Choosing a Home Defense Weapon

Carlos Spicyweiner

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If you are considering less lethal, you might want to look at bean bag ammo. I was just looking at rock salt ammo and in the same breath, the guy said don't use it on targets closer than 20 YARDS, or farther away than 50 yards, "making it ideal for home defense". At home defense ranges(mine would probably be less than 5 yards), rock salt can blind or kill. So can bean bag and rubber bullets, but you have to basically aim for the head. But hey, we're talking LESS lethal, right?

I got my H&K USP in .40 cal strictly for home defense because it is far too heavy and bulky for concealed carry(some German cops use it as a duty gun in 9mm). The mass of the thing absorbs recoil though, which makes it smooth and accurate. I used to carry a Glock 27 in .40 cal, but the recoil with hot defense rounds made it uncomfortable to shoot. So, like the FBI, I switched back to 9mm.

The trick is to choose the right ammo. I use Speer gold dot hollow points in a H&K P30SK, which allows me to carry more ammo than the Glock, and is much more accurate and comfortable to shoot.
 

Bruttle

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Several friends have asked me about recommending a firearm for home safety, so I thought I'd cross post this here.
I have also had this question pop up many, many times. It is usually one of the first questions that pop up when people find out I carry a concealed weapon. My answer though, usually comes in the form of a larger discussion. The results of which lead me to a different conclusion and recommendation. To be clear, I have shot the KSG and it is AMAZING. So I don't want to take anything away from the recommendation or legitimacy of the advice for owning one.

For the discussion though, I think it's important to start with a solid acknowledgment of risk. There is a very high likelihood that you will find a use for a home defense weapon at some point in your life. In 1985, the Bureau of Justice Statistics made a report on the likelihood of victimization (HERE). The report shows a 72% chance that you will be the victim of burglary at some point in your life. That is, of course a very broad statement, but even in rural areas it is 64%.

That's only the starting point of the discussion though. If you acknowledge the risk and want to take steps in preparation to prevent being a victim, there are quite a few steps that are practically better and more effective. It is much more effective to avoid the situation. Motion detector lights, alarm systems, camera systems, large signs, etc., make huge steps towards preventing the invasion from happening entirely. At the very least, you will be reducing that 72% down to almost nothing.

If you still want more though and make plans to protect yourself in a home invasion, there is one big question that you need to seriously ask yourself. Do you have it in you? I don't mean this in a challenging way, but as an honest question that you have to ask for yourself. Do you have the almost sociopathic ability to end a life without waiting too long or with full knowledge that you might be going too fast too soon and end up with charges? It is human nature to hesitate before making a decision that is so.. final. You might find that after an honest bit of introspection, choosing a "less than lethal" option may be a better option for you. I have experienced both the taser and the pepper spray (for work), I assure you they both are quite effective against an average person. Either way, using a less effective solution in time is far better than having a more effective solution that you failed to use in time.

So if you are still looking for something a bit more definitive and still want a firearm, my recommendation would be for a pistol. The main reason for it is, once again, likelihood. If you're this far "down the rabbit hole", and still want to be prepared, you have to acknowledge other risks. For instance, you're 10% more likely to be a victim of a violent crime than a burglary (83% instead of 72%). So you might want to consider concealed carry. If you do, you can't really conceal a shotgun.

So following that path will then lead you to the question that started this long winded reply, which caliber. I would first recommend reading this article (HERE). I think it puts things into perspective. One thing's for sure. There is an absolute ton of information out there and it is a highly debated subject. Some rounds have a better chance of stopping and some have less. However, some are much more difficult to shoot than others. I believe in a balance. I believe you want a pistol that is comfortable for you to shoot, even if it's a .22.

The reason I place such a high premium on comfort, is because I place an extremely high importance on actually being able to safely and reliably use the pistol. You absolutely need to hit what you're aiming at. If you can't, you're arguably just as much of a risk than the person you are trying to stop. That's why it's important to practice, practice, practice. You practice till your hand (not just your brain) knows where to shoot. You practice till you can hit the target every time and never miss. You practice till you find yourself indexing your Black and Decker drill at home. You won't do that if you have chosen too large of a caliber for your specific level of comfort.

The article I linked makes for some very strong support in favor of accuracy vs stopping power. In fact, it changed my mind from looking solely at raw stopping power, to looking at accuracy and usability as the main points. It just makes sense to me. Even the most effective calibers won't work if you can't hit, be fast enough, or it's just uncomfortable enough to convince you to skip range day. That's why I would recommend trying out as many calibers as you can before making a decision. Find one that works for you and get wicked good with it. Because at the end of the day, the best caliber to carry for self defense, is the one you have with you when you need it.

