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Cowboy Home Defense

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Mr. Mosin, Oct 10, 2022.

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  1. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    Given the choice between a lever action rifle chambered in a pistol caliber cartridge (take your pick, I'm going with .357 Magnum) vs something along the lines of a hammerless coach gun in 12ga; which would you select for home defense in the modern era ?
     
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  2. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    A 357 lever gun would be my pick, a 16" if I had the choice. A coach gun would work ok, but I really believe in actually aiming at what you're shooting. And more shots are better than less.
     
  3. valnar

    valnar Member

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    I'm a minority of opinion here (frequently) but I would not choose a shotgun, so I guess the lever action. Assuming any firearm you use for the occasion will stop an intruder (like, not picking a .22LR), then I would prefer not to have a bunch of tiny holes in my walls.

    If you mean home defense as in the bad guy is in your yard lobbing stones at you, then I have no problem peppering my yard with extra lead.
     
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  4. jak67429

    jak67429 Member

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    When you said Cowboy home defense my first thought was a single action revolver. Of the 2 you list I would take the the lever gun in 45colt.
     
  5. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I have built a lot of AR’s for cattlemen and ranch riders out west, largely the last bastion of real range riding cowboys in the US. I’ve grown up a cattleman, and literally carried a professional cowboy card for over half of my adult life - I use an AR in my ranch truck, as do my family and most of my cattle partners. Some of the older grey tops use lower cost bolt action rifles, but the days of a 30-30 in the rear window of a ranch truck are long since passed.

    If a guy insists on buying something based on whimsy - which I often do, myself - then buy any levergun you want. The argument that a 30-30 shoots flatter might be a primary driver for an assumed defensive scenario where bandits are to be held at long distance, otherwise the overwhelming objective advantage is for revolver cartridge carbines which hold more ammo, but objective comparison in either primary defense application is simply whimsy, as modern defensive weapons - semiauto, detachable magazine, higher power, flatter shooting, more adaptable - make irrefutably better objective choices.

    The same applies for single action revolvers and SxS coachguns. I own all of the above, and don’t apply any of them in my defensive strategy, and never would recommend them for such to any students in civilian defense classes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2022
  6. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    If I lived in the 1880's or 2020's I'd still prefer a handgun if an intruder were INSIDE my home. Which handgun would depend on if I lived in the 1880's or 2020's. In either case I'd want a modern weapon for the time.

    If the intruders were OUTSIDE my home a shotgun would be effective from my home to my property line in any direction. If it were the 1880's and defending my home from a hostile raiding party my choice would be a rifle backed up by a shotgun and a handgun. In the 2020's that isn't likely to happen.

    But regardless of handgun, shotgun, or rifle I'd choose a modern firearm in the 2020's. I like older designs and enjoy shooting them. But if my life is on the line, I'm not handicapping myself with 150-year-old technology if I have the option.

    But if those were my only choices, I'd choose the hammer shotgun and a handgun based on where I live. If a handgun is simply out of the question and it has to be either/or, then a short-barreled lever action. I don't really think cartridge matters much.
     
  7. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    My Marlin 1894 44.
    But actually, my 870
     
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  8. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    Given those choices, I'd go with my Marlin 1894 carbine in .44 mag.
     
  9. Jimster

    Jimster Member

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    My 1860 Uberti Henry in 44WCF. Has a sling and the cartridge follower let’s you know how many rounds you have left.
     
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  10. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

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    Of the 2 choices I would go with the levergun.
    I have a lot of experience with both via Cowboy Action Shooting and would feel confident with either one but I would prefer the levergun and I agree with your choice of .357 as well. :cool:
    I would go with my Marlin 1894 CB.
     
  11. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    AR15

    But of the two...

    1892 or 1894 in 45 Colt or 357 mag.
     
  12. westernrover

    westernrover Member

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    Does the cowboy live in an apartment?
     
  13. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Even inside your home, a longarm is better. Even if it's a pistol caliber, it's easier to aim, and the longer barrel adds some power.

    I finally got around to shooting my most recent 11" ARs, a 16" AR, and a AR9 Saturday. The 11" ARs are fast, and accurate to 100 yards with 0 magnification optics. Unfortunately, they are also LOUD. Even shooting outside, away from solid objects that could reflect sound back, and wearing ear pro, they are loud.

    My @FM PRODUCTS 8.5" 9mm AR, OTOH, was noticeably quieter. Rifle cartridges are more powerful than handgun, but after putting a few hundred rounds through the little gun, the 9mm may be what I'll reach for first. Yes, 5.56mm is better at stopping hostiles, and less likely to be dangerously overpenetrative in structure, but this "FM9" is about the most shootable close-range thing I've shot. And there is something to be said for quick, handy, and accurate, even if the cartridge isn't Thor's hammer. And if my 9BPLE out of a 3" Shield will stop a charging Rottweiler nearly as big as me, adding a couple of hundred FPS is likely to make it even more effective, while reducing chance of overpenetration.

