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I think we all understand that the VP can't be pre-scripted. He's a stream of consciousness kind of guy.

His actual point, however well camouflaged, was that anyone can defend their hearth and home without resorting to Squad Automatic Weapons, grenade launchers, and interlocking fields of fire. Some previous contributors to KOS have theorized that anyone using an old fashioned weapon (revolver) would be immediately disadvantaged because any respectably armed criminal would be have a Glock/Berretta which have not only higher rates of fire but also more ammo capacity. That KOS contributor in question postulated that a revolver would fire once in the time it takes a semiauto to fire three rounds.  Hmmm. Maybe so.

Forgetting, for the moment, that you may be fighting a running gun-battle in the dystopian streets, the more likely scenario is a home invasion where you, the defender, have the home field advantage and probably were alerted by the noise of the "breaking" part of breaking and entering.  Point being, if you keep a home defense weapon you probably have thought about how to use it (assuming you are not unable to which case ANY weapon is useless), e.g.,  where to make the "stand" for the most lethal effect upon the intruder (perhaps at the top of a stairwell).  

So, there you are with your revolver, not feeling terribly sanguine.  That is where Joe's advice comes in...the shot gun. A shotgun with # 1 "Buckshot" contains eleven .30 cal projectiles PER SHELL. Fired from an "skeet" barrel (improved cylinder), those eleven simultaneously fired bullets (think 30.06 or AK47 bullets) would travel 30 feet in a pattern about the size of a basketball...shredding whatever they hit. Thats quicker than firing an 11-round burst, on full auto, from an AK47, because it is instantaneous!!  You have at least three, or as many as five, shots before reloading (which is quick and simple to do). Of course, the intruder will not know what armament you have until the first shot. That shot will not be the characteristic "pop" of a handgun.  More like an F'ing BOOM.  Assuming the intruder is not looking at a bloody stump (or worse), he/she may review the tactical situation and consider alternative courses of action (flee?). Or freeze and be captured by those unreliable police (you did call 911?). Or die ,if you continue firing.

Like pistol and rifle calibers, buckshot can penetrate walls and endanger the people you are trying to protect.  If your intention is not to engage the intruder BY shooting through walls, then consider using a smaller shot size like #4, turkey shot.  With that shell, you would have the same size shot diameter (basketball) but a much denser pattern (170 x .13 caliber projectiles) which are more than adequate to break bones, etc.

Of course, any home defense weapon should be secured when the adult(s) are not immediately present.  Trigger lock with combo, fast and easy to use (by the adult).

All of this can be accomplished without high rate-of-fire weapons or high capacity magazines.  I think that is what the VP meant to say.  Your thoughts?

Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:25 AM PT: Thanks for the discussion.  One last note for Patrick C. regarding why people "who do this for a living" fire so many rounds during an engagement. I think Patrick was making the case for large magazines due to the frequent need to fire multi[le rounds. In the following case, two "pros" fired at a single target on a city street.
"New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said all nine bystanders wounded in Friday's Empire State Building shooting had been hit with police gunfire, CNN reported Saturday morning."
So, a barrage does not guarantee success.

Originally posted to lenomdeplume on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:10 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A shotgun is a great home defense weapon (11+ / 0-)

    And makes a very scary noise, both if it's pump action and when it's fired.

    I think that's what he meant to say, and it was a fine thing to say.

    We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

    by i understand on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:14:30 PM PST

    •  Nothing like the sound. It is unmistakable. (6+ / 0-)

      And little aiming necessary. Just get in the general direction. That is what we have. Have a handgun too 'coz hubby insisted. If he was gone and somebody was breaking down the door - the shotgun would be what I would grab in a heartbeat. And frankly, I wish we had none of the above anymore.

      if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

      by mrsgoo on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:41:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "general direction" is bulls$!#. (4+ / 0-)

        The thing most analogous to a shotgun pattern is the plain old flashlight.

        Notice how the beam is small up close to the light, but spreads out and gets less bright the further away? That's how a shotgun works, a dispersal pattern.

        Take a normal hand flashlight and walk around the house at night, pointing it in the "general direction" of things and testing that aim by turning it on. See whether you hit or missed.

