Handgun vs Long gun for