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Discussion -- Suitability for home defense ... shotgun, handgun or other gun?

This is a discussion on Discussion -- Suitability for home defense ... shotgun, handgun or other gun? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by Pitmaster But can they do it faster than a bullet is the question. I dont know... maybe use subsonic until we find ...

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Thread: Discussion -- Suitability for home defense ... shotgun, handgun or other gun?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitmaster View Post
    But can they do it faster than a bullet is the question.
    I dont know... maybe use subsonic until we find out.
    "Just blame Sixto"


  2. #17
    Member Array Deacon51's Avatar
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    I live in a fairly dense neighborhood, and the layout of my home is piss poor.

    Basically I have me and my wife in the Master on one end of the house. Kitchen, Den and sun room, all with a exterior door, between me and the kids on the other end of the house.

    So for me, I will secure my wife with the Mossburg 500 and 6 rounds of '00' in the safe room, then use my handgun to secure myself in the hall way leading to my kids bed room. My main concern is that if a bad guy got into that hallway before I did, I would not be able to fire due to the risk of penetrating my kids bedroom.

  3. #18
    Member Array vashooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post

    If I have any chance to get to a weapon of choice, it is my Colt AR-15 Govt. Carbine with collapsable stock. I have three 30 rnd mags loaded with Hornady TAP Personal Defense .223 for the home. I have a total of about nine 30 rnd magazines already loaded but only three with the TAP rounds.
    If I make it to my "safe room" from an ensconced position I will have three or more weapons; a pistol or two, the AR-15 and the 12 ga. Mossberg.
    Are you thinking that your home might be assaulted by a platoon of bad guys??? I've never heard of even one self defense at home shooting where the home owner had to fire off 10 rounds of anything - and definitely not 90 rounds of 5.56.... to each his own feeling of security though...

  4. #19
    Senior Member Array gwhall57's Avatar
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    I go with a 9mm semi-auto pistol for home defense.

    I keep my XD 9 SC on when I'm at home most of the time, since the "bust in and swarm in" home invasions are on the rise in my area, and I can't see myself sitting in front of the TV with a 12-gauge shot-gun on my lap.

    My bedroom is upstairs, right off of the top of the stairs. My step-son's rooms are down a hallway from mine. I wouldn't want to have to shoot anything, pistol or shot-gun, in that direction. My plan is to make the stair-way my shooting zone. I plan to stay low and peek out from my door and engage any BGs as they come up the stairs. I have a lamp at the bottom of the stair-way that is left on at night, plus a flash-light I keep in the gun safe with the weapons, if needed. I figure that, if I miss, then the rounds will impact the wooden floor and the ground, and not present much danger to my neighbors.

    I keep two 9mm pistols in a gun safe directly underneath me on the floor under the bed, and I have practiced getting one of my 9mm's out of the gun safe in total darkness (about 3 seconds from when I reach for the gun safe).

    I took my wife to a handgun safety class, and she is able to back me up with the 2nd 9mm. We both keep our cell phones fully charged and near us in the bedroom.

    My wife is a very light sleeper, and we have 3 cats that all tend to run upstairs and jump on our bed whenever any stranger enters the house. I'd rather have a small, loud watch-dog ... but with 3 cats, that is not going to happen...
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  5. #20
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    The only thing that worries me, is...I am a very sound sleeper. My wife can rise, turn on the light, shower, dress...I wouldn't know it. On the other hand, my wife is a very light sleeper and would awake to any strange sound.
    Our first alarm would definitely be the dogs...nothing gets past them!

    When home, I always have a pistol ON MY PERSON...at night, it's right next to me (no kids)...

    I can easily grab my AR or coachgun, but I would prefer to introduce myself with my .45
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  6. #21
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    Wink

    Depends on the scenario:

    Scenario 1) Alarm goes off in the dark. Sleepy me takes .45 + flashlight from secret compartment to investigate. We do not answer phone.

    Scenario 2) Helicopters lighting nearby woods. Mossy joins us (me and .45) in the TV room.

    Scenario 3) Unfunny sounds from garage. .45 comes out of Thunderwear for a tour of garage. [of course, we'll have to convince wife I'm okay to get back in house without becoming PX4 target.]

