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Unread 11-02-2013, 11:04 PM   #46
Coyotes97
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Originally Posted by FarmerinVA View Post
OP, the best gun for any purpose is the one (1) that you'll practice with, with is the same as saying that you are super, super comfortable shooting, and (2) that you will have with you when you need it. This is true for hunting, targets, and self defense.

People are different. I'm a big guy but I don't like firing the .45. For reasons that no one else can understand but I really feel, I hate to shoot the .45, so I don't, so it's fairly useless to me. The .40, I like, and I shoot. Some of my 12 gauges I love, others I haven't shot in years and the only reason I haven't sold them is laziness. Everyone but the nuttiest of the gun nuts has this experience: what you like is what you like, and you shouldn't try to talk yourself out of your own preference.

If you find that a 9mm really attracts you because it's easy to shoot, high capacity, and cheap on ammo (all of which are very much true), you should embrace it. The military uses 9's for precisely those reasons. If you are not going to fire the shotgun much at the range, and won't have it in an accessible place because it looks alarming and is hard to keep out of sight, then all that power is useless to you.

Conversations about one-shot stopping power are good to have but for most practical purposes those conversations are only for snipers and hunters. In a self defense situation -- and here I'm talking from hundreds of police investigations and police after-action reports, not just personal opinion -- your aim will probably suck, you will not have the time or wits about you to reload, and what will either incapacitate or scare off the bad guy is a fusillade of shots, not your first shot. Average number of shots fired to stop or scare away the bad buy is 3, average shots fired to lethality is above 6 (!), with any handgun (those are shots fired, not hits) (I don't know the equivalent shotgun numbers). So if self defense is really what you want, you need to get a weapon AND train on the weapon to fire many times quickly. With handguns, multiple "double tap" or three-shot bursts are the most popular training methods. With shotguns, it's typically a 3-round salvo. Be honest with yourself about whether you can handle this type of shooting with a given caliber. I can't reliably do this with a .45 but I can with a .40 or 9mm, and most ranges are happy to let you train this way. I can do it with a shotgun but the ranges near me won't let me do it (rapid fire shotgunning freaks some people out), so I have to do it outdoors, which means I don't do it, which means it's a useless thing that I can't rely on. You see my theme here.

This is a long way of saying that in a practical situation, a 9mm is a solid choice, and it's by far the best choice if you'll actually practice with it more than you would practice with the other choices. I don't actually own a 9mm, so you can rest assured that I'm not saying this because I'm a booster of it; if I were to recommend one, I'd actually recommend the .40 for the same reason most police departments have moved to it (more lethality than the 9mm, more capacity and easier to carry than the .45). It's just that I have to admit that the 9mm is easier and cheaper to shoot than the .40, has cheaper ammo, holds more, has a lot more people who really say they like to shoot it, and (at least last time I checked) has more bullet options.
Very good post! As you say, it is what the individual shoots well that matters.

I have friends who consider me their gun expert. When they are trying to buy something they always just try mimic what I buy. I always tell them that there is no one right answer when it comes to these things. Because I have come to prefer certain things does not make them "best", just best for me.

A recent example was where a friend told me that he was getting a concealed carry pistol. I told him I am in the market myself. He asked what I was getting and I told him I was after a Sig P938 SAS because I have found that the only way I carry regularly is if I can drop it in a pocket. He instantly pronounced that this is what he would get as well. I asked if he knew what it was. He had no idea. He just figured if I was going to buy one it had to be the best.

I told him I thought it would be a terrible choice for him since he does not normally shoot a 1911 he will not have the motor program to ride the safety. He is also the size of bigfoot. I am not sure his thumb could even reach the safety on a P938. This guy could drop a glock 19 in his front pocket and barely notice, so why not carry something that carries more than 6+1?

To the OP: When it comes to guns, bows, cars, computers, phones, etc, etc, etc, people always want to be happy with what they bought. If you ask what is best 90% of people will tell you to get what they have. A good way to filter those out is to ask what else is comparable. A shooter who has a lot of experience with a lot of guns and an open mind can usually name you 5 good guns in any class that all work very well. A fanboy can name only one. In their mind nothing else comes close. I can't stand fanboys.

