December 30, 2006

The Root Of Homeland Is Home

How many times have we heard, as a justification for an "assault weapons" ban that certain semi-automatic firearms had no use as a sporting or defensive tool? Well it won't change much for those who scream that BS the loudest but for everyone else we have the following:

"Police say a 51-year-old Sterling Heights man came to the Atlas Township home of his ex-wife last weekend. He reportedly sprayed the back of the home with bullets, threw a whiskey bottle through a window and broke into the home.

The homeowner then fatally shot the man with an A-K-47 assault rifle."

Seems one of those evil "assault weapons" - in fact the epitome of the made-up classification - was used in what appears to be a lawful act of self defense. Unfortunately the paper included this:

"Mich. Prosecutors in Genesee County will evaluate whether to file charges after a man was fatally shot while allegedly terrorizing a couple in their home."

It's understandable to delve into something to make sure it's as it appears but when coupled with this:

"A new law in Michigan allows homeowners to use deadly force in certain situations."

It shows that either the area isn't friendly to self defense or that the paper is clueless as to the laws & the circumstances of the incident they reported on.

But the main point is that an AK-47 in its semi-automatic form was used to succesfully defend a home against an armed attacker. & call me presumptuous but when a person is shot after he shoots repeatedly into a house, throws a whiskey bottle through a window & then breaks into the house proper I'd have to say that it was an act of self defense on the part of the occupants.

Hopefully the homeowners won't be charged with anything. & hopefully this will shut up those who claim that AK's & other "assault weapons" have no role in self defense.

Remember kids; an AK-47 is not just a homeland defense rifle, it's also a home defense rifle. :)

Posted by Publicola at December 30, 2006 07:44 AM | TrackBack

An A-K-47, huh?
Did the assailant arrive in an S-U-V?

Actually, although an AKM was my first weapon, I don't approve of its use for home defense (unless, of course, it's all you have at hand). I can't expect the gun's wielder was hearing much of anything for the next few minutes, and probably will have some ear damage permanently. Use a Marlin Camp Carbine in the 9mm or .45 handgun rounds -- or an actual handgun.

Posted by: AK Dave at December 31, 2006 05:48 AM

Respectfully disagree, Dave. Pistol calibers aren't nearly as effective at stopping an intruder quickly as a .30-cal rifle or a 12ga shottie. And when an intruder forces his way into your home, you need him stopped as quickly as possible.

Posted by: SAR-1 Dave at December 31, 2006 06:37 AM

I wonder if their beef has a rating from the U-S-D-A? I'd write & ask them but they might keep track of my I-P :)

But you are right; the hearing damage from firing a carbine indoors could be considerable. But ditto for any firearm louder than a .22LR. A recent post of mine called Come On Feel The Noise has some links to some interesting reads about firearms & hearing damage.

I don't have many qualms about using an AK for home degense (provided you're really aware of the backstops or lacks thereof) but personally I'm still a fan of the shotgun as the best defensive weapon for the house. It'll damn sure do damage to your ears but it's the most effective way to repel baorders at close range available to most folks.

Course I'm old fashioned - if you can't have a shotgun then have something with a bayonet on it. I've never seen a study on it but I think bayonets are safe to use w/o hearing protection. I'll have to ask Gen. Puller & Gen. Jackson when I see them though. :)

Posted by: Publicola at December 31, 2006 06:47 AM

But that AK cartridge might go thru the attacker, and a couple of houses beyond. I vote for the 12 (or, for the ladies, perhaps the 20) ga, with birdshot fieldload in the chamber (for the choice), and a magazine-full of double 00 kill shots next in line.

Posted by: Buddy Larsen at December 31, 2006 06:53 AM

What is the objection, really, against defending one's own home and family against violent intruders??? Are not unarmed persons at home in extreme danger from the home invader?? So why isn't it proper AND legal for the home-invader to suddenly encounter extreme danger?

