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Winchester model 94 as home defense gun.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by WonderNine, Mar 1, 2003.

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  1. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    I've been thinking for a few months about what is the perfect closet gun for home defense on my limited gun budget.

    I've been looking at 12 gauge (really want a 10 gauge, but they don't make em anymore) coach guns because they are so cool, but the limitation there is limited capacity although you can get two rounds off really quick and you can't miss with a 12 gauge at close range. In the end I've decided for right now that they're too expensive (for a decent quality one with exposed true hammers).

    I've also been looking at M48's and K98 Mausers in 8mm. I really want to get some of these rifles, but you gotta clean that cosmoline off and they're 50 years old and bolt action is more cumbersome than lever action at close range. The plus is that it will shoot through body armor.

    Sooooo....I've finally settled on buying my father's 1974 30/30 caliber Winchester model 94 w/50 rounds of 150 grain ammo for $150 :D 7 + 1 rounds of rifle caliber ammo. Can't go wrong there.

    It will serve dual purpose as a plinker and deer rifle.

    The gun has a little bit of slightly visible surface rust (I hear this is common), but otherwise there is not a mark on it and it has rarely been fired. I think I made the right decision.
     
  2. swampgator

    swampgator Member

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    Rule #1: Have a Gun.

    The 30-30 is a good round, and the 94 is a proven action. Enjoy.
     
  3. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    Browning still makes 10 Gauges. I believe 24" is the shortest bbl. You can get 22" in an add on bbl, I think?

    Browning Firearm Products

    Pump
    [​IMG]

    Semi-Auto
    [​IMG]
     
  4. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    Sorry, I'm not interested in pumps. They can jam and I believe pumps negate alot of their advantage at close range because you have to pump it to chamber the next round.

    And they just don't have the cool factor that SxS coach guns do :D
     
  5. SKN

    SKN Member

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    I'd suggest that if you are going to use that 30/30 as a home defense tool on the interior of your residence that you:

    1) tactically map your home so you know which are the 'free fire' walls and which are the 'no fire' walls so that misses which overpenetrate will backstop harmelessly;

    2) practice a lot, some in low light and without hearing protection unless you have included hearing protection in your home defense plan, to reduce the potential for missing.
     
  6. JPM70535

    JPM70535 Member

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    A double barrel shotgun, either 12 or 1o ga. is a good home defense gun bearing in mind its limitations. At normal home distances, 12-15 feet, a shotgun pattern is not going to be very large. You will still have to aim to assure hitting your target.

    I would not recommend a 30-30 for an ONLY home defense gun. While it is certainly better than no gun at all, it will suffer from the same restrictions as the shotgun,ie you will have to aim at the target. In addition as has been mentioned, you have to be concerned with the over penetration properties of that caliber. An interior wall wont even see that bullet. (Be sure of what is beyond the wall) The rifle (and the shotgun as well) has an overall length that restricts how fast it can be brought on target. IMO your best bet would be to purchase a used 38/357 revolver. They are not expensive and will give you the ability to load whatever type ammo is appropriate to your situation. A Magsafe or some other frangible loading will give you an excellent stopper with little over penetration, and you can still load rounds that will let you shoot through interior walls or hollow core doors if the need should arise.

    Having said all that, your 30-30 is better than the alternative, and recalls the old adage, "First rule of gunfighting, Have a Gun"


    GOD MADE MAN, SAM COLT MADE THEM ALL EQUAL!!!
     
  7. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    SKN, I thank you for the friendly advice, but I believe you make it more complicated than it truly is. The odds of a 30/30 penetrating the wall and killing someone outside OR indoors that you don't want to hit in a home defense shootout is alot less than the odds of somebody breaking into your home.

    I have practiced ALOT under low light conditions with 9mm and .357 in sub freezing temperatures, but not with rifle rounds. I've also made a point to shoot different loads without hearing protection at the local outdoor range. That is part of the reason why I carry Remington Golden Sabers in my carry gun and larger grain bullets (less noise to create the same energy at close range) are loaded in my 6.5" barrel Ruger Blackhawk. Full house magnums don't make the energy out of a shorter barrel anyways to make it worth the extra noise and recoil.
     
