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Women naturally by their build have a lower center of gravity than men and it helps in shooting handguns and long guns offhand.
m14brian
What about guys with big beer bellies?GI1
 

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i like my glock 17,they make 33 round mags
 
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As has been said, the best SD firearm is the one you are most proficient with. Personally, I never thought much of a shotgun for home defensive use, what if the bad guy is holding your kid in front of them? Or they are close enough to be in the spread? I prefer an AK-74, the round won’t go through walls (much), and a hit will stop the fight. Handguns are a good second choice. I’ll save my SA M1A for longer range situations. YMMV of course.
 

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Let's talk about noise and hearing protection. Firing a firearm inside with no ear protection is almost guaranteed to have some lasting hearing loss.

Do you have muffs near your home defense weapon? Does your wife have a set? Your kids?

Everyone in the house that night is going to have some lever of hearing loss.

I like suppressors on HD weapons.
 

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Gentlemen, Over time, I have pretty much approached this topic from every angle. Initially, I felt that a handgun was probably the best option. Handguns are compact and are easy to handle in confined spaces. However, virtually all handguns chambered for the common defensive ammo are lacking in terminal ballistic performance - some more than others. I'm not saying that someone shot with such handguns might not die but 90% of all people shot with a handgun survive and I would suspect that a large number of those are able to continue aggressive action when shot - at least for a long enough time that they pose a threat to the homeowner and his family. Shotguns are excellent manstoppers at closer range - assuming one uses the proper type of ammo. However, shotguns have only a limited magazine capacity and it a fight with multiple assailants that is a definite disadvantage. Also, buckshot really penetrates wall material much more than most believe. Still, most folks are much better at aiming a shotgun at an assailant and scoring hits than with a handgun. Now this lead me to look at rifles. They have good terminal ballistic performance (assuming you have one chambered for rifle cartridges), are relatively easy to shoot well and many have more than sufficient magazine capacity. However, many are so large that they are clumsy in the CQB environment. Some also have a great deal of penetration capability and have an outrageous muzzle blast when fired in a structure. The long gun that works best in my opinion is the M4 carbine. It's erogonomics are excellent. It has good terminal ballistic performance but doesn't overpenetrate as much as some pistol cartridges (assuming you are using a light weight projectile). You can get darn near purchase any size magazine so magazine capacity isn't an issue for most of us who live in free states.

There is no such thing as a perfect firearm but for home defense, an M4 carbine has way more positives than negatives. Keep in mind that when the police arrive, they will probably be carrying M4's. I think that says a lot.
 

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I actually use a scout with a vortex flash hider that shortens the overall length (amont other upgrades) as my go to rifle for home defense. I live in a rural area and I'm more likely to need it for a coyote but when hornady started making critical defense 308 specifically for home defense I kicked my ar out of the bedroom. A 25rd magazine and a semiautomatic rifle that's still shorter than a 12gauge is nearly unstoppable. I've got twice the energy transfer of a 5.56 or a 00buck round and the round is made for this exact thing.
 

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I actually use a scout with a vortex flash hider that shortens the overall length (amont other upgrades) as my go to rifle for home defense. I live in a rural area and I'm more likely to need it for a coyote but when hornady started making critical defense 308 specifically for home defense I kicked my ar out of the bedroom. A 25rd magazine and a semiautomatic rifle that's still shorter than a 12gauge is nearly unstoppable. I've got twice the energy transfer of a 5.56 or a 00buck round and the round is made for this exact thing.
My favorite rifles are M14 type rifles. However, they aren't the best at CQB. Here's something to consider. A 7.62 NATO cartridge has roughly twice the amount of propellant as a 5.56 cartridge. Out of 16" barrels which one do you think makes the greatest amount of noise? An M4 is extremely loud inside a structure but a SOCOM 16 would be much worse.
 

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I have a SOCOM mounted in a Sage EBR and it's my defensive "reach out and thump someone" or my bush rifle, but I also have my shotgun and AR-15 for home defense as well as my pistol/s.

When I was a cop and firearms instructor we were one of the first departments to seek "Patrol rifle" options in our area. This was shortly after the North Hollywood shootout and we realized that although we had good quality Beretta shotguns in our cruisers (I did not like these) but the worked well with 00 buck or slugs but we needed something to put us on equal ground with the scumbags.

I was tasked with identifying what type of "patrol rifle" caliber and weapon platform we should go with.

After a great deal of research, I found an article by the Michigan State Police on their testing for patrol rifle caliber, etc.

