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Old 11-21-2016, 03:35 PM
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Hi:
I am a new member of a church security unit.
Several members are retired LEO.
The main purpose is security in the main sanctuary. The building is one story.
The sanctuary is approx. 75 feet from main door to pulpit and approx. 75 feet wide.
The sanctuary is normally full on Sunday mornings.

To my mind, over penetration is a main concern in the event that an active shooter has to be dealt with.

A large slow moving handgun bullet is what I am thinking ?

Consideration :
1. .38 spl hollow base wad cutter bullet reversed with hollow base outward
2. .38 spl fragmentation round
3. .44 spl HP
4. .45 acp 185 gr HP

Opinions ??

Thanks
Jimmy

Last edited by jimmyj; 11-21-2016 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:37 PM
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.44 spl or .45 ACP should do.
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyj View Post
Hi:
I am a new member of a church security unit.
Several members are retired LEO.
The main purpose is security in the main sanctuary. The building is one story.
The sanctuary is approx. 75 feet from main door to pulpit and approx. 75 feet wide.
The sanctuary is normally full on Sunday mornings.

To my mind, over penetration is a main concern in the event that an active shooter has to be dealt with.

A large slow moving handgun bullet is what I am thinking ?

Consideration :
1. .38 spl hollow base wad cutter bullet reversed with hollow base outward
2. .38 spl fragmentation round
3. .44 spl HP
4. .45 acp 185 gr HP

Opinions ??

Thanks
Jimmy
Yeah, a large slow moving bullet would be easily seen and give people time to get out of the way.
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:43 PM
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My .02

Frangible ammo is not effective, hence why it is not carried by LEO. Test after test has proven this.

I would carry the ammo LE carries and not worry about over penetration. Your main goal is to stop the threat, Period. Then focus on PROFICIENCY.

My suggestion is 9mm duty ammo. Easy recoil and easy to handle.

Quote:
The Presumptive Hazards of Over-Penetration
Failures to stop a suspect because of under-penetration, poor bullet placement, and completely missing the target are far more significant problems than over-penetration. With shots to the center of mass, if a handgun or rifle bullet fails to have enough penetration to reach the large blood bearing vessels and organs in the torso, rapid physiological incapacitation is unlikely and an opponent may remain a lethal threat to officers and citizen bystanders. Conversely, if a bullet fired by officers completely penetrates a violent criminal and exits downrange, the bullet will certainly have had enough penetration to reach the large blood bearing vessels or organs in the torso. As a result, it is more likely to have caused sufficient hemorrhage to induce hypovolemic shock--the only reliable method of physiological incapacitation in the absence of CNS trauma.

Unfortunately, according to the available published date, the majority of shots fired in the field by U.S. LE officers miss their intended target. According to published NYPD SOP-9 data, the NYPD hit ratio by officers against perpetrators in 2000 was 12.3% of shots fired and in 2001 13.5% of shots fired. The Miami Metro-Dade County PD had hit ratios ranging between 15.4% and 30% from 1988-1994. Portland PD reported hits with 43% of shots fired at adversaries from 1984-1992, while Baltimore PD reported a 49% average hit ratio from 1989-2002.

Given that the reported averages for LE officers actually hitting the suspect ranges between 12% to 49% of shots fired, more concern should be given to the between 51-88% of shots fired by LE officers which completely MISS the intended target and immediately result in a significant threat to any person down range, rather than excessively worry about the relatively rare instance where one of the 12%-49% of shots fired actually hits the intended target and then exits the perpetrator in a fashion which still poses a hazard.

In short, the consequences of projectile under-penetration are far more likely to get officers and citizens killed than over-penetration issues.
Pretty much anything on this list:

9 mm:
Barnes XPB 105 & 115 gr JHP (copper bullet)
Federal Tactical 124 gr JHP (LE9T1)
Speer Gold Dot 124 gr +P JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 124 gr +P JHP (RA9124TP)
Winchester Partition Gold 124 gr JHP (RA91P)
Winchester Ranger-T 127 gr +P+ JHP (RA9TA)
Federal Tactical 135 gr +P JHP (LE9T5)
Federal HST 147 gr JHP (P9HST2)
Remington Golden Saber 147 gr JHP (GS9MMC)
Speer Gold Dot 147 gr JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 147 gr JHP (RA9T)
Winchester 147 gr bonded JHP (RA9B/Q4364)

