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#132216 - 05/07/08 05:15 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: MoBOB]
frediver Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/17/04
Posts: 213
Loc: N.Cal.
Taurus has good advice above.
Regarding handguns I would lean to the .357 just because you can also use .38cal.
The .22 is a given, you need one, rifle, pistol or both.
12ga. shotgun, you can't go wrong with a Rem. 870.

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#132218 - 05/07/08 05:28 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: MichaelJ]
big_al Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 586
Loc: 20mi east of San Diego
MichaelJ:
Where do you live, do you plan to stay home or bug out? What is your experance with firearms?
_________________________
Some people try to turn back their odometers.
Not me, I want people to know "why" I look this way
I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved

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#132225 - 05/07/08 06:06 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: big_al]
MichaelJ Offline
Member

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 114
Thanks again for all the feedback.
big al, I live in Minneapolis, MN. (a city of 400K). My current plan is to bug in. If there is a lot of warning though, I'd probably relocate to rural MN. I have friends and family in several small towns throughout the state.
I have very little experience with firearms. My father has three pistols (2 9mm autos and 1 .22 revolver). He never uses them and I take them out several times a year. My uncle is an official gun nut, with a huge collection, mostly of rifles. He took me rabbit hunting for the first time this past winter and then gave me the .17 I was using. I've been to the range with him one other time firing a bunch of different .22s/.17s and .22 mags. He also let me burn through a 30 round clip in his Mini-14. I'm going to the range with him again this weekend and plan to try 30-06, 308, 30-30 a 25-06 and a few others to get a feel for them. After that I'm hoping to make my decision so I can learn the gun inside and out over the summer. I always defaulted to the 12 gage for a shotgun, but a guy I know in law enforcement recommends the 20 gage for those that aren't planing to hunt regularly, less kick.

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#132227 - 05/07/08 06:27 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: MichaelJ]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2186
Loc: Bluegrass
Originally Posted By: MichaelJ
I always defaulted to the 12 gage for a shotgun, but a guy I know in law enforcement recommends the 20 gage for those that aren't planing to hunt regularly, less kick.


FWIW, I recently bought a 870 and some slugs, and eagerly took it out to the range. The kick shocked the hell out of me! After 5 rounds I was done. So... what to do?

I bought an after-market recoil pad, and man'd up. Went back out, and put about 30 rounds through. The pad really helped. Enough so I finally got the sights lined up properly for me.

Then I played with some #4, some 00 and a "defense" round sold by SG- 1 .650 pellet with 6 00 rounds. For all of these, the recoil was minimal. The #4 was almost a joke, a loud big brother to the .22. The other 2 were still less than either rifle I own, and much less than the slugs.

So, I'd say you'll be OK with a 12-g, even if you're a smaller guy. Hell, I'm 5'8" and about 165... not exactly NFL material!


Edited by MDinana (05/07/08 06:27 PM)

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#132228 - 05/07/08 06:36 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: MichaelJ]
big_al Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 586
Loc: 20mi east of San Diego

I was born in Branard Mn. Just north west of you.
My pick would be:
1. 22long rifle, cheap ammo, easy to store alot and light in weight if you have to go.

2. 30-30 rifle, large enought to get any thing in your state and can be down loaded to get smaller game than deer, buy a Lee Loader and you can reload the shells you have shot. light weight and will take out zombes with no trouble. ammo is easy to find and not expensive.

3. 12 ga. for all the reasons stated by outhers, ammo is easy to get in any area, but heavy to carry alot of it.

now you have my 2cents worth. Isn't this fun trying to deside what to get, If you are married take your wife along when you go shooting, you never can tell, she my like it then you can buy her guns and stuff smile

_________________________
Some people try to turn back their odometers.
Not me, I want people to know "why" I look this way
I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved

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#132230 - 05/07/08 06:43 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: MichaelJ]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
A good, basic bolt action in 22 lr is probably the ideal practice gun for marksmanship. It is also a fine gun for plinking, small game hunting, and occasionally bird hunting under the right conditions. It is a poor self defense firearm choice. It's effective range limit is somewhere between 50 to 100 yards. A good used bolt action 22 lr can be had for around $100.

The most popular cartridge/action combination is the winchester model 94 lever action rifle in 30-30. It has taken more big game in the US than any other firearm/cartridge combination. It is an adequate self defense firearm choice. It's effective range limit is somewhere between 150 and 200 yards. A good used lever gun in 30-30 can be had for around $300.

The most popular shotgun round is the 12 gauge. There is a fair balance in the popularity of various actions; break open doubles, pumps, and semi-autos. A good used pump action 12 gauge shotgun can be had for less than $300. A shotgun is not a rifle, as it has a smooth bore, although you can buy a rifled barrel for many models of pump-action and semi automatics that chamber a 12 gauge case. A 12 gauge using a modified choke has a nominal effective range of up to 60 yards for bird hunting.

A good basic revolver chambered for the 22 lr cartridge is an ideal practice pistol for marksmanship. A good used model can be had for $150.

A good basic revolver chambered for 38 special/357 magnum is an ideal general purpose pistol. Practice ammunition is inexpensive. Self defense loads exceed performance capabilities of any 9mm round, and it can be an effective hunting tool for up to deer sized game. A good used 357 magnum revolver can be had for less than $250.