What weapons should the homeowner be able to use for defense of self and family? A large-caliber pistol or shotgun? OK by me. AK-47? Also OK, I don't know how to handle one, though. I would even be willing to slide a hand grenade under some crazed intruder's sorry butt, except that it would probably ruin my kitchen floor.

Robert Frost once said that a liberal is someone so broad-minded that he won't take his own side in a quarrel.

Is that who is objecting to self-defense here?

Posted by: Stella Baskomb at December 31, 2006 07:00 AM

Stella, I think the objections are from people who understand that the odds are pretty low that their own position will ever come home to bite them, and in the meantime they get to feel morally superior to ordinary folk.

Posted by: Buddy Larsen at December 31, 2006 07:06 AM

Buddy - that's true. But buckshot will penetrate farther than most folks realize. & birdshot usually won't produce an instantly disabling wound. Best bet for shotgun ammo is 00 buck or larger & keep in mind what lies beyond the target. with a carbine or handgun you just have to keep in mind what lies beyond your target.

miss Stella - a lot of anti-gun groups caliemd that "assault weapons" such as the AK had no use as a defensive weapon, therefore we shouldn't object to their being banned. I think most of those folks would begrudgingly accept that self defense is necessary (or at least give lip service to it) but they more or less will try to use anythign they can to achieve some ban that they "feel" is right.

& I'm down with the hand grenade idea. :) & you might find this amusing.

& if you ever wish to learn how to handle an AK there's a link on my front page called Bloggers Firearm Instruction that lists folks by location who are willing to instruct newbies. Ask one if they'd let you tag along for some semi-auto riflery & odds are they will. Course if you're ever around Colorado then myself or a few others around here would be most happy to continue your firearms education.

Posted by: Publicola at December 31, 2006 07:17 AM

Just F-Y-I, in wire news stories which are expected to be read by radio or T-V newsmodels, acronyms are often split up to make it less likely that the newsreader will trip over his or her tongue. Sometimes this odd style of spelling leaks over to articles fed to web sites..

Posted by: Bill at December 31, 2006 07:20 AM

I have a Russian SKS with a very formidable blade bayonet. There were some people breaking into vehicles in my neighborhood that I caught trying to get into my truck. I held them for the Sherriffs at bayonet point. When the Sherriffs interrogated them one guy said he had faced guns before but a huge blade sticking out of the end of one was terrifying.

Posted by: Beto Ochoa at December 31, 2006 07:55 AM

How does that old saying go? "Every time you hold a thug at bayonet point a Marine gets his wings?" I forget exactly, but I believe ya. As a soldier explained to me when I was a kid (note i said soldier, not centurion), when someone is shooting at you there's a chance they don't mean it but when someone is running at you with a knife on the end of a two foot club they really don't like you.

& Bill - I figured it was something like that but still - coupled with their wording about the defense laws methinks there's just some sloppy reportage going on. In any case I wouldn't bet they didn't think that AK was spelled A-K.

Posted by: Publicola at December 31, 2006 08:17 AM

A 12 gauge is definitely NOT the weapon of choice for home defense - much too big and much too powerful to be safely used in a home setting.

I carried a 12 gauge in the Nam - it was powerful enough to take out an enemy soldier from a significant distance. It would, under certain circumstances, literally cut someone in half, blow off their head or limbs, and nearly always result in death. Massively!

A 12 guage load will pass through an intruder's body, or take off a limb or head, with part of its load and the pellets moving on through your sheetrock walls and into your children sleeping in their beds or your wife cowering alongside your bed, or through your end walls, if you're in a condo or apartment, and into your neighbor's body snug in his/her bed. Serious injury or death is a very real probablility if that occurs.

A death or injury for which you could rightfully be prosecuted - reckless manslaughter anyone? Because a 12 gauge is too powerful and too reckless a weapon to expect to be able to be used with any degree of safety in the small, confined quarters of one's home.

