Shotgun vs carbine/rifle for defense


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MP-44
June 14, 2009, 09:33 AM
In situations that a civilian would face up to and including a Katrina type scenario.

The carbine enthusiasts point to lack of range with the shotgun, so I will ask now how far can you engage targets and they still be considered legally a threat?

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SaxonPig
June 14, 2009, 09:53 AM
Anyone with at least half a brain would evacuate the area long before the storm hit. The odds of being at war on your front lawn are pretty remote. Keep whatever gun handy you feel good about.

Tirod
June 14, 2009, 10:11 AM
Distance and threat level is very situational - there is no set answer. A shooter with scoped .30 or bigger on a rooftop can hit out to 600 meters - 1800 feet, over a quarter mile - and you wouldn't even see them.

What may be a limitation is also an advantage. A smoothbore shotgun can also fire slugs - and the sabot .50 solid coppers have some range. In a multipurpose role, the shotgun can be used as a area weapon with shot, and inside buildings, smaller shot loads can be easily inserted to reduce penetration of sheetrock, something a carbine can't readily do.

Carbines as a group consist of the .30 Carbine, but also include 5.56 these days, and others. Most of those are small caliber high speed rounds classed as varmint loads, as opposed to the slugs available for shotguns.

If a vehicular stop is necessary, the slug is more likely to create engine damage. A carbine has a much reduced capability in comparison. Even with 00 Buck, the shotgun would still be ahead.

In tight, close range, urban situations, the trend seems to be leaning to the carbine - a common pattern in recent history. Considering the advantages of selective loads, improved penetration, and higher terminal force, the shotgun is nonetheless very competitive.

Don't get locked into thinking a shotgun shoots only shot.

Roadkill
June 14, 2009, 01:20 PM
I tend to view the options in three levels: long range, mid range, and up close.

For long range 300m + any full sized rifle works -.308, 30-06, .270,

For Mid range 50-300m any carbine, sks, M4, 30-30.

For up close <50m shotgun or handgun.

I figure 95% of my dealings will be keeping someone out of my 100m driveway. I'll block it with a truck and provide an opportunity for unwelcome folks to leave.

Its an old joke, but almost all you'll ever need is a 30-30, shotgun, and a .38.

ElToro
June 14, 2009, 03:17 PM
a rifled and rifle sighted 20 inch barrel on my 870 is my go to shotgun. the spin dosnt do much to shot at short range and a slug is minute of person accurate to about 100 yards.

that being said i also have a adjustabel choke smoothbore barrel if the need comes up

i also have a 16 and 18 inch .308 semis

but a quality lever gun in 30-30 or a magnum pistol caliber will serve you well. chek the ballistics on .357 and .44 from 18-20 inch barrels.

MP-44
June 14, 2009, 03:30 PM
For long range 300m + any full sized rifle works -.308, 30-06, .270,

For Mid range 50-300m any carbine, sks, M4, 30-30

What scenario do you see a cilvilian needing this kind of range.? Not being a jerk, just very curious.

LightningJoe
June 14, 2009, 03:35 PM
I suspect that if you have a weapon that you can't conceal, the authorities will take it away from you. In their eyes, we're all problems. They like us better without guns. So, the right gun is one you can have on you without the government knowing it.

Deckard
June 14, 2009, 03:41 PM
For defending my home I would feel something was missing without a pump action shotgun. Any situation that would require something more is so remote that my go to gun would always be my Remington 870. That said, I plan on having all my bases covered. I'm not going to be caught unprepared just because I didn't like the odds of needing a longer range rifle. You never know when all hell could break loose and I don't want "under-gunned" to ever be a problem I have to deal with.

lexjj
June 14, 2009, 03:43 PM
I can't answer your "which is better" question, but just some things to think about in regards to distance and legality:
so I will ask now how far can you engage targets and they still be considered legally a threat?
I think there is a common misunderstanding that someone has to be near you before you can reasonable act in self-defense and shoot them. That line of thinking is true for the most part, but there are plenty of exceptions, and it is not "the law."

