The Survival Podcast Forum

Armory, Self Defense, And EDC => Firearms (Including Long Guns, Pistols) => Firearm Self Defense => Topic started by: aslink on July 14, 2009, 10:05:55 PM

Title: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: aslink on July 14, 2009, 10:05:55 PM
It's been buggin' me for sometime. I first heard about it from Michael Bane on his show "The Best Defense." They were at a shooting facility in Oklahoma when they mocked up drywall material in the form of walls and did some shooting tests with various self defense weapons. Included were 9mm, 45ACP, 5.56 and shotgun with 00 Buck and 8 shot. It turns out the best thing you could use in your own house for self defense is 8 shot and the 223 round. Best meaning it penetrates fewer walls and will most likely not leave your house and visit your neighbors.

I didn't what to post any of this without being able to post proof. Since I watched that episode in the earlier part of the year. Jack's made mention of a carbine is not a good choice. Now when I think carbine I think 223 or 5.56. He also said I believe a pistol is a better choice then a shotgun, I forget the ammo choice so I'll leave that out. I wanted to write at that time but I couldn't find the episode on the web so I let it alone.

I also listen to Tom Gresham's Gun Talk via podcast. He made mention in last Sunday's Radio show that Gunsite when he was visiting made some mock up walls and did some tests. This I was able to locate and posted the podcasts for everyone to listen to. I posted the whole show but the important part is in part b. He talked about the 223 or 5.56 penetrating fewer walls even FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) not just JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point). This fact surprised me but again makes sense it's still a lighter round. He stated that all the pistol rounds tested exited the exterior wall.

Food for thought.

After you click on the link and the page draws up click on the link for "Direct Download".

Part A
http://guntalk.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=502704 (http://guntalk.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=502704)

Part B
http://guntalk.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=502705 (http://guntalk.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=502705)

Part C
http://guntalk.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=502707 (http://guntalk.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=502707)
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on July 15, 2009, 02:10:35 AM
I'm familiar with all of those episodes, & I happen to think Jack's wrong about the handgun being the best for home defense.  We all have our opinions obviously & that's what he prefers.

IMO the shotgun in an easily maneuverable configuration (18" barrel) is what I'd choose first.  Within a house the ranges are going to be fairly short & I've seen guys shot at close range with shotguns.  They don't move much after they take the hit, usually straight to the ground.  The psychological impact of staring down a shotgun barrel is pretty impressive too.

Since I don't own a shotgun at the moment my choice now is my AR, with my pistol as a back up.  I have a light mounted to the rail in case I need it.  None of them are worth a damn though if you can't use them effectively.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: khristopher23 on July 15, 2009, 06:55:06 AM
I have heard the same thing on both of the shows you were talking about. It has about sold me on the idea that I need a .223.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: aslink on July 15, 2009, 09:52:04 AM
I like the idea of the shotgun with 8 shot because it doesn't over penetrate the walls but just enough of a bad guy. It's inexpensive so if the cops take it I'm not out $1,200 for either my 1911 or my Sig 556. Plus and here is the big one Racking the 870 in the middle of the night to me is a big deterrent. Just like looking down the wrong end of the shotgun the sound of racking one would be enough for me. But then again I'm not out doing B&E's.

My hope is Jack will read this thread and do the research and change his mind. I just think he has old info and ideas about the different rounds. The new info is based on tried and true set it up and see what happens.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Citizen Zero on July 17, 2009, 11:22:18 PM
I'd have to go with the shotgun as well.

1. Intimidation factor (can help you avoid a shooting incident).

2. If there is a shooting incident, you don't loose a $900+ carbine (even in a "justified" shooting. If its unjustified, you have a whole lot more to worry about than loosing the weapon).

Just my $.02
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Winchester32 on July 18, 2009, 12:27:45 AM
I wouldn't worry as much about it visiting the neighbors as I would having it go through a wall into my kids room.  I would stick with a shotgun as well. 
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: homeshow on July 18, 2009, 05:09:13 AM
look i am going to politely disagree on the "intimidation factor"  the last thing I'm going to do at 2 am is make a loud warning noise for the possably and likely armed intruder.  in my home with MY Susan in the house.  i pray this never happens.  there will be no warning noises coming from me except for possably nervous farts.

i own a bushmaster AR and as it is one of the tools i could use when available.  last time i cleared the house was with a pistol and flashlight.  both readily available in the bedroom.  so in the preparedness theme of going with what you know and my second rule of RULE #2 whatever is closest and loaded.  first rule is RULE #1 in an unfriendly situation to make the situation friendly precede entry with insertion of 2 live hand grenades.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: khristopher23 on July 18, 2009, 07:48:39 AM
I believe I gotta agree with you homeshow, I believe the "intimidation factor" is somewhat overrated, to the point where it seems like some people are depending on that. Sometimes though it does work I guess. We had a neighbor call years ago when I was just a kid. She was home alone and saw a someone looking in her windows. Well, out goes my dad with the model 1100 (not a pump I know, but the effect was kinda the same). He didn't have one in the chamber, but when he seen the guy laying in the middle of the road, he chambered a round. He said the guy almost (or did, it's been a long time ago, I don't 100% remember) started crying. He later told my dad that was the scariest sound he had ever heard in his life.

Like you though, I'm not too sure I would count on it. Like you mentioned also, there is a lot to be said for the stealth factor. By racking the shotgun you are letting someone know exactly where you are at. I believe, chances are 99% of the time most would leave when hearing that, but what about those that are armed, doped up, or whatever, that might be willing to fight. You have just announced your location. I don't know, I haven't actually been in that situation, but I believe both tactics deserve consideration.

Where are you at Yeager? What's your opinion? Nice having our own resident firearms instructor here isn't it :)
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: SteveInTx on July 18, 2009, 09:34:14 AM
Chambering a round in an AR has a distinctive sound as well.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on July 18, 2009, 10:29:18 PM
Quote
You have just announced your location.
You've only announced your location if you're standing still. 

A very important rule when involved in an armed conflict is to MOVE!  If you're not moving you're a target....hell, even if you are moving you're a target, but at least you're a moving target & that means you're actively engaged in either removing yourself from harm or removing the harm from yourself (i.e. killing it).

You might get lucky & catch the bad guy slipping, in that case staring down the barrel of 12 gauge might just be enough to keep them from twitching towards their own weapon.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: homeshow on July 19, 2009, 06:10:23 AM
You've only announced your location if you're standing still. 

A very important rule when involved in an armed conflict is to MOVE!  If you're not moving you're a target....hell, even if you are moving you're a target, but at least you're a moving target & that means you're actively engaged in either removing yourself from harm or removing the harm from yourself (i.e. killing it).

