Home protection shotgun vs. handgun


April 15, 2003, 02:56 AM
I don' t really know where to put this handgun or shotgun it will prob get moved. Anyway. I was at another forum were a guy, new to handguns, wanted to get a handgun for home protection and was asking help deciding between two guns. I gave him my .02 worth on the choices and then asked if it was for strictly home security why not consider a shotgun. He later wrote a page on the inadequacies, impraticalities, and inconvienance of a shot gun vs. a handgun. So what do you guys and gals think?

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April 15, 2003, 03:05 AM
Definately shotgun for HD.

More intimidating looking and sounding. Less worry of penetration and killing a neighbor. Can be used as a club.

April 15, 2003, 03:05 AM
I say handgun for three reasons. First of all, my mother can't wield my shotgun. It's too heavy for her to manage. Second, my house has a long hallway leading to the bedrooms, which greatly limits maneuverability, so something that is FAR longer than the width of the hallway is pretty much out. Third, mom's china cabinet is against the wall opposite the hallway. A .38 SWCHP might bust the glass and one plate if we miss, but 00 buck would really tear it up, and I fear mom much more than anybody breaking into my house. I suppose that one of those shorter tactical type shotguns might work ok in the limited space, but again, mom couldn't manage it. I think it really comes down to what weapon you can effectively use in your house, and for me, that means a handgun.

April 15, 2003, 03:15 AM
Hnadgun if I am going to be moving around from room to room at all. If I am going to stay put and point the gun at the door I'll go with the shotgun.

Handgun is far more manouverable in my opinion.

In eaither case GET REAL TRAINING from someone that knows his stuff.


Sylvilagus Aquaticus
April 15, 2003, 03:35 AM

1). I'm not worried about the sound of a racking slide giving away my position to an intruder because all the dogs are going to be making more noise than I will while they put up a distraction while playing with their newly delivered chew toy as I'm looking for my slippers.

2). Whatever needs to be fired upon will be more efficiently fired upon with buck than a single pill, no matter how many you can poot down the pipe.

3). It just makes so much wonderful noise and flame when it goes off in a dark, enclosed space. Even if you miss with the first round (but of course, how could you?) the followup promises to be that much more exciting for the guest of honor.

/tongue removed from cheek, but the sentiments are realistic.


April 15, 2003, 04:02 AM
handgun - it is much easier to use with one hand (opening doors, cycling the action), which might be vital in a house, plus it is much tougher for a baddie to grab. Just use a decent caliber.

Ala Dan
April 15, 2003, 07:15 AM

While not as portable as a handgun; it does offer more
BANG for the buck! Also, its great for dealing with more
than one adversary.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

April 15, 2003, 08:16 AM
Shottie all the way...

The only drawback is the recoil and size, which may not be appropriate for all age groups and differently sized persons.

April 15, 2003, 08:24 AM
If it were a choice in the poll, I would vote "Have at least one of each available."

Then you've got options depending on the nature of the situation.

Kentucky Rifle
April 15, 2003, 08:36 AM
You don't have a catagory for "both".
I have a Glock on my side of the bed, my wife has a double barrel 12 ga. on HER side of the bed.<shrug>


CZ 75 BD
April 15, 2003, 09:11 AM
as was posted earlier on another thread, the HG to cover yourself as you go for the SG

April 15, 2003, 10:58 AM
Revolver ... then shotgun.

April 15, 2003, 11:16 AM
Revolver, good hidey hole, telephone.

After all the testosterone is used, you get to talk to the DA and the lawyers.

The best defense is a good defense lawyer once you shoot someone.

Sorry, but that's the truth.

Standing Wolf
April 15, 2003, 03:13 PM
I'm sure shotguns make more sense, but I keep revolvers handy and loaded. I have a great deal more confidence in my ability to hit targets with revolvers than shotguns.

