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HD in suburban environment: AR15 vs Shotgun

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Creature, Aug 12, 2017.

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  1. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Either one will work fine if you are familiar with the weapon. I am very familiar with both, the AR thanks to Uncle Sugar, and the 12 ga. pump due to a constantly malfunctioning 1100. (Bought an 870 to correct that, though it did get me started gunsmithing.) I currently don't own an AR, but if I did, I would have no qualms about using it for HD. As it is, I have an Ithaca 37 for that role, plus which ever of my handguns I CCW.

    Deanimator, time to look at a Shockwave or Tac-14....
     
  2. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Me too.:)
    But what about this - my wife as just as handy with an AR or a shotgun as I am. And she's even handier with a revolver. So in the case of a home invasion, one of us could grab a shotgun, the other an AR, and we could both strap on handguns as backups. It seems to me that we'd have all the bases covered. Especially when you consider the fact that we live out in the country and have an alarm system - a very noisy Cocker Spaniel (Ruger) with great ears that yells at every little sound he doesn't recognize, and even some he does! :D

    Seriously Creature, who is it that's not responsible for where their shots end up?
     
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  3. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    It's funny how some get upset, or get their feelings hurt, when others disagree with them. Especially when it comes to their of firearms for a specific task.
    It all comes down to personal choice.
    Now personal choice is brought about in different ways. Experience with, or lack of, is a big contributing factor. Then there is cost of new equipment and money and time to train. But then some choices are based on lack of information. Then it could be that it's the newest cool thing to have. Or fantasy may have a part to play.
    But most often the choice is never made on personal experience. How many homes or buildings have you ever had to clear and what weapon system did you use? How many times have you had to defend your home from an intruder or invaders?
    Oh! The fight will bo over in 2 to 4 rounds. Tell that to the Sherif Deputy in Louisiana that was staying the night at his new girlfriends house. Her divorce had just been settled that day in court. Her Ex husband kicked in the front door that night ready for a fight and to kill her and her boyfriend. The Deputy was in the kitchen, his duty rig close by. To make a long story short, over 80 rounds were fired and the Deputy's new girlfriend will not be getting the alimony that the judge ordered. The home did need some repairs.
    Now when it comes to over penetration, remember this. The bad guy does not care about over penetration, but you should. Everyone's home is different so pick the ammo that will suit your weapon system and home the best.
    Next to my bed is a tomahawk and a snub nose 38 loaded with JHPs . There are two other guns close by and handy. 18" Remington 870 loaded with low recoil 00 buckshot and a AR-15 SBR loaded with 30 rounds of 55rg soft point.
    Whatever you use, be sure that you can operate it in the dark.
     
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  4. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    I've never seen a video of it, but I've read that some of those long range BPCR competitors attribute smaller groups at 200 yards than at 100 yards to that. They claim the bullet "settles down and goes to sleep" after a hundred yards or so.:)
     
  5. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    I think a 9mm carbine loaded with good SD ammo - like Federal HST or Winchester Ranger "T" Series, is a good alternative. There is less flash, less noise, the bullets have about the same terminal performance as 5.56 and if a 9mm projectile exits your house, it generally doesn't travel as far as a 5.56

    Some slugs necessarily don't over-penetrate an assailant's body. If you look at the Winchester 12ga Super-X slug, it only penetrates to around 14.50" and expands to 1.24" in ballistic gel.



    But it probably goes through walls and still retains a lot more energy than buckshot.

    Number 1 Buck is a better choice from a terminal ballistics standpoint than #00

    The Firearms Tactical Institute report recommends #1 Buck

    For personal defense and law enforcement applications, the International Wound Ballistics Association advocates number 1 buckshot as being superior to all other buckshot sizes.

    Number 1 buck is the smallest diameter shot that reliably and consistently penetrates more than 12 inches of standard ordnance gelatin when fired at typical shotgun engagement distances.

    A standard 2 ¾-inch 12 gauge shotshell contains 16 pellets of #1 buck. The total combined cross sectional area of the 16 pellets is 1.13 square inches. Compared to the total combined cross sectional area of the nine pellets in a standard #00 (double-aught) buck shotshell (0.77 square inches), the # 1 buck shotshell has the capacity to produce over 30 percent more potentially effective wound trauma. In all shotshell loads, number 1 buckshot produces more potentially effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck. In addition, number 1 buck is less likely to over-penetrate and exit an attacker's body.

    And from what I've seen of 4x denim gel testing with #4, I think its actually adequate for SD/HD applications. Most of the pellets end up around 14" with a few going deeper, and the shortest penetrating pellet at 11½"



    And a longer range test against bare gel:

     
  6. MarkDido

    MarkDido Member

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    You might want to re-check the name of this forum.
     
