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Thread: Home Defense Suggestions

  1. #1
    Regular Member xxx.jakk.xxx's Avatar
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    Home Defense Suggestions

    *Update* I've decided against LTL rounds, but you can keep posting opinions for anyone else who may be questioning whether to use them or not. Thanks for all of the help, guys!




    Ok, so I know this isn't OC related or even pistol related but I'd like some suggestions on home defense.

    Ok, so I just bought a Mossberg 500a with a pistol grip and 18.5" barrel for my home security tool. I have a few options in my home security rounds and I'd like some opinions and what made you decide on that ammo. I am mainly looking at some Less than Lethal rounds since if I do happen to have to shoot a home intruder I won't have to deal with the messy consequences of killing someone (even justifiable has the initial jail and court and such). I also live in an apartment with neighbors to my right and left.

    So, my choices are

    Bean Bag Rounds
    These could provide a less than lethal outcome, but being anywhere from 1 to 5 yards away from a target is closer than the 7 yards.

    Rubber Ball Shot
    These have 15 .30in diameter rubber balls. Seems like it would also be a good deterrent. Again, the distance may make these ones more lethal than the "Less than Lethal" name suggests.

    Flash Bang
    Expensive! I don't think that a loud flash and pop will do much more than a loud flash and pop followed by pain. Just saying...

    Bird Shot
    Well, these ones don't quite have the stopping power of just about any other ammo. I'm thinking they would probably just piss off the intruder more than stop them. Not really considering.

    Buck Shot
    These guys are probably the most common home defense shotgun round out there. Quite effective at stopping an intruder, but also could be seen as excessive force. Also, I'm betting they'd go through my walls into my neighbor's apartment. =\

    Slugs
    I'm thinking these are just overkill and don't need to be used. If you want to try to convince me otherwise, go ahead. Again, probably not the safest for my neighbors.



    So yeah. Any suggestions and reasoning will be much appreciated. I'm thinking of using a combination of rounds. Maybe 2 Bean Bags and then 4 Buckshot. Would be like a 3rd strike and you're out situation... maybe...
    Last edited by xxx.jakk.xxx; 09-26-2010 at 03:38 PM.

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    Regular Member joejoejoe's Avatar
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    I am considering purchasing a shotgun as well for home defense. I would not recommend slug or buck shots if you are looking for less than lethal. Also, if you have neighbors, you may end up shooting through the walls with those (depending on your range). The flash is (from what I read) not really efficient. It has a tactical purpose to it, and I don't think it would aid in a quick "grab the gun" scenario. Once you get the flash and boom off, you will both be sitting there def and blind saying, "Ok, now what?" The rubber bullets would be a 3rd choice for. They may cause serious injury, and they may put you into a serious legal issue if the guy survives. I would choose bird shots as my second choice. That is an effective, close range, shot that you don't have to be precise with your aim. It's point and shoot and stop the bad guy. It is a close tie to my first choice: which would be the bean bag rounds. I think you can safely deter home crime with a bean bag to the chest. Cops say they hit hard enough to knock a grown man down. It could be comparable to throwing a baseball really hard at someones chest. I would feel comfortable aiming for any body part with a bean bag round and know I will put second thoughts into the crook. It is also a good way to detain a criminal. If I chose beanbag rounds, I would have my real sidearm on me after I shoot. It is kinda of really strung punch to the face, but if you need to let him know you will do more than that, you can have your real gun drawn on the BG to make him get the message.

    For me, I don't wanna think twice about shooting someone who breaks in. However, I also don't wanna kill anyone. I think a beanbag round for ME would be appropriate. Followed by a gun point to the BG with my sidearm. That way I can stop him/her AND still have a method to defend myself if it doesn't work (Which is why maybe bird shot would be more appropriate. You won't need the second gun, but you may have a mess to clean up).

    I have only shot bird shot, slug, and buck shots though, so I can't give you any personal advice on the others.

    Joe~

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    I'm not an expert shotgunner, but I'm thinking that at distances inside a small apartment, a bird-shot pattern won't have time to open much. I'm thinking the mass of pellets will still be fairly compact when they arrive at the target. Penetration might be pretty good.

