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

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by JLStorm, Oct 25, 2008.

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  1. JLStorm

    JLStorm Member

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    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.
     
  2. Vicious-Peanut

    Vicious-Peanut Member

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    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)
     
  3. sinistr

    sinistr Member

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    +1 on the shotgun.you could spend $200 or $1000 and get a quality weapon.
     
  4. FLRon

    FLRon Member

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    .......
     
  5. FLRon

    FLRon Member

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    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.
     
  6. 22lr

    22lr Member

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    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).
     
  7. subierex

    subierex Member

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    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.
     
  8. JLStorm

    JLStorm Member

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    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.
     
  9. JImbothefiveth

    JImbothefiveth Member

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    This might call for an AK, since you want to hunt deer.
     
  10. JLStorm

    JLStorm Member

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    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.
     
  11. 7.62shooter

    7.62shooter Member

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    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.
     
  12. JImbothefiveth

    JImbothefiveth Member

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    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.

    Why is that? If it's because of magazine capacity, I believe you can get 5 round magazines for an AK.

    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.
     
  13. TAB

    TAB Member

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    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.
     
  14. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    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.
     
  15. JLStorm

    JLStorm Member

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    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.
     
  16. gvnwst

    gvnwst Member

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    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.

    Coupla' words; .458 Socom.
    :D
     
  17. JImbothefiveth

    JImbothefiveth Member

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  18. JLStorm

    JLStorm Member

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    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.
     
  19. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    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.
     
  20. JImbothefiveth

    JImbothefiveth Member

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    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.)
     
  21. maclean

    maclean Member

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    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
     
  22. bgeddes

    bgeddes Member

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    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.
     
  23. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    I would get the AR15.

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

    JWarren Member

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    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
     
  25. onebigelf

    onebigelf Member

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    I'd go with the AR. You can load heavier bullets for hunting and single feed them for improved performance on deer.

    John
     
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