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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Took a great nap today, so I will be up late tonight.....

Decided to do a little ammo comparison to help me decide which way to go for a nightstand gun. Two requirements I have will be night sights and a rail for a flashlight. Gives me options depending on the sitchuashun.

I have a Glock 17 with the stock sights, and a rail which does have my only gun light on it. Just ordered Truglo night sights for it from Amazon. (Also ordered a nice Wheeler sight installer). So for a 9mm nightstand gun, it will be all set to go.

Thought of upgrading my nightstand to a .45ACP or 10mm accessory. My only .45 is a non-railed Rock Pro Match Ultra, for which I ordered a Meprolight front night sight to replace the FO (keeping the rear LPA adjustable sight on it).

Soooo....do I want to go railed 10mm or .45? Used Gundata's ballistics calculator to work up some numbers, with Hornady SD and Remington HTP rounds. Tossed in some bonus rounds for the fun of it.

The number after the bullet grain number is the muzzle energy. For SD I'm only concerned with about 20 feet of travel, so ME is all I need here.

.380 Auto/9mm Short
90 gr, 200.......Hornady XTP JHP

9mm
115 gr, 341.....Remington HTP JHP
115 gr, 341.....Hornady XTP JHP
124 gr, 339.....same
147 gr, 310.....same

.45 ACP
185 gr, 411.....Remington HTP JHP
185 gr, 386.....Hornady XTP JHP
200 gr, 360.....same
230 gr, 404.....American Eagle/Federal FMJ

.40 S&W
155 gr, 479.....Hornady XTP JHP

10mm
155 gr, 550.....Hornady XTP JHP
180 gr, 556.....same
200 gr, 490.....same

22LR
40 gr, 183.......CCI Velocitor

22 Short
29 gr, 32.........CCI CB Short (primer only, no powder)

When I looked at the charts, I noticed that the heavier rounds, though usually having less ME, retained their energy better than light rounds; so better for longer-range shooting like 50 or 100 yards.

I cannot recommend CB Short for your nightstand SD needs.....
 

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With the greatest of respect to your careful consideration, it is (IMHO) largely a waste of time. Criteria #1 is shot placement. Criteria #2 is adequate penetration. EVERYTHING ELSE is a distant #3. Find a gun you like and a round you like that you can hit with and go with that. Looking for the magic bullet in the magic cartridge in the magic gun will make you crazy and accomplish little until Phaser On Stun becomes a reality.
 

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Self defense round.....

I enjoy, build my on guns, and shoot handguns competitively. I have been shooting pistols and rifles for over 50 years.......even so, I would not use a handgun for self defense in my home.

I am one year older than the OP, and live alone. If I were awakened by a bump in the night, I would use a 12 gauge shotgun with 00 buck or slugs...…

I would not roam the house with a flashlight or even a light mounted on a handgun, since it gives away my position. I would not know how many people have entered my home, and there is too much risk of an ambush.

IMHO, it is best to lock all doors before going to bed, including your own bedroom...… If you think you have intruders, get your cell phone and weapon, and hunker down in the safest area of your master bedroom, which may be a bathroom or closet.....call 911 and get LE help.....they are trained to clear a house or building, and will usually respond with two or more officers.
 

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Here is what I will tell you FWIW...

Almost any caliber (can) work for SD.

You must be able to shoot your gun well and hit what you are aiming at with reasonable speed.

9mm is OK, 45 overall is a more potent round. For these calibers, it is better to focus on expansion, penetration, and Momentum/power-factor. Not energy. The energy in these loads is too low to be a differentiating factor.

In 45, HST 230 gr is the king of the hill. No thing compares as far as expansion.

When you get to full power 10mm and 357M you can start considering energy as a differentiating factor (as well as the other parameters above) as the level of energy here are starting to become significant. But make sure you can shoot these loads well.

Lastly, you are doing the right thing by applying some critical thinking to your decision. Last thing you want to do is pick a caliber because some bureaucracy like the FBI said it is their pick...The FBI pics a gun and caliber for the "herd", their herd, and they make lots of trade-offs so it works as a "herd"gun for most of the "animals" (agents) in their herd...You have no so such constraints, you pick a gun/caliber for one person - you!
 

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With the greatest of respect to your careful consideration, it is (IMHO) largely a waste of time. Criteria #1 is shot placement. Criteria #2 is adequate penetration. EVERYTHING ELSE is a distant #3. Find a gun you like and a round you like that you can hit with and go with that. Looking for the magic bullet in the magic cartridge in the magic gun will make you crazy and accomplish little until Phaser On Stun becomes a reality.
Agree with this 100%. "Energy", "stopping power", and other buzz words and phrases don't mean much, if anything. Caliber wars in general are largely meaningless and have been beaten to death over decades of internet arguing.

OP - as robertrwalsh said, just use whatever gun and caliber you're good at shooting. I'd rather hit someone with a .22 than miss them with a .50 cal. Then just choose a reputable round from any of the big name companies (Federal, Hornady, Speer, etc), train as much as you can, and sleep soundly at night.
 