For instance, it is possible/legal to act in defense of another (though may not always be advisable). State statute and common law are split on whether acting in defense of another has to be merely reasonable, or whether you actually have to be 100% correct. But consider the possibility that you see a loved one being attacked form 100 yards away. You would be perfectly justified in shooting your loved one's attacker from that distance.

Additionally, its probably better to think about these scenarios in terms of OPPORTUNITY, not distance. Distance bears on opportunity, but they are not synonymous. If someone is standing 100 yards away from you and screams, "I'm going to kill you!!" and then raises a deer rifle to his shoulder, he certainly has the opportunity to kill you (and the means etc.). Once again, you would be justified in shouldering your own rifle and shooting the attacker.

Those scenarios are not particularly likely, so use my analysis as you wish.

Vern Humphrey
June 14, 2009, 03:44 PM
FBI studies indicate the longest shot ever taken by a LEO sniper is less than 100 yards. And mind you, this is a specialized job, not something the average homeowner would find himself having to do.

A shotgun has a lot of advantages in a self-defense or home-defense situation, including the intimidation factor.

Hungry Seagull
June 14, 2009, 03:49 PM
I can reach out and touch someone with laser assistance 50-120 yards using Brenneke Black Majic (Black bear) magnum slug and the Winchester Magnum Super X for those beyond 100 yards for it's very flat trajectory.

I recall a police youtube shoot at 240+ yards with a slug out of a 870.

I am about ready to crank the range target paper to 100 yards to prove this to myself and get better past 50 yards. The laser does zero at 50 yards.

Every morning and night I visit NOAA online and see if there are active tropical weather. When a storm gets born, it gets further monitoring with other models of possible tracks from different sources.

at about 32 hours prior to landfall I am constantly making a decision every 6 hours until 24 hours. At 24 hours prior to arrival we either are long gone or staying put. This depends on the storm being west of Texarkarna and below CAT two so that we can take the eye west and north of us bringing in south winds of less than 80 mph on that side of the home. Gustav did that for a week on us and we had no problems.

Now for Memphis storms that come in to our east and south bringing in those bad North east winds, we are outta here. There are big trees that cannot withstand those blows. Armarillo or Salinas Kansas comes to mind as places to go for a few days.

MP-44
June 14, 2009, 04:17 PM
Anyone with at least half a brain would evacuate the area long before the storm hit.

A lot of the times the storm isn't dangerous( or very) it leads to power outages, sometimes for weeks.

During these times certain individuals in the community get more bold. I imagine many don't have the funds ( me included ) to take a 1-3 week vacation until the power comes back on. Heaven knows what you would find when you did returned home.

Hungry Seagull
June 14, 2009, 04:52 PM
Funds sit in a bank ready to go for several months at all times minimum. We wont fail to meet our usual house bills either for that period.

memphisjim
June 14, 2009, 05:04 PM
in memphis here we had a minor hurricane elvis a couple nights ago
120000 plus without power
but on topic shot gun is all youll need if you plan on staying boarded up but if you run low on supplies and get mobile you may want a carbine also but in that situation there is another thing to consider with a shot gun
say you go out to a lake to get water and you are forced to defend it may be sometime before an authority can come or even ascertain if it was a legit kill carbine bullets can be traced shot not so much

RP88
June 14, 2009, 05:16 PM
What scenario do you see a cilvilian needing this kind of range.? Not being a jerk, just very curious.

they don't. Not for self-defense, at least. If you're trying to declare self-defense after a 300-yard shoot, you're going to jail most likely.

But, from 0-25 meters, a carbine is still plenty useful. Moreso than a shotgun or handgun in my opinion. You have more accuracy, better follow-up, less recoil, and far less chance of collateral damage. The intimidation has never been much of a thing to take into consideration, because any gun is gonna scare the crap out of someone if it gets pointed at them.