        You DO need to aim a shotgun, just not at precisely as a rifle or handgun.

        At about 9:30 of this video he gets to showing the shotgun pellet cloud hitting the edges of a steel target - which illustrates the other unmentioned trait of shotguns.... That if you point at the X with a shotgun then you WILL be hitting things that are to the sides of X.

        It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not more gun control, it's people care.

        by JayFromPA on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 05:09:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Shots in gelatin (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          at 6:00 illustrate the devastating effect of a .30 cal projectile. Imagine 11 of them in a relatively small area.  Thanks for vid.

          •  I have issues with gelatin. (0+ / 0-)

            Gelatin is one consistent density. The human body is many densities. Liquid in a bladder, denser liquid in another organ, thickly packed muscle tissue, bone, air, etc.

            Gelatin is one solid volume. The human body is many separate flexibly-covered volumes. Flexible skin, shifting intestines separate from their contents, skins on organs that yield to an extent.

            Fascia. There is no corresponding structure in gelatin to fascia.

            Gelatin is only an approximation of some of the tissues in the body.

            Only recently have people begun using a synthetic bone-like substitute at the beginning of a block of gelatin, and some are covering that with a layer or two of denim. These are showing results that, last time I saw them, came much closer to duplicating the real world results of jhp's not expanding as they are supposed to.

            Gelatin is, imho, a poor substitute for actual tissue.

            It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not more gun control, it's people care.

            by JayFromPA on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:39:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you---hate that myth myself (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KVoimakas, PavePusher

          A good self-defense buckshot shell has maybe a 2" to 3" diameter at 7 to 10 yards (i.e., the range one would most likely use a shotgun in a home self-defense situation). You don't need the same amount of accuracy as you do with a handgun or rifle, but that is far from point-in-the-general-direction territory.

  •  End a home invasion with 1 shell (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WakeUpNeo, Vetwife, JayFromPA, Deep Texan

    Yep, you can end every single home invasion with just one shotgun shell. One target is completely incapacitated (if not dead), and the rest are fleeing for the hills. If it takes you more than 1 shell, you are too incompetent to own a firearm, and should probably be kept away from knives and matches as well.

    Unless, of course, you have multiple teams of ninja assassins coming through the walls. Then it's going to take more than one shell. Or perhaps you need a new line of work, something that doesn't prompt teams of ninja assassins to storm your residence.

    •  The sound of cocking a Shotgun would scare (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan

      most intruders.   A shotgun is extremely effective for home protection.   I personally do not like any of them but a shotgun makes a sound that is unmistakably, " Someone is going to die" sound.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 05:01:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "I have a gun and 911 on the phone" works (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KVoimakas, PavePusher, andalusi

        better.  Especially with a SxS which is what Biden said we should own and potentially become felons with by discharging it when we think there may be a threat.

        I like Joe even though I disagree with his opinions of firearms.  He suffers from the same malady that many pols do, Cannotshutupitis.  If he said "Shotguns are good for home defense" and left it at that or perhaps said "I don't' have experience with AR-15's" it woudl have been a non-issue.

        We seem to have found Biden's "Potatoe" issue.

        Bowers v. DeVito "...there is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered."
        Director of Merchandising - the Liberal Gun Club
        Interim Chairman - Democratic Gun Owners' Caucus of Missouri

        by ErikO on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:52:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There are plenty of criminals who don't know.... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        andalusi, Vetwife, KVoimakas

        what a shotgun action sounds like, and the sound doesn't carry as well as you'd think, especially in high-stress situations.  And it may well be masked (especially in urban areas) by environmental background noise.  Not something to rely on.

        Also, if your defensive weapons aren't "cocked and locked" (or Condition 1 for those with training), you are starting from yet another disadvantage.

        That said, yes, they can be very effective, with some training and practice.  They are by no means area-effect weapons, and have to be aimed every bit as carefully as any other firearm.

        Your hate-mail will be graded.

        by PavePusher on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 07:17:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Nice name. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Robert jordan fan?