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One thing I've learned after years of reading comparisons, 9mm vs 45 acp, etc., muzzle velocity or kinetic energy is pretty much meaningless. Yes, more IS better but in real world situations but as already been said, shot placement is king almost regardless of caliber. I agree with Rwehavinfunyet about a 12 gauge being the best, IMO, home defense weapon although it's not next to my bed, it's in the safe which is in the bedroom and open at night. It's the first weapon I can grab inside the safe, my AR is right behind it. The way things are going at the moment, I might reconsider moving it next to the bed. My current night stand gun is my full size 1911 loaded with HSTs.
 

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Shot placement is key. One also needs to look at reports if they can find them on real world shootings. many police agencies are moving from 40 and 45 to the 9mm. Officers scores are going up as well as the design and performance of the 9mm rounds of today.
 

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Shot placement IS much more important than lights, night sights or bullet design. Consider rigging up a light that will BLIND anyone who comes in your bedroom door (but not you) and will light them up like a deer in your high beams. Place the switch for that light next to your gun where you can reach both while in bed. Or set your gun on a pressure switch- pick up your gun and the light switches on. Any intruder will then be in a really bad situation and you will be able to indentify if the person is a bad guy or a family member or pet.
 

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I enjoy, build my on guns, and shoot handguns competitively. I have been shooting pistols and rifles for over 50 years.......even so, I would not use a handgun for self defense in my home.



I am one year older than the OP, and live alone. If I were awakened by a bump in the night, I would use a 12 gauge shotgun with 00 buck or slugs...…



I would not roam the house with a flashlight or even a light mounted on a handgun, since it gives away my position. I would not know how many people have entered my home, and there is too much risk of an ambush.



IMHO, it is best to lock all doors before going to bed, including your own bedroom...… If you think you have intruders, get your cell phone and weapon, and hunker down in the safest area of your master bedroom, which may be a bathroom or closet.....call 911 and get LE help.....they are trained to clear a house or building, and will usually respond with two or more officers.
That's the way I do it.
 

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Shot placement aside, because that’s a no brainer.....

A) Do not use a Remington brand. You should see the dog crap they are putting out lately! Awful.....

B) XTP’s are designed as a hunting round. More penetration that you want in a nightstand gun, especially 10mm. That might make it to the 7-11 down the street.

3) As others have mentioned, HST is the current king followed by a couple other premium brands, none of them being Remington.
 

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Check out the "Lucky Gunner Ballistics Comparison Chart" it list calibers and bullets tested in gel!

All the best,
 

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Get a rifle in 5.56 with very light rounds like Vmax and add a light to it, minimal risk of over pen, extremely easy handling and far more effective than any handgun.

If you must have a handgun then ignore ME and actually look at gel tests for what rounds destroy the most tissue for a given caliber.
 

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Not to rain on your parade, or thread, but "Only a fool would intentionally take a handgun into a known gunfight!" I do not remember who said it first, but heard this somewhere during my 30 years in LE. A shoulder mounted firearm is far easier to hit with, more powerful, and more intimidating. Handguns serve only two purposes, they are 1) "handier," i.e. easier to carry and "there" when needed, and, 2)to fight your way to a rifle or shotgun. Debates about shotgun vs rifle/carbine, abound, both here and in the real world. For most users, a shotgun would be a "best choice," for home defense, (apartments, and homes in cities) to give superior firepower, ease of use, and to limit "overpenetration." We live in a world where you are responsible for EVERY projectle downrange. For home defense, "most" will have a range limit of12 feet, or less, ( average size of room being 10'x12') and a shot load of #8's, through #2's, is more than powerful enough to be fatal at that range, and will still not penetrate a wall endangering neighbors. (No need for 00, or other "buckshot loads indoors)

BTW OP, your figures are interesting. Each of us chooses SD options for different "reasons," and yours show some interesting analyses.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I thank you all for every contribution, nor do I take any offense. Realizing I can no longer just rely on my SGL* to get through life, I appreciate your efforts to edjuk....ejaca....help me lern stuff.

While I am a pretty good target shooter, I do realize that stress can make skills go out the window. It's really all about the mind in the long run. I do get that it's about shot placement over caliber/bullet weight, absolutely; but if my placement is a little off, all the more reason to impart more shock with more powerful ammo, to buy extra time for the next round. So, not .380.

BTW I am now focusing more on combat shooting at the range. I have the marksmanship fundamentals down well; time to get into practical defensive shooting.

I'll probably stick with .45 rather than go to 10mm. Will pick up some 230 gr Fed HST (when possible!). My Rem HTP 185 gr shoots very accurately at 25 yards, nor have I ever found it to be unreliable. Not sure what the beef is with it. Do you all just mean better stopping power/less overpenetration?

I hate 12 gauges. Way too much kick for me with the 00 buck and slugs our range mandates, so I wouldn't train with 'em. Perhaps #2 buck loads do not kick as hard? Or go down to a 20 gauge? I know almost nothing about shotguns. Think of picking one out for your wife/small wimpy BIL, ;-) to advise me on gauge, load, etc.

