Defensive shotgun for home defense, does it really fit in?

This is a discussion on Defensive shotgun for home defense, does it really fit in? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Well, here is basically what I'm asking and why. I've had this Rem 870 Express HD model for quite some time. A couple of years ...

View Poll Results: Do I really need a shotgun in my home defense arsenal?

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  • Shotguns are not ideal for home defense

    7 4.55%
  • A shotgun is good to have for certain HD scenarios

    88 57.14%
  • Pistols and rifles cover every aspect of home defense-no need for shotgun

    9 5.84%
  • without a shotgun, your home defense has holes in it

    49 31.82%
  • trade in that shotgun for something you'll have fun with at the range

    0 0%
  • shotguns are for cops and riot control, not for home defense

    1 0.65%
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Thread: Defensive shotgun for home defense, does it really fit in?

  1. #1
    Member Array JDavisArk's Avatar
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    Defensive shotgun for home defense, does it really fit in?

    Well, here is basically what I'm asking and why. I've had this Rem 870 Express HD model for quite some time. A couple of years ago, I even bought one of those Knoxx Blackhawk recoil reducing collapsible stocks for it and installed. Actually that's the last time it's been out of the safe. I shot this quite a bit after I purchased it with a variety of ammo including slugs, buckshot, magnum loads, and #2 steel shot. Got a good feel for it and what it could do as well as what I could to do with it. Obviously it's not my primary HD choice. I keep a pistol for primary HD (my carry pistol or something larger when at home), and I have a couple of semi auto rifles that I keep fully loaded for certain possibilities. Way....way back in the day when the only two firearms I owned were a Ruger P89DC and a Mossberg 500A in 20ga, I took the shotgun more seriously as a HD option. My current status now has me questioning the shotgun and if I actually need it for a specific purpose or if it's just taking up space in my safe. Should I give the shotgun more thought as my primary HD method over the handgun, or should I sell or trade it for something else that I'd be more likely to put to good use or have fun with at the range? Should I be reassessing the shotguns' role in my HD scenario? Just asking for opinions. Please don't tell me that I've answered my own question here. Give me your reasons why you would keep it or sell it if you were me. If I end up without a shotgun for HD will I still be able to cover all the bases with what I have? Does my shotgun really fill in a gap between my pistol or rifle, or is it just I like to think I have most options at my disposal?

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    A shotgun will do things no rifle can do. Like hit a moving target in the air ( bird hunting, trap, skeet). Small game that would be obliterated by a high power rifle. It is arguably the most versatile firearm there is. I guess I have a broader definition of what home defense means.

    My semi auto Mini 14 is for my wife. The 12 gauge is for me.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  4. #3
    VIP Member Array multistage's Avatar
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    A rifle vs a shotgun for home defense? Not even fair. The shotgun, by far.

    Don't like the idea of using a rifle for defense. But that's just me, and it's my house to defend.

    Light 'em up, boys.

  5. #4
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    I used to buy into the notion of a shotgun for home defense but have gotten away from it. Short semi-automatic rifles have taken the place of the shotgun in this household. I feel the rifles are slightly more dependable than shotguns. Rifle magazines hold more ammunition. Rifles are easier to reload while the shotguns are fumbly. Rifles are easier to wield and less clumsy. At household distances both rifles and shotguns must be aimed.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array tdave's Avatar
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    I have shot gun by the bed for home defense. Although I have access to other weapons this is what reach for first. I know it will do it's part, I just have to do mine.

  7. #6
    New Member Array Will1848's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    I used to buy into the notion of a shotgun for home defense but have gotten away from it. Short semi-automatic rifles have taken the place of the shotgun in this household. I feel the rifles are slightly more dependable than shotguns. Rifle magazines hold more ammunition. Rifles are easier to reload while the shotguns are fumbly. Rifles are easier to wield and less clumsy. At household distances both rifles and shotguns must be aimed.
    That last part is important. People seem to think their shot is going to instantly expand into a large pattern within feet of leaving the barrel.

