Is a handgun enough for home defense?

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by iyn, Nov 20, 2010.

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  1. marv

    marv Member

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    So far it has been.
     
  2. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I keep my weapon chambered. I can pick it up and shoot with either just as easily as a revolver.

    I just picked it up weak hand and racked the slide, I'd estimate it took less than a second (it was sitting next to me as I was reading your post). It would take me longer to load a revolver weak hand.

    If we live in some world where the revolver can be loaded but a semi cannot I guess I must admit that I am going to be about .6 seconds slower with the semi.

    I didn't know having basic proficiency with a handgun was ninja.

    Humor me, what is the extent of your training in defensive/combat use of a handgun?
     
  3. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    I have 3 guns at hand

    a 357 revolver, a 12 gauge pump and an AR15.

    If I hear something that might be nothing I carry the 357.

    The shotgun is for if I KNOW someone is in the house.

    The AR is for if the car alarm goes off or something is amiss outside
     
  4. HSPepke

    HSPepke Member

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  5. Blacky

    Blacky Member

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    I've killed a home intruder, almost losing my leg in the process. Lots of blood, new carpet, legal issues, rehab. I actually shot him with a glock. My background is for the most part military and private. You're missing my point. If your auto is loaded and charged and everything works flawlessly you might be okay. But if I was wounded, forced to use my weak hand, I would prefer a loaded double action revolver. If anything went wrong and I had to reload or clear it would take too much time. Worst case scenario, all I have to do is point and squeeze, I can easily do that with either hand. It's probably better if we just agree to disagree on this one.
     
  6. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    Prepare for a Judge spin off flame fest and a locked thread.

    Why would you want ammo that is putting projectiles off target in such a short distance. I have a lot of open spaces in my home more than 15'. I also have other people in my home and if one of those projectiles that is patterning at 20" misses it is a liability.

    That video seems to demonstrate one more reason not to use a judge for HD.

    That video shows huge patterns for 7 ft and unacceptable at 15'.

    I'd prefer to have much better control of where my rounds are going in an occupied dwelling than a gun throwing a 20" doughnut patterns offers. Of course there is the matter of terminal ballistics as well. I'll stop there however, since the OP didn't ask about a judge and probably doesn't want he thread to spin off into the same trite debate that always turns into.
     
  7. Blacky

    Blacky Member

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    BTW the very first thing you should do if you have the option is call 911.
     
  8. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    You are missing my point. It is nominally slower to do any of those things one handed than with two. I can TRB an auto in less than a second. I just tried it, to re-verify.

    If something goes wrong and 5-6 rounds don't cut it you are going to find a revolver much more difficult to reload one handed or even with two than the fraction of a second it takes to TRB a semi with one hand. BTW I think running dry is probably more likely than a stoppage in my gun, apart from stoppages purposely created to drill immediate action drills, it has had one in I don't even know how many thousands of rounds. I failed to seat the mag. TRB and I was rolling again in less than a second.

    *ETA: On the above point I believe it was Clint smith that said he sees stoppages for the following reasons in order of frequency

    1. Running out of ammo
    2. Bad magazines
    3&4 [I cannot remember which was which] Bad ammo; user error
    5. Problems with the gun

    Mr. Smith gets to see a lot more guns run than I do or ever will. It lends support to the idea that going dry in a low capacity weapon is something to be thinking about as well as, if not more than, a malfunction.

    I get the sense you are unfamilar with one handed imediate action drills. Why don't you tell me how you are going to clear a malfunction one handed with a semi, lest say a stove pipe. Why is that so difficult to do one handed? You seem to imply that two handed it wouldn't be to slow but one handed it would be. How much longer doing see it taking?

    I don't take issue with anyone using a revolver over a semi. That personally isn't where the calculations of the pros and cons of each + my preferences lands me but I have no issue with the idea someone else might come out a different way. I do take issue with the suggestion that having to clear a malf is some insurmountable hurdle. Anyone who has taken even the most basic defensive handgun course can do it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  9. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    Most any gun will do, if YOU will do. The burden is more on the shooter than the hardware.

    fwiw,

    lpl (Let's please hold down the testosterone excretion here as much as possible...)
     
  10. Blacky

    Blacky Member

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    It's like talking to my ex wife in here. It's not an insurmountable burden, it's just a non issue. I am familiar with Clint Smiths methods. Good night and good luck... please move on.
     
  11. .45&TKD

    .45&TKD Member

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    My 1911, but if I have time, the AR15 too. I live in a big house. Plenty of room to wield a carbine.
     
  12. .45&TKD

    .45&TKD Member

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    Shotguns are great but it's hard to predict where every pellet will go. What's that saying? "Pretend every bullet has a lawyer attached".
     
  13. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    When people get upset, lob insults and disengage when one inquires into the basis of their opinions and assertions I think that speaks volumes about said opinions and assertions.
     
  14. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    tru dat
     
  15. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    LOL

    Bet she would use a similar analogy :neener:
     
  16. iyn

    iyn Member

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    thanks guys. from what I read a pistol for home defense is OK. but If I need to defend myself outside the home the shotgun is better, especially if the rule of law fails. Also a revolver is easier under stress one or 2 handed. I also have a SW 625. I can make that my primary Home defender. If my wife lets me get a third gun a 38sp/357mag revolver might be a good option since I do not have to worry about moon clips. I was thinking about the Taurus Judge since my in home range is closer to 10ft, but where I live ammo selection is limited. If the Taurus Judge could fit a 5 shot moon clip of .45acp that could make it an option.
     