You might get lucky & catch the bad guy slipping, in that case staring down the barrel of 12 gauge might just be enough to keep them from twitching towards their own weapon.

darn i won't be breaking into your house any time soon. ;D +1
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on July 19, 2009, 11:55:06 AM
darn i won't be breaking into your house any time soon. ;D +1
LOL...well, I've had two guns pointed at me in anger & was a bouncer in a bar once when a gunfight between pissed off patrons erupted, so I have a little experience in actively avoiding getting shot.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: MisterTaco on July 19, 2009, 12:12:58 PM
Whether the choice is a shotgun or handgun, training/proficiency is tantamount. Including weapon retention. Both can be taken away.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Kwitzats on July 19, 2009, 04:24:30 PM
I didn't follow the link but a 223 is not a low penetration round it is quite fast and can defeat armour that many pistol rounds can't, as far as home defense i'd perfer my carbine because im faster and much more accurate than with a handgun, i don't own a shotgun and have had limited training with it so i can't chime in on it effectivness or personal preference but it seems a logical tool in home defense. On the practical side since a ar or shotgun will not fit in a fast open safe on my bedside table my goto is the hangun. If i knew people were comming this wouldnt be the case but if i knew they were comming i probally wouldn't be there myself.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: khristopher23 on July 19, 2009, 05:02:19 PM
I didn't follow the link but a 223 is not a low penetration round it is quite fast and can defeat armour that many pistol rounds can't, as far as home defense i'd perfer my carbine because im faster and much more accurate than with a handgun, i don't own a shotgun and have had limited training with it so i can't chime in on it effectivness or personal preference but it seems a logical tool in home defense. On the practical side since a ar or shotgun will not fit in a fast open safe on my bedside table my goto is the hangun. If i knew people were comming this wouldnt be the case but if i knew they were comming i probally wouldn't be there myself.

According to the tests they done, which they shot through actual framed walls, the 223 penetrated less than 12ga with buckshot or slugs, and the 9mm and .45. The proof was there, they showed the test taking place.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Kwitzats on July 19, 2009, 07:55:46 PM
I'll look at it but I'm calling balderdash preemptively.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Kwitzats on July 19, 2009, 08:20:41 PM
still have not listened but some preliminary reseach indicates Blitz fragmenting ammo if thats the case i need to get some.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Possenti2264 on July 20, 2009, 07:59:59 AM
I believe it may have been on a different site, but a poll was conducted asking the respondents "As an intruder, which gun would you least like to be confronted with by a homeowner."

Answer that question and you have your answer for a home defense gun.  (My answer was 12 gauge shotgun)
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Kwitzats on July 20, 2009, 08:53:53 PM
another test i found(Possibly the one mentioned) used two pieces of waffer board a space and then dry wall to simulate EXTERIOR walls, I have little fear that an ar will exit my brick home it is interior walls that i am primarily concerned with. Still have not found test data for non specific fragmenting ammo showing that a 223 penetrates less drywall than a 12gauge. Anyone have a link other that a podcast?
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Pathfinder on July 20, 2009, 09:09:58 PM
another test i found(Possibly the one mentioned) used two pieces of waffer board a space and then dry wall to simulate EXTERIOR walls, I have little fear that an ar will exit my brick home it is interior walls that i am primarily concerned with. Still have not found test data for non specific fragmenting ammo showing that a 223 penetrates less drywall than a 12gauge. Anyone have a link other that a podcast?

The test was conducted on camera on The Best Defense show on The Outdoor Channel earlier this year. They shot multiple rounds through multiple weapons, and the 5.56 ball stopped shorter than any other round other than #8 birdshot IIRC.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Kwitzats on July 20, 2009, 09:42:10 PM
All i saw was 5.56 penetrate 3 walls some lip service about it now having limited velocity by Pincus an then he did not show the remaining walls The buck shot was severely attenuated at the second wall despite Pincus's description. I am wondering if there might be some hidden agenda here? Maybe not it just goes against my common perception of the 556. I think the important message is that almost any round will  at least penetrate one room with deadly force.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Kilo113 on July 22, 2009, 11:39:11 AM
Rob Pincus is enough of an expert for me to trust his finding. As for a hidden agenda, what does he have to gain by falsifying data?
The guy makes a living on his reputation after all.  What is most important about this is the type of bullet. 55gr fmj, excluding the varmint rnds, it is  least lethal .223/5.56 round available for the Ar platform IMO.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Serellan on July 22, 2009, 12:18:17 PM
Real penetration tests:

http://www.theboxotruth.com/ (http://www.theboxotruth.com/)

For me, the rifles stay in safes.  My "available" weapons in the house are a Mossberg 500A loaded with RR 00 buck (in the mag, full 00 buck and slugs on the sidesaddle), and my 92FS loaded with hydroshock 124g jhp.

Missing an intruder and having a .223 round go through my wall, into a neighbors house and killing someone is too much of a risk in my semi-surburban neighborhood.  While 00 will penetrate multiple walls, the spread is enough that it is unlikely to kill a neighbor.

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot14_4.htm (http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot14_4.htm)
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Lawyerman on August 04, 2009, 07:22:56 AM
I keep a rifle by the bed. The advantages of the rifle over the shotgun are too many to be ignored. Besides, penetration is not a bad thing- it's how guns kill- air in, blood out. There have been so few incidents of people being wounded due to over penetration in my opinion that it is practically a non factor. If you live on a postage stamp lot or in an apartment it may be more of an issue but to me, it's not something worth worrying about a whole lot.

The rifle recoils less, carries more ammo, is easier to reload and offers greater precision than the shotgun. You are responsible for all 8 or 9 of the buckshot pellets you let fly with. I've got ONE rifle bullet to worry about and I have a much better idea of where it's going than you do with 8-9 pellets...... I have little use for the shotgun as a defensive weapon in all honesty.  I will say this also, anyone that advocates the use of bird shot for self defense is not someone I would listen to. It will not penetrate sufficiently to kill at less than essentially contact ranges. Bird shot is for birds......
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: khristopher23 on August 04, 2009, 08:27:22 AM
I'm believing this before I'm believing any box of truth test. These walls are set distances apart that are typical in an actual home.

Gun Caliber Velocity Test (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc3Djfad6tc#ws-lq-lq2-hq-vhq)

So, my first choice for home defense would be a .223 rifle (which I still don't own, but when I do it will be my 1st choice). I do believe it would penetrate less than the 9mm, but have more knockdown power.

My second choice would have to be the shotgun with birdshot. That being said, only the first one or two in the tube would be birdshot, backed up by buckshot, just in case the "birdshot is not powerful enough" camp is right.

Third choice would be my .45, with a 9mm being pretty much at the bottom of the list. That being said, I believe Massad Ayoob said his bedroom gun is a 9mm Baretta, so....
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: donaldj on August 04, 2009, 09:06:57 AM
The NRA and most other places suggest a pistol over a rifle/shotgun in home defense ONLY because so few gun owners take the time to learn real tactical movement with a long arm.  Too many people have seen movies with the long arm aimed up, jumping into a room with bravado, racking that 12 gauge pump, and talkin' tough to the bad guys. Tactically speaking, this is utterly farcical. Pistols are suggested because they are able to be moved into position faster (from the bad tactical posture people tend to use).

