get to is much worse off than a person with a $150 HiPoint in the hand.
A $1500 "HD specific" shotgun in the safe is worthless compared to a H&R in hand.

And the list goes on.....

AK103K
February 25, 2014, 06:57 AM
Where are those ear plugs! I 'll forget/have no time for them! I know, win lose or draw the rest of my hearing is gone if I fire a 12ga/.308 in the house!
I cant hear for a couple of days if I shoot a .22 in or near the carport without without ear plugs. Probably still wont hear anything if I fire anything centerfire indoors that isnt suppressed, even with them. That (and work) is why I keep a bunch in my pocket, and every long gun Id consider "social", has a set as well.

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b7d700b3127ccec27e5bc4f80f00000010O00CYuWbdo5bsQe3nwk/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00107947390120070921151833488.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

But youre right, Ill probably still forget. Then again, with all that racket with the dogs gnawing on them, Ill probably want them before I even get to the point of needing to shoot. :)

Remember the 6 "P's" rule: Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
I always heard it as the 7 P's...."Prior" Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Either way, its always amazed me at how many have never heard of or follow the thought.

chopinbloc
February 25, 2014, 11:12 AM
Great posts, guys.

If you carry a gun when you leave your home but not inside the house, then you are fooling yourself. The likelihood of a violent attack either in or out of the home is fairly low but being at home doesn't reduce the risk by much. Having dogs is a great deterrent but if someone is determined to get into your home, they will deal with the dogs.

My earpro goes on the rifle.

http://i62.tinypic.com/16icvlw.jpg

FAS1
February 25, 2014, 11:34 AM
Congrats on the well written article. I get their feed on my Facebook page and already read it. The article has quite a bit of interaction from their readers and that's what they are looking for.

AK103K
February 25, 2014, 11:42 AM
Having dogs is a great deterrent but if someone is determined to get into your home, they will deal with the dogs.
True, but they wont likely do it quietly, or at least around here it wont be quiet, our Rotties live inside with us, and usually go off before the drive alarms, and you'll know exactly when and where something is wrong.

Nice AR too. :)

I have an AAC M4-2000 on one of mine, and while I can shoot it outside without plugs, I still wouldnt really want to shoot it indoors without them. Im not even sure Id want to shoot my suppressed Glocks inside, although I have shot both the rifles and pistols from inside my car port without protection, but they still kicked up the "crickets" in my head pretty good. :)

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a2d834b3127ccef00a1d04994100000060O30CYuWbdo5bsQe3nwk/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00107947390120120615180242174.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D3/rx%3D720/ry%3D480/

gym
February 25, 2014, 11:58 AM
And we have been over this a hundred times, bad guys go to good neighborhoods to steal. They usually live in a place that doesn't have what they want. I lived in the most expensive luxury high rise in the borough of Queens, with security and attended parking.
I owned Hair salons, not exactly a seedy business. It only takes 1 person to tell someone that you have a nice house or expensive things, and that's it. Sometimes it's just overheard from a 3d party, don't assume that you have to be involved in some bad thing to get robbed, you could be a banker or accountant, if a lowlife thinks you have something valuable that's all it takes, aside from nice cars that get followed home and your wife wearing a Rolex etc, or telling a girlfriend how well her husband does., especially if you deal in a cash business.
Or you invite someone to a party and they bring a friend, male or female, next thing, several people who were at the party get robbed, or held up. Mine ended up being a person "female" who owned a lucrative business, and was involved in masterminding 16 or 17 home invasions of people in the same business.
If you guys knew what woman tell their hairdresser, you would not allow them to leave the house. The money, trips they go on, when they will be away, who is home and when. What jewelry they have and where they keep it. Just because you are careful doesn't mean your wife and kids are. My dad has a closet full of guns, he even has a machine gun, "this kind of talk is what ends up leading to other things down the road". One day one kid says , hey where does tha kid live whose father has all the guns, that's all it takes.

460Kodiak
February 25, 2014, 12:04 PM
Why should you carry a holstered pistol in your own house, though?