  8. #7
    Ex Member Array Manderinobyebye's Avatar
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    I don't truly know,since i've never needed a firearm for SD. If i caught someone trying to break in,i would grab my 870 first,i think.It would really depend on the situation.
    Vladimirx01 likes this.

  9. #8
    Member Array pete362e's Avatar
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    no kids at home, no need to leave locked bedroom(safe room)..call 911 & wait for cavalry to arrive. If door forced, 870 full of #1 Buck should suffice, back up is 10mm Glock.
    Cheesewiz likes this.

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    The truthful answer is , NO ... you don't "need" a shotgun for home defense........ as long as you have something for home defense.
    tcox4freedom likes this.
    I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. --- Will Rogers ---
    Chief Justice John Roberts : "I don't see how you can read Heller and not take away from it the notion that the Second Amendment...was extremely important to the framers in their view of what liberty meant."

  11. #10
    Member Array bigsky109's Avatar
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    According to "uncle" Joe Biden you need a double barrel and a porch to shoot 2 blasts into the air for home defense. So far I have a single barrel and the back porch. I guess I am not up to par for "Uncle Joe". I am taking donations though.....
    "The key to freedom is the ability to defend yourself"

  12. #11
    Member Array 1boredguy's Avatar
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    my environments are close quarters. i'd also prefer maximum damage in minimum shots. id grab the 12 ga first.

  13. #12
    Ex Member Array HillbilliesRule's Avatar
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    Short ranges in low light...short barrel shotgun with LEAD buckshot. Time and again that copper plated stuff had shown too much penetration in interior walls for my comfort. The all lead deforms in walls and generally stops a lot sooner (yes it can go through a wall but won't generally go through another...copper often will)
    Single projectile in low light at moving target or 8-12 projectiles at the same moving target. I see this as a simple matter of mathematics. I don't carry a rifle or shotgun because I can't conceal it, which is the pistols only virtue in my opinion.
    Jaeger likes this.

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    A shotgun will do things no rifle can do. Like hit a moving target in the air ( bird hunting, trap, skeet). Small game that would be obliterated by a high power rifle. It is arguably the most versatile firearm there is. I guess I have a broader definition of what home defense means.
    1. ... and vice versa
    2. so what, a) when was the last time anyone was attacked by a skeet or duck, b) don't think the shell+equipment/meat weight trade is worth it, c) and there are more productive/repeatable/reliable ways to get small game
    3. I've shot a squirrel with a .270, still had the same amount of edible meat - non-varmint bullet construction won't result in pink mist like in the prairie dog vids
    4. while versatile when you consider different loads/barrels/and chokes, that same versatility is irrelevant in a home defense scenario - the barrel/choke/load you have is the one you have. You have the same chance of hitting a running BG with a SG as an AR at in home distances, don't have to switch ammo for hostage/distance/close up, have more ammo on hand and less recoil, the gun is more easily useable by more family members

  15. #14
    Member Array Quincythedgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nedrgr21 View Post
    2. so what, a) when was the last time anyone was attacked by a skeet or duck
    If my farm house were under an aerial assault of bird poopers or those scary monkeys from the Wizard of Oz you bet I'd choose a shotgun every time.

    Have some pesky stray animals that keep rummaging onto your property but don't want to kill them? Rubber shot

    Bear breaks into your house? I'd feel better with some 12 gauge slugs rather than a pistol or .223

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    I think a good handgun is more important for HD than a shotgun; until you're hunkered down with 911 on speakerphone, you'll need a hand free.

    Once hunkered, the shotgun or rifle gives you an enormous increase in stopping power if the BG's start kicking in the bedroom door. For this, if there's ANY chance of bystanders on the other side of the BG - even in the next house over - I'd say the shotgun is the responsible choice. Rifle rounds are designed to travel a long way and go through a lot of stuff when they get where they're going. The shotgun also has better stopping power at close ranges. At household ranges, even a load of heavy birdshot would probably create a larger permanent cavity than, for instance, a .223, and would much reduce over penetration concerns (buckshot can go through more than you might think).

    So, IMHO, a shotgun has a clear advantage over a rifle in this role.
    farsidefan1 and JDavisArk like this.

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