Shotgun or AR15 for all-purpose - THR

Go Back   THR > Social Situations > General Gun Discussions

Welcome to THR
You are currently viewing our site as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have, access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit the help section.

Thread Tools
Old November 23, 2014, 10:01 PM   #1
Join Date: February 1, 2009
Posts: 306
Shotgun or AR15 for all-purpose

Has anyone here ever chose a shotgun over a AR-15 type rifle ? I've been deer hunting a lot lately and I was doing a lot of thinking. I got a Bushmaster AR-15 10 years ago and have only shot it once. It is fun and I like it but it has sit in my safe for a long time. I have gotten so much more use and fun out of my Mossberg 500 pump shotgun 12 gauge 20 inch barrel 7-shot capacity. I shoot deer with it , plink with it , use it as home defense and on and on .
I am conidering selling the AR15 and maybe buying something else that I could get more use from .
Has any of you guys/gals ever did this or wondered about this ?
I just thought it would be interesting hearing other people's opinions.
tercel89 is offline  
Old November 23, 2014, 10:17 PM   #2
Join Date: March 19, 2006
Posts: 10,870
I did the opposite: sold the pump guns and kept the AR(s). I enjoy plinking and other non-hunting recreational shooting with an AR more than a shotgun. BUT, I live in state that allows deer hunting with .223, I rarely hunt anyway, and I don't hunt birds. So, an AR is better for my purposes, but a 12 GA or 20 GA pump or semi with screw in choke tubes would be far more versatile as an all purpose gun.

If you're not using your AR and need to sell it to get something else, then sell it and get something you like better and you'll use more often. We don't all have to like the same things.
ugaarguy is offline  
Old November 23, 2014, 10:22 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2, 2013
Posts: 212
grter is offline  
Old November 23, 2014, 10:28 PM   #4
Join Date: March 20, 2003
Location: DFW Texas
Posts: 3,328
The Gauge

Just my .02,
"If you attempt to leave, or play any games, I will TAZER you and watch Supernanny while you drool into the carpet." - Agent Coulson to Tony Stark in Iron Man 2
LeonCarr is offline  
Old November 23, 2014, 10:33 PM   #5
Join Date: November 30, 2003
Location: Out West
Posts: 1,058
SHOTGUN. While an AR is awesome, the sg is more versitile. Can you shoot something out of the air (partidge, pheasant, dove, duck) with an AR?
I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

Douglas MacArthur
KenW. is offline  
Old November 23, 2014, 10:33 PM   #6
Join Date: June 14, 2008
Location: SouthEastern FL
Posts: 3,709
Not a hunter by any means here, so the rifle gets my vote..

If I did hunt, it would be something other than fowl, so I'd go for a different rifle, likely a lever action in a suitable caliber for the chosen game..
If you're not picking out your wife's sewing machine, hair dryer, slow cooker, or shoes, why are you picking out her gun?
MedWheeler is offline  
Old November 23, 2014, 10:35 PM   #7
Join Date: December 29, 2006
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
Posts: 1,710
I have both types and many examples. All have their uses, but the shotguns get more actual use because of shooting games, as well as shooting game! The shotgun is great for a house gun, for longer self protection the rifle has its place as well. Why limit yourself to either?
Find a gun you like and buy it. Don't sweat the decision so much! It doesn't have to be the last gun you ever buy. YET!
Milkmaster is offline  
Old November 23, 2014, 11:04 PM   #8
george burns
Join Date: May 26, 2014
Posts: 622
Good to have both for emergency's and hunting.
george burns is offline  
Old November 23, 2014, 11:06 PM   #9
Tony k
Join Date: March 31, 2013
Posts: 293
If I could only have one long gun, it would be my mossberg 535. Home defense, short range big game, upland birds, turkeys, waterfowl, small game, and clays. Heck, people are even starting to use them for coyotes. I can't imagine it being a very fun "plinking" gun, except for clay pigeons.

