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What are good rounds to use in 44 mag/special, 357/38, and 45 Colt lever actions for home defense?

Will the pistol caliber defensive rounds like Hornady Critical Defense work out of a 20" rifle barrel?

Or do you have to worry about fragmentation or key holing etc. because of the high velocities?

Dave
 

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El Kabong
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Close in 45LC all the way. 44mag is a better round, but nick named the over penetrator, its the gift that keeps on giving.

We can agrue about the 38/357 all day long, good for small ladies to use, against hard targets, the other two out preform the smaller round

With the fo-fo and peace maker, you dont need those fancy store bought stuff, lead bullets will do the job
 

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I can only answer part of the question, since I've only worked with (tested) part of it. That is the 44 Mag rifle with Hornady hollow points. Had put togethere a target of soaked paper, with a piece of roofing tin placed about an inch in. The 240 HP gave excellent penetration, the 200 HP worked, but I felt the 180 over expanded and under penetrated. I then moved on and tested a variety of 240 bullets, which all worked. This was referencing use on deer, getting complete penetration with a behind the shoulder shot. I end up using the 240gr Win HSP as my standard rifle/revolver load, but bears are on the menu to. If you stick to Hornady for home defense, the 200 or 240 would be my choice. Actually the 180 maybe ideal if over penetration is a concern. One bullet that did completely fail me out of the rifle was the Hydro Shock.
 

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240 gr. Flat Point Jacked bullets , is all I ever use in the rifle or the Vaquero pistol... Bout 12 to 1400 ft. per sec. .... If you use lead bullet... Gas check um .... Have fun and keep your skinner blade handy... Your gonna need it ....

Magnum6 :tee:
 

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I'd just use my PMC 357 mag 158 grain JSP's. Sure they'll make 2 holes but
I have a lot of land around my house and the bullets will be stopped by all
the trees. You can't see my neighbors house through the trees.
The more holes you punch the faster they bleed.
The hole going out the back would be quite a bit bigger as well.
 

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El Kabong
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We do like the 44, we use 300gr Barnes with 23gr H100, no gong short of 300 yards has a chance.

I still would not use them indoors
 

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I like the 300 grain Hornady XTP with 2400 powder. Over penetration is the point. Go ahead and hide behind the tree or car. If you make the mistake of shooting at me you won't like the response. Use the same bullet for the 44mag and 444 marlin. One bullet for 9 guns, rifles and pistols, nice and simple.

If I want to shoot small, lite weight bullets I use the 9mm or 38 special. 200 and 230 grain bullets are for the 45acp, IMO. Not the 44 mag.
 

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What ever cycles reliably and is accurate. Beyond that, rifles of the caliber you described for defensive work are going to over penetrate like crazy. Be careful how and where they might be used for defensive purposes.
 

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.357mag 125gr XTP driven at aprox. 1100fps from both handgun and rifle..... Job done.
 
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I have the Hornady 240's loaded with 7 gr of Unique for home defense in both the 1894 and the Ruger SBH.
They don't kick like a mule and won't go through three brick walls and a Mack truck after they leave the barrel.
Dang near a half inch wide bullet with a muzzle blast that looks like a shuttle launch should be plenty to dissuade any home intruder.
 

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I use critical defense 44specials...more than enough for what you need and doesn't over pen.
 

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If you're using it for home defense who cares if it fragments or keyholes? Both would be an aid in preventing over penetration which you should be trying to avoid?

Just my $.02, Will
 

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In my experience, folks get their thoughts pointed in the wrong direction when talking about "home defense". An armed encounter is a fast moving, constantly changing set of variables, that you need to have thought about before it ever occurs. The last paper I wrote on the subject, the use of a firearm first appeared at the bottom of page #2. Whatever caliber you go with, if this is to safeguard your life, or that of a loved one's, practice with it until you can proficiently manipulate it without having to think about the actions involved. I've seen 30+ rounds fired by two individuals at each other at one car length distance and no one was struck. When some meth head kicks in your front door he won't care what your shooting at him with, and any of the previously mentioned calibers will work if your doing your part. And whatever caliber you choose, use factory ammo from a large manufacturer. I love my reloaded ammo, but we are talking about the current legal system so your attorney will thank you for it.

None of this sounds even remotely sexy, but the aftermath of a completely justifiable shooting will be the worst and possibly the most expensive years of your life.
 

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And whatever caliber you choose, use factory ammo from a large manufacturer. I love my reloaded ammo, but we are talking about the current legal system so your attorney will thank you for it.

None of this sounds even remotely sexy, but the aftermath of a completely justifiable shooting will be the worst and possibly the most expensive years of your life.
With that thought I'll say that I joined Texas Shield Law for exactly those reasons. I thought when I first saw them they were an "insurance" type org where you got cheap rates. Nope - it pays 100% AND will also cover any potential civil suits in case the relatives decide their little snowflake was just misunderstood when you found him in your house at 3 AM.
The rates are extremely affordable. They also have multi-state coverage (even California!) and additional services such as gun trusts at competitive prices.
 

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My "standard" all around commercial load for the 1894C is the American Eagle 158gr JSP. I've shot a few pigs and a lot of paper with it and would probably work for defense. However, I keep the defensive Marlin loaded with 158 gr Hydra Shok.
 

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If it's my home, any will work.

Andrew
 
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