    IMG_20221008_224018.jpg

    IMG_20221008_224036.jpg

    IMG_20221008_220711.jpg

    IMG_20221008_221022.jpg

    If someone absolutely can't have an autoloader, a slide-action, followed by a lever-action would be the next logical choices. The difference between a 4" and 16" .357 can be 600 fps! This is significant.
     
  14. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    Grab whatever is handy.

    But if you have to resort to a shootout in your own home, you have already lost. The situation should never have reached that stage in the first place. Having an intruder inside your home is an utter failure of security.
     
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  15. Beck

    Beck Member

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    Given the two choices you spelled out, a lever gun in 357 Magnum is a fine defensive carbine. I've got an old 20-inch barrel Rossi SRC in 357. It's never let me down. That being said, a levergun would not be my first choice for HD/SD, but it will do. I would certainly choose that over a double-barrel "Coach Gun."
     
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  16. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    How about stretching the notion a few years further, i.e. Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch? Except for the lack of optics and lights, a 1911 and '97 Winchester pump aren't completely behind the curve today.

    https://gunsmagazine.com/discover/the-guns-of-the-wild-bunch/
     
  17. entropy

    entropy Member

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    A Winchester Model 1897. Cowboy gun, shotgun, more power than the rifle, .357, which, BTW was not around in the cowboy era, and more capacity than a double.
     
  18. film495

    film495 Member

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    of your picks, the .357 lever.
     
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  19. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Contributing Member

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    Interesting. Do you happen to have a photo of an AR in a saddle scabbard of one of these real range riding cowboys?

    35W
     
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  20. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Yeehaw!

    :evil:

     
  21. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Well...duh. Having your home invaded is, by definition, invasive. But I was on the guard force when a drunk managed to get onto Fort Myer and started banging on the Sergeant Major of the Army's door.

    Now, had the SMA "already lost"? No, he was very much intact when we rolled up. If we had pulled up to see him lying in a pool of his own blood, he would have already lost.

    Your definitions are way off, and dangerous, because someone might give credence to them. I, as the righteous law-abiding homeowner, haven't "lost" unless a family member of mine is injured, or I am killed. A failure isn't good, but people being people, failures happen daily.

    Nothing is impenetrable in the long run. Given the right combination of time, money, skill, determination, and sometimes sheer numbers, any barrier can be eventually defeated. Winning is keeping my family safe, with the resources we need to survive intact. Even a stack of bodies in my living room isn't "losing", so long as I am in the legal right, and my family is safe.

    Do you also want to call the courageous LA Koreans who protected their communities from violence and predation "losers" too, just because they had the audacity to use lethal force? You seriously need to redefine victory, because you currently clearly don't understand it.

    Yes, a bloodless victory without need of violence is much preferable, but keeping my family safe is victory, whatever means are used to effect that. Walls, fences, strategic shrubbery, lights, alarms, community watches, and even well-trained dogs can be defeated, but if you think the mere presence of evil means you have lost, I submit that you've already lost, right now. I have lost when I lose consciousness and my family is hurt. You have to own a commitment to keep fighting until you cannot move. That is nothing like looking for conflict, just the knowledge of what needs doing once conflict is joined.

    John
     
  22. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    I (We?) don't carry rifles on our horses for pushing cows...
     
  23. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    IIRC, there was a time when the lever action short carbine was a recommended home defense firearm, in NYC I believe, because the laws wouldn't allow most other firearms and of course handguns were just too darn difficult to buy.
    Sometimes the odd sounding choice is the right one. Me, I'd stick with an AR or my BREN 2 if it must be a long gun, but I don't think I would feel underarmed with a Marlin .357 lever gun against a hoodlum bum rushing the door.
     
  24. Phaedrus/69

    Phaedrus/69 Member

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    I suppose hypothetical cases like this are a nice diversion; after a couple decades of internet forums I suppose there's nothing new left under the sun to discuss.:rofl: If we're talking "cowboy" as in the era portrayed in Western movies I suppose I'd take a .45 Colt lever gun as the classic Western era was long dead by the time the .357 Magnum was invented. I'm not very good with a lever gun so much practice would be required to ingrain muscle memory, but capacity is high and it's a powerful round in practical terms.

    That said I have no desire to integrate cosplay into my home defense plan. I keep an HK VP9 with a WML on it next to my bed and a PWS carbine w/a Cloud Defensive REIN & Aimpoint COMP M5 and loaded with 30 rounds 70gr GMX ammo about three steps from that. I have good locks and some reinforcement on all portals into my place (although the realities I deal with as a rental do constrain what I can do). The sidearm is within easy reach in a worst case where it's all I can reach, but I can stand up grab it I'm going for the carbine. Ten more steps from that I have a carrier loaded with Level IV ceramic/PE plates, and if there's time I'm grabbing that as well. Good locks, a cell phone and some wireless IP cameras constitute the first line of defense, but certainly not very cowboy.
     
  25. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Contributing Member

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    Well evidently some do since he stated- I have built a lot of AR’s for cattlemen and ranch riders out west, largely the last bastion of real range riding cowboys in the US.

    I mean good grief...we made it exactly five posts into this thread before someone brought the subject of the AR into a thread whose original question has exactly nothing to do with AR's.

    35W
     
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