Quiet
June 14, 2009, 07:08 PM
they don't. Not for self-defense, at least. If you're trying to declare self-defense after a 300-yard shoot, you're going to jail most likely.

We'll in CA, if you are in a riot situation, shooting at 100+ yeards can be justifible.
Case in point, the 1992 LA riots, none of the Korean store owners were ever charged with a crime. Even the ones shooting at looters down the street from them.


Penal Code 197
Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in any of the following cases:
1. When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person; or,
2. When committed in defense of habitation, property, or person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any person therein; or,
3. When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of a wife or husband, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant of such person, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great bodily injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished; but such person, or the person in whose behalf the defense was made, if he was the assailant or engaged in mutual combat, must really and in good faith have endeavored to decline any further struggle before the homicide was committed; or,
4. When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace.

ConstitutionCowboy
June 14, 2009, 08:21 PM
Rifle or shotgun? Doesn't matter as long as you aim.

Woody

Al Thompson
June 14, 2009, 08:23 PM
Why the either or? Always good to have lots of tools in the tool box. :)

COMPNOR
June 14, 2009, 08:27 PM
Put a shotgun on your carbine. :D

psyopspec
June 15, 2009, 05:16 AM
how far can you engage targets and they still be considered legally a threat?

The answer to your question isn't numerical. Instead it lies in the jurisdiction it happens in, the jury, and the abilities of your lawyer v those of the state's attorney.

Tirod
June 15, 2009, 09:17 AM
Look beyond the local circumstances - not everyone lives in suburbia, or in an urban area. There are plenty of small towns in the central U.S., and most have significant sight lines on the edge of town, plus live with the annoyance of tornadoes that can form from thunderstorms less than 2 hours old. It's not all about hurricanes, earthquakes, and rioting, and out here, most of us don't live with a weather radio plugged in our ear. Storm tracks are usually very narrow, but extremely intense. Nonetheless, sightseers and looters are now commonly underfoot sooner than official aid.

But, from 0-25 meters, a carbine is still plenty useful. Moreso than a shotgun or handgun in my opinion. You have more accuracy, better follow-up, less recoil, and far less chance of collateral damage.

This is really arguable on each individual point - and the range is inclusive enough to question why the shorter handgun wouldn't be superior simply because an assailant has so much less to grapple with. It's difficult to shove off an attacker with one hand and fire the carbine from the hip with the other. Of course, one could work with a carbine or shotgun at 0 yards using bayonet combatives: thrust, sweep, and butt stroke.

One point of being seen in public with a weapon is that a military carbine with rail bling is going to get a lot of attention if the user isn't in uniform. A civilian shotgun raises a different image of the user and their intent.

Art Eatman
June 15, 2009, 11:39 AM
The on-topic legal issue is separating "defense" from "attack". Forget the shotgun vs. rifle stuff in this thread, okay? The legal issue has more to do with the distance to the Bad Guy(s).

Also separate defense of a third party such as a neighbor down the street, from defending yourself in your own home.

Moderator hat off:

It seems to me that if you're on your own property and threatened, defense is defense is defense.

If you're threatened from, say, 100 yards by some Bad Guy with a long gun, I see any action as defensive. Take cover, then respond. If it's a handgun, he might not be a Bad Guy and the lesser threat means you have time to further examine the situation. He might think YOU are a Bad Guy.

It seems to me that since (in Texas law) it's legal to use deadly force in protection of some third party who's threatened with Evil, distance is unimportant.

Marlin 45 carbine
June 15, 2009, 11:42 AM
ditto #18.:)

General Geoff
June 15, 2009, 11:52 AM
The legal issue has more to do with the distance to the Bad Guy(s).

I respectfully submit that it matters only if the bad guy poses a credible threat to you. If a guy is 400 yards away, and you start seeing puffs of dust and hearing ricochets all around you, well then you're perfectly justified in returning fire, range be damned.

