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Shotgun vs Rifle for HD?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by bg226, Jul 22, 2007.

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  1. bg226

    bg226 Member

    Apr 27, 2006
    What is your opinion on shotgun vs rifle for HD?
  2. Titan6

    Titan6 member

    Feb 7, 2007
    Gillikin Country
    Sorry. Which rifle? Which shotgun? What kind of house?
  3. ancient_philosophy

    ancient_philosophy member

    Jun 17, 2007
    for many reasons, a 12GA with 00buck is better for HD than a rifle

    A: overpenetration
    B: wider coverage of target
    C: instant AIT (average incapacitation time)

    get a Rem 870 pump the "HD MODEL".......most have one bedside.

    it has to be 1000 to 1 of people who have shotgun bedside over rifle........obvious choice.
  4. rdaines

    rdaines Member

    Jun 18, 2007
    St. Charles County, Missouri/ Pinal County, AZ
    This has been discussed before, my take away is that a shotgun is good but deciding which ammo is up for discussion. Rifles can be a viable option so long as the over penetration issue is addressed. Some folks say that the AR platform is .223 is an acceptable HD rifle, especially in a carbine version.
  5. SaMx

    SaMx Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    back and forth between PA and VA
    look in the library stickied at the top of this page.
  6. eliphalet

    eliphalet Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    Usually when I ride my H-D and I want to cary it is a revolver
  7. -gunut-

    -gunut- Member

    Jun 22, 2007
    IMO a 12ga rules in close quarters. It will not overpenetrate as much with the right load and cannot be beat in knock down power.

    If you HAD to be shot with one...which would it be?
    Choose wisely then pick the latter for defense!


    A .223 HP round


    9 9mm's hitting your torso in the size of a fist.

    I choose shotty for close quarters.

  8. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Minnesota - nine months of ice and snow...three mo
    For home defense...any gun is better than no gun.

    That out of the way, the "BEST" gun all depends on you, your house and your situation. If you are an experienced deer hunter and you live in a rural setting, your deer rifle and some handy reloads are probably a great choice.

    If you are a regular trap shooter, the 18.5" barrel version of your favorite trap gun loaded with #4 or buckshot would be deadly to any intruder.

    If you shoot competitive pistol, your competitive pistol with any backup rifle handy for long-term engagements would be a great plan.

    If you only have a few hundred dollars for one gun...a Mosin Nagant or an SKS can defend your property...but be sure to include the fact that the standard full-metal-jacket bullets travel VERY FAR in your plans. Maybe a nice Rem 870 shotgun would be a better investment for HD.

    In the most simplistic terms:
    City - pistol or shotgun
    Suburbs - pistol, shotgun or .223
    Rural - pistol, shotgun AND RIFLE for sure.

    And I personally believe all of the above should have a high power rifle back up for:
    A. Pro-Active Self-defense
    B. Getting more folks into high-power rifle competitions

    A $99 Mosin Nagant now can handle pretty much anything. That price WILL rise. While other guns are always available.

    I suggest you buy a lot of guns. Now. While you still can.

    And tell your friends and neighbors to buy and shoot guns as well. Then we may just get past this "shotgun vs. rifle" debacle and every American citizen will just own both and use when applicable.
  9. Monkeybear

    Monkeybear Member

    Jan 27, 2006
    If you are a rifle man get a rifle.
    If you are a shotgun man get a shotgun.
    If you can shoot both well then it doesn't really matter.
    If you can shoot neither well then it doesn't really matter.
  10. Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey member

    Jun 26, 2006
    I hear those super light ar15 carbines with the pencil thin 16" barrel are great for home defense because they are so light and easy to maneuver with.

    My ideal home defense weapon would be a short 8" barreled Saiga 12 semi auto shotgun with 5 or 8 round mags. Though, I have a WASR 10 AK and feel fine with that. A short barreled rifle like a 10.5" colt commando would be nice if you can get those NFA weapons where you live but I suspect the blast and flash would be quite vicious and may put you in a tactical disadvantage.
  11. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 25, 2002
    Down East in NC
    Depends on what you like to shoot the most, which will determine how competent you are with it.

