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Thread: Why a shotgun?

  1. #1

    Why a shotgun?

    I have been reading everything I can find about a home defense arsenal. I cannot find any justification for choosing a shotgun over an AR except for cost. The shotgun is slow to reload, carries a limited amount of ammo, the ammo for it is large and heavy, the tube magazine is susceptible to damage rendering the shotgun useless.
    Well the only justification I can see is for bears but those are very scarce here. Or for three gun.
    Any substantial arguments for a shotgun being a necessity?

    edit to add.
    Actually I said that wrong. Its not about choosing a shotgun over an AR. What realistically does a shotgun bring to the table that the AR doesn't cover. Or an AR combo of a 5.56 and a .308.
    Last edited by UNK; 09-21-2014 at 09:16 AM.

  2. #2
    For home defense, I don't think its the best choice either. But if you live in an area hostile to guns, I think there's a case to be made for using an 870 over a scary looking rifle. More generally, shotguns are just awesome guns. You can hunt squirrels with a 12 gauge and turn around and use the same shotgun for bear defense with slugs. It doesn't get more versatile than that. Plus the shotgun games and the fact they're just plain fun to shoot. And even during buying panics you can usually find shotgun ammo at Wal-Mart. You can buy a used Mossberg 500 for peanuts and its a fine gun that will last forever.

    I think its a decent HD option for those who are resource constrained, plan to only have one gun, or live in a socialist utoptia. But most P-Fers would probably be better served with an AR.
    Last edited by Stephen; 09-21-2014 at 09:25 AM.

  3. #3
    Well I'm in Kentucky. First guns are often given in the crib. Im primarily concerned about home defense, SHTF, civil unrest scenario. I can hunt just about anything with a .22.

  4. #4
    STAFF/Supporting Business Jay Cunningham's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Location
    Western PA
    Shotgun Pros:

    • widely available
    • inexpensive (baseline models)
    • legal in more areas
    • new ammo technology (Flite Control)
    • various ammo options
    • lower pressure means easier on the ears
    • ammo cheap and widely available
    • *may* be more acceptable to a jury



    Carbine Pros:

    • small size, light weight
    • large onboard ammo capacity
    • easy to reload
    • ammo less likely to penetrate through walls
    • less recoil
    • fast follow-up shots
    • adaptability
    • aftermarket support
    • many qualified trainers to teach proper operation
    • easily suppressed
    • can engage effectively out to 200 yards



    Shotgun Cons:

    • tend to be physically large
    • heavy recoil
    • low ammo capacity
    • more difficult to reload
    • good training less available
    • easy to short stroke a manual action
    • slower follow-up shots
    • autoloaders can be ammo finicky
    • can be difficult to add accessories
    • poor iron sights
    • close engagement range



    Carbine Cons:

    • loud/blasty
    • "evil black rifle"
    • expense
    • availability
    • "assault weapon" - target of legislation
    • *may* be less acceptable to a jury
    Protective Shooting Concepts
    Full Spectrum Firearms Training
    PA, OH, WV

  5. #5
    The shotgun's advantages can include the cost of the gun and ammunition, social acceptability in some areas, and versatility of sporting and recreational uses. If those aren't important to you, and range and capacity is, the AR is a better choice.

  6. #6
    Nice list. I was hoping you would weigh in. I have an old police issue 870. I was looking at the Remington and the Beretta tactical autoloaders. Those are about a grand each. Hard to justify.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Cunningham View Post
    Shotgun Pros:

    • widely available
    • inexpensive (baseline models)
    • legal in more areas
    • new ammo technology (Flite Control)
    • various ammo options
    • lower pressure means easier on the ears
    • ammo cheap and widely available
    • *may* be more acceptable to a jury



    Carbine Pros:

    • small size, light weight
    • large onboard ammo capacity
    • easy to reload
    • ammo less likely to penetrate through walls
    • less recoil
    • fast follow-up shots
    • adaptability
    • aftermarket support
    • many qualified trainers to teach proper operation
    • easily suppressed
    • can engage effectively out to 200 yards



    Shotgun Cons:

    • tend to be physically large
    • heavy recoil
    • low ammo capacity
    • more difficult to reload
    • good training less available
    • easy to short stroke a manual action
    • slower follow-up shots
    • autoloaders can be ammo finicky
    • can be difficult to add accessories
    • poor iron sights
    • close engagement range



    Carbine Cons:

    • loud/blasty
    • "evil black rifle"
    • expense
    • availability
    • "assault weapon" - target of legislation
    • *may* be less acceptable to a jury