I think a better question is why would you choose to continue to live in a neighborhood or place that makes you think you need to do this? I'm not saying you shouldn't have a gun convieniently at hand in multiple locations of your home, but it will be a cold day in hell before I live in so much fear that I feel I have to be armed all the time in my own house.

You should use what ever firearm type you are most familiar with, and use proficiently. I shoot handguns, so that's what I use.

Tirod
February 25, 2014, 12:08 PM
Agreed - there is no "best."

What's the best car for self defense on the highway? Lots of people think a large massive truck does it, but in a collision with a Freightliner, not so much. And there are a LOT of large trucks on the road these days.

Maybe, just better to have a smaller, lighter, more nimble car. We see it in nature, sure, elephants don't get messed with much, but honestly, they can't chase down and kill a water buffalo, and the water buffalo can't catch and gore an antelope. Takes a cheetah.

But, to take down an elephant just requires a poacher and a .308 Portuguese CETME. A fairly common firearm there, but not "best."

It's adequate - the user makes it work.

You use a tool within it's working envelope of performance - but that performance is used AGAINST the weaknesses of the target. 25 foot accuracy with an LCP is rather moot when the gun is intended for near contact point and shoot. Frankly, improving the sights on the latest model is just appeasing the uninformed consumer who thinks he's always right. Most CCW pistols are intended for use under three feet in three seconds with three shots. Not much time to bother with sights, or need to.

So, within that specific scenario, what's "best?" A double action double stack 5" barreled duty gun with target sights and light range trigger? And yet, while not optimal, it could be effective.

We sometimes don't carry what is best. We carry what we want to. Just like driving 3/4 ton diesel truck into town to work. It sits all day, we clock out, and drive home. A Smart car could do the same. Drive to California, which is "best?" Neither if all we are doing is throwing in a suitcase and coffee.

"Best" is the rallying cry of the ego, something to acquire in order to enhance the image. "Mine's BEST, which makes me best." is how that game is played. When you see someone asking about what is "best," it's really because 1) they don't have a clue, 2) it's about male enhancement. Rather than spend money on hair transplants or herbs, they buy a gun, watch, car, phone, shoes, jeans, softshell jacket, sunglasses, knife, wallet, cellphone, hat, belt buckle, boots, or baseball cap with a football/veteran/golf/car/gun logo on it.

"I'm best!" is what it says. It's marketing.

In that regard, it's no wonder young women are a lot more jaded about young men than I previously saw years ago. We are pretty shallow.

BTW, what's the best AR out there? :evil:

Theohazard
February 25, 2014, 12:16 PM
I'm not saying you shouldn't have a gun convieniently at hand in multiple locations of your home, but it will be a cold day in hell before I live in so much fear that I feel I have to be armed all the time in my own house.
Who said I'm living in fear? You mentioned "convenience"; well, it's a lot more convenient for me to just carry a gun everywhere instead of stash guns all over the house. My belly band is comfortable and it keeps my shirt tucked in. And, as a bonus, it holds my carry gun. And this way I never have to worry about keeping guns lying around unlocked for easy access. For me, it just makes common sense.

AK103K
February 25, 2014, 12:23 PM
but it will be a cold day in hell before I live in so much fear that I feel I have to be armed all the time in my own house.
It has nothing to do with fear. Its simply a lifestyle.

Some of us carry a gun as part of our daily wardrobe, some of us dont. Its no different than than the pocket or belt knife we carry either. It just is what it is.

For me, all are there on me, every waking moment, and at arms reach, when I sleep.

The only common denominator here is, the certainty of doubt. Have it or not, we can never know when we might need it.

If you dont have it along, in the house, out of the house, where ever, if that gun doesnt appear in your hand when you "think" guns, then, you really dont have it.

Red Wind
February 25, 2014, 12:31 PM
^A lot of common sense in this post. I'm with you. I copy your life style. It suits me.
And as you said,it has absolutely nothing to do with living in perpetual fear.

It's being prepared for the unexpected. Like gym said, that door can crash in awfully quick. A lot quicker than you can run to the book shelf and get "Betsy". By that time it's usually over.

javjacob
February 25, 2014, 01:29 PM
“Yeah, well, I don’t suppose you’d like to stand over thar and let me take a shot achoo with my ol’ fotuh fahv.”

