1911Forum banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
75,447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am split right now between using either my PWA M4 carbine or my Mossberg 500 18" shotgun as the main home defense weapon. Certainly not doubting the effectiveness of the 12 gauge, but I have been thinking that maybe a 2/3 loaded magazine full of 62gr. .223 soft points might be overall a more effective solution. Has anyone ever done any tests on the noise level inside a dwelling of either a .223 or a 12 gauge? That is really the main concern, along with the flash. My M4 is a pre-ban with a Phantom flash suppressor.

------------------
D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://usgi1911.tripod.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
469 Posts
Out of curiosity, why a 2/3 loaded mag? I mean, 20 rounds should be more than enough, but you could never have enough to be on the safe side. Hell, I'd probably have my web gear with six mags hung next to the bed. Grab that and the M4 and I can hold out against an entire gang.

Seriously, though, I'm considering the same question. As I have neither the M4 nor the shotgun yet, my decision will be which to buy. I don't have much experience with shotguns, especially in tactical situations, so I'll probably go for the M4. On the other hand, I think 12 gauge birdshot or light buckshot would have less tendency to penetrate walls while having greater stopping power than .223. Might want to try a really light ballistic-tip varmint load, like 40 or 50 grains - less penetration and good expansion.

Have you got a collapsible stock on your M4? If so, what are some of the advantages/disadvantages?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Over penetration should be your main concern unless you live alone away from neighbors. A load of birdshot in a 12 ga. at close range is almost as devastating as 00 buck at 8-10 feet which is probably the max distance in most homes. How far is it from your bedside to the door or window? That`s probably the the furthest you`ll shoot.

It was suggested years ago that if your wife was home alone at night, a double barrel loaded with 8 1/2s laid across the bed pointed at the door would discourage even the most dedicated burgler. Of course, times have changed and some women are quite proficient with firearms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,082 Posts
Originally posted by dinosaur:
Over penetration should be your main concern unless you live alone away from neighbors. A load of birdshot in a 12 ga. at close range is almost as devastating as 00 buck at 8-10 feet which is probably the max distance in most homes. How far is it from your bedside to the door or window? That`s probably the the furthest you`ll shoot.

Dear dinosaur, You sound like a very considerate person to place the well being of others above your own. Personally I feel that the "main" concern should be stopping one's assailant rather than the penetration of a wall by the shot. If it comes to the point where you must shoot at an intruder, your being killed or injured is a definite probability. A projectile penetrating a wall and hitting a person is not anywhere near as likely to happen. And most likely won't, even if the bullet/shot pellet goes through. People take up very little of the space in any home. The odds are against them being hit.

As for birdshot at a few feet, it probably will all be close enough together in the shot string to penetrate and possibly kill your assailant. At any greater distance I wouldn't trust it or the smaller buck shots. I've read pros who suggested #4 buck but personally I'd go with one of the O bucks. Stay safe, Gary

------------------
What I want most from the government is to be left alone. GWT
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,395 Posts
I've been pondering the same question for some time dsk. I'm not sure there is a right answer. With the correct ammo, many tact teams are replacing their shotguns and subguns with the M4. Indiana State Police SWAT team are in the process of replacing their MP5's and AR-15's with M4's. I believe their theory is that one gun can do both jobs (house and distance) with a change of ammo. Although shotgun with 8's or 9's (or birdshot) is still a pretty effective close range weapon. I will read these posts with interest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
550 Posts
The people I know who have used both or seen them used on people say the 12 gauge with buckshot is far and away the best choice at close range. No contest.

In a fight for your life, stopping power is the thing you will care about, and the shotgun is the weapon that does the job reliably.