In correct movement, you move through the house with the barrel pointed straight in front of you, and stay behind the weapon. At this point the chamber is loaded and you are ready (finger off the trigger though). Your barrel is leading the way for you. Waiting to confront a bad guy before chambering a round is pure idiocy, and foolish bravado. Because of this movement, shorter weapons are preferred. A bullpup rifle/carbine, short barrel shotgun, or pistol are preferred to a trap barrel, obviously.

For me, I use a Beretta 9mm. If I had a short barrel shotgun I would use it instead with #4 shot to begin with, working up to 000. I have an M1 Carbine that would be somewhat suitable, but the 9mm is sufficient, and has higher capacity and maneuverability.

I don't think a rifle is a good choice for internal home defense unless shot placement in a simulated home situation, and tactical movement, is practiced.

D
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: khristopher23 on August 04, 2009, 09:51:29 AM
Tactical movement inside a house is probably a bad idea anyway unless you need to go get your kids, or something like that. If you are sure someone is in your house, you probably just need to get your family members safe in your predetermined safe room, call the police and wait for them, while waiting in that safe room with your weapon(s) of choice. In that scenario, I believe a shotgun would probably be the best bet. But as for the handgun, I agree, it is a lot more maneuverable, and would be my choice in the "gathering the kids" phase, especially since I have young children who would probably have to be carried. It would be hard to carry a kid and keep a rife, carbine, or shotgun in a usable position.

So, my plan would probably be: leave my wife in the bedroom with the shotgun, take a handgun and go get the kids, then return to the safe room. In that case, I am fine with not even having a short barreled "tactical" shotgun. The shotgun stays in the safe room, and is not used to clear the house. At that point, if I were sure there was someone else in the house, as I said above, I would stay put and call the professionals. But, IMO, the most likely thing to happen around here would be some unusual noise outside or something, which would probably be an animal of some sort getting into something, in which case, I don't really want to have called the police for a possum or stray dog knocking something over on the porch . THAT is when I would take a .223 or a .308 SOCOM if I had one. Even if it is an animal, it may still need to be shot if it is rabid, or otherwise tries to attack, or it may not be an animal at all, in which case I am very glad I brought the rifle or carbine.

The point is, as we've said on here many times, that guns are only tools. It is best to have the right one for the right application.

 In typing all of this out, I have been rethinking my plan. In the case mentioned above, if the shotgun were guarding the bedroom door only, if a shot was fired and it did go outside of the house, there is nothing but woods in that direction for a pretty good ways, so over penetration would not be that big of an issue. So, maybe buckshot is my best bet. However, turn 90 degrees to the left (which would cover the stairwell leading upstairs) there is a house probably only 100yds away. But, in thinking about it, that house is solid log, so I doubt I would have to worry about my buckshot load going out my wall, going 100 yards, then going through at least 4 solid inches of log (probably closer to 6 or 8 inches, but some around here are only 4). Either way, in my situation I believe I would be alright with the buckshot. Sorry for rambling , I was just literally re-thinking my personal situation as I typed. Maybe it'll help someone else rethink their own situation. I believe I have just convinced myself to go back to buckshot for my home defense shotgun in a thread that was supposed to be about using a .223 or 5.56 for home defense. ;D
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Goatdog62 on August 04, 2009, 09:57:47 AM
Lots of good arguments made here.

I go back and forth (internally) with this subject.

Some key points;

1. The 9mm is no longer the SWAT weapon of choice because of overpenetration fears. For years it was assumed that a rifle round would be more devastating in multiple drywall penetrations. Turns out, it is less likely. The 9mm went through more. Furthermore, a suspect hit with a single 5.56 generally stopped their aggressive actions quicker than a suspect hit by a single 9mm. Kinetic shock (energy) is basic physics. The shotgun of course, as we all know, lays a BG out quickly. It did so for me in 1985 when I used a 20 ga on an intruder. Many entry teams switched to a 5.56 platform earlier this century. I am not against 9mm and my wife has an XD9 as her bedside weapon of choice.

2. Overpenetration may not be important in your individual case. Know your house. Sweep it one day, when no one else is at home, and look at the likely engagement angles and see if there is a probability or just a possibility. You may live pretty far from your neighbors and have no kids in the house. I am trying very hard to remember when overpenetration became an issue on any op I've been on.

3. The argument for a handgun would be that you can hold a child, a cell phone, a separate flashlight, operate a doorknob, flip light switches, etc while still holding the gun steadily. Handguns are generally chambered already (mine are anyway), so no warning noise issues with that as opposed to a pump shotgun carried "cruiser ready" (tube loaded, chamber empty, hammer down, safety off) or a rifle (magazine loaded, chamber empty, safety on).

4. The argument for a handgun because it doesn't stick out so far and therefore makes it harder for an intruder to grab from you is slight at best. A handgun, in a proper two-hand Isocelles Stance, sticks out as far as a shorter barrelled carbine held to the shoulder. Sure, a handgun can, at very short engagement distances, be fired from the hip. So can a carbine or a shotgun.

5. In the end, be very good with whatever you do plan to use. Have a plan, rehearse it, be able to get first shot hits, reload, clear malfunctions, and fight through any injuries you take in the process. I keep bedside light/laser equipped handguns for my spouse and I. I have a Mossberg 500 (with light) nearby. I have an AR (with light) that can be deployed in a few seconds. My home is setup for me to always be near a gun, but I don't walk around the house carrying a weapon. The spouse and children who are old enough are trained as well and know the home defense plan. We rehearsed it. I wouldn't advise invading my home. If someone does, it would be better for them to encounter me than it would be my wife. The mother instinct in her will leave the guy choking on his own scrotum before she delivers the coup de grace. I will show more restraint.


Any gun is better than no gun when BG's enter your castle.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: CR Williams on October 08, 2009, 02:21:43 PM
At the ranges you would engage at in an average home, the differences between .223 and 5.56 are effectively zero.

As to the other options discussed here:

One thing I never see discussed is the difference in legal barrel length allowed between shotguns and rifles. It's a two inch difference, and when you're clearing rooms and pieing corners and doors two inches makes a bigger difference than you might think.

If you have a collapsible stock on rifle or shotgun, look at fully collapsing the stock prior to movement in the house with it. This is uncomfortable to some, but the discomfort is temporary, you get a shorter weapon that's easier and faster to move with indoors, and most importantly, you keep the second big advantage of having a shoulder weapon, which is the multiple points of contact that gives you more stability and thus accuracy, especially in rapid fire, than with a handgun. (The first big advantage is the more powerful round.)

If the rifle or shotgun has a folding stock, I would recommend not using it that way in a home-defense/clearance environment. You lose all the advantages of the multi-point support, it's more fatiguing to maneuver with (and you're already going to be stressed enough as it is), it's easier to take away if someone gets a hand on it, and it's harder to keep on target and manipulate in rapid-fire. Fold for storage, extend for fighting.

