1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

Use of shotgun for home defense

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by bigdogtx, Aug 7, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. bigdogtx

    bigdogtx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    10,650
    I have had several people and several posts about how "a shotgun is the best for home defense because if you miss it will not go through the wall and hit someone on the other side". Sounds good, but how true. My pistol range, Red River Firearms in Sherman, Texas, put this to the test to see what rounds actually went through. While you may have to save the photos and enlarge to see the actual labeling, you should be able to pick out the shotgun blasts. If you need the originals, leave me a PM with your email and I will forward them to you.

    Firearms were fired inside at 7 yards free style. Wall is 2x4 studded with 3/8 inch drywall. Hope this can clarify some statements. Remember....aim small, miss small.

    Entrance wall:


    [​IMG]


    Exit wall


    [​IMG]


    Close up exit wall


    [​IMG]


    Another close up. Answers a question about the 7 1/2 debate.


    [​IMG]
     
  2. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,331
    Location:
    Shawnee, Kansas, USA
    Jim,

    I think the point was; this would be an inside wall, such as shooting in a hallway, would the shot go through to the bedroom.

    Looks like the answer is a big, YES.
     
  3. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    25,254
    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    Wow, someone here ACTUALLY DID THEIR OWN TESTING instead of relying on old wives tales being repeated here over and over ad infinitum ad nauseum.<br>
    <br>
    For a real world test, the wall should be sheetrocked on both sides. It appears you've done your homework and did just that.<br>
    <br>
    I did tests like these in the mid-1980's. Results were almost identical.<br>
    <br>
    For the next level, you can try 1 sheetrock, 2x4 spacers,rolled fiberglass insulation, and an out layer of CDX and see what happens. Be sure to try it up close and from across the room (typical room distance).<br>
    <br>
    I've also tested vehicle windshields, and car and truck doors.<br>
    <br>
    Milk jugs filled with water make a reasonable test of lethality. A projectile that penetrates an object and enters a water filled milk jug should be considered potentially lethal. The milk jug also provides a good indication of how intact the projectile is. Some bullets will totally fragment passing through a car door, and only put superficial shards into a milk jug. Others will pass completely though a milk jug and stop inside a second milk jug, while retaining most of the original mass.<br>
    <br>
    Tactical testing is a lot of fun, and can be a real eye opener for projectile performance claims.
     
  4. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,357
    Location:
    Nashville Tn
    As one who trains Armed Professionals and Citizens in the use of the shotgun, bird shot cannot be counted on generating a RELIABLE lethal wound past a few yards, due to lack of penetration. Even Magnum buckshot is out of gas at 25 yards. You must INSTANTLY put down Mr Crack Monster in your home, or he is likely to kill you or a loved one with his dying breath!

    Only #2 or larger shot, and I recommend Remington low recoil (1200 fps) or Federal tactical (1325 fps) buckshot, should be considered for home defense. Low recoil or tactical buckshot is monumentally easier to handle than a magazine full of Magnum Two's! Either are quite destructive on walls and house furnishings up close. However, neither will operate an autoloading shotgun with absolute reliability. The Remington 870 with a short barrel or in Police configuration is the Gold Standard. LESS LETHAL AMMUNITION WILL GET YOU KILLED IN A HOME INVASION CONFRONTATION.

    If you are not trained in the use of the defensive shotgun, and you decide to perform a house clearing drill, it is very easy for someone like me to neutralize your ability to defend yourself with it and to disarm you. Let's not go there.

    If you are not willing to go to a Defensive Shotgun Wizard like Brian Hoffner in Texas and take several classes, I suggest you go to a safe room with a cell phone, dial 911 and wait behind your bed or other obstacle for the intruder to come to you, and be in your field of fire.

    Keep the line open and communicate with the responder while you wait for emergency response. They cannot suggest you defend yourself with deadly force, due to the ridiculous liability laws we have. However, a shouted and recorded "STOP OR I WILL SHOOT YOU" BEFORE the "BOOM" will go a long way in civil court. Also, the responder can tell you when Law Enforcement are at the door and when you need to disarm. They will be scared, too, and might shoot you if you point your firearm their way!!!!!

    For those with small children, things are a little more complicated. The entire family MUST participate in home invasion drills. Shooting a panicked child or spouse who runs in front of you is a distinct possibility if you leave them out of the training loop.