    Personally, I don't really like shotguns (and hence, don't own one), which is why I'd go with a .223 and fragile JHP's for the HD role over a shotgun. But if you enjoy shooting shotguns, by all means go that route. Both will serve you equally well if you are competent with them.
  12. Rexster

    Rexster Member

    Mar 25, 2007
    SE Texas
    Are you shooting the HD itself, or the outlaw biker riding the HD? It is generally easier to find rifle ammo that will penetrate into the vitals of the HD, though the hard-core Brenneke shotgun slugs will penetrate admirably. If you are forced to quickly deploy the weapon while inside your vehicle, as when the HD rider is in a fit of road rage, a handgun might be preferable to either rifle or shotgun at that moment in time, though a long gun is better for continuing the engagement once your vehicle is stopped.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2007
  13. JonB

    JonB Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    For me: When the zombies come stumbling towards my house, I'll pick 'em off with my AR from a distance. Then if they happen to get inside, my Benelli 12ga with 1 shot or 00 buckshot. Then I still have a Glock 10mm and a XD-9 to finish them off. Whew! need cold one after that - killing zombies makes a guy thirsty.

    Seriously though, get what you are comfortable with. If you are better with a pistol, get one. If you like rifles, use one. If you are handy with a shotgun, that's your answer. Usual caveats of over penetration apply.
  14. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

    Sep 8, 2005
    A pistol is the easiest to keep handy. It's the hardest to shoot accurately.

    A shotgun is the most devastating if fired at an intruder. It shouldn't be used very well if there's hostage or other family member near line of fire. It also tends to have a lot of flash, blast, sound and recoil.

    A rifle has the most precise aim and longest range, and can sustain faster accurate fire, but it is generally the most unwieldy -- with some exceptions of course.

    Depends on which you want.
  15. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Richmond, VA
    Whichever one you have the most training and experience with. I'll take the shotgun every time.
  16. fletcher

    fletcher Member

    May 19, 2004
    If I could only choose one or the other, I'd go with the standard 12ga with 00. I imagine it would be much more effective at the close ranges inside a house (5-30 feet).
  17. trstafford

    trstafford Member

    May 30, 2006
    (Olathe) Kansas City, KS
    12 ga first round #7 shot. It will not over penetrate walls if you are shooting across the room, if intruder is close it will clean his clock for good. If he is not smart enough to leave after that the next round of 00 should do the job.
  18. borrowedtime69

    borrowedtime69 Member

    Aug 5, 2005
    Denver CO area
    definately the shotgun. i rely on my Mossberg 20 ga Maverik and 000 buck, or #2 shot shells.
  19. nemoaz

    nemoaz member

    Oct 14, 2006
    Not an expert either.

    Both will do the job admirably, IMO. However, a Mossberg 500 or Remmy Express can be had for $200-300. An AR15 is probably going to run 3 times that.
  20. Clipper

    Clipper Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Mt. Morris, MI.
    I like my Hi-Point carbine. It's shorter than any full-stock short barreled shotgun, 10 rounds of 115 gr HP 9mm should be sufficient with little chance of overpenetration, the gun has been 100% reliable from day one, and if someone is using my wife as a shield and has a knife to her throat and for some reason I MUST shoot, and I only have a couple of inches clearance to put one between his eyes, a spreading column of shot does me no good at all. And if it ever becomes necessary, it has easily twice the effective range of a shotgun with non-slug loads. And it retails for less than $200.00
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2007
  21. 22LongRifle

    22LongRifle Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    Southern Illinois
    My wife and daughter would go for the Hipoint 9mm carbine or 10/22.

    I would go for my 590 12ga.

  22. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Aug 11, 2005
    Elbert County, CO
    The shotgun is going to be all-around more friendly to you, your family and your neighbors in terms of noise, flash and penetration while still delivering a very lethal blow. Since very few criminals actually sport body armor, you should have no problem dropping them.

    A rifle fired in the confines of a house is almost certainly going to cause permanent hearing damage to you and anyone else in the room. And while some of the small caliber, high velocity rounds tend to actually penetrate less than handgun rounds, most rifle cartridges will exit your home with considerable energy.

    That said, I keep both handy. My primary HD firearm is a S&W 1006 10mm, but I keep a Remington 11-87 police loaded with 00 Buck and an Armalite AR-10 carbine with 150 gr. ball in it and spare mags with a variety of loads from 110 grain V-maxes to 162 grain AP rounds.