Assume everything you shoot is going to go through more walls than anybody tells you it will. Set your 'fire plan' up with that in mind. Overestimate penetration, underestimate the effect on the target. This puts emphasis on accuracy, where it should be even at short ranges.

Pattern your shotgun at the longest range you'll shoot it in the house. One thing that might surprise you is how small the spread will be at those ranges. You can't just point it down the hall and put a ball or two on everything at the opposite end.

Even with a rifle/carbine or a shotgun, do not count on one shot stopping the threat. Most things, even pistols, work most of the time, but nothing works all the time, and you don't want to bet your life and your family on one-shot stop charts, not even for a shotgun.

So: If I'm able to and planning to hold in place, the shotgun or carbine is my choice. If I have to start maneuvering through the house, the pistol or carbine is my choice. This is also what I recommend to anyone that might ask me for recommendations for home defense.

But, after you have the basic hardware, software rules. So whatever you do get, seek training next.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: ncjeeper on October 08, 2009, 06:01:11 PM
Good discussion.
Heres my 2 cents. I am an LEO with 20 years on and have always carried a 40 cal on duty. I have cleared numerous buildings and residences with my side arm in the daylight and at night. I train with my 40 also at the academy on training days. Even train using my weak hand and one handed shooting. Hard to do that with a shotgun. So since we dont train with the shotgun and only shoot it once a year to qualify with it I prefer using my 40 cal as my home defense weapon. I do have a 20 gauge 18" barreled shotgun at the house but it stays in the safe. It would get real old real quick having to put the shotgun in the safe everyday for safe keeping when I leave for work and the have to remove it every night from the safe before I go to bed. I wouldnt want to leave it out when im not home. My 40 cal is always with me and ready to go.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: CR Williams on October 09, 2009, 07:33:41 AM
One important detail when using AR or AK model rifle/carbines for self-defense in the home to consider: At the short ranges you're dealing with inside, the roughly two-inch height difference between front sight and barrel becomes very important. If you have to make a precision shot, you need to have worked some on the range to get a feel for how much higher you have to aim above your actual desired point of impact to make that.

Example: About ten feet away, if I want to put the shot between the eyebrows, my actual aim point with an AR or AK will be near the top of the forehead.

You want to keep that in mind if you need it.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: KYdoomer on October 09, 2009, 08:13:24 AM
I hate arguing about best gun so I'll only make one comment here.

Anyone who believes two pieces of inch thick drywall is going to stop any kind of projectile fired from a firearm is CrAzY   :P

If I can punch through it, my shotgun is going to send a lot more than one piece of shot through the wall.  The overpenetration thing is a made up concept when it comes to home defense and if anyone doubts me.  Ride out to a construction site (if you can find one).  As for a few pieces of scrap drywall and try to shoot through them with various weapons. 

I'm not making a judgment on any person here.  You guys are definitely more qualified that me but....YOU DON'T SHOOT IN THE DIRECTION OF OTHER PEOPLE.  If you don't feel like you are capable of making that decision in a home invasion then you need to put your weapons out of reach until you do feel comfortable.  Plans always change but you at least need to know what directions you defend and what directions you don't shoot.  My plan is simple.  My bedroom is at the beginning of my hallway.  There is only one way past me and no way to enter past that point.  My child's room is to the right of that entrance.  I have a 90 degree arc I can shoot in anything greater than that 90 degree arc is off limits.  I would not hesitate to pick up any of my weapons and stop an intruder.

However.  In a close quarters situation like that, why wouldn't you go with a handgun?  You can't cut a corner and sweep with two feet of metal in front of you.  You can't tuck a shotgun in close if you happen to close in too quickly.  Just doesn't make sense to me.

J
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Serellan on October 20, 2009, 05:13:54 PM

I'm not making a judgment on any person here.  You guys are definitely more qualified that me but....YOU DON'T SHOOT IN THE DIRECTION OF OTHER PEOPLE.  If you don't feel like you are capable of making that decision in a home invasion then you need to put your weapons out of reach until you do feel comfortable. 

When I think of over-penetration, I'm not thinking about internal to my house.  I'm thinking specifically of a round leaving my house, going in another house, and entering a person.  In many suburban situations, it is often impossible to fire a weapon inside a residence and NOT be shooting in the direction of a person when we are talking about a high-powered rifle round leaving the residence.  Yes, a 12g buck round will go right through the walls in my house, but it is unlikely to go through an internal wall, an external wall, through another external wall, and injure a neighbor.

Does that make sense?
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: KYdoomer on October 20, 2009, 06:19:57 PM
When I think of over-penetration, I'm not thinking about internal to my house.  I'm thinking specifically of a round leaving my house, going in another house, and entering a person.  In many suburban situations, it is often impossible to fire a weapon inside a residence and NOT be shooting in the direction of a person when we are talking about a high-powered rifle round leaving the residence.  Yes, a 12g buck round will go right through the walls in my house, but it is unlikely to go through an internal wall, an external wall, through another external wall, and injure a neighbor.

Does that make sense?

That does.  All things considered, it doesn't make sense to pick a rifle round for a home self defense gun.  Now I will say that unless you live close enough to spit on your neighbor, the likelihood of a pistol or shotgun round coming through one or more walls including siding or brick or wood, insulation, wiring and drywall and still flying across a 50 ft or greater space and penetrating through all that again is not very likely.  Are there certain circumstances where things just go wrong?  Yes, probably. 

For those that are concerned greatly about this and absolutely insist on using a rifle, there are frangible rounds for both rifles and pistols which will break apart on anything hard.

J
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Tommk9 on October 20, 2009, 08:45:12 PM
The shotgun is the most devastating close range weapon you can get.  If you live in California or other states that idolize bears and red stars then remember the dead don't sue.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: kiteflyer on October 20, 2009, 08:58:08 PM

    Turkey shotgun shells, copper coated 1300 fps are the best for optimum effects. Believe me a shotgun would even make my wife dangerous as hell!

                                 kiteflyer
 

The shotgun is the most devastating close range weapon you can get.  If you live in California or other states that idolize bears and red stars then remember the dead don't sue.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Serellan on October 21, 2009, 01:24:26 PM
That does.  All things considered, it doesn't make sense to pick a rifle round for a home self defense gun.  Now I will say that unless you live close enough to spit on your neighbor, the likelihood of a pistol or shotgun round coming through one or more walls including siding or brick or wood, insulation, wiring and drywall and still flying across a 50 ft or greater space and penetrating through all that again is not very likely.  Are there certain circumstances where things just go wrong?  Yes, probably. 

For those that are concerned greatly about this and absolutely insist on using a rifle, there are frangible rounds for both rifles and pistols which will break apart on anything hard.

