Handgun for home defense

Robert Palmer

Unverified
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Messages
15
Location
Virginia Beach
I recently had someone attempt to break in through the my house's back door and then again on a different occasion at the front door. Lucky the person didn't get in and did no damage to my doors. Since I've told this story to my friends and family a few of them told me to "get a gun." I don't know all that much on the matter so I figured I'd ask. (since you guys seem pretty knowledgeable on the subject of home defense.)

I know I want either a Glock or Sig but don't know where to go from there. My dad has a Glock 23 .40 and I like it, I just don't think .40 would work in my house because it has some rather thin walls.

Any advice?
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
Administrator
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
15,841
Location
Not Afghanistan
I just don't think .40 would work in my house because it has some rather thin walls.

Any advice?
Learn to shoot or get an ax handle.

What is "rather thin" and what is the material? A .22LR will penetrate more than people realize....
 

Diamondback 2/2

Infantry
Verified Military
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Messages
7,193
Location
Tejas
SSMP
Military Mentor
There is really no significant difference in penetration in most common handgun calibers. Interior walls of drywall, hallow core doors and most household furniture are not going to stop a 9mm or a 40 cal.

I carry a G19, but keep a G22 in my night stand. Its not a caliber issue, but my G22 has my tac-light and has modifications that I am most comfortable with.

I agree with FreeFalling, if/when you buy a gun, go and invest in good quality training. Not the buddy who has done something, or your dad, etc. Go and get it from a professional trainer, and concealed carry licence instructors don't count.
 

Robert Palmer

Unverified
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Messages
15
Location
Virginia Beach
@Freefalling
I live in a 40's Bungalow and most of the exterior walls are only covered with particle board width material and the exterior is covered by thin wood shingles. No brick or cinder block and very little insulation. That coupled with the proximity of my neighbors' houses makes me think anything .40+ would go straight through my target and into a neighboring house.
 

Ranger Psych

Ranger
Verified SOF
Joined
Sep 6, 2008
Messages
3,868
Location
Saving lives one axe swing at a time.
@Freefalling
I live in a 40's Bungalow and most of the exterior walls are only covered with particle board width material and the exterior is covered by thin wood shingles. No brick or cinder block and very little insulation. That coupled with the proximity of my neighbors' houses makes me think anything .40+ would go straight through my target and into a neighboring house.
No. Humans are exceedingly effective bullet traps. You provide the marksmanship, and you provide the combined effects of safety increase for yourself as well as your neighbors.

Miss, and it's a dice roll at that point.

Get training. Real training.
 

Marine0311

Marine
Verified Military
Joined
Sep 28, 2009
Messages
4,085
1. Everything everyone said. Train first then pick a firearm later. Nothing screams "wrong way" than to go out and get heavy weapons....and then not know how to shoot. I personally own a Glock 9mm (Model 19) and I enjoy it; no issues.

2. You can invest in some short term, low cost measures such as a yard sign and stickers for your windows. Go shop at Amazon for different types of "Warning/Security/Etc" stickers.

3. When you do sign up for training research the background of your instructor before. Not Joe Sixpack. Find someone with a lengthly tactical background, LEO and/or military. You can find scores of people from a SWAT background, SF or SOF.

4. We have a section on the forums for training classes. Check it out.
 

policemedic

Verified SWAT
Joined
Jul 29, 2008
Messages
5,532
Location
A galaxy far, far away
Just a personal observation, but if you're going to buy a Glock buy a 9mm. The 17 and 19 are their best guns, with perhaps a slight edge to the 17. I own (as others here do) a G19 that I use for specific purposes.

If you do your part--marksmanship and bullet selection--the 9mm will do the job quite well. Ammo is cheaper in that caliber, which makes it easier to train.

I echo the advice above re: penetration. All defensive handgun calibers will penetrate most home construction materials. Therefore, it behooves you not to miss. And that brings me back to training.

Do not go cheap. I would list some reputable trainers, but that might make me run afoul of the site's rules. As others have said, SMU/SOF/SWAT experienced instructors are out there and are not hard to find.

Make sure you understand your state's laws regarding when you can use force and deadly force to protect yourself.
 

roketsciontist

Verified Military
Joined
Aug 31, 2011
Messages
13
Location
Harrison Township, MI
personal defense rounds are typically designed to cause maximum damage just after impact, and therefore are less likely to go through and through. Bonus: they tend to put your enemy down quickly!
 

