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SKS for HD?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by TargetTerror, Feb 26, 2007.

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  1. TargetTerror

    TargetTerror Member

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    What are your thoughts for using an SKS for HD? The only guns I have that are suitable for HD are the SKS, a Ruger P89, and a S&W 686 .357 magnum, so its mostly a comparison between these options.

    I understand that a short barreled shotgun is the best HD weapon, but I don't live in high crime area and cannot justify such a purchase. I'm not really that worried about having to defend myself in my home, as we don't have many problems where I live. That said, I have the capability to defend myself, and want to know what would be best.

    The way I see it, the .357 mag is going to be a better stopper than the 9mm. But, I can throw a 15 round mag in my P89 and have enough firepower to handle just about anything. The SKS is short enough that its not too cumbersome to maneuver in my home, and the rifle stock allows me to aim better, particularly with follow-up shots. The additional fire-power of the SKS is of course a plus

    Missed shots are a very real concern with any gun I choose. I have looked at the Box of Truth enough to know that my drywall won't stand a chance against any center-fire cartridge. I doubt that 9mm or .357 mag would over-penetrate a BG with enough energy to do much damage, but i'm not so sure about the 7.62x39mm. I have some Wolf 124gr hollow points for the SKS. Any idea how these would fare with over-penetration?
     
  2. jeepmor

    jeepmor Member

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    357 mag would be my preference. Wheelguns go click on a dud round, another pull brings in a fresh round. Or put a folding stock on your SKS for more indoor maneuverability.
     
  3. TargetTerror

    TargetTerror Member

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    I do agree with you, but both my SKS and P89 have fed everything I gave them without so much as a hiccup. Enough so that I would trust my life to them.

    As for the folding stock, I find the regular SKS stock compact enough as it is.
     
  4. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    Unless you expect bad guys wearing body armor, the pistols are probably MORE than enough. If you live in a safe(er) area, don't sweat it so much that you lose perspective. An SKS in a house is A LOT of overkill unless you are the target of a known threat and in that event it may not be enough.
     
  5. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

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    I've literally chopped down trees with the 7.62x39. It took a lot of ammo, but it cuts right through without regard for anything. I've heard it will go through level 2 body-armor. It just doesn't expand enough for the velocity to drop within a human target. I'd imagine most Vietnam era bullet wounds from his round were in and outs, rather than the dreaded tumble-and-up. It should be considered last if you have time to think about which gun for HD, particularly if you have neighbors close-by. A Mossberg or Remington HD shotgun costs under $300, and are ideal for HD. Less chance of over-penetration and a chest-full of any shot will deter someone from proceeding closer. Spend the cash on a shotty or a box of 357 mag SD loads. Your neighbors will thank you for your consideration.

    As to it being a quiet neighborhood...Mine isn't bad. But we had an attempted break-in at 2:30 am before Christmas, likely someone looking for a PS3 under the tree. They didn't make it in, but we slept with loaded guns handy till after New Years. We even got one of the Remy HD Shotguns. You never know when the BG's are going to strike.
     
  6. thexrayboy

    thexrayboy Member

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    An SKS for HD? Depends on where you live. How close are other houses. Do others live with you. Is overpenetration a significant risk to others? All these factors can make a difference. For me the nearest house is hundreds of yards away and at a different elevation. I have little concern about hitting someone else outside my house from an errant round. I only need worry about the location of family. For me an SKS or similar weapon works just fine for HD. It will get the job done at virtually any range where it would be legal to engage. If I lived where the next house over was 20 feet or less from my wall I'd probably reconsider my options.
    Use what works for you in your circumstances. There may be time when an SKS is inappropiate. However you will not fail for lack of enough gun.
     
  7. rustymaggot

    rustymaggot Member

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    the 357 is going to overpenetrate too. you want penetration, if it wont go thru a few walls then its poo for stopping badguys. make your shots go thru the badguy to slow them down and overpenetration is less of a worry.

    either is a good cartridge and shot placement means more anyway. use what you can hit with thats reliable. maybe use softpoints in the sks.
     