J

Yup, that's why I use a 9mm & 12g.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Hartmann on October 28, 2009, 02:41:48 PM
Yes, a 12g buck round will go right through the walls in my house, but it is unlikely to go through an internal wall, an external wall, through another external wall, and injure a neighbor.


What do you base this on?  The box-o-truth link you posted above did not test for passing through 2 external walls, just wallboard.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: KYdoomer on October 28, 2009, 04:43:17 PM
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=10065.0 (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=10065.0)

Soccer Grannie was kind enough to provide me this link.  I think people really overestimate projectile performance.

J
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: soccer grannie on October 28, 2009, 05:21:01 PM
I know very little about weapons but after reading Gadget's post, it seems to me that people underestimate what a bullet can penetrate.

Can you imagine the insurance claim the lady had to file not only for the damage to her house but for a bullet hole through every item of clothing in her closet! (See 1st example listed in http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=10065.0 (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=10065.0) )
 
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Hartmann on October 28, 2009, 05:32:36 PM
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=10065.0 (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=10065.0)

Soccer Grannie was kind enough to provide me this link.  I think people really overestimate projectile performance.

J

That is a great post.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Jimbo on October 28, 2009, 05:45:25 PM
 I'm a firearms Luddite ;D .38 Spl and 12 ga for home defense, an AR-15 would be "ammo" for an asshat prosecutor IMO. Springfield used to make M-1 Garands in 7.62 NATO & of I run across a used one in very good-excellent condition, would gladly trade in my AR-15 for one.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: dudekrtr on October 28, 2009, 07:14:20 PM
Lots of good stuff here, but one thing missing is what loads are being used, except the 12 ga, which I just don't see 8 shot beating buck [Jack did a piece on this a couple of months ago, I think].

The testing was based on ball ammo? Why not defense ammo? Aren't you using a proven self-defense cartridge? 9mm by the bed with Corbons or Vital Shoks, and the 870 a little farther away [it's a little uncomfortable to keep in bed].
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Duc1 on January 06, 2010, 09:28:40 PM
I use a Glock .45 with Hollow points.  Any gun I pick up could harm a family member on the other side of a wall so I take great precaution to follow my safety rules and pray for the best.  I believe a shotgun is the best to stop somebody quick, but my 45 is much easier for me to move around the house to check on the kids and call the cops.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Stein on January 13, 2010, 11:26:39 AM
I use a Glock .45 with Hollow points.  Any gun I pick up could harm a family member on the other side of a wall so I take great precaution to follow my safety rules and pray for the best.  I believe a shotgun is the best to stop somebody quick, but my 45 is much easier for me to move around the house to check on the kids and call the cops.

I was just going to mention that point - I am MUCH more concerned about my daughter sleeping on the other side of the wall than I am of my neighbor. 

The fact is that anything that is going to stop a bad guy will go through a wall - there isn't any way around that that I know of.  So, it is then a matter of the best tool (ease to deploy, simple design, size, ability to use in the dark, ability to shoot without sight picture, etc) coupled with thinking about where I would and would not engage someone with a gun and what I would do if I was in the "don't fire here" zone.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Orionblade on January 15, 2010, 12:20:51 PM
Wish list for home invasion response:

2 smoke grenades
2 flash bangs
Thermal goggles to see through the smoke.
AR loaded with one of the varieties of composite tin or tungsten powder bullets.
Rail mounted flashlight with remote switch
Rail mounted side saddle for the aforementioned flash and smoke devices.

Current: pistol and flashlight - light stays off until I draw down on the target and wish to identify them/reveal my position.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: hunker down bunker on March 01, 2010, 11:39:15 AM
mmm... flashbangs.

oc grenades..? are those legal?

http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/22530569/detail.html (http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/22530569/detail.html)
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: sledgehammer on March 01, 2010, 08:18:46 PM
Question for those who choose a long gun for home protection:

How do you follow rule #2 (Never point your weapon at something you don't intend to destroy) in the dark?

Sledgehammer
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Orionblade on March 02, 2010, 12:47:04 AM
Live alone.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: CR Williams on March 03, 2010, 01:39:51 PM
Question for those who choose a long gun for home protection:

How do you follow rule #2 (Never point your weapon at something you don't intend to destroy) in the dark?

Sledgehammer

1. By understanding that a fight does not allow for absolute and total adherence to the rule(s) above all other considerations. (The range is not the fight, the fight is not the range.)
2. By having other habits of safety and weapon control integrated to the point where they are automatic and unthinking in their execution.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Orionblade on March 03, 2010, 02:20:10 PM
I agree.

I have a dog and a grandmother. Hell, today, he knocked my revolver off the ottoman next to me while I was putting my belt and holster on. He normally stays away since it smells like gunpowder residue and solvent, but today he sniffed and nosed it.

Kerplunk.

Sh*t happens, but since I don't put it up high where it can get knocked off with enough force to go off, it was ok. It fell 8 inches onto carpet.

Not a fun feeling, but even in "breaking the rules" my other precautions would have kept things other than the floor from getting shot, namely keeping myself on the other side of as many (old school lath and plaster) walls as possible from anyone else in the house, and keeping the muzzle pointed at exterior wall, or the floor, as appropriate - but not at the floor when I'm upstairs directly overhead... Run through various break-in scenarios and see where you'll have to travel, and adjust accordingly. technically I'm muzzling everyone in the house as I go upstairs via my curved staircase, with the weapon holstered, but hardly anyone would balk at that "gaff".

You can't really prevent sh*t from happening, you just have to put safeguards in place to prevent it from hitting your proverbial fan ;-)
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: sledgehammer on March 03, 2010, 02:45:31 PM
"By understanding that a fight does not allow for absolute and total adherence to the rule(s) above all other considerations."
I agree with the theory. But when you have options that allow for total adherence (handgun and flashlight for example), why choose to go into a gray area? Why not play it safer?

"keeping the muzzle pointed at exterior wall..."
If you have two hands on your two-handed firearm, you don't have any light where you are looking (unless you're looking at the exterior wall). You have to point the weapon at the "target" eventually. (I have to assume there is a light on your weapon.) How happy will your grandmother be when you point your shotgun, AR, or whatever long gun at her face just to verify that she isn't a bad guy?

"keeping myself on the other side of as many (old school lath and plaster) walls as possible from anyone else in the house"
Perhaps your situation allows for this. But I'll wager that most people have to consider the possibility that the bump in the night isn't someone they want to shoot.

While I understand that the .223 or a shotgun has superior killing ability, I can't wrap my head around aiming your weapon at someone in your house before identifying friend or foe.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Orionblade on March 03, 2010, 04:12:09 PM
I have nightlights around, and a flashlight handy, so seeing friend or foe isn't really an issue. I've only had "bumps in the night" a few times with folks in the house, but my basic point is that if you adapt your techniques a bit, you should be able to avoid muzzling someone that doesn't need muzzling.