    Scenario 4) Unfunny sounds outside. Mossy joins .45 and family in the back bedroom. Alarms set at max. First call to police (not 911), second call to neighbors -- see/hear anything?

    so I guess it's not really an either-or answer

  7. #22
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    Great responses, everyone! Everything depends on everything, as always. Each situation's different. Each person has a different house layout, proximity to neighbors. Some house plays support an easily-defended "safe" area, while many don't. And our skills and abilities play into it, as well ... hence the question. Nice to see that folks have thought it through.

    It's a tough one, as "bumps in the night" aren't merely opportunities for basic target practice. Rather, they can be fast-flowing, tactically difficult problems. I simply hate the "fun house" clearing at the range. But it's the most useful, for home defense. Grrrrrrr.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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  8. #23
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    My Feelings on this:

    If I have time and the BG is still outside, I will get to the Shotgun, an 870 Marine magnum. If the BG is inside, and I can't get to the shotgun, then I go to the .45 and a surefire light.
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

  9. #24
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    In my particular situation, the dog would be barking ferociously before any outside motion sensor or house alarm would go off; in which case
    my px4 with 20 rounds of jhp would investigate the "noise"... Having taken three tactical shotgun courses, I feel much more secure in using my handgun for home defense.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by vashooter View Post
    Are you thinking that your home might be assaulted by a platoon of bad guys??? I've never heard of even one self defense at home shooting where the home owner had to fire off 10 rounds of anything - and definitely not 90 rounds of 5.56.... to each his own feeling of security though...
    Originally Posted by Bark'n

    If I have any chance to get to a weapon of choice, it is my Colt AR-15 Govt. Carbine with collapsable stock. I have three 30 rnd mags loaded with Hornady TAP Personal Defense .223 for the home. I have a total of about nine 30 rnd magazines already loaded but only three with the TAP rounds.
    If I make it to my "safe room" from an ensconced position I will have three or more weapons; a pistol or two, the AR-15 and the 12 ga. Mossberg.

    VaShooter... While I am a full time medic for an ambulance service, I am also a tactical medic for the Sheriff's Dept. Tac-Team as well, so the weapons that go to work, come home and do double duty. I have body armor too that I will throw on if given half the opportunity if someone breaks into my house.

    We have a Tyson plant about 20 miles away and there are a lot of illegal aliens in their employ... no secret... and there are some mexican drug connections in the 4 county area.

    When we serve warrants, almost every drug house we bust seems to have police scanners... In several drug houses we have found maps with marks on them where some of the deputies, and a couple state troopers live. The crooks aren't so stupid they don't have some smarts about them and it appears they do employ counter surveillance techniques and gather intelligence on us when they can. A couple of our deputies have gotten death threats from those we suspect have ties to Mexican drugs and so have a few deputies from the neighboring counties. Most of it is talk and it can be a cat & mouse game, but there are some serious underlying consequences.

    I also have a convicted felon who live next door and several suspected meth manufacturers down the block. In my small town, there's drugs on just about every block so there are no real "good neighborhoods" but there are a lot of worse neighborhoods. Even in the area that may have a couple $200,000 homes, may have a druggie next door or two doors down. Am I going to get into a firefight in my home at 2 am? I doubt it... but I also don't leave my work weapons in the trunk of the car either so I get the luxury of being extra prepared! I also don't rule out a 2 am home invasion either.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  11. #26
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    Alarm & dogs going nuts, .45 & flashlight on the nightstand, 870 leaned against the door jamb to pick up on my way out of the bedroom. I have a long hall to the front door & with 7rds of #4 buckshot I should be able to deter anyone that made it past the door & still have 11 rounds of .45 in the pistol.
    I have neighbors all around & would feel much more comfortable with the shotgun versus a pistol miss that might penetrate the neighbors house. If you have to choose just one for home defense, I'd go with a shotgun.

  12. #27
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    Rifles and shotguns are more powerful but not nearly as manuverable as a handgun. So much depends on where you live and what you live in, if its your only weapon, or if you have several, who are the defenders, and the level of the experience. I would say for many inexperienced shooters, a mid sized revolver is a better choice. I'm sure I'm not alone in having witnessied no stress training where new shooters short stroke a SG, or vapor lock while trying to charge or clear a jam on a semi-auto rifle or handgun. In apartments or multiple occupied rooms, ammunition variables need to be considered too.

    If someone were to try a home invasion as I type this, the HG on my hip would be the appropriate response.

