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mobile homes and guns

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by moonpie, Jun 4, 2011.

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  1. moonpie

    moonpie Member

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    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.
     
  2. philpost

    philpost Member

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    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.
     
  3. JVaughn

    JVaughn Member

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    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.
     
  4. WeedWacker

    WeedWacker Member

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    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?
     
  5. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

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    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.
     
  6. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    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.
     
  7. dirtykid

    dirtykid Member

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    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 :(
     
  8. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011
  9. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    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.
     
  10. jiminhobesound

    jiminhobesound Member

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    Maybe this is the place for a .22 pistol with HP. Seems like they should expand and not penetrate too much.
     
  11. content

    content Member

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    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
     
  12. Kliegl

    Kliegl member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011
  13. Ramone

    Ramone Member

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    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.
     
  14. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    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.
     
  15. oldvet53

    oldvet53 Member

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    #6 or #7 bird shot is perfect for a shotgun in a mobile home.
     
  16. josephbw

    josephbw Member

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    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.
     
  17. hermannr

    hermannr Member

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    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.
     
  18. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    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.
     
  19. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    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.
     
  20. ants

    ants Member

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    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.
     
  21. ants

    ants Member

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    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.
     
  22. bsg

    bsg Member

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    +1.
     
  23. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    Super! (assuming you're trying to blow a lock off your invader)

    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.
     
  24. Gryffydd

    Gryffydd Member

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    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.
     
  25. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    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
     
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