  7. #7
    Member JodyH's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    New Mexico
    Quote Originally Posted by BrianB View Post
    I have been reading everything I can find about a home defense arsenal. I cannot find any justification for choosing a shotgun over an AR except for cost. The shotgun is slow to reload, carries a limited amount of ammo, the ammo for it is large and heavy, the tube magazine is susceptible to damage rendering the shotgun useless.
    Well the only justification I can see is for bears but those are very scarce here. Or for three gun.
    Any substantial arguments for a shotgun being a necessity?

    edit to add.
    Actually I said that wrong. Its not about choosing a shotgun over an AR. What realistically does a shotgun bring to the table that the AR doesn't cover. Or an AR combo of a 5.56 and a .308.
    Can you show me a single home defense AAR where 9 rounds of #00 would not have sufficed? Obvious drug dealer rip-off invasions excepted.
    I just don't see the capacity and reload arguments as being relevant to home defense.
    Large and heavy? My loaded Beretta 1301 is lighter than my loaded 16" AR and within an inch in OAL.
    I've never had a tube magazine issue in years of hard field use, range use, training classes and 3-gun. AR mags on the other hand, I have a bunch that were sidelined due to damage.

    Shotgun's not a necessity, no long gun is realistically a necessity for the vast majority of home defense situations.
    Nice to have, heck yea.

    Shotgun brings a better hit ratio on moving targets.
    Shotgun brings a better hit ratio through typical house construction materials like drywall. With the AR it's all or nothing, with the shotgun you have 8 or 9 chances and the round projectiles tend to not deflect as badly through things like drywall.
    Lot of desert out here.
    Lot of holes in the desert.
    Lot of problems buried in those holes.

  8. #8
    Member NH Shooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    New Hampshire, U.S.A.
    A carbine is hard to beat and if you already have one, so buying a SG for strictly HD may not need to be a priority.

    That said, there is an interesting thread on M4C about the "political correctness" of a traditional shotgun, how one stood in a corner may not even get a second look by a non-enthusiast where an "assault rifle" would. In terms of effectiveness, there's no arguing that a hit with 00 buck at indoor HD ranges will stop the assailant as quickly as anything.

    In my perhaps nave POV on home defense, I don't plan on actively engaging a squad of hit men outside of my home in an extensive fire fight, or actively searching for them room-by-room inside my home. My plan is to take up the most easily defended position that will force them into a narrow "corridor of flying lead" if they decide to press the assault, and to call for help to local good guys in blue. In this scenario, a reliable SG is going to serve well.

    As an aside, I had an old Remington 1187 Premier sitting in my safe unused for a long time. I decided to turn it into a HD project gun and it turned out really well. Shortened on both ends and lightly accessorized, it runs Federal LE loads perfectly and is amazingly maneuverable and fun to shoot. FWIW, it's positioned in front of my carbine in the event of a HD emergency.











  9. #9
    STAFF/Supporting Business Jay Cunningham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Western PA
    Quote Originally Posted by JodyH View Post
    Shotgun's not a necessity, no long gun is realistically a necessity for the vast majority of home defense situations.
    Nice to have, heck yea.
    Agreed.
    Protective Shooting Concepts
    Full Spectrum Firearms Training
    PA, OH, WV

  10. #10
    Thanks Jody. No I cant show you any AAR's.
    Better hit ratio on moving targets. Because of a bead sight? It would be quicker than an iron sighted AR; Valid point
    I wont have an iron sighted AR because of extreme astigmatism. It will always be scoped. I don't live in a McMansion so all shots would be pretty close. Outside of the house would be a different situation.


    Quote Originally Posted by JodyH View Post
    Can you show me a single home defense AAR where 9 rounds of #00 would not have sufficed? Obvious drug dealer rip-off invasions excepted.
    I just don't see the capacity and reload arguments as being relevant to home defense.
    Large and heavy? My loaded Beretta 1301 is lighter than my loaded 16" AR and within an inch in OAL.
    I've never had a tube magazine issue in years of hard field use, range use, training classes and 3-gun. AR mags on the other hand, I have a bunch that were sidelined due to damage.

    Shotgun's not a necessity, no long gun is realistically a necessity for the vast majority of home defense situations.
    Nice to have, heck yea.

    Shotgun brings a better hit ratio on moving targets.
    Shotgun brings a better hit ratio through typical house construction materials like drywall. With the AR it's all or nothing, with the shotgun you have 8 or 9 chances and the round projectiles tend to not deflect as badly through things like drywall.

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