The Definitive "Rifle Versus Handgun" For Self-Defense Thread...

This is a discussion on The Definitive "Rifle Versus Handgun" For Self-Defense Thread... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; ...For All Time. Should handguns be considered the weak sisters of personal defense or are they worthwhile first choices for defensive use, especially in the ...

View Poll Results: Rifle, Shotgun, Or Handgun For Defense

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  • I prefer a rifle

    41 33.88%
  • I prefer a handgun

    55 45.45%
  • I prefer a shotgun

    25 20.66%
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Thread: The Definitive "Rifle Versus Handgun" For Self-Defense Thread...

  1. #1
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    The Definitive "Rifle Versus Handgun" For Self-Defense Thread...

    ...For All Time.

    Should handguns be considered the weak sisters of personal defense or are they worthwhile first choices for defensive use, especially in the home?

    Assuming good hits, just how reliable can the best handgun choices be? What do you consider a good self-defense handgun cartridge? What makes an appropriate defensive rifle cartridge?

    Do you opt for a handgun or a rifle for defensive use in the home? Or, do you choose "none of the above" and keep a shotgun on hand? Which style of shotgun? Which bore, 12 gauge or 20 gauge? Or is your shotgun more offbeat, like a 16 gauge, 28 gauge, or even a .410?
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  3. #2
    Member Array ACS_Matt's Avatar
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    Contrary to what VP Joe "thinks," I like the AR - with proper self defense loads of course. This is just a matter of personal preference. I don't think the AR is necessarily any better than a good pistol or a shotgun, I just am more comfortable handing it in stressful situations.

    I do sometimes keep my .45 by my bedside and I have 100% confidence in that as well.
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  4. #3
    Member Array Sebass's Avatar
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    For defense in 'the home' I prefer a 12 ga. being that I live in the suburbs. I think it depends on a number of factors: where you live, layout of your house or apartment, children in the home, etc.



    But to answer your question I'd ALWAYS go with a long gun over a handgun given the choice.

  5. #4
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    Handguns are always on my person or within arm's length, so they are my preferred firearms for personal defense.
    "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
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  6. #5
    Member Array Olduser's Avatar
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    For HD I prefer a shotgun. 12ga w/ 00 buck. Have a G-21 on my nightstand as well. IMHO in the middle of the night a shotty is a better point and shoot choice. (Of course there are many variables to any answer. YMMV)
    "The only thing I'm an expert about is my experience."

  7. #6
    Member Array nathanjns's Avatar
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    Man, that is a lot of questions! Up close I prefer a handgun ( 38, 9mm, 40, 45 are all fine; don't like the magnums for SD use. ) or a shotgun. If forced to shoot past 25 yards, I prefer a carbine or rifle. Any moderate power cartridge will do as long as I can hit well with it. I carry a handgun with me at all times. Have a 12 gauge pump and SKS close by when at home.

  8. #7
    Member Array F350_6's Avatar
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    It all depends on the scenario, the distance, what, who, and how many you're defending against. A pump shotgun is great on the other side of a closed door because that universal sound should give someone pause and make them think twice about entering the room. Making the bad guy(s) run away before it comes to confrontation would make the house much easier to clean up.

    A shotgun will be more forgiving with your aim, but it's effectiveness will vary depending on range, ammo, type of impact, obstructions, etc. In terms of ballistics, grain for grain, the rifle beats the handgun hands down in terms of effectiveness. A handgun is much easier to maneuver with, less likely to grabbed out of your arms as you're sneaking through a doorway and is a little more instinctive to shoot with at close range.

    I think the answer to your question lies somewhere between "it depends" and "all of the above".
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    Distinguished Member Array Exacto's Avatar
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    For in the home I prefer a 12 gauge pump action shotgun, backed up by an AR and then a hand gun or two.
    Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunder bolt...... Sun Tzu.

    The supreme art of war is to defeat the enemy without fighting........ Sun Tzu.

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    My preference is for a handgun, given its ease of presentation/usage and the generally limited distances involved in and around the home. A handgun can also be easily taken along with me, outside the home.

    Whereas, a long gun generally has limited venues (given my lifestyle/venues) where I could have it with me, in spite of the obvious greater punch and distances a long gun affords. For me, a good long gun is useful as primary in certain venues (ie, ranch, range, hunting) or when preparing to defend an ensconced position (ie, in the "safe" room, protecting the hallway entry to the room).
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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    Member Array treebark's Avatar
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    The Definitive "Rifle Versus Handgun" For Self-Defense Thread...

    For those that say a shotgun...is that just for you or do you have another something for your wife to grab?

    I've gone to the idea of having firearms that she can also shoot reliably. That is going to be a rifle (PS90 in our case...50 rounds of virtually no recoil more than make up for a lighter weight bullet) if we are at that end of the house. Otherwise 9mm handguns will be closer.

    Not sure I go for situational I'll grab different guns in different scenarios other than with the adrenaline pumping I'll grab the closest gun and if that isn't one of the rifles, plan on retreating to that area.

  12. #11
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    The hand gun is just a tool to get me to my rifle.
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  13. #12
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    I ain't voting..... too many pros n' cons for each. Handguns for up-close and concealable use, shottys for all-around duty inside 40 yards, and rifles for all the 'precision' work.
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  14. #13
    Member Array treebark's Avatar
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    The Definitive "Rifle Versus Handgun" For Self-Defense Thread...

    Quote Originally Posted by goldshellback View Post
    I ain't voting..... too many pros n' cons for each. Handguns for up-close and concealable use, shottys for all-around duty inside 40 yards, and rifles for all the 'precision' work.
    Bam! Somebody just broke in through your window down the hall,you are in your bedroom. There. Now, what did you grab. That is your vote. ;-)

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array velo99's Avatar
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    Handgun then shotgun. Rifle is cased & safed. Handguns are way better than a long gun for searching your house. If a BG creeps into your room which quicker to bring to bear still lying flat on your back in the bed ? If I need more firepower I can fight my way to the shottie. It's a whole four feet behind the door. JMHO.
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  16. #15
    Member Array BMAT's Avatar
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    Pair of handguns cause that's what I carry every day. And I don't like taking the rifle in and out the safe and taking the chance of not putting it up.

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