Shotgun or pistol

This is a discussion on Shotgun or pistol within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Interesting point in the previous thread about whether a 12ga was a viable home defence weapon or not. So I took the bait and have ...

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Thread: Shotgun or pistol

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    Member Array jarhead45's Avatar
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    Shotgun or pistol

    Interesting point in the previous thread about whether a 12ga was a viable home defence weapon or not. So I took the bait and have started this thread. I personally believe my 8 shot 12ga Mossberg in pistol grip fashion with an attached flashlight and a 5 shot side saddle is good for me. But that is just my .02. There was some concern over massive distruction in ones home, well that is the point of a 12ga. I want lots of distruction with a big pattern. I can buy a new lamp or a book case. But I dont have kids and the cat sleeps with us, so if its out there - they are not supposed to be and they are taking there chances. In addition I live in an apartment and the walls are way too thin so penetration is an issue. If I lived back on my mountain with no neighbors it would be an AK with a 30 rounder. Making smaller holes in the walls , but some pretty nasty soft tissue damage. So I took the bait , so here is the thread.
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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Our primary HD weapon is a 5-shot 12ga. pump with 5 on the stock, a pressure switch activated light and fiber optic sights. We use low recoil shells to reduce the risk of killing a neighbor with a miss, but really, I could care less if I mess up my own house defending my family.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    Depending on your barrel length, choke, and load, the pattern at "living room" distances are not going to be very big. I have a 14" bbl, open choke Rem 870, and with 00 Buck the pattern is still much smaller than a dinner plate at 25'. With 'legal' length barrels, the pattern is going to tighten considerably.

    Penetration in interior settings with heavy buck (and certainly slugs) can often be worse than with a 5.56N rifle - just something to consider. I am re-discovering #4 recently (I came into a TON of it that needed to be shot up) and am gaining an appreciation for it's patterning, terminal effect, and (relatively) lower penetration.

    One other thing to think about: You can have a carbine (rifle or pistol caliber) in a smaller package then you can a shottie, in most cases (the minimum legal length for a rifle is 16" vs 18" for a shottie, for starters). With the right ammo selection, you can reduce overpenetration worries, have much more ammo available, in a lighter recoiling weapon. That being said, the shotgun can be utterly devastating at CQB distances. I'll post pics of mine when I get home.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    Depending on your barrel length, choke, and load, the pattern at "living room" distances are not going to be very big. I have a 14" bbl, open choke Rem 870, and with 00 Buck the pattern is still much smaller than a dinner plate at 25'. With 'legal' length barrels, the pattern is going to tighten considerably.

    Penetration in interior settings with heavy buck (and certainly slugs) can often be worse than with a 5.56N rifle - just something to consider. I am re-discovering #4 recently (I came into a TON of it that needed to be shot up) and am gaining an appreciation for it's patterning, terminal effect, and (relatively) lower penetration.

    One other thing to think about: You can have a carbine (rifle or pistol caliber) in a smaller package then you can a shottie, in most cases (the minimum legal length for a rifle is 16" vs 18" for a shottie, for starters). With the right ammo selection, you can reduce overpenetration worries, have much more ammo available, in a lighter recoiling weapon. That being said, the shotgun can be utterly devastating at CQB distances. I'll post pics of mine when I get home.
    These are all really good points. My 18 1/2" barrel 12 ga. patterns about the size of a tea saucer with 00 buck at 25'. We don't have it so we can "shoot from the hip". We use it for maximum permanent wound cavity.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    I have a Scattergun Technologies 'tactical' shotgun. Wilson Combat has since bought out the company. I took the shotgun to Gunsite and had a blast with it. One of the funnest courses I've taken. But....

    I simply would not choose a shotgun as a HD weapon. It has a bunch of recoil and if in the heat of the moment you don't get it mounted correctly, you can experience a bunch of pain and even muscle cramping.

    A 12 ga has, a bunch of muzzle blast, and I realize we are told we won't hear it, but it still does a number on our hearing. So if we shoot one indoors and we then need to hear from a family member etc., you may not be able to hear very well.

    They also can have a bunch of muzzle flash, esp. the shorter barrels. Muzzle flash can impair your low light vision.

    In essence, firing a shotgun indoors is a lot like a flash bang.

    Based on scenarios we ran at Gunsite, they can be cumbersome in tighter quarters, including going around corners and through door ways and it's much easier for a BG to grab and control because there is more for him to grab.

    I much prefer a hi capacity handgun with appropriate ammo. In that one little package, you can have as much as 19 shots, depending on the gun and mags used. It's much easier on eyes and ears and much harder for the BG to gain control of it.
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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    I have a Scattergun Technologies 'tactical' shotgun. Wilson Combat has since bought out the company. I took the shotgun to Gunsite and had a blast with it. One of the funnest courses I've taken. But....

