An AR15 or shotgun for my situation? I will eventually get both, but which one first?


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JLStorm
October 25, 2008, 10:05 PM
I only have handguns in 45acp right now. I have sold off all of the handguns I dont use and money is very tight due to the economy. I have agreed with the wife to buy one or the other, but not both right now. Even if I found a way to afford both, the wife wants whatever I dont spend on the gun and some ammo to go into savings, so what Im trying to say is please dont simply post "just buy both".

I own a house on 8 acres surrounded in two directions by 400 privately owned acres of woods and on the other two sides my closest neighbors are about 600 - 1000 yards away depending on the direction. Our entire township (20 square miles) has two police cars and only enough police to man both of them at any one time. For example, my wife called the police station and got an answering machine, although Im sure 911 would be more responsive. the nearest state police barracks is about 45 minutes to 1 hour away. The police do not monitor (as in NEVER) my area of town unless called for an emergency. My neighbors cannot see my house from their land and could not hear screams. gunfire is a regular occurrence due to the country setting, so hearing gunfire would most probably not cause a reaction from neighbors (we often shoot in our backyards).

I would like a gun that would give me enough firepower to defend my home from multiple intruders and something that I could hunt medium size game with in an emergency situation. An intruder in our area would most likely know that the house contains a firearm, so I consider them more dangerous than an unsuspecting intruder.

I am stuck in the middle, here is my list of pros and cons of each:

AR-15

Pros:
Cheap to practice with and ready supply of ammo
Easily customizable to my immediate needs
High capacity
Fast reloading
suppression capability
Easier to shoot and reload one handed if injured
Can use multiple uppers including 6.8 and 22LR if desired

Cons:
Underpowered for hunting deer a major food source here
May not stop the size bear we have here (small black bears) if one would ever attempt to get into the house (which is doubtful really)
Illegal for hunting on state land and heavily enforced
more moving parts that could possibly break


12 Gauge shotgun (home defense model, shorter barrel length):

Pros:
Devastating close range weapon
less precision required
Can use slugs for hunting deer at closer ranges
Slugs would most probably stop or redirect a small bear if needed
Legal to hunt with on state land

Cons:
much shorter range than AR-15
Low capacity
Harder to carry extra rounds
lack of precision while hunting, even with a slug
harder to use with one arm if injured / disabled


I am completely stuck in the middle and just cannot figure out which one would be better for my situation as its almost like comparing apples and oranges, but seeing as for the foreseeable future (next 12 - 18 months) I can only have one, I would like some opinions on which would be better for my situation. Eventually I plan to get a hunting rifle, but that would solely be for hunting and my primary goal right now is home defense in a worst case scenario.

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Vicious-Peanut
October 25, 2008, 10:21 PM
I would choose the shotgun.

1. More likely to stop an intruder quickly than the the AR.
2. Cheaper
3. With the right ammunition it can kill anything in the United States, so bear are no issue. (with hard cast slugs)

sinistr
October 25, 2008, 10:32 PM
+1 on the shotgun.you could spend $200 or $1000 and get a quality weapon.

FLRon
October 25, 2008, 10:35 PM
.......

FLRon
October 25, 2008, 10:37 PM
I would also pick the shotgun. It will give you the best protection in close. I don't foresee you having to suppress incoming fire from your property line perimeter, so having a good relatively inexpensive 12 ga. is what i would go with.

You might opt for a 20" barrel with the extended magazine so you can have 7 + 1 rounds ready at all times, as per the Remington 870. Other makers are probably a little different.

22lr
October 25, 2008, 10:38 PM
Ok I have a good shotgun and im still working on getting the AR. Id say get both but the shotgun first (although if Obama gets elects you wont be able to get an AR because they will be illegal) so if you play political fears (like myself) get a AR first otherwise a 12ga pump is a very versatile weapon that can be used for hunting, home def, or just having fun with (not to mention a Mossberg 500 will only set you back a few hundred).

subierex
October 25, 2008, 10:43 PM
I'd go with the shotgun. With a pump, you can pick up other barrels and have some flexibility in what you hunt.