_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#132237 - 05/07/08 07:06 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: MichaelJ]
rly45acp Offline
Stranger

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 18
Loc: SW Indiana
I'm former LEO and for some reason, being LEO carries more weight than it should with a lot of people. A majority of cops are poor shots and don't know squat about firearms, although they all think they're experts. I was the firearms instructor for my department, and I have to disagree with the statement that 20 gauge recoils less IF YOU'RE TALKING DEFENSE LOADS. 20 ga. defense loads use smaller buck sizes (less penetration - not good) and come in high brass loadings. 12 ga. defense loads come in low brass offerings and are designed for women and small statured men. They come in 00 and 000 loads, which means excellent penetration and larger wound size per pellet than the typical #2 or #3 Buck in 2 3/4" and 3" 20 ga. buckshot loads. In side-by-side comparison, comparing defense load to defense load, the low recoil 12 gauge loads recoil less. Noticeably less. Especially when compared to smaller framed 20 ga. pumps. I would much rather shoot 2 3/4" low recoil 00 buckshot from an 870 than 20 ga. high brass buck loads. My little wife agrees. I also prefer the far more effective wound ballistics from the 12 ga. low recoil tactical buck or slug loads.

If you're talking low brass game loads in each, then that's a different story, but neither load is too hard on the shoulder.

I've found 12 gauge loads to pattern more effectively overall and in the game field 12 ga. 6 shot works fine on late season pheasant, whereas I moved up to 4 shot in 20 ga, to get the same penetration. The 12 seems to pattern better and the increase in velocity on high brass load 12's over high brass loaded 20's translates into better penetration within a given shot weight on the birds. For over thirty years I used a 20 ga. on pheasants, but recently decided to move back to 12 ga, for the above stated reasons. It's just more universal.

Not knowing the terrain features in your area, I'd be hard pressed to say what rifle/shotgun fits your scenario. Is actual self defense a factor or not? You sure won't be killing too many deer or birds or small game within the city limits of Minneapolis. You need more experience and I'm still not sure of your actual uses. In my first post, I took your question to mean firarms for self defense and I responded accordingly. Having grown up in a very high crime city, a survival gun meant something that came between me and perdition and for everyday carry, that translates into a concealable pistol. For both on duty and off and now as an ex-LEO management consultant, that for me was/is a custom 1911. It's never failed me, conceals well, has terrific ergonomics, and contrary to current thinking, I was never undergunned with it, even when facing multiple assailants. If you're only getting something to put meat on the table, any 12 ga, 20 ga and maybe a good 22 is all you need. If you intend to defend yourself or shoot game animals at distances exceeding 75-100 yards, then other things are in order.

Pistols are close range defense weapons. I disagree with the adage that a pistol is used only to fight your way to a rifle. Most city/suburban dwellers (like you) depend on a pistol as their PRIMARY means of self defense if they have a carry license. In any jurisdiction I'm familiar with, walking around with a rifle gets the officers attention in a hurry (and your neighbors too) and may get you more trouble than it's worth. Leaving a rifle or handgun in a car is a sure way to lose it when either a) the car is broken into, or b) the car is stolen.

By the way, the Mini-14 takes magazines, not clips. Clips may be used to feed the magazine, but the feed device on a Mini 14 (and AR-15, FAL, 1911, Beretta 92, etc.) is a magazine.


Edited by rly45acp (05/07/08 07:12 PM)

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#132240 - 05/07/08 07:24 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: rly45acp]
jcurphy Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/27/08
Posts: 48
Loc: Iowa City, IA
If I was buying one of each - handgun, shotgun and rifle, I'd go with: 9mm, 12 ga, and 30-06 hands down. Some might disagree with me on the 9mm, but its NATO and the most widely available pistol round the world over, high capacity mags are also a plus. I'd buy Hydra-Shok JHPs btw. You can't beat a shotgun loaded with number 4 buckshot for home defense IMHO.

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#132246 - 05/07/08 07:47 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: jcurphy]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Nothing wrong with recommending 9mm, but here in the states, 38 special is still the most common centerfire pistol ammo. I have yet to see any place that sells a selection of different ammunition not carry 38 special, I cannot say the same for 9mm.

It is splitting hairs. I reckon there are darned few places you can go where 9mm is not available, but I have found at least a couple, and in those situations the 38 spec ammo was.

I'd also recommend something much smaller than buckshot as a home defense load alternative. Actually, a blend of different shot size ammo would be ideal. Even #4 buckshot will overpenetrate in a house, picking up unintended secondary targets if you are not careful. A load of #4 field shot is an effective manstopper at household ranges and won't overpenetrate like #4 buckshot does. It still generates about a ton of energy at the muzzle, and at 30-40 feet it won't be much less.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#132247 - 05/07/08 07:55 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: MichaelJ]
Taurus Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 458
Loc: Northern Canada
Just another side note MichaelJ.

Don't let the recoil of a 12 ga put you off. Try one out if you are not familiar to see how you handle it. Some people have problems and some don't but as others have said, it's hard for any 20 ga to come close to the performance of a 12 ga. Most 12s take a whole gambit of different ammo ranging from reduced recoil 2 3/4 inch to 3 1/2 inch magnums. If recoil is a concern then you have the ability with a 12 ga to drop to less powerful ammo. If you have a 20 and find you need MORE power, your options are limited. Barrel porting etc can also be considered as an option to drop felt recoil(most new models come ported from the factory)

a 12 ga with a ported barrel, a good shoulder pad, a heavy stock and reduced recoil rounds will have very light felt recoil. You will have the added pellet count and the versatility of still being able to go up in power if needed.

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