Home > Practical Tactics > Carry Issues > 5 rounds, one more time...

5 rounds, one more time...

  1. You should re-think it. I hope you make the switch. But everyone has to make their own choices.
  2. I believe more important than the gun itself is the number of defenders you have who are capable of and available to protect the home. I would rather have 2 defenders (ie: husband and wife) each armed with .38 revolvers than only 1 defender armed with a hi-cap pistol.

    As for choice of weapon (revolver, low-cap pistol, hi-cap pistol or long gun), so long as they're competent with it and have the mindset to use it, I'm not second guessing.
  3. The only way my wife is getting involved in a HD situation is if she is covering my back against additional intruders, or I am dead.
  4. Thats what my 12ga is for and shes quite good with it.
  5. For the vast majority of us, carry a gun is about feeling comfy, we'll never need it or use it. For those that I have talked to about their gun fights, mostly LEO, they never wanted less ammo. My comfort level is 9rds. Not that I think I will miss but that crap happens & it may take more than 5rds. A determined attacker can be just that, determined to reach & kill you. Carrying more rds is a mild inconvenience.
  6. From the OP, the husband and wife were home. The wife eventually ended the fight after retrieving the second 38. The husband went out to investigate the disturbance with no firearm. The wife, who was injured was able to retrieve the first 38 and give it to her husband, who had engaged the home invader.

    From the OP; there were actually two intruders, the second one scrammed when he heard gunshots. The getaway driver (third criminal at the scene) also took off.

    The other takeaway from this is the aftermath and impact on the Coker family. Even though they were selected somewhat randomly, they continued to suffer after the original incident.
  7. If you use a handgun that holds 5 shots, instead of 7 shots (or even 15 shots), your "margin of error" for misses versus effective hits becomes smaller. The victim only got one vital hit and one peripheral hit out of five rounds fired from that first .38 snub. One of the shots fired from second revolver hit the suspect in the neck/spine, and another hit the head, but apparently failed to penetrate the skull and traveled under the skin (not a rare thing to see reported).

    The importance of raising a handgun up to your line of sight can't be stressed enough (if the circumstances permit it, of course) if you really hope to get accurate hits. Those accurate hits need to hit critical tissues, structures and organs, too.

    Yep, loss of consciousness via exsanguination from a GSW may not be nearly as quick (or as effective in rapidly stopping a threat) as a hit that penetrates to the CNS.

    The article states the victim chose to replace his Firestar .45 (7rd mag?) with a Springfield XD Mod 2 .45 (which uses 5rd & 6rd mags?). However, he also decided to get a 12GA shotgun.

    Whenever I carry one of my revolvers or single stack pistols that only hold 5-8 rounds (and use them for home use), I always keep in mind that hits must be accurately placed, in a sufficiently timely manner.

    The last couple of days I've had one of my M&P 340's available for pocket holster carry outside the house, and my 4513TSW ("original" model that uses 6rd mags) available for "house" use.
  8. I own both snub revolvers and high capacity autoloaders. Each has certain strengths and weaknesses and what’s best depends on the individual and the specific circumstances. I usually prefer a snub for carry and a Glock for home defense although the snubs often still play a role for home defense which would be any situation where a contact scenario becomes likely.

    You could make the case that a hammerless snub revolver would have been the ideal weapon for the wife during the initial confrontation. You could also use this incident to advocate for carrying at home, staging weapons in different locations and the need for H2H skills and integrated close-quarter firearm skills and training in general.

    Plus it’s only one incident. For me, it changes nothing but simply reaffirms the perspective I already had.
  9. The XD Mod.2 in 45 is a solid gun (I have one). Comes with 9rd and 13rd mags. I had initially read that as an "XDS" Mod.2 - which would be a low capacity gun.

    The Mossberg 500 12 gauge was a good add.
  10. Thanks. I'm not particularly interested in the XD line, so I was unfamiliar which Mod.2 was being referenced.
  11. A 5-shot snub, or any gun, would have helped the wife in the initial confrontation. Unfortunately she was in her dining room getting dressed to avoid waking the husband and grandson. She may not have had time to employ the weapon when she was attacked.

    The husband, unfortunately, ran out of the bedroom unarmed as he didn't understand what his wife was screaming (which turned out to be "get your gun!"). By the time he saw what was happening, it was too late to go back for his gun.