On the other hand, it's hard to say how fast Obama will get AWB2 passed, so you may want to take that under consideration.

/I have a hard time believing that this congress and Obama wouldn't go for low-hanging fruit like AWB or worse.

JLStorm
October 25, 2008, 11:20 PM
I was thinking about the AWB as well, I did forget to mention that and I was starting to wonder if the price of the ARs will go up due to increased demand in fear of diminished supply.

My other thought was just buying a completely stripped lower which is the only "firearm" part of the weapon for about $100.00 and building an AR from the ground up knowing I have the "gun" part of the weapon already...unless the new AWB would work around that one.

JImbothefiveth
October 26, 2008, 12:03 AM
This might call for an AK, since you want to hunt deer.

JLStorm
October 26, 2008, 12:10 AM
problem with anything in 308 is that I cannot afford to train with it enough to become proficient. I had thought about an AK since 7.62x39 ammo is super cheap, but my two reservations about that are 1) its illegal to hunt with on state land (even though it would be fine on private land). 2)the caliber may be a bit to powerful for home defense, even though my neighbors are quite a distance away, Id fear that the penetration power of that round could be a liability.

On another note, I dont know that the accuracy of an AK would be high enough to hunt with at deer distances, but I guess it depends on the AK and the ammo.

7.62shooter
October 26, 2008, 12:29 AM
If i were in your situation i would definatly opt for the AR. A shotgun is good and all but the AR would serve you better i think. You live on alot of land so what if you had to take some long shots? An ar would suit you just fine as a home defense weapon as well as taking small game or medium dear. Although some consider the 5.56 a weak round its shot placment that counts. Theres also the very high probability of an assault weapons ban... and ARs would definatly go before shotguns.. But a QUALITY ar is going to run at least 1000. The best brands are LMT BCM Colt and Noveske. they are top of the line but so is their cost. Ive heard very good things about the Charles Daley ARs though and they are a little less expense. In your situation i would also consider an AK. A much more powerfull round then the AR. Virtually indestructable. ALOT cheaper as well. People say they are inaccurate but when i shoot sihouetts with my AK its easy to make head shots at 200 yards. anyways good luck with your decesion.

JImbothefiveth
October 26, 2008, 12:33 AM
Id fear that the penetration power of that round could be a liability.
I believe you can get hollowpoints for that caliber, and to put it's power in perspective, 7.62x39 is slightly less powerfull than a 30-30.

its illegal to hunt with on state land (even though it would be fine on private land).
Why is that? If it's because of magazine capacity, I believe you can get 5 round magazines for an AK.

I dont know that the accuracy of an AK would be high enough to hunt with at deer distances, but I guess it depends on the AK and the ammo.
What are your deer distances? In the woods around here, the longest shot I can see taking is 110 yards or so, but it might be different where you live.

TAB
October 26, 2008, 12:36 AM
what other type of hunting do you do/ are intrested in?

if your also intrested in trying something like wing shooting or turkey hunting. Then I would think hard about a shot gun.

Shoot them both, which one do you feel better about... sleep on it. you will know whats right for you.

mljdeckard
October 26, 2008, 12:42 AM
If you do get an AR for HD, use dedicated ammo, like Hornady TAP. DO NOT load it with surplus (62 gr steel core) ammo for HD.

My primary is my shotgun, but be advised, you DO have to aim it, and use it with precision. It would be best to get one with tactical sights.

You can always buy an AR stripped lower now and build it later, $120, get the numbers in before the election. (I'm not as concerned about an imminent ban as I am about making a statement before the election.)

If you're THAT worried about ammo costs, you may be disappointed to see that there's not THAT much difference between different rounds anyway.

JLStorm
October 26, 2008, 12:45 AM
Any semi automatic rifle is illegal to hunt with in PA even if the magazine capacity is 2. They enforce this rigorously.

Deer distances, 75 - 125 yards, no farther than that normally.

gvnwst
October 26, 2008, 12:46 AM
If you want a shotgun, get a sagia 12. of course, a AK/12gfa hybrid. I personally would get the AR. I like 'um better, for my purpouses, and they are close to yours.

