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Ar-15 as handy as a shotgun?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by walking arsenal, May 24, 2012.

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  1. walking arsenal

    walking arsenal Member

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    I was just struck by a major epiphany.

    A 20" barreled A2 AR-15 is only one inch longer than an 18.5 inch barreled shotgun.

    Lose the flash suppressor and they are very close to the same length.

    Bushmaster XM-15E2S
    http://www.bushmaster.com/catalog_military_MCWA3S20.asp

    Remington 870 tactical
    http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/shotguns/model-870/model-870-express-tactical.aspx

    That makes it odd then that we call shotguns "nice and handy for home defense" while at the same time advising everyone that we have to cut down our AR-15s to 16" barreled carbines to make them maneuverable.

    No doubt a 16" barreled rifle is easier to move in a hall than a 20" but it looks to me, judging by the numbers, that a 20" is just fine.

    Calibers and gauges aside, has anyone else ever noticed this?
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  2. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    The reason we say to chop it down is because 16" is handier than 20" (or 14.5" if you have a 1.5" muzzle adaption). The smaller you go, the handier it is (up to a point).

    Personally, I think an AR-15 is a better self defense weapon than a shotgun. And yet, I own a shotgun. It's not hypocritical - I have reasons which make the shotgun much more practical for my situation, and the shotgun is still very good.
     
  3. jon86

    jon86 Member

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    "Handiness" is very subjective. I think most shotguns are handier than most AR's. A well fitted shotgun "jumps" to the shoulder quickly and almost effortlessly. There are several qualities of an AR that I don't find very handy when compared to a shotgun. A shotgun's receiver seems more trim than an AR's. The pistol grip is protruding on an AR. I guess for me, shouldering a shotgun is more ingrained in my muscle memory than shouldering an AR. But again, it's all subjective. It's not that an AR is NOT handy, but trimmer, simpler designs are handier. I think a slim trim lever gun is more handy than a shotgun. Overall length of the weapon is not the only factor for me when considering handiness.
     
  4. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Member

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    A rifle is a good defensive weapon but the wound that buckshot makes at very close range is devastating. I think that is a main reason (as well as reliability/ease of use) why a scatter gun is recommended for HD use.
     
  5. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Fatcat, have you seen the wound profiles from rifle cartridges? It offers a very different approach than buckshot, you get one giant hole instead of 9 little ones.

    I should also point out that scatterguns are no more "reliable" and "easy to use" than a rifle. You still have to aim, and shotguns are not without reliability issues (many due to training of the user).
     
  6. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    The more extras you add to either one the less handy they become.

    A no frills 16 inch carbine and a no frills 4 shot traditional pump shotgun are both very fast.

    You get into magazine extemtions and flashlights and other such on a shotgun you lose a lot of the speed to the shoulder. The extra weight is all out at the end of the barrel.

    You can counteract that somewhat on an AR by mounting a flashlight further back on the receiver.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  7. walking arsenal

    walking arsenal Member

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    The handiness of anything drops when start screwing stuff to it. Talking barrel length though.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  8. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    I've never seen the "handiness" touted as an advantage of a non-SBS shotgun.

    I thought it was mostly that they were cheap, and each round of buckshot is pretty devastating at close range, and they are pretty easy to get from a non-chambered state into a chambered ready-to-fire state if that is your method of storage.

    A 5.56 from across the room distance will also be... "devastating". Also as noted, the average 16" AR15 is shorter, lighter, and contains 30 rounds instead of ~8. And since I've personally had terrible luck with shotgun reliability, it all adds up to AR for this guy, between the two.
     
  9. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Member

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    I did not know .223 made a 3/4 inch entry hole and 9-15 separate wound channels. (and I an aware of the temporary stretch cavity that .223 makes) I also think that the shotgun has the advantage when you hit places other than center mass.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  10. walking arsenal

    walking arsenal Member

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    That has nothing to do with the maneuverability of barrel lengths either. Try to stay with the topic.

    Also, I've never seen a shotgun that holds 30 rounds.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  11. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    For quick handling I still find the shotgun more comforting. Say what you will, but while it still has to be aimed, a shotgun does NOT take the precision aiming that a rifle does. You shoulder it, get a quick bead on the target and pull the trigger. I've shot enough ducks and done other wingshooting to know that I can hit all sorts of stuff with a shotgun that I couldn't DREAM of hitting with my AR15.

    Also, it may be a product of my upbringing (I shot my first shotgun at 5 years old - I was 17 before I shot a rifle and 21 before I fired a handgun), but a shotgun just feels a lot more natural in the hand - particularly compared to an AR which I've never much liked the ergonomics of.

    Overall, the only places to me where a shotgun suffers are capacity and range. Neither is particularly a big issue in HD scenarios.

