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.223 round for SD in congested area

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by snowbird.40, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. Hello Mas - Most of my past questions have been about pistols and pistol calibers but I've come to a point where I've actually begun thinking about a .223 for home defense (and beyond).

    First, I've spent many days afield with a shotgun in pursuit of upland game and have also taken a monster whitetail buck with a slug from a Browning BPS pump gun. At this point, beside a Glock 23 (Gen 4) and a KelTec PF-9, I have a Winchester Super X2 with an extended mag and a 24" barrel for home defense and an old Remington 870 with an extended magazine and an 18.5" barrel for the defense of a lake cabin in the north woods. I might get the BPS - with an extended magazine - back from my son in a few weeks. All of the guns are 12 gauge.

    Here's the question: Both of my domiciles are rather congested, with houses or cabins very nearby. Am I better offer with the shotguns (they are communal weapons) and 00 buckshot - nothing in the chamber - or a .223 with loaded magazine and nothing in the chamber? I've recently read in Stopping Power by Marshall and Sanow that some loads of .223 will practically disintegrate before passing through sheet rock or siding (making them safer for an indoor SD encounter in either property).

    Side-by-side, in a communal SD weapon scenario, which would you prefer? I think I could cash in the shotguns, because they have screw-in chokes for the hunter who wants a SD gun, and come up with enough for an AR15 or a Mini-14 (which I like, but have difficulty speed loading under stress in my latest IDPA match).

    As always, your opinion is highly prized.

    Thanks again for your service on this website and your outstanding books and articles.
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    IMHO, it's less about the ballistics than about the backstops and tactics. You have to scope out the area and decide what can contain a missed shot with what you're shooting, and what can't. A single errant buckshot pellet at 50 yards has been known to kill.

    A strategy of hunkering the family down and planning an interdiction point lets you "canalize the assault," making it much more likely that you'll find yourself firing in a direction you've predetermined will have a backstop effect if you miss or your gunfire overpenetrates.

    Ain't no absolutes in fluid situations. As to ammo, in your situation I'd stick to buckshot instead of slugs, and something in a 55 grain/3200 fps configuration, preferably hollow point, for your .223.


  3. Thank you. I appreciate the advice.