    The other thing that comes to mind when I read this story is it's a case where caution is also needed. The grandson is in the house - reacting to a noise with a loaded firearm can be a very, very, very bad decision.
  12. Yep. (The expression, not your forum name. ;) )

    Misses of the intended threat target are still going hit something, or someone. Even a peripheral "hit" might pass through a shallow anatomical area and go on to hit something/someone behind the threat. That threat potential was always in my mind whether I was working or at home with our children, and now when our grandchildren are present overnight.
  13. Could she have likely kept an autoloader operational in a scenario like she was involved in? I doubt do myself. There’s always the possibility of needing to access your weapon while under attack at contact range. Even at home. From my perspective, not many gun guys give that possibility much attention and the ones that do don’t come up with very many workable solutions. It’s a very demanding and difficult skill-set to learn and maybe why it’s often ignored despite being the most crucial area to seek out professional training in if someone is inclined to do so. And despite many trying to ignore the issue, a lot of people will say it’s simply a training issue, but I have yet to see very many of the prolific defensive shooting instructors who also teach ECQ shooting methods able to teach students or demonstrate themselves that they can keep an autoloader up and running during contact scenario force-on-force drills with any regularity. With its inherent advantages and the probability of me needing to access and/or use my firearm at contact range is why I myself usually choose to carry a hammerless snub and if carrying at home, an air weight J-frame is not much of an inconvenience and ideally suited for situations where you have very little time and distance on your side. The same could be said about staging weapons.
  14. A snub for carry is one thing but for HD is quite another. And yeah, they were EXTREMELY lucky the perp was an absolute moron loading 9mm into a .40. I don't see how that situation wouldn't have turned out very differently otherwise.
  15. I sometimes ccw a S&W Airweight in the summertime but don’t feel it viable as an HD weapon. I’m fortunate that I don’t have to rely on it for that as I have other firearms for that purpose.
  16. Well, just looking at it from a tactical and preparedness perspective ...

    Someone breaking into a house in the middle of the night, to commit a serious crime, armed with a pistol equipped with an extended magazine and willing to use it against anyone they encountered, might be "better prepared" to inflict and carry out a criminal act, including the use of serious injury or death, than someone reacting by awaking from a sound sleep and going out to check on a noise in an unprepared manner. Not sure how it would matter what make/model/caliber of firearm the victim had left behind in the bedroom, safe, etc.
  17. Also, back in the days of carrying a service revolver at work, I often used it for off-duty carry and having it accessible at home at night. That gave me 6 shots.

    Of course, there were times I used my Commander for off-duty, as it gave me a higher capacity of 7rds. ;) or, I was carrying one of my own 6-shot revolvers on my own time.

    The necessity and ability to make accurate hits, even when surprised and under stress, hasn't changed since those days.
  18. deleted
  19. I was responding to the first line of your post I quoted.

    Were you thinking if the inherent 5 round limitation in the 5-shot snub, or the short barrel, making it less desirable for "home defense"?
  20. I think you hit on a great point; I doubt it too. From my take on the article, she was surprised, turned to run, and got taken down hard. Even with a gun, any gun, she might not have been able to employ it.

    Another good point; the intruder was a moron and obviously knew nothing about his gun. He still managed to inflict substantial damage on both the husband and wife. Heck, he beat the husband several WITH the gun.

    But, this is a case where a snub was utilized in a chaotic situation, and 5 rounds were not enough. The attacker was hit with 2 out of the 5 rounds, with one of them hitting his heart. Even with that, the fight continued.

    Another key takeaway from this: thankfully they had access to another weapon. I don't see how the husband could have possibly reloaded that snubby.

    As did the husband in this case... he just didn't have his .45 at hand, and when the wife retrieved a gun, she went with what she knew. The husband stated "She didn’t know my Firestar .45 auto, my regular everyday carry then, was in my night table drawer."

    That's kind of a key point: the husband left the bedroom unarmed. But, as we discussed earlier up the thread, the grandson being in the house might have weighed into that decision.

    Nope, that's definitely a constant.
  21. My main takeaway from the article is to reinforce that one should not respond to a possible domestic emergency with only your Johnson in your hand. Had he had that 5 shot snubbie when he responded to the noise and was proficient with it, the story may well have been shorter.
    It is only a bad decision if you do not follow and practice these 4 basic rules:
    1.) All guns are always loaded.
    2.) Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3.) Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target.
    4.) Be sure of your target.

    My grandchildren are worth protecting.
  22. I do whole-heartedly agree a .38 snub is a very poor choice for HD.

    During the summer months, I find it too easy to pocket carry one. I do need to work on that.
  23. I'd like to complete the 4th rule, though.