    I'm not so sure about the less-lethal concept for home defense. There have been plenty of bad guys shot with lethal ammunition, and they continued fighting.

    Remember, you are not trying to apprehend a suicidal person, or quell a riot. If you are shooting, you are under immediate threat of grave bodily injury or death.

    If I really wanted to try less-lethal, I would load my magazine so my second round would be something lethal.

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    Personal opinion here (insert usual words about opinions and what they are worth)...

    Bird shot is for birds. If you are going to pull the trigger, use something that will do the job - buck shot is great for that.

    Also, why a pistol grip? They look cool and all, but are more difficult to use than a stock. You can always shoot the shotgun from the hip if it has a shoulder stock, but with just a pistol grip, you can't aim it very well...(although, there is a YouTube of a guy trying to aim a pistol grip shotgun... Busts his lip open pretty good)...

    Anyway....

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    Regular Member xxx.jakk.xxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oneeyeross View Post
    Personal opinion here (insert usual words about opinions and what they are worth)...

    Bird shot is for birds. If you are going to pull the trigger, use something that will do the job - buck shot is great for that.

    Also, why a pistol grip? They look cool and all, but are more difficult to use than a stock. You can always shoot the shotgun from the hip if it has a shoulder stock, but with just a pistol grip, you can't aim it very well...(although, there is a YouTube of a guy trying to aim a pistol grip shotgun... Busts his lip open pretty good)...

    Anyway....

    I saw the pistol grip as being the shortest I could get a shotgun, so it seemed great for being an apartment defender. I don't plan on needing to aim down the "sights" (a bead on the end of the barrel) since I will be in close quarters and will hopefully be getting a Laser for her.... Also, it cost me $225 before tax and seemed like too good of a deal to pass up. I can grab a collapsing or folding stock and still have paid less than my buddy did for his Mossy 500. (His was new, mine was used)



    Also, a lot of people don't agree with needing a laser for a shotgun but being as close as I'll be to any intruder, I won't get much of a spread and if I use bean bags, that definitely needs accuracy.

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    Regular Member jt59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxx.jakk.xxx View Post
    I saw the pistol grip as being the shortest I could get a shotgun, so it seemed great for being an apartment defender. I don't plan on needing to aim down the "sights" (a bead on the end of the barrel) since I will be in close quarters and will hopefully be getting a Laser for her.... Also, it cost me $225 before tax and seemed like too good of a deal to pass up. I can grab a collapsing or folding stock and still have paid less than my buddy did for his Mossy 500. (His was new, mine was used)



    Also, a lot of people don't agree with needing a laser for a shotgun but being as close as I'll be to any intruder, I won't get much of a spread and if I use bean bags, that definitely needs accuracy.

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    Regular Member xxx.jakk.xxx's Avatar
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    Yeah, that was 1 of my main worries on a pistol grip. I'm hoping that it isn't that bad or I definitely will be investing in a stock.

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    Regular Member xxx.jakk.xxx's Avatar
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    K. After doing a bunch of looking on google and such, I'm finding a lot of people using 2 arguments as reason to not use Less than Lethal.

    1st. If you need to point a gun at someone, you must be in a position to kill them. There's no middle ground for firearm use when defending yourself.
    I feel that there are varying degrees of danger. If someone breaks in just to steal from you, I don't see the harm in shooting to deter rather than shooting to kill. I don't think that people deserve to die over a 26" tv and a few game systems. On the other hand, if someone is trying to harm me, my life is more important to me than theirs.

    2nd. If you shoot to wound, you can and most likely will be sued.
    I guess people assume that if you have time to shoot them without killing, then you had time to take other courses of action that didn't require injuring the intruder. I don't know if that will work in Washington since we're a stand your ground state and they're in my home. Wouldn't that mean that I could use any force up to deadly at my discretion? Not just using no force or deadly?....


    I guess these are things to think on for now. If it turns out that I could get sued or go to jail for excessive force for less than lethal, I may just have to use something like buckshot and hope for the best...

