Which pistol caliber is best for home defense in an urban enviroment?
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:45 AM   #1
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Default Which pistol caliber is best for home defense in an urban enviroment?

40 s&w, 45 acp, or 9mm? Also how many rounds should it hold? it will be by my bedside at all times so it will also serve as my get up and go emergency pistol to get to point a to point b if an emergency like a hurricane or something were to happen so what size should it be? A Full duty size? Compact? Sub compact? i live in condo/apartment kinda house. All of my neighbors houses are connected from left to right if i where to cut a hole in the dry wall id probably be able to see my neighbors. the walls are not thick at all. i do not want to over penetrate, which pistol caliber would be best to use? Right now im thinking a 45 acp with hollow point ammo so atleast the bullet will open up and slow down on contact. My primary would be a 12 guage loaded with.. Im not sure yet haha but can anyone share some input or advice? Please and thank you!

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Old 03-05-2013, 09:15 AM   #2
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If there are 20 posters in this thread you will likely get 25 different answers and a couple will say 12 ga. even though you specified pistol.

I have several chambered in .40 but you have to decide what is best for you after researching. Good Luck.

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Old 03-05-2013, 09:18 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by hq357 View Post
40 s&w, 45 acp, or 9mm? Also how many rounds should it hold? it will be by my bedside at all times so it will also serve as my get up and go emergency pistol to get to point a to point b if an emergency like a hurricane or something were to happen so what size should it be? A Full duty size? Compact? Sub compact? i live in condo/apartment kinda house. All of my neighbors houses are connected from left to right if i where to cut a hole in the dry wall id probably be able to see my neighbors. the walls are not thick at all. i do not want to over penetrate, which pistol caliber would be best to use? Right now im thinking a 45 acp with hollow point ammo so atleast the bullet will open up and slow down on contact. My primary would be a 12 guage loaded with.. Im not sure yet haha but can anyone share some input or advice? Please and thank you!
you do know you are going to get at least a hundred different answers and suggestions on this?

my personal suggestion would be a shotgun if over penatration is a concern. a pump with an 18-20" barrel loaded with heavy birdshot. it's my personal choice. highly doubtful that any shot would be over 30' in your apartment. at that distance, it would do lots of damage to a BG, but still not be of concern of over penetration.

there will be those who will flame on me for this choice, and say only buckshot is good enough and birdshot isn't. well let them flame! i have done my own informal tests at 30 feet and have found that #4 birdshot will penetrate 1/2" plywood, drywall and even the steel in a cars quarter panel. usually about a 6-8" shot spread at that distance.

but you need to make your own decision. this is just my suggestion and thoughts. if you are interested, i can provide more details.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:36 PM   #4
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Look at the website "the box o truth". There was a lot if time spent on that site testing rounds for penetration through dry wall.

Hollow points need fluid forced into the cavity to reliably expand. They don't perform the same way on drywall.

As far as 9 vs. .40, vs. .45 goes, they are all just handgun rounds. None are GREAT stoppers. Modern ammo tends to make them pretty close in performance. Not exactly the same but close. Pick a caliber you shoot well and can find ammo for.

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Old 03-05-2013, 12:42 PM   #5
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you do know you are going to get at least a hundred different answers and suggestions on this?

my personal suggestion would be a shotgun if over penatration is a concern. a pump with an 18-20" barrel loaded with heavy birdshot. it's my personal choice. highly doubtful that any shot would be over 30' in your apartment. at that distance, it would do lots of damage to a BG, but still not be of concern of over penetration.

there will be those who will flame on me for this choice, and say only buckshot is good enough and birdshot isn't. well let them flame! i have done my own informal tests at 30 feet and have found that #4 birdshot will penetrate 1/2" plywood, drywall and even the steel in a cars quarter panel. usually about a 6-8" shot spread at that distance.

but you need to make your own decision. this is just my suggestion and thoughts. if you are interested, i can provide more details.
Thanx Axxe
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:47 PM   #6
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The best round for home defense is the one that you can shoot acurately. If you try to use a 40 but cant hit anything but the wall behind the perp you would have been better off with a 22. Find a gun that you can handle. If you can shoot a 9 inch paper plate at living room distances then you are good to go. If you ever have to pull the trigger for real, aim for the center of the chest and pray that God is with you.

Too many people get in the 9mm vs 40 vs 45 fight. Just find a gun that you can shoot. Then practice, pratice, practice. Then practice some more.

I like a full sized gun for the night stand. If you dont need to conceal it a big gun is much easier to control. The heavier the better with big calibers.

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Old 03-05-2013, 12:50 PM   #7
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best round is one chambered in a gun that you are proficient with, can hit the target easily, and is as close to 100% reliable as can be made.

i would suggest going and renting some guns at a range even if it means a drive to get there. taking a day trip to rent a selection of guns is cheaper than buying guns at random until you find one you like.

my wife and i choose for our main defensive firearm in the home are: bravo company mid length carbine, for handguns we use springfield XDM in 45 and 9mm and berreta m9A1 in 9mm. we also have a 12ga shotgun handy loaded with 00buck.

birdshot even at close range isnt that effective on goblins. minimum size shot for defense is BB shot. 00buck 2-3/4 is the gold standard round for goblin stopping.

what i pick and what my wife picks is going to be different than what you pick so picking my choices without you trying things out yourself is pointless but it does give you a starting point.

the first tenant of self defense is: HAVE A GUN!!

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Old 03-05-2013, 01:48 PM   #8
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1 1/8 ounces of 7 1/2 shot at 30 feet is very deadly. I don't really think any thin skinned critter like a human will survive it. The bird shot is not likely to go thru other walls.

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Old 03-05-2013, 01:56 PM   #9
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If your walls are that thin and you are that close perhaps a paintball gun would be best. Seriously, you need to be very careful as you certainly don't want to put a round through the BG and then have it take out the person in the room nextdoor.

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Old 03-05-2013, 02:14 PM   #10
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As was stated above pick a caliber and gun you are comfortable and proficient with. Get frangible ammo and make sure it cycles reliably and practice.

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