Saturday, February 20, 2010

Home Defense Thoughts

So on SayUncle the other day there was a link to an article in which the author explains why he thinks the Mossberg 930 series is a good home defense gun. This of course lead to a few comments, some of which were disagreeing with the article for a few reasons.

Of course there was a question on why people think rifle sights on a shotty is a good idea. Well, a little bead is great for shooting little fast moving things where you want to keep things simple and fast. Hell, I've shot trap with a gun with no bead, and done just as well as I did with one. You want to cover the bird with the barrel, and some of the young scouts were getting distracted by the bead, so we took it off, and scores improved for some of them. Point is, it works great for fast instinctive shooting.

But a combat shotgun isn't used for shooting little fast moving things like birds or rabbits (although I have used my 20" 590 for trap once, and did pretty well, only had a bead at the time though, haven't tried it with the red dot). You're using buckshot or slugs, and shooting at bigger targets that aren't moving as fast generally. 00 buck has only 9 balls standard, and a target load has... well, a heck of a lot more. That translates to a bigger cloud of lead flying through the air with the birdshot, usually a good size larger in diameter than the bird. Close enough is close enough in that case. The smaller number of balls means you need to be a little more precise in your aim, and if you're using a slug, well, duh, one round. Unless you shoot 1,000 rounds a day or something, I doubt your cheek weld is going to be consistant enough to get the same accuracy off a bead as you would with ghost rings or rifle sights. Not to mention that they're adjustable too.

But the comment that really got the little wheels spinning in my head was the comment that one reader would rather have a pump for reliability reasons. Makes sense, at first, a light load won't keep you from racking it, and most semis are dirtier inside due to gas systems and whatnot, not to mention touchy to light loads. All problems that those of us who shoot regularly are quite familiar with.

However, I started thinking about the kind of people the article is really writen for. Us gunnies that shoot quite regularly already know what we want and what works for us. The kind of people that this article is for are those who don't shoot regulary, and are looking for their first home defense setup. When you start thinking from that perspective, the advise starts to look much more sound.

Semis generaly have lower recoil than a pump, which makes for faster follow-up shots, but more importantly, is more condusive to more practice. If it hurts the user less, they'll be more willing to take it out to the range more often.

Semis are simpler for a new gun person to operate. Fresh rounds go in the tube, rack it once to chamber a round, pull trigger as needed. Nothing in between. No pump to short stroke. Literally point and click. In a high stress situation with a person who's not well rehearsed with a pump, that seems like a good idea in my mind.

This also carries over to the reliabity issue. The biggest cause for stoppages in a semi are low powered loads. Simple enough fix, just use standard 00 or slug loads. That's what you should be using on a man-sized target anyway. (If you're worried about shooting through a wall and into somebody's bedroom, you should consider the 4 rules and learn the layout of your house better, not hope a few rounds of birdshot are gonna stop a detirmined bad guy) The other cause main cause is a dirty gas system. Just like any gas driven semi-auto system the dirtier it is, the more sluggish the system will get, until it locks up on you. So clean your gun. I doubt a decent semi shotgun will get so fouled in a single magazine that it will stop funtioning. Clean it as soon as you get home from the range, and unless you're fighting off a zombie hoard numbering in the hundreds (a situation where a rifle is a much better idea anyway...) it's not going to get so gummed up it'll stop working in a standard home defense situation. If you can't take care of it with 6 rounds of 00 buck, bust out the holy water.

Anyway, that's just my $.02 on the subject. My only shotgun at the moment is a pump with a micro red dot, but it's not for home defense either. I'm a carbine person.

On cows and such...

I was right by the way, making a map of the data is much more interesting.

Waiting for ArcGIS to run a buffer model... should take about a half hour... hooray homework.
(Map data is percentage of cows by county area if you care)

'Nother Pic

Tam has a stripped lower and is a little undecided. One of her possibilities is an M16A2 service type rifle.
Well, my first AR build was exactly that. I set out to build an AR as close to the rifle I carried overseas as I could, and with the exceptions of a full length heavy barrel, slightly wrong shaped handguards (these are the oval ones, my Colt had round ones. One of these days I'll track down a set of the right ones) and obviously the lack of a fun switch, it's pretty damn close. Tracking down that buttstock mag-pouch was a pain though. I had no idea who made the ones our unit had, I think it took me like two months of internet searching to actually figure it out.

Here's another pic of a friend shooting her.

Daily Pic-ness

Robbery Stopped by Open Carry

A little anecdotal evidence presented over at Sharp as a Marble. Seems they sent in their scout, he saw two patrons with .45s openly displayed, and decided to pass. Fortunately a cop noticed a couple suspicious cars full of guys in masks with rifles and caught them.

It's not too often that you do get solid proof of a firearm preventing a crime. The baddies usually don't report when their plans are foiled.