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    Best Defense on the outdoor channel did a great segmant showing different rifle rounds and pistol rounds and how a fridge was not good cover, and how many books were best on the shelf before you hide behind one. I was amazed at how many books a slug and bird shot went through.
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    I was at the Lacey PD training facility yesterday and I got to shoot a LTL (Less than Lethal) bean bag round.

    Pro's and Cons:

    Pro's... Basically no kick and very little report (bang). You can easily shoot this without ear protection which most of us do not put on in a home invasion situation. Will knock the bad guy down (but not out). Travels at approx 400fps.

    Con's...As mentioned above, knocks them down but not OUT. It's gonna hurt, but if they are wearing many layers of clothes, the impact will be reduced considerably. Not very accurate. The bean bag is pretty small and you can see it fly through the air. My shot @ 20-30' dropped and veered to the right about halfway through flight. Ended up nicking the "doll" on the hip instead of COM.

    Overall, I would choose a birdshot. Slugs and buck would over penetrate and it you miss, the people on the other side of the walls are in imminent danger. Rubber balls are the same as the bean bag, down, but not OUT. Also, you need a surface to bounce the balls off of (so if you have carpet, it will reduce the effectiveness considerably).

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    I think the most important and First step to "Home Defense" is being overlooked. BEFORE one decides on what firearm they obtain for Home Defense they should consider SECURING the home. All means of access should be controlled. The most logical is the doors. Are the locks stout enough to withstand a kick? How about the door and frame. Sliding doors usually end up in a pile of glass pellets when struck with a hard, sharp object. Perhaps a secondary barrier would be worthwhile. There are also coatings for these glass panels that resist entry. Likewise for windows. If opened can they be restricted to the amount so access is prevented? Does you have a way to ID someone at the front door without using the "peep-hole". Someone outside can merely put their thumb over the opening or worse yet, wait until it goes dark, indicating someone on the other side is looking out. If they are prepared to take out the door, you go with it. Or if they just don't care, they might just shoot through the door when they know someone is there. A wireless video camera and monitor can be obtained for less than the price of a cheap shotgun.

    All the while someone is attempting to get around my building security, I can notify Police, get my family safe, and prepare to meet anyone should they get through my security measures. I don't have to go looking for them, they are coming to me. For that, my everyday carry pistol will do just fine.

    In short, if you have to resort to using a firearm in your home, you more likely than not failed in securing you home in the most basic manner, preventing unwanted entry.
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    Regular Member WinchesterModel12's Avatar
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    #4 buckshot does the job. doesn't penetrate as much as the 00 buckshot

    00 buckshot normally has about 9 pellets inside
    #4 buckshot has 27 smaller pellets.
    You are less likely to miss with it.

    I use this in all my home defense 12G.
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    If someone has invaded your house, he is a threat. He may be criminally insane to begin with or he may be on drugs (temporarily criminally insane). You need to stop him, not delay or aggravate him. That means using lethal force. My internet searches indicate police prefer 00 buck. Anything that won't penetrate one or two sheets of drywall will not reliably penetrate a human body sufficiently to be a dependable fight stopper. I appreciate your concern for your neighbors, but consider you are aiming at the intruder. He may stop the projectiles or at least slow them so they won't penetrate the wall behind him as well as if they had not first penetrated him. In most apartments, the walls between apartments are sturdier than the interior walls between the rooms of your apartment.

    I'm guessing you plan to keep the shotgun in your bedroom, and not carry with you all day as you eat dinner or watch television. If an intruder in your house enters the bedroom, I would not hesitate to use it. If you think you need to investigate a sound somewhere in the house, think about taking your handgun. Even a short barrel shotgun is less maneuverable down a hallway, around a corner, or around furniture. Someone hiding around a corner can grab the barrel of a shotgun and deflect it much easier than a handgun. If you are on this forum, you must have at least one handgun.

    If you have, or suspect an intruder in your home, grab the best and most appropriate weapon you have available, and then grab the telephone and call the police. If the police can settle the situation before you squeeze the trigger your court costs will be considerable lower.
    Last edited by dwordinger; 09-26-2010 at 01:28 PM.

