Shotgun vs Lever vs AR

Shotgun vs Lever vs AR

This is a discussion on Shotgun vs Lever vs AR within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm in the market for a long gun for HD/fun. I see pros and cons to all but I'm not sure what makes the most ...

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  1. #1
    Ex Member Array jtmoose's Avatar
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    Shotgun vs Lever vs AR

    I'm in the market for a long gun for HD/fun. I see pros and cons to all but I'm not sure what makes the most sense for me. I have a 357 revolver so I thought a 357 Marlin would be a nice addition. A shotgun I can use for skeet shooting also but my wife is little and I want her to be able to practice with it a lot and she won't if it hurts after a few rounds. The ARs only real con is the price. What opinions/ideas do you have?


  2. #2
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    Having a handgun and rifle in the same caliber, is a nice combination. The lever guns will probably never be banned and they are the farthest thing from tactical you can get. I have a winchester model 94 trapper, in 44 mag and it's a sweet little rifle. It's hefty enough to knock down some of the recoil and compact enough that my 95lb. wife can handle it. I'd say go with the 357 marlin.
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  3. #3
    Member Array GoGators10's Avatar
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    Saiga 12 is the way to go :)

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Good luck actually locating a Marlin 1894C or CB .357 lever in stock with anyone.
    Low production numbers plus very high demand equals quite hrd toget and long lines as I discovered last summer.

    I'd had the exact same thoughts as you, a lever action holding a full tube of .38 Special defensive ammo along with a .38/.357 revolver fed same ammo for HD and bedside.

    Lower felt recoil and just as maneuverable as a 16" shotgun while less deafening indoors than it or an AR (!) with no ear protection.
    Also far lower chance of exterior wall penetration (wood, plaster, and gypsum board with stud framing) than that of an AR should an errant round happen to miss a stud.

    Also cowboy lever action guns are not looked upon by I.B. Antigun citizen jury participants nor the media as anything but for 'hunting', and as they have a fixed and low capacity magazine there is little chance of the media having a pic of it in print or televised news being featured in the color black amongst a background of Kosovo or some other Obama/Biden style visual implication that such arms are intended for fighting wars on foreign soils.

    Place an AR and a wood stocked shotgun and a black polymer stocked shotgun and a lever gun next to each other on a table.
    8 or 9 out of 10 Brady Center supporters will agree that the black shotgun and the AR are nothing more than "Assault Weapons" good for nothing but to 'assault' human beings.

    You may have zero concern or care for the media and/or public perceptions. But your judge and jury does, and will if you find yourself facing either.

    - Janq

    P.S. - Somebody should develop a wooden A2 style stock and matching material foregrip for the AR rifle.
    That would be a hoot and possibly throw the antis off as well considering to them perception is everything.
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

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  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array snowdoctor's Avatar
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    I think an AR type rifle is a good choice...have you considered a Ruger Mini 14 in .223? easy to shoot, compact, reliable, and the cost is considerably lower than an AR...I used one for years until I could afford an evil black rifle.
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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    Get yourself an AR configured like the M4 carbine. The adustable stock will make it easy for either you or your wife to handle it, and your wife will love how comfortable it is to shoot, with no significant recoil.

    With all the options in optics and sights, you and she will be able to shoot with good practical accuracy in no time at all. Add in the obvious advantages of the AR platform as a defensive weapon -- high-capacity magazine, speed of reloads, fast and accurate follow-up shots, any type of accessory you could ever want -- and the fact that they're just plain fun to shoot -- you just can't go wrong.

    You might pay a bit more for one, but you'll both get a lot of value out of it.
    Cheers,
    Rod
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  7. #7
    Member Array Bulldog39's Avatar
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    I would go with the lever gun. Talking HD, ranges are going to be short and if you can not solve the problem with 9 or 10 .357 mag rounds in the rifle plus the 5 or six rounds in your handgun, I do not think you are going to solve it.

    You can mount a light and/or laser on the lever gun, you may need to modify or make mounts, but it will work.
    Semper Fi

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    If you don't currently own any variation of the three, my suggestion would be the shotgun. Get one that either comes with two barrels (long and short) or one for which replacement barrels are readily available. For your wife, get some Winchester AA12FL8. Lots of women CAS shooters use this round and it's very light recoil. Bad part is the price especially when you consider that just over a year ago I was buying these for $58.00 a case.

