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Shotgun or pistol?


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Let me start off by saying this is supposed to be asking for OPINIONS, I am certainly not trying to start a war or anything by saying one is any better than the other.

 

With that said, which do you prefer for home defense? A shotgun or a pistol? Certainly each has its ups and its downs, so personally which would you rather have and why?

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Both. But, if I have to pick one, it is a shotgun.

 

Here is why. At extreme close distance, one thing becomes the most important factor above all else:

 

THE ABILITY TO INSTANTLY STOP YOUR ATTACKER

 

No weapon can guarantee this. But, the shotgun will come the closest. A man shot with a handgun will often live 10 seconds before he bleeds out. While he is busy dying, he can be busy killing you. People shot with shotguns will tend to do this less often.

 

This is the most important consideration. All other things are secondary.

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Personally, I have the M4 shotgun ready and the Hk 40 cal on the nightstand. If I hear a bump I usually grab the M4. I think it important to mention that I have a c stock on mine so manerving in the house is a piece of cake. Either way you go get a TLR-2 flashlight and laser combo for your home defense weapon. I can tell you that I have seen a laser alone stop a confrantation without firing a single shot.

 

With my pistol I'm super accurate, as I've been shooting for 15+ years, but with my shotgun I know I wont miss and most likely will only have to fire one shot to lay an intruder down. Btw did I mention I live in the kidnapping and home invasion capital of the US Phoenix Arizona. You gotta be prepared here.

Edited by sneakerfreak602
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Depends. If I'm already in a gunfight, of course I'd prefer to have the shotgun in my hands, or M60, or six-barreled minigun. However, under normal circumstances, I'm more likely to have the handgun immediately available. I can walk around the house with a handgun on my person. I can mow the lawn carrying the handgun. I can walk the dog carrying the handgun. That's not practical or wise with a long gun unless you live in a really, really, really bad neighborhood like, say, Kandahar. I can answer the door with the handgun discreetly available.

Everyone would PREFER to have more firepower than an adversary. Preference isn't always practical.

Let the flames begin.

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For home defense I grab my Ruger P90DC .45ACP for a number of reasons. The M2 is in the safe and takes longer to grab (and I’d need some light to work the combination). It's also a NFA weapon, so I don't want it held for evidence pending a trial :) (sure the .45 may be held also, but it's alot easier to get another compared to the class 3 stuff!). The .45 is in a quick access vault on my night stand, or sitting out on my night stand (when I'm sleeping), or it's on my person (it's also my concealed carry gun), is a decock only (no safety to worry about), is double action with one in the chamber (so I don't have to cock/load it), holds more than my M2 and re-loads faster (3 more loaded mags readily available) and has laser grips. IF my pitt wakes me up and someone's in the house, all I have to do is grab it, put the red dot on the target and squeeze the trigger. No guessing, no messing around with making sure a safety is off or if it's cocked/loaded. ‘Course it doesn’t have the “Oh S*!t” effect of the shotgun, but I don’t plan on conversing with whoever is in my house either :).

It doesn't have a light mounted, like my M2 (and my M-16) but I keep a LumaMax LX2 right next to it, and a light isn’t practical for a concealed gun (and my place is bright enough that it's not needed to see an intruder at night).

Lastly, if for some reason I ended up dead, all my NFA stuff would still be locked in the safe (since I didn’t have to open it for defense) so any intruder would have a harder time getting at the class 3 stuff (and I hate the thought of some criminal using my machineguns to kill others)

But I suspect it all comes down to what works for each individuals situation.

Edited by Super Dak©
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I didnt know I would get this many responses in such a short time, I like it :D:p

 

A bunch of different opinions and reasons, all very valid. The number one thing that comes to mind is the availability of either a long gun or a side arm. As truckcop said, you can have a pistol with you, always at hand. But with a shotgun, exactly how long will it take you to access it in a surprise attack? Not everything happens at night when you're in your bedroom where I believe most people keep their defense gun. Or if you keep it by your front door, it's just too long to get it up and pointed if something does happen while answering the door.

 

Of course 00 Buck is always a crowd pleaser when it comes to home defense and for good reason, but is there any thought of collateral damage? 00 Buck compared to drywall, who's the winner? Whats behind that drywall? More importantly who? Your sound asleep daughter or son? Maybe a neighbor in an apartment? With a pistol theres less possible holes in the wall...

 

Just a few thoughts that come to mind while reading your personal reasons why you all chose what you did.

 

But keep it all coming, I like reading what you all think and why.

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With regards to penetrating walls...I was always taught that shot, even buckshot is less likely to punch through a wall and cause collateral damage than a pistol round, even HP personal protection stuff. That being said I'm nowhere near an expert, so I'd be interested to hear any thoughts/evidence to the contrary.

