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Hello,

I am new to the site (Hey don't punish the newbie, I use to be involved in a Jeep forum and people would plaster new post. Even when compared with the stuff I was doing, which was far more advanced then what anyone else on the board worked on I would not flame people). I have looked but I was unable to find the info I was looking for on this site. I am probably looking in the wrong place, but someone my point me in the right direction.

Disclaimer: I am asking this because my family, like many others on this board feel is by far more important to me then myself, and if something I brought into the house maimed or killed one of them I would be lost.

Background: My family and I live in a upper middle class neighborhood, but it is in Dallas Texas and you just can not escape the crime in this city. I am a good sized guy and physically depending on the situation I can handle myself. I know all guys think they are bad A's, but I am not claiming that because back in my football days I was handled. That said we had an incident at my home and having my wife and little boy there I was defenseless in the situation in that I was unable to pursue the people threatening us. I moved my wife into the hallway and grabbed my grandfathers shotgun (never figured I would need it so it had a trigger lock on it and I have no key. Besides I had no ammo) just as a bluff if I needed it. In summary, no one tried to enter the house, but a few people at 8:45 at night behind my house beat my wife’s Grand Cherokee with bars or bats to the sound of $8K.

I did not know if they had guns or what by the brashness of there actions, like I said I am fairly intimidating in stature. Plus, I do not like to feel defenseless.

First, we had dusk to dawn lights put up and night cameras put around the perimeter of the house. Second, we purchased for safety a fingerprint recognition safe to put in our back bedroom and a XD 357 sig Service model to keep chambered in the safe. Third, we are taking shooting lessons (I have shot enough to know what I like so we purchased the XD that fit my wifes hand better and I shot best with this gun. Although my shooting skills are less than desired) to become more proficient.

After all the reading here is the question I have. I may have been duped into purchasing the 357 Sig because this is probably not the best caliber for home defense, but be that it may that is what I have to work with right now. Before I go out and purchase a 9 mm conversion barrel what is the best ammo for home defense?

I would like to limit the ability of a bullet going through my walls and hitting my wife or boys if I had to shoot an intruder.

Will the MagSafe or Glaser Blue be the better ammo or something else that I might of not found accomplish or nearly accomplish this requirement?
 

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If you are worried about penentration, you might want to avoid a pistol. I think shotguns are better for home defense. With kids, I would probably buy some bear mace and an alarm system.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=27833062

No kidding, incapacitates a grizzly for 10min. A human is out for 45min. Also, good job on the lights. Detering is always good. Cameras are great.

I'm not sure anything that will hurt the bad guy will be any better for your family behind a wall... I still worry about kids which behave irrationally. They can kling, grab gun hand or run around. Never know.

Personally, mace and an alarm system sounds like a best bet. Just my .02.
 

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.357 will overpenetrate walls and what not, so it is not the best choice if you are concerned with that. On the other hand, .357 sig is an excellent defense round, I am picking up one here in under a week.

Personally, I think any round will overpenetrate. I personally have seen a 9mm round go 20 feet, then through a 2 layers of metal on a fire extinguisher case, through the wall behind it, and through another wall.

So in other words, IMHO, save your money and get some magsafes/Glasers, and try to practice with the cheapest yet most hopped up ballistics round you can afford.
 

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It sounds like you are off to a good start, with the lights and such.

Personally, I don't want to have to rely on high tech safes in an emergency situation. We have a mechanical quick access safe, and there are electronic ones with simple keypads that quickly open. I question the quickness and reliability of a fingerprint recognition system. What if your wife has to open it, or your fingerprint is not clear (like maybe you cut your finger in the kitchen the day before and it is bandaged or scabbed over)?

Anyhow, on to the ammunition issue.

Stay away from frangible ammunition. If a person invades your home, they are a determined attacker. Determined to commit their crimes despite people being in the home. That means they are not going to be easily stopped. If the sight of a weapon doesn' t make them turn tail immediately, you will have to shoot them to stop them. You will have to physically incapacitate them. After all, you weren't able to deter them with lights, good locks, etc., and you weren't able to scare them with the sight of a firearm. So your last resort is to physically stop them by incapacitation.

Furthermore, your home invasion will likely be accomplished by more than one attacker, and they may be high on drugs so they won't have fear and they won't feel pain.

So, you want the most effective ammunition available. Effective ammunition is something that penetrates deeply and creates a large wound. The large, deep wound will create blood loss and shock, which will lead to unconciousness in a few seconds. Or, a central nervous system hit (brain or upper spinal cord) will cause incapacitation immediately.

A fat or muscular person, or someone wearing several layers of clothing or leather, requires ammunition that penetrates even better than a skinny person wearing only a thin shirt. Your shot might strike their outstretched arm first and then pass through to their chest.