    4.) Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

    That last bit of the commonly stated 4th "rule" may be critical to helping protect the safety of your (and my) grandchildren. ;)
  24. Indeed.

    He said his EDC was a .45 - so I would assume that's what he would normally grab.

    One thing not really mentioned is why he initially left the bedroom without a gun. It said he was responding to his wife screaming... which, in his defense, could have been anything.

    But, like all these scenarios, it's easy to second guess and Monday morning quarterback.
  25. Why many unskilled good guys win over even lesser skilled bad guys. That is the idiot you want in your fight.
  26. Speaking of little ones, that is exactly the reason why I would be using a snubby for HD. Rather than having an EDC and nightstand gun, I would try to make my EDC do both jobs, that way I don't forget to secure the nightstand gun.

    Right now its just the wife and I, and since I married in my 30s I might have accumulated a few guns. We never have house guests and live in the country, so we generally have guns located in most rooms without risk of someone playing with them.

    However, once the little ones start arriving, the guns will be secured until they are old enough to understand not to touch them. During this time, I fully expect that the fullsize gun on my nightstand will be locked up, and the snubby that is with me every day will simply move from my pocket to the nightstand while I am sleeping, and then back into my pockets when I wake up. Thereby minimizing the guns laying around the house.
  27. Lucky couple to make it threw this break in alive . Lots of bad choices & mistakes by all involved .
  28. I really am done debating the round count Issue, so just let me say this one time, yes, a pistol with 17 rounds is probably better than a 5 shot snub nose revolver but I can also say that a Double Barrel Shotgun is better for home defense than just about anything and it only has 2 rounds! I choose to have 6 rounds in mine!
  29. My philosophy: Of the concealable guns you own carry the gun you would prefer in hand if you had to defend yourself, regardless of location or light.

    There is nowhere I'd prefer to defend my life with a snub than a Glock 19/23.
    The snub would be acceptable in weak hand pocket as "back up/2nd option" to the Glock.

    Carry the gun you would prefer in hand, few would prefer a snub over other options. ;)
    My philosophy in other words.... Don't be lackadaisical.
  30. Th
    The snubby was not the problem, the 38 special part was and of course the three misses, not to mention leaving it behind in the first place.
  31. I carry a gun all the time. Sometimes it's a five shot snubby. I've never felt under-protected at any time. YMMV.
  32. I am not bashing the homeowner, I'm glad he and his family are alive and won the fight.

    I am also not trying to make an argument for or against any type of gun here, the guns his wife retrieved were what he had to work with. We can all MMQB and argue HD tactics but this guy actually lived it and lived "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."

    The GG had been pistol whipped and was disoriented before his wife got him the snubby, he fired from the hip and went 2 for 5. Who's to say he would have landed anymore with an auto? Then there is the possibility of a FTF/FTE, or stovepipe due to limpwristing or a bad grip with the auto as well at that point, remember he had just been pistol whipped and felt like he might lose consciousness. I don't think we can ever know if the auto loader would have ended the fight quicker or not. In the end though it doesn't matter, he fought with what he had and he survived.
  33. "It’s not how many shots you’ve fired, it’s how many hit your target." – Bernie Goetz
  34. Not about MMQBing, defending or condemning the victims at all. It's about learning from others' mistakes before we make them in order to help keep ourselves safer in the future.
  35. My comfort level is 11 rounds. Not that I think I will miss but that crap happens and it may take more than nine rounds. A determined attacker can be just that, determined to reach and kill you. Carrying more rounds is a mild inconvenience.
  36. Really good point.

    First of all, 2 for 5 is not terrible with a snub rapid fire, let alone being injured and disoriented. The point about a snub being more forgiving of a bad grip is valid as well.

    Yeah, very true.
  37. These are important points. Had he hit five times instead of two, the snubby probably would have been sufficient.
  38. I want to make sure I understand; are you saying the caliber (38spc) was part of the problem?

    I don't want to jump into a caliber discussion, 'cause I don't think caliber was part of husband's issue here. I think it's been pointed out enough over the years that handguns in general aren't great "man stoppers".

    True, but as I said above, 2 out of 5 while wounded, in motion, with a snub, isn't terrible.
  39. It was not very good either. Yes I am saying that the 38 Special from a snubby sucks. I have seen lots of people shot with 38's and 357 mags, there is a gulf of difference between the two.
  40. Partially, The 38 special snubby is marginal at best.
  41. It works fine if you chose good ammo....like most service calibers.
  42. The 38 special has taken down plenty of badguys in the last 120 years. This isn't about any measurable problem with the 38 special cartridge. This is about shot placement, an unusually determined attacker and overall capacity. I would not bat an eye about carrying a snubbie 38 as an EDC gun. It would be rather difficult to take sparse examples like this one and make any sort of realistic judgement regards the practicality of utilizing the 38 as your weapon of choice. Historically speaking, it has done the job reasonably well for over 100 years.