    If I were awoken from sleep, I'd grab my go bag HG and then my SG.

    My wife shoots handguns better than the SG and is always armed, so a tiered response seems logical.

  13. #28
    Senior Member Array f8lranger4x4's Avatar
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    Shotgun and handgun

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mass-Diver View Post
    Jeeze, I can't believe anyone would take a pistol over a shotgun in a home invasion situation, espically with mutliple intruders. Then again, I'm not a gifted shot (espically at night with stress), I guess for someone who can shoot great, a pistol would seem pretty good.

    My main concern with a pistol would be stopping power - lots of people can live after being shot with a pistol round, but a 12g at close range is very deadly.

    Again, you wake up in the night and there three guys armed with knives and bats high or meth - you would really try to show off some speed shooting skills witha pistol round as they charge you or would you rather 7 rounds of 00
    Mass Diver, I am not saying you are wrong but maybe some time, if you have an opportunity you can have some LEO friends or maybe in a class someday show you how easy it can be to disarm a startled homeowner who was just awaken at 3 am after being sound asleep for 5 hours and probably fairly afraid of what is happening, probably somewhat disoriented and not thinking as straight as the seasoned burglers who are on meth and are wired, fully alert with cat like reflexes grab that barrel as you poke it through the doorway (more than likely not even aware you are "leading" with the barrel) and effectively lever it right out of your hand before you realize they are right there. (Trust me... it can be a real eye opener)

    I am in no way saying the shotgun is not the proper choice of a Primary Home Defense weapon. Often times it is! I would just offer to you that maybe there can be some "tactical advantages" to having a pistol instead of the shotgun. The pistol is far more easy to keep a hold of than a long gun in a disarming attempt if it is kept close in to your body.

    Just some food for thought... I just wouldn't automatically think that those who may choose a pistol over a shotgun in certain situations are foolish and that a shotgun is the "be all, end all" savior in a defensive situation.

    There are many factors to be considered. I don't consider myself a "gifted shooter" like a Rob Leatham or Ray Chapman or Bill Jordan but I do study tactics, train extensively and practice many home scenarios with my wife and also with the sheriff's dept. and at the shooting schools and programs I attend.

    I am also not saying that I do not use a shotgun... I DO! But I also have a variety of choices for lots of different situations and occasions... Certainly not everyone may have a choice of several different weapons... you have to use what you have! But you always have what's between your ears and I just don't want to lock myself into any one mindset. Home invasions are very fluid and dynamic situations and I try to have more than one hammer in my problem solving toolbox.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  15. #30
    Member Array Shotgun Willie's Avatar
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    The spread of shot can be controlled in several ways. Chokes, shot size, and distance to target. I posted on a similar thread discussing weapon choice for home defense. Here it is again:

    "a few days ago I was with a friend shooting and we decided to see what the pattern would be like with 00buck. At 20 feet, all pellets hit with a 7 in grouping. At a more realistic 12 feet(in home), all rounds hit with a 2 in grouping."

    If you know the given spread of a given shot size at a given distance than you can gain accuracy and predictability. Some practice rounds at different distances can provide you with that info. Also, if you are worried about shot missing the target you can use a tighter choke to ensure tighter patterns even at longer distances.

    I believe that one should be just as familiar with his HD shotgun as he is with his pistol or any other weapon. Just cause it is a shottie doesn't mean that training is not required. A shotgun is as accurate as the shooter. Train and setup your shotgun in a manner best suited to your house and the tactics intended. If your home is larger and there is a greater chance for longer shots, make sure you choke it down. If you are not concerned about distance and want to make sure that all vital organs are hit, then a more open choke can provide you the versatility of tight patterns at close range and full chest shots at mid range. If you are comfortable with it, you can also use slugs for greater accuracy.

    It is true that a shotgun of any length is not ideal for sweeping your home, however if the BG were to grab the end of the barrel, step backwards and you will find him aligned with the end off the barrel. Kaboom.

    Use large enough shot to control the pattern and create large enough holes in the vital organs to cause quick and sufficient bleeding. Bird shot can be more easily deflected by bone and slowed in an effort to penetrate as to have insufficient momentum to reach the vitals. Bird shot also has the tendancy to spread more after leaving the chamber.

    The shotgun is versatile, can be very accurate, and is extremely intimidating. My first choice for home defense in nearly all situations. Don't short change the shotgun and your training with it.
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