On a more practical consideration, the length of a 12 gauge barrel can be problematic inside the close quarters of a house. Swinging it around and bringing it to bear on an intruder could embroil you in difficulty when you bounce off a door frame or swing it into a table lamp or the back of your recliner. Much too long for effective use inside a house.

A much, much better choice for home defense is a weapon such as a Mossberg .410 gauge. Shorter barrel so it will be easier to swing inside a house. Less powerful loads making it safer (but not safe) to use in circumstances where other family members, or simply neighbors, are in close proximity. But, it still has stopping power and a round will most likely put an intruder down and stop his advance.

And, for those times when you might not be present, it's a weapon your wife could fire without being literally knocked off her feet. Second rounds are sometimes necessary you know! A 12 gauge would not give her, or possibly you, that opportunity unless you are trained very well in its use and have a good deal of familiarity with it in combat (real or simulated) situations.

And all this talk about watching your backstop is a lot of hooey! When the adrenaline is pumping, no one has their wits about them. No one! You are acting on instinct, and even panic (yes, even the most hardened among us), not rational thought. You are, at that moment, no more likely to be capable of rational thought about angle of fire, distance, and your aim or what your backstop 20' away is than you are to be capable of planning where you'll spend your next vacation.

Give up the idea of a 12 gauge - much too dangerous to your loved ones and neighbors. And get real about what you might be capable of and be realistic about what you won't be capable of. Lives depend on it.

Posted by: JohnG at December 31, 2006 08:27 AM

Hey, it's an Instalanche!

Good post & congrats/

Posted by: USCitizen at December 31, 2006 08:43 AM

JohnG clearly has not a single earthly clue about the penetration or shot pattern characteristics of modern 12 gauge ammunition. It's trivially easy to obtain the same low-velocity "defensive" shells used by police, which will take down a soft target but won't penetrate more than an inch of drywall. And the idea that the shot pattern from a 12 gauge is capable of "cutting someone in half"? Please; Hollywood this ain't.

Furthermore, the idea that a 12 gauge is ipso facto too cumbersome to maneuver around a home is malarkey. The exact same frames of Mossberg shotguns are available in both .410 and 12 gauge: any .410 Mossberg is no more and no less unwieldy than its 12 gauge sister firearm.

Posted by: BC at December 31, 2006 08:55 AM
A much, much better choice for home defense is a weapon such as a Mossberg .410 gauge. Shorter barrel so it will be easier to swing inside a house. Less powerful loads making it safer (but not safe) to use in circumstances where other family members, or simply neighbors, are in close proximity. But, it still has stopping power and a round will most likely put an intruder down and stop his advance.
Shooting to "stop an intruder's advance" and "most likely put him down" is a damned fine way to get yourself or a family member killed. I go by the old standard: If you point a firearm at someone, you'd better be trying to kill him. As for the .410 stuff, I'll think about using one in a critical situation about the same time the cops do. Posted by: Bill Quick at December 31, 2006 08:57 AM

All, and I mean *all,* of the experts agree: of all the firearms, a handgun is generally the worst choice for self-defense. Handguns are the hardest of firearms to shoot accurately. Handgun calibers, in general, have less power than rifle and shotgun calibers/gauges, and ballistically handgun bullets are a real problem. The two things that a handguns have going for them are portability and concealability. And neither of those matter when you are in your own home. Bully for the man with the AK clone and MagSafe makes an excellent epoxy filled home-defense round for that caliber.

Posted by: Letalis at December 31, 2006 09:01 AM

Anything that will reliable incapacitate an assailant has the potential to keep going & do unintended damage. Sheetrock is not that tought & anything that will pass through a body can usually still pass through sheetrock, even a .410 slug or shot.

& by paying attention to your backstop - ya know I meant to clarify but I figured most of the regular readers would understand what I meant - I was referring to prior planning instead of spur of the moment assesment. You react how you train & part of generally being prepared is to scout out where in your home ot take a stand - & part of that is determining the safest shooting lane (more or less). Not that you'll follow it to the letter but if you give it enough thought before hand you'll minimize the risks.