Frangible ammunition does a very poor job at penetration. If there are barriers such as a leather jacket or thick fat, the broken pieces of the bullet may not even penetrate to the ribs! If your shot hits their arm first, a frangible bullet will break into small pieces before hitting their shirt. Flesh wounds are not going to do much to stop a determined attacker.

In addition, frangible ammunition tends to make several small wounds, and not a large wound. This reduces the shock and bleeding, which reduces it's ability to create unconciousness.

Ideally, the victim should shoot several rounds into the attacker to create multiple wounds so as to induce incapacitation as quickly as possible. Remember, your attackers are likely to be armed, so they have to be neutralized as quickly as possible. The advice of the FBI to their agents is to continue shooting until the attacker is stopped. Don't shoot once, or twice, and then stop to see what the effect is. Keep shooting until the attacker is stopped.

So don't expect a "one shot stop".

I load my defensive weapon with the same ammunition regardless of whether I'll be going to the bank or staying at home. Because I load it with the ammunition that I believe will do the best job at stopping an attacker. I see no reason to use less effective ammunition in my home, where arguably there is the most need for maximum effectiveness.

For me, Remington Golden Saber and Speer Gold Dot are rounds I trust in 9mm and .40 caliber. In 357 Sig these same rounds would be top picks.

I have evaluated where my kids' beds are and developed safe lanes of fire where I can be confident of not endangering sleeping children. If an invasion occurs when we are not in bed then I have to be aware of where people are and improvise.

IMHO, Glasers and other "safe" ammunition purveyors prey on a person's lack of confidence in their shooting abilities. With a little thought, one can develop a home defense plan which includes defense positions and safe firing zones. Keep in mind the 3-D picture. If you are really forced to shoot in a direction towards your child's bedroom, you could shoot from a kneeling position so your shot is angled upwards slightly. Thus if you miss, your bullet will pass above your child.

Definitely get involved in something like IDPA. It will build your skills and confidence. Also, I highly recommend training at Front Sight Academy near Las Vegas. You can buy a certificate good for a free 4 day handgun course that normally costs $1200 (and is well worth the full price) for about $50 to $80! Their training is second to none, and at the price is the bargain of the century.
 

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I'm not a fan of magsafe/glaser personally because I don't think they have the proper recipe for consistent incapacitation but I don't have any great ideas to offer you. I have no kids so I don't have to worry about that. I'd probably consider a shotgun with something besides buckshot if I were you. Still not ideal but a better option than glaser. Good job with the lights and cameras.

A word on the bear spray idea...I like sprays but once someone gets into my house I want something more than a spray for a couple of reasons. First, spray something that dispenses a large amount of hot pepper spray like that inside an enclosed space is going to cause you to feel it too, it's inevitable. Second, about 5% of the population is basically immune to pepper spray. If some guy comes in and he's armed and he just happens to be one of the 5% then you're screwed. Third, if the above happens and you're inside then you basically have nowhere to run...and you wouldn't anyway because you have a family to protect.

brad cook
 

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The mace idea is a good one... NOT! LOL I don't think using mace inside your house is going to be a very good idea! That stuff is heavier than air, and will eventually float down to floor level.. but if you find yourself moving in the direction of the intruder, invariably you will have maced yourself.

No matter which round you choose, only shoot the intruder. That should prevent the round from going through walls.

If it is really a concern, buy a single shot shotgun.. I saw one at Wally World the other day for $89.00 bucks! A 20guage shotgun has a nice spread, can be shot from the hip, and will turn your intruder into a good Christian in nothing flat!

The lights, a decent home security system, and your awareness will probably be all you ever need to keep the bad guys at bay.. but if it comes down to it.. WWB in your 357 will be the right round.

Raymond
 

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Short answer - Buy the ammo you can afford to practice with.

Long answer - Think about your options and priorities.

A gaurded or protected community (whether a "gated" neighborhood or a condo building with 24 hour security staff) is probably the highest level of passive protective action you can take. My wife and I lived in one in downtown Seattle for a year and a half and never felt safer.

If moving is not an option consider a fence and a dog. If you get a dog, plan on spending the time necessary to obedience train him or her right, including respect for your wife and child. No need to get a pit bull or a rottweiller, most any medium sized dog will do well as a good deterrent. Realize that a seriously trained gaurd dog is not necessarily a pet and think very carefully before going down that road.

Situational awareness costs nothing but serves you best. Stay aware, help your wife be aware and eventually your child. Maybe you need to trim some bushes that are too close to where you park your cars. Maybe you need to fine tune the motion sensors on your outdoor lights. Think defensively and you may be able to avoid a confrontation.

Good luck and stay safe.
 