May not stop the size bear we have here (small black bears) if one would ever attempt to get into the house (which is doubtful really)

Coupla' words; .458 Socom.
:D

JImbothefiveth
October 26, 2008, 12:51 AM
Ask around, there are a lot of guys with them on this forum. I'm guessing it will be able to hit a deer's heart at that distance, but I'm not quite sure. Here, this thread might be the place to ask. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=397124&page=2

JLStorm
October 26, 2008, 12:55 AM
another note about the hunting. I would really like to go after deer as there are tons of them around here, but it would only be in an emergency situation such as economic breakdown or national/state emergency food rationing,etc. I am not looking for something to be a dedicated deer rifle, just something that could do the trick in a pinch. Eventually I do plan to buy a hunting rifle, but with my costs vs. what I we are bringing in right now, buying another gun after this is at least a year away.

jerkface11
October 26, 2008, 01:08 AM
Ok why not a .30-30 lever action? It would be powerful enough for anything you want. It would be legal for hunting and more than good enough for deer. You would even be able to shoot it quickly if needed. Or a Saiga 12 gauge if semi auto shotguns are allowed for hunting.

JImbothefiveth
October 26, 2008, 01:10 AM
So you're not going to be regularly hunting then? If that's the case, get a semi-auto, I think any jury would see that it was an emergency, especially in PA.(Unless you're talking about tough times where you just can't afford to buy meat, in which case, don't get the semi-auto.)

maclean
October 26, 2008, 02:03 AM
Shotguns will always have a place in my arsenal. I've got two Mossbergs (12 & 20) and recently bought my first 870 (20ga. express). IMHO, the 870 is better quality by far. The ability to reconfigure a pump shotgun for different uses: HD, upland bird, turkey, deer, etc. with usually just a barrel and ammo swap makes them nearly indispensable IMO.

I bought my first AR just a few months ago so I'm by no means an authority on them. Like a lot of other guys, I bought one for the collection in case I can't buy one later on (if/when a new AWB passes). So far, I really enjoy the low recoil of the 5.56 and the 30 round capacity. IIRC, 5.56 is legal for deer in several states, though I prefer to use at least a 30-30. All in all, they're fun guns to have and plink with and I tend to think with the right ammo choice, they'd serve just fine in an HD role. Fragmentation of the hollow points should keep neighbors from being endangered but others here know far more that I do.

I personally count on my 870 and #3 buck as my bedside gun, along with a 5" 1911 but other factors went into my decision: If I were to need my gun because of an intruder, our VERY anti- Police Chief would likely confiscate it, at least temporarily and likely for a very long time. I can afford to replace an 870 a lot easier than my AR. Your situation may be very different though.

You mentioned getting into hunting "eventually" so have you considered maybe buying a 5.56 AR now and then adding a spare upper in 6.5 or 6.8 later on for hunting needs? That would get your AR before any possible ban and still take the hunting into consideration.

Sorry I can't be of more help but if there weren't the possibility of another AWB on the horizon, I'd say buy an 870 first in whatever configuration tickles your fancy. After you've got that, add spare barrels as needed for whatever game you have available and an 18.5" or 20" barrel for home defense, then stock up on various shells.

All in all, I see the pump shotgun as more versatile but you have to figure out how badly you want an AR. Could you swing the shotgun now and then a stripped lower in the next few months?
Jack

bgeddes
October 26, 2008, 02:11 AM
Dollars and cents says shotgun. I'll vote for the 870 as well. For less than $500 you can get a new one, and a spare slug barrel, maybe witha cheap scope (I saw this setup at Cabela's today). With a handfull of chokes for the long barrel, and a rilfed one, you could hunt almost anything in in the lower 48.

RockyMtnTactical
October 26, 2008, 02:15 AM
I would get the AR15.

I wouldn't worry about it stopping black bear either...

JWarren
October 26, 2008, 08:43 AM
Considering the political environment, I'd get the AR.

The pump shotgun will be there when you can afford it.


BTW... I bought a Remington 870 Express Magnum for a very good price last month. They aren't that expensive.


-- John

onebigelf
October 26, 2008, 08:59 AM
I'd go with the AR. You can load heavier bullets for hunting and single feed them for improved performance on deer.