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    Regular Member xxx.jakk.xxx's Avatar
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    As for securing goes, I am as secure as my apartments allow. I am on the top floor, so unless they decide to climb up to the third floor from the balconies, the sliding glass door isn't an issue. Though it is always locked. The front door is a metal door (these were made in the 70s or 80s as condos) with just 2 locks, the knob and deadbolt. Both of those are automatically locked once anyone enters or leaves just out of habit. The only other point of entry is the window next to the front door which is locked and closed, but would be the easiest point of entry.

    If you have any advice on securing that window it would be much appreciated. Also, I don't think that I can secure the door anymore since it is metal and I am only renting, so I am not actually allowed to modify it.

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    Regular Member DEROS72's Avatar
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    Personally my $70 TV is worth infinately more than the life of a criminal.Thats why these human trash bags keep doing this, because of this wimpy attitude about there rights.Once someone crosses the line and breaks into my home to steal something no human rights at that point and I will kill them.I have and you have far more right to proect yourself,your property and most of all your family.It's the principle .Most people work hard for what they have and I'm tired of this element of society that thinks they have a right to other peoples money and things.Then blame society for their own plight.
    I'm sick of the race card"or poor me I didn't have the same oppotunities'BS.I see it here all the time these young guys that decide it's cooler to quit school,maybe hang with gangbangers,have now a criminal record and will probably never have a job.When I was working I gave managers and assitants intructions never to hire these ex thugs.They ruined their chance I didn't.So they blame their welfare trash mother or society for not taking care of them.I'm sick of it.We ,I am not in the slightest bit responsble for their poor decisions and fed up with the exuses.They break into my home I will destroy them and go right to lunch.We have to as a society stop feeling sorry for this trash and get rid of it.If they make a decision that ruins their life how is anyone elses fault.It doesn't matter their background what neighborhood they grew up in or if they got beat as akid there is NO excuse for them to take from others.

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    Regular Member xxx.jakk.xxx's Avatar
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    I think that most people, when confronted with the situation, would agree that anyone coming in will be stopped with any force at hand. I'm just trying to see if that force could be a little less lethal than that of lead. But, as I said before, if I must I will end an intruder.

    It seems like it may be hard to pull the trigger but when the time comes it will happen even if there's some regret afterwards. Such as in this call to 911 from a woman who had someone breaking in.
    http://www.newsok.com/multimedia/video/54313835001

    As for the lethal ammunition, I have a question. The lower the fps of the round, the less potential penetration it would have, correct? So if I were to get the lowest FPS Buckshot that I could find, such as the 1100 compared to 1500 or 1700, then I would have less potential of hitting my neighbor?

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxx.jakk.xxx View Post

    If you have any advice on securing that window it would be much appreciated. Also, I don't think that I can secure the door anymore since it is metal and I am only renting, so I am not actually allowed to modify it.
    Here is an option for securing the window. This Company sells bars that are removable. Can be used for temporary application or apartments where you can't modify anything.

    http://www.goodbarsecurity.com/catal...x.php?cPath=77

    Depending on the window size or shape around $50 or so.

    As for securing the front door making it more kick proof, a simple piece of 2x4 can be used. Cut a v-notch in one end to fit under the door knob and brace the other against the carpet. The finish design will depend on how your entry is configured. If it has a small tile "drip pad" brace against the edge of the carpet. If carpeted, drive a few nails through the end at a slant. Cut them off so they only protrude about 3/4" or so. Enough to grip if someone tries to force the door. If the entry makes a turn, just brace against the baseboard. This brace type of door security is real popular in NYC. Some people even have a metal pocket in the floor to support one end of the brace.

