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Which of these three guns for a new shooter?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Hal, Dec 6, 2012.

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  1. TAKtical

    TAKtical Member

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    If budget is no barrier, get an AR in .223/5.56 and buy a .22lr conversion. Learn how to shoot with a 22 because its cheap and less intimidating, then switch to the 5.56 upper so that you have something reasonable for home defense.
     
  2. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    I agree with my friend, Mr. Al Thompson~!
     
  3. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Watch the holiday sale papers for Marlin Model 60's and Ruger 10/22's.

    If they enjoy shooting, move up to the AR or shotgun.

    A lot of AR 22 uppers are ammo fincky, not something that builds confidence in a new shooter.
     
  4. Hal

    Hal Member

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  5. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    Here is why:

    There is nothing wrong with just a front bead sight. When you go through training, you are taught to focus on the front sight, and press the trigger. The bead sight is not in any way a drawback, and it is plenty precise for defense. As far as short-stroking? It is much easier to overcome (and fixed in a shorter amount of time) than issues posed by the other options.

    An AR has a learning curve. There are many different manipulations that must be known and at least practiced occasionally to be able to operate it well. When someone is thrust into a defensive scenario, you fall back on muscle memory - or you panic. If you have not had enough training, then you are in trouble, especially with the AR platform.

    So why not a .22? Rimfires are the most unreliable of modern firearms. That means if in a defensive situation a failure occurs, if the operator has not had enough practice or training (as the OP implies) there will be serious problems. *And I won't go into the issue of caliber here



    A shotgun is more or less the simplest to operate and is more reliable than either of the other two. If a malfunction does happen, 99% of the time it is easier to clear and get back on target than an AR or semi-auto rimfire.
     
  6. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Member

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    I'd take him to the range and let him shoot all three and decide.
     
  7. Hal

    Hal Member

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    And what if there is no training involved?
     
  8. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    The pump will be the easiest to clear if there is a malf under normal circumstances - also, firing the 223 indoors in a small room will put a major hurt on your ears - as in deafening; the lower pressure shotgun, while loud, tends to not burst ear drums. Using light target loads for practice and stokes with moderate HD loads, it should be able to be fired by him, his wife, and child over about 9 or 10. While a shotgun may have only a front bead, it really isn't necessary - pointing the shotgun at moving targets is about using your hands and eyes to guide the muzzle to the appropriate place - at HD distances, that should do nicely
     
  9. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    Then it is still easier to only focus on one sighting system than trying to line up aperture or open rear/blade front sights.

    Adding more just adds confusion. Asking someone who will not get enough practice or training to defend themselves with an AR is asking for trouble. It is just a bad choice.

    Asking someone who will not get training to defend themselves with a gun that is more prone to malfunctions than most any other (rimfire) is also foolish. A .22 revolver at least lets you skip to the next round with the pull of the trigger if you get a *click* instead of a *bang*. Not getting training in malfunction clearance is bad enough, not getting it when using a semi-automatic .22 is worse.
     
  10. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    If the choice is forced to be just one for all scenarios including defense, I'd go 870.

    For the novice it can be loaded with extra light target loads that would be easy on the shoulder. I like the 870 in plain riot gun format w/ 18.5" and a gold bead.

    The .22 is not going to work for defense, and the AR would not be my first choice for a novice tactical shooter for defense. Plus, down the road, other guns may be acquired but that 870 will always be a useful workhorse.

    Shortstroking is something that -does- happen. Range work buidls the muscle memory,
     
  11. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    How is an AR a worse choice than a shotgun as far as training is concerned? I'd also like to point out that a shotgun will STILL require training, especially if using just a single bead. You have to have the proper grip to aim with a bead.

    I'm still failing to see why the 870 is omg-easy and the AR is elite-only. If someone could enlighten me as to why the AR needs significantly more training, I'd appreciate it.
     
  12. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    An AR can malfunction in more ways than a pump shotgun. There is also much more weapon manipulation that goes on with the AR compared to a shotgun.

    Will the pump shotgun still require training to be proficient with? Sure, never said it didn't.

    I don't get why people think that a bead sight is hard to aim with?... Have you spent much time shooting with one? :rolleyes:
     
  13. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Of those three I'd choose the 870 for a never-before shooter, and there's why:

    It has nothing to do with purpose, though the 870 is an excellent HD weapon. It's about mode of operation. I think new shooters should learn with a firearm that requires them to do something manually to chamber the next round so they don't get used to press-bang-press-bang, and so on until the thing runs dry.

    Having to meaningfully and purposely start again from scratch before every round gets the job done right. It teaches in a very deliberate manner the things a shooter needs: stance, grip, sight alignment, sight picture, breath control, trigger control. It is the best way to create a disciplined shooter vice a spray and pray shooter.
     