John

moooose102
October 26, 2008, 09:10 AM
go for the shotgun. imo, it is a better home defense gun (way better chance of hitting the bg, way less chance of a bullet going through walls to hurt your loved ones). with the new slugs they have nowdays, they shoot very respectable groups and are downright deadly. even out to 150 yards if you have a rifled slug barrel. i would buy a 12 gauge, and use #1 buckshot for home defense. i would also buy the rifled slug barrel and some good sabot slugs for hunting with. betwwen the two, you would have everything covered. a 223 is a nice round, but i do not feel it is a great home defense round. the reason i say that is because of the over penetration of these speedy little bullets. even with soft points. you could probably shoot 1/2 way through your house with soft points, and all the way through with 75 grain fmj's. that little 223 is a mean and wicked little round. until recently (i started doing some random penetration tests) i always just thought of it as a plinker. but not any more. buy the shotgun, you will have less money in it with both barrels, you can buy quite a few rounds of ammo, and still have money left over compared to an ar15 platform rifle. that will fill your needs, and make your wife happy. then later, when your finances improve, you can get the ar15 style rifle.

Deus Machina
October 26, 2008, 09:22 AM
I'd go AR first. If you're worried about hunting power, go with an upper in 6.x or one of the .30-cal range.

An AK would work well, too. Cheap, easy to find parts, and I'd be no more worried about 7.62 penetrating at those ranges than I would .223. It's heavier, but it's also slower.

Otherwise, I'd like to add another vote for a compromise. A Saiga 12 or 20--or even the .410 with slugs or one of those odd three-pellet buckshots--would work pretty darn well for home defense and, as long as it's legal to hunt with semiauto shotguns in your area, will bag a deer just as easy. And I'd trust it more than a pump against bears.

Plus, I'm fond of anything that could chunk out a 25-round drum of 12-gauge in a few seconds. :D

Seven High
October 26, 2008, 10:24 AM
Personally. I would get a SKS for around $250.00 and a Remington 870 for around another $250.00. Both purchases would be cheaper than an AR 15. You would still have money left over for ammunition.

LTB15J
October 26, 2008, 10:59 AM
the AR15 is flexible but so is the shotgun. obviously range is the key factor here; so think about this

the ar15 can go short and long range relatively effectively. by long range i am saying 200 yards effectively, with a 16" barrel running an optic you will have no problem with anything that stands in your way. you dont have to switch ammo, you dont have to prepare for jackhammer recoil, you just point and shoot. when you use all of your ammo, you simply insert a new mag and tap the bolt catch.

the shotgun is best for short to medium distances; but is more flexible in the aspect of ammunition. obviously buckshot is very devistating at short distances, but what if you need a rifles capability? you first need to find a good slug, load it, and pray your practice has paid off. then you need to possibly prepare for follow up shots which are alot slower, but quite devistating. a 70mm slug has alot more kinetic energy than a 5.56x45 round. but its also less stable and loses alot of its velocity over a distance.

shotguns put out big spread with alot of force but it needs to be at proper engagement distances. if you are relying on it to save your ass because you have to 'aim less' then im sorry but your **** outa luck. practice will save you not guessing..

with an AR15, there is not so much prejudice. long range or short range the rifle is just as effective at taking names, has less recoil and is easier to reload and carry. it is not as powerful as a shotgun, but overall the rifle is more effective in regards to ease of use and modularity. LEO's share the same sentiment; as many are taking the plunge to replace their beater 870's with AR15's.

jackdanson
October 26, 2008, 11:56 AM
Personally. I would get a SKS for around $250.00 and a Remington 870 for around another $250.00. Both purchases would be cheaper than an AR 15. You would still have money left over for ammunition.