    Clay target shooting and training is my passion, but defensive firearms training, along with less lethals, non lethals, and open hand confrontational management is my profession.
     
  5. bigdogtx

    bigdogtx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    10,650
    Amateurs should never "clear" a house unless and only unless your family members may be in danger. As Shooting Coach says, get training. Just because you are a man and can shoot, doesn't mean you can fight. Besides the tactical courses are a lot of fun!!

    The main purpose for posting this is exactly what Brian was talking about. A lot of hype and chest pounding goes and gets accepted as fact. When you or your family are in danger, KNOW what your firearm WILL DO.
     
  6. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    25,254
    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    Remington tactical buckshot operates a pressure compensated 1187 barrel just fine. It's basically a buckshot version of a light field load. It CAN fail to cycle a dedicated 1187 buckshot barrel that lacks the pressure compensating system. These barrels are expected to be used with loads much heavier than the tactical buckshot loads or light field loads.<br>
    <br>
    As for a semi-automatic shotgun vs a pump, the pump more reliable. But on the other hand, no one short strokes a semi-auto in duress.<br>
    <br>
    Waiting for the intruder to come to you works only if you do not have family members in other areas to defend.<br>
    <br>
    Practice is a must. And trapshooting is NOT the equivalent of tactical practice. It's a good, basic start, but tactical shooting just ain't the same as trap, skeet or sporting clays.
     
  7. The Rock

    The Rock Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,491
    My house is one thing but as close as my neighbor's homes are another. While they may go through my walls hopefully not theirs.

    I will stick with both. But my first choice is the 19" hammer coach gun. Then the 45 when two shots won't do.

    Rock

    jim
     
  8. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,003
    I've always thought that a 12 gauge 870 with #4 Buck was one way to go for serious social work. It will certainly penetrate a double panel of drywall at close range. I wouldn't want to get in the way before or after.

    Unfortunately, a shotgun isn't something you would want to carry around with you all day while at home and keeping one within easy reach isn't always easy. Whatever you can keep handy at night is another thing, but contrary to popular belief, I don't spend all of my time sleeping in bed. I make it a point to be prepared almost all the time, wherever I am in my home and whatever I am doing. That means a different solution than the relaible shotgun. I'm not always in a high crime neighborhood these days, but I used to live in some bad ones. Old habits are hard to break. :)
     
  9. phirel

    phirel TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    9,556
    Shooting Coach- This is a topic where you have a lot of professional experience. I respect your opinion and have a question.

    If I were to get a shotgun for home defense, should I get one with a release trigger like my other shotguns? Would it be a good idea to change choke tubes, depending on what part of the house the intruder was sacking? If I select an automatic shotgun, would a shell deflector be necessary to prevent the empty hull from nicking the furniture? What is the best color for shooting glasses for shooting someone inside a home at night?

    Pat Ireland
     
  10. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,003
    Pat,

    You forgot to ask....7 1/2 or 8's!
     
  11. phirel

    phirel TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    9,556
    Shooting Coach- This is a more serious post than my last one and it relates to a true incident.

    In 1952, my Grandmother's sister was married to a fine gentleman. They lived in rural Oklahoma. Her husband was away on a business trip and he came home, in the middle of the night, two days before he was expected. His wife thought he was a burglar. When he walked through the bedroom door, she shot him, three times, and he died quickly.

    This family incident has raised a question about the advisability of me, and only me, keeping a defense gun at home. I honestly do not know what would be best for me. I do have experience shooting shotguns and at one time was classified as a Master pistol shot by the NRA. Today, I do not have a defense gun handy at my house. I am not sure what to do tomorrow. Any suggestions?

    Pat Ireland
     
  12. bigdogtx

    bigdogtx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    10,650
    Sometimes not ALL pellets hit the intruder or may be a moving target. Aim small; miss small.
     
  13. Haskins Bill

    Haskins Bill TS Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    777
    Well, I did a little demonstration for my high school kids that shoot on Weds. evening a few weeks ago after the fellow shot someone in the head at close range with an 'unloaded gun' in range parking lot. Ten feet with an Icchoke 7 1/2's. it blew a hole in a picece of two by twelve about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and jusblew out the back side. DO NOT DISCOUNT BIRDSHOT at close range!
     