They tested all types of sub calibers 9mm, 45 ACP, 40 Cal, etc... These I believe were in the AR platform.

They found for police purposes all of these rounds were likely to over penetrate inside buildings, houses, etc.

They also tested rifle calibers and found that the 556/223 round was least likely to over penetrate common building materials because of the way the bullet is designed unless it's an AP round or something like that.

The 556/223 is a bottom heavy round that upon impact causes the bullet to tumble or disintegrate loosing momentum for lack of a better term and therefore slowing the round causing it to stop in most common building materials upon impact.

The 556/223 round was found to be far superior to other calibers either rifle or pistol in stopping a threat because of this quick and violent energy transfer and safer so it is less likely to go all the way through the interior of house like a shotguns rifled slug, 00 buck, 308, 9mm or even a 40 caliber would do.

It's still hard to beat a shotgun loaded with anything but 00 buck or a slug for home protection. I would suggest using something like #4 or #7 1/2 shot for interior home defense as this is much less likely to over penetrate and kill or injure a loved one on the other side of a wall.

Just my 2 cents, I hope it gives you some insight!

P.S. I've been retired since 2012, but I don't think anybody has come up with any other caliber that is better for a "home defense rifle" according to the MSP findings, but I'm kind of out of the loop unfortunately.
 

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Let's talk about noise and hearing protection. Firing a firearm inside with no ear protection is almost guaranteed to have some lasting hearing loss.

Do you have muffs near your home defense weapon? Does your wife have a set? Your kids?

Everyone in the house that night is going to have some lever of hearing loss.

I like suppressors on HD weapons.
If I had to shoot a gun in my house at someone this would probably be the least of my worries.
 

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If I had to shoot a gun in my house at someone this would probably be the least of my worries.
It might be the least of your worries but it should be a consideration. I haven't shot a rifle in a structure without hearing protection but I have shot a handgun in a structure and it really was something I would never again want to repeat. It was like someone hit me in the head.
 

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It might be the least of your worries but it should be a consideration. I haven't shot a rifle in a structure without hearing protection but I have shot a handgun in a structure and it really was something I would never again want to repeat. It was like someone hit me in the head.
Well i have, and yes it does suck. Not the most fun thing in the world, but It’s much louder on the other end. It could have an extreme psychological effect on the intruder. There is nothing more intimidating that a naked guy shooting a rifle at you while wearing ear muffs.
 

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You know what also causes permanent hearing loss??

Death.
You need to be aware of what is going on around you even after the first round is fired and that is pretty hard to do when your head is ringing. If you don't know what is going on around you, you just might end up dead or kill someone else that you did not intend on killing. Situational awareness is not devalued just because the shooting began.

Handguns fired inside structures without hearing protection are painfully loud. I can only imagine what it is like to shoot a 7.62mm rifle inside a structure. If you don't have firsthand experience with this issue, take my word for it. It is a lot worse than you can imagine.
 

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I think most people are kidding themselves when talking about home defense. Any firearm shot inside isn't going to be pleasant and will chase damage even with one shot. 12g, especially with the shorter 'tactical' barrels, is right up there with 762 NATO. 45acp beats them both from my understanding in terms of decibels produced iirc.

.22 lr was the last firearm I recall shooting inside, out of a window at a critter, and it was definitely loud.
 

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I think most people are kidding themselves when talking about home defense. Any firearm shot inside isn't going to be pleasant and will chase damage even with one shot. 12g, especially with the shorter 'tactical' barrels, is right up there with 762 NATO. 45acp beats them both from my understanding in terms of decibels produced iirc.

.22 lr was the last firearm I recall shooting inside, out of a window at a critter, and it was definitely loud.
I need a sign in front of my house that says, "For Home Invaders, please wait while I don my hearing protection, and we'll be right with you."
 

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Let's talk about noise and hearing protection. Firing a firearm inside with no ear protection is almost guaranteed to have some lasting hearing loss.

Do you have muffs near your home defense weapon? Does your wife have a set? Your kids?

Everyone in the house that night is going to have some lever of hearing loss.

I like suppressors on HD weapons.
If I had to shoot a gun in my house at someone this would probably be the least of my worries.
I always worry about the health and safety of my family. Because it is not a worry during an emergency is exactly why it should be a worry before.
 

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Hearing protection is the last thing I worry about as well. Because I worried about it ahead of time and bought a suppressor.
 

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If you pick the correct bullets for self defense, (not 168 hpbt) then yes you could use that as a defensive weapon. In fact I would much rather use a rifle than a handgun as the kinetic energy is so much greater than a handgun.
 
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