Good call, I second this.

gotime242
October 26, 2008, 12:11 PM
Due to the space around your house, and the "country" environment, i would definetly go AR.

ugaarguy
October 26, 2008, 12:53 PM
go for the shotgun. imo, it is a better home defense gun (way better chance of hitting the bg, way less chance of a bullet going through walls to hurt your loved ones).
You sure about that?
THR Rifle Forum Reading Library - "Overpenetration" and rifle rounds--the myth that won't die (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=210739)

.303
October 26, 2008, 01:53 PM
+1 on saiga 12ga.
you can also get hi cap drums for hd

JImbothefiveth
October 26, 2008, 07:51 PM
There was a thread on the saiga 12, people reported the shotgun crushing any loaded rounds. :uhoh:

Rusty_Shackleford
October 26, 2008, 09:10 PM
I highly recommend the shotgun first.

My 870 express (20 guage) only cost about 200 dollars, a few years ago. A shotgun is very versatile and you can use it for any game from squirrel to bear. Hands down, a shotgun will be the best choice if your home is invaded. A .223 or 556nato round to the chest might not stop someone instantly, but buckshot will. 2-300 dollars isn't a big setback either, and it will take a week tops off the time till you can afford that AR-15. I don't think you need to worry too much about the AWB because AR's would actually be cheaper and very in-demand on the black market if that goes into effect. There are people in my city who sell AR's for 200 dollars flat.

LTB15J
October 26, 2008, 09:21 PM
sure, buckshot will stop ANYTHING in front of it, given the right load and range. but lets dig into the mall ninja aspect, what if you need the distance of a long rifle? you think the slug is going to save you? maybe if you had an optic and a rifled barrel using sabots..

close range is pretty much where the novelty ends for shotguns. why spray buckshot and hope for the best, when you can aim an ar15 and place 3 in the chest. you cant beat that penetration with a shotgun

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 26, 2008, 09:23 PM
Definitely shotgun now. Others later. You can kill anything that walks or flies the planet with appropriate ammo, with a shotgun, and it's absolutely devastating for self-defense.

The above would be my normal answer. But if the wifey is allowing a larger budget right now for the AR (which may not happen again), and in light of imminent Obamanation, I would maybe change up and get the EBR.

deputy tom
October 26, 2008, 09:33 PM
Seven High hit it spot on. SKS and pump SG (Mossberg,Maverick,used 870,etc) and lots of ammo for less than the price of an AR.tom.:cool:

frankcostanza
October 26, 2008, 09:49 PM
I think the shotgun would be the way to go. I think you will get more bang for your buck with a good pump action 12ga shotty. A Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 will run you around 250 bucks give or take. That, plus a bunch of shells will still run you less than a decent AR-15. Also, the shotty is pretty versatile compared to the AR-15. Light loads for birds and small game, heavier shot for pheasants and waterfowl, slugs for deer, and buckshot for 2 legged predators. I would say youre covered for just about anything except for long range applications - in which case it would be pretty tough to argue a self defense shooting at long range.

You cant go wrong with an 870. :D

pinkymingeo
October 27, 2008, 06:21 AM
I'd start with the shotgun, which will give you time to do some research. I had planned on an AR as a home defense weapon, but when I started looking into it decided that it really wouldn't do. Based on what I've read, I don't trust an AR to go bang every time I pull the trigger. Just too sensitive to dirt and crud. I finally got an XCR, though are are many alternatives out there.

biggiesmalls
October 27, 2008, 07:11 AM
you know, if you list "customizable" as a pro for the AR, then that means you're gonna spend some money. and given that there's already a significant price diff btwn an AR and a pump action shotgun, and you're willing to spend the extra money for the rifle, how about you consider a semiauto, mag-fed shotgun for home defense like one of those saigas? seems like you'd be able to keep a few extra mags loaded for an emergency and still be under the cost of a decked out AR rifle. failing that, i'd be just as torn as you are in this situation. guess i'm glad i have both, haha. good luck!


EXAMPLE HERE: http://world.guns.ru/shotgun/sh07-e.htm

Hhrshooter
October 27, 2008, 12:44 PM
The shotgun would be your choice for what you descibe as your situation. A shot gun is capable of good accuracy if you will practice as with any weapon.
Things to consider with the shotgun are:
1. Mossberg make a wonderful shotgun that you can change barrels easily.
(Example, rifle sighted slug barrel or 18 inch Home defence barrel)

2. Protection wise at 15-20 yards or less, nothing beats a shotgun.
(Example: There is but one tool alone that makes such a distinctive sound when chambering a round, everyone knows that sound!)

