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November 09, 2005


Alex Galletti

You know, you make a good point about guns being tools. That's what they are essentially. Sure, they are different from a hammer or a screwdriver, but in the end, it's all the same in the hands of a responsible owner. There's nothing wrong about being gung-ho about the number of guns either, as long as they're secure and well-maintained.


How many guns do you need ? One more than you currently have ;-)

Andrew Upson

"the amount of force necessary to damage drywall is different from that necessary to kill."

Yes, but the whole point of that experiment was to show that the pellets still had plenty of energy to cause injury to an innocent person on the other side of perhaps several interior walls. It doesn't have to have the energy to kill, reliably or otherwise to still be a significant danger to your child/spouse/roommate/neighbor(in the case of apartments/duplexes).

I suggested to the folks at Box O Truth that they do a test with intermediate size pellets, and with 20ga. While 16ga, 28ga and .410 would be interesting, none are especially popular in non-hunting configurations (e.g. 18" non-choked barrels) and so are unlikely to be used by very many people in home defense. Mostly I'd like to see 0000, #1 and #4 buck shot, and maybe #4 and #6 birdshot. If it were practical (and it probably isn't) I'd also like to see something that could capture the pellets after exiting the 4th wall so as to measure their wounding potential. At the least, some sort of high speed camara with a background that would allow measurements of the velocity of the pellets would be interesting. Say a 4' long wall mounted perpendicular to the 4th wall with 3-6" wide alternating black and white stripes and a camara that could take at least 1000 frames/sec (preferably 4000).

"The advantage of shotguns (which, which we should point out, come in a variety of calibres that weren't tested) is that they are more forgiving in terms of aim and overpenetration (of walls) is less of an issue."

To an extent, yes that is true. I just hesitate to focus too much on that aspect with newer shooters since marksmanship is still important and, at least with 12ga 00 buckshot, overpenetration is still a significant issue.

Zendo Deb

I have been very tempted by the Yugoslavian SKS. I saw an exceptional one at a gun show recently - I have also seen some dogs.

200 bucks for what the left would try to call an assault rifle. Another 100 (bit more) for a thousand rounds of milsurp ammo. What's not to like. That price is hard to beat for the firepower you get. AK is nearly twice that or better. AR's are out of my budget range. (I would like in .308 please.)

Hell the cheaper SKS's - not great accuracy but good enough at close range - I would be tempted to buy a few to have on hand for the neighbors who don't have guns of their own. (Bring a gun, bring 2 guns, bring all of your friends who have guns. from USMC rules for gunfighting during wartime.) The more people on my side who are armed the better.

People go on about the stripper clip, but neighborhood defense is not likely to involve waves of well-organized attackers, but small to mid-sized gangs of looters. A few people with SKS's or AR's or AK's or what have you is up to the task. (Do you really expect a fire-fight, or do you expect the mutants run away at the first sign or resistance?) And they can be fit with larger mags.

Andrew Upson

"Shotguns are ideal for home defense because they are large and therefore intimidating;"

No argument here

"they affect a wide area - meaning accuracy isn't all that important;"
While less important, you still have to aim. Patters at typical across the room distances with typical shotgun loads aren't much more than a few inches across.

"they can inflict massive injury, making them very effective;"
No arguement

"and they have limited penetration - meaning if you shoot at your target, you have little risk of the shot penetrating a wall and injuring someone on the other side."

Sorry, but that's bad info. See the following link for an actual test of shotguns vs. walls.

Admittedly they didn't test anything besides 00 buck and #8 birdshot, so who know what would have happened with intermediate sizes. But #8 birdshot is not recommended by anyone credible for home defense, while 00 buck is considered the gold-standard.

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