  14. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    25,254
    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    Pat, that's only a question that you can answer.<br>
    <br>
    I can tell you this - never bluff with a gun. If you have one and cannot bring yourself to use it at the "moment of truth", it can and will be taken away from you, and then turned on you.<br>
    <br>
    --------------------<br>
    <br>
    Bill, birdshot is NOT a reliable "stopper". Yes, it will kill, but you want it to totally incapacitate an attacker. For example, you want a knife wielding attacker stopped cold, not just fatally wounded and in a position to stab you before he dies.<br>
    <br>
    Ask yourself this - if birdshot works so well, and is less lethal to downrange innocent bystanders than buckshot, why do the police continue to use buckshot? Because it's a much more reliable stopper than birdshot.
     
  15. Dickgshot

    Dickgshot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,676
    While you're deciding if it's o.k. to shoot the bad guy, he's already emptied his gun at you and is reloading.
     
  16. pendennis

    pendennis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,567
    Location:
    Southeast Michigan - O/S Detroit
    Lead shot will over-penetrate. Look at it this way:

    If you use OO buckshot, you're sending 9 pellets (.32 cal) into a target at better than 1300fps. If you use OOO buckshot, you're sending 8 pellets (.36 cal) at about the same velocity.

    Round-nosed lead notoriously over-penetrates especially at those velociites. It's the main reason why the hollow-point bullet was designed. FBI and police reports from the thirties on, described .38 caliber loads as going straight through a perp, and ending up going through a wall. 158gr round nose lead bullets are abolutely the worst stopper. Far better to launch a +P .38 cal 125gr HP at lower velocity, than to risk overpenetrating with buckshot.

    Best,
    Dennis
     
  17. Jerbear

    Jerbear TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,588
    Training- Training -Training..... every scenario is different. Everyones home layout is different. Learn your surroundings and be aware of them. Practice when no one is home with your firearm and a flashlight at night. You need to identify your intruder before you harm your loved ones. I just took my CPL class with a NRA tactical instructor. Having talked to other people that have taken similar classes, my instructor went above and beyond a typical CPL course.
    It's different in the range than in your home. He said it takes some one 1.5 seconds to run full speed from 4 yards (21 feet)to your body and to practice accessing your firearm and have 2 shots off in that time frame. I believe he used the mans name, Tooter (spelling) as the person who tested this.
    This was taught to us last weekend.
    In a carry situation we were taught to use deadly force ONLY as the last resort and if in your home, and have the chance, place one flashlight away from you and let the home invader come to you. You have a second brighter flashlight, Shine , Identify, React. Get low and aim center mass. You are low and aiming up, in a ranch style home there should not be an upstairs. Night sights were preferred for a carry firearm, I was told. Laser optional but a plus as well.

    If you have time 911 should have already been called and the phone left open as the incident will be taped. At the end of the confrontation make sure you tell the police what you are wearing and to send EMS. Do not reach for your firearm, let the police remove it if it's holstered. Tell them you wish to co-operate with them fully, but you want to talk to you attorney first. I plan on taking the other 4 courses he is holding through out the year.

    The next class is situation awareness and tactical situations pertaining to car jacking and conceal carry on your property, and what to look out for in and around your home and how best to deal with close quarters combat. This was an eye opening experience to say the least. We went from double taps, left and right handed in the isosceles position, to covering your heart with one arm and emptying your clip into a target 4 yards away,switching both hands in case you are shot in one hand. Even in the range your adrenalin gets going.

    Michigan is a open carry state, and I am glad I took this CPL class to learn the carry laws as well as the castle doctrine laws. Man I did not know that I must refer to my hand gun as, a tool of self defense or firearm, and not a weapon. I was told by the lawyer that ended the class, that the prosecuting attorney could have a field day with me in referring to my firearm as a weapon.

    I will be in the range again tomorrow to practice what I have learned. I have a shotgun for home defense but with the law as it is written, if someone here in Michigan gets a hold of it and kills someone, the surviving family can come at me for not securing my firearm in a reasonable fashion. At least that's how I interpreted it. All of my shotguns and rifles are in a safe anyway. Just got an handgun safe for my bedroom and in silent mode to open, just in case.

    Things have gotten bad in my neighborhood and I thought it was time to take charge and learn how to defend myself and family.I pray to God I may never have to use this training, but feel safer having the knowledge if I ever need to use it.