April 15, 2003, 03:33 PM
I voted shotgun but the real answer is whatever you are most comfortable with.
I keep my GP-100 near the bed. I'm not 100% sure I could work a safety and rack a slide properly in the dark, half asleep, in a panic and I've been shooting my Mossberg 500 since I was a little kid.
But I know I can pull a trigger 6 times :)

April 15, 2003, 03:49 PM
For me personally, I would take a shotgun over any handgun for home defense. Preferably have both.

April 15, 2003, 05:05 PM
Handgun for me, more manuverable, and more training in it. Plus, I don't have a shotgun, but would still prefer a handgun.

April 15, 2003, 05:42 PM
Right now I use a handgun for HD, mainly because I have more training with it than I do with a SG. I think the key here is training, which weapon are you more proficent with. :)

April 15, 2003, 06:24 PM
Hanguns really arent that efective of a weapon. Especially if the intruder is doped up. A shotgun on the other hand is rather effective.

April 15, 2003, 06:27 PM
I voted shotgun, on the theory that I am not clearing the house.
I am interested in hearing his arguements against the shotgun.

April 15, 2003, 06:45 PM
Depends on a number of factors: where you live, who's in your household and how well you can handle the firearm. For me, it's my Beretta all the way. If I lived in a more remote area -- the shotgun....assuming I could use it.:uhoh: :D

April 15, 2003, 06:52 PM
I wouldn't fault anyone for going with a shotgun, but in my situation, a pistol is a better choice. My wife is uncomfortable with the recoil of a shotgun and is more willing to practice with a pistol.

Another concern is that we have children and it easier and more practical to secure a pistol (minivault) than a long gun. When we move, I'd like to get a gun safe intalled in the closet. Then I would probably use my AR carbine.

April 15, 2003, 07:03 PM
Also, its great for dealing with more than one adversary Hmmm. One of the reasons that I chose HANDGUN was because I thought the handgun would be better for multiple targets.

I guess my idea of shotgun defense is: "BOOM! oops, I didn't know there were three of you. Would you hang on a sec while I load another round?":what:

So are you guys talking about semi-auto shotguns for HD or maybe you intend to blast all 2 or 3 perps with a single massive blast????? I have been wondering about this for a while. :scrutiny:


April 15, 2003, 08:14 PM
After extensive shooting a baby like this it's definitely the shotgun... Suprisingly manageable and accurate.


April 15, 2003, 08:34 PM
I keep both handy, but I voted for a handgun because "She Who Must Be Obeyed" is capable with a handgun, but not with the shotgun.

April 15, 2003, 08:37 PM
Logistar, that may be the case if one were using a single shot shotgun. But a pump shotgun can be cycled very, very fast, and pumping the slide becomes a reflexive move after each shot if you practice enough. It's more like BOOMkerchack BOOMkerchack etc.

Or, you can use a semiauto shotgun, if you want.

April 16, 2003, 01:38 AM
Croyance, here is more or less what the guy said.
I tried to find the post so I could post exactly what he said but it was a while back and I can't find it. Basicly he said that it is to hard to look under beds, in closets, under your house, ect... with a shotgun. He also wanted to be able to carry it with him while he mowed the grass (must live in a pretty rough neighborhood) and that a heavy coat would block penetration and that the gun is overall useless.

When I think shotgun for home defense the pic posted by Gunhead nailed it. I don' thave one of those but I plan to.

April 16, 2003, 02:10 AM
I guess that makes sense, Nightcrawler. I guess I have only shot a single-shot shotgun before. It is hard for me to think of a shotgun as a semi-automatic. Hmmmm. I guess I need to buy a shotgun too. :)

April 16, 2003, 03:07 AM
I'd prefer a shotgun with a stock, though a short one.
I don't think that looking under stuff with a shotgun would be that bad, though checking into closets would be more difficult.
I really don't see this guy's arguement. When looking under stuff, you still have to bend at the knees with either handgun or shotgun.
If you do have to carry outside, I would not consider that home defense, strictly speaking. That is CCW, which indicates, to me, a handgun.
that a heavy coat would block penetration and that the gun is overall useless. Any article of clothing that can stop a shotgun slug has a good chance of stopping a handgun round. Besides, unless there is something very solid underneath, the attacker still has some broken bones to deal with.