The other issue you run into is standard answers. The problem with the internet is that lots of people like to be experts. even when they arent. If they don't actually have the knowledge they will just regurgitate the opinions of others.

When people on this board and others ask what .22 they should buy 10 people chime in and say "Ruger 10/22" before they even ask the OP what he is going to do with it. Shotgun? Remington 870 or Mossberg 500. Handgun? Get a Glock, Springfield XD, get a 1911 (which means what since there are 5000 flavors of 1911). All these answers appear without anyone asking the OP what he plans to do with it. They are all fine guns but not right for every purpose or every shooter.

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Unread 11-03-2013, 08:18 AM   #47
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Unread 11-03-2013, 08:25 AM   #48
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Unread 11-04-2013, 05:36 AM   #49
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Penetration, penetration, penetration is key in quickly stopping a threat and that is key in personal protection. To stop somebody quick you have to get deep into the body and hit a vital area.

Handguns do not penetrate like a rifle. Rifles and shot guns are harder to maneuver with in tight places. There are shorter more tactical style shotguns that could work very well for home security, with the right load.

I carry a 1911, I have shooting it since it came out of the box in 1976, it was my dad’s then. It is mine now. I carry every other round FMJ, JHP 230 grain. Penetration, penetration, penetration!!

A big hole will kill somebody but bleeding to death is slower and the bad guy can still be a threat. A deep hole to the right place will kill quicker than a bigger shallower hole.

My advice is .40, .357 or .45. Gun selection is important. You need to shoot a few guns and see what you like.
You need to be able to quickly shoot two or three shots into the same area from about 15 feet. This takes practice but if the gun doesn’t’ feel right from the beginning it isn’t the gun for you.
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Unread 11-04-2013, 09:38 AM   #50
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I'm for versatility in handgun choice. When I first started no gun 'felt right' in my hands. Once I learned to shoot a glock well, I can shoot anything well. After I got so I I knew how to shoot everything well I got more used to different guns and what is done out of holster becomes pure instinct. My g23 always requires a slight tweak for good sight alignment, g35 is perfect from the get-go, g30 empty takes work but with rounds in the mag sits very well. 1911, not much to say besides every 1911 feels right

It's all about practice with what you have. Glue spiky bits to any pistol and it will feel right in my hands, just might take a day or two.

And my personal opinion, if you can shoot a glock well you can shoot anything well. To me everything was a cakewalk besides the glock. That took work and a lot of struggling just to qualify because I was in no way used to it and they shoot(feel) different than anything else I've ever shot.

And I like the .40 for sd. Smaller for plinking, bigger for plinking louder or hunting. Big guns for the field, .380 for tiny and fits in my pocket. I own a couple 9mm but they don't really have a niche for me.
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Unread 11-04-2013, 10:30 AM   #51
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If you are considering self defense then you are already in the mindset that you might have to use it someday. Consider the situation. If you are anticipating an intruder, then you are probably anticipating them to be armed. I would ask myself what I am most comfortable using. That and its capacity. Lets break them down:

Shotgun:
Pro's:
- Versatility (used for many different situations)
- Knockdown power
- Lots of different types of rounds to choose from (birdshot, buckshot, slugs, less-lethal, pepper, bean bag, etc.)
- Destruction - One round can easily incapacitate an intruder.
- Fear Factor
- Expelled rounds will not travel very far.
- Ammo is easily found just about everywhere.
- Target Acquisition - how quickly target can be re-acquired after firearm is discharged (can be a con too)
- Accessories
- Scatter factor - various barrel lengths and choke combinations can be used to zero in on various distances, also the shooter has to be less accurate, but still skilled
- Weapon accuracy - with shotguns it depends largely on setup and selection of round styles. (can be a con too)