  8. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    Me either. That's why I would have my .357 Blackhawk as backup or a good 9mm such as a Browning Hi-Power, which I recently traded to my father for the Blackhawk plus ca$h. :D

    I load the 6.5" barrel Blackhawk with 165 grain Remington Core Lokt's for the penetration and power minus the noise of a lighter grain. I load my short barreled .357 with 125 grain Golden Sabers.
     
  9. Sir Galahad

    Sir Galahad member

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    Don't underestimate the power of a 30/30 to overpenetrate. I've heard of a self-defense shooting where a SKS was used and that round went through the bad guy and then through two houses. The 30/30 and 7.62x39mm are very similar ballistically. I've put 7.62x39 rounds through a froghair under a quarter inch of plate steel at 80 feet. At household ranges, the 30/30 will probably not even expand. If you live in a rural area without close neighbors, that's one thing. But if you have neighbors right next door, I would never condone the use of a high powered rifle unless you have a full scale riot going on out front and you have to defend your life. All it takes is the round you shot an intruder with to exit him, go through your wall, and then go through a 7 year old next door neighbor girl for a good shoot to turn into possible murder charges. They will crucify you, because they'll look through your history and see posts from you here that say you were warned about overpenetration. Don't think they won't access the net in an investigation. They wouldn't even need to anyway. They could find any number of "expert witnesses" to say that you knowingly made a poor choice even in light of the facts known to most shooters and firearms aficianados.

    Pump shotguns unreliable??? On what planet? When people think of words to describe Winchester 1300 Defenders, Remington 870s, or Mossbergs, "unreliable" is not one of them.

    A valuable piece of advice. When selecting weapons for self-defense, the criteria of "cool" should not be the deciding factor. What WORKS should be.
     
  10. Soap

    Soap Member

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    What Sir Galahad said.
     
  11. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    I'll echo the warning on overpenetration. The 30/30 is a little more powerful than the 7.62x39. When it hits drywall and wood, it's unlikely to expand. It'll just act like a 7.62x39 and go through till its kinetic energy is lost. Should go through an interior wall, an exterior wall, maybe a fence, through somebody elses exterior wall, and still have enough energy to kill a Woman while she caries her infant child in her ARMS MR. HORIUCHI!!! :fire: ..... Wait, wrong rant.

    I'd like to take issue with you that pump actions jam... they are less likely in MY experience to jam than are lever actions. Next to an autoloader, pumps are as fast as it gets.

    Don't EVER use a single action as a home defense gun. That's a lawsuit waiting to happen. I'll let others chime in on this one if they want.

    These things being said, the 30/30 is actually a choice I have made in the past for home defense. Know what your backstop will be and be careful not to hurt anybody innocent trying to defend yourself.
     
  12. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    Wondernine, I believe you have to chamber the next round on a lever gun too.
    :D

    I would worry about the over penetration of a 30-30 round inside the home. I know you have spoke of odds but, everyone always thinks that until it's too late.

    I have hunted with these things and seen them blow out the back of tree trunks after going thru game. Not an enviable thing for the home.

    My .02
     
  13. Kestrel

    Kestrel Member

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    Wondernine,

    What SxS coach guns have you looked at that were better than the cheap ones? I would also like a good quality model with exposed hammers.

    Steve
     
  14. Braz

    Braz Member

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    EAA has some under $300.

    W9, check the SASS forums for some good side by side info. I've got a lever .44 carbine and it handles quickly without as much penetration as a .30-30. But for urban home protection I'd take my 1300 12g every time. If I could afford one, a quality, high capacity auto shotgun would be nice, but a pump doesn't suck. :) With some practice, they are very effective at close ranges.

    Get the lever gun anyway, of course. ;) They are true scout guns and can do so much outside the house. A good defensive pump shotgun can be bought later for $200 or so. Lot'sa low recoil shot to choose from too. Have fun.
     
  15. DMK

    DMK Member

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    OK, so you don't like pump shotties. What's wrong with a semi-auto 12Ga? Bennelli has one that's good enough for the Marine Corps.

    Methinks you need to talk with Dave McC over in the shotgun forum. He'll straighten you out! ;) :D
     
  16. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    Well the Rossi's would be better and have actual hammers. I've been watching this one for the past two months. Somebody finally bid on it the other day. There is one and a half days left in the auction.