^I don't know how many times I have heard that^ that's about how most of them that say that talk too.
whats even better when someone is talking about their "fotuh fahv" like its the most powerful gun ever made and I ask them if its a 45colt or a 45ACP and they say "uh I didn't know there were different kinds?"

cambeul41
February 25, 2014, 02:57 PM
I should carry a holstered handgun in my home? Not likely.

Etcetera

Your choice. The chances are that neither of us will never need a gun in the home.

However, when I get dressed, I dress all the way except for shoes: I have lived in Japan, and my wife started life Japanese. I have my house and car keys. I have my wallet in which are several forms of identification and a bit of cash. I have a pocket comb in case Kookie needs to borrow it. None of which am I likely to need to be carrying.

If and when I go out, I am ready – after putting on my shoes – without needing to go through a checklist of going-out-things.

And maybe I should add that I do not carry because of fear, but because I like guns and, heck, there is just a small chance that someday one might be useful.

mac66
February 25, 2014, 04:23 PM
Realistically for the price of the accessories, not even the cost of gun, one could harden ones home sufficiently to keep eliminate most home defense situations. However, being human beings we tend to focus on the gun stuff instead.

Don't get me wrong, I like guns, have lots of them, but unless you live in a high crime area, are a drug dealer, or other low life who hangs around with other low lifes you will probably never need to defend your home.

Doug S
February 25, 2014, 06:31 PM
Realistically for the price of the accessories, not even the cost of gun, one could harden ones home sufficiently to keep eliminate most home defense situations. However, being human beings we tend to focus on the gun stuff instead.


That's a nice suggestion, but I don't know that I agree with it. It would seem to me that a person of limited means, would in no way be able to sufficiently harden their home for the same amount of money that a mid priced gun like a Ruger or Glock would cost, say $500. They can on the other hand live within their limited means, making upgrades when and as needed, while at the same time having a firearm for protection if the need should arise (not to mention even "hardened" homes are not immune to crime). I do think that we humans do have a tendency to focus and think from our own limited experience and narrow perspective, and to impose our conclusions into the lives of those around us (and to insult and belittle others in showing our personal views enlightened, and superior). I mean after all, I've got it all figured out, it's everyone around me who seems to be so confused in their beliefs, lifestyles, and priorities.:rolleyes: If you want to carry a gun in your own home, more power to you. I'm not naïve enough to think (also not living in fear) that trouble can't find us at the times and places we least expect it.

chopinbloc
February 25, 2014, 10:58 PM
I think a better question is why would you choose to continue to live in a neighborhood or place that makes you think you need to do this?


As mentioned above, if you think that you live in a neighborhood where you don't have any risk of a break in, you are likely deluding yourself. What's more, those of us who have children do not have the option of having a gun conveniently accessible in each room. At least not without significant cost for lock boxes. Even if you do not have little ones around, it is unwise to leave firearms around the house unsecured and it is inconvenient to me to get one out for each room when I get home and then put them all away when I leave. It is far more convenient to simply carry my gun at home and keep my primary HD gun at the front of the safe. I enter the combo except for the last digit so that when I leave, I can just spin the dial but my kids can't get past the child lock on my bedroom door AND finish the combo without getting caught.

I suspect that many gun people who are opposed to carry in the home don't carry outside the home every day, either. For those of us that carry every day, a holstered gun feels as natural as shoes or pants.

JSH1
February 26, 2014, 12:29 AM
As mentioned above, if you think that you live in a neighborhood where you don't have any risk of a break in, you are likely deluding yourself.

Do I think I have no risk of a break-in? No, of course not. Is that risk large enough that I worry about it enough to carry a gun on my person at all times? No.

I suspect that many gun people who are opposed to carry in the home don't carry outside the home every day, either.

You are most likely correct. I don't carry in my home or outside of it. Again, I don't see the risk of being attack high enough to warrant carrying a gun. That is my choice, yours may be different.