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Pistol. Have kids around, and no place to secure a loaded shotgun where I could get to it when I needed it. My .45 goes with me everywhere I go (except into work as prohibited), and is on me or within a few feet of my reach at all times even when just sitting on the couch.

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To answer your question, in short. I'll choose my Glock .45 ACP.

WHY? I can operate it 1-handed and use the other hand for the phone, holding back my kids, illumination AWAY FROM MY BODY (FBI hold), cuffing/securing bad guy(s), etc. I also get many more reps in with my HG than I do the 12ga.

Do I dislike the option of my Benelli M4 being a HD tool? NOPE! But I have collateral damage possibilities in my setting (kids/wife) so I need to be accountable for my shot placement.

I have patterned my M4 (look for my post) and know that certain loads can hold approx. 3" groups. But 3" vs. .45" is too great a difference for me to take the chance. Unless you live in a mansion, any encounter in your home will be 20-ish feet at the most.

Muzzle flash/recoil recovery will be greater with the mighty 12ga(a .72 caliber by the way) than with a handgun.

I personally know of people that have died from ONE .22LR to the gut, nearly instantly. I also know of people that have been shot by .40 S&W 4-5 times that have lived. Ya know what it comes down to? SHOT PLACEMENT!! I would rather be shot in the shoulder with a .44 mag than center-mass with a .380ACP!

Sure, a hit in the shoulder with the shotty on your perp will slow them down, but they'll keep going. One has to either take out the wheels(pelvic area) and/or take out the computer(upper spine/brain.)

As for "searching the house" option, my thought, is I'll stay put if all my loved ones are in my room (i.e. - BUNKER) If bad guy comes to me, in my room displaying the threat, then I will defend accordingly.

There is a reason Tactical Teams work in numbers to do a warrant; Firepower/Manpower/divide-n-conquer. You would be ONE person against an unknown number!! Short of being the greatest Ninja warrior and/or having an M60 or a SAW, stay put, behind cover. Property can be replaced!!!

Another option if one really likes the long-gun but has apartment setting and/or collateral damage is an AR in 5.56 with soft points! Soft point 5.56 is stopped with relative ease in midst of drywall and 2X4 or ever 2X6 in some newer construction for outer walls.

Anyway, my advice to anyone is this. Train like you'll fight so you'll fight like you've trained! Shot placement! KNOW how your guns works, and how it works when it DOESN'T work! ANYONE can shoot a gun, but not everyone can fix a gun that doesn't shoot, ESPECIALLY under stress!!

May you choose wisely!

2-wheel

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You beat me to it in mentioning the 5.56 or .223. I heard that the Federal 45 grain hollow point load works great in home defense situations. I don't currently own a weapon in that chambering, so my primary defense choice would be the shotgun with a handgun on person as a backup. Both buckshot and handgun rounds penetrate a lot of building material, so take that into consideration for your particular situation. There are many handgun rounds designed for close quarters defense, such as frangible loads, Glaser saftey slugs ect. I have not heard a solid track record yet on what kind of fight stoppers they are, while some of standard rounds that might overpenetrate, do have a proven record. There are a lot of comprimises in defensive situations.

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If some of you need to utilize these battle plans you really need to move to a different part of town. I live out in the middle of no where and still would hope to never deal with this kind of situation.

 

Cody, I understand where you're coming from. Fortunately, *MOST* of us will never have to make that ultimate choice.

 

In Law Enforcement, hundreds of hours are spent honing skills on weaponry, take downs, decentralizing combative suspects, etc. Many make their way through their career needing nothing more than persuasive attitude, strong demeanor and some clever wit. That *IS* a very succesful career.

 

Certainly, L.E. has a much higher probability of encountering armed subjects. But, one of my favorite quotes is, "When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away."

 

It's better to be prepared and have thought it through prior to any instances and "oh-crap" situations. :eek:

 

Here is a benign example. You are going to interview for your dream job or a **** of a promotion to a new company. Do you just go in cold, not studying the company, not reviewing your resume, not making notes about your highlights, strengths and weak points? OR . . . do you study up, review, prepare and talk in front of family or a mirror? I hope you do the latter of the two.

 

Preparation is preparation, doesn't matter the venue. I applaud those that give thought previously than those that react foolishly.

 

Respectfully,

 

2-wheel

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Here is my guesses. With what you can get in the USA you might just have to be cautious that you don't shoot the entire house down in the process of defending your self.

 

A semi automatic hand gun is the best defensive weapon, but if you know that the attack is coming than a shot gun would be good, because if someone came around the corner and you shot a shot gun at them, there would be no way to avoid getting hit, and you could also wear some body armor.