Light on the gun: I get what you're saying about giving away your position. But a split second after I turn it on, I will have made the IFF/OODA decision and either stand down or take action. Either way, the other person is blinded. Besides, I live alone and anyone breaking in is by definition a bad guy. No IFF required really.

I have considered a pressure pad setup or some other system that turns on the lights automatically or remotely. Maybe easiest would be a simple motion sensor screwed in between the overhead fixture and the bulb, if such a thing exists. Alternatively, I can leave the outside light and inside doorway light on. Outside one would have a dawn-dusk light sensor; inside one turned on in the evening. That provides a deterrent; they can not operate in the dark at my house.

If not deterred from a home invasion/burglary by lights, the next step is slowing them down and hardening the area. I have ways to do that as well, just need to put in a little thought and implement them. Not difficult or complicated. Make 'em realize there are better ways of "earning a living" than by entering my place uninvited. (Anyone who puts thought into deterrent measures probably has a backup plan they don't want to experience.) The best fight is the one that never happened.

So at this point I am thinking .45, HST, night sights, light on the underside rail as an option to cover more scenarios. Options are good. Open to why I really need a shotgun though.


* Stunning Good Looks
 

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For handguns, anything in 9mm or better is good to go. Preference for JHP. if you have JHP choices, my first line is Federal HST, Federal Tactical Bonded, Speer Gold Dot, Remington Golden Saber Bonded, Winchester Ranger T, Winchester Ranger Bonded. Second line is Remington Golden Saber, Federal Hi-Shok (9BP, 9BPLE, XM9001, etc), Federal Hydrashok.

I generally go with the following weights:
9mm-124gr +P
40 S&W-180gr
45ACP-230gr
357 Sig-125gr

I carry a jframe in 38 Special, but the other calibers, listed above, are generally better for defense. If you’re at home, you don’t need to worry as much about concealment of the firearm or comfort if carry.

Rifles are ballistically better, but I understand the allure to handguns, for home defense. Beginners typically do better clearing structures with a handgun versus a long gun.
 

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If you can't deal with 12 ga. shotguns then a 20 ga. won't help - they generally kick as much or more because they are lighter. Just work on your handgun skills and throw the heaviest bullet you can hit with. Practice every chance you can. Dry fire practice at home. FWIW in my opinion Remington makes the worst ammo I have ever seen. I recommend Federal.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OK, it's getting to be time for some bitter clinging:
 

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Not to rain on your parade, or thread, but "Only a fool would intentionally take a handgun into a known gunfight!" I do not remember who said it first, but heard this somewhere during my 30 years in LE. A shoulder mounted firearm is far easier to hit with, more powerful, and more intimidating. Handguns serve only two purposes, they are 1) "handier," i.e. easier to carry and "there" when needed, and, 2)to fight your way to a rifle or shotgun. Debates about shotgun vs rifle/carbine, abound, both here and in the real world. For most users, a shotgun would be a "best choice," for home defense, (apartments, and homes in cities) to give superior firepower, ease of use, and to limit "overpenetration." We live in a world where you are responsible for EVERY projectle downrange. For home defense, "most" will have a range limit of12 feet, or less, ( average size of room being 10'x12') and a shot load of #8's, through #2's, is more than powerful enough to be fatal at that range, and will still not penetrate a wall endangering neighbors. (No need for 00, or other "buckshot loads indoors)

BTW OP, your figures are interesting. Each of us chooses SD options for different "reasons," and yours show some interesting analyses.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
Yeah, well, the OP did specifically solicit opinions on a nightstand gun. Good luck wedging that AA-12 into the top drawer! :)
 

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OK, it's getting to be time for some bitter clinging:
You forgot the Gold!

;)

It's okay though, I was deplorable before Her Royal Overstuffed Pantsuit made it cool...

I was surprised by how close in energy the .22 LR was to the .380!

Somewhere I was reading about energy and such and basically there are no handguns that are "one shot stop" because they just don't have the energy. There are some exceptions, the BFR in .45-70 is probably one but I'm not sure that a handgun that needs a wheelbarrow to carry it around in is a good bedside choice.

It is about shot placement and making a big wound channel with a handgun and I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment about a handgun being to let you fight your way to a long gun.

Yes, there is a handgun...but there is a shotgun too!

I am also a huge fan of the pistol caliber carbine, especially in magnum revolver cartridges as the increased barrel length actually gets the energy up substantially. And while deservedly ragged on for being an absolute horror to gaze upon I have never read of anyone reporting failure to function in the reviews I've read. Unlike the over twice as expensive Ruger PC Carbine the High Point is available in a series of traditional self defense calibers (starting with .380 Auto) and it has a warranty and customer support that reportedly rivals Dillon's!

I don't have one but I've been looking-I want to do a face to face transaction though as the LGS thinks I have good taste and I don't want to traumatize them...

https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/gun-review-hi-point-carbine-995ts-9mm/

https://www.hi-pointfirearms.com/#
 
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