3. I have never found any weapon to be easily loaded and manipulated with one hand. (Shotgun can be done in 3, AR-15 can be done in 3 but you would have to move the rifle alot.

4. Who said that Obama was going to win? I just don't see it for various reasons.:D

Dave

Rifleman 173
October 27, 2008, 01:00 PM
I would go with an M-4 type carbine that shoots the 7.62 X 39 ammo or go with a 6.8 SPC carbine. Both will stop a deer in its tracks, defend the manor and family and both are accurate too. I would use the 7.62 X 39 to save money in ammo if things are real tight financially. Trouble is that finding decent magazines for the 7.62 X 39 caliber M-4s is a little hard right now. I have 5 magazines that are 10 rounders to work my version of the M-4 and have ordered two magazines that hold 30 rounds but haven't yet gotten them.

Then again... You could always go with an updated AK type of rifle in 7.62 X 39 for about half the price of any M-4/AR-15 firearm...

HJ857
October 27, 2008, 05:14 PM
I'm voting for the shotgun for the first weapon. Check out the Mossberg 930 SPX, it's new and looks impressive.

Eb1
October 27, 2008, 05:37 PM
You can get a Maverick 88 for $140 if you look, and build a 20" AR 15 for $550if you shop, and buy some used parts.

Both firearms have been a great asset to my collection. I have beat many shooters on the trap with my Mav88, and they had $2000+ guns. I have shot dime groups repeatedly with my Used Colt HBAR and CMMG lower using only A2 irons, and killed a good size deer with it.

I second the thought of buy a shotgun like the Mav88 and an AR lower like from CMMG or other. Then start piecing the AR15 together. You will have a firearm while you build the other. It is a win/win situation.

Cheers.

The Deer Hunter
October 27, 2008, 06:39 PM
AR-15

Pros:
Cheap to practice with and ready supply of ammo
Easily customizable to my immediate needs Just as easy to add goofy stuff you don't
High capacity
Fast reloading
suppression capability I don't see this as a really big advantage, but it sure would be fun
Easier to shoot and reload one handed if injured true
Can use multiple uppers including 6.8 and 22LR if desired But then

Cons:
Underpowered for hunting deer a major food source here Check with your local laws, some states allow you to hunt with most centerfire calibers including .223
May not stop the size bear we have here (small black bears) if one would ever attempt to get into the house (which is doubtful really) If you shoot a bear 30 times with a .223 it's not going to live. A couple years ago a woman killed a bear trying to get into her house with 10 .22lr rounds.
Illegal for hunting on state land and heavily enforced there are 5 round magazines
more moving parts that could possibly break If you maintain it well and buy quality parts, it's not going to unexpectedly break one day/


12 Gauge shotgun (home defense model, shorter barrel length):

Pros:
Devastating close range weapon
less precision required Don't count on that, go digging in the shotgun forum. You still have to aim a shotgun.
Can use slugs for hunting deer at closer ranges Your good out to 100 yards, accurately. In New England, thats all you need
Slugs would most probably stop or redirect a small bear if needed From what I have heard, in Alaska, a 12 GA shotgun with slugs is preferred over a large caliber rifle. I will always use a 12 GA with brenekke slugs for bear mace
Legal to hunt with on state land

Cons:
much shorter range than AR-15 Yes, but I think in the distance you will need to defend yourself is well within the effective range of 00 buckshot
Low capacity Yes, but its also more powerful. While a .223 could do serious damage to a bear I would carry a 12 GA with slugs over that any day. Plus I could blast deer with the 12 GA at the same time.
Harder to carry extra rounds
lack of precision while hunting, even with a slug Not exactly true. Brenekke rifled slugs out of a smooth bore barrel are plenty accurate at 50 yards. I haven't done a lot of shooting at 100 yards but my 20 GA with slugs can do 100 yards all day.
harder to use with one arm if injured / disabled While this is true, I am probably going to be trying to leave the situation instead of shooting back, even though it can come down to that. I beleive the pro of a owning a shotgun outweighs the con in this situation.

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