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Opinions on best 12 guage home defense load

Farmer BrownFarmer Brown Member Posts: 198 ✭✭✭
edited May 2009 in Ask the Experts
I'm currently using a Glock 17 with laser/light for home defense. I'm nervous that if I had to use it, the 9mm would penetrate walls and possible injure my sleeping kids. Thinking of going to a 12 guage pump. What load do you recommend for good stopping power, but safe after penetrating a couple of layers of drywall? My goal is to stop the intruder, not kill them (that's a whole other debate).
Thanks!

Comments

  • 1022man1022man Member Posts: 512 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    #6 buck shot. In the distance of the house it will do enough damage and unlike a slug or OO will slow down quite enough after a 1 wall.
  • fordsixfordsix Member Posts: 8,722
    edited November -1
    any load with 8 or 9 shot in a room is realy nasty stuff.. thats a lot of pellets per ounce [^]
  • mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 22,744 ******
    edited November -1
    Firstly I don't like shotguns at all for the type of home defence scenario where you are currently using a pistol, although scatter guns are fine in other situations. If you don't want to kill anyone and are concerned about over penetration just load the old pump action up with some good skeet loads and you'll throw out a cloud of shot, which will at least keep the invader's head down. Keep in mind that at home defence distances, which are usually measured at fewer than 20-30 feet, most standard shotgun loadings can be lethal and may well punch through dry wall. You might consider some of the specialized "non lethal" loadings, although I like them even less in a defence situation.
  • quickmajikquickmajik Member Posts: 16,324
    edited November -1
    none are safe. Some are saf"er"


    I have never tested this but a load of N0. 12 dust shot at close range (less then 15') would seem to be, in theory, very distructive to person, yet would loose most of its energy after passing through a wall, if it passed through at all.


    Frangibles or light weight, 30-45 grain hollow points from a .223 carbine are also choices to think about for inside the house use.

    A hollow point bullet traveling at 3600-3800 FPS will pretty much turn into fragments upon hitting any hard surface.

    Shoot low.
  • SCOUT5SCOUT5 Member Posts: 14,516 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    There is a lot of opinions on this one. I work in emergency rooms including the trauma center . I have seen people killed with about everything, including many loads that some on here swear will not do the job. I've also seen people survive large caliber weapons most swear by, and everything in between. Of course you want to stop the threat, if they survive or not is another matter as long as the threat is stopped. Home defense generally means close quarters, only you know your house but rarely would a person have a shot over 30 feet in their home and most shots would be much closer. Most in home shooting victims I have cared for were shot in the same room as the shooter, generally less than 12 feet, often within a step.

    You asked about 12 gauge loads and wall penetration. I suggest you not go larger than #4 shot. I am assuming you know the difference between shot and buckshot, if not ask. There is a site called wall of truth or something like that that has information on penetration, you may want to look it up. Most any 12 ga load will penetrate a couple of sheets of drywall. I have the same concerns in my home.

    I will start controversy here with this suggestion. A .410 pump shotgun loaded with #4 shot is my choice for in home defense, 20" barrel, full stock. At in home ranges it has enough power and the limited wall penetration I want. You can also get a .410 revolver now and have both the handgun manuverability and the limited wall penetration in one weapon coupled with the safety and ease of use that comes with a revolver. This also has the benefit of simplicity which is a plus in my opinion, especially if you have others in your home that may use the weapon. I like the idea and may get one myself although I am comfortable with the shotgun. The big concern with a long gun is it is easier to take away from you and be used against you. It is also harder to to check around corners with a long gun than a handgun.

    There are speciality loads that can be used from other weapons and I am sure there are many on here that know more about them than I do, hopefully they will make some suggestions.
  • glabrayglabray Member Posts: 679 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Any load in any firearm that is powerfull enough to stop an intruder, fired at a distance of just a few feet, is going to go through two sheets of 1/2-inch drywall like they were newspaper. You might want to consider some less lethal loads like rubber buck shot, bean bag loads, pepper spray, etc.
  • Bert H.Bert H. Member, Moderator Posts: 11,274 ******
    edited November -1
    No. 4 Tactical Buck is in my opinion the optimum 12-gauge home defense load (I keep my Model 1897 Riot Gun loaded to the gills with it... (6) in the tube, and (1) in the chamber[}:)]).

    For comparison purposes, a standard 2-3/4" 00 Buck Shot 12-gauge shell holds (9).33 caliber balls. The same 2-3/4" No. 4 Buck Tactical Load holds (27) .24 caliber pellets.

    The link below is a very informative piece of information that many of you might find quite interesting... especially those of you who think or believe that birdshot or a skeet load is an effective self-defense load.

    http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs10.htm
  • ElMuertoMonkeyElMuertoMonkey Member Posts: 12,898
    edited November -1
    I'd guess any reduced recoil 12-gauge load would do just fine. If you have to use it that is - after all, 9 out of 10 people, rational or not, will run like hell upon hearing a shotgun racking.
  • TxsTxs Member Posts: 18,801
    edited November -1
    Have you considered Glaser Safety Slugs for your handgun?

    These were the original sky marshal load designed to decrease the likelihood of penetration into the airplane's vitals.

    They're very specialized rounds and aren't cheap, but have a strong reputation for stopping power as long as no barriers are present.
  • mcasomcaso Member Posts: 1,120 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Also, check out - www.theboxotruth.com
  • 11b6r11b6r Member Posts: 16,725
    edited November -1
    +100 on box of truth. They actually tested and photographed over 40 different loads/calibers/weapons.

    Bottom line- a load that has enuff energy to penetrate a bad guy enuff to stop him is ALSO going to penetrate walls. Go for the 0 or 00 buckshot, and AIM.
  • jhimcojhimco Member Posts: 2,075 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you want to go with the .410 then get a Saiga .410 semi-automatic shotgun- they are basically a Kalishnikov style shotgun- pretty cool.quote:Originally posted by SCOUT5
    There is a lot of opinions on this one. I work in emergency rooms including the trauma center . I have seen people killed with about everything, including many loads that some on here swear will not do the job. I've also seen people survive large caliber weapons most swear by, and everything in between. Of course you want to stop the threat, if they survive or not is another matter as long as the threat is stopped. Home defense generally means close quarters, only you know your house but rarely would a person have a shot over 30 feet in their home and most shots would be much closer. Most in home shooting victims I have cared for were shot in the same room as the shooter, generally less than 12 feet, often within a step.

    You asked about 12 gauge loads and wall penetration. I suggest you not go larger than #4 shot. I am assuming you know the difference between shot and buckshot, if not ask. There is a site called wall of truth or something like that that has information on penetration, you may want to look it up. Most any 12 ga load will penetrate a couple of sheets of drywall. I have the same concerns in my home.

    I will start controversy here with this suggestion. A .410 pump shotgun loaded with #4 shot is my choice for in home defense, 20" barrel, full stock. At in home ranges it has enough power and the limited wall penetration I want. You can also get a .410 revolver now and have both the handgun manuverability and the limited wall penetration in one weapon coupled with the safety and ease of use that comes with a revolver. This also has the benefit of simplicity which is a plus in my opinion, especially if you have others in your home that may use the weapon. I like the idea and may get one myself although I am comfortable with the shotgun. The big concern with a long gun is it is easier to take away from you and be used against you. It is also harder to to check around corners with a long gun than a handgun.

    There are speciality loads that can be used from other weapons and I am sure there are many on here that know more about them than I do, hopefully they will make some suggestions.
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