I'm assuming you're in the worst case scenario of having a wife and kids in the house. You can either aim high, thus avoiding muzzling the children if they're bumping in the night, and if you don't know where your wife is, then she's likely the bump in the night, so you should be somewhat less apt to immediately aim and fire.

Don't know your specific situation, so all we can provide are generalities, or our experiences.

I'm sure any one of us would be happy to hash out details over a PM, so as to avoid hijacking the thread. I agree, however, that it is difficult to move through a completely dark environment without either giving away your position, or jepoardizing the safety of other occupants of that environment. I have to worry about my dog, too, and I'd be just as upset about shooting him accidentally as any other member of my family.

On the other hand, you could enact a simple curfew based means of identifying your family member's locations in the house. First and foremost, I'd get a little hanger tag printed up for each of the bedroom doorknobs. If you're out of your room, the tag is either placed or removed. This could even be made electronic, and I'd be happy to engineer a quickie little kit for you - shouldn't run more than about 5 bucks a piece. If the door is opened after a certain time, a little LED would come on to indicate this, then automatically reset in the morning. Put one on the bedroom doors and one on the bathroom door, and you should be set for 90% of legitimate middle-of-the-night family movement. Maybe one on the fridge, too - especially if you have teenage boys ;-)

PM me if you're interested in working out such a plan. Might even post a how-to on here. Meanwhile, I have some plants to prep for shipping!
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: sledgehammer on March 03, 2010, 06:19:21 PM
I appreciate your offer to help. But I still think you're wrong... especially when you talk about using a long gun and a flashlight. Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point.

I still think that, tactically speaking, a long gun is the wrong answer for home protection for a variety of tactical and safety reasons.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: ubergeek on March 03, 2010, 06:43:55 PM
Good discussion.
Heres my 2 cents. I am an LEO with 20 years on and have always carried a 40 cal on duty. I have cleared numerous buildings and residences with my side arm in the daylight and at night. I train with my 40 also at the academy on training days. Even train using my weak hand and one handed shooting. Hard to do that with a shotgun. So since we dont train with the shotgun and only shoot it once a year to qualify with it I prefer using my 40 cal as my home defense weapon. I do have a 20 gauge 18" barreled shotgun at the house but it stays in the safe. It would get real old real quick having to put the shotgun in the safe everyday for safe keeping when I leave for work and the have to remove it every night from the safe before I go to bed. I wouldnt want to leave it out when im not home. My 40 cal is always with me and ready to go.

While I'm not a LEO, I have a lot of training involving weak side shooting, one handed, weak side draws, racking the slide one handed, etc. The entire gamut of how you can train with a pistol. Being able to shoot one handed is a definite advantage that goes to a pistol. I've had a lot of carbine training as well, but I think I would be more comfortable at close ranges with a pistol.  I keep my long guns in the safe. My wife and I have both been through training, and have actually both been trained in room clearing together in a stack with carbines and pistols both (with LIVE AMMO...that's marital trust!!), but I think the layout of my house is more pistol friendly. Maybe if my house had a different floorpan, I might feel better about a carbine or shotgun. Honestly, I think it's all about knowing what's behind your target and being able to exhibit some self control under high stress, which I'll never say it easy, but training makes it a little more probable.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: CR Williams on March 04, 2010, 09:08:36 AM
"By understanding that a fight does not allow for absolute and total adherence to the rule(s) above all other considerations."
I agree with the theory. But when you have options that allow for total adherence (handgun and flashlight for example), why choose to go into a gray area? Why not play it safer?

Because I try to acknowledge reality. Reality is, when the fight starts, the actual encounter that may result in someone's death, that it does not matter what tools you have or what you want to do or what you intend to do about the four rules of safety. The reality is that you will not be able to adhere absolutely to those rules without increasing you chance of losing and maybe dying. If you have a family and you die, you increase the changes of Bad Things happening to them. So you want to stay alive. That means you acknowledge reality and ditch the fanatical adherence to the rules under any and all conditions. You want to know the safest thing you can do? Identify and take the bad guy down as soon as possible. Then you can put the gun away where it will be safe.

While I understand that the .223 or a shotgun has superior killing ability, I can't wrap my head around aiming your weapon at someone in your house before identifying friend or foe.

This implies that I am stupid enough that I will do that. Where did I say that I would not ID to the best of my ability, or where did I recommend or even hint that someone should open fire without ID-ing the bad guy? Why do you think I would do that?
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: sledgehammer on March 04, 2010, 07:51:28 PM
Maybe I wasn't clear. Or maybe I misunderstood.

Here's what I'm understanding:
You're planning to defend with a long gun. Your light is fixed to the weapon. (It can't be in your hands since your hands are full.)
Pro:
High power with limited over-penetration.
Usually, long gun means larger ammo capacity than a handgun.
With a shotgun, you have a margin of error when aiming.

Con:
Light and aim point move together.
With a shotgun, you have a margin of error when aiming.

Alternate solution: handgun and a flashlight
Pro:
Can be used with one hand.
Light and aim point move independently.
Arguably harder to disarm.

Con:
Less ammo.

I think you gain more than you lose.
---
I agree "that you will not be able to adhere absolutely to those rules without increasing you chance of losing and maybe dying." The plan is always the first casualty. I absolutely disagree with not developing a better plan. I disagree with shrugging off safety during planning. Proper planning prevents piss poor performance. It really looks like your plan includes actions you know are unsafe. If you start off planning on being unsafe, how unsafe will you be once the playbook goes out the window and the shit really starts flying? If you start off trying to be safe, when everything goes awry you'll have a better chance to minimize the unnecessary risks... like using a shotgun for a flashlight.

And this may be the misunderstanding, crw... to me, pointing a weapon at someone is aiming your weapon at someone. They're the same to me. So, if you're pointing your long gun at someone so that the flashlight let's you identify them, you're aiming your gun at them! And I don't see how you can quickly identify someone without hitting them with a flashlight.

That's why I asked how you, and others who choose that tactic, do it. Maybe someone can explain.