    The Rossi can accept 3" magnum shells and doesn't have the automatic safety that is now required by law. (Very lame law) I don't think it can use 3.5" though. And its 12 gauge not 10.
     
  17. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    What are you talking about?
     
  18. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    Guys and gals, the thing is I WANT PENETRATION. If you've got 3 guys invading your home and are wearing body armor, you want all the penetration through their body armor you can get.
     
  19. DMK

    DMK Member

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    That's easy, get a CZ-52 for a sidearm. :)
     
  20. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    That's been my plan for awhile now. I still think I'd rather stick to something more reliable like a revolver or larger capacity like a 9mm Hi-Power though.
     
  21. megatronrules

    megatronrules Member

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    The 30-30 is not the best choice in a home defense caliber. It will punch through walls. Handguns are a good choice for home defense. Shotguns with the right loads are good as well. There are better choices than a 30-30 for house use though.

    3 guys with body armor? Did you piss off the wrong people, or live in a really bad area? :D j/k
     
  22. Steven Mace

    Steven Mace Member

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    And you would all probably think I'm insane to want a Marlin 336 chambered in .35 Remington for the same purpose.

    Steve Mace
     
  23. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    I won't touch that with a 10ft pole. :neener:



    Seriously, you hit someone wearing 3 vests with a 10ga slug or 12ga 3 1/2" slug at 7 to 20', the next 5 minutes is your opportunity to do anything you want with them because if it didn't kill em, bring on cardiac arrest or break ribs they will at least need that long to get air back in their lungs. ;)
     
  24. KPersimmon

    KPersimmon Member

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    Re: .30-30 as home defense cartridge


    I work in law enforcement and had occasion to see the results of a recent shooting (head shot) involving this cartridge and can report with some confidence that the result would definitely not be something you'd want to see inside your house--assuming you actually hit the intruder. The bullet (a 150 grain softpoint, as I recall) penetrated windshield glass, struck the victim's forehead, destroying at least half the skull and brain, and exited the rear window before it traveled some 50 feet and embedded in a hill. Essentially, the victim's brains were blown out in this shooting, which was the result of a family squabble between two intoxicated individuals.

    (Sorry if I was overly graphic, but I just felt I had to report this.)

    So this is why I personally couldn't okay the .30-30 as an acceptable home-defense cartridge.
     
  25. CTgunteacher

    CTgunteacher Member

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    If you're seriously concerned about goblins equipped with armor, I imagine you must be living in an urban area, since I've never heard of armored (non-government) thugs invading homes in rural areas. "Urban area" equals neighbors, and you'll be held accountable for every shot you unleash.

    .30-30 offers good penetration, great stopping ability, and will defeat soft armor. However, hard armor will stop it, as it will just about anything else you might have for home defense. But a .223 will also defeat soft armor with lesser danger to neighbors or family members. So why not just get a .223 semiauto? .223 will zip through soft armor, but has reasonably low penetration in building materials. See tests at Gunsite and various fed and local police agencies. You can pick up a used Mini-14 for not too much money. It's loud to fire indoors, but so is a .30-30. A semiauto rifle obviously isn't dependent on the shooter for functioning like a manually-operated pump or lever gun.

    I'm, umm, not really sure about the Mini-14's "cool factor," though. :rolleyes:

    You can certainly miss with a shotgun, especially at in-house distances. Shotguns don't offer much in the way of penetration on armor, but you can always shoot for the head if need be. Even a non-penetrating hit from a 12 gauge on soft armor will take the wind out of most anyone's sails, as another poster noted.

    This also has to be the first thread I've ever seen that accused the Remington 870 of being unreliable (!!!). Shooters may be unreliable and short-stroke the gun, but the 870 is one of the most reliable firearms ever designed. A Winchester 94, while a great rifle, is certainly no more reliable than an 870. Most people will tell you that it is considerably less so, in fact. An unreliable shooter can cause a lever action rifle to malfunction as easily as a pump shotgun.

    A minor plus for the Winchester is that it is about as politically-correct a rifle as you're likely to find. This may matter more to some shooters than others, especially depending on where they live.

    If you're concerned about reliability under stress, pass on the military bolt guns. Shooter error can jam these as easily as a pump shotgun.

    Mike
     
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