Caliber / Platform for home defense?

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by JW357, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Ok guys, this is a serious question. Not a tongue-in-cheek thread.

    When we buy our house, sometime in the next year or so, my plan is to place a wall safe inside certain rooms strategically inside the house. Each wall safe would have a handgun, extra ammo, magazines/speed loaders, a flashlight, and maybe some other small things for emergency or home-invasion, last ditch-effort, type situations.

    I am trying to decide what the best caliber for inside the safes will be. Yes, I will have a shotgun for inside the bedroom. I'm talking about a handgun in a safe, just in case I don't have time to get into the bedroom from my living room, for example.

    I want something which doesn't have much threat of over-penetrating with self-defense ammo loaded. Also, muzzle flash is a consideration. Bear in mind I'll be living in Kalifornia for at least a few more years, so I want to get as much as I can out of the 10 round limit. I'm thinking honestly at this point either a .45 ACP or a .44 Magnum loaded with .44 Specials.

    I know some people would say "whatever you shoot the best," "any caliber is fine if you're comfortable with it," etc. I don't want to hear that garbage. I can learn to shoot any caliber and so can my wife. Neither one of us is particularly recoil shy. We will train accordingly with whatever platform and caliber we choose.

    Also, these guns inside the safes will not be shot terribly often. We will establish proficiency on the handgun, and will maintain proficiency on the handgun. I'm not even sure safe queens are the proper term here, because at least with safe queens you are usually proud of it. Pride in the firearms isn't an issue here. I want something I know is going to function when I need it (I'm leaning towards the revolver, for this reason - I don't like the idea of magazines, to be honest).

    Am I overlooking anything? Like I said, I'm currently leaning towards a .44 Magnum loaded with Specials. But I don't have any experience yet with .44s. Is there fear of over-penetration and extreme muzzle flash with Specials?

    Also, since these weapons aren't going to be my pride-and-joy handguns, I'm not too interested in spending gobs and gobs of money. Enough to get a reliable handgun, absolutely. If that means I HAVE to spend $800 (for example), then so be it. But if a Taurus .44 Magnum is going to function fine for this intended purpose, then I'll get that.

    Sorry for the long post. I hope it was clear and I didn't talk in circles too much.
     
  2. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    Buy a 20ga shotgun . Forget the 44 mag. If you got a have pistol then buy a 45acp use federal guard dog ammo as its made for home defense and tends to not go thru to many walls. See what fits your hand and fits your buget. Rent to see how you shoot it and find one to buy . I would still buy the shotgun as a women or child can easily learn how to use it well.
     

  3. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    You must've missed the part where I said I'm gonna have a shotgun in my bedroom.

    The handgun(s) is/are for use in a small wall safe.

    I'll look into the federal guard dog ammo. Thanks.
     
  4. 180baseball

    180baseball New Member

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    I'd get a 1911, they are reliable, and shoot the .45 Acp. Also, check out some of Hornady's hd rounds
     
  5. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I keep my carry gun in the night stand most nights. But it is mostly because I don't like a bunch of guns laying around. I have a S&W 629. It is a 4 inch 44 mag. I like a revolver for home defense. When it comes to close quarters I don't want to be concerned about a malfunction. My autos all run great. But a revolver just gives me extra peace of mind. That 44 has spent many a night in my night stand.

    When it comes to over-penetration...any ammo is going to go through a wall. You would be better off thinking about indoor tactics than worrying about caliber. When it comes to shooting at someone inside your home you can change the trajectory of your bullet. Drop down to your knees. The round will now be going upward. If you miss the round will be headed up toward the ceiling instead of the level of a bed.
     
  6. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    One thought is that no matter what you get, get basically the same thing for all places.

    A 1911 mag will fit another 1911, a Glock mag should fit the same model Glock.
     
  7. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 New Member

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    And Glocks are cheap.
     
  8. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    Ya with the overload of unneeded info I sure did miss the shotgun. With you looking at basically any ole handgun revolver or pistol so long as it a big caliber and all the you don't want here this or that get to your fav-o-rite gun shop and pick out what your budget can stand as it seems you want a few of them. Maybe a box full of no pride and joy highpoint 45's will do . The price is right and they tend to allways go bang. or with your liking of revolvers go get a box full of charter arms bull dogs. Skip right over the 44mag as your only using 44 sp loads.