    I simply would not choose a shotgun as a HD weapon. It has a bunch of recoil and if in the heat of the moment you don't get it mounted correctly, you can experience a bunch of pain and even muscle cramping.

    A 12 ga has, a bunch of muzzle blast, and I realize we are told we won't hear it, but it still does a number on our hearing. So if we shoot one indoors and we then need to hear from a family member etc., you may not be able to hear very well.

    They also can have a bunch of muzzle flash, esp. the shorter barrels. Muzzle flash can impair your low light vision.

    In essence, firing a shotgun indoors is a lot like a flash bang.

    Based on scenarios we ran at Gunsite, they can be cumbersome in tighter quarters, including going around corners and through door ways and it's much easier for a BG to grab and control because there is more for him to grab.

    I much prefer a hi capacity handgun with appropriate ammo. In that one little package, you can have as much as 19 shots, depending on the gun and mags used. It's much easier on eyes and ears and much harder for the BG to gain control of it.
    I can't find fault with anything you've said. We use a shotgun as part of our overall HD "package". It's purely defensive and in the last room the BG has to get to before finding my wife and daughter. If I clear my house, it's XD or 1911 in hand.

    And on the flashbang note, you are completely correct. LE night training here used to start with the instructor saying something like: "First shot illuminates, second eliminates". That is of course, rather reckless in most situations but he was trying to make a point.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    When I saw the title my immediate thought was "shotgun - doesn't matter what the question is about." I think a shotgun is better than a pistol in most situations. However, I don't have a light mounted on my shotgun - so its for static defense only.

    Shotgun is in the bedroom - if I'm checking around the house I'll have my Sig and a light.

    Austin

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    VIP Member Array MNBurl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aus71383 View Post
    When I saw the title my immediate thought was "shotgun - doesn't matter what the question is about." I think a shotgun is better than a pistol in most situations. However, I don't have a light mounted on my shotgun - so its for static defense only.

    Shotgun is in the bedroom - if I'm checking around the house I'll have my Sig and a light.

    Austin
    I agree completely. Based on no kids... I would not "search the house".
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    Alot depends on layout of the home, size of the shotgun, where you live, how close neighbors are etc... I believe a 18 12" shotgun is an important part of a home defense package as well as a hadgun that you are comfortable with along with a good flashlight!!
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    A pic, as promised. Even in a package this small, my Colt SMG is smaller and easier to manuever with. It also gives me 33 rounds on tap (as opposed to 5) and 33 more in the same time as I can get 1 with the shottie.

    Still, if it absolutely, positively has to be destroyed in 1 shot (and it's in REALLY close), the 12 gauge is hard to beat.
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    A lot depends upon the situation...I keep both a 12ga coach gun and my .45 available for HD.

    My preference for going around the house is my Kimber as it is almost always on my person...I can use it to quickly get to my coach gun. If I had any warning of an intrusion, the shottie will also be with me.

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    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    I used to keep a shotgun by the bed for HD. One day I thought I heard someone at the back patio door of my apartment at a late hour (turned out to be kids droping their toys from the deck above). I grabbed the shotty and started working my way to there when I promptly got myself hung up in hallway because of the length.

    My conclusion after that was that a shotgun could be more of a hinderance then a help, unless I get the chance to build a house for myself with the design laid out for a defender with such. Also, now I have two small children in the house so having a shotgun/longgun in easy access just isn't safe for a couple of more years.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

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    I've got an 870 loaded with #4. The #4 produces a nasty pattern and is less likely to penetrate drywall than 00 buck. I don't like a pistol grip on a 12 ga. as it is too difficult to control in fire sequence (for me). Having said that, I still like my 1911 for my first line of defense in the home. I can keep it closer to my body and I have better control. Still, there are few sounds more menacing than a 12 gauge being racked in a dark room :)
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    I use to be of the opinion that a shotgun was best for HD but its one of the many things that I've learned a great deal more about in my short time here. If your house is designed in such a way where you can manuever a shotgun effectively without giving up your location to an intruder then use a shotgun, but more and more having the 12gauge for an sit and wait on him to come to you weapon and using the pistol if you have to search the house seems like the way to go for me.Damn run on sentences. Point is that multiple options are never a bad thing.

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    a shotgun will work in hd if you practice with the gun. move around the house, check your fields of fire, get a feel of the gun with the lay out of your home. this way you will know if it will work for you. i have one for my house along with a pistol. great team for the home.
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