  14. Isaac-1

    Isaac-1 Member

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    I say we need a LOT more information, type of home (apartment, free standing house, densely packed neighborhood, wood or brick walls, etc.) Also the size of the people operating the gun, a pump action 12 gauge can be hard to operate for a small framed female, it is simple physics, their arms are not long enough to properly cycle the action in the way it was designed to be used, this is something most can overcome with training, but that is another topic. The .22 is right out regardless, without this information, and assuming all uses can handle it my vote is an 870 properly fitted out with extended magazine, gun mounted light and probably a sight aiding device, I use a bright green light pipe fiber optic front sight on mine. The AR in 223 can be a valid option, particularly for the large number of ex-military personnel that have been extensively trained on its operation, however my biggest concern for an AR in a typical home defense situation is its lethal range. The typical lethal range of buck shot out of a shotgun is a couple of hundred yards at most (although a lucky shot could be lethal farther out), less if has to first go through a wall or two. With .223 that can be extended up to about a mile. It is important to remember you are responsible for where your bullets land, and while you should never shoot towards bystanders in the background, in the real world it is not always so easy, the the less distance your round is lethal in the background the better.

    Ike
     
  15. Hal

    Hal Member

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    Actually - no I haven't - not in comparison to shooting other guns.
    I own an 870, a Browning 20 ga BPS and two 12 ga Coach Guns.
    I also had a single shot 12 ga Topper that I hunted with 30 years ago.

    To make a long story short - I suck with a shotgun.
    It's my fault 100% and it has little to nothing to do with training and/or more trigger time.
    I've been blind in one eye since birth and have no depth perception.
    It screws me up to shoot at moving targets, hit or catch a baseball, tennis, badmitten (sp?) or anything that involves something moving.

    Add to that that I'm right handed and my right eye is my bad eye. That means in addition to not beaing able to pick up something moving, I have to shoot lefty using a rifle or shotgun.

    I admit - I'm a bit biased against a shotgun.
    However - I do believe very strongly that with the right fit and the right guideance, it can be a very good choice for a newer shooter.

    However, however,,,I've also seen quite a few people (first time gun owners) start out with a shotgun, dislike the recoil, and end up just sticking it in the closet - where it sits until the wife of the guy that bought it gets tired of it being around.......then off it goes to a dippy buy back of some kind.
    That's exactly what happened to my brother and my nephew.
     
  16. Isaac-1

    Isaac-1 Member

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    I understand the too much kick problem with shotguns, but there are lots of low recoil loads out there, just some macho types seem to think that they have to buy the hardest kicking buck shot the gun will take. One way to partly get around this is to use a standard 2 3/4 inch 20 Ga gun which has about as much kick as a reduced recoil 12 Ga buckshot round.
     
  17. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    A limbsaver and low-recoil buckshot or birdshot will not do much harm at all

    A defensive .223/5.56 round will over penetrate less than a load of 12 ga 00 buckshot. So, the layout of the house should also be considered when choosing a weapon.
     
  18. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Beatle, you can still spray-and-pray with a pump shotty, you just need to pump (which is very intuitive) in order to get that next shot off.

    Isaac, rifle rounds overpenetrate less than pistol or shotgun rounds. It seems counterintuitive, but the reason is that the light, fast rifle rounds slow down pretty quick through light barriers, and once the rifle round loses velocity; reliable fragmentation and cavitation does not occur. The myth that "rifles are too strong for HD" is just that; a myth. Regardless, anything capable of stopping an attacker will go through several walls.

    Regardless of whether the owner gets a shotgun or a rifle, he is going to need training. That training will be different for each, and some people might be subjectively better at one or the other, but I personally find the AR to be a more ergonomic platform. Unless you practice topping off, and if you have a mag or two on standby, reloading is quicker, and with the quicker follow-up shots, it is more forgiving if your accuracy isn't perfect.

    Overall, for a "new shooter" with no budget limit, I don't see any reason why the shotgun would be a clear winner. Both the 870 and the AR-15 have a lot of support for aftermarket parts and training, both are capable of stopping an attacker, and both can be very ergonomic. I'm not saying the AR-15 is clearly the better choice, but I do not see it as being not-user-friendly (if it were, why would it be so popular?).

    I think both are good platforms. Personally, I would say the AR-15 is better, but if this guy lived near me I'd suggest the 870, because none of the local outdoor ranges will let you shoot more than 1 round per second (and what's the point of a .223 if you can't rapid fire? that's how I'd shoot in HD anyway). Your options at an indoor range without such a restrictoin are pistol or shotgun.