.40 S&W:
Barnes XPB 140 & 155 gr JHP (copper bullet)
Speer Gold Dot 155 gr JHP
Federal Tactical 165 gr JHP (LE40T3)
Winchester Ranger-T 165 gr JHP (RA40TA)
Winchester Partition Gold 165 gr JHP (RA401P)
Federal HST 180 gr JHP (P40HST1)
Federal Tactical 180 gr JHP (LE40T1)
Remington Golden Saber 180 gr JHP (GS40SWB)
Speer Gold Dot 180 gr JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 180 gr JHP (RA40T)
Winchester 180 gr bonded JHP (RA40B/Q4355/S40SWPDB1)

.45 ACP:
Barnes XPB 160 & 185 gr JHP (copper bullet)
Federal HST 230 gr JHP (P45HST2)
Federal HST 230 gr +P JHP (P45HST1)
Federal Tactical 230 gr JHP (LE45T1)
Speer Gold Dot 230 gr JHP
Speer Gold Dot 230 gr +P JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr JHP (RA45T)
Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr +P JHP (RA45TP)

Last edited by eb07; 11-21-2016 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:45 PM
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There is no magic bullet that makes shooting in a room full of people any safer.
If there is someone who needs to be shot the time has come they need to be put down pronto. To be put down pronto the person shooting needs to be well trained and needs to be shooting whatever they shoot the best with the most effective factory defensive round that gun will shoot.
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:27 PM
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5600 sq feet..... "several hundred"???? panicking folks..........god bless you trying to shoot in that kind of mess............


Unless everyone hits the floor...... IMHO the only "safe" shots would be with the gun under his chin or in contact with the back of his head......... shooting up.

The world really needs a Phaser "set on stun"...................

That said..................... how about a


Taser..... backup with the old FBI load.



Edit: something in 9mm 148gr load..... with a suppressor ...... might be nice

Last edited by BAM-BAM; 11-21-2016 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:32 PM
V0OBWxZS16 V0OBWxZS16 is offline
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5.56

Your primary concerns in preventing injuries to innocents are accuracy and adequate penetration. Missing and directly shooting someone is a far greater concern than over-penetration and bullet effectiveness varies wildly with shot placement. The important body structures are buried deep within the torso and bullets need to be able to penetrate deep enough from any reasonable angle to damage them. Under-penetration results in ineffective hits even with perfect shot placement. The more rapidly you incapacitate the attacker(s) the fewer shots both you and the attacker(s) can fire and the safer everyone is.

Since long guns provide much improved accuracy vs. speed, terminal potential, and soft armor penetration I would choose carbine or SBR AR15s with a quality load.

If you want to stick to pistols then 9mm with a load off the list posted earlier. I believe that 9 is the best available compromise between accuracy, speed, capacity, cost, and terminal potential.

No matter what you choose prevention and proficiency are most important. Get something decent then focus your firearm resources on training.
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V0OBWxZS16 View Post
5.56

Your primary concerns in preventing injuries to innocents are accuracy and adequate penetration. Missing and directly shooting someone is a far greater concern than over-penetration and bullet effectiveness varies wildly with shot placement. The important body structures are buried deep within the torso and bullets need to be able to penetrate deep enough from any reasonable angle to damage them. Under-penetration results in ineffective hits even with perfect shot placement. The more rapidly you incapacitate the attacker(s) the fewer shots both you and the attacker(s) can fire and the safer everyone is.

Since long guns provide much improved accuracy vs. speed, terminal potential, and soft armor penetration I would choose carbine or SBR AR15s with a quality load.

If you want to stick to pistols then 9mm with a load off the list posted earlier. I believe that 9 is the best available compromise between accuracy, speed, capacity, cost, and terminal potential.

No matter what you choose prevention and proficiency are most important. Get something decent then focus your firearm resources on training.
I'm just gonna throw this out there, that it is just barely possible that having an usher staff carrying AR's with three point slings in the foyer is gonna put a damper on attendance . . .