  17. brandon_mcg

    brandon_mcg Member

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    I would go with what you are most comfortable with. If you have a bad back and feel that you may injure yourself while defending your home then I would go with the handgun. I too keep my 1911 cocked and locked on my nightstand; however, I also have my 870 with 8 rds in the tube and 1 in the chamber with an undermounted flashlight as I feel most confident in my ability to stop a BG with that more so than a pistol.

    I pray that we will all be very well prepared but will never have to resort to these methods. Better to be prepared than caught sleeping though.
     
  18. Blacky

    Blacky Member

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    Oh there's no doubt, you Just can't argue with a sick mind.

    To the OP, it sounds like you've got a handle on it. Don't over think it, you'll be fine with what ever works best for you personally.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
     
  19. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...Is a handgun enough..." Sure, if you're good enough with it and practice regularly. Same as any other firearm. Mind you, a jacketed .45 bullet will zip right through wooden walls. So will 00 buck at close range. A .25ACP will go through a 2 x 4 at 100 yards. You are responsible for where any bullet ends up.
    "...whatever you you have is in reliable working condition and that you're proficient with it..." Exactly.
    "...exactly how effective are you going to be?..." You won't be 'effective' with anything if you're hurt.
     
  20. sidheshooter

    sidheshooter Member

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    One more vote for the autopistol, here. The 1911 is as good as any, IMHO. I'm also fine with a revolver (partial to K-frames), but I do find manipulation of the bottom feeder easier one handed.

    Shotguns in the safe. It would have to be a much less perfect world near me to unlimber the long guns, but that's what the safe is for; it could certainly be done fairly quickly.

    JMO.
     
  21. therewolf

    therewolf member

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    So lose a finger or the use of a hand, and a shotgun or rifle is BETTER than a pistol?

    IMO, for HD, most generally, unless somebody with a strong preference trains hard to compensate for a longer weapon's drawbacks, a pistol in a caliber most comfortable to the home defender is the best option.

    Since this occasion of home invasion is not a commonly repeated event, the dangers of wall or structural penetration, while possible, are almost statistically moot. This is usually a fairly rare event, I'd be more concerned with not running over a neighbor with my car while I'm driving in the neighborhood, which I do every day.
     
  22. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    I personally have my pistol in a small safe near my bed (a gunvault, very easy to access for me, even in the dark - very hard for a BG to access on the fly) and my shotgun in the safe in the basement. Which, as I have set the brief plan for our family (and I'm living with my parents) has become the safe room - 1 door in, no windows, and a shotgun in the safe in the closet.

    Granted, I'm just looking at paper, but after watching a pump shotgun do about as much damage with 2 shells as I can do with my .40 with a full 16 round magazine, I'm inclined to say I'd prefer the shotgun. But if all I had was my .40, firing as fast as I can I can get 90% of my shots COM at 20 feet. It may not win me a trophy, but I'm sure that at any distance in my house, I'd be able to hit the person I'm aiming at.
     
  23. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    No.

    Of course, you should use what you have, and a handgun is better than nothing, but understand, handguns aren't 'enough' for anything. Handguns are a compromise for portability. I keep a handgun to fill the gap between me and my long gun. If I am in my house, there is no gap. I have come to believe that the power advantages of a long gun far outweigh the handling disadvantages. There is much to learn about how to handle them properly.

    You have stated that you have a condition that makes it a strain for you to seriously train with a long gun. This may well be, and I would rather see you train with something you will enjoy and shoot often than not train because it causes you pain. Like others have said, overpenetration is not a primary concern in choosing a home defense arm. All rounds will overpenetrate to some extent, and you won't always hit your target. Planning your strategy and laying out your house to minimize the likelihood of innocents being in the likely lanes of fire is the most effective way to minimize the risk. And honestly, when I was in an apartment, I made it a priority to get into a brick house, even when I wasn't in a position to buy it, because I could not narrow down any specific way to minimize the risk to neighbors, I just couldn't know enough about their homes to plan around them.

    But at night, my 1911 is locked up, my primary is a Remington 870, my backup (and my wife's primary) is an M-1 carbine. There are long-gun solutions that you might look at, given the chance. The reason the military uses ARs is that just about anyone can learn to operate one comfortably.
     
  24. shockwave

    shockwave Member

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    Hard to argue with that. Then again, we're talking HD here, right? So a lot of this is going to concern the nature of the threat itself. As a home defender, what are you likely to be dealing with?

    Based on my reading of the literature - and I've got America's First Freedom right here and in a few minutes will be reading this month's Armed Citizen column - it seems like 99 percent of all home invasions are burglars, punks, teenagers, drunks, and psychos.

    The dedicated team of suicidal ninjas who keep coming and won't stop until you're dead are a very remote threat. It does happen, but usually a single shot of any kind signals to the invader that armed resistance is on the menu, and usually the intruder seeks immediate exit. In nearly all reports, 1 or 2 shots resolves the situation.

    So a loaded .357 is generally a pretty good defense and reloading is not a likely scenario, regardless. Personally, to check out a bump in the night, I'm grabbing a revolver. To check out loud voices and sounds of trouble, I'm going for the Mossberg. For CCW, I like a semi-auto.
     
  25. oldfool

    oldfool Member

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    hint, they are not trying to scare anybody away with the "ka-chunk", they are just getting ready to shoot somebody

    most "somebodies" are prone to guess what the next sound is going to be, and the smarter ones are oft inclined to go away... the dumber ones get to hear the next sound

    if you are lucky,you will get a smart one
    if not so lucky, and kill a dumb one trying to steal your TV set, you righteously win the "spend lots of time and money on lawyers" prize

    PS
    I prefer a 357 mag revolver myself
    makes only one kind of (unmistakable) sound
    but I am not going to kill somebody over a TV set.. if so dumb as to bring the fight to me, call the lawyer after
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010
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