 

I'd might just opt to let someone steal my gun(s). They are not that expensive, and neither is anything else, but it depends upon the situation. Is someone interested in stealing or are they there to punish you. If it is the latter, than it is better to shoot them, but in most cases people just want to steal something like a car or a gun. In a situation like civil war, or a gang war, than I think that tactical weapons would be the choice, stuff like M16s. One of the things that I thought about is that if there was a civil war, I wonder how much it would make sense to be equipped for battle because it would become a very rough place to live, not like it is now where you can run to the super market.

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I'd might just opt to let someone steal my gun(s). They are not that expensive, and neither is anything else, but it depends upon the situation.

 

I don't know if I agree with that totally. It's not necessarily about the money. While my NFA stuff did cost a lot of money (and they aren't as easy to replace, just due to availability), it's all insured on a separate policy. My concern is someone using my M-16 or MAC-10 (etc) to shoot a bunch of other people. That's why they are all in a safe, and my HD .45 is in a separate gun vault (if it's not on my person) that I can access quickly and still leave the other guns secure. Sure, if someone really wants your stuff, they may still figure out a way to get at it (even with a safe/alarm/dog/and armed owner :). You can't deter everyone, the best you can do is make them think twice about trying. But if I can keep them from killing anyone else (either by locking my guns up or stopping an intruder) then I figure I need to try.

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I live in Taxachusetts which loves to make many new gun laws every year. So, although I don't want to break any laws, I still want to protect myself in an emergency such as a break-in during the middle of the night.

 

My weapons must be secured in a safe or with an approved trigger lock at all times when not in actual use and ammunition must be stored away from the weapons. Sleeping with a loaded weapon nearby is a major offense. You have just violated two laws.

 

When the police finally show up and provided I'm still alive, it's going to be very difficult to explain how I instantly acquired a fully loaded M1 S90, 12 guage. My S&W .45 auto pistol on the other hand is easy. The clip was in my bedstand and the pistol in a quick release box bolted to my bed frame. I'll be arrested anyhow because the bad guys have far more rights in my state that I could ever dream of, plus it will take the local D.A about a month to decide if how I stored my .45 was legal or not. Then it will take another 6-12 months for a grand jury to decide if I will be charged with murder. After all, glory be, you can't be having civilians killing armed, masked home invaders now can we?

 

I need to move to another state :-(

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I live in Taxachusetts which loves to make many new gun laws every year. So, although I don't want to break any laws, I still want to protect myself in an emergency such as a break-in during the middle of the night.

 

My weapons must be secured in a safe or with an approved trigger lock at all times when not in actual use and ammunition must be stored away from the weapons. Sleeping with a loaded weapon nearby is a major offense. You have just violated two laws.

 

When the police finally show up and provided I'm still alive, it's going to be very difficult to explain how I instantly acquired a fully loaded M1 S90, 12 guage. My S&W .45 auto pistol on the other hand is easy. The clip was in my bedstand and the pistol in a quick release box bolted to my bed frame. I'll be arrested anyhow because the bad guys have far more rights in my state that I could ever dream of, plus it will take the local D.A about a month to decide if how I stored my .45 was legal or not. Then it will take another 6-12 months for a grand jury to decide if I will be charged with murder. After all, glory be, you can't be having civilians killing armed, masked home invaders now can we?

 

I need to move to another state :-(

 

That's bad. Heck, it's not even that bad in NY.

 

That said, I have both at the ready.

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Most of the gun laws are really lame. I do my best to follow these laws but I refuse to put my family at risk because of some law making a$$ holes that have no clue about what they're doing or why they're doing it. If an intruder breaks into my house where my wife and 2 small boys are sleeping the last thing on my mind is gonna be the laws my government is trying to force upon me. Sure, it'll really suck when I'm in court trying to defend myself again after defending myself and family from an intruder and a jerk lawyer trying to convince a jury that the intruder was right and I was wrong. But when/if there's an intruder in my house, I hope he's not counting on my awareness of gun laws because I'll shoot to kill. I'll react how I react and I guess I'll have to face the consequences afterwards. Before I recently moved, a town near mine banned handguns all together. But the criminals with unregistered handguns didn't seem to mind these laws because they carried their handguns anyway. They broke into houses with their guns knowing that the home owners probably were unarmed. Thanks to our government. They say call the police. But what I always say is, "when seconds count, the police are just minutes away".

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If some of you need to utilize these battle plans you really need to move to a different part of town. I live out in the middle of no where and still would hope to never deal with this kind of situation.

 

I am just prepared is all. I live in a well heeled neighbourhood that has never had a home invasion, but my wife and I are well prepared. Two German Shepards and alarm system. If we are home when a break and enter occurs, we just hunker down, call 911, and be ready to defend ourselves. I will not shoot if they carry the TV out the door, that's what insurance is for.

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