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Thread: General (and some specific) Defensive Shotgun Questions

  1. #41
    Site Supporter
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    Jul 2017
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    Texas
    The person who has fired a 22 target pistol extensively might be better off using it than they would trying to operate an unfamiliar rifle or shotgun under stress. I said unfamiliar because the term applies to weapons like an AR or 590 or 870 bought and then placed behind a door. I'm not implying that a .22 anything is sufficient or that using a handgun beats using a long gun. The fact that shotguns are passť as in no longer trendy does not negate their usefulness in home defense.

  2. #42
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    Nov 2018
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    Las Vegas, NV
    An anecdotal story should not be taken as general experience or a reasonable expectation. Often they are remembered not because they are/were the norm, but because they stood out as an exception to the rule. So, a couple of stories about the .22LR and it's appropriate use.

    I grew up in Alaska and there were multiple examples of people killing moose and bear with a .22LR. Never a defensive situation, always a deliberate hunting situation. The hunter used a .22 because that was what he had, not because it was a superior choice to other calibers or rifles. I shouldn't say just hunter, one I remember was a teenager who was the worst sort. He just wanted to kill and shot a moose multiple times with a .22 rifle. The moose died of internal bleeding, but it wasn't hunting and personally, I thought he deserved the same fate as the moose. But another instance was a native who deliberately hunted a bear with a .22lr. He fired a single shot into the lung and waited. The bear wasn't startled by the sound of the shot and the bullet was just a sting. But after a couple of hours he keeled over and died. The important context was that it wasn't defensive use and it took a long time to die.

    The other one that comes to mind was defensive use and death was immediate, and there are several lessons. The Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya was 1952-1960. At some point in that time, the Mau Mau were running around killing white ranchers and so the police/constabulary/army went out to the outlying ranches to gather up scattered families and bring them back to safety. In one instance, they headed to a ranch where they knew the house wife was normally alone during the day while her husband and sons were out working the ranch. As they constabulary approached the ranch house, they encountered dead Mau Mau, all with a single, small bullet hole in the forehead. They found the woman alive and well and evacuated her. And to borrow from Paul Harvey, the rest of the story, which is why this is important. The housewife, after doing her work would entertain herself with her Colt Woodsman .22 pistol by shooting at tree leaves around the house, shooting them off the branches. When the Mau Mau showed up, she had the skills to head shoot them when they became visible because she had so much practice shooting at small targets and having to estimate and compensate for the range.

    Can and have a .22lr been used effectively? Yes, with a lot of practice and it was the only available option. Is it recommended? Not if you have better choices. Those two answers apply to just about everything. Practice, a lot, and use the best available option. So it helps to choose the best option first, and STILL practice.

  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Borderland View Post
    Really? Care to give us some examples of home defense shootings? I think you'll find that it's done with pistols/revolvers but I'm open to consider anything you might find.
    I'm speaking on a terminal ballistics level. Absolutely no reason to willingly pick a service pistol over shotgun (or rifle).

    Even in tight quarters, the stock gives a physical advantage for control and accuracy.

  4. #44
    F.A.R.T. Lab Tech RevolverRob's Avatar
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    May 2014
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    Somewhere Salishious
    Claude Werner undertook a study a few years ago - using the NRA's "The Armed Citizen" column to accumulate statistics.

    Handguns were the dominant to of choice: https://tacticalprofessor.files.word...r-w-tables.pdf

    However, as Mr. Werner noted in his Conclusions:

    "2) Mindset of the potential victim was far more important than the type of weapon used. All the victims were willing to fight their opponents in order to survive. Although not common, in some cases bridge weapons, such as pens, were used to gain time to access the firearm."

    Given what we have heard time and time again from those with extensive homicide investigation experience and those who have extensive experience in training defensive shooters - it is almost always the ability to access and subsequently the willingness to use the firearm that makes the difference.

    That said, we can also see that the vast majority of incidents where there was deployment and firing of a shotgun results in a win for the deployer. To get an L in a shotgun-based gunfight it seems you have to not be able to deploy, not be willing to fire, or miss.

    By contrast you can add, "Limited terminal efficacy." To the reasons you take an L in a gunfight when you fight with pistol or rifle. Is it likely? No. It's fourth on the list for a reason. But it's worth thinking about.

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