Yes, I like my AR, but all I ever do with it is take it to the range for plinking, practice, and casual competitive matches. It's legal for deer and antelope here, but not legal or ethical for elk or bear. It's not legal for turkeys, upland game, or waterfowl. I've never gotten in to varmint hunting.

To be honest, the main reason I bought the AR is out of respect for my second amendment rights and responsibilities. It's fun to shoot and would probably be a better gun for "just in case," but I honestly believe your mossy pump is the all around more practical choice.

Who am I kidding...? I think you should keep em both! Who cares if you haven't shot the ar in 10 years. There are plenty of people who've had their rights infringed and can no longer own an AR. Maybe it's time you took it out for a little practice. Shoot a couple 30-round mags in honor of those who wish they could. I'm being kind of tongue-in-cheek, but kind of serious as well.

If you want some other gun to fill a niche, save up and buy it later.
Tony k is offline  
Old November 23, 2014, 11:29 PM   #10
Cee Zee
Join Date: August 23, 2012
Posts: 2,275
Shotguns are certainly more versatile. They won't let you hunt ducks with an AR for example. I wonder why?

That said the AR is taking over the traditional role of HD that the shotgun has held onto for a very long time. The frontier was tamed with a shotgun for the most part. You can do so many things with it. It was like a flintlock with a bigger hole in it. You could load it down for squirrels and rabbits or load it heavy for bear (loaded for bear?). But not with frangible bullets the AR is safer inside a house.

Still I wouldn't give up my shotguns for any reason. I also have a battle carbine but for a wide variety of jobs (including bears) I still use my shotgun. No I haven't actually had to shoot a bear "yet" but I've been threatened by several of them and I keep one handy any time I go outside at night at the home place and especially if I'm cooking on the grill right at about sundown. Bears smell that mean and they want it and dusk is their time. So I keep a shotgun with slugs rated for dangerous game within easy reach while I'm turning my steaks. I could use a .44 magnum but shotgun slugs don't travel nearly as far and buckshot doesn't travel far at all.

Almost everything that can be done with a rifle can be done with a shotgun. Only long range shooting is really left out. And there's plenty you can do with a shotgun that you can't do with a rifle.
Cee Zee is offline  
Old November 23, 2014, 11:38 PM   #11
Zach S
Join Date: July 1, 2003
Location: Western NC/East TN
Posts: 5,331
Its rare that I prefer a shotgun over an AR15, but I dont hunt. Even though I have little use for the shotgun, I still have it and train with it. Although, I will say it doesnt see near as much rangetime as my ARs...

If the AR isnt doing anything for ya, no harm in selling. Just don't let it grow on you, because not only will you keep it, you will want more. I have four in different calibers, and want to build a .300BLK now...
"The 1911 does not limit a shooter. A shooter limits the 1911." - XavierBreath

"The problem with the 1911 today is that so many people have been trying to outsmart John Browning for so long, they really believe they have." - 1911Tuner
Zach S is offline  
Old November 24, 2014, 12:10 AM   #12
Join Date: April 24, 2007
Posts: 7,838
I shoot my AR much more than any of my shotguns. My HD gun is a SIG P229 with a laser/light module on it so really don't have much need for a HD shotgun; plus I haven't been hunting in quite a few years.
"An elegant weapon for a more civilized age."-Obi Wan Kenobi
bannockburn is offline  
Old November 24, 2014, 12:33 AM   #13
Join Date: April 27, 2006
Posts: 3,006
Mossberg kits....

Id suggest the Mossberg 12ga kit if possible. You can get different barrels(18", rifled slug, trap). Then you can change the stocks too. Pistol grip & regular.
The Mossberg prices vary depending on the gun shop, vendor or what the kit includes.
One great 500 12ga system was the Mariner type(a protective nickel-grey color). It was about $500.00 but that was a decent price for the extra surface protection.
Luck runs out, skill stays with you.
RustyShackelford is online now  
Old November 24, 2014, 12:41 AM   #14
Contributing Member
Join Date: September 17, 2007
Location: Eastern KS
Posts: 50,887
It matters not, so much as which you use and are most familiar with.