Carry what you'd carry to protect you and yours in the grocery store. Stay safe . . .
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:53 PM
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I would look at 44 spl loads used by early air marshals, and what they fired it out of. My choice would be an early Taurus M-441 5 shot 4 inch. It has the best short double action that I have experienced, and is a very high quality piece.
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:57 PM
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I would look at 44 spl loads used by early air marshals, and what they fired it out of. My choice would be an early Taurus M-441 5 shot 4 inch. It has the best short double action that I have experienced, and is a very high quality piece.
I didn't know the words "Taurus" and "high quality" could be used in the same sentence.
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muss Muggins View Post
I'm just gonna throw this out there, that it is just barely possible that having an usher staff carrying AR's with three point slings in the foyer is gonna put a damper on attendance . . .

Carry what you'd carry to protect you and yours in the grocery store. Stay safe . . .
You're no fun.

I agree. Except for expecting security to be carrying a full-size pistol instead of a sub-compact (i.e. M&P9 vs. Shield) don't change your pistol and ammunition selection criteria from normal duty/self-defense considerations.
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:02 PM
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^^^^^^^^
What he said. I was thinking the same thing, I suspect attendance might take a pretty good hit when the fellow passing the collection plate is toting an AK47!
If it's good enough for home protection it's probably good enough for Sunday Service.
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muss Muggins View Post
I'm just gonna throw this out there, that it is just barely possible that having an usher staff carrying AR's with three point slings in the foyer is gonna put a damper on attendance . . .

Carry what you'd carry to protect you and yours in the grocery store. Stay safe . . .

.....Mini - 14 with a hunting sling , maybe with a deer's head on it ?.....
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:09 PM
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Can't help it, keep thinking of this.
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:10 PM
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Jimmyj, I would consider what you carried and was the most proficient when in law enforcement . I would also only use factory ammo . The question of hand loads for defense is controversial . Massad Ayoob claims it is a liability threat , others not so much . You would have to decide that yourself . No matter the caliber , shot placement is king !
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:10 PM
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I would also go with common sense. There is no special ammo for shooting into a crowd, and the innocent-target-rich environment is really not much different from a movie theater, a restaurant, a mall, or other venue.

Overpenetration is much less of a realistic concern than simply missing with some of your shots, so pick an effective self-defense caliber and round which you can shoot accurately and practice a lot.

And make sure all your church security team members know CPR and how to operate the fire extinguishers. Probability-wise, you're still much more likely to need that than your guns.
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:25 PM
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Is it just me who feels having to talk about an armed security response team at church is "weird"? I guess times are changing, and not necessarily for the better.

Is there an elevated position in the church where someone could hide, with a scoped rifle? Maybe using a piece of one way glass to hide behind, so as not to upset the parishioners? Might be a good option.

Larry
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:25 PM
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Jimmy,

You pose an interesting task. Back when I was teaching, I tried to address the same dilemma with securing my classroom during a lock down. I think that there needs to be more considered than what you have offered.

What is the construction of the sanctuary's walls? Most churches I have been in have had either stone and concrete or cinder block and either wood or drywall walls. If your church has stone and/or concrete, you have to fear the risk of richochets. Are there windows or stained glass built into the walls? Is there a risk if someone sprayed the sanctuary from outside, of the rounds penetrating the walls?

Can I presume that you are preparing for an incident that is not the result of members of the congregation? What is the likelihood that your church could be targeted?

As much as I like the concept of wadcutters, they are definitely off the list of viable munitions. Your defenders are opening themselves up to unwanted legal action if they use inverted HBWCs. Speedloading wadcutters could cost valuable time. I think that JHP ammo, or SWC ammo, is the only option that is realistically open to you.

Realistically, you want to be shooting outward, away from the sanctuary. The only inbound projectiles should be coming from those that you deem as the threat. You have no control over what the threat is shooting.