    All that said, I am not a proponent of smallish compact weapon of rather limited capacity being used as a primary SD weapon in the home. I accept that cost may be a limiting factor as well as some sort of physical impairment.

    Size, weight and concealability is not an issue with a house gun. It would tend to reason that a person take advantage of those circumstance and bolster their overall capabilities. I think a 38 snub is just fine to carry concealed on your person. Most carry guns are a compromise between capacity, power, convenience and concealability. No such compromise is likely to exists with a house gun. Speaking just for myself, I am going to show up with a 19 round 9mm XD-m.

    Will 5 rounds be enough? Historically speaking, statistically speaking, realistically speaking... yes ( probably).

    Is probably good enough? I would say yes, for a carry gun which is a balance of many compromises. I would say NO for a home gun which should be limited only by your absolute physical abilities and thickness of your wallet.
  43. Plenty of people have been stopped DRT from a 38sp fired from a snub; it’s better than a pointy stick.

    Not gonna argue that 357 is better, it is.

    One of the hits he scored in his first 5 rounds was a heart shot. Would it have been more devastating if fired from a 357 or his 45? Maybe, maybe not.

    I’d say responding with any gun to the initial altercation, before being beaten, would have made more difference in the outcome.
  44. Depends whether it caused loss of consciousness more quickly, and if it was faster, whether it was "fast enough" to mean anything when it came to loss of consciousness and incapacitation. Maybe, maybe not.

    I had a surgeon once tell me that a GSW that destroyed the "left" side of the heart (which is actually turned somewhat more to the rear, looking at it from the front) would probably cause faster loss of blood supply to the body and unconsciousness (brain) because it was the "high pressure" side of the heart that pumped it out.

    Now, behind some of the heart - again, looking at human anatomy from the "front" - is the spine and spinal cord. Looking at human anatomy from different angles changes things from a visual perspective.

    People have had their hearts seriously damaged (even by a Magnum service caliber), or completely destroyed (by a shotgun slug), and have either continued to act (fight), or run off some distance before collapsing due to sufficient exsanguination to cause unconsciousness.

    Would 2 GSW "hits" in the "heart"or aortic arch area cause more damage, and if so, would that greater damage cause "faster" incapacitation? Dunno. Probably depends.

    Would a spine/CNS (or cranial) injury cause incapacitation? Do some bullets glance off the strong cranial bones? Do even some bullets which may penetrate from the front of the skull get stopped/trapped in sinus areas? (I'm thinking of some different documented OIS cases where these different questions were answered for those particular incidents.)
  45. Actually no, the 38 snubby is barely marginal. If it was so good most cops not restricted to 38 would not have carried 357 magnums in revolver days, me included.

    The 357, with the appropriate bullet would have been magnitudes more devastating.
  46. simply because a better round existed or that notable desire existed for a more powerful cartridge, doesn't mean the round is "marginal at best". It would not have been used by the majority of our nations police forces for more than 60 years if it was not getting the job done. I would say that it is clearly adequate not marginal. Certainly there are "better" rounds out there but to call the 38special.."marginal at best" is not reasonable in my estimation.
  47. Maybe. Officer Lim was not devastated by a shot to her chest from a 357mag. Yet again we are back to the bullet design being a primary factor, more so than more energy of higher vel.
    I just see no point in a snub as a house gun. Even a 4" bbl 38/357 is easier tomshoot wel, & offers more vel for better bullet performance. Assuming one is using a good HP bullet.
  48. It’s hard to say five shots isn’t enough when four shots stopped and killed the bad guy. It’s more about “only hits count” and staying ahead of the curve.

    I think this would have ended completely differently, had he initially brought a firearm. I don’t understand how a child being in the house stops a thinking man from bringing a firearm to check out his wife screaming. A firearm can safely be carried, by your side, and put away or deployed immediately, when the situation is clear.

    The biggest takeaway here, in my opinion, is to stay in the fight and do what you have to. Their mindset is what got them through this as much or more than having a certain firearm.

    In the end, I am glad they survived and hope they can move beyond the trauma they will likely always suffer.
  49. Or if you aren’t home.