As AK103K said above, choosing to arm yourself at all times is a lifestyle choice. No different than being a vegetarian is a lifestyle choice. Both are lifestyles that are outside of the mainstream and are a hard sell for the general public.

Getting back to the article. When I read someone recommending I carry a gun with me at all times including in my home, I pretty much know that their recommendations are not going be a good fit for me. I also can guess that they are going to declare the AR platform as the "best" selection for home defense.

Theohazard
February 26, 2014, 01:02 AM
I also can guess that they are going to declare the AR platform as the "best" selection for home defense.
Ha, now that you mention it... But I actually do think that the best selection for stationary home defense (when you're holed up in your bedroom waiting for the cops to arrive) is a carbine chambered in .223. This is because a carbine is usually easier to use for non-gun people (like my 5'2" wife) and the .223 round is very effective, has very low recoil, and with defensive loads it will penetrate less through walls than any handgun or shotgun load.

Don't get me wrong, I love shotguns, but they tend to be harder to use for beginners, especially pump shotguns. I'm always amazed now people seem to think a pump shotgun is a good home-defense choice for someone who is under-trained (like my wife).

Now, if you're going through your house I recommend a handgun over a long gun any day.

chopinbloc
February 26, 2014, 09:35 AM
You are most likely correct. I don't carry in my home or outside of it. Again, I don't see the risk of being attack high enough to warrant carrying a gun. That is my choice, yours may be different.

As AK103K said above, choosing to arm yourself at all times is a lifestyle choice. No different than being a vegetarian is a lifestyle choice. Both are lifestyles that are outside of the mainstream and are a hard sell for the general public.

I couldn't agree more. I should temper my recommendation with the statement that I believe you should carry a gun at home if you are in the habit of carrying a gun generally. It certainly is a lifestyle choice. It drives the clothes I wear and the businesses I patronize. I do believe that this world would be a better place if more good people kept arms at the ready but you're right that it's not for everyone.

Now, if you're going through your house I recommend a handgun over a long gun any day.

Why?

It's harder to retain in a struggle. It's lower powered. Harder to hit with. Unless you put on a belt and holster, there is no way to secure it to your person if you need two hands.

The main reason people cite when choosing a handgun is that they believe it to be easier to maneuver in tight places. My first thought is that I wonder what sort of bizarrely cramped home they live in. Then it occurs to me that there may be a training deficit. Too many movies and not enough training may leave a person with the belief that a weapon should be up and ready at all times when in reality, it ought to be carried at a compressed low ready until needed. In this position, a handgun is slightly more compact than a carbine or shotgun but not by enough to matter unless you are picking your way through stacks of Parade magazine and empty tissue boxes. When the weapon does come up, a handgun extends just as far out in front of you as a rifle or shotgun when pressed out.

It's worth noting that "clearing" your home is not a good strategy but I understand why you might do so anyway. I'm not going to call 911 every time I'm awakened with a start or just have a funny feeling. It's easier to go look for myself and set my mind at ease. We also have small children so it is mandatory that we get to the kids. Unfortunately, with our floor plan that means that we have to clear the house. My situation is different, though, in that my wife is reasonably well trained and competent with a carbine.

And again, I don't mean to imply that a handgun or shotgun can't be used to great effect. I also reiterate that the best weapon for YOU is the weapon with which YOU are most proficient. I just believe that an AR or similar carbine with good ergos chambered in an intermediate cartridge is nearly ideal for technical reasons. To expand on that, I believe that we should train on the better weapon until we are most proficient with it so that the technically better weapon also becomes the "best" weapon.

dprice3844444
February 26, 2014, 09:48 AM
the best gun for home defense is best decided by where your home is located,what type of home/apartment you have,whether your looking for hd inside the house only,outside the house,etc.

CoalTrain49
February 26, 2014, 10:04 AM
Very objective and worth a read for someone learning the basics for home defense. I like how you start of with the most logical weapon and proceed to the most expensive and advanced. Well done.

Theohazard
February 26, 2014, 11:28 AM
Now, if you're going through your house I recommend a handgun over a long gun any day.

