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Shotgun or AR for Home Defense

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by rav373, Aug 1, 2013.

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  1. rav373

    rav373 Member

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    Came across this article on the shotgun vs ar - shotgun vs AR for home defense

    I've carried both while in the military, but favored more of the SG in the urban setting.

    Wanted to find out what you all think about this?

    Now that I'm out and want to have my own shotgun. But gotta find something that my wife can handle as well.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    Inside a house, the Shotgun.

    There are many many threads here on THR on this very topic. A quick search might answer your question faster and with less drama :).

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  3. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The AR does everything better indoors or out, except cost. There is a reason LE and the military are dumping shotguns in favor of the AR.

    A shotgun loaded with buckshot has about 25-30 ft lbs recoil vs about 5 lbs for an AR.

    A shtogun has 5-8 shots vs 20-30 with an AR.

    A shotgun, even with the shortest legal barrel is longer, heavier and more combersome

    Buckshot is MORE likely to overpenerate and cause injuries in other rooms than 223 softpoint ammo

    Both rounds are equal in stopping performance

    The shotguns only real advantage is a pattern spread making hits easier. At indoor ranges the patterns are so small as to negate this advantage. Might as well shoot a single projectile.

    http://www.gunsandammo.com/2012/02/10/long-guns-short-yardage-is-223-the-best-home-defense-caliber/
     
  4. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    Same answer as always - use what you have that you are best at using.

    If you think something else that you don't have is better for the job, GET GOOD AT USING IT before you adopt it for HD.

    People like to spend time playing with catalogs and magazine articles and fantasies about this hardware or that hardware or some other hardware. People don't like to spend time in classes and on the range, skull sweating and physically sweating to learn and practice new skills. That's why there are 1000 times as many threads on "what firearm/accessories/kewl stuff to buy" as there are on training and practice. Skill doesn't come in a box or a blister pack.

    When I left the special operations community, they were yammering something like "Humans are more important than hardware." Wonder why they would say that, with all the kewl toys snake eaters get to play with? Hmmmm?

    A dedicated home defense firearm should be chosen for/fitted to the smallest and least accomplished shooter who might have to use it. A bigger/more accomplished shooter can adapt to the firearm as needed.

    A firearm is the LAST line of home defense. Make sure everything else is taken care of as well - harden your home, get an alarm/dog, etc. Make sure everyone USES the outer layers of security always. Your home doesn't have to be Fort Knox - it just has to be a harder target than the houses close by.

    Mindset. Skillset. Toolset. IN THAT ORDER. See to it...

    And stay safe!
     
  5. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    00 buck will penetrate walls easier than 223, so if penetration is a concern of yours, that might be a factor to consider. The recoil from a 12 is a LOT more than an AR, for your wife, that might be an issue. Reloading during an incident - many find an AR easier to do under stress

    YOU need to decide what will work best in YOUR particular situation
     
  6. 9mmfan

    9mmfan Member

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    Yes.:cool: Keep your finger off the trigger, tho...
    1034F934-3457-4B24-89C6-633995E0E3A8-11943-00000903FCC2795A_zps64d2bd84.jpg
     
  7. yzguy87

    yzguy87 Member

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    ^^^^ I couldn't resist!

    Wow that's old school! Now we have things like forward assist, dust covers, optics mounted in place of the permanent carry handle, quad rails with lots of gizmos and oh yes... let's not forget the new and improved saiga 12 master key:cool:
     
  8. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    20 ga. shotgun is no slouch.
     
  9. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    Right. It could be a 12 or 20 ga shotgun, AR, AK, M-1 Carbine, .357 Levergun, etc. Whatever fits in your budget that you can run most intuitively. Until recently, I relied primarily on a Mossberg 590 for home protection. Now it is either a 16" AR or an M-1 carbine. I switched primarily because the AR and M-1 are shorter in overall length, have less kick and allow for easier followup shots for me. But it is a close call for me, inside a home there isn't much out there that is more potent shot-per-shot than a 12 gauge loaded with 00 (basically 9 .33 caliber lead balls per trigger pull).
     
  10. MaterDei

    MaterDei Member

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    Get what you like, you can't go wrong with either.
     
  11. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    A 12-gauge #4 buck "tactical" load is frequently 21 .23cal pellets (vs. the usual 28 count load).
    A STANDARD 20-gauge #3 buck shell (available just about anywhere buckshot is sold) will be 20 .25cal pellets. The difference in DIAMETER is pretty meaningless, but it makes each pellet ~15% heavier - 23 point something grains instead of 20 point something. The velocity is equivalent, and the difference between 20 holes and 21 holes is probably insignificant. For that matter, there's not much difference between 20 holes and 28. Would you miss the extra pellets if you already had 20 in you?

    Mas Ayoob has expressed his opinion on this point (12 vs 20 gauge). His book on tactical shotgun is short, well reasoned, well written, and "must read".