April 16, 2003, 10:37 AM
For me personally my most likely first response weapon will be a handgun. Could be a 9mm, .357 or .45 but the fact is it is easier for me to have a handgun close at hand at all times.

If for some reason I know for a fact somebody is busting through my door or window and it is not a simply bump in the night that will most likely be nothing then I grab the 12 gauage with 7 rounds of tactical buck.

If I happen upon somebody breaking in they will be met with handgun fire as I reatreat towards the shotgun. I figure they will either be dead or gone by the time I get back but if not they are in for a world of hurt.

Bumps in the night happen all the time and occasionally they may sound like an intruder but probably not It just isn't practical for me to room search with a shotgun. The handgun is more maneverable and gives me more than adequate firepower to allow a retreat to the artillery if need be.

The other benefit of the handgun is the concealability. I don't like answering my front door un armed but I am not so paranoid as to answer the door with the boomstick stick out the crack either. My snubbie or P7 make great pocket guns to answer the door with.

So I guess my answer is it depends on the situation. The shotgun is much much better if you actually have an armed shooting confrontation but it has some serious drawbacks in size and handling.

Just have a plan for whatever you use. The shotty is great for a get to the safe room and hold them at bay gun. They open the door to your safe room and you pop off 2-4 rounds of 12 gauge and chances are they are not going to press the attack even if they are still capable of doing so.


April 16, 2003, 11:48 AM
Both. Shotgun as primary, handgun as secondary.

April 16, 2003, 12:28 PM
Shotgun all the way with a pistol as backup....just about anyone can manage a shotgun loaded with birdshot.

Besides, it's easier to make hits with a shotgun, and hits are what count.

April 16, 2003, 01:55 PM
I keep both a handgun adn a shotgun in the bedroom. If I really believe there's an intruder in the house, I'm gonna hunker down with the shotgun at the top of the stairs, (can cover the master bedroom and both of the kid's rooms from there) and wait for the cops. But I can't call the cops everytime we hear a bump. Thus, I have a handgun for portability when I feel the need to skulk around the house TJ Hooker style.

Only one gun? How many golfers only have one club?

April 16, 2003, 02:22 PM
Training first and foremost.

After that, it is what you feel most capable with to defend your home and family.

Shotgun is extremely flexible with diferent types of ammunition, loads, ability to keep different kinds of loads mounted to the shotgun. If you pattern your shotgun with a specific lot number of ammo at different ranges, you do not have to worry as much about tearing up your property. Also it is very effective. As far as the overall length, there are different techniques for getting around corners or to recover your weapon if it is grabbed.

The pistol is small and a lot easier than a shotgun to maneauver with for most people. Also in small rooms you can keep it in a drawer. As far as effectiveness, a double tap can increase effectiveness.

In your house, what would you rather go fight with?

Either way, I would recommend a mounted light. Clearing a house without a light is a lot less fun when you really have to do it. Either way use good ammo.

April 16, 2003, 02:27 PM
Also Both. If you KNOW or highly suspect BG is in house stay behind locked bedroom/safe room door with heavy dresser between you and door with shotgun over top. Have called in LEO and in my case neighbors on both sides. (just over 1/2 mile away) They both have FRS radios so we have comm. Their (job) is to be ready on end of road and if things go south and LEO not hear (real possibility with 40++min response time likely) to take some of the heat off. (get too long to print details)
Anyway for stopping the threat shotgun is great inside.
If I don't KNOW then handgun/flashlight. My EARS are biggest assett. Unless they don't move I will hear/locate them. Then decide if to retreat or close.

Andrew Wyatt
April 16, 2003, 02:31 PM
the most horrible longarm beats the best pistol any day.

April 16, 2003, 05:49 PM
I didn't vote, because I'd vote "both" if there were an option.

However, at the current time, I don't own a shotgun, so it's limited to the handgun for now.

I like the handgun for portability and concealability if I have to answer the door in the middle of the night.

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