    The whole point in all these precautions are to make anyone who wants to come in in the middle of the night make enough noise to wake everyone up. If you wake up to find someone looking down on you in your bed, chances are that he already has your shotgun or pistol you left on the nightstand.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEROS72 View Post
    Personally my $70 TV is worth infinately more than the life of a criminal....
    +1. There is a WORLD of difference between being "prepared" to take a life in self defence, and "wanting to kill someone." The latter is what criminals, do, and sick ones at that. Going back to the OP, if someone is in your house, how do you know their intention? Are you going to take the time to question their motive? "Excuse me Mr. Badguy, are you just here for my stuff that I worked long hours, that I'll never get back, to pay for, or have you come to harm me & my family as well?" See how silly that idea sounds when you put it like that? And in a home defense situation, you have the greatest bulk of legal protection on your side. A person in your home, in the middle of the night, without your permission, is obviously a threat to your life, much more so than some thug on the street.

    I have a Mossy 500 that lives next to my nightstand, couple of pistols in there and my wife's in hers. It's loaded with 00 buck. The barrel's way too long (28") but I havn't had the time/money to get a smaller one yet. Point is, if I find someone in my house in the middle of the night, they are getting dropped where they stand. No warnings, no "verifying their motives." If they are there, they mean me harm, and nevermind my own life, I'm not willing to bet my wife's life that they're just here for the TV. The guy who reccommended #4 buck had a good point, but I think in a real-wold situation buckshot is gonna penetrate into another apartment much less than one would think, unless it's a magnum load. Remember, we're talking about a bit of metal that only weighs 50 or 60 grains, it's going to loose energy pretty quick.

    Now when I finally get some land, and all my neighbors are a couple of hundred yards of trees away, the shotgun will get replaced by an AK.

    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    I think the most important and First step to "Home Defense" is being overlooked. BEFORE one decides on what firearm they obtain for Home Defense they should consider SECURING the home.
    Like the dude said, when renting you're often pretty limited in what you can do physically with the property. Even though I'm in a house, I'm in the same situation. Any good home improvement place, or even Walmart, sells very basic alarm/alert systems. The one I have starts beeping obnoxiously as soon as a door is opened, and it's plenty loud to wake me. It's not much, but it is enough to give me crucial seconds to arm myself if someone breaks in. The system I have is made by GE, and there are various add-ons you can get that will monitor windows, garage doors, etc. It's setup with different "zones" as well, so I know which door has been opened too.
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    Regular Member Tomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    This brace type of door security is real popular in NYC. Some people even have a metal pocket in the floor to support one end of the brace.

    The whole point in all these precautions are to make anyone who wants to come in in the middle of the night make enough noise to wake everyone up. If you wake up to find someone looking down on you in your bed, chances are that he already has your shotgun or pistol you left on the nightstand.
    When I lived on the Jersey Shore (Atlantic Highlands, NJ), the condo I lived in had a steel pocket in the floor with a hinged cover, and there was a steel bracket on the inside of the door to center and keep the bar from bouncing off. The bar was a fairly heavy chunk of what appeared to be schedule 40 steel tube with like a big crutch tip on each end.

    One would have made a LOT of noise coming in that door. Given that and the tramp up the inside stairs to my unit would give me more than adequate time to be ready and behind cover.
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    Regular Member DEROS72's Avatar
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    I have a very loud motion sensor on my door.It does work.mini-14 with 230 ready rounds in a vest in the closet( picked up about 5 more 30 rnd mags since this was taken.) .45 with approx 200 rounds on the night stand and .380 under the pillow.


    Survival and burglary management system....
    Last edited by DEROS72; 09-26-2010 at 03:04 PM.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalhead47 View Post

    I have a Mossy 500 that lives next to my nightstand, couple of pistols in there and my wife's in hers. It's loaded with 00 buck. The barrel's way too long (28") but I havn't had the time/money to get a smaller one yet.
    An 18.5" bbl is $112.50 @Brownells. You can also cut it off yourself as long as the FINISHED barrel is over 18" (most manufacturers add the extra 1/2" to make sure you don't get screwed by someone who pushes too hard on the tape measure). There are two measurements for shotguns you don't want to ignore. 18.5" for barrel length and 26" OAL. Any shorter makes it either a Short Barrel Shotgun or an AOW. On the "mossy" you might be limited by the barrel attachment if you have a high cap magazine like on the 500ATP-8. Otherwise they shorten nicely with a little patience and care. Use a cheap miter box and hacksaw for the initial cut. Finish with a square and flat file. De-burr the inside of the muzzle and put a slight chamfer on the outside. You will finish with a "Cylinder Bore" shotgun which will spread those #4's real nice. If you want to finish the bare metal just use some Birchwood Casey Bluing Paste. You can do it yourself for just the cost of the bluing if you have the tools.