Why?
Because of accessibility and portability; a handgun is much smaller so you can either carry it on your person (like I do) or stash it in more convenient places. It also allows you much more maneuverability if you need an arm free to grab your kids, etc.; a pistol is easier to use if you're carrying a kid.

The main reason people cite when choosing a handgun is that they believe it to be easier to maneuver in tight places. My first thought is that I wonder what sort of bizarrely cramped home they live in. Then it occurs to me that there may be a training deficit.
There's definitely not a training deficit: I spent four years in the Marine Corps infantry and I have had plenty of civilian training as well. I'm far more comfortable with a rifle than a pistol. And I used to feel the way you do, but then my wife and I moved into a three-story house and had a kid. And practicality overtook effectiveness.

chopinbloc
February 26, 2014, 11:44 AM
As I mentioned in the article, a handgun might end up being the weapon you HAVE, which is the de facto "best" weapon but it is not innately as well suited to the job as a rifle or shotgun.


A properly set up carbine should be just as easy, if not easier to manage while wrangling kids. A home defense rifle shouldn't have ten pounds of Tapco crap bolted to it or go-fast stuff like a PEQ-2, AN/PVS 14, etc. It needs an adjustable two point sling of the Vickers style and a light. A non magnified optic can be useful. Configured in this manner it can be fired effectively with one hand but if both hands are needed, the sling can retain it even when buck nekkid. That is something you simply can't do with a handgun.

Theohazard
February 26, 2014, 11:52 AM
That's a very good point. That's exactly how I have my home-defense AR set up. However, I can't easily carry my AR in a holster everywhere I go, but I can do that with a handgun.

David E
February 26, 2014, 12:16 PM
The best gun for defense is whatever gun you have be it a 22 or 454.
I read this a lot. While I agree with it at face value, it's too simplistic.

It implies that little more than chance is at play when it comes to what gun/caliber you will have when it matters. I won't carry a .22 for defense by choice. To the point where thoughtful consideration and thorough research on the "best" guns for defense is time wasted.

Yet 98% of non-LEO's can choose what gun/caliber to have, so it's hardly left up to chance.

But, I reiterate, any gun with you bears any gun not.....but that does not mean all guns or calibers are equally effective.

1John1:9
February 26, 2014, 12:33 PM
Thanks for sharing the writeup OP.

I have taken 3 handgun classes, read on the subject voraciously, and feel fairly knowledgeable. I carry daily and yes I holster at home, not out of fear, but because I like my handguns that much. Hopefully, if the love wanes, I'll still carry in case of the "what ifs".

What I appreciate about your article though was the line that pump shotguns may have malfunctions in a stressful environment. I had never thought of that. I may devote 1 day a month to practice dry and live firing the old Mossberg 500.

chopinbloc
February 26, 2014, 02:29 PM
Good plan. Dry fire is the cheapest and in some ways most effective training that you can do. Be sure to get some dummy rounds and practice loading and reducing stoppages as well. Take a defensive shotgun course if you haven't already. Take a defensive shotgun course if you have already. ;^)

JohnBiltz
February 26, 2014, 05:22 PM
You might be surprised at how low of a standard a home invader might have based on immediate need.
http://www.azcentral.com/community/glendale/articles/20140224phoenix-carjacking-suspect-arrested-glendale.html
Witnesses reported the man had a firearm and was jumping fences and trying to enter homes, police said.

Police allege that the man entered two homes in an unsuccessful attempt to find a vehicle. Breeden said the man then entered a third home, took the owner’s car keys and fled in another vehicle.

gym
February 26, 2014, 06:30 PM
I think we have a few unrealistic ill advised people here. Perhaps older, or those who live in states where there are very few actual people. Comments like "bad neighborhoods, and People involved in questionable things" are just a sign of ignorance. Here are some facts.
According to a United States Department of Justice report:
§ 38% of assaults & 60% of rapes occur during home
invasions.
§ 1 of every 5 homes will experience a break in
or home
invasion. That's over 2,000,000 homes!
o According to Statistics Canada, there has been an average of
289,200 home invasions annually over the last 5 years.
o Statistically, there are over 8,000 home invasions per day in
North America
o According to Statistics U.S.A., there was an average of 3,600,000
home invasions annually between 1994 and 2000.
That's 8 thousand per day. 1 out of 5 homes, Do you think all of these people lived in bad neighborhoods and were dealing in illegal activities. I guarantee the people who were victims in the ones I know of were million dollar homes and up, and had several lucrative businesses. To even make a statement like that is just ignorant, Like blaming the rape victim for asking for it.