& I must take issue with your proclamations that a 12 gauge is too long & cumbesome to use in a house while a .410 isn't. I'll grant you an inch for action length (& methinks I'm being generous) but how is an 18" barreled 12 more cumbersome than an 18" barreled .410?

& as for a 12 being too powerful - nope. The over-penetration issues can be adressed & in soem cases they aren't even a factor. Not everyone lives with other people inthe home or with neighbors close enough to be concerned over. But a 12 gauge with the right loads will reliably stop an attacker most of the time if the shot placement is decent. You may think it's too powerful for your needs & that's cool. But I do not think it's too powerful for mine or in general that it's too powerful. It will accomplish its task effectively & relatively safely if the operator does his/her job. If the operator does not do his/her job then a .22LR would be too powerful (in terms of collateral damage) yet ineffective (at stopping the attacker).

& again I must disagree - I know several women who are more than compotent with a 12 gauge. Some can outshoot me (though I'm more into rifles admittedly). In general most women are more comfy with a 20 gauge (as are most men) but that does not mean they cannot handle it safely or effeciently let alone that it'll knock them off their feet.

Course this has drifted way off topic. Luckily I'm not a stickler for staying on topic.

The bottom line is anything effective enough to cause immediete incapacitation will have a risk of over penetrating. A 12 is really a good choice because it has enough power to immedeietely incapacitate but its risks for over penetration are lower than the other choices available (such as rifles or handguns). But every person has to figure out for his/her self what will work best as we all have different circumstances.

For your edification (I know I learned a great deal from this site) may I offer you The Box O' Truth? They do a lot of pentration tests on a lot of different mediums & sometimes the results are very surprising. They do tests on rifles, handguns & shotguns penetrating sheetrock. Dig around the site & see the results for yourself.

Posted by: Publicola at December 31, 2006 09:15 AM

& John G - you'll excuse my lack of manners (I hit send before I recalled to type it). Thanks for going to Nam.

Posted by: Publicola at December 31, 2006 09:21 AM

People will disagree on which weapon they use to defend themselves with.
It's a matter of personal choice. What's important is to be familiarized with
the weapon to the extent that you don't have to think about how to use it when
pinch time comes. This requires practice.

Another issue is accessability. The trick is to have a loaded weapon secured
from children and intruders, but quickly accessed when needed. There are
locking systems available for this. Again, practice makes perfect with those
mechanisms. Practice drills are a necessity.

Ideally, shotguns are the most intimidating weapon to wield. Just the sound
of a pump shotgun being shucked is enough to ward off sane intruders.
But, looking down the barrel of any firearm is frightening. Unfortunately,
intruders aren't always sane. One has to be prepared to shoot effectively.
Aim for the center of the torso.

I've been in these situations, and so have family and friends. It happens.
It happened to me, once, just before 6am in the morning. Be prepared.

Posted by: Muggins, San Jose, USA at December 31, 2006 10:13 AM

Bullets and shot are intellectual constructs, until the guy gets hit.
Knives or some other form of edged steel are intimidating from the get-go.
A knife won't kill anybody accidentally, penetrate walls, get hung up on a door frame, run out of ammo, or damage your hearing.
On the rare occasions when the perp has a firearm himself--not so common in home invasions, the incident preceding noted--you'd need one, as well.

Posted by: RIchard Aubrey at December 31, 2006 10:26 AM

Agree with almost all. As I read in a cop novel once "I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6." In the kind of extreme situation described, anything you have time to grab is the right thing. If you do have time to think or plan, I think over-penetration should be carefully considered. Shotgun all the way. I bet you can find one that will take a bayonet.