    By no means am I an expert, but just relaying what I learned last week for someone to use as a guide. The most important thing I learned was to find a good instructor and train, train, train.

    Jerbear
     
  18. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,357
    Location:
    Nashville Tn
    Dear Pat

    That person made the fatal mistake of being in the house when they should NOT have been. A simple phone call would have changed everything. If you are found in my house and I did not invite you, you are very likely a dead man.

    Knowing your target and what is behind your target is cardinal. This is another reason I ALWAYS suggest the entire family be involved in home invasion drills. Every one in the house MUST know what to do and where to go in an emergency. Unless EVERY access point and window in the home are wired, there should be panic buttons which activate the system in a subdued mode, in every room. The entire family should also participate in fire drills. These should be performed on a regular basis.

    If one has small children, the safe room might need to be where they are. If you have a pair of very young ones, the idea of them running to a safe room in the middle of the night is not going to happen.

    Hardening your home so it is more difficult to gain entry is a good alternative. If the burglar or home invader cannot quickly gain access, they are more likely to go elsewhere. Steel security doors and sills, grilled windows, cameras and motion detectors work well.

    However, these things must be understood and used. The best electronic security system can be defeated by a child if you do not have a cellular backup to phone service. Larger batteries will keep a system running when you are gone on long trips if the power is cut off. I have motorcycle batteries on my alarm system. These will keep the system up and running, even if I am gone for a month and the power lines are cut the day I leave. If phone lines are cut, a backup system immediately calls the alarm co.

    The local beat cops know me and understand I have lethal hardware in my home that cannot be allowed to be on the street. I have a hardened house, a great security system and a gun safe that will take a preplanned, deliberate effort to get in, but they know they must get to my house PRONTO if the alarm goes off. The one time a spider web in front of a motion detector set the system off, they were at my house with help in about 90 seconds!!!!

    Taking defensive courses are a necessity, but also, a security professional should be hired to do an evaluation of your home. Most folks selling alarm systems do not have a clue about security. The two times I have moved in the last 15 years and had a "security consultant" in my home to get a system installed or updated, I had to tell them what I wanted in the system!

    As a last thought, ALL adults and children old enough to handle a firearm should be in the loop for practice. There have been numerous incidents where minor children stopped a home invader when the parents were injured or could not get to a firearm.

    I have a drill to get you and your family out of harm's way if a madman or terrorist strikes in a public place. The Father goes first, with legally carried sidearm drawn and ready in a crouch, to a safe place he has pre selected. Next is the Mom, with her hand around his belt or in his waistband. Next is the largest child, then so on.

    If ANYONE attempts to stop this chain, THEY DIE. (Law Enforcement will NEVER attempt to keep a family from finding safe harbor) If the Dad goes down, and drops his gun, the Mom picks it up and continues to get herself and the children to safety. If SHE goes down, the oldest child, next in the chain, picks up the firearm and gets themself and the smaller child(ren) to safety. They continually communicate what they are doing and where they are going. Most folks do not like to think about this drill.

    Most of the folks at Church get very uncomfortable if they ask what I do for a living and I tell them. I have had folks at our Grandtimer's Pot Luck Supper get up leave the table where I sat after asking what I my profession was! I now tell them I train Sheepdogs. Those in the know understand, and the clueless stay that way. After a lethal invasion at a church in the eastern part of my state, church security is being revisited.

    Thank you for your generous service to Trapshooters.
     
  19. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    25,254
    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    Tell them you're in the business of saving lives.
     
  20. phirel

    phirel TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    9,556
    Shooting Coach- I will from time to time tap your expertise on home security. I do wish you could visit my home. You could use it in your classes as an example of not how to build a secure house. My home is rather large, multi leveled and surrounds a 40 X 60 central court yard. I once had a flue fire that caused no damage but the volunteer fire dept responded quickly. To make sure things were safe, the chief went around the perimeter of my home and got lost in the bamboo. He called for me on his radio to show him the way out. While I did that, two other fire fighters became lost in my home. I suspect three different burglars could break into my home at the same time they could do their business and never meet each other. And, I forget where I put everything. If I had a home defense gun, I don't think I could remember where it was in an emergency.

    I sincerely believe that I need your help. Currently, I rely heavily on the semi-pet skunk that I feed every morning. He does spray something that is intruding my yard at night about once a week. I believe you would conclude that this is not adequate home defense.

    Pat Ireland
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.