Sledgehammer
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: bsmith_shoot on March 05, 2010, 04:43:47 PM
Please, all of you, listen to what I suggest. Whether you use a weapon-mounted light, or a handheld model, do not keep the light turned on. You know your home better than any thug that would break into your house. You know where every piece of furniture, every corner, every ounce of cover and concealment, and every room in your home is. Only use your light in flashes. When you leave your bedroom, flash the light. When you move down the hall, flash the light. When you enter your kitchen/living/dining room, flash the light. At the point that you notice something wrong, flood it with light, identify the target, and point, touch, press, press, press....until there is no longer a threat. Practice this very often. Include you family in thes drills. Have someone place a target in your home and find it. Above all else, be safe. Make sure your weapon is empty.
Sorry about the rant.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: bsmith_shoot on March 05, 2010, 08:25:27 PM
I'm sorry for the double post. I forgot to add some very vital aspects to the above method. First, with the light on in a "constant" mode, you basically stand out like a lighthouse on the shore. You make yourself an easy target that is easily seen by an unseen enemy. Secondly, use your peripheral vision. Don't look directly into the light due to the fact that it will momentarily blind you. Today's modern combat flashlight produce such an extreme amount of blinding white light, that they can basically be used as a weapon on their own. They are really designed to send out a "spot" type light to help in the ease of identifying your target. The real bonus that we get from such a powerful light source is a secondary "flood" effect. Not only does it send out this very focused beam, but it also  fills a normal sized room with very efficient light. The real key to using this method properly is to constantly be moving. Flash the light while you are on the move, only stopping to either retrieve the loved ones you are searching for, or to engage the intruder. This is the method I will stake the lives of my family on. That is my .02 cents on the topic. Hope this helps.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Orionblade on March 06, 2010, 04:41:20 AM
Sledgehammer - I quoted this, but IE is being weird, so here goes:

"And this may be the misunderstanding, crw... to me, pointing a weapon at someone is aiming your weapon at someone. They're the same to me. So, if you're pointing your long gun at someone so that the flashlight let's you identify them, you're aiming your gun at them! And I don't see how you can quickly identify someone without hitting them with a flashlight. "

I totally agree that pointing your schnitzel at someone is tantamount to firing it, which is why a separate light is needed if you intend to use a flashlight for identification of anything other than something you're already pretty sure you'll need to, or be willing to shoot.

As for the last part - you don't see how you can quickly ID someone without hitting them with the flashlight.

First off, I hope you don't run around hitting people with flashlights. Or anything else for that matter. It's not polite, and it could leave a bruise! Only hit them with the PHOTONS!!!

 ;D

Ok, comic break over - in realistic situations, and keep in mind I'm picturing MY house, so adjust accordingly - but in typical situations where I have to ID someone or something in or near my house, there are always enough lights on to where I can see if it's one of my parents, or my dog, or one of my friends. There is a "feeling" (I hate talking about feelings, but that's how it presents itself to the conscious psyche) that you're looking at the outline of your loved one, and not the outline of some random douche that wants to rob the place.

In essence, your brain is looking for the curve of your wife's neck, the pattern in the hem of the night gown she was wearing, the scent of her hair, her height, her overall relative size and a variety of mathematically descrptable aspects of her form and movement. ALL of these things combine to identify and define an abstract data construct within your brain called "wife" (or honey, "my wife" etc.). When you see her shadow cast from around a corner, you'll have a pretty good betting chance that you "know" it's her, without seeing her. First, you likely saw where she was a few minutes ago, have an idea of her reasons for being wherever you two are, and have a guestimate on a range of trajectories she could have taken, and if the shadow lies on one of those trajectories, and it looks like hers, then you'll assume it is hers, and not have to wonder where she is - you'll walk around the corner and simply say "hey honey - i've been looking all over for you?!"

What you seem to be concerned about is exactly the opposite. So I'm in my hypothetical home, walking down the hallway, and I've gotten out of bed. I don't know where my wife is, which likely means I don't sleep in the same bed or bedroom, since if I did, I'd know immediately where she is (elsewhere)  or is not (next to me)  before grabbing my weapons and light.

I then proceed down the hallway, which is pitch black, and hear footsteps. I have to shine my flashlight towards the footsteps, and point my gun in the direction of the footsteps (because if it's an attacker I have just revealed my position). And here we are back at the conundrum, as far as I see it.


Either way, best practice dictates that the line of sight follows the point of aim and vice versa, you're not looking to the right while your gun tracks left - then you're pointing without aiming, right? There's SOME flexibility, however, in that you can muzzle your weapon slightly down or to the side, and shine the light on a loved one, or in front of them, without leading them into the muzzle line, but you're still pretty damn close to pointing your gun at them if you're going to maintain some modicum of control and proper form.

My solution is to use other clues, and to hone the skills required to read those clues as second nature, to determine who is where, and whether they belong there.

So here's my accurzied hypothetical, and hopefully it'll help you see my point of view, and maybe lend some ideas that you may not be implementing. (I've got a pistol, not a long gun. Tried a shotgun, and it just doesn't work with my comfort zone for moving through my house with all the twists and turns, and an AR seems like overkill, unless I coudl get an underslung shotgun that didn't make it a class III... I digress)

So, *bump, clatter clatter* Wtf was that?!

I bolt upright, as does my dog, if he's not already at the bedroom door ready to kick ass and take names. Snag the pistol with one hand, knife, light, and spare mag in the other. Spare mag gets tucked in the undies (Thank god for cold stainless steel and no pockets) as I move to the door, and the light gets clicked on, then pressed off - so it's now momentary on/off. This particular light has a laser pointer in it too. Not terribly useful except for distracting the dog for a few minutes of tail-chasing.

Anyhow, I move down the hall. I'm listening more intently than I'm looking, since all I'll see are faintly outlined figures via night light or moonlight. The dog goes ahead of me, and his reactions to folks in the hallway are always more keen - if it's a bud or a family member, I instantly know based on his reaction. Absent the pup, I know who's where simply by listening. I can hear the type of sound the feet are making - bare feet or slippers? gotta be someone that belongs here, and is up for a pee or a drink. Shoes? I'm the only one with a dog to walk, so it must be someone that came in from outside, likely uninvited. If I see a figure, the rate of movement is going to tell alot as well, as I move down the hall or the stairs, people that belong there are going to react slowly - "oh, you
re up! want some coffee?" vs. "oh shit, the homeowner's up, and this is huntin' country!"

Even in the shadows, body language can tell you a lot. I don't know if you simply haven't paid attention to that sort of technique, but it comes to me naturally, quite possibly because of time spent camping with my Dad, learning to identify animals by the sounds they made - voles moving through leaves sound like someone slowly tearing tissue paper, a deer foraging sounds like two men stepping in time because of the way they walk. An owl sounds like a hole in the sky - because of the way their wing feathers work, it creates a dead spot in the background sound, provided background noise levels are low enough for you to even tell the differnece. Bat's are kind of the same, but I think they sound like a flyback transformer getting ready to arc over, and the laminations are vibrating.

You can't really teach someone these sounds without experiencing them in the field, just like tracking requires hands-on practice. Maybe clearing a house, or specifically clearing YOUR house requires the same sort of learning process through practice?

Just my thoughts. Hope it doesn't sound preachy or arrogant or anything. I re-edited and snipped a few bits out that were duplicitous or just awkwardly worded, so it might be a bit disjointed. Just take it with a grain of salt - it's all meant to be helpful and stimulate discussion.

Anyhoo, since the sun is up...

zzzzz

Orion


Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: sledgehammer on March 06, 2010, 08:00:10 AM
Kinetic energy is velocity squared time mass (or something very similar). Photons move at the speed of light! We all need to be very careful!! ;) Crap. Now the liberals are going to ban flashlights.

Thanks for the detailed post. Without the details, readers have to overlay your tactics on their plan. And that bastard child is ugly.