Posted by: Full Auto at December 31, 2006 10:28 AM

For similarly loaded shot cartridges the penetration of a 410, 20, or 12 gauge is more or less the same, the larger gauge simply has more pellets, which translates into a wider pattern (assuming similar barrel/choke) and more knock down/trauma since more pellets are hitting the target.

Penetration is related to shot size (diameter), lower shot size like #4 (1/4" pellets) are less penetrating than buckshot #00 (1/3" pellets). Obviously the powder load matters too, as does the hardness of the pellets.

Note, the AK-47 isn't particularly powerful for a rifle. Its 1,467 ft•lbs muzzle energy is surpassed by most hunting rifles and even a few handguns.

Posted by: James at December 31, 2006 10:39 AM

Thank you Publicola, but it wasn't necessary. Frankly, I didn't choose anything.

I don't wear that on my sleeve. I only raised it to show my bona fides about a topic that is, potentially, lethal.

Apparently, that wasn't enough for some. Or, perhaps, they opposed it. So be it.

Thank you for your reasoned response. It is worthwhile reading. And more worthwhile remembering.

Best wishes for the New Year.

Posted by: JohnG at December 31, 2006 10:51 AM

Mossberg, Glock, or CETME - It doesn't matter. What does is shot placement in a highly charged and stressful situation. A .22 rimfire is up to the task if well-aimed.

Posted by: GunTrash at December 31, 2006 10:57 AM


You wrote:

"& I'm down with the hand grenade idea. :) & you might find this [link] amusing."

The link to, about the old lady who just had her kitchen remodeled, is broken in that old post from 2003 that you linked to. Could you tell us what it had to do with hand-grenades in the home?

Inquiring minds want to know. :)

Posted by: Hale Adams at December 31, 2006 11:12 AM

Goddamn, are you guys scary! I don't own a gun and if a guy threw a whiskey bottle through my window, I would just assume it was one of my cousins. Am I the only guy on this thread who thinks you are all nuts?

Posted by: Jim O'Leary at December 31, 2006 11:16 AM

Jim: Do your cousins also spray the back of your house with bullets? It is called reading comprehension, son.

Richard: In modern times, an edged weapon is a weapon of last resort. Bringing a knife to a gunfight generally makes you the decedent.

Posted by: Letalis at December 31, 2006 11:31 AM

You all are probably right, that an AK47 wouldn't be someone's first choice, if they particularly thought about all the situations outlined above.

But, when it's what you have at hand, you'll use whatever you have. Wether it be an AK47, a damned RPG, or a frying pan.

Posted by: Eric Blade at December 31, 2006 11:33 AM

It's just a discussion on being prepared, O'Leary--nobody's gonna shoot ya!

Posted by: Buddy Larsen at December 31, 2006 11:39 AM

Number 1 buckshot will penetrate 12 inches in ballistic gel, and 0 and 00 will penetrate further. Number 1 has the advantage of more projectiles in a given size load.

From memory (which has been imperfect lately) 16 each #1 shot in a 2 and 3/4 inch shell. The #1 shot is .30 inches in diameter.

That gives you 16 chances to cut the perpetrator's spinal chord, which will, at least put him on the ground. Cutting the spinal chord higher will disable his arms.

If you believe in marshall and sanow's magical one shot stops, I refer you to the case of Phineas Gage, who was tamping an explosive charge when it went off and shoved a 1.25 inch diameter crowbar through his face/head/brain. The guy didn't even lose consciousness. He took a bus to the hospital....a horse drawn bus!

He cussed a lot more after his work accident, but I think he was entitled.

Posted by: donmeaker at December 31, 2006 11:55 AM

"if a guy threw a whiskey bottle through my window, I would just assume it was one of my cousins. Am I the only guy on this thread who thinks you are all nuts?"

Probably, because you don't seem to realize that AFTER the whiskey bottle went thru the window, the guy broke into the house. The shooting took place INSIDE the house. I'd say the INTRUDER might have been nuts. You are merely unobservant - & please, please watch that doesn't get you dead someday.