I think overpenetration is a much exaggerated concern, but if it worries you, you can always go to kneeling and launch your projectiles at an upward angle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,480 Posts
Well of course stopping power is the first concern of a defense weapon consideration, but over penetration is a real factor that must be considered as well. Actually, the issue probably is not so much over penetration as it is of simply missing the target and having the shot travel down range, unencumbered. Either way, the correct answer is still going to be to go with the 12 ga. shotgun. For up close shooting, the 1 oz or 1 1/8 oz load will behave like a slug, creating a devastating hole. At distance, the shot will spread. You will have to pattern your own gun to determine just how much your shot will spread at a given distance. In other words, when being really up close means you may not have to aim or aim well, you can defend yourself very well, but at distance when aiming is most necessary, you may not have to be exact because of shot spread.

My guess is that you are not talking about shooting defensively for more than 20-30 yards. If that is the case, then the shotgun is the better way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,304 Posts
I think the noise difference between a .223 and a 12-gauge can be likened to that between a 9mm and a .45 acp respectively. The former a sharper "crack" - the latter more of a "boom". As for flash, I would imagine that would depend on the particular ammo, and would have to be tested in poor light or night for a conclusion.

I have to admit that I have serious doubts about the .223 cartridge in as much as the choice of ammo being critical. So much so, that unless I was absolutely paranoid about a bullet breeching a wall and injuring or killing someone else I would use ball ammo - or even a commercial load with a Nosler Partition. I am more worried about too little penetration or "exploding" bullets than anything else.

In a 12-gauge I would always have 000 Buck .... And at least half a bandolier full of those great Brenneke slugs on hand - not the newer Brenneke "K.O." slugs, I mean the original cylindrical ones with the wide sharp front edge - the "flying oil drums".

Another option is the 12-gauge Quik-Shoks. I have not tried these yet, but in design they are just like the .22rf, and other centerfire pistol rounds with the bullets that break up into three big pieces + base after a short penetration (and 12-ga slug in four pieces can't be any "worse" than 000).

One of the "stopper" website writers said that this round (the 12-gauge version) inflicted an "unbelievable" wound to a very big charging gelatin block.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
75,447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, the fact is that while a .223 will penetrate quite a bit, the stories of it going through three houses is quite exaggerated. Notice that I didn't mention about penetration, simply because with the construction of modern homes ANYTHING will go through walls with little effort! Even 00 buck will go right through walls. I'm not keen on the idea of birdshot, as it may not be as effective against assailants wearing a heavy coat or those on narcotics. Granted it will definitely make a nasty superficial wound, but the only way to put somebody down for sure is to hit him in his vitals.

Mcnamara, yes I do have a telescoping stock on my M4. It makes the complete rifle very handly in confined spaces, which is another reason why I am considering using it for home defense. You can still fire an M4 very accurately at close range with the stock collapsed. I tried it at the range, shooting it off the shoulder (yet still using the sights), and up to 15 yards or so it's no sweat.

Regarding loading the mags 2/3 full, it will take the stress off the mag springs and feed lips. Besides, letting loose 20 rounds inside a home is overkill anyway!

------------------
D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://usgi1911.tripod.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
I have an M4 and a shotgun, the only reason I would go for the shotgun in the middle of the night in my situation has nothing to do with overpenetration. If I'm awoke at 3am, I don't know my a** from a hole in the ground, I can't see the sights on the rifle, the shotgun is a better spray and pray with one shot for me. Maybe I just need more practice blindfolded like Luke Skywalker.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
75,447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Common myth: you can take out a BG at close range using a shotgun without aiming. Yes, you DO have to aim! At 7 yards or less the shot pattern (buckshot, birdshot, doesn't matter) is still just one tight 1" diameter cluster. You can easily miss with that.

------------------
D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://usgi1911.tripod.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
737 Posts
I have sold my Benelli and now go with a M4 with a red dot sight and Millennium lighted forend. Others may prefer the shotgun. Either one makes a good choice. Watch-Six

------------------
Get your 1911s and AR15s while you still can!

[This message has been edited by Watch-Six (edited 11-20-2001).]
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
75,447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I've made up my mind. I'm unloading the shotgun and stashing it away, and using the M4 with 20 rounds of Federal 55gr. Nosler Tip ammo. I simply thought, which one would I rather have in my hands if the unthinkable happened? I decided I'd really like a bazooka and a backup flamethrower, but since those are kinda hard to find in your average gun store the M4 will do nicely.