  7. Creature

    Creature Member

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    When I wrote the original post, I thought I had made it clear that this discussion was to consider all external variable to be equal (equal dwelling construction, equal proficiency and experience of the user with both platforms, equal proximity of innocent neighbors), and based on those assumptions, to objectively decide which platform is better suited for the role of HD weapon and to discuss the pros/cons of each.
     
  8. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    One number I found shows that a 12gauge with an 18" barrel is 161db and a .223 55gr with an 18" barrel is 155db. By comparison the same sharp puts a .38spl at 156db. So using those numbers, the AR and .38 are about the same. The added edge of using an AR is the ability to add a suppressor, if legal.
     
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  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    If you respected his experience and knowledge in that area, maybe it is you than needs to reconsider.

    If it was some other area, then just chalk it up to difference of opinion.
     
  10. Creature

    Creature Member

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    Hence my starting this post. I am listening, but so far, no one has offered anything that has even slightly swayed my current position in favor of the AR15 over a 12ga.
     
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  11. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    Thanks for the decibel data.

    Just from being at the range and firing next to ARs and shotguns, the AR has a sharper report, the shotgun is louder and has a thump to it - its like I can feel it in my bones when a shotgun goes off the next lane over. I thought a <.40 caliber, non-magnum handgun cartridge would be a lot less than either...
     
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  12. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    I would just stick with the AR if you want to. Nothing wrong with either a shotgun or an AR. I don't think anyone is going to be able to say one is definitively better because situations are too variable. There certainly may be situations where one or the other is better but no way to predict.

    If you go with the AR, I would use a 55g bullet at 3100 fps that is not a FMJ. If you go with the shotgun, I would use #1 Buckshot. No reason to keep overthinking it. Personal preference and situational variability make a definitive answer impossible. There is no reason for someone to convince you to use a shotgun, and there is no reason for you to convince someone to use an AR.

    This discussion is kind of like the old 9mm v. 45 ACP arguments people used to have.

    To some degree discussions like this are cyclical. I remember living through a period in the 80s when people said the 9mm was as good as the 45 ACP. Then we had a period in the 90 and early 2000s when the 45 ACP was supposed to better. Now we are back to a period where the 9mm is again favored.

    Similarly, shotguns used to be favored in law enforcement. Now law enforcement favors the AR. In 10 years, some even will occur and law enforcement will be back to thinking shotgun is best.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
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  13. Creaky_Old_Cop

    Creaky_Old_Cop Member

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    Capacity is a non issue. The shotgun can be fed continually as long as you have ammo. This is a training issue. If you are talking about continuity of fire, then the AR vs 12g is actually moot. If you accept that you will fight with what is in/on the gun, then a side saddle carrier on the 12g will allow you to run around 14 shots in a HD incident. Personally, I am not aware of any HD incident that ran to 14 rounds, especially if you are using effective ammo and getting your hits. Again...training.

    The AR will put holes in (through) people. The 12g with 00 or 000 buck will blow chunks of meat, bone, and **** off an intruder which will end up spattered all over walls, floors, and ceiling (Yes, I have seen it).

    The "accuracy potential" of the AR in a HD scenario versus the 12g are moot. Unless you live in a McMansion...realistically how far are you going to shoot. The longest distance in my house if 54 feet. At that range, my 1100 puts out a pattern the size of a softball.

    If you are using an AR, you need to compensate for rhe mechanical offset of the sight/barrel and again...training. The shotgun is more forgiving of the relative amateur than the AR will be. Good sights on the gauge will give you great accuracy potential in a more simple to run format for the "average" home defender.
     
  14. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Good points. But one point is a standard AR magazine has 30 rounds, right away. Little to no reason for a reload at the start, compared to a shotgun. I would wager that the majority of people who would use a shotgun would not train how to speed reload one on the fly, which is why extended tubes are popular.
     
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  15. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    You can also get a bullpup box-fed 12ga shotgun...

    You can get those 1.75" mini shells in some pretty interesting configurations now... 8 Pellets of #1 Buck Shot or 7 Pellets of #4 Buck Shot and 4 Pellets of #1 Buck Shot. Mixed Birdshot and Buck, you can get #3 Buckshot.

    I can't see a mix of #4 and #1 Buck not being effective., but no one makes an auto-loader that will cycle them.
     