Posted by: Stella Baskomb at December 31, 2006 02:20 PM

From what I understand, #4 buck was considered the most useful by people like Capstick, who had a little trouble now and then with two legged animals, but he never wrote about it.

Hmmm, I tried to post a url, but barfed.

Okay, this previews.


This should be good for a human at short range. "Normal" 12G is for hitting geese halfway to the moon. Silly for home defense, unless you really want to get rid of your hearing, windows, etc.

Posted by: Phillep at December 31, 2006 02:24 PM

My personal favorite is my Albanian SKS - it's a carbine, so it is easy to handle and I'm very accurate with it.

I'm not so accurate with any of the handguns I've tried out.

If someone is breaking into my house, I'm not going to stop to figure out if my defensive weapon is appropriate. A knife or a lamp will do me no good against a big guy. A gun is the best protection.

Posted by: Beth Donovan at December 31, 2006 02:33 PM

OK, you MIGHT assume from my name that I'm a tad prejudiced, but I LIKE the AK--it's fast, easy to use, powerful enough at short range [200 yds or less], and you don't have to worry about running out of ammo in most situations. It is bad on the penetration factor, but there are a couple of companies that make a SP round; not sure about penetration, but it's more effective than the FMJ on impact. Don't bother with the HP rounds; they're almost as penetrating as the FMJ. [I had some of the plastic-cored "training" rounds; at 50 yds they would shoot through an automobile body. I pity someone that thought they were safe to play war games with.] As far as the lady who didn't know how to use one, there are 10 yr old kids in Africa that use them very well. They were designed for unsophisticated, machinery-ignorant troops, by a man who had seen combat up-close and personal. The only "control" is a big lever that is pretty obvious; after that, aim and shoot. The only easily available round, in the US, thanks to BATFE, is better than the military round it was designed for [I'm sure they didn't know that, and didn't intend it], but the SP round is better and only slightly more expensive.

You will get a lot of flac from news organizations for using an AK, as if it makes a difference what weapon is used to kill someone. They believe there is a moral advantage to killing someone with a baseball bat than a firearm, and of firearms, the AK is the worst. But you have a better chance of being around to get the flac, which is better than having nice things said about you after you died from a home invasion. [My daughter keeps an AK and has a 75-rnd drum magasine for it; as soon as they were legal she put a folding stock on it. She has talked so some police officers, one of which was kind enough to advise her to get rid of it, because an AK is "undependable"; I don't know what he was smoking when he came up with that.

For those who like shotguns, you can get the Saiga, a civilian firearm made in the same factory that makes AK-74s for the Russian army and several other forces, in either .410 or 12 ga, though I think they have only 5-shot magazines. Of course, it's a lot faster to change magazines in an AK than to reload a repearing shotgun. And they have the same action as the AK, and are available with 18" barrels, only 2" longer than an AK.

And for those who "keep guns away from children", I don't know if that's lip service or poor parenting; I raised 2 kids in a house where every gun was loaded, and they knew the location of every one. When each was about 5, I took them out and shot a milk jug full of colored water [red], then assured them that one of their friends would blow up the same way if hit by one. Then they were told that if they wanted to look at one, they should tell me and watch me unload it. Then they were free to handle it, practice drawing it [using proper form, not cowboy fast-draw], and ask any questions about it. When they were through we reloaded it and put it away. By the time they were 12, they didn't have to ask permission to take a firearm out and shoot it [we had a range in the front yard], as long as they told me how much and what kind of ammo they shot up, so I could restock it. Being familiar with all the firearms meant that there was no "mystery" to them, so they were less interested in them than they were with power tools, which they were not allowed to use without careful supervision. They both own and carry firearms now, and know how to use them properly. But I felt a lot better knowing my 14-yr old daughter was home alone with an M1 carbine and her dog, than I would have knowing that she didn't know where the guns were kept or how to use them.