------------------
D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://usgi1911.tripod.com

[This message has been edited by dsk (edited 11-20-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
I agree with you, DSK. The M4 will work. At close range, the bullets will not over-penetrate. The .223 is not known for penetration. In fact, a shotgun slug or OO buck shot will probably penetrate further, depending on the wall construction. Pistol rounds commonly penetrate further than a .223.

I also like the collapsible stock. Training has shown me the value of the short stock...in ways DSK describes in his post.

On duty, I grab my M4 before the shotgun. More rounds, short and long range capability,
easier to handle in a house (shotgun longer), and possesses even more of a "fight-stopping" appearance than a shotgun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
Make sure you get a bayonet on the end of the long arm so when the BG makes a grab for the end of your barrel as you project it coming around corners you can cut him. If you are relying on a rifle/shotgun for in-house defense and have any need/desire to leave your bedroom (secure kids, investigate funny noises), then I strongly suggest getting a pistol. Leaves a hand free to grab, open, and light up things and you can move around corners much easier. I like the long gun for static defense, but if I had to maneuver I'd go with a pistol.

Note: the bayonet idea is half tongue in cheek and half serious. I fondly remember my bayonet training. "Buttstroke to the head, KILL KILL KILL!!!"
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
75,447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Actually, the end of my Phantom flash hider is designed so the prongs can be sharpened for use as a scumbag skewer.


Seriously, the argument against rifles on the basis of being disarmed has some merit, but it is more a matter of tactics than equipment. Waltzing blindly and noisily around a corner with a pistol in hand will get that ripped away from you as fast as a rifle! Always stay AWAY from the corners, and never rush through the house. The biggest argument against not using a rifle when checking out noises comes not from disarmament, but rather to have something you can put away in case the noise was just your daughter's boyfriend trying to sneak back out the window.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Maybe a big, black assault rifle is better after all!


------------------
D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://usgi1911.tripod.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
Sotgun...
Make good ammo choices and this gun will do it all out to 100m. With a 12ga you don't look like a radical to the liberal court you will have to defend yourself in.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
75,447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That's where word assiciation comes in. You simply don't let them brand it an "assault weapon". If your local police keep the same type of firearm in their patrol cars, then it becomes a "police-style weapon" and you point out as such. After all, what's good enough for the police to use against the local BG population is surely good enough for defending your home with.

Now using an AK-47 for defense, that'd be a little more difficult to defend in court thanks to the notoriety these guns have received in popular culture.

------------------
D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://usgi1911.tripod.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,082 Posts
Maybe there's a test somewhere which shows different but I cannot see how a 00 buck pellet will penetrate further through walls than a bullet from a .223. The pellet weighs quite a bit less, is going very much slower, and is round rather than pointed. I'd always thought that buckshot's advantage was not in superior striking force of the individual pellet but that there are a lot of them hitting the target at once. Maybe I'm way off base here but the numbers seem to favor the bullet in the penetration derby. Stay safe, Gary

------------------
"I knew a man that I did not care for. And then one day this man payed me a call. We sat and talked about things on our mind. Now this man he is a friend of mine" Friend and Lover "Reach Out in the Darkness"
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
75,447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Each 00 pellet is about .32 caliber, going about 900-1000 fps. Each one therefore is roughly equal to a .38 Special, except that you're hitting the target with nine of them at once! The .223 bullet is going a lot faster, but it is also more likely to disintregate when it hits something.

Either way, I wouldn't want to be shielded by just two sheets of drywall from either one. But the point is EITHER will go right through walls so it's inconsequential. If there's any more argument to the penetration issue at all, it's that I can control a single .223 round much easier than nine 00 pellets!

------------------
D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://usgi1911.tripod.com

[This message has been edited by dsk (edited 11-22-2001).]
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top