    BTW, that 28" Barrel probably has some "choke" to it. Was designed to shoot birds at distance. In a home defense scenario, the shot pattern from #4 shot at 20' or so will be far tighter than you want. Probably not much bigger than a couple of inches at best. Might as well use slugs.

    Also, a cut off barrel ends up with heavier walls than a "manufactured" 18.5" barrel unless you pay more for a Military Grade barrel. It has to do with the taper. The heavier barrel walls keep barrels from bending as much if you start mixing it up.
    Last edited by amlevin; 09-26-2010 at 03:12 PM.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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  22. #22
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    I'm glad to read you are having second thoughts about less-than-lethal rounds. I have a shotty as a home defense weapon, and have done some extensive field trials with it, to see what terminal ballistic effects might be on various targets. Obviously, flesh is not a target, so one must reach some conclusions based on other media.
    I haven't tried factory bean-bags, but I do have the components and have tried handloading some. They are very hard to get consistent results from, but a few things I have found:
    The target velocity s/b 350-450 FPS. When I got loads at 350 FPS, at 12 feet they had enough energy to penetrate 1/4" plywood. This means they might penetrate a body, and depending on the location might be lethal. There are many cases of beanbags killing the target human. LE has some distinct rules of engagement for the use of beanbags, like minimum distance to target, another LEO with lethal force as back-up, etc depending on the local LE agency. If there's a certainty here it is that you will not get to write the rules of use when the sad occasion arises that you need your shotgun in the house.
    In development, I have also had beanbags not leave the bbl due to light charges and variations in loading compression. That would mean the next bang would be in your hands, not on a target. I am reserving this method for dogs or pests straying on my property, not 2-legged predators.
    As was said above, birdshot at close range will not have spread, and will act almost like a slug to the target, save that penetration will be lower. It would certainly be a deterrent to someone shot, but you don't want to slow them down, you want to STOP the threat. Shoot 'em in the face and don't kill? It's spelled lawsuit.
    From there on up you tread the line between deep penetration and questionable effect on a target.
    I can certainly understand your desire to limit the damage you might do. OTOH, you will have to accept that the more limited the damage, the higher the odds that a target may continue an attack.
    My good fortune is that I live in a log house, and it is unlikely that fired projectiles will leave the property. There's always the possibility that they will go out the window and downrange, but it is a risk that will need to be accepted and mitigated to the best degree possible.

    This is my current recipe for loading, with my circumstances in mind:
    1st shot 1-1/8 oz #4 buckshot.
    Next shot 5 pellets of .375 cal buckshot
    Next and thereafter 1-1/4 oz slugs.

    That may not be much help in an apartment. Your solution will need to account for your personal circumstances....

  23. #23
    Regular Member xxx.jakk.xxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Port Orchard, Washington, United States
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    I guess I'll have to go out on a shopping trip on my next payday and get a bunch of different ammunition to test the effects at the range that I'd be using them at. Really, it doesn't sound like a bad thing to have to go out and shoot a lot of rounds.

    I'll also start working to better secure my apartment. I don't want my lady or my kids (pets, not human ones) to be at risk at any time.

    Thanks for all of the help, guys. I've pretty well decided against the LTL rounds for anything but maybe pest control once I move to something with property.

  24. #24
    Founder's Club Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEROS72 View Post
    SNIP...burglary management system....
    I love the terminology! Burglary management system. LOL!

  25. #25
    Regular Member DCKilla's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
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    Wet Side, WA
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    I was actually looking at the Mossberg 930HS. It's user friendly for the wife and has an 18 1/2 inch barrel. Semi-autos seem to be the best for a wife not used to a pump.

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