Ooh-Rah

Marine
Moderator
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
12,131
I carry a Sig 229 in .40 chambered with hollow points and keep a Shield chambered the same way in bedside safe w/blinding flashlight as well. (Not railed, personal preference, but I am not a fan of having a light attached to my self defense weapon)

Very confident in both to stop a threat if necessary.
 

x SF med

the Troll
Moderator
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
10,962
Location
Not far from the south of Canada, 'Murica!
SSMP
SOF Mentor
I carry a Sig 229 in .40 chambered with hollow points and keep a Shield chambered the same way in bedside safe w/blinding flashlight as well. (Not railed, personal preference, but I am not a fan of having a light attached to my self defense weapon)

Very confident in both to stop a threat if necessary.
Speer Gold Dot 147 gr 9x19 ... when you want to see the target drop.:thumbsup:
 

Diamondback 2/2

Infantry
Verified Military
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Messages
7,193
Location
Tejas
SSMP
Military Mentor
I use Hornaday critical defense in 115grs for 9mm. I like the Winchester Bonded JHP's in 180gr for .40cal (the FBI load) and I just use standard 230gr FMJs for. 45 ACP.

There are frangible rounds that do not penetrate a lot of things, and I have heard of them used for defense ammo, but I personally wouldn't recommend them.

Gold-Dots and Golden Saber, are also both good defensive rounds. The Winchester Ranger ammo is pretty good as well, really like the low flash powder they use.

Shotgun in the home is a good choice as well, but can be hard to maneuver in close quarters, and also requires some proficiency in use for multiple targets, threats, etc.

I personally use a pistol for inside the home, and keep a loaded AR15 for other "what if situations".
 

RustyShackleford

Ranger
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
1,154
Just the sound of a 12ga racking will scare off most bad guys, and if it doesn't, well, the BOOM probably will - although the BOOM should separate them into component pieces parts.
This is correct but if someone is worried about over penetration, a shotgun is not the answer. At least not one loaded with 00 buck or slugs.
 

x SF med

the Troll
Moderator
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
10,962
Location
Not far from the south of Canada, 'Murica!
SSMP
SOF Mentor
This is correct but if someone is worried about over penetration, a shotgun is not the answer. At least not one loaded with 00 buck or slugs.
Bird shot (Pheasant load) with a modified skeet choke is nice... even in 20 ga... :ninja:

I usually will grab the pistol with heavy 'slow' (970 fps) frangible rounds... but I know how to hit the target.
 

Diamondback 2/2

Infantry
Verified Military
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Messages
7,193
Location
Tejas
SSMP
Military Mentor
Bird shot is really good for reducing the penetration issue, however, you have to be really close, about 0-6 feet, for it to have leathal affect. There are speciality rounds for shotguns as well though.
 

policemedic

Verified SWAT
Joined
Jul 29, 2008
Messages
5,532
Location
A galaxy far, far away
I use Hornaday critical defense in 115grs for 9mm. I like the Winchester Bonded JHP's in 180gr for .40cal (the FBI load) and I just use standard 230gr FMJs for. 45 ACP.

There are frangible rounds that do not penetrate a lot of things, and I have heard of them used for defense ammo, but I personally wouldn't recommend them.

Gold-Dots and Golden Saber, are also both good defensive rounds. The Winchester Ranger ammo is pretty good as well, really like the low flash powder they use.

Shotgun in the home is a good choice as well, but can be hard to maneuver in close quarters, and also requires some proficiency in use for multiple targets, threats, etc.

I personally use a pistol for inside the home, and keep a loaded AR15 for other "what if situations".
230gr hardball for a carry round?
 

RustyShackleford

Ranger
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
1,154
Bird shot (Pheasant load) with a modified skeet choke is nice... even in 20 ga... :ninja:

I usually will grab the pistol with heavy 'slow' (970 fps) frangible rounds... but I know how to hit the target.
Roger. In used to arguing the point with uneducated and inexperienced LE types who still think 00 buck is the be all end all and my 5.56 62 grain bonded round is gonna shoot through every wall in the apartment bldg. and continue across the county for six to seven miles only to punch through the wall of a trailer and kill a baby sleeping in a crib.
 

DA SWO

SOWT
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 18, 2007
Messages
9,335
Location
San Antonio Texas
Just the sound of a 12ga racking will scare off most bad guys, and if it doesn't, well, the BOOM probably will - although the BOOM should separate them into component pieces parts.
While I agree, I had a LEO friend tell me that isn't as effective as it once was because many thugs don't encounter a shotgun until hitting a house.
She also pointed out that waiting until the front door is kicked in is probably too late in the cycle for loading.
 
Top