    Put simply - if I'm going to war - give me the AR - for home defense, I'll always take a good shotgun.
     
  12. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Member

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    Waking, if you let 30 rounds go in a hd shooting I hope you play golf with the DA. As noted by others a shotgun shoulders fast, aims fast, and and can put down almost anything that lives conus.
    OP are we talking about oh snap someone just kicked in the door or room clearing baghdad style?
     
  13. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Fatcat, the thing is, the shotgun makes all those little holes. The rifle round has enough velocity to actually cause a very wide wound tract which is stretched far beyond the .223 caliber. This picture illustrates how a .223 works when it hits a target. Yes, you get one hole instead of 9, but it's a much bigger hole, and you have much faster follow-up shots with a .223 than you do with a 12-gauge.

    Mgmorden, at 10 feet (self defense ranges), you're likely to get maybe a 2-4" pattern, depending on specific load. It isn't the cone of death you think it to be. You're also hunting with birdshot, which holds lots of pellets and patterns throughout. With 00-buck, probably the most popular self defense shell, you have 9 pellets. If the pattern is such that you'll hit within a cone, you're only going to hit with one or less pellets.

    For HD, I do believe a rifle is better than a shotgun. The disadvantages of a rifle are cost, and where you can practice with them. Personaly preference or "what I'm used to" aside, that's pretty much it.
     
  14. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    Just get a Mini-14.
     
  15. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    Handier, IHMO.
    Actually, it does this:

    [​IMG]

    You'll barely notice the recoil compared to 12 gauge, and they'll be 29 more in the magazine. .223s aren't shotguns, but they're nothing to sneeze at.
     
  16. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

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    No.
    The ergonomics are completely different. And then add the noise and blast factor and there is a reason the 12ga shotgun occupies the premier place for long guns outside of the military.
     
  17. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Member

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  18. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Like we said, we're not denying the power of the 12-gauge. But we are saying you shouldn't deny the power of the .223. It's not your grandpa's .22.
     
  19. Hypnogator

    Hypnogator Member

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    To paraphrase our much-loved (pun intended) former President, "It depends on what the meaning of the word handy is." :rolleyes:

    Most of my shotguns are lighter than my ARs. Comparing one of my AR-15s with my Ithaca 37 featherweight 18 1/8" HD shotgun, although overall length is very similar the shotgun is much lighter. Lighter translates to less inertia to move quickly, if necessary, and therefore faster on target. Therefore, the shotgun is handier. :cool:

    At HD distances, you're going to be pointing and shooting anyway, so there really isn't any difference in sight acquisition. The recoil of the shotgun is quite a bit greater, so followup shots are faster with the AR, but I've never heard of anyone absorbing a charge of 00 Buck at close range and needing a followup hit to disable them. Followup shots have however, been necessary with 5.56/.223 hits. :uhoh:
     
  20. walking arsenal

    walking arsenal Member

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    None of the above. We're talking about how all these years we've called 18" barreled shotguns fast and pointable while at the same time calling 20" barreled AR-15s clunky and unwieldy when, in actuality, they are very close to the same length.

    You're the one who wanted to build a straw man and debate calibers and home defense scenarios.
     
  21. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Member

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    Thats because they are fast and pointable, they have a simple manual of arms, and are more snag free. I was pointing out that there is more to it than what you listed. If what you say is true we would have stopped using shotguns and switched to our ARs and AKs 30 years ago.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  22. walking arsenal

    walking arsenal Member

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    It is true. Check the links if you don't believe me. 39.5" (AR-15) - 38.5" (Shotgun) equals a 1" difference.

    And shotguns are going out of vogue. A lot of police departments are switching from shotguns to ARs and they are becoming a lot more common place in the home as well do to their softer recoil and lower penetration on interior walls.

    I don't ever see shotguns fading out of existence though. There will always be a call for their abilities and they definitely fill the niche for cheap home defense arms.
     
  23. Panzercat

    Panzercat Member

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    The AR-Shotgun would like to say "Hi!"
    In a convenient .410 package too.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. flyskater

    flyskater Member

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    Here's a 30 round shotgun, I do prefer a 20 round drum though.

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    When you start using detachable magazines, the shotgun becomes significantly less weildy than an AR. Standard saiga drum mags for 12-ga are 20 shells, for .410 are 30. You can get 100-round drums for .223, and they're smaller.

    Similarly, you can only get 4-5 shells in a magazine the size of a 30-round .223 magazine. When you get an 8 shell magazine for the Saiga, it's like carrying a camera around with the tripod attached. I personally think that a shotgun is easiest to use with no pistol grip and a tube magazine. 7+1+1 beats 4+1 in a reasonably sized package in my book, and the tube-fed is easier to top off.
     
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