Plan2Live
February 26, 2014, 08:27 PM
I think a better question is why would you choose to continue to live in a neighborhood or place that makes you think you need to do this?
Divorce, child support, bankruptcy, death of a spouse, involuntary job loss, lack of equity (I currently owe twice the going price for a similar home in my neigborhood), lack of buyers (only one home has sold in the past two years in my immediate neighborhood), identity theft limiting a person's ability to obtain credit. Just a few reasons off the top of my head, I could probably come up with about fifty more and no, not all of these apply to me.

JSH1
February 26, 2014, 10:44 PM
Don't get me wrong, I love shotguns, but they tend to be harder to use for beginners, especially pump shotguns. I'm always amazed now people seem to think a pump shotgun is a good home-defense choice for someone who is under-trained (like my wife).

Why do people recommend shotguns? Value. Many people don't have the luxury of buying a gun for every purpose. One gun is all they can afford. Someone can pick up a new pump shotgun like a H&R Pardner or Maverick 88 new for $200. That is an extremely versatile firearm at an outstanding price. For another $100 they can bump up to a Remington 870 or a Mossberg 500.

A single shot break action is an even better value. A H&R single shot can easily be found for $100 used. I paid $110 for mine and it came in the original box. It is also about the simplest firearm one can buy. Cock that hammer and pull the trigger. Contrary to popular opinion it doesn't take 5 minutes to reload one. By my count he is at about 4-5 seconds while explaining each step: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhgwHQCJwWw

Now I'm not up to date on black guns but a quick search shows AK clones starting at $500 and AR's in the $700 to $1000 range. That is simply out of the budget for a large segment of the population.

EDIT:

Here are some facts.
According to a United States Department of Justice report: 38% of assaults & 60% of rapes occur during home invasions.

Not even close: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4594

Highlights:

From 1995 to 2010, the estimated annual rate of female rape or sexual assault victimizations declined 58%, from 5.0 victimizations per 1,000 females age 12 or older to 2.1 per 1,000.
In 2005-10, females who were age 34 or younger, who lived in lower income households, and who lived in rural areas experienced some of the highest rates of sexual violence.
In 2005-10, the offender was armed with a gun, knife, or other weapon in 11% of rape or sexual assault victimizations.
In 2005-10, 78% of sexual violence involved an offender who was a family member, intimate partner, friend, or acquaintance.

If almost 80% of rapes involve someone that the victim knows there is no way that 60% can be from home invasions.

gym
February 27, 2014, 12:21 AM
http://www.lockjawsecurity.com/pdf/LockBumpingFactSheet.pdf
2nd line, according to the FBI

JSH1
February 27, 2014, 07:24 AM
http://www.lockjawsecurity.com/pdf/L...gFactSheet.pdf
2nd line, according to the FBI

Your "fact" sheet is an advertising flyer from a company that sells locks. It has no references besides a link that goes the to FBI's main webpage.

What I posted is the abstract from the Department of Justice Report on Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010. The full report is available for you download and read if you would like: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4594

Which do you think is more trustworthy? A sales flyer that claims what the DOJ reports, or the actual DOJ report?

chopinbloc
February 27, 2014, 11:10 AM
If almost 80% of rapes involve someone that the victim knows there is no way that 60% can be from home invasions.

This statement is logically flawed. It assumes that just because a person is known to another person that they cannot break into or force entry into a home. If you wish to refute him, you'll need to use different data.

Rather than get wrapped around the axle about the data, let's just focus on things that are commonly known to everyone: regardless of the rate at which they occur, home invasions, burglary, and forced entry do happen. They do happen in "nice" neighborhoods.


