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Thread: Shotguns vs rifles

  1. #1
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    Shotguns vs rifles

    Though having shot AR's for 38 years and having owned many, I am more comfortable with a shotgun for home defense. Comfort is subjective. The logic aspect is that my shotguns when mounted shoot where I look. Remingtons fit me well. And then there is a lifetime of experience with their pumps and semi auto's that applies. However, an AR is always available.

    Sometimes I ask guys if given this choice in choosing a weapon in a hypothetical home defense situation, which would you prefer: an AR with 6 rounds or a shotgun with 6 rounds. The question stimulates discussion.

    I understand that another man's war stories are hearsay information. Vietnam veterans whose opinion that I trusted have told me incidents of the M16's failure to drop the enemy at close range unless being fired on full auto. The same guys also said that in most cases the round performed ok. But from Iraq and Afghanistan we have heard similar reports.
    This ain't scientific by any means. Yet these war stories live in the back of my mind. That's why my mags are loaded with Doc's recommended ammo. So are my shotguns.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by willie View Post
    Though having shot AR's for 38 years and having owned many, I am more comfortable with a shotgun for home defense. Comfort is subjective. The logic aspect is that my shotguns when mounted shoot where I look. Remingtons fit me well. And then there is a lifetime of experience with their pumps and semi auto's that applies. However, an AR is always available.

    Sometimes I ask guys if given this choice in choosing a weapon in a hypothetical home defense situation, which would you prefer: an AR with 6 rounds or a shotgun with 6 rounds. The question stimulates discussion.

    I understand that another man's war stories are hearsay information. Vietnam veterans whose opinion that I trusted have told me incidents of the M16's failure to drop the enemy at close range unless being fired on full auto. The same guys also said that in most cases the round performed ok. But from Iraq and Afghanistan we have heard similar reports.
    This ain't scientific by any means. Yet these war stories live in the back of my mind. That's why my mags are loaded with Doc's recommended ammo. So are my shotguns.
    War stories are not data. Some of the incidents they describe never happened, some a marksmanship issues and some are people who would not have gone down when hit by .308s or shotgun slugs. Bullets do funny things in real life.

    There are objective reasons to choose a shotgun over a 5.56 carbine for home defense and other uses but the “poodle shooter” myth is not one of them.

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    Of course I understand that war stories do not constitute acceptable data. My choice of the shotgun is based on comfort. It is subjective because comfort often has an emotional basis. In studies data form the basis for rational decisions. I must point out that interpretation of data might change over time. There can be many reasons for this. Then, what was once true no longer is. Hence truth is not absolute. The caliber wars of the last 50 plus years are examples. Some of the bullshit penned in defense of this or that ranks with the GI stories that rest in the recesses of my dim brain. That said, I would advise a young person to spend $1000 and buy a real Colt AR or the very fine Beretta semi auto 12 gauge often mentioned here. I love pump guns but do not recommend them anymore because I think that they have a higher level of operator error.

    Recently I recommended to a friend--after being asked--that his son buy a 20 ga Rossi Coach shotgun for home defense. This weapon has a safety and two triggers. I based the decision based on what I knew about the guy. Well, he had a big problem. He could not remember to pull the other trigger. No hope.

  4. #4
    Member Galbraith's Avatar
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    When Dr. Fackler did the majority of his statistical work, he found that more people died from being shot with larger caliber buckshot(20 gauge or bigger) than handgun or high power rifle wounds. Now ammunition in general has come a long way since Facklers 20th century data points, but it still makes for a good consideration.

    I think for most people, the two choices often come down to flexibility and weapon handling. Carbines are much easier and faster to reload, they tend to be more ergonomic, and you have one type of ammunition which is good for CQC or longer ranges. A shotgun is capable of shooting many types of specialized loads, but it is more difficult to change it up on the fly. It is like the revolver of the long gun world in terms of weapons handling.

    Personally, I do prefer a good 12 gauge setup for typical indoor or low light work on duty or around the home. Night shifts and CQC limit the engagement ranges making that buckshot ideal. However, when it is daylight and there is a possibility of engagements beyond 25yrds I prefer a modern semiautomatic carbine.

  5. #5
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    I have transitioned to the AR for home defense and was mostly motivated by a credible threat stemming from a work related incident that resulted in the death of an offender. Robbers have to come in the house, someone just wanting to kill you doesn't and the longer effective range of the AR tipped the scale for me. If the assumption is I can stay in the house, not worry about firebombing or drive-by scenarios then I'm fine with either.
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  6. #6
    You'll Shoot Your Wad Out RevolverRob's Avatar
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    Can I pick both? Because I have both.

    For inside of my home, I’m a 12-gauge buckshot kind of guy. There isn’t 20-yards or horizontal distance in my apartment. My walls are made of thick plaster, over steel mesh screen, over lath, over brick, nominally they are about 4” thick for interior walls, nearly 6” for exterior walls. I’m sure you could punch holes through them with a volume of gunfire, but my point is, someone will probably have to come inside to get me. A driveby isn’t impossible (though I’m 60-feet above the street right now). So unless I get a credible threat, where I believe the threat may be wearing body armor, full-power 00 buckshot is my choice. I keep some slugs handy, in case I want to touch something farther away.

    And I keep an AR handy for more range over 12-gauge slugs. Not that I envision needing it for much. And in fact it’s my least used gun, because I don’t have much need right now. But if I need a rifle, well, there it is.
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    I used to only carry my AR, but now I lug the AR and my 870 in an out of my patrol car every day. Policing in an urban area in a large city, I find myself grabbing the shotgun more frequently than the AR. My unit had a shooting last month where two AR's were used, with 4 rounds fired. The majority of us who were on that scene was quite amazed at the damage inflicted especially through the amount of blood loss. Within seconds of him being shot my guys were working on him with tourniquets, direct pressure and chest seals. At short distances, the mechanical offset of the front sight of an AR is a real thing. One of my guys commented that he was aiming pretty much between the suspect's eyes for a headshot and it ended up being a mouth shot. It blew out a lot of jaw, cheek and teeth but the suspect lived to see another day mainly due to the care rendered to him at the scene. That same situation with a slug or buckshot might have turned out differently. Based on shooting incidents I've personally encountered this summer alone, the shotgun would have worked well in every situation, an AR, not so much.

    Both weapons have their place, all I can say is that it just depends, which I why I carry both in the car. Active shooter calls, a suspect with a long gun call, all get the AR coming out the rack. Everything else gets the shottie. I guess if I have an extended scene and the situation changes, I can always swap out if needed.
    Last edited by andre3k; 09-02-2019 at 09:37 PM.

  8. #8
    #LowLife4Life Bigghoss's Avatar
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    Different tools for different jobs because not every problem is a nail.
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  9. #9
    You'll Shoot Your Wad Out RevolverRob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigghoss View Post
    Different tools for different jobs because not every problem is a nail.
    Right?

    All that said if someone is going to have a single long gun, the end - A 12-gauge shotgun, with a 22” barrel and screw in chokes will kill anything commonly found in North America with proper ammo selection. Sure, you’ll only range out to 125-yards. But you’ll be able to get anything done from birds to buffalo.
    "P-f: I lurked for wonderful combat pistolcraft advice, but I ponied up cash for my daily dose of Dada." - Baldanders

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  10. #10
    Site Supporter DocGKR's Avatar
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    "It blew out a lot of jaw, cheek and teeth but the suspect lived to see another day mainly due to the care rendered to him at the scene."
    Tell the officer thank you for providing one of my colleagues extra work, but please don't do that around here.....I am already way too busy.
    Facts matter...Feelings Can Lie

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