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Your handgun seems great, until you actually need it.

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by Balrog, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

    Jul 25, 2010
    Southwestern Illinois
    Hanging on the gun rack next to my bed are three guns. The first one I would grab is a 12 ga. SxS with double triggers. Its advantage is that I can fire both barrels at the same time. One side has a 3" "00" buck (15 pellets) with a skeet 1 choke while the other side has a 3" #4 buck (40 pellets) with an IC choke. That's 55 pellets in one cloud and I don't aim at "center mass" as they might have armor. Aim for the groin and legs to take them down.
    Also on this rack are a .357 revolver in its holster and belt with two speedloaders and, above that, an AK with a 40 rd. banana. And BOTH guns have "mixed ammo". The .357 has 158 gr. JHPs and JSP-FPs and the AK has milsurp 124 gr. HPs, 124 gr. FMJs, and 124 gr. PSPs.
    I've only had one instance of having to draw down on somebody in my home and I pray that I never have to shoot anybody. The neighborhood where I used to live had some problem residents and their friends and, thankfully, I no longer live there. Where I live now is a dead-end subdivision of middle-aged to older residents and is usually very quiet. We have had a couple of burglaries in the dozen years I have lived here and we have some leased/rental properties when there aren't supposed to be any.
    And, while I have various guns and "other weapons" stashed around the house, I'm grateful that I don't feel the need to carry in my own home.
  2. Rexster

    Rexster Member

    Mar 25, 2007
    SE Texas
    Random thoughts, in no particular order:

    For most of my LE career, my only authorized long gun has been a shotgun, and until relatively recently, I was expected to defend my home using the same weapons with which I had qual'ed for duty/back-up and personal-time public carry. Even though it is now OK to use non-authorized weapons for home defense, I am still using a shotgun as my long gun of choice, due to a much longer period of familiarity, and because the Benelli M2 that goes to work with me, each night, is normally going to be nearer at hand. I do not normally open our long-gun-sized safe multiple times a day.

    A defender with greater familiarity with the AR15 family of weapons is probably better-served by the AR15. Properly-selected .223/.5.56 ammo is not overly-penetrative, in typical residential building materials, when compared to modern controlled-expansion JHP handgun ammo.

    A minimal-legal-length AR15 is noticeably more compact than my Benelli M2. My prior duty shotgun, a Remington 870P, has a Magpul stock, with no spacers installed, so the weapon is notably shorter than my Benelli, but I prefer the Benelli Comfortech stock, specifically, and the handling qualities of longer stocks, in general. I keep the short stock on my 870P so that smaller-statured members of the household can use it.

    If I am stalking a burglar or other intruder, I want to have both the shotgun and handgun, and will transition between them as necessary. (Most private citizens should not stalk burglars/intruders, especially if without a similarly-trained partner.) I am left-eye dominant, so shoot long guns best lefty, while my "primary" handgun holster is at 0300. This makes for a very seamless transition. This does not mean I am continuously transitioning during a building search; there are techniques for handling a shotgun in tight spaces, but there will be some times I will want to tuck the shotgun very closely, draw the handgun, and hold it at High #2. A properly-set-up sling would allow me to let the shotgun hang, should I need a free hand, or both hands on the pistol.

    I am one of the relative few officers, still on patrol, in my area, trained to breach with a shotgun. This is one reason I keep carrying a shotgun, and do not worry so much that I aged-out of our timed, athletic patrol rifle qual course. (No, I did not get too big. Bad knees and other afflictions.) Would there ever be a place for breaching, in a home defense scenario? Well, in our present home, an extremely small chance, but I will not rule out breaching to reach particularly important persons who live very near us, and are considered full equivalent to family. Breaching with buckshot must be considered VERY carefully, with due regard for EVERY risk and consequence. Let's keep in mind that breaching can be a way OUT of a building, not just to get inside. (Remember the mass homicide at Virginia Tech? The actor chained the exit doors, to keep his victims from fleeing.) The architecture of some homes might make them vulnerable to a similar tactic. I realize that this paragraph might be a bit on the fringe.

    We do have early-warning systems in place, both living and electronic, which I will not specify. These systems help to give me time to don the duty belt, or other rig, and prepare to either defend in-place, or go mobile, either to reach other family member(s), or re-deploy to a better position. (Being a peace officer, with a radio to communicate with responding colleagues, I can exercise options not available to most home defenders.)