In your case your Shotgun is head over heels the gun to go for in an emergency.

Your muscle memory is already trained from hunting with it.

You got no time to learn the manual of arms for an AR-15 you haven't used in 10 years during a home invasion!

(You can't call a time-out to read the owners manual in the middle of the night!)

Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Or all your primers in a glass jar!
rcmodel is offline  
Old November 24, 2014, 12:56 AM   #15
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Gun Lake, Michigan
Posts: 4,233
Given the OPs situation, I'd sell the AR to fund another shotgun.

Personally, I like both, and use both. But if I were allowed only one, i'd probably keep my Remington 48, modified with 7+1 mag tube, and poly choke barrel. It's just more versatile for a number of situations over the AR.

Still, I've got my AR as my HD gun.
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can't take the sky from me.

Brown coats unite!
USAF_Vet is offline  
Old November 24, 2014, 01:32 AM   #16
Join Date: March 25, 2011
Location: NC
Posts: 2,992
I love hunting. Deer and black bear get hunted hard every year, turkey, coyotes, and hogs get hunted when I have time.

I like carbines, a 7.62x39 AK could do all I need. And it has... So could a .300 Blackout AR, and hopefully this time next year, I'll get some tree time with one. And while I do prefer a 5.56 AR for HD though, much more than 12 gauge, I wouldn't want it to be my go-to all-purpose rifle. For that, give me just about anything BUT a 5.56 AR. So if it's between that or a 12 gauge, I'll take the 12 gauge every time, without thought. An 870 was the first gun I bought with my own money, and it's entirely possible that it would be the last one to leave my possession. Since, thankfully, I'm not stuck to one gun to do it all, I have a Savage 111 .30-06 that is my go-to hunting rifle, unless I just happen to want to take something else for fun.
Inebriated is online now  
Old November 24, 2014, 02:15 AM   #17
Join Date: January 20, 2003
Posts: 6,941
If you like the shotgun, fine... keep on using it.

But I've regretted selling a few guns. Not all that I've sold, but a few. Anymore, my standard rule is to only buy guns that I think I will definitely want to hang on to. If the urge to sell strikes me, I clean the gun up and put it away for a few months, then I revisit it.

The only thing worse than an impulse buy is an impulse sale. You can undo an impulse buy, but not a sale.
"Ask yourself: If that was Denver, Col., if that was Texas, would those guys have been able to spend hours, days, shooting people randomly? What I'm saying is it makes police around the world question their views on gun control. It makes citizens question their views on gun control. You have to ask yourself, 'Is an armed citizenry more necessary now than it was in the past with an evolving threat of terrorism?' This is something that has to be discussed."

~ Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble (commenting on the terrorist attack at Kenya's Westgate Mall)
goon is offline  
Old November 24, 2014, 02:20 AM   #18
Join Date: November 7, 2010
Location: The North Country
Posts: 651
I just can't stop building AR's. I'm on my 3rd one this year alone.
Every time I go to the range there is at least one AR that comes along.
I'm not a hunter so the only shotgun in my collection is my late fathers break action single shot.
I keep meaning to buy one so I can participate in 3gun but other things always seem to come up.
thump_rrr is offline  
Old November 24, 2014, 03:42 AM   #19
Cee Zee
Join Date: August 23, 2012
Posts: 2,275
I don't think I'd sell the AR even if you aren't currently using it. If that would change for some reason you won't have to start from scratch. If you have one shotgun I don't see selling another gun to buy another shotgun. If anything I'd just save and get the other shotgun if you really want one. That's pretty much how I do things. I hate to sell guns especially if I am selling the last example I have of a type (like a battle carbine).
Cee Zee is offline  
Old November 24, 2014, 05:00 AM   #20
Join Date: August 17, 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,126
I'm the other way around. Twice I had no guns and had to start a collection. Both times my first purchase was a pump shotgun. But I just don't shoot them anymore and have not for several years. The AR has taken its place. Not selling the shotgun though. You sort of have to have one.
JohnBiltz is offline  
Old November 24, 2014, 05:28 AM   #21
Join Date: October 15, 2010
Posts: 1,064
I'm not a hunter (except for two legged - and I'm long out of that work) and I'm no range guy so for me it's all about where I live.. My first choice would always be the shotgun for pistol distances. If I lived out in the country the AR would get the nod.
lemaymiami is offline  
Old November 24, 2014, 05:48 AM   #22
Join Date: May 28, 2006
Location: The land of blue sky and sunshine
Posts: 740
I agree with Tony k. It's time to take that AR out and show it some love.
How can you not love a G19?
rskent is online now  
Old November 24, 2014, 04:13 PM   #23
Join Date: January 16, 2014
Location: Tonica, IL
Posts: 197
I have both and like both. Pressed to choose, I'd take the Mossberg 500 over my AR15 simply due to flexibility and constant availability of ammo. My AR is mostly for fun, and if I ever decide to take up hunting coyote some day. If I ever do decide to hunt deer, Illinois is shotgun only so that's another point for the shotgun. One plus for the AR for me is that it is easier than a shotgun for my wife to handle in an HD situation, so there is that. I prefer my 9mm for HD, but my shotgun would be #2 and AR #3.