      It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not more gun control, it's people care.

      by JayFromPA on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 05:10:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is America really a Mad Max hell hole with home (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David54, Glen The Plumber

      invasions the norm?

      that is what they make you think

  •  So what if your house was armed with sound (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WakeUpNeo, Vetwife, Glen The Plumber

    F'ing BOOM, F'ing BOOM, F'ing BOOM, F'ing BOOM.  In addition to strobe lights and sirens.  

    So that would be the switch you would throw at the top of the stairs.

    So couldn't he have been talking, not-guns.  I mean guns come with all kinds of baggage.  There's the part about actually having to know how to use them.  There's the part about actually having to store them safely.  There's the part about keeping them in good working order.  

    Making more noise than the intruder would be kind of disconcerting to an intruder.  If you have a gun all he needs to do is shoot you, but if the noise is coming from everywhere and he does not know how to stop it.  Maybe the house down the block would be a better bet.

    guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

    by 88kathy on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:42:09 PM PST

    •  Special effects (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Creative proposal. Some drawbacks...

      •  I wonder what. I think there is all kinds of (0+ / 0-)

        creative home invasion walls of sound.  What if you pressed the button and the sound effects went off in your neighbor's house.  That would be even more confusing for the invaders.

        guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

        by 88kathy on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 10:01:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  relatedly, I recently heard this easy suggestion: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Not perfect but a quick fix--if you park very close to your home (or in the garage), sleep with your car keys (if you have automatic door opener) near your bed or keep then nearby you in general. Most (?) all have a red panic button. If car is close enough it will be quite loud.

      Once my car was across the street and I could hear it loudly in my could test it to see as I did.

      (usually doesn't work for those of us who live in the city with only on street parking, though).

  •  I thought VP Biden's point was obvious. (4+ / 0-)

    And it was a very good point.

    Thanks for the diary. T&R'ed.

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 05:31:29 AM PST

  •  Re: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KVoimakas, andalusi, PavePusher

    Disturbing on a couple of points.  #1 Buck through an improved choke will shred anything if you catch it center at 21 yards, but if you miss you better find cover to reload and charge.    And who cares if you put eleven pieces of buckshot in pattern if you miss?

    Shotguns are terrible choices for engaging multiple intruders at wide, converging angles, which is probably why law enforcement and military eschew them in favor of carbines for CQB.  With frangible ammunition, the risk of overpenetration is greatly reduced making these gun ideal PDWs.  Your argument assumes a best case scenario, a single intruder engaged with no others present or his compatriots fleeing upon the first sign of resistance.  It's not even clear that this is the most likely attack you'd face if you're unlucky enough to face one at all.

    •  Missing with an IC (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      43north, BlackSheep1, andalusi

      Yes, it is possible to miss a target, even with a shotgun. Even if that weapon produces a shot pattern diameter of 25 inches at 10 yards range.  Very true.  However, bear in mind that would be roughly equivalent to mis-aiming at least two feet wide (left or right) of the intruders entire silhouette (nearly one body width). As I mentioned, one would have either 3/5 shells in an 870, so subsequent shots would be immediately available.

      In order to miss a target with a .223 rifle an error of only, wait for it, .223 inches is required. To reproduce a 25 inch IC pattern with a .223 would require as many as 112 rounds (25/.223).

      As the irrepressible 88kathy pointed out, "There's the part about actually having to know how to use them."  I am assuming a gun owner, like me, logs some range time.

      Regarding the observation that other weapons are better suited for multi-intruders in "wide angle" situations; home invasions RARELY involve more than one intruder attacking from multiple angles. If that situation is a credible possibility (and moving isn't), then the answer is not, IMHO, to more heavily arm one person. Instead, have a second shotgun for another adult in the home. Lets not too crazy with this. I really would move somewhere else.

      On the lighter side, I particularly enjoyed the "ninja" comment from Ashaman.  

      I completely agree that frangible bullets are necessary if one chooses a pistol or rifle for home defense and also wishes to avoid endangering family members or passers-by.

      Anyone who contemplates the need for home defense should think it all the way through.  Good discussion.

      •  25 inches at 10 yrds? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Patrick Costighan, FrankRose

        Even with a cylinder choke and an 18.5" barrel, I've not seen that type of spread.

        Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

        by KVoimakas on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:40:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  slight error (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KVoimakas, BlackSheep1, PavePusher

        to miss a target with a .223 projectile, one has to miss the target.  If the target is 60 inches wide, you have to miss 60 inches of target, not a 1/4 inch.

        12 inches = 12 inches.

        My experience with shotguns is that a 30 foot pattern from an I/C bore is 6 inches, more grapefruit sized, particularly with birdshot.
        The center 3 inches of which is pulverized.  There may be a dozen stray shot covering some of a 12 inch circle.
        If you were to throw yourself against the wall, and I was aiming center-of-stairs?  You're likely to be unhurt, or perhaps tagged with a single, smaller than a pepper grain, #6 pellet.

        Shooting back is certainly possible, thus not even a shotgun is exempt from the necessity of aimed fire.

        "The bill's sponsor has a better chance of being the next Pope" ~ attributed to Rep. Eric Burlison of Missouri

        by 43north on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:50:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Slugs are better, especially hand loaded (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ones that use close to minimum charges.  Less flash, less recoil yet still an ounce of lead traveling at 500-600 FPS.

          If I needed to use it for home defense, I'd rather a $200 shotgun get lost in evidence than a $600 pistol.  ;)

          Bowers v. DeVito "...there is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered."
          Director of Merchandising - the Liberal Gun Club
          Interim Chairman - Democratic Gun Owners' Caucus of Missouri

          by ErikO on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:55:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  12 inches = 12 inches (0+ / 0-)

          No argument there.
          I do see your point, if you completely miss a 60" target, then you "missed" 60" of target.  

          I think I'm making a different point: margin of error/safety. How far off can your point of aim be and still hit the target?

          If you fire a .223 at a target and hit center of mass (com), that's a hit. If, instead, you hit somewhere else, its still a hit.  If you hit the outside perimeter of the target (360 "punch out"), thats still a hit.  If the target were a person, each round would have drawn blood.  My point was, how much aiming error would cause a complete miss? From "com", it would be approx 30".  If measuring from the shot which just tagged the outside edge, a further .223" aiming error would cause a complete miss.

          When firing a shotgun, the pattern size determines the margin of error. If your shotgun barrel were pointed "com", the results are obvious, yes?  What about if the barrel were pointed at the very edge of the target? 50% of the shot should still strike. In order to completely miss the target, the barrel would have to be mis-aimed by at least 1/2 of the shot pattern.  For an Improved Cylinder, 12g a, #1 Buck the pattern at 10 yards is 20" (24" for Cylinder bore).
          ( typical shot spread per choke)

          So, your margin of safety to avoid a complete miss could be either .223 "  or 10" (half a basketball). Sort of a panic factor.

          •  Frenchy, buckshot disperses (0+ / 0-)

            at a wider spread than a less-likely to penetrate walls birdshot load.  (birdshot was mentioned as more ethical in a settled area)

            It's due to the shotshell wadding passing into the buckshot upon exiting the barrel, whereas common birdshot uses a "shot cup" to keep the tightest pattern possible.

            I dispute the findings on shotgunworld dot com, as based on my own observations when patterning shotguns.

            "The bill's sponsor has a better chance of being the next Pope" ~ attributed to Rep. Eric Burlison of Missouri

            by 43north on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 10:46:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Some trig for you. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KVoimakas, PavePusher

        To miss by the full diameter of your extraordinary pattern at 10 yards (360 in), you need only 8 degrees deviation.  Against a moving target.  Under possibly adverse conditions like low light.

        Perhaps the irrepressible 88Kathy would like to explain why so many rounds are exchanged between people who do this for a living.  There's something be said for knowing the difference between a real gunfight and cheating at Duck Hunt.

        You also have no idea what the odds are you'll face multiple attackers; nobody does, there's simply no data on the matter.

      •  A quibble among my general agreement (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Most shotguns loaded for self-defense use buckshot, which is much, much less than a 25 inch spread. Assuming you buy or load quality rounds, you shouldn't be getting more than several inches spread at 10 yards. I am also (perhaps quite wrongly) assuming this is a shotgun intended for self-defense, not a hunting or sporting shotgun pressed into double duty.