I have some ideas on how to approach your church's security, but I wouldn't want to give anyone ideas. I don't envy you your task.
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:40 PM
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Funny thread. I have pastored a church for over 30 years. I carry the gun. A Smith M10 with 38 semi-wadcutters. Yup, right on my gun belt in plain sight anytime I am in or around the church. I am the one up front with a clear view of the entry doors. The congregation has its back to the doors. I don't. Your pastor needs to man up if doesn't carry in church. Now, this is not say my people don't also carry. There are at least two besides me who are armed during the service. I wouldn't hesitate to keep an AR-15 platform rifle in the pulpit. Just haven't done it yet.
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:24 PM
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9, 40, 45. Pick one, buy some federal HST, and stop worrying about anything else
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:39 PM
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I recommend a suppressed Five-seveN. Of course, you'll need to get the 55 grain subsonic ammo. If you find a suitable holster solution, please let me know.
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:41 PM
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In another forum I've heard it suggested that if conditions allow, to take a knee and try to shoot on an upward angle so that a miss will go high above the folks behind the target. Sounds great, but doubtful the conditions will allow.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:34 PM
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In my only-partially-educated opinion, cartridge choice is not near the top of the list. However, it IS on the list, and it's what you asked. In my less-problematic situation (fewer square feet, less dense population), I have chosen the FBI load. I believe that most or all of the loads eb07 has suggested are reasonable.

A backwards HBWC may not be accurate. That bears testing.

Don't forget the possibility of body armor.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:48 PM
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I would think a rifle of some sort stashed in a "get it quick" location would be worth thinking about.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:55 PM
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Default IMHO ...

Over penetration in a church environment is bad because there is bound to be somebody behind the shooter. I also think that bullet choice is paramount.

A concern to me would be enough accuracy and aiming ability to pick someone out of a crowd. Again, people are bound to be in the way and hopefully, one of the armed guards can get a clear shot. A gun ready to fire in single action with the safety on would be my choice.

I'd skip the first two. The reversed wadcutter is not proven and a fragmentation round is less preferred for defense than a decent JHP bullet.
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:37 PM
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Whatever you choose, and I don't care if it is a .22, as said above, shot placement is king. These 'crowded' situations make me uneasy, as I know in my church there are more pieces in attendance than most may imagine. Crossfire can kill.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:21 PM
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TV show "The Unit" showed how to train for shooting in a crowd. They used a pen of chickens with heads painted different colors and tried to shoot by color. Then they has a BBQ featuring collateral damage. Chickens in a group move in unpredictable ways, same as a crowd of scared people.
Hopefully you never have to shoot. If you do, a .22lr headshot works well and probably won't penetrate .
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:34 PM
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The Secret Service presently uses the .357 SIG, and although not my choice, their choice seems to indicate that there is nothing special about a crowd calling for anything different than an ordinary duty pistol.

One of Jeff Cooper's staff once said that a 9mm is like the .45 ACP on "stun" (a Star Trek reference). That statement was made in 2000, so 16 years of ammo development later, the 9mm is still trying to be a .45 ACP.

Therefore, get whatever duty pistol you are comfortable with. In my opinion, a 22 is not the answer.
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:01 AM
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I have it from a reliable source(a LEO doing church security ) that you would not believe the number of death threats preachers get in a weeks time . ESP the high profile tele-evangelists . He explained the 4 different levels of security churches use . Everything from just a guy or two for the Sunday services to full time protection 24/7's , comparable to the secret service protection for the president .

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Old 11-22-2016, 07:25 AM
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Do like PETER..Carry a sword
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:49 AM
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Use only Holy pointed bullets.
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:00 AM
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I used to work medical standbys for the Detroit Catholic Archdioces and got pretty friendly with the security team (99% retired/ active Detroit PD) and it seemed they carried whatever they were active with. The old detectives carried .38 snubbys. The more recently retired guys carried G22 or G23. A couple scaled down to 9mm. And then there was 1 guy who was retired DPD and current firearms instructor for Wayne State University PD, he carried a Keltec P3AT. These guys had a couple roles. They were protection for the Archbishop/ Cardinal, security for his residence which was on cathedral grounds, and security during services no matter who was on the pulpit. They were all good guys. I kinda miss that gig.
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:06 AM
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned (unless I missed it) non-lethal alternatives like tasers. Although they may not be best in all situations, they certainly are more safer in a crowed situation.

Of course that depends on their legality in your location.
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:21 PM
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The most likely violent scenarios in a church or workplace setting are domestic issues - custody, divorce, etc - that spill into a more public venue, or a high profile target - think politician, business owner, abortion Dr, controversial character, etc.

In both situations the target is specific and not random. In a place of worship most people always sit in the same place from week to week to week.

When Scott Roeder shot abortion doctor George Tiller at Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita Kansas, Roeder had become familiar with Tiller's routine.