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Captain Ray said:
The mace idea is a good one... NOT! LOL I don't think using mace inside your house is going to be a very good idea! That stuff is heavier than air, and will eventually float down to floor level.. but if you find yourself moving in the direction of the intruder, invariably you will have maced yourself.

No matter which round you choose, only shoot the intruder. That should prevent the round from going through walls.

If it is really a concern, buy a single shot shotgun.. I saw one at Wally World the other day for $89.00 bucks! A 20guage shotgun has a nice spread, can be shot from the hip, and will turn your intruder into a good Christian in nothing flat!

The lights, a decent home security system, and your awareness will probably be all you ever need to keep the bad guys at bay.. but if it comes down to it.. WWB in your 357 will be the right round.

Raymond
In refernce to the mace Don't, take it from a cop whom has sprayed and been sprayed with that stuff inside a home, bar, car.....etc etc....It will in some cases take out your intruder, but it will take you out also....That stuff can fill up a room in no time, and if there is another attacker....well guess what you are out of the fight for the most part...Hard to hit what you can't see....

I also have sprayed perp's with mace and had it take 2 to 3 minutes before it takes affect....that for the most part is due to Meth, alcohol, and other drugs....

If you can try to go to your local gun dealer and ask for "sub Sonic" rounds for your .357 sig....this will limit the penetration a little....Just remember, if that "shituation" :shock: comes into play, your only thought is going to be to stop the aggression that is taking place to you and your family....The dog is also a great idea......

Good luck,

Tom :D
 

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rbyrd said:
Hello,


In summary, no one tried to enter the house, but a few people at 8:45 at night behind my house beat my wife’s Grand Cherokee with bars or bats to the sound of $8K.


Second, we purchased for safety a fingerprint recognition safe to put in our back bedroom and a XD 357 sig Service model to keep chambered in the safe.
First make sure you can use said gun legally, In MI the jeep incident would have you in prison, if you had shot anybody.

Next congrats on the XD purchase, but for "home protection" I recommend a 12 gauge shotgun.
 

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I agree with the shotgun comments. I live in an apartment, and I have a 12 gauge pump, and my XD-9. I like having my 9 because my wife just plain doesn't like my shotgun. It weighs too much, and she doesn't like the recoil. On the other hand, she loves my XD-9. It fits her hand well, and she can shoot accurately with it, so it's good you have a pistol that your wife can use. As far as overpenetration, a couple people have already said it, make sure you hit the intruder. Practice shooting, a lot. Unless you have a giant house, the distances you'll be shooting someone at are probably minimal, so chances are you'll hit what you aim at if you practice enough. Saying that, make sure you have a round that won't go straight through someone and keep going. I'm not sure if .357 sig overpenetrates that much, but from what I've heard, .45 is king in that aspect. A .45+P goes about 1000 fps (as opposed to 1400-1500 for your .357sig) and it's a bigger slug so it's more likely to stop inside someone. Hopefully you'll never have to shoot anyone, but like you, I can't stand the idea of being "outgunned".
 

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You know, I should have thought of the dog. That is an excellent idea. We were robbed while away. I was very young and living at home. Immediately after, we got a dog. A german shepard collie. That dog would eat the face off a grizzly to save us yet never hurt a one of us. Ever. . Auto aiming, no over penetration and would probably clean them mess if we let her! Seriously, if you can get a good dog for the kids, that is your best bet. I don't think you need a trained attack robo dog. Just not a wuss dog. Aside from the hip problems german shepard females develop, they rule. The only thing better than a dog is two dogs. Preferably siblings. But one dog is plenty.

Another video you may want to watch is Shotgun CQB. It is by L.O.T.I. group. Chris Caracci explains how to for a plan for home defense using a shotgun. He is a SEAL veteran from the elite counter terrorism unit. His advice was have a safe place to retreat to that everyone is aware of. Mommy and Daddy's bedroom is a good place. You only leave there to get the kids. His advice, hunker down and call the police. A shotgun at the door and family behind you is ideal. Make sure you keep a cell phone in your bedroom.

He talks about critical points such as sympathetic reactions, openings and funnels. It begins to give an idea to the extreme complexity of SWAT maneuvers without documenting how they do it with multiple people. I don't say this to imply over complexity. Just to explain the complexity is there. You can learn from him or learn from the intruder.

http://www.navysealteams.com/sq.htm

There are others you may want to look at. In looking up the URL, it looks like there are more videos than before.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you for all the advice.

Some points. We live in a nice neighbeorhood and there are allot of positives with the neighborhood, but the crime is getting a little old.

Dogs, had them and I do not want anymore. If I lived on a large piece of property I might have one. I like dogs, but they are to uch of a hassle when living for a vacation and I have stepped into toomany piles when I was a kid.