I'm fortunate to live in Florida, which has reasonable concealed-carry laws and home-protection laws. It's no coincidence that crime dropped significantly when the concealed-carry orndance was passed; I'm sure when the stats are collected in a few years, the home-protection law will prove to have the same effect. Criminals would much rather take their chances with the courts than with an armed home-owner, whose "penalty" would be death instead of 3 months in jail.

Posted by: Gunner at December 31, 2006 04:50 PM

Take a look

Posted by: Buddy Larsen at December 31, 2006 06:24 PM

The point wasn't about hand grenades. Stella mentioned that she'd use a hand grenade if it didn't mess up her floor. The story I linked to was about a lady in SC who heard a burglar one night. She had a choice of a .357 revolver or a shotgun & she mentioned to the cops she chose the .357 cause she just redecorated her kitchen. :) I knew the link to the news story was expired but i figured there was enough info in my post to get the point across.

Posted by: Publicola at December 31, 2006 06:46 PM

I should have known better than to call you guys nutcases. It turns out you are all armed and dangerous. Self defense, my ass, and my reading comprehension is just fine, thank you. That is why I am more afraid of guys like you than criminals. At least they aren't self righteous. I have had guns pulled on me more than once as a child protective social worker. Ever try to take away kids from parents? I don't want any guns around, thank you, not even then.

Posted by: Jim O'Leary at December 31, 2006 09:03 PM

Gunner, et al
I love my AK. Like Samuel Jackson said in Jackie Brown.
There it is, the AK-47. When you absolutely, positively, have to kill every single motherf*$%&r in the room; accept no substitute. It's really an infantry weapon but if I have feel the need to use it in the house, watchout badguy, I know where all the studs are in the walls. If you can find someone to do custom reloading have them make you a couple dozen rounds for home defense with 180 grain Nosler bullets and a reduced powder charge to keep the pressure correct. Serious initial knockdown with minimum penetration past the first object hit.
As for using shotguns for self defense, I keep a Winchester Model 12 Police Issue with me wherever I go and it's my first choice for home defense as well. I made up some 12GA rounds with 32cal wadcutters instead of shot that are pretty cool but I believe the best home defense shot shell is the 2 3/4" Federal Premium Vital-Shok Reduced Recoil with nine pellets. It's easier to handle the recoil, half as loud as 3 1/2" mags and best of all I can get one more round in the tube.

Posted by: Beto Ochoa at December 31, 2006 09:15 PM

I am repeating myself. I am more frightened of you guys on this thread than I am of criminals. They aren't self righteous like you guys. Self defense, my ass. And my reading comprehension is just fine, thank you. That's why you all scare me.

I should have known better than to call you nutcases. It may piss one of you off and you are all armed and dangerous.

I have had guns pulled on me more than once. I was a child protective services worker for years. Ever try to take away kids from somebody? I don't want any guns around at all at a time like that. The ones the parents have are quite enough. Peace!

Posted by: Jim O'Leary at December 31, 2006 09:19 PM

Have you been sampling one of those whiskey bottles one of your cousins tossed through your window tonight Jim?

Posted by: Beto Ochoa at December 31, 2006 09:36 PM

Mr. O'Leary,
I thought about responding to you here but when I was through I realized that your comments merited a seperate post. It's entitled I Think The Larger Point Has Been Proven

Posted by: Publicola at December 31, 2006 09:49 PM

Since people in this conversation seem to know more about this than I do, what do you think of a Winchester 30-30 for home defense? 30+ years ago I carried one hunting deer in the Alberta bush.

It's relatively short and easy to aim; the kick is modest; it reloads quickly (think The Rifleman); it's underpowered as a deer rifle if you're shooting distance, so with a heavier load the bullet won't end up in the neighbour's kitchen, I don't think; it would be hell on a human being.