    Your wife can handle a well-fitted 20-gauge, I'm sure. Don't sell her short. My Walmart has "youth model" Remington 870 (21" bbl, 13" lop) 20 gauges in the case, and I wouldn't feel the least bit underarmed with one.
     
  12. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    We used to customize 20 gauge 870's with a 2 round extension tube when I moonlighted restoring stocks at a LGS in College.
     
  13. MattShlock

    MattShlock Member

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    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
  14. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    You post in the shotgun forum you'll get shotgun answers. But the AR-15 has advantages for home defense. The rounds are better able to fragment, the platform is more suited to mounting lights and other devices, the recoil is exponentially less allowing for much faster followup shots, the round hits with fantastic effect at close range, and the carbine size AR's are easier to wield in interior spaces. Shotguns are OK, but they're not as good.
     
  15. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    I think both are top notch choices for home defense. A lot is going to depend on your individual circumstances and training. In my experience, the AR15 is easiest for novices to make good hits with under time stress.

    I'd feel good with either one as long as soft body armor wasn't a concern.
     
  16. jrdolall

    jrdolall Member

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    For a well trained person the AR15 is probably better. For a "novice" or a person that doesn't shoot regularly(which is most people) then the shotgun is going to be easier to use. Either one is going to be more than sufficient for HD. If you go outside the confines of the home then the advantages of the AR really come into play.
    I don't know that recoil will play a huge factor in an HD situation for a couple of reasons. The shooter will be pumped up on adrenaline and won't notice the recoil much. You absolutely CANNOT duplicate this with normal civilian training because the adrenaline factor just isn't there. I guess follow up shots are quicker with the AR compare to a pump shotgun but at HD ranges in a confined area I wonder how many follow up shots with a shotgun are likely? I have no facts to base that question on but it seems that follow ups would be limited and, hopefully, the intruder will be either severely wounded or hauling their butt out of the area after the first shot.
    Once again, for a person with decent training the AR is probably better but a person with minimal range time is probably better off with a shoot-gun. PS I use a shotgun.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013
  17. Doug S

    Doug S Member

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    "Like"

    This is as good of an answer as you will find.
     
  18. DNS

    DNS Member

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    If your wife's like mine with firearms, the simpler the better. A SxS 20 gauge is what I'd suggest or even a .410 if she's really petite like my daughter and nowadays there's some fantastic .410 defense loads available too.

    My wife is simply confused and not interested in my AR.
     
  19. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    You absolutely CANNOT duplicate this with normal civilian training because the adrenaline factor just isn't there.

    How much 'normal civilian training' have you had, jrdolall? With whom?
     
  20. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    On the magpul dynamics shotgun DVD Costa and Haley make the exact opposite assertion. If you are trying to be truly proficient then I'd agree with them that an AR is easier to get good with.

    If you are talking about simply being able to pick the gun up and fire it, then there is not a huge difference. I'd still give a reliable AR the nod. It has lower recoil, and more rounds. Keeping a shotgun fed is a skill that takes work to develop.

    My experience has been that new shooters have an easier time doing the basics with an AR than with a shotgun.


    I think either is up to it if the shooter is. I'd be comfortable with either. I like both and I like to train with both. However, these days my preference is the AR.

    The shotgun only has two real advantages IMHO. A quality shotgun can be purchased for less than a quality AR. Although they types of shotguns I prefer are not that much cheaper. I'd rather have a $150 pardner pump and a spent $800 on training than have a $1000 AR and no training. Now many people could buy the AR and get training. I really hate when people act like training and a more expensive fun are per se mutually exclusive. If they are exclusive for someone then I'd look at the cheaper gun.

    The second advantage is terminal ballistics. The terminal ballistics of a 5.56 or 300 BLK are nothing to sneeze at, but having seen what a shotgun with appropriate ammo can do at close range, its impressive.
     
  21. jrdolall

    jrdolall Member

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    Well I wasn't aware that "normal civilian training" required classes with qualified instructors. Of all the gun owners in the USA how many of them would you say have had extensive training with qualified firearms instructors? 2% MAYBE? The fact is that the vast majority of gun owners that own a gun for self defense or home defense DO NOT have any training beyond what is required to get their permit. Where I live all the training needed to get a CC permit is that you can fill out a form at the Sheriff's office. You don't have to own a gun or prove that you know how to figure out what bullet fits. If you live in AL then you understand.
    Most training, if any, is done at the range shooting at paper or steel targets. Straight down an alley at a stationary target while wearing, maybe, eye protection and ear muffs. If you think that "training" prepares anyone for the challenge of dealing with an armed intruder in the middle of the night then that is your call.
    My training started 50 years ago shooting squirrels and rabbits for food then moved up to shooting deer and other larger game. I have been "trained" by DEA agents at Fort Benning to shoot steel targets at 1000 yards. I have been "trained" by FBI agents on SD and gone through their courses in Birmingham(even have the badge). I have been "trained" by local gang force agents in Atlanta on how to handle home invasions.
    This training, which is far and above what "normal civilians" have, may give me an understanding of what to expect but it I have no illusions that it has prepared me to calmly stand my ground and take multiple shots at an armed intruder. What it has done is given me an understanding of tactics and equipment which is more than most and less than some. Adrenaline is something that can work for us or against us. I played college sports many years back so I understand how an adrenaline rush can affect me but my weapon back then was a helmet and my opponent had the exact same weapon. Shaking and sweating with butterflies while trying to shoot an intruder doesn't seem like the best plan.
    On a gun forum, and as a Mod you know this, we are dealing with the small percentage of people that actually have interest in firearms beyond just having one in the closet or for hunting. The other, and far larger, part of the gun owning population isn't really all that interested. They have a gun that they have in a closet and God forbid they actually need to use it one night. I get the idea that a large number of members on this forum, and others, are young kids that have 100% of their firearms "training" while sitting in front of an Xbox.
    The OP asked about a weapon that his wife can use. He is fresh out of the military and I assume she is not military. IMO a shotgun is a MUCH better choice for this situation. As we all know, opinions vary.
     