  8. TargetTerror

    TargetTerror Member

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    Most of the arguments against the SKS seem to revolve around over-penetration issues of my house, and the threat that would cause to neighbors. Frankyly, I consider this to be a problem with any of the 3 calibers if I miss my target.

    Assuming I get a good COM shot, it seems unlikely that either the 9mm or .357 mag would over-penetrate with enough energy to be dangerous to neighbors. You guys seem to think that an SKS round will pass right through a BG and still be very deadly? Does this include hollow-point SKS rounds?
     
  9. grimjaw

    grimjaw Member

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    I live in an apartment complex with neighbors on all sides except up. A rifle for me is almost out of the question.

    I have a 9mm revolver for HD, and a shotgun to back that up. The line of fire from the bed to the bedroom door extends on through drywall, cabinet, refrigerator/cabinet/stove, then ends up in the neighbor's kitchen and out through their balcony. Any other shot is a risk to bystanders.

    I can't see using an SKS for most situations of HD when a shotgun will do just as well.

    jm
     
  10. BADUNAME13

    BADUNAME13 Member

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    If there are other no other houses... and you can't afford anything else... it'll do.

    (I'd like a light...)
     
  11. Full Clip

    Full Clip Member

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    Even with HPs you stand the chance of killing a neighbor with an SKS due to overpenetration. I'd stick with your 9mm and use some Safety Slugs or similar.
     
  12. g5reality

    g5reality member

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    Given the choices I'd go with the 686. but I'm a little partial to them. Load it with some Federal Hydra shocks & you'll be fine. Worried about missing with 6 or 7 rounds? Practice, Practice, Practice. My bedside gun for HD is either my Glock 19 10+1 or my Kimber .45 8+1. Both have Hydra Shock in them.
     
  13. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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    One thing I may point out, the SKS is heavy. It really takes two hands to handle. When you're trying to identify the threat with a flashlight (as you should), good luck doing so with 10# of steel and wood.

    I vote for the handguns.
     
  14. Soap

    Soap Member

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    If anyone thinks that a .357 round has the same type of overpenetration risk as a 7.62x39mm round, then they need to attend a physics class. Yes, you risk overpenetration with both rounds. But the risk is FAR greater with the 7.62x39mm. Also, don't count on a COM shot slowing the round down. Because 1- You might not actually hit every single shot COM and 2- With 7.62 it might not slow it down at all.
     
  15. bakert

    bakert Member

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    Maybe not a good idea in an apartment but in my house although I would rely mostly on handguns, according to which room I'm in, a Rem 870 is readily available and I do keep my SKS handy with a few stripper clips of ammo.
     
  16. carterbeauford

    carterbeauford member

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    an SKS with quality soft points would be handy if you need to engage targets at any sort of range. If you are severely limited in resources it's better than nothing, but within the confines of a home there are better choices.
     
  17. Dr_2_B

    Dr_2_B Member

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    Target,

    I have to depart from the norm here and tell you that P89 would be the best choice for home defense. They don't hiccup and 9mms do the job, especially when you have double digit capacity. I personally prefer a caliber that starts with a 4, but right this second, I have a 9mm GLOCK 17 beside my bed with a 33 round factory mag in it. It's short and maneuverable, the 9mm has enough umph to do the job - especially 3 or 4 rounds in 2 seconds or so - and it isn't likely to injur neighbors whose walls are 12 feet from my own outside wall.

    just my $.02
     
  18. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    This is an opinion only, and many of the most respected firearms trainers now suggest carbines instead.

    As far as understanding physics, an expanding round at higher velocity will tend to have less penetration than an expanding round at lower velocity. Bring on the physics! :neener:

    The thing to do, is practice enough to be sure you hit what you aim at with your SKS. Then go buy some decent expanding ammunition. SP is available from Winchester, Remington, and ballistic tip from Georgia Arms.

