Better home defense for middle of the night: Shotgun or Handgun?

Better home defense for middle of the night: Shotgun or Handgun?

This is a discussion on Better home defense for middle of the night: Shotgun or Handgun? within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; While a shotgun has more stopping power, it's not as easy to keep it close to your bed when you're sleeping compared to a handgun. ...

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Thread: Better home defense for middle of the night: Shotgun or Handgun?

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    Ex Member Array AdBro's Avatar
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    Better home defense for middle of the night: Shotgun or Handgun?

    While a shotgun has more stopping power, it's not as easy to keep it close to your bed when you're sleeping compared to a handgun. Also, maneuvering corners is more difficult with a shotgun and you can't hold a flashlight or open doors as easily with a shotgun.

    These lead me to think a handgun is probably a better option.

    That being said; handguns seem to make my ears ring more when not wearing ear protection...shotguns don't seem to bother my ears as much. Some people say that carpeting, furniture, etc in houses absorb a lot of sound when a shot is fired. Since I have never fired in a home, I'm not certain how much this helps...thoughts?


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    Shotgun, hands down. Use a quality LE load.
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    Either is going to be very loud, but hopefully you will only fire once. I agree with you that a handgun is the better option for ease of maneuverability.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapnketel View Post
    Either is going to be very loud, but hopefully you will only fire once. I agree with you that a handgun is the better option for ease of maneuverability.
    right. i mean, I wouldn't want to fire and then realize i need to be able to carefully hear things still. my ears get rocked if i shoot a handgun and forgot to put my plugs in.

    also, i really can't imagine properly maneuvering an 870 around corners and stuff at night.

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    Better home defense for middle of the night: Shotgun or Handgun?

    it's all going to be loud. your ears will be ringing and you'll temporarily lose some hearing. possibly even damage your ears. you'll also be fighting for your life though so that factor is not very important in my opinion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yz9890 View Post
    it's all going to be loud. your ears will be ringing and you'll temporarily lose some hearing. possibly even damage your ears. you'll also be fighting for your life though so that factor is not very important in my opinion.
    why would i damage my ears? i've fired shotguns and handguns without ear protection before. usually it's by accident, sometimes it's while duck hunting and i realize i left my ear protection in my chair as ducks are flying by and say 'screw it". it rings but hasn't DAMAGED my hearing. also, like i said, handguns seem to be way louder than shotguns (at least to me)

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    one thing i find hilarious in movies or tv shows is how NO ONE will be wearing ear protection. people will discharge guns in cars, tiny rooms, sewer pipes, but no one's ears ever hurt after. lol
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    The only reason to have a handgun is to fight your way to...a long gun. For home defense, have a gun-mounted light on whatever gun you choose, preferably on both. if you've been shooting handguns & shotguns enough without wearing hearing protection to know which one "bothers you the most" then your hearing is already badly hammered. Carpet & furniture don't muffle squat. I suggest amplified electronic muffs. They take 3 extra seconds to put on, they then let you hear better than the intruder, and a hallway gunblast then only serves as a stun grenade to your "uninvited guest". It's a substantial tactical advantage.
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    Is it just you? Do you have kids to protect also?

    I would say go with a shotgun if you're only going to have one. Unless you have kids to go and get, there isn't much of a reason to move around your house during a home invasion. If you can have both, use the handgun to get to your shotgun.

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    I struggled with this for awhile, we've recently had a major increase in home invasions and robberies here in central Arkansas, specifically West Little Rock which is the more high end side of town. I came to the conclusion to keep my pistol on my nightstand and my AR ready to go under my side of the bed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    The only reason to have a handgun is to fight your way to...a long gun. For home defense, have a gun-mounted light on whatever gun you choose, preferably on both. if you've been shooting handguns & shotguns enough without wearing hearing protection to know which one "bothers you the most" then your hearing is already badly hammered. Carpet & furniture don't muffle squat. I suggest amplified electronic muffs. They take 3 extra seconds to put on, they then let you hear better than the intruder, and a hallway gunblast then only serves as a stun grenade to your "uninvited guest". It's a substantial tactical advantage.
    why do you think my hearing is already hammered?

    the muffs i use to hunt are electronic and allow for sound amplification while shutting down for gun blasts actually. they are wonderful (and warm), but I don't need to keep half my hunting gear next to my bed. aside from my wife being like ***, i don't want to fumble ear muffs in the pitch black in a tense situation, make sure they are on the right way, make sure they are turned on while also grabbing other things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 45XDCCW View Post
    I struggled with this for awhile, we've recently had a major increase in home invasions and robberies here in central Arkansas, specifically West Little Rock which is the more high end side of town. I came to the conclusion to keep my pistol on my nightstand and my AR ready to go under my side of the bed.
    I really don't see the benefit to an AR over a handgun or shotgun for home defense (i might be stupid). i dont like the idea of a long gun at night in confined spaces and i feel a HP from a 9 has more CLOSE RANGE stopping power than a .223 at super close ranges.

    thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AdBro View Post
    I really don't see the benefit to an AR over a handgun or shotgun for home defense (i might be stupid). i dont like the idea of a long gun at night in confined spaces and i feel a HP from a 9 has more CLOSE RANGE stopping power than a .223 at super close ranges.

    thoughts?

    Okay a 9mm is not even in the same ballpark as a .223 for stopping power at any range.

    Hearing damage is cumulative

    As for long gun versus handgun for HD.....that's a matter of preference and training. If you train and practice to move indoors with a long gun (preferably a carbine length one) then it is not really an issue.

    I have a handgun in a pistol safe that is for easy access for when things go bump in the night....but if I am going to go room to room I'm taking a carbine with a 30 rd mag. My plan is to not clear my house but to hole up with my wife and kids until the cavalry arrives
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdBro View Post
    I really don't see the benefit to an AR over a handgun or shotgun for home defense (i might be stupid). i dont like the idea of a long gun at night in confined spaces and i feel a HP from a 9 has more CLOSE RANGE stopping power than a .223 at super close ranges.

    thoughts?
    Long gun(other than 22LR) will have more stopping power at any range than a handgun. It's simple physics due to barrel length, so there isn't much of an argument(about stopping power)

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    I know I know. I suppose the fragmentation of a NATO or expansion of a .223 is pretty extreme a close range, right?

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