Con's
- Big gun, not ideal for close quarters
- concealment
- Can be difficult to handle for a smaller individual
- Storage - not the most ideal to keep bedside compared to other options
- Ammunition capacity - 2 to 7 rounds
- Very slow reload
- Target Acquisition - how quickly target can be re-acquired after firearm is discharged (can be a pro too)
- Weapon accuracy - with shotguns it depends largely on setup and selection of round styles. (can be a pro too)

9mm Handgun
Pros:
- Small gun, very easy to use in close quarters
- concealment
- Ammo capacity - 10+
- Storage - easily kept in a drawer bedside
- Reloading - depending on style of gun (revolver or semi) can be quickly reloaded.
- Easier for a smaller person to learn and use
- Target Acquisition - how quickly target can be re-acquired after firearm is discharged (can be a con too)
Cons:
- Fear Factor - doesn't instill fear in a person the way the racking of a shotgun does.
- Typically will take multiple rounds to incapacitate a target
- Weapon accuracy and range - Pistols have a relatively short effective range and are more difficult to shoot accurately.
- Relatively limited styles of ammunition (compared to a shotgun)
- Target Acquisition - how quickly target can be re-acquired after firearm is discharged (can be a pro too)

In short it all depends on the situation. If you plan on using the gun recreationally as well then that has a factor. Will you be headed to the skeet range, deer hunting, or heading to a pistol range? Another important thing to consider is what you are comfortable with. If you aren't comfortable with the weapon then you probably aren't going to practice. And if you aren't going to practice, then my suggestion would be to not get it at all.

For me, I have a shotgun, but don't plan on it for self defense. If I were concerned about that in my home then I'd buy a pistol. They carry more rounds and in a gunfight, I'd much rather have more rounds than the other guy. Just my .02 though.
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Unread 11-04-2013, 11:19 AM   #52
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There's a lot of good info here but when it comes to velocity vs caliber size, velocity will lose every time. Caliber size most certainly matters. Hollow points are designed for home defense usage. Why? The projectile will flatten and mushroom out in a larger size to create a larger exit wound more quickly. So yes, starting with a larger caliber that has a lower velocity (800 fps vs 9mm which is around 1000).

Only one thing matters and it is my favorite quote, strangely:

Velocity makes a huge difference when comparing rifles to hand guns. Pistols not so much accept maybe when it comes to the .357.

Handguns usually don't leave exit wounds like rifles will. If when the hollow point expands it will slow the bullet down greatly. This greatly affects it ability to penetrate (handguns).
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Unread 11-04-2013, 12:35 PM   #53
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Only on JeepForum can we discuss the best way to kill a man but to discuss our government we need to pay. Lol.

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Unread 11-04-2013, 06:07 PM   #54
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The only acceptable ammunition for self defense is the most destructive obtainable. Less lethal etc should never be used in any situation that only 1 first is available and someones life is a factor.
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Unread 11-04-2013, 08:23 PM   #55
Ross
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The only acceptable ammunition for self defense is the most destructive obtainable. Less lethal etc should never be used in any situation that only 1 first is available and someones life is a factor.
I will disagree here. For self defense you need to quickly stop and incapacitate your target. If you do not pentrate deep enough to hit a vital area your target may have time to fight back possibly killing or harming you. Big destructive wounds can make you bleed to death but that can take time, even minutes can be a long time.

If the bullet doesn't penetrate deep enough it won't quicly stop the aggressor. Penetration is key for a quick kill, not big messy holes.
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Unread 11-04-2013, 09:23 PM   #56
Indy
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I think you misunderstand what i mean by 'destructive'
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Unread 11-05-2013, 11:16 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by BigRedDog02 View Post
If you are considering self defense then you are already in the mindset that you might have to use it someday. Consider the situation. If you are anticipating an intruder, then you are probably anticipating them to be armed. I would ask myself what I am most comfortable using. That and its capacity. Lets break them down:

Shotgun:
Pro's:
- Versatility (used for many different situations)
- Knockdown power
- Lots of different types of rounds to choose from (birdshot, buckshot, slugs, less-lethal, pepper, bean bag, etc.)
- Destruction - One round can easily incapacitate an intruder.
- Fear Factor
- Expelled rounds will not travel very far.
- Ammo is easily found just about everywhere.
- Target Acquisition - how quickly target can be re-acquired after firearm is discharged (can be a con too)
- Accessories
- Scatter factor - various barrel lengths and choke combinations can be used to zero in on various distances, also the shooter has to be less accurate, but still skilled
- Weapon accuracy - with shotguns it depends largely on setup and selection of round styles. (can be a con too)

Con's
- Big gun, not ideal for close quarters
- concealment
- Can be difficult to handle for a smaller individual
- Storage - not the most ideal to keep bedside compared to other options
- Ammunition capacity - 2 to 7 rounds
- Very slow reload
- Target Acquisition - how quickly target can be re-acquired after firearm is discharged (can be a pro too)
- Weapon accuracy - with shotguns it depends largely on setup and selection of round styles. (can be a pro too)

9mm Handgun
Pros:
- Small gun, very easy to use in close quarters
- concealment
- Ammo capacity - 10+
- Storage - easily kept in a drawer bedside
- Reloading - depending on style of gun (revolver or semi) can be quickly reloaded.
- Easier for a smaller person to learn and use
- Target Acquisition - how quickly target can be re-acquired after firearm is discharged (can be a con too)
Cons:
- Fear Factor - doesn't instill fear in a person the way the racking of a shotgun does.
- Typically will take multiple rounds to incapacitate a target
- Weapon accuracy and range - Pistols have a relatively short effective range and are more difficult to shoot accurately.
- Relatively limited styles of ammunition (compared to a shotgun)
- Target Acquisition - how quickly target can be re-acquired after firearm is discharged (can be a pro too)

In short it all depends on the situation. If you plan on using the gun recreationally as well then that has a factor. Will you be headed to the skeet range, deer hunting, or heading to a pistol range? Another important thing to consider is what you are comfortable with. If you aren't comfortable with the weapon then you probably aren't going to practice. And if you aren't going to practice, then my suggestion would be to not get it at all.

For me, I have a shotgun, but don't plan on it for self defense. If I were concerned about that in my home then I'd buy a pistol. They carry more rounds and in a gunfight, I'd much rather have more rounds than the other guy. Just my .02 though.
-
As Note for anyone looking at a long gun for home defense. Get you a 2x4 and cut it to the length of the gun you're looking to use, now shoulder it and try clearing your house, go room to room, every closet, the shower, etc, any where a human could easily hide. Now try the same thing useing just your hands or the wifes hair dryer or something similar as a mock pistol. Note the differences, faster to get on target, easier to open doors, move around corners, etc.

Ive run the same drill with my 16in ar (unloaded obviously), Its great gun and all but its just too long indoors. if I have to clear my house im grabing my pistol, if I have someone to back me up they'll have the ar.

For added fun, do the above with nerf guns or airsoft with a friend (or several friends, home invasions aren't always just one guy) as the bad guys, itll really highlight just how difficult it is, even while fully awake and aware, just imagine how it will go half asleep at 3am in your Pjs.

Maybe when my sbr papers come back and I get my 8in .300blk rifle built it'll take over the preferred HD gun role, but untill then my 9mm pistol works great.
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Unread 11-05-2013, 02:18 PM   #58
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The handgun will ALWAYS be more versatile than a long gun for personal protection. Individual ballistics matter more than caliber. Research different bullets before deciding on a caliber.

9mm 115gr JHP with a muzzle velocity of 1300fps.
9mm 124gr JHP with a muzzle velocity of 1250fps.
45ACP 230gr JHP withva muzzle velocity if 850fps.

After much research, those are my criteria for protection rounds for the calibers I own.

I STRONGLY advise against buying a gun based on its ability to compensate for a lack of accuracy. Practice shooting a 10" paper plate from 10-100 yards.
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Unread 11-05-2013, 02:44 PM   #59
Ross
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_dippert View Post
The handgun will ALWAYS be more versatile than a long gun for personal protection. Individual ballistics matter more than caliber. Research different bullets before deciding on a caliber.

9mm 115gr JHP with a muzzle velocity of 1300fps.
9mm 124gr JHP with a muzzle velocity of 1250fps.
45ACP 230gr JHP withva muzzle velocity if 850fps.

After much research, those are my criteria for protection rounds for the calibers I own.

I STRONGLY advise against buying a gun based on its ability to compensate for a lack of accuracy. Practice shooting a 10" paper plate from 10-100 yards.
I built a wall with two sheets of dry wall and 1/2 inch of cement board. I can shoot my .22 with some hotter 1400-1500 fps loads at about 10 feet or less and the bullet will go all the way through. Further than than it will not. At much much much greater distances my slower moving 230 grain .45 fill will still penetrate completely through. Weight is a big deal with penetration, size is a big deal when it come to the wound and damage.

fps is not the entire story, weight and size of the bullet has allot to do with it. Distance (esp. with handguns, is a big deal). There are so many different theories and research out there when it comes to ballistics.

Bottom line is learns how to shoot and shoot often. Make sure you understand the law in your area.

If you carry learn how to draw from your holster and shoot. Make sure you understand were your misses you go. Move through out you home and learn where and how you can make good shoots.
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Unread 11-05-2013, 09:26 PM   #60
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I'm not sure how much I can contribute to the conversation that hasn't already been said. After all, everyone is going to come in and say they like what they have. BUT I was in the same boat as the OP about 2 weeks ago so I'll contribute what I picked from and why I did what I did.

I'd been looking for a new hobby. Jeeping and car modding is my long time love but realistically it is too expensive for me to keep it up as a "let's do this in my spare time" kind of gig. I grew up shooting but got out of it when I went to college. Eventually got married and my wife asked me to sell our rifles (which I hadn't touched in 10 years). So I did. Well fast forward two years and she's asking ME to get something to protect the family with.

Some of the factors for me -
I wanted accuracy. I'd previously shot rifles, handguns, and shotguns so I knew a bit about each. I like rifles. I'm useless with a pistol.
I wanted something easy for either of us to handle. So the .300 Win Mag Savage I was eyeballing was out.
I wanted something compact enough to handle inside. I got quickly talked out of a 12 gauge because there's no way to handle it inside - can't bring it to bear around a corner or doorway.
I wanted cheap ammo. So I could practice a lot and go out shooting with friends without spending a dollar every time it goes bang. When you need 200 rounds just to break in a barrel, ammo costs rack up quickly.
I wanted something that was going to be less dangerous around the kiddos. Accidents are a lot more common with handguns. Obviously that can be mitigated with safety precautions but statistics are statistics.

I wound up quickly deciding on an AR-15 carbine - spent a bit more on the weapon than I originally planned but it meets all of the above criteria. In terms of energy/penetration, we're a whole order of magnitude above a pistol or even a .22LR rifle. Ammo is between $0.35 and $0.50 a round for FMJ plinking rounds, plus I have a mag packed with hollow-points for home defense (so I don't penetrate 2 walls and put a round into the neighbor's house).

As far as deterrence - it is scary as ****. The charging handle is a little less intimidating than a pump-action but I prefer the quiet *snick* of the safety.

And lastly... it is extremely fun to shoot. The hobby/mod potential is limitless - you can keep it simple and have a great gun or you can add lights and lasers, optics, bipod, go all "tacticool" and that's going to be pretty scary to your potential intruder. So if you want a fun, reliable plinking gun that works for home defense and even small-game hunting (anything smaller than a deer, really), then an AR-15 in .223/5.56mm is an excellent choice.

PS - I also considered an AK in 7.62x39. I didn't like the overall feel of the AK platform, didn't like the safety. I thought it would be too heavy and too much a handful for my wife to shoot - she was a little intimidated by the AR at first but doubly so for the AK. Plus all the ones I handled had a longer length of pull than I liked, felt unwieldy. Shoots nice though, and makes a lot bigger holes than a .223. Hollow-points level the playing field a little.
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