    And before anyone asks the million dollar question, the answer is that I couldn't think of a good reason NOT to.
  23. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 25, 2002
    Down East in NC
    No more than a shotgun, given similar barrel length.



    .410 Bore
    28" barrel...............150dB
    26" barrel...............150.25dB
    18" barrel...............156.30dB

    20 Gauge
    28" barrel...............152.50dB
    22" barrel...............154.75dB

    12 Gauge
    28" barrel...............151.50dB
    26" barrel...............156.10dB
    18" barrel..............161.50dB


    .223, 55gr. Commercial load 18 _" barrel.....155.5dB
    .243 in 22" barrel...........................155.9dB
    .30-30 in 20" barrel.........................156.0dB
    7mm Magnum in 20" barrel.....................157.5dB
    .308 in 24" barrel...........................156.2dB
    .30-06 in 24" barrel.........................158.5dB
    .30-06 in 18 _" barrel.......................163.2dB
    .375 — 18" barrel with muzzle brake...........170 dB


    .25 ACP...........155.0 dB
    .32 LONG..........152.4 dB
    .32 ACP...........153.5 dB
    .380..............157.7 dB
    9mm...............159.8 dB
    .38 S&W...........153.5 dB
    .38 Spl...........156.3 dB
    .357 Magnum.......164.3 dB
    .41 Magnum........163.2 dB
    .44 Spl...........155.9 dB
    .45 ACP...........157.0 dB
    .45 COLT..........154.7 dB

    There doesn't seem to be a huge difference between shotgun, pistol, and rifle noise levels, although the sound spectrum is undoubtedly different. There is a correlation with caliber (e.g., .30-06 is louder than .223 and .357 is considerably louder than 9mm or .45). There's a tight correlation with barrel length (shorter is louder for any given caliber), but less correlation with velocity. For all the 7.62x39mm shooters out there, I'd assume the sound levels would be about the same as .30-30, which it resembles.

    For those who don't grok decibels, it's a logarithmic scale (usually log10); a 3dB difference equals twice the radiated acoustic energy, and a 10dB difference is ten times the radiated acoustic energy. The ear perceives a 10dB difference as a doubling in volume, and IIRC the average person can just barely distinguish a 1dB difference. A car interior at highway speeds is 60-70 dB, a vacuum cleaner in the 80's to 90dB, I think, for perspective.

    The upshot is, if you have to shoot in self-defense in an HD situation, you will probably suffer some degree of hearing damage, and pretty much any effective choice (carbine, shotgun, pistol) is equally likely to cause such damage, sans suppressor. But if low probability of hearing damage were the primary criterion for choosing an HD gun, we'd all be using .22 carbines with subsonic ammo.

    A loaded brick-and-mortar exterior wall will stop most intermediate caliber rifle rounds (and our house is brick), but when I keep a carbine for HD, I load it with lightweight JHP's anyway. I'll trade a little gelatin penetration for less wall penetration in that caliber (which is the same tradeoff a shotgunner would be making in situations in which wall penetration were a concern).

    I don't dispute that the shotgun is an HD weapon par excellence, but I would argue that given intelligent load selection, a .223 carbine can also be.
  24. patentmike

    patentmike Member

    May 23, 2004
  25. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    May 26, 2007
    While the shotgun has it's place I prefer a 16" barreled AR-15 with a telescoping stock. It is much lighter and shorter than most shotguns and can be used with one hand like a handgun if necessary. Recoil is virtually non-existant while a shotgun with slugs or buckshot has recoil in the 300 magnum range. Birdshot has no place in a self defense gun. I often see people reccomend a shotgun to a beginner, but they would never reccomend a 300 magnum to a beginning hunter because of recoil.

    Some are concerned about over penetration from rifle rounds. A 30-30 or other hunting rounds may be a problem, but with good hollowpoint bullets the .223 round will penetrate walls less than buckshot or most handgun rounds.

    A shotgun still has to be aimed just as a rifle. At typical self defense ranges the pattern will only be a few inches.

    The shotguns main advantages are that it is more versatile and easier for many to use. They are also much cheaper. A quality shotgun can be had for a fraction of what a quality AR will cost.
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