        As for overpenetration, I've read conflicting accounts of .223  penetrating walls, a confusion compounded by people testing different loads and the FBI report (which seems like it'd be rather informative) only being available to law enforcment agencies (which means I have no idea how much credence to give isolated quotes on websites). A moot point for me as I don't have a self-defense AR-15, mind, or anything else in that caliber.

        In any case, I do think a shotgun is a good self-defense choice as long as the person using it is aware of the potential for overpenetration and plans accordingly.

        Also, agreed that this is a good discussion. Anyone who owns a firearm for self-defense really should think about where and how it would be used, which includes addressing potential overpenetration.

    •  best of both worlds (3+ / 0-)

      self-loading rifle, shotshell rounds.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:26:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The name of his Memoir? nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  No thanks. Shotguns are unwieldy for some, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ErikO, andalusi, PavePusher

    can't be shot by others, have penetration problems, have to be AIMED unless they're REALLY short barreled (and that has its own problems), and don't work well in enclosed spaces.

    I'll take my 1911 any day of the week. Others would reach for a Glock or a M&P or an XD.

    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:00:52 AM PST

    •  Ithaca (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Auto & Burglar sadly banned for casual possession by the NFA '34.

      Near mint Ithaca auto & burglar shotgun with factory holster estimated for $3,500-4,500 sold for $10,350


      "The bill's sponsor has a better chance of being the next Pope" ~ attributed to Rep. Eric Burlison of Missouri

      by 43north on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:55:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  barrel length doesn't affect pattern size much (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KVoimakas, BlackSheep1, PavePusher

      Open coke is open choke.

      The only effect will be velocity related... Slower shot clouds spread sooner, as it's more of a time of flight function than a distance function. Shotshell powders are very fast burning, so barrel length isn't much of a factor there either.

      Short barelled shotguns are easier to maneuver, not easier to hit with. In fact, given the mechanics of shotgunning, they tend to be harder to shoot.


      "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
      "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

      by Leftie Gunner on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:00:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A good point: shotguns aren't for everybody (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My wife knows how to use my shotgun, but she doesn't really like it. Even though it's a lighter semiautomatic, it's still heavier than her .22 and definitely has a lot more kick. She is not confident she'd get off more than one shot if she had to. (Which is yet another problem with Biden's advice: shotguns are not a one size fits all perfect firearm choice.)

      She would much rather use one of my pistols and if we ever get a lever-action rifle, that's going to be her go-to firearm.

  •  up to a point, though, I'd rather have *more* (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KVoimakas, PavePusher


    Experience -- albeit 30-plus-years-old -- leads me to believe a 4'' barrel is better than a 2'' barrel, and a 6'' is better than a 4''. An 8'' is about the far end of what's workable (Buntline-size pistols are awkward).

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

    by BlackSheep1 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:33:22 AM PST

  •  If you want to be TECHNICAL about it.... (0+ / 0-)

    what you want is a 12 gauge pump action shotgun SAW'D OFF, to make it optimal for close quarters combat.

    A full length shotgun is as awkward in close combat as any rifle would be.

    An higher caliber M4, I think 680 is optimal, but 762 would be fine. Consensus in the military ranks is that 223 has too little stopping power in combat.  Though typical house design in the US, any rifle would have rounds going through walls and ending up who knows where when you miss.

    ... Just say'in. ;P

    •  Yeah, but short barrel shotguns are illegal in (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PavePusher, The Jester

      some states and without the registration and background check, are illegal to posses at the federal level.

      Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

      by KVoimakas on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 10:11:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, that was part of the idiocy... (0+ / 0-)

        ... Joe Biden is a nice guy, but some times silence is best.

        Indeed, what would be the optimal inside the house defense against.... toilet burglars? ... is actually illegal everywhere.

        Then there is the next level idiocy, which is, how come saw'd off shotguns are illegal.... all of them, not just NEW SALES... and yet an assault weapons ban would only be for new sales and not require confiscation of the 30 million already in private hands?

        Where is the sense in it, if it is soooo dangerous as to merit banning, how do the same people completely ignore the other 30 million out there?

        Then most Democrat's are puzzled that everyone else thinks they are nutz pushing such illogical thought.

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