As for the price, a shotgun is a fantastic home defense tool for someone with arms long enough to operate it properly and for someone who is willing to invest the time and money to train how to operate it well under stress. You cannot deny the difficulty imposed by short arms and/or a training deficit.

If one were to choose an affordable home defense gun for someone of small stature and/or someone not willing or able to train as much, a Hi-Point carbine would be high on the list. It has a simple manual of arms. It holds more ammo than even 20" shotguns like the 590. It has virtually no recoil. True, the terminal effect of pistol ammo is a bit lacking but everything is a compromise.

In the article I paid short shrift to expense and it is a worthwhile point. The overall purpose of the article was not to list some cheap and effective options, but to look at what weapon one should choose to spend one's time and money to purchase and develop competence.

ApplePie
February 27, 2014, 12:09 PM
Interesting test on penetration through a gelatin block and drywall with a .223. Most of us don't go through the trouble of doing tests like this, so thanks for doing it for us!

I didn't see what type of bullet was used. That's important information for this test.

chopinbloc
February 27, 2014, 02:51 PM
The .223 test was Prvi Partizan 75 gr BTHP. If information seems to be missing from one of my videos, check the comments. I usually post more details in the comments section.

JSH1
February 27, 2014, 11:20 PM
If you wish to refute him, you'll need to use different data. I'm not the one that made a claim based on an advertisement meant to scare people into buying locks to put on their locks. Generally it is up to the person that makes a claim to provide evidence to support that claim.

However, it is easy to see that the lock company's claim is false. Neither the FBI nor the DOJ record data on home invasions. There is also nothing in the report I linked that can be construed to say that 60% of rapes happen in home invasions. The report says only 55% of rapes took place in or around the victims home. The claim is simply false.

Rather than get wrapped around the axle about the data, let's just focus on things that are commonly known to everyone: regardless of the rate at which they occur, home invasions, burglary, and forced entry do happen. They do happen in "nice" neighborhoods.

The rate does matter. It helps prioritize things that have a reasonable chance of happening and those that don't. I reasonable person works on eliminated things that are the greatest threat first.

You cannot deny the difficulty imposed by short arms and/or a training deficit. Yet you seem to deny that semi-autos also have difficulties when it comes to training deficits. Semi-autos have more things to go wrong. You have to find the type of ammo that feeds reliably. They are much more sensitive to cleaning and lubrication. In my opinion a semi-auto is a very poor choice for someone that is going to buy a gun, go to the range once or twice, and then put it in the nightstand. I've been to the range to many time with friends and coworkers that pull out the semi-automatic pistol that they keep for home defense or concealed carry, fire a couple of rounds, the gun jams, and they can't figure out how to clear the jam. Semi autos are great in skilled hands, but they require more training and maintenance than other action types.

Baba Louie
February 28, 2014, 01:00 AM
Good essay.

I tend to agree & think there is no "best" per se, but what you have handy when the balloon goes up and hopefully some training to go with it... also, that everything is a compromise of one sort or another, be it where you live, round (cartridge/shell) chosen, weapon in hand, amount of training, layers of defense, dogs, alarms, what-have-you.To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.So the best might be the one you did not have to use... because if you did use something (whatever you had at hand, say) once the dust settles and the smoke clears, I'd think one might reconsider their choice for the next go round and add more power to the equation, as in the old axiom, "once bitten twice shy" school of thought.

While I enjoy reading the "Armed Citizen" in the American Rifleman every month, I often wonder if any of the good guy victims would, after the fact, consider using the same tools again or if they now felt the need for "more" in their search for the "best" gun for defense? Of course, not all of them actually had to shoot their bad guys (see above Sun Tzu quote), so, maybe 50/50. Dunno.

Always enjoy a good "Which is best" thread? This thread and all the responses are actually quite good. Kind of a THR trait one would suppose. ;)

chopinbloc
February 28, 2014, 01:33 AM
Oh, well if only a little over half of rapes happen in the home then we must be perfectly safe at home. The core of the issue is the illusion that you are safe at home. Burglaries, beatings, murders, rapes, and all manner of bad things happen to people in their own homes. Even in nice neighborhoods.

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