    In case it is not clear, I am not disagreeing with those who prefer the AR15, (or other suitable rifle,) for home defense. The .223/5.56 rifle does have its undeniable advantages. For a while, I very much believed a rifle was my best option, too, and kept a Mini-14 staged for ready deployment. The smooth performance of the Benelli M2 tipped the balance, in my environment, back to the shotgun. I had prior familiarity with the Benelli system, with an M1 Super 90, but its stock design resulted in brutal punishment when shooting. The M2 has significant improvements.

    I may edit, or add, after further review, and my second caffeination.
    Phaedrus/69 likes this.
  3. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

    Dec 25, 2011
    What's the difference?
  4. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

    Mar 15, 2009
    If the handgun you carry is not something you would want to rely on during a home burglary / robbery / invasion may want to rethink it.
    Limited to something that is concealable, suitable for carry, most would rather have a Glock 19/17 - 23/22 ect... than a snub in that ^ scenario.
    Some are content with a snub or pocket pistol for carry, perhaps they can't carry more due to wearing work attire. Understandable.
    However, can't =/= won't
    Some won't dress around a larger* pistol (for whatever reason) even though they could. (*Larger than a pocket pistol, snub)
    Ironically the same type people (criminal / psycho) that would break into their house are the ones they encounter in public.
    If they are satisfied that a snub or pocket gun is suitable for defense outside the home - it should serve equally well at their residence. ;)

    If I carry a Glock 19 and consider it suitable 1st pick for protection at home (assume 12 GA / AR15 not an option - discussion sake) that's consistent.
    If a snub sufficient for carry (could carry larger, choose not too) but would want larger at home that's inconsistent. (Potentially same threat)
    If a snub is good enough wherever, that's consistent.
    This is not about the gun, its about logic.
  5. everydefense

    everydefense Member

    Nov 10, 2016
    It's there if you need to grab it, without the nuisance of lugging it around with you everywhere.
    JTHunter likes this.
  6. huntsman

    huntsman Member

    Apr 11, 2003
    ohio's northcoast
    ^then you are using the wrong gun, an LCP in the pocket is hardly noticeable yet provides protection when I at the spur moment decide to walk down the drive to get the mail.
    Trunk Monkey likes this.
  7. everydefense

    everydefense Member

    Nov 10, 2016
    There is practically no foot traffic in my cul-de-sac, and the few that do are all neighbors walking their dog or kids playing basketball in their driveway. If unexpected trouble did spring up while in my front yard, I am a <5 second sprint away from getting back into the open garage and mashing the garage door button before going inside to grab a gun (while remaining inside).

    I have no problem with others carrying in and around their home, but I always feel very safe without one on me, where I live. YMMV
    JTHunter likes this.
  8. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Within the lightning
    Some good points raised (and belatedly remembered ;) ), but the title says quite a bit on its own.

    I figured that out as a young cop who carried an issued .357 Magnum service revolver. The duty handgun felt fine, until you realized you really wished you'd grabbed the 870. That was when I realized that having the handgun meant I was armed, but being able to grab the 870 was when I started to feel "well armed". Nowadays it would be either the 870 or the patrol rifle, depending on the circumstances. (I'm one of those old guys who still believes, even though having been a patrol rifle instructor for many years, that the 870 12GA shotgun is still a viable option for appropriate circumstances.)

    For those situations when you can't reasonably have a shotgun or rifle on your person - (meaning most of us going through our normal daily activities as private citizens, including retired peace officers) - that's when it has to be hoped that a lawfully concealed handgun, or one that's handily at hand at home, proves to be comforting "enough".

    As with any other gear, tool, etc ...

    It's hardly ever the "gear" that's the complete "answer" to a problem, but the knowledge, skillset and abilities of the user ... and that may well mean any planning and preparations that have gone into being able to forestall a problem from becoming a problem, or better addressing it than just having to rely upon some last minute bit of gear grabbed.
    Rexster and scaatylobo like this.
  9. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

    Feb 7, 2004
    As they say... "Once the fight starts no one ever wished for a lighter gun or less ammo". And I'll add they never wished for a less powerful gun either.

    As Brother Murphy says..

    1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns.

    And the most important rule for unarmed combat:

    1: Never be unarmed.

  10. Old Guy

    Old Guy Member

    May 28, 2005
    I just read all the whole 4 pages, very interesting.
    Everybody has there own solutions, to this actual problem, that actually happened.
    I carry everyday, carry at home. Glock 19 4th Gen. I shoot it well, 3 bedroom town house, bedrooms on second floor. Only my Wife and I live here. At 81 YOA, I awake instantly, my Wife, not so much.
    It sits in my track pants pocket, or on the bedside table when I turn in.
    To break in, you would make a lot of noise. Left pocket Cell phone, right pistol.

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