While random mass shootings make the news and big headlines, they are the least likely violent incidents one will see in a faith-based setting.

My safety team at our church is updated weekly on potential risks involving domestic issues or potential high-profile targets. They are the ones we keep an eye on, and stay very close to. By the way, pastors and other church leaders are considered high-profile targets, routinely being in difficult counseling situations and are central to the functioning of our church.

I am always amazed to learn of church "security teams" who are ready to go to war but are unprepared for the more likely safety situations in any public gathering, like medical issues or weather related hazards and risks.

Last edited by skippysanchez; 11-22-2016 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:34 PM
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I wonder what air marshals carry ?
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:52 PM
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I wonder what air marshals carry ?
Airsoft, of course.
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Old 11-22-2016, 05:17 PM
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I wonder what air marshals carry ?
They used to carry Glaser Safety Slugs. Last I heard, they were carrying conventional .357 Sig JHP's . . .
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Old 11-22-2016, 05:49 PM
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I wonder what air marshals carry ?


Sig 229's in .357, normal duty ammo now.


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Old 11-22-2016, 06:24 PM
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Not a lot of gun play where we attend church.

Perhaps you should consider coming back to Tennessee.
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:04 PM
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Not a lot of gun play where we attend church.

Perhaps you should consider coming back to Tennessee.
The church elders and minister opinions is to hope for the best and prepare for the worst
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:33 PM
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Any one low enough to walk onto Church property and do any type of damage or harm of any kind........

Is lower than the BG's picking on Senior Citizens.

They don't deserved a court hearing.
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Old 11-23-2016, 12:43 AM
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I would stick with the caliber and load I normally carry. Shot placement is going to be more important than the particular bullet. Getting a clear shot at the bad guy in a church full of panicked people is probably going to be more of a problem than over penetration.

Every time I thought I might need my revolver while attending church the "problem" was a disturbed homeless person. Fortunately the pastor was very good at dealing with those people, and calmed them down before things got out of hand and anything bad happened.
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Old 11-23-2016, 01:43 AM
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EDC is M 66-1.

Sunday is 1911 full size with an extra mag.

Signs at church prohibit firearms.
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Old 11-23-2016, 03:35 AM
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The more members you have who are qualified and will carry, the more
likely one would be near the shooter and able to take him/her out
without too much collateral damage. If only a few for security, perhaps
they should wand everyone at the entrance.
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Old 11-26-2016, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by joeintexas View Post
^^^^^^^^
What he said. I was thinking the same thing, I suspect attendance might take a pretty good hit when the fellow passing the collection plate is toting an AK47!
If it's good enough for home protection it's probably good enough for Sunday Service.
Yea! But think of all that molla that the parishioners are gotng to anti up when the fellow passing the collection plate is toting an AK47! LOL
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Old 11-26-2016, 05:23 PM
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Anything that goes: "pew".


I'll let myself out.
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Old 11-26-2016, 05:52 PM
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If I'm wearing a jacket I carry a KAHR CW40, If I'm not wearing a jacket I carry a Keltec 380 or a J frame in 38 Special. In my mind where I'm located is as important as what I'm carrying. I tend to sit in the next to last pew on the main aisle. That gives clear view of the sanctuary entrance and the main aisle itself.
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Old 11-26-2016, 05:58 PM
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Your pastor needs to man up if doesn't carry in church. Now, this is not say my people don't also carry. There are at least two besides me who are armed during the service. I wouldn't hesitate to keep an AR-15 platform rifle in the pulpit. Just haven't done it yet.
Telling a minister they need to man up if they choose not to carry. That's asinine.

You have to be Southern Baptist, because we love a fight, and being seminary educated to fill a pulpit is not required.

Last edited by dwever; 11-26-2016 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 11-26-2016, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
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^^^^^^^^
What he said. I was thinking the same thing, I suspect attendance might take a pretty good hit when the fellow passing the collection plate is toting an AK47!
I bet the offering would go up though
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Old 11-26-2016, 07:14 PM
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I think a high capacity 9mm makes the most sense. I'm a big fan of revolvers for most reactive civilian self-defense applications, but here we would be dealing with proactively responding to a planned attack and defending others. The revolvers capacity is too great of a liability in such circumstances.
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