    As far as worrying about what will penetrate most, that's too easy to test to worry much about, and dither with a hundred, sometimes ill-educated responses. Go get some milk jugs, fill them with water, and test for yourself.

    John
     
  19. BeJaRa

    BeJaRa Member

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    Any of your 3 firearms that you mentioned will get the job done. the pistols are more manuverable but the SKS is not so long you can't manuver effectivly in a house. Also the SKS doubles as a mighty nasty club if the need arrises or even a defensive tool if say you get too close to someone with a knife. I am not an expert in any type of fighting, but the long arm would seem to be a more versatile and formitable weapon. with that said overpenatration can be a serious problem. For HD I have a p94 40sw that will get me to my 870 express, if that won't handle the problem i am screwed anyway
     
  20. Trempel

    Trempel Member

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    The best is whatever you shoot the best. If you can put a .22LR round into the eye socket of a moving target at up to 15 yards, every single time, than use that. Personally for me, I'm terrible with revolvers, a little better with semi-auto pistols, okay with shotguns, and pretty comfortable with a carbine.
    Overpenetration is an issue that's given too much attention, IMO. I don't trust ANY round out of ANY platform not to overpenetrate. Watch your general direction of fire and know for a fact that you're probably going to miss with some rounds, even at a very short range. I don't think anyone can claim that they'll put every single shot into the bad guy, especially when you're surprised and under stress. And no one can be sure that every one of those rounds that do connect will remain inside the body. If you know that there're people on the other side of the wall next to which the BG is standing, then you have some thinking to do. Preferably that you perform that thinking beforehand.
     
  21. shappy0869

    shappy0869 Member

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    Something else to consider, and has already been brought up once in this thread, is the ability to have a hand free to either illuminate the target with a light or to be able to dial 911 with a phone.

    This thread is a perfect example.
     
  22. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Member

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    In lieu of a 12 gauge a high cap 9mm would be my choice.

    with good ammo you'll get the job done
     
  23. go_bang

    go_bang Member

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    My preference between an SKS, .357, or Ruger P89 for HD would be the P89.

    As I see it several big factors favor the P89. First, it is cheap to shoot. This is very important because you want to spend a lot of time practicing with whatever gun is going to be your primary. Second, it has a lot less muzzle flash than the .357. You can get around this by shooting .38 or .38 +P out of the .357 revolver, but then you might as well go back to the 9mm because the ballistics are similar. Third, the P89 will allow for faster follow-up shots.

    I would consider the 686 to be a secondary HD weapon unless that is the gun you're most familiar with. Again, I'd keep it loaded with .38's to reduce the amount of muzzle flash, kick, and noise.
     
  24. Soap

    Soap Member

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    John,

    If the expansion is held constant, then I agree with you completely. But, I think we can say that a hollowpoint 7.62x39mm will not expand in the same manner as a .357 hollowpoint.
     
  25. TargetTerror

    TargetTerror Member

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    These are all things I had considered with the P89, but my main issue with using it is that I bought it primarily as a range gun that can shoot cheap 9mm ammo. And cheap 9mm means FMJ. Hollow points are typically twice the price of FMJ if I'm lucky, and usually a lot more, so I have yet to buy a box. I've heard/read that any ammo shoudl be able to run ~200 rounds through the gun before carrying, and I think that seems reasonable. I don't feel justified in spending the several hundred dollars it would cost to run 200 rounds of high quality HP 9mm ammo through the gun.

    Also, most 9mm SD ammor looks to be +p. Is taht safe in the P89?

    I do, however, feel very comfortable with how the FMJ 9mm cycles. Enough that I would trust my life to it (at least for it to shoot and cycle). How much would I be limiting myself by using FMJ instead of HP? Penetration would be higher, which could be good with a 9mm as it is not the most powerful round to begin with. Over-penetration could also be more likely, though I would think much/most of the energy would probably be used up passing through the BG.

    Any of you military guys have any first hand experience with the effectiveness/penetration/over-penetration of FMJ 9mm?
     
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