Like with Allsicles my wife does not care for the Shotgun, which in the same situation is the weapon of choice for me.

I have designated the Master Bedroom as the safe room and we are having the camera TV in there and in the living room. Also, the childrens room are not in the line of fire down the hallway to get to our room. Although I did not think about shooting from a kneeling position though. That was a great suggestion!

About the people busting up the Jeep that is tough. I was not worring about the Jeep so much as them coming into the house. On the other hand, being that I am a guy and being truthful all guys have some bravado I did not like them doing what they did since it like a slap in the face. Plus, even though they were so close where I was sitting I could not see over the 6 foot fence to see how many or what I was up against.

Concerning shooting someone tearing up your property in Texas after sun down I could get away with shooting them, but I still do not think I woud want to go through the courts. Moreover, my wifes vehicle is really nice, but it is transportation. Although, I have a sweet Buick Grand National that was given to me from my partents (their vehicle that they had allot of pride of owning) before they passed away and it does have allot of sentamental value that I mught shoot you over that car, but also that would mean you have broken into my garage.

Concerning ammo I will rethink. Please give me your top picks for defense ammo and this includes stopping ability and reliability for use in the XD?

Thank you for all the advise,

rbyrd
 

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Something to consider. You can pick up a 12ga shotgun for very cheap and even if you use it and not your wife, it is a much better choice of home defense than any handgun.

I'm not for sure on this one, but if you are using hollowpoints in 357Sig i dont think you are going to have that much of a concern with overpenetration. If it were me i'd go out somewhere and just shoot at some different materials to see how the bullet reacts. Stay safe.
 

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Rbyrd writes:

Please give me your top picks for defense ammo and this includes stopping ability and reliability for use in the XD?
I use Federal Hydra-shok, 147gr JHP for home defense. I keep the 15 rd magazine full of the federal, the two 10 rounders currently are filled with Remington UMC 115gr MC... I figure if I need more than the first 15 rounds, the UMC should finish the job just fine.

Raymond
 

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Ammunition choice is a hot topic. Just about as hot as caliber choice.

First off, the same design and name can be good in one caliber but truly suck eggs in another caliber. Just because somebody says great things about one brand in 9 or 45 doesn't mean it is any good in .357 Sig.

Remington Golden Saber and Speer Gold Dot are both good choices, IMHO.
 

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Winchester Ranger T in my .357 SIG

I would also consider Double tap ammo, it is loaded with the gold dot bullet and moves at 1400 fps with low flash powder. This is a little easier to obtain vs the Ranger T....but we all know who to contact for the Ranger T so its not a big deal anyways.

The .357 SIG is a very capable round in terms of stopping power. I had my doubts at first when I bought the gun but that has all changed since then. I also have a .45 ACP....I think in house I would pick that up first to worry less about where the bullets go if I do miss. Once I get a few things taken care of with the XD I will be making it my primary concealed carry gun.
 

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Captain Ray said:
Rbyrd writes:

Please give me your top picks for defense ammo and this includes stopping ability and reliability for use in the XD?
I use Federal Hydra-shok, 147gr JHP for home defense. I keep the 15 rd magazine full of the federal, the two 10 rounders currently are filled with Remington UMC 115gr MC... I figure if I need more than the first 15 rounds, the UMC should finish the job just fine.

Raymond
Ditto on the HydraShoks. But I have my magazine loaded Hydra/Hydra/FMJ/Hydra/FMJ/Hydra/FMJ/Hydra/FMJ/Hydra.
I figure that if if the first two rounds didn't take care of the problem, I might need more penetration. After that, I will NOT be paying attention to what the last round was, so it's mixed.....

A dog is a great idea, but I consider mine a second alarm system, not a defense.
DEW Line= Dog Early Warning
 

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All my firearms are loaded with Federal Hydrashoks. It's a proven round by a proven company and it penetrates just fine even against heavy clothing (as do most JHPs from the top makers). Try to avoid the magsafe/custom home defense crapf. Overpriced, doesn't penetrate as well, and accuracy isn't that hot. What you need to do is spend time with your family and work out a plan on what everyone would do in case there is a break in. It's a situation similar to a house fire. You need to know where everyone is, or where they are going to. Practice it just as you would a fire drill.

As for the .357, it's a great round and as stated before, every round penetrates walls, what is needed is practice and lots of it. Also, since this is a home defense gun, get an M3 light to mount on it. Last thing you need to do is shoot at something in the dark and it turns out to be a friend/family member.

Lastly, if you want something better, consider a Mossberg or Remington 12ga shotgun. I have always had a pistol within reach on my headboard, but at night when there is a bump in the dark, my hand grabs my Mossberg first.
 
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