Iansstud
June 15, 2009, 12:10 PM
the spin dosnt do much to shot at short range

WRONG!!!! I thought that too!!! I even had My 20" rifled barrel 870 as my go to gun... Till I had a guy at work bet me!

I put a 2'x2' box about 10 yds out... using #4 buck shot 2 (two) bbs hit the box.... using #7 birdshot None of the shot hit the box...

At 5 yards it was a big donut and the hole in the center of the box that hand not been touched by shot was about 12"!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was shocked!!! I loaded slugs until my 18" HD barrel showed up!!!

If someone is in your home, you Will just wound them, and not stop them!! You are more likely to have a Lawsuit then a safe home!!!

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot43.htm

Sebastian the Ibis
June 15, 2009, 08:14 PM
What scenario do you see a cilvilian needing this kind of range.? Not being a jerk, just very curious.


In a shootout similar to the one at the University of Texas
Once Whitman began facing return gunfire from the authorities and civilians who had brought out their personal firearms to assist police, he used the waterspouts on each side of the tower as gun ports, allowing him to continue shooting largely protected from the gunfire below but also greatly limiting his range of targets. Ramiro Martinez, an officer who confronted Whitman, later stated in his book that the civilian shooters should be credited, as they made it difficult for Whitman to take careful aim without being hit.[18]

However, there are so many gun free zones right now that it would be unlikely for a psyco to chose somewhere like this where everyone has their hunting rifle.

chuckusaret
June 15, 2009, 11:31 PM
Anyone with at least half a brain would evacuate the area long before the storm hit. The odds of being at war on your front lawn are pretty remote. Keep whatever gun handy you feel good about.

I guess I don't have but a half a brain. How many hurricanes have you been in. I grew up in Biloxi and rode out a few and have lived in SE Florida since 1978 and have ridden out many hurricanes. My question to everyone that says evacuate "Evacuate to where"? There are 1,351,236 million people just in Palm Beach county and the county is larger than the state of Delaware. Where would we evacuate to. We have a one group of people who believe that a hurricane gives them the OK to Plunder and Loot and they do it after every major storm. Yes, I have shotguns, rifles, and handguns to protect my family and property.

Tirod
June 16, 2009, 11:00 AM
put a 2'x2' box about 10 yds out... using #4 buck shot 2 (two) bbs hit the box.... using #7 birdshot None of the shot hit the box...

At 5 yards it was a big donut and the hole in the center of the box that hand not been touched by shot was about 12"!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All of these distances couldn't occur inside the normal home, where shot would be a preferred load. Pace it off, the average American bedroom is 12' long at best. Standing at the bedroom door and aiming down the hall at an oncoming assailant, you will hit them and they will be incapacitated to some degree. At that point they have to decide whether to keep bringing the fight, and you have far fewer worries about stray rounds zinging through the adjoining bedrooms from your weapon.

Outdoors, the slug would be preferred for it's range, the better tool would be a rifle from a good vantage point. Not all neighborhoods offer that. Having lived in a '30's era suburb with 50' X 100" lots, homes were as close as 6 feet. Neighborhoods in cities use adjoining walls and zero separation - all of which makes hash of stating "what range is legal?" and what is the better weapon.

"What range are you vulnerable from what threat?" is something tacticians have to ponder on daily in combat - and how to exploit the same factor against opponents. There is no set answer - but not being aware of your limitations isn't good.

MP-44
June 16, 2009, 11:33 AM
Anyone know, in recent times, the longest distance a civilian in the U.S had to defend themselves?

Al Thompson
June 16, 2009, 12:14 PM
A few years back we had a guy use a rifle to defend himself. IIRC, it was across a field, so it happens.

dvcrsn
June 16, 2009, 01:38 PM
MP--I know in the L A riots--the locals were protecting their neighborhoods and business--and quite of few of the local markets used bailed cardboard to barricade the parts of the store perimeter that were vunerable to ramming and neighbors/workers were behind the bails with long arms. I think much of that occurred after the news showed many people streaming out of the local Fedco (department store) carrying big screen tvs etc

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