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  9. #9
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Any of those is a fine choice. An AR is fine for most anyone to shoot as is the Mini-14 as previously mentioned. The range of course is much improved over a pistol carbine or shottie.

    A .38/357 carbine with a 16-18" barrel is sweet and good out to 100yds. Recoil is noticable with a full house .357 load, but still not bad. Really not much recoil at all with .38s. The wife will probably have no problem with that. My wife is pretty recoil sensitive and doesn't mind it.

    She also shoots a Mini-14 quite well.

    She shoots a shotgun a lot. IMO, semi auto is the way to go with shotties for kids and women who are recoil sensitive. It soaks up the recoil for them. My wife shoots a 20a Remington auto youth model and loves it. We have buckshot and slugs for it in case of an emergency. She has also shot a 12ga 1100, and the recoil is not bad, but she doesn't like it becuase it's longer and heavier than her 20ga, which has a 24 skeet barrel.

    It just comes down to what you and she likes best and what best fits the budget and your perceived threat level.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

  10. #10
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    I'm fixed up with the .30 M1 Carbine as my personal home defense rifle and think it's best. For someone without the investment in ammo, hand loading dies, and components the lever action rifle might be a better bet than the M1 Carbine. I have a short barreled shotgun, a good one but am moving away from the notion that a shotgun is the top choice for home defense. A .357 Magnum or .44 Magnum lever action rifle is easier to handle in my view.

    The AR 15 is too costly right now and not notably superior to a quality lever action rifle.

  11. #11
    Ex Member Array jtmoose's Avatar
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    After reading more on the topic on this thread

    .357 lever vs .223 semiauto for defense? - TheFiringLine Forums

    I think it's down to the lever and the shotgun. I just don't think I need the capabilities of the AR being as how I'm not running around kicking in any doors anymore. I guess the cost savings from an AR would allow me to get both maybe with my tax return

    I saw a video of a woman recently that took 3 fast shots with a handgun, shotgun, and rifle. The only one she hit well was the rifle. I'd like to get something that my wife will naturally shoot better and we don't have access to trying them out first. We went to the store and she held a few and her short arms fit a Stoeger SxS the best. Anything with a red dot or laser I think she'd be able to hit well with.

  12. #12
    Member Array stolivar's Avatar
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    #8 shot is a bad idea

    It has no penetration, (about 3 inches). Not a good self defense load. go to box of truth

    Birdshot as a Defense Load
    I have had a lot of questions, summed up as follows: How effective is birdshot (#4, #6, #8, etc.) as a defense load?

    We have done tests with various birdshot loads. Birdshot penetrated through two pieces of drywall (representing one wall) and was stopped in the paper on the front of the second wall. The problem with birdshot is that it does not penetrate enough to be effective as a defense round. Birdshot is designed to bring down little birds.

    A policeman told of seeing a guy shot at close range with a load of 12 gauge birdshot, and was not even knocked down. He was still walking around when the EMTs got there. It was an ugly, shallow wound, but did not STOP the guy. And that is what we want... to STOP the bad guy from whatever he is doing. To do this, you must have a load that will reach the vitals of the bad guy. Birdshot will not do this.

    In fact, tests have shown that even #4 Buckshot lacks the necessary penetration to reach the vital organs. Only 0 Buck, 00 Buck, and 000 Buck penetrate enough to reach the vital organs.

    Unless you expect to be attacked by little birds, do not use birdshot. Use 00 Buck. It will do the job.


    steve

  13. #13
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    I just recently made this decision...from AR to 30-30.
    My Marlin 336SS will serve me very well...it will be a real 'welcome wagon' to unwanted visitors during a civil unrest...that could be coming soon to YOUR neighborhood.

    Stay armed...buy more ammo...stay safe!
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  14. #14
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    I own neither, but were I considering the choice I would buy an HD shotgun first because I think it is the better HD weapon.

    I would get a lever .357 because they are so good looking. Seriously, I've seen some in the store and it is a tough battle to keep from putting the money on the counter. They are just sitting there in the case yelling "buy me."

  15. #15
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    Right now due to the uncertainty of the future availability environment I would jump right on the bandwagon and buy an AR or an AK now.
    You'll always be able to grab a shotgun or a lever action - you may not be able to go AR or AK shopping.

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