Posted by: rodish at January 1, 2007 02:05 AM

The .30-30 is slightly more powerful than the 7.62x39 which is used int he AK & SKS type rifles. More deer have probably been taken with the .30-30 than any other cartridge 9with the .30-06 springfield running real close behind it). As a defensive round I'd only be concerned about over-pentration & they make some loads that might mitigate that risk a bit.

A lever action is not a bad choice provided you practice working that lever quickly. You've already mentioned some of its pluses in that role & other than being a manually operated repeater as opposed to a semi-auto & not having a box magazine there isn't much to improve on.

So a lever action in .30-30 would be a decent choice as long as you put some thought into the over-penetration risk. If you live in a house with no close neighbors nearby then I wouldn't worry about it. In an apartment I'd be a might careful about establishing shooting lanes & choosing ammo.

& mass/momentum will usually result in more pentration than velocity so the heavier bullet idea won't reduce the over-penetration risks unless you go with a reduced power load. But as i mentioned there's a load or two designed for the .30-30 that reduces the over-penetration risks somewhat. Not totally but somewhat. They're usually labeled "Cowboy Loads" or something similar. For example PMC will have a 170 grain cast lead bullet leaving the muzzle at 1300 fps. that should be enough to incapacitate someone (with proper shot placement) while not risking the over-penetration of a full power 170 grainer.

Look for the Cowboy loads if over-penetration is a worry. if it's not then go with whatever ammo you feel will shoot the best. & unless you have an armed gang breaking down your door a lever gun in .30-30 will do just fine as long as you do your part.

Posted by: Publicola at January 1, 2007 03:06 AM

O'Leary, you have my sympathy in that you professionally must cope with unstable situations where physical danger is no doubt high.

But, remember that when you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail--IOW, you're dealing with a tiny segment of the population.

Would you really want to ban guns and turn vast numbers of private property owners over to the mercies of a segment of people a few notches less stable, and more deliberately dangerous, than the worst of the perps you have to sort out?

People are obviously concerned about home defense--do you think it is mass hysteria, and only folks such as you should tell them how they should feel?

Isn't it possible that the reality is, their concerns are broadly real, and that yours are the narrowly self-centered?

Posted by: Buddy Larsen at January 1, 2007 08:53 AM

O'Leary, I don't know if these guys are scary. They are more or less typical gun worshippers, who love to talk of models, penetration, shoot to kill, blah, blah.

But don't mind me because I'm just bitter that one time when my house was being broken into, it took me only a second to get the 12 gauge from under the bed, another 30 seconds to find the shells in the dark, since I had hidden them from the kids, and then another minute to find something to stuff my my ears with so that I wouldn't ruin them.

And wouldn't you know it, the guy left before I could shoot him. Spoiled my New Year? ;-(


Posted by: Dwight at January 1, 2007 09:37 AM

OK, O'Leary, your reading comprehension is just fine. It must be that you tend to loudly emphasize the facts that support your biased world view and simply ignore the facts that don't. Whiskey bottle through the window - supports your biases and therefore must be trumpeted. Sprayed bullets across back of house and tried to break in - doesn't support your biases and therefore must be ignored.

Posted by: Letalis at January 1, 2007 10:52 AM

Frankly I'm scared of people who are scared of the fact that I own and carry guns. They scare me worse than any criminal I might encounter.

Posted by: OzarksNick at January 1, 2007 01:02 PM

Boy, you got THAT right!

Posted by: Buddy Larsen at January 1, 2007 01:13 PM

Yeah, AK's are nice if you've familiarized with them. I understand what people are saying about rifle and shotgun rounds vs. handgun; accuracy, penetration, etc... However, inside the house the handgun offers certain advantages that the rifle does not, such as maneuverability. Going around a corner is much easier with a 6-8 inch barrel than with 16 and a stock, if you know what I mean. There is no perfect solution. Unless, no one else had guns, haha..... until that time I'm prepared.

Posted by: Sunguh at January 1, 2007 05:20 PM