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Harley Dude
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are so many wonderful lever guns out there with a wide range of cals! Could you defend your home with a 30/30 or one of those sweet 44 mags or 45 LC carbines??

I remember well the LA riots of the 1980's. I was there and kept my 30-30 loaded and available for quick access. I didn't have much choice since all my other rifles were 22 cal with the exception of a 50 cal Hawkin!

I have since invested in a nice little Ruger mini-14 with several clips of 223 available.
 
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Lever guns work fine for defense. They are as fast or faster to use than a pump shotgun, and no serious person claims the latter are unsuitable for defense.

A .30-30 might be a little on the penetrative side, but you can download with the 125 gr "Managed Recoil" rounds from Remington. The pistol caliber lever guns are well suited to defense.

I just sold the last of my AR-pattern guns. I have come to prefer slicker, handier guns like lever actions, and wouldn't hesitate for a moment to grab a lever gun if I needed a rifle. In fact, I have given some serious thought to putting together an "all around" rifle, good for hunting and defense, on a Marlin 336 or 1894.

I think a lot of people make the mistake of assuming rifles are used like pistols, so they need something that offers a bottomless magazine, great rapidity of fire, and instant reloads. But pistols are carried on the belt and used when you are taken by surprise at close range. A rifle, by contrast, is an item you go and get. By definition, you are not surprised when you use a rifle - you've gone to fetch it, so you have time and distance from an attack. A rifle then becomes a tool of precise fire, more powerful and accurate than a pistol - no citizen can safely lay down a barrage of suppressive fire in his neighborhood or home. Looked at this way, a lever gun serves just as well as a semi-auto.
 

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I've got ghostring sights on my 44 lever gun, yes indeed, it is fast. I chase cans around the range and can keep 'em movin'. I like to blast them up the berm and try not to let them roll down. For home defence though, Im hearing that 223 doesnt over penetrate like other calibers, that the personal defence 223 loads disentigrate when shot into walls.
 

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Harley Dude
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14,651 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like some of the older lever cals. Like the 38-55, 38-40 and 44-40 a couple of these are pistol cals also and have become popular in cowboy action shooting. For home defense or even woods deer hunting the 38-55 and 44-40 will work fine. There are others too that escape me right now.

Maybe someone can add to the list?
 
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red-rider said:
For home defence though, Im hearing that 223 doesnt over penetrate like other calibers, that the personal defence 223 loads disentigrate when shot into walls.
Mainly internet mythology. See the http://www.theboxotruth.com. Sure, .223 might go through only seven walls instead of twelve...but do you base a decision on that? .223 does not "disintegrate" on typical interior home materials. Get some scrap drywall and try it yourself.

Any round with enough penetration to reliably put down bad guys is going to go through walls. People just need to accept that and work on hitting the target rather than putting rounds lengthwise through their home. Hits at in-home distances with a rifle should be comparative child's play, however, unless you live in the Astrodome.
 

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The Box is pretty interesting, Seems the above mensioned 223 round only penetrate less. I personally dont have any of these, only PMC FMJ 55 grainers. I dont use mine for defence, I keep a 45 for that and I quess I'll take my chances. Interesting site though. I wonder what our Air marshalls are shooting? I know those guys have ton of training/practice.
 

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Harley Dude
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14,651 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Look to the velocity of the round to determine if it will over penetrate. The 223 is a barn burner, with the right bullet cap it will keep on going like the everready bunny!

You want a slow round for inside protection. Maybe a big chunk of lead moving at a slow velocity. In hollowpoint configuration it will most likely break up much quicker on impact. The 45 acp in hollowpoint is a prime example.

You can buy frangible rounds for certain handgun cals, and they use them in aircraft situations. They breakup on impact against the walls of your home, but will stop a perp with authority.
 
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sig232 said:
Look to the velocity of the round to determine if it will over penetrate. The 223 is a barn burner, with the right bullet cap it will keep on going like the everready bunny!
That's totally inaccurate. A high-velocity, frangible light bullet actually stops faster in typical building materials, not slower. At http://www.theboxotruth.com, 50 gr. JHP .223 went through "only" eight wallboards (equivalent to four interior walls).

You want a slow round for inside protection. Maybe a big chunk of lead moving at a slow velocity. In hollowpoint configuration it will most likely break up much quicker on impact. The 45 acp in hollowpoint is a prime example.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Look at the tests at http://www.theboxotruth.com. Both .223 FMJ and .45ACP HydraShok blasted through twelve wallboards (six interior walls) and kept on going. The JHP .223 noted above penetrated at least one-third less than .45ACP, though again, the difference between four walls and six seems rather academic when the safety of innocents is a concern.

You can buy frangible rounds for certain handgun cals, and they use them in aircraft situations. They breakup on impact against the walls of your home, but will stop a perp with authority.
You're talking about Glaser Safety Slugs and the copies from MagSafe. They will actually sail right through six sheets of drywall (that's three interior walls), though they will fragment inside a human. They are very short on penetration in people, however.

Bottom line? NO round is safe to crack off in your house. NO round, including the lowly .22LR, will be stopped by typical building materials without sailing through several rooms.

You have to make the hits on the bad guy - HE is your only backstop. People need to stop wasting mental energy on picking some mythical "perfect" ammo and concentrate on shooting the ammo they have accurately.
 

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Harley Dude
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It really depends a lot on what you are using. What type of ammo. I agree the high performance hollowpoint ammo is hot stuff. The hollowpoints like hydrashok, cor-bon etc. But there are others that do not penetrate nearly as much.

Cowboy action ammo for example has a lot less velocity. Might be a good choice for home use, semi wadcutter target loads also. But I agree that shot placement is the best answer and paying attention to what is in the line of fire is another major factor.

I use Winchester Silvertips, they are hollowpoint and are not as hot as many of the top sellers, but they will work great in a 45 auto. I can hit what I aim at, usually, but in an emergancy situation, who knows what will happen! Panic induces mistakes!

If you were in the middle of a holdup at a 7-11 and had to use your gun you would be checking to see who was in the line of fire before firing.

FMJ 223 ammo is designed to penetrate. It will penetrate much further than stock off the shelf soft lead ammo. That is what I was saying. A 223 is never a good choice for defense use in an apartment or other mult family residence. Single family residence maybe. I would not ever choose that round unless it was riot conditions and I had a herd of Tweekers attacking the place.

I to disagree. there are type of frangible ammo that will not penetrate aircraft skin but will stop a fight. That is only purpose of that type of ammo, to stop the fight and not overpenetrate.
 
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sig232 said:
FMJ 223 ammo is designed to penetrate. It will penetrate much further than stock off the shelf soft lead ammo. That is what I was saying.
That's sort of half true. The current M855 ammo was designed for long range stability and penetration. The older M193, which was the round tested at Box of Truth, was designed to tumble and yaw when it hits flesh - not for penetration.

A 223 is never a good choice for defense use in an apartment or other mult family residence. Single family residence maybe.
I think it's just as good (or bad) as a pistol round. The penetration levels are about the same as 9mm or .45ACP, and no one cries about using them for HD or street carry. A shotgun with buck has less penetration, but once again we are talking about three walls instead of four or six. NONE of them are safe in the event of a miss - so all have to be shot accurately.

The whole "penetration in home defense" debate is pretty silly. Any round that will dig to vital organs on a human will go through walls. Magic bullets don't exist. Deal with it and shoot accurately.
 
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The only lever gun I would consider for home defense would be a lever shotgun. Any solid bullet will penetrate 1/2" sheet rock. The home safety course I took recommended heavy birdshot up to a max of #4 buck.
 
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