Since this seems to have become a point of contention over the last few days...and the discussions have degenerated into condescension and outright flames...I thought maybe I'd try another thread in hopes of keeping things both civil and on-track. The exchange has been fun for the most part...and I admit to woofin' a few members during the discourse...in fun...but this is intended to address the issue head-on in a more serious light. I hear a lot of talk about this caliber and that ammunition and whatever bullet type, etc.etc. ad infinitum/ad nauseum...mostly from people who have never fired a shot in anger...have never seen anyone shot...and probably never will. First, let's take a look at the "Birdshot vs Buckshot" question. I have no argument over the terminal effects of either one. Buckshot is the choice if you want the best chance of putting an assailant down....BUT...inside a house with other people present, and possibly in an unknown location...drywall penetration is a very important consideration in your choice of ammunition...if not moreso. At average bedroom/living room engagement distance...a standard charge of 00B will shoot through the average-sized man and at least one layer of drywall...exiting with enough retained energy to seriously injure or kill. For what have you gained by killing an invader if you also kill or cripple one or more of your children? If they wake up and realize that someone is in the house...are you willing to bet their lives on following even the most well-rehearsed drill? If you are, you've never seen how some people react in a highly-charged situation. Their response can range from following the drill to the letter to feeezing up to doing all the wrong things at all the wrong times. I'll leave you with that thought, and a final point about the so-called ineffectiveness of a 1.25-ounce charge of #6 at 15-20 feet. Invest in a large ham, and drape a heavy cloth over it to replicate the effect of a heavy coat...and shoot it at 20 feet...and see if you still think that birdshot is ineffective...or that it will be stopped by a heavy coat...or of you think you could ignore the rathole wound that it produces and continue on with your agenda. An ounce and a quarter of lead striking a human body at 1200 fps is no laughing matter. The Miami shootout has been tossed into the argument, and the seemingly superhuman efforts of Matrix and Platt after being wounded multiple times. Yes. Sometimes that happens, in spite of the gun/caliber/bullet type/bullet placement. Under the same circumstances, both men would have likely responded in the same way if they'd been hit with anything short of a .50 caliber BMG round...and possibly even with that. Desperate men who feel that they're cornered and probably dead anyway very often fight like tigers despite grievous wounds. That's why we don't corner animals...and men...and we always leave them an escape route. That's also why we don't go on Rambo-esque Search and Destroy missions within our homes. If he feels cornered and threatened...he will likely kill you, and then proceed to kill everybody in the house in order to eliminate witnesses. Remember...your objective isn't to close with the bad guy and take him out. Your objective is your survival and that of your family. Nothing else matters. Nothing. I've taken a good-natured barb over my choice of nightstand guns...namely a Model 10 Smith & Wesson revolver...despite the fact that I have one of several .45 autos and .357 and .41 Magnums to choose from. I also load up with standard-pressure ammunition...just to add fuel to the debate. There are three reasons for that. One is penetration. The other is muzzle flash. The third is noise. I'm confident enough in my abilities with the revolver to place 3 fast shots into the torso of a grown man at 10 feet...firing one-handed...in low light that I don't feel at any disadvantage whatsoever. Even a low intensity cartridge like the .45 ACP is louder and brighter than the standard .38 Special loading...and there's no question on the penetration. The revolver is my secondary or quick-response weapon anyway. If I have time and ample warning, I'll reach for the shotgun...every time. Only an idiot brings a pistol to a gunfight unless there's no other choice. Like the birdshot question...if you think that a .38 Special is a joke at close quarters...you haven't actually seen anyone shot with it. The same applies to .45 hardball. I promise that you'll only need to see what it can do to a human body at close range to change your view. Lastly...From reading the comments here and on other gun boards...it seems that several people actually hope for a chance to shoot somebody. That's a bad way to approach the question of self-defense. I can promise that if the day ever comes that you have to shoot for blood...it won't be anything like you imagine it will...even if your actions are 101% justified, and even if the grand jury hands down a No-Bill or nolpros in the matter. Your life will never be the same, and your friends and family will never look at you in quite the same way. Many will abandon you. You've demonstrated your willingness to kill. That makes people uncomfortable. Others will want all the gory details, and you really won't want to go into those details...but they'll continue to press for them until you tell them to stuff a sock in it...and then they'll be offended and stay away from you...citing that you've been just a bit hostile ever since you killed that guy. Or...as the wise, wise man noted: "Shoot. Don't shoot. Either way, you'll probably regret it." Be well. Gotta git crackin'.