Last edited by BigBL87; November 24, 2014 at 04:19 PM.
BigBL87 is offline  
Old November 24, 2014, 04:33 PM   #24
Join Date: December 27, 2002
Location: TX
Posts: 1,405
They are two completely different animals. AR-15's are fun, but necessary? I'm not sure, there are a lot of other options out there when you need a rifle. I have had various rifles in various actions and in various calibers. I have no real applicable use for the .223 caliber. I do have AR-15's though, but they are 6.8spc, a much more useful caliber. I don't know how invested you are in your AR15, how many mags, ammo, scopes, accessories, but you could convert to an alternative caliber like 6.8spc and have both a defensive and a viable deer hunting rifle. It isn't too complicated to do either and you wouldn't have to buy a brand new rifle.

Shotguns have their place though and fill a niche that no other long-gun can fill. They say the West was won by the Colt Peacemaker, but it was truly probably won with the shotgun. As a game getter, there's probably not a better option other than a .22lr rifle. A daily concern is putting food on the table, not fighting off bad guys. A shotgun would be much more useful in that role than an AR15.

I'd say keep the AR15 for plinking and fighting and find out what else you want, what do you want to do with the new rifle? Hunting? What kind of hunting? Coyotes, deer, bear, elk, prairie dogs? Any Long range or precision shooting? Once you figure that out, then you can look at what kind of action would be preferable, then you can look at the calibers. But I'd hang onto the AR15, there might be a day when you can't get them anymore and you'll be glad you have one already.

I have shotguns and AR's don't want to get rid of either, depending on what I want to do will determine which one I'll grab.
"You can't get 'em all Josey."
"That's a fact".
"Well how come you doin' this then?"
"Cause I got nothin' better to do."
amprecon is offline  
Old November 24, 2014, 05:15 PM   #25
Join Date: April 11, 2003
Location: ohio's northcoast
Posts: 2,710
Shotgun, more practical for my day to day needs as I don't believe in Zombie Apocalypse.
An LCP is my CC (constant companion)

"Tis better to miss with style,than to hit with bad form"-Colonel Peter Hawker
huntsman is offline  

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:38 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise.
This site, its contents, Shooting Reviews, and its contents are Copyright (c) 2010-2013 Firearms Forum, Inc.
Although The High Road has attempted to provide accurate information on the forum, The High Road assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information. All information is provided "as is" with all faults without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. Neither The High Road nor any of its directors, members, managers, employees, agents, vendors, or suppliers will be liable for any direct, indirect, general, bodily injury, compensatory, special, punitive, consequential, or incidental damages including, without limitation, lost profits or revenues, costs of replacement goods, loss or damage to data arising out of the use or inability to use this forum or any services associated with this forum, or damages from the use of or reliance on the information present on this forum, even if you have been advised of the possibility of such damages.