  22. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    Why is the heavier recoiling, more complicated gun, a better choice?

    Also when you say shotgun, are you talking about a particular type. Shotguns vary widely and each type comes with its own set of trade offs.
     
  23. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    jmr and Fred pegged it.

    If you can afford it, the AR is much easier to learn to use well, and is at least as effective with good ammo as a shotgun.

    Mr. Dolall, opinions may vary, but an educated opinion is considerably more valuable than an uneducated one.

    John
     
  24. jrdolall

    jrdolall Member

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    Nice one my THR friend! I appreciate your candor.
    Please explain how a platform with a removable magazine and normally having an adjustable stock with a mag release button that can cause problems for the novice, which apparently I AM, is easier than a side by side shotgun or even a pump shotgun much less a semi that requires you to take it off safety and then pull the trigger. Take a new shooter out and hand them an AR and see how they react compared to a shotgun. The AR is much more complicated than a basic shotgun for a NOVICE shooter which was my point. Aiming an AR or any rifle takes practice to attain accuracy. Aiming a shotgun and having accuracy at 30 feet is pretty easy.
    You are speaking out of the mouth of a qualified gun enthusiast and thinking that all gun owners are should get, or even want, the same knowledge you have. That just ain't gonna happen and you thinking it or wishing it won't make it happen. I am addressing a person that I assume knows little about firearms and I stated my opinion albeit an uneducated opinion. Are all people whose opinion differs from yours "uneducated"? If so then MR Shirley you are not qualified to hold your title.
     
  25. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    The specific point I sought to address with my questions was this one:

    You absolutely CANNOT duplicate this [adrenalin] with normal civilian training because the adrenaline factor just isn't there.

    And as far as I can tell, the questions I asked as a result of reading that statement - How much 'normal civilian training' have you had, jrdolall? With whom? - weren't addressed. So let me try and explain further if I might.

    My somewhat limited experience with what I would define as "normal civilian training" has shown that a good instructor, working with students in a normal 'flat range' class, can indeed induce significant amounts of stress. I've seen students in shotgun classes get the galloping shakes bad enough to fumble shotguns shells in a reload, forget to run the bolts in pumpguns, short-stroke, load the wrong ammo when a specific load is called for, and produce all sorts of other fumbles. Seems to me the class environment (essentially performing in public, which is THE most stress inducing thing on the list) gets a certain number of folks all wound up to begin with, and then the increasingly complicated tasks the instructor calls for does the rest.

    I'll let someone else who trained with my favorite shotgun Yoda (Louis Awerbuck) offer an opinion:

    This was the second Awerbuck course for me, and it still amazes me how the guy can totally fluster bruisers twice his size on the line. He'll start yelling out pretty simple instructions and they'll start flailing. I joked with him about it this time, and he laid it primarily on the fact that a lot of shooters grow used to shooting on their own, or informally with buddies, and just can't hack the sudden pressure. I (occasionally) shoot DCM High-Power, and remember getting the whim-whams the first couple of times until growing used to being barked at and working within strict time limits. If you haven't tried competitive shooting yet, it might prove useful. -- http://www.no-treason.com/archived-site/laissezfirearm/shotgun.htm

    Is shooting a class as much pressure as having to fight for your life? No, it isn't. But it's a taste of the poison. In fact the piled higher and deeper folks (aka PhDs) sometimes refer to that sort of thing as stress inoculation:

    stress inoculation
    Type: Term
    Definitions:
    1. in clinical psychology, an approach intended to provide patients with cognitive and attitudinal skills that they can use to cope with stress.
    (http://www.medilexicon.com/medicaldictionary.php?t=44758)

    "Cognitive and attitudinal skills." Gee. Sounds just like what I learned in gun skool...

    The (normal civilian) defensive firearms training industry is well aware of the concept of stress inoculation, and applies it deliberately. For instance, see the article at http://www.bluesheepdog.com/improve-department-firearms-training/ .
     
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