[/$0.02]
 

Phil

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Currently, six states require firearms safety training in order to purchase a weapon. Studies say that currently 61% of US firearms owners have had formal safety training. One interesting thing is that those who have had formal training are far less likely to store their weapons unloaded and locked, which is one primary contention of most modern firearms safety training. It seems the more we know, the less likely we are to place a weapon where we can't get at it quickly.
Americans and their toys... you know, it wouldn't be so bad if we were responsible enough to earn these rights we so easily boast about, but the fact is we are the laughing stock of the entire world when it comes to guns, we are like little kids when it comes to guns, this shotgun is a toy unfortunately. 900$ so you can get the gun from Modern Warfare lol. Nice their homepage has the badass NRA seal of approval also.

As long as we continue to have mass shootings with these types of weapons I will never support them, its a joke, this country is a joke when it comes to guns. Not a single person on the planet needs this gun to defend their home but it sure looks cool!
 

Phil

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I have also had this question pop up many, many times. It is usually one of the first questions that pop up when people find out I carry a concealed weapon. My answer though, usually comes in the form of a larger discussion. The results of which lead me to a different conclusion and recommendation. To be clear, I have shot the KSG and it is AMAZING. So I don't want to take anything away from the recommendation or legitimacy of the advice for owning one.

For the discussion though, I think it's important to start with a solid acknowledgment of risk. There is a very high likelihood that you will find a use for a home defense weapon at some point in your life. In 1985, the Bureau of Justice Statistics made a report on the likelihood of victimization (HERE). The report shows a 72% chance that you will be the victim of burglary at some point in your life. That is, of course a very broad statement, but even in rural areas it is 64%.

That's only the starting point of the discussion though. If you acknowledge the risk and want to take steps in preparation to prevent being a victim, there are quite a few steps that are practically better and more effective. It is much more effective to avoid the situation. Motion detector lights, alarm systems, camera systems, large signs, etc., make huge steps towards preventing the invasion from happening entirely. At the very least, you will be reducing that 72% down to almost nothing.

If you still want more though and make plans to protect yourself in a home invasion, there is one big question that you need to seriously ask yourself. Do you have it in you? I don't mean this in a challenging way, but as an honest question that you have to ask for yourself. Do you have the almost sociopathic ability to end a life without waiting too long or with full knowledge that you might be going too fast too soon and end up with charges? It is human nature to hesitate before making a decision that is so.. final. You might find that after an honest bit of introspection, choosing a "less than lethal" option may be a better option for you. I have experienced both the taser and the pepper spray (for work), I assure you they both are quite effective against an average person. Either way, using a less effective solution in time is far better than having a more effective solution that you failed to use in time.

So if you are still looking for something a bit more definitive and still want a firearm, my recommendation would be for a pistol. The main reason for it is, once again, likelihood. If you're this far "down the rabbit hole", and still want to be prepared, you have to acknowledge other risks. For instance, you're 10% more likely to be a victim of a violent crime than a burglary (83% instead of 72%). So you might want to consider concealed carry. If you do, you can't really conceal a shotgun.

So following that path will then lead you to the question that started this long winded reply, which caliber. I would first recommend reading this article (HERE). I think it puts things into perspective. One thing's for sure. There is an absolute ton of information out there and it is a highly debated subject. Some rounds have a better chance of stopping and some have less. However, some are much more difficult to shoot than others. I believe in a balance. I believe you want a pistol that is comfortable for you to shoot, even if it's a .22.

The reason I place such a high premium on comfort, is because I place an extremely high importance on actually being able to safely and reliably use the pistol. You absolutely need to hit what you're aiming at. If you can't, you're arguably just as much of a risk than the person you are trying to stop. That's why it's important to practice, practice, practice. You practice till your hand (not just your brain) knows where to shoot. You practice till you can hit the target every time and never miss. You practice till you find yourself indexing your Black and Decker drill at home. You won't do that if you have chosen too large of a caliber for your specific level of comfort.

The article I linked makes for some very strong support in favor of accuracy vs stopping power. In fact, it changed my mind from looking solely at raw stopping power, to looking at accuracy and usability as the main points. It just makes sense to me. Even the most effective calibers won't work if you can't hit, be fast enough, or it's just uncomfortable enough to convince you to skip range day. That's why I would recommend trying out as many calibers as you can before making a decision. Find one that works for you and get wicked good with it. Because at the end of the day, the best caliber to carry for self defense, is the one you have with you when you need it.

[/$0.02]
Dude, did you leave out the part where it says most people aren't even home when it happens? lol Victim of a burglary means your home was broken into whether you were there or not lol. Your statement is completely giving a false assumption that there is a 72% chance you will be home when you are burglarized and that is not even remotely true lol.

Otherwise I do agree with a lot of you said, I agree, pro action vs re action, gun is a last resort always.
 