  16. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    Neat! I estimated that the AR was much more. And I will start wearing electric muffs when bunny hunting with the twelve gauge. But I hope never to hear a gunshot in a building ever again.:)



    Really though fellow members, the more important issue is whether nine millimeter or fourty five auto is more effective.:D
     
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  17. wgp

    wgp Member

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    Ths is a comment related to the original post. Several comments here refer to a pump shotgun. In a couple of defensive shotgun classes I have taken the instructor noted that all but one student was using a pump 12, then said, All of you are carrying semi-auto handguns, which you clearly trust, so why are you all using pump shotguns? He demonstrated that although a pump can be quick, the semi-auto shotgun could put more pellets on target more quickly. My favorite defensive shotgun now is a semi-auto Mossberg 12, 18.5" barrel with extended mag tube.
     
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  18. entropy

    entropy Member

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    And I would counter with he doesn't have enough experience with a pump to realize that is only true when an inexperienced pump shooter is involved. Physically, a pump is faster, (if the operator is) than a semi, and pumping the action brings the barrel back down on line. I've shot the 1100 and 870 enough to know this. Inertia guns are faster than gas guns, however, and might be faster or as fast as a good pump shucker.
    Because there are no 12 ga. revolving shotguns, except the Street Sweeper. (And Rossis in .410 and 28 ga. ) And I don't 100% percent trust semi pistols, or else why practice malfunction drills?
     
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  19. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    Really? Capacity is a non issue? Wow.o_O
    Being that the AR can also be "fed continuously" but with 30X MORE ammunition on each reload, and less frequently than what the shotgun needs your assertion is bizarre in the very least. While training is vital, training to load one at a time vs a 30 round mag means you lose.

    Would you also consider a side by side or O/U shotgun to be equal to an AR in "continuity of fire"? After all, they can be "fed continuously" as well. Please. It's simple math: AR is 30 rounds vs a tube mag shotgun with no more than eight. The shotgun user will experience a devastating stop to his "continuity of fire vs the AR or AK user. A similar argument could be made comparing an AR vs a belt fed machine gun. Rounds don't have to hit to make you rethink how easy it is to reload under fire.

    I sure as heck think you have never really thought through the idea of using any pump or semi auto shotgun vs an AR or AK. Nor have you thought about the possibility of multiple assailants.



    Then you didn't read the post above where 80+ rounds were fired.

    If you DO plan on keeping a shotgun for home defense please don't plan on using one of those silly shotgun slings for your spare rounds.
     
  20. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    I too far prefer a semi automatic 12 gauge for home defense. I love the Mossberg 930 SPX Tactical, and agree with the instructor that it is a better platform than a pump for most shooters. I have been shooting shotguns for almost 40 years, and will occasionally short shuck a pump. I sure don't want that to happen in a gunfight. I have short shucked a pump more than I have seen semi autos jam.

    On the capacity issue, yea its kind of hard to argue against a 30 round mag, and there certainly instances where multiple shots may be needed, but most things will be handled well with 8 shots, and it is easy to pop more shells in a shotgun. You can reload a pump or autoloader quickly if needed. That said, I am sure no one in a fight ever wished they had less ammo.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  21. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have never lost a gunfight when I had a shotgun. If I were a betting man, I'd say neither have you. I'd also wager that you have never won one with an AR 15 so your opinion isn't based on experience.

    Not saying you are wrong or right and maybe the difference is worth yet another discussion but then again, maybe not.
     
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  22. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    Good post. To which I would add, beware of zealots who only see on right answer to a question.
     
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  23. entropy

    entropy Member

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    You are right; For someone staring with having never shot a shotgun before and wanting one for HD, autos are nice; I don't like the extra 'button' need for bolt hold open, personally, but easily learned usually. I prefer inertia guns (Benelli M2/ M1014) over gas guns due to bad early experiences with Remington 1100's, but the 930 is based on the Beretta 300, a good solid gas gun.

    So to surmise the findings thus far:
    AR:
    Pros; capacity, handy, range if needed. Many have familiarity with platform.
    Cons: possible overpenetration.

    Shotgun:
    Pros: Simple manual of Arms, powerful terminal ballistics (with correct ammo) Most have used at some point.
    Cons: Low capacity

    And to add my .02 to jmorris' post, I have had three incidents where I was armed. Didn't fire in any of them. One with a .30-06 742, one with a SxS shotgun, one a .357 revolver. I also had one incident where a single shot shotgun was pointed at me. I took their advice and left the AO. I would have done the same if it was an AR.

    Pick what you want and train with it. ;)
     
  24. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    So..........how many gunfights have you lost using an AR?:scrutiny:
    Based on that how is your experience more valid than the OP?

    Think about why police departments aren't issuing shotguns and why they are issuing AR's.
     
  25. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    The police department argument doesn't entirely hold up. Home defense scenarios are different from what police do.
     
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