I like your use of your dogs. I don't know how I feel about it for myself. I guess I'm concerned about them getting in the way. But if they're so unconcerned about the situation that they're at my feet or trying to lick my face, there probably isn't anyone there that shouldn't be.

I really thought you used a long gun...

Your plan (and previous comments) make more sense seeing the pace at which you clear your house. It looks like you take a measured, methodical approach. My home's layout doesn't support that strategy. In fact, that could lead to a very dangerous version of a Benny Hill skit. The open floor plan and my training (Infantry) pushes me in a different direction. My tactics are a bit faster and thus I need to be able to safely shoot a person right in the face with photons. Don't worry. Despite my infantry training, I do not clear my house with flash-bangs and hand grenades.

Thanks for the response. It clearly took a bit of your time. Your previous comments make more sense to me now.

Sledgehammer
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: Orionblade on March 06, 2010, 11:21:30 AM
Your plan (and previous comments) make more sense seeing the pace at which you clear your house. It looks like you take a measured, methodical approach. My home's layout doesn't support that strategy. In fact, that could lead to a very dangerous version of a Benny Hill skit. The open floor plan and my training (Infantry) pushes me in a different direction. My tactics are a bit faster and thus I need to be able to safely shoot a person right in the face with photons. Don't worry. Despite my infantry training, I do not clear my house with flash-bangs and hand grenades.

Thanks for the response. It clearly took a bit of your time. Your previous comments make more sense to me now.

Sledgehammer

First, no problem, and hooray, that was the object. I walked into my room and promptly passed out. I think I permanently dented the pillow with my forehead. I was totally expecting to come in here and re-read my post, only to find it was written in Klingon.

Second - no flash bangs and hand grenades? What kind of a prepper ARE you?  ;D

Third - in all honesty, I think a smoke grenade generator or two is a handy thing to have, but only if you've got a respirator to put on before deploying them in enclosed spaces. *cough cough*

Sorry you have a contentious floor plan. I'm blessed in that as I stand in my bedroom doorway, I can either turn around and look out one of four windows onto the north, east, and west sides of my house, or look down the hallway and see two bathrooms on my right (west) and one bedroom door dead ahead. A few steps forward, and I can see the other two guest bedrooms. Quick trip down the stairs and I look left and right, and I've just cleared 50% of my house, since I can see all the way into my kitchen from the bottom of the stairs. The most important thing is being able to hear the whole house, which I can do from the top of the stairs. Curved plaster is AWESOME at grabbing and redirecting sound.

I had a thought for you, though, and I thought I posted this in a reply a while ago, but I can't seem to find it. I think the internetz ate it.

Anyhow, have you thought about putting something like one or two packages of laminate or bamboo flooring down as an interior landing? If you've got carpet that kills footsteps, that stuff would produce a definite and detectable "click" sound when an intruder stepped on it. At 20-ish dollars a package, it's an expensive door mat, but you could also do a japanese squeaker with it. Little, gradual, changes like that might give you a bit of a better tactical advantage over someone lumbering through your house in the dark.

Just a thought ;-)

Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: CR Williams on March 15, 2010, 01:11:52 PM
Sledgehammer - I quoted this, but IE is being weird, so here goes:

"And this may be the misunderstanding, crw... to me, pointing a weapon at someone is aiming your weapon at someone. They're the same to me. So, if you're pointing your long gun at someone so that the flashlight let's you identify them, you're aiming your gun at them! And I don't see how you can quickly identify someone without hitting them with a flashlight. "

I totally agree that pointing your schnitzel at someone is tantamount to firing it, which is why a separate light is needed if you intend to use a flashlight for identification of anything other than something you're already pretty sure you'll need to, or be willing to shoot.

As for the last part - you don't see how you can quickly ID someone without hitting them with the flashlight.

First off, I hope you don't run around hitting people with flashlights. Or anything else for that matter. It's not polite, and it could leave a bruise! Only hit them with the PHOTONS!!!

You don't hit people with your flashlight??? ???

Where's the fun if you don't do that??? :D

To address the points seriously:

I don't have anyone else in my house to identify, so I don't have to worry as much about ID as some of you do. If you're not a cat, you're a bad guy. ID problem solved...

Now, about flashlights...

Frankly, I'm not big on flashlights on guns, including long guns. Where a light will be needed, there is a way even with a long-gun to have a hand-light which you can angle off so as not to point the barrel of the weapon at someone. The angle is not large, and the close-in hold on the long-gun I use puts it across my chest with the forestock in the bend of the arm. I can fire that way if necessary. The light would be in my hand and has a lanyard. If the target is really close, I turn the body the very few degrees needed and use the body index to aim the initial shots; I'm usually going to be taking a step back as I do this which facilitates the index. (It would be easier to show than it is to tell.) Across the room or taking the doorway or corner, I drop the light and straighten the arm forcefully, which 'pops' the rifle up an inch or three to the normal shoulder mount as the forward hand moves to the foregrip hold. It's faster than you might think doing that.

All that is not as complicated as it may read like it is.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: ZenGunFighter on March 15, 2010, 01:53:19 PM
This information is not new. I took a Tac Carbine Instructors class by Bill Jeans of (at the time) Gunsite back in 1994.
16 years ago.
He provided reseach that showed that .223/5.56 penetrated less in typical building material than the common duty pistol calibers. The 55gr FMJ would break at the cannelure into two small (low mass) projectiles. The hollow point rounds similarly broke up early on.

Having said that, If I'm going to be moving around inside a building, it will be a pistol in my hand, not a long gun. manuevering around the tight spaces found in homes with a long gun ain't easy.

Give it a try. Especially if you have to open/close any doors. If you don't want to lead with the muzzle, you have to have it severly depressed, which means you are not keeping the muzzle between you and the potential threat areas. Really reduces your ability to respond quickly.

This is for the average citizen. If you are part of a well trained team, ready to kick in doors, then things are different.
Title: Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
Post by: CR Williams on March 16, 2010, 10:45:30 AM
Having said that, If I'm going to be moving around inside a building, it will be a pistol in my hand, not a long gun. Maneuvering around the tight spaces found in homes with a long gun ain't easy.

This part is true. Moving through home-sized halls and rooms with a legal-length carbine or shotgun is not just an adventure, it's a job.

Give it a try. Especially if you have to open/close any doors. If you don't want to lead with the muzzle, you have to have it severely depressed, which means you are not keeping the muzzle between you and the potential threat areas. Really reduces your ability to respond quickly.


This part is a bit off. There are a couple of holds that can bring the muzzle in (pause for thought experiment, as I'm not where I can double-check this physically) closer than you might think and keep it bearing on a threat area. One of the holds, which I touched on in my prior post, can allow you to open doors with the rifle/shotgun still bearing. It's a little awkward, but practice will make it less awkward. It's not my preferred solution, but if I'm sweeping with a long-gun, it's what I'll do.