Hammer

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Guns are a false sense of security, if you want to prevent a break in, a gun is not the answer, a gun is only good after they h


I know my wife is Canadian, its not a PAL its a R-Pal, PAL = Long rifles, you have to get a restricted license for handguns, yes same process but they are primarily used for sport or competition, it also says you would have to sign up for a club and can't fire the weapon on your property(not that they would know lol) you have no conceal carry laws so you can't carry them on your person. And the barrels can't be shorter than what 4.1 inches, .25 and .32 calibre are prohibited? Its a lot more restrictive than here that is for sure.

The one thing I think Americans can learn from, is that Canadians have to take a safety course before they can even apply for a license, not here in America, we just toss guns out the window and hope the idiot using knows which end is which.
Not entirely correct. Mostly. Firearms can be discharged on your property if there are no local bylaws preventing it. For example, most towns and cities have "no discharge" bylaws that prevent firing of firearms inside town limits. We do have concealed and open carry laws, however the Chief Firearms Officers across Canada have an unwritten agreement not to issue the permits. .25ACP and .32ACP are both prohibited due to their use almost exclusively in Derringer type pistols. Other .25 and .32 calibre cartridges are allowed though.

I am completely in favour of the safety course, even just as a basic familiarity course. The number of people I've known who were afraid of guns because "I don't know if it'll go off" who came to love shooting as a hobby because they became familiar would boggle your mind. The biggest barrier between firearms and the general public is ignorance and prejudice. When you remove the ignorance, the prejudice has less impact. Kinda like when new drivers are afraid of driving on roads with other cars, or afraid of driving in cities when they're from a small town. Take away the ignorance (IE: add education) and you fix the fear. Anyone who has worked with dangerous machinery knows that respect will keep you safe, fear will get you killed.
 

Phil

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I do think the definition of an Assault weapon or rifle needs to be addressed, it does cover far to many rifles. But if people were not so stubborn and would agree to magazine sizes I don't think we would even need a Assault weapons ban.

The primary reason Assault weapons are targeted are mainly for their ease of use, the ease at which you can fire X amount of rounds and not even be an expert marksman and hit your target.

Perfect example - Las Vegas, Nevada, 58 killed, 400+ injured by shrapnel or gunshot, 800+ combined injured due to panic and stampede. This all occurred in ten minutes, seriously it took some of you longer to type your replies on here than it did for this man to kill 58 people and injure 400 more, I won't even count the non gunshot wounded. It took over 8 months to ban Bump stocks, they were sold out by the time the ban ever came. This man had 24 firearms some had 100 round magazines, he had even more in a stockpile elsewhere, he attempted to buy tracer ammunition, could you imagine the damage if he had tracer ammunition? For people who don't know what that is this alone could have caused hundreds of more deaths easily, but they were sold out when he tried to buy it. Why does anyone need this stuff? Why? They don't NEED it, they WANT it.

Adam Lanza stole his mothers Bushmaster, ten 30 round magazines and went to Sandy Hook and murdered TWENTY six and seven year olds and 6 other people, 26 people. Why did this woman first of all allow her son to have access? Why did she need ten 30 round magazines? Again, she didn't NEED them, she WANTED them.

This to me is why we need restrictions on Assault weapons and modifications. This shotgun is no different, somebody with this gun can kill more people in less time than if he had a 870 Remington with a 5 round(plug out) capacity, twelve 12 gauge rounds is massive damage you could wipe out an entire room of people with this weapon and the right ammunition. But we never stop to ask why does anyone need it? The fact is they don't NEED it, they WANT it and there in lies the problem with this country, we care more about WANTING something than NEEDING something.

The countless deaths many of which were carried out by young men who had NO military experience or professional training managed to kill mass amounts of people because of the design of these weapons added in with modifications, both of which are far to easy to obtain. You can buy an AR-15 online, yes I know the process but still its online, we are currently having a debate about mail in voting, we can't even vote online but we will hand out AR-15s over the internet...

I will never support the sale of these weapons as long as they are to easy to get and Americans are to immature and irresponsible to handle them.
 

Bruttle

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Dude, did you leave out the part where it says most people aren't even home when it happens? lol Victim of a burglary means your home was broken into whether you were there or not lol. Your statement is completely giving a false assumption that there is a 72% chance you will be home when you are burglarized and that is not even remotely true lol.
You are absolutely correct. However, I figured my post was long enough without getting too lost in the statistics. There are other very important factors like location, the fact that the numbers came from a 1985 report, and many others that make the percentage fluctuate wildly. That is a very deep and convoluted rabbit hole though. The main point was a realistic assessment of risk and the fact you shouldn't plan for one issue while ignoring a greater one. In this case, planning for a home invasion without planning for a violent crime outside the home.