    Like I said, and I know the OP said it was out of the question, if SD is your primary reason for owning a firearm, I think a pistol should be first, though, because it works in HD, but it can be carried much easier, giving you more versatility.
     
  19. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    It is more popular because a) It is very versatile; and b) it is what the military uses and is "cooler" than the 870.

    There are not many people that care about the manual of arms of a firearm when they purchase one. Those of us here on THR and other firearm forums are definitely the minority in that regard.

    Looks sell.
     
  20. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    Mind set. These people have it in mind to want a firearm for HD. Superb. Hopefully their Mind Set will lead them too...

    Skill set. They have none, according to the OP. I gathered from the thread they are not as willing to acquire the skills through practice. Instead they seem focused on...

    Tool set. Without the proper mind set and skill set, any tool they pick will be sub par. A single shot .22 short in the hands of someone who knows how to use it can be lethal to a bad guy. Any weapon in the hands of the untrained is a potential disaster.


    Before recommending any fire arm to anyone, I try to find out their mind set and skill set. If either is lacking, or unwilling to be improved, I do not recommend a tool set.
     
  21. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Member

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    You don't have to learn on a .22, its just cheaper to do so. Uncle Sam trains people to shoot just fine without any .22s and its not like 5.56 is recoil heavy. If they are not going to be shooting a lot a .22 is not going to save that much money and its not going to be nearly as good at HD as a 5.56.

    In a perfect world it would be nice if people bought guns and got training on them and then shot them every week. The truth is most people don't. They buy a gun, shoot it some and then put it in a closet or under their socks. A surprising number of them do manage to use it effectively enough to save their lives when they need to.
     
  22. 45_auto

    45_auto Member

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    Your original post was:

    You also said:

    and

    After I recommended the shotgun, then commented on using a .22 for introducing people to shooting, you asked:

    You didn't ask about introducing someone to the shooting sports. You specifically asked about home defense. Either of the other two choices (870 or AR) are far superior to a .22 for home defense.

    Your descriptions I quoted above make it sound as if these people have no intention of training or practicing. Therefore I recommended a shotgun over an AR for the simplicity of operation. Keep the tube loaded with the safety off. All it takes to make it ready is to rack the slide. It's very difficult to accidentally drop the mag or put the safety on or lock the bolt back when you don't mean to on an 870. Any of those actions can easily happen to an inexperienced AR shooter under stress who hasn't touched or thought about the gun in literally years.

    I shoot with a lot of people, and it's not too unusual for people who only come out when the weather's nice every spring to have to fiddle with their AR's before they remember what all the switches and buttons are for. Never seen anyone yet forget how to stuff shells in their pump shotgun and rack the slide.

    Wouldn't be surprising if your friends left an AR in the closet for a couple of years, then when they need it in a hurry (for home defense, the perpose you asked for) they're looking at the side of it trying to remember which switch to turn or button to press or handle to pull.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  23. Hal

    Hal Member

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    Keeping a loaded firearm in a house with a young child present sounds like a bad piece of advice.
    How would you suggest a loaded pump gun be stored in that scenerio?
    I'm sure such a thing exists and there's a way to secure a loaded shotgun.
    I have zip use for one though so, I really don't care to explore it past asking here.

    BTW - that's how I did do it, fully loaded but none in the chamber and stuck in the corner.
    That was before our grandson came along and there was just my wife and I in the house.
    Once our grandson got to the "wandering around the house" stage, I put the shot gun & the lever actions away in favor of something else.


    I have.
    Matter of fact, I'm not too proud to admit I fumbled around and dropped a shell on the ground trying to load my 870 the first time I shot a round of sporting clays.
    Stuff happens. Even during a "friendly" round of target shooting.

    That's not to say that a case of "the fumbles" could just as easily affect someone (even myself) trying to insert a magazine.
    Stuff happens.
     
  24. brnmw

    brnmw Member

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    At first I was going to suggest a .22lr only becouse it's what I started out with...However

    This will lean me toward the .223 Rem. Although depending on how young that young son is may determine other safety issues as well that I am not qualified to discuss since I do not know age and or maturity level of the child. ( I do believe in teaching them young but every child is different in terms of maturity at any age and that has to be determined by the parent and the parent alone)
     
  25. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    I'd suggest the AR in .223 (specifically a 16" barrel, flattop, midlength). Light recoil, accurate, reliable, easy to maintain, suitable for HD, and versatile.

    I occasionally had a little trouble with my dad's Mossberg, even at the range. I recall it had some sort of tiny little button ahead of the trigger guard that you had to press to unlock the action, or something, and individual shells are easy to fumble.
     
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