    Bottom line is only you know what the you want. Go get um.
     
  9. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Yeah, sorry. I hate to be that guy that posts "what's the best gun for home defense?" So I prefer to post too much info, if it helps people narrow down the choices.
     
  10. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    Great stopping power, the round doesn't over penetrate, because it

    was designed by JMB for use against attackers.

    There are dependable brands in the 500$ range all

    day long.
     
  11. bluez

    bluez Well-Known Member

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    For a handgun that is to be stored long term , needs to work when picked up w/o prep and needs to be extra simple since you will get only a little range time on it the choice is clear - a Revolver.

    For an all rounder a 357 Mag is hard to beat but you did say you were worried about over penetration so either load 38 spc HP's in your .357 Revolvers OR by inexpensive 38 spc revolvers for this application.
     
  12. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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    2 or 3 Ruger SR45s are worth consideration.
     
  13. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    If I get a .45 it'll prolly be in the entry level 1911 category, such as RIA with some good magazines, such as Wilson Combat.

    Currently my defense rounds are Hornady Critical Duty for 9mm.

    Good thoughts, thanks Rick. I've definitely considered tactics in my current house. Unfortunately right now I have no idea how my future house will be setup.

    Was already planning on getting the same thing for all of them, if we end up with multiple wall safes. For example, all Charter Bulldogs (just as an example).

    Ehh will prolly never own a Glock, although truth be told they might fill this niche very nicely for me. Although I might want something heavier, for recoil reduction and therefore faster target reacquisition.
     
  14. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Fair points. Basically why the .45 is among my top choices.

    Exactly, although I was thinking the .44 Special because n my mind (and of course I could be wrong) it is less penetrating than the .357 Magnum?

    Actually the SR45 is another one I'm considering. Good solid weight, and I've heard nothing but good things about the SR series.
     
  15. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    When people talk about over penetration they usually dont realize the damage a bullet can do. When I took my concealed carry class they told us about a test they did. They made a 2x4 frame with a piece of sheetrock on it, then another frame, then sheetrock. They set it on the range and shot it with a 45 acp. It went through 18 pieces of sheetrock. It only went through 18 because that is all they had. Think about that. That would go through 9 walls if it didn't hit a stud. And it would still be going.

    You are not going to be able to find a round that will be effective for self defense that will not penetrate a wall and end up going through a bedroom or something like that.
     
  16. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Interesting. So why do so many people look for the most penetrating round? It seems like they should be trying to do the opposite...
     
  17. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion, I would want to use a round that would penetrate deep but still stop before exiting the body. Jacketed hollow points do that pretty well. Now when we are talking about full powered 44 mag loads and stuff like that you are going to over penetrate no matter what type of bullet you use.
     
  18. 95sniper

    95sniper New Member

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    Actually the 357 loaded with 38 specials would be less powerful. I would second the sr45.
     
  19. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    I agree. It seems to be a fine line, though. Over penetration, vs under penetration. The human body is only so wide, chest to back. I know the FBI's minimum penetration standard is 12 inches, right? That seems like too much to me. I'm sure they know better than I do, though.

    Way do you think of .44 Special vs .45 ACP for the purposes in this thread (SD ammo, of course).
     
  20. icallshotgun88

    icallshotgun88 New Member

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    Here is why .45 ACP is the best choice for you..

    1. You live in California (me too) and you can only have a 10 round magazine so you might as well have a larger round.

    2. A .45 has quite a bit less penetration (than 9mm, .40, 10mm and .44 magnum/special) and although it will still penetrate through all the walls in your house, use hollow points and penetration will be drastically reduced.

    3. .45 ACP ammo is plentiful (at least where I'm at in nor cal) even during the ammo shortages.

    That's really about it.

    I'd like to say that I'm doing almost the EXACT same thing you're doing...
    I keep a Mossberg 590A1 right next to my bed and I have various .45 caliber pistols in different rooms throughout the house (loaded w/ an extra mag) just in case...I don't have kids in the house so I feel comfortable doing this.

    Of course I have rifles in case the SHTF, but you can't beat a 12 gauge and a few pistols scattered (and hidden yet easily accessible) throughout the house.

    Sorry for the lengthy response but I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013