It's kind of like prepping for the apocalypse but still texting while driving.
 

Phil

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You are absolutely correct. However, I figured my post was long enough without getting too lost in the statistics. There are other very important factors like location, the fact that the numbers came from a 1985 report, and many others that make the percentage fluctuate wildly. That is a very deep and convoluted rabbit hole though. The main point was a realistic assessment of risk and the fact you shouldn't plan for one issue while ignoring a greater one. In this case, planning for a home invasion without planning for a violent crime outside the home.

It's kind of like prepping for the apocalypse but still texting while driving.
  • 27.6% of the time, a person is home while the burglary occurs; 26% of those people home are harmed. That means 7.2% of burglaries result in someone being injured.
  • 65.1% of the attackers knew the victim and 27.5% were strangers.
  • 60.5% of burglaries involved no weapon; 30.1% did involve a weapon; 9.3% of victims were unsure if a weapon was involved.
  • Homes with an income of less than $7500 annually were most subject to being present while being burglarized, at 65.7 out of 1,000 homes. As you climb to higher and higher annual incomes, your chance of being present goes down.
  • You are more likely to burglarized if you rent than if you own your home.
  • It seems as though burglars are less intimidated by people being present during an attack when they are either a single female, an American Indian or Alaskan Native, or if the house is owned by anyone young, between the ages of 12-19 years old. Perhaps they feel less intimidated by groups of people.
  • What is most likely to be taken? High-value items like electronics and personal items (including stamps, collections, recreational equipment, clothing, luggage, bikes, or animals). Also, anything that is small, easily pocketed, and can return a quick turn-around at a pawn shop.
There is a big difference here, this is why I hate it when people say things in a generic sense, it gives a false narrative which then fires up the gun base.

Statistics also don't tell you that these crimes happen more in certain area's, certain types of homes, times of day etc... to just say 72% chance your home will be burglarized is very generic, someone who lives in a poor neighborhood with a lot of crime statistically is way higher risk but that doesn't change the over all %.
 
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Phil

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Could we maybe stay on topic rather than derailing it with anti-gun rhetoric though? Need has never been the determining factor in legality in civilized nations. Need is a driving factor in Authoritarian states.

LoL, ya I know, its ok to talk about guns when you are pro gun but not anti gun. Here let me get it on this shit, ordering this one up next week! lol

thRR8Q6I2K.jpg
 
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Hammer

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Well guns were the topic but then you changed it to a whole need vs legal vs authoritarian thing so.
I did no such thing. I pointed out that you were focusing on anti-firearm rhetoric instead of answering the question in the thread. I also pointed out that need isn't the determining factor in civilized countries, or you would never have the option to buy a sports car, or non-basic clothing, or a smart phone. Point is, you're derailing the conversation with your anti-firearm position. I just want the OP to get an answer, not be harassed for asking a question.
 

Phil

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I did no such thing. I pointed out that you were focusing on anti-firearm rhetoric instead of answering the question in the thread. I also pointed out that need isn't the determining factor in civilized countries, or you would never have the option to buy a sports car, or non-basic clothing, or a smart phone. Point is, you're derailing the conversation with your anti-firearm position. I just want the OP to get an answer, not be harassed for asking a question.
America, land of the free, home of the stupid. Here is his answer, you don't need that gun to protect yourself. But you want that gun cause its cool!!!!!! :P
 
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Shadow Reaper

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Americans and their toys... you know, it wouldn't be so bad if we were responsible enough to earn these rights. . .
It would be easier to digest all your leftist drivel if you weren't routinely so ignorant. Seriously man, you make no sense. "earn rights"? What planet are you from? I do not think that word means what you think it means.

. . .but the fact is we are the laughing stock of the entire world when it comes to guns. . .
The only people who believe such tripe are past discussing with. Facts are quite unnecessary to you, now aren't they? You just make them up. Maybe, just MAYBE there is one small child here who is vulnerable to your tripe, but I doubt it. Reality check: more people want into this country than every other country in the world COMBINED. Plucking factoids from nowhere doesn't change this.

As long as we continue to have mass shootings with these types of weapons I will never support them. . .
Why would you think anyone cares what you support? Apart from ruining this thread by vioating the TOS here at TEST (just like you did yesterday with your Trump rants), what is it you think you accomplished? Okay so players know now to steer clear of you, but apart from that, what do you think your partisan rants accomplish?
 
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NaffNaffBobFace

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Could we maybe stay on topic rather than derailing it with anti-gun rhetoric though? Need has never been the determining factor in legality in civilized nations. Need is a driving factor in Authoritarian states.
I accept this and will bow out of the discussion, however please note that this is a forum with members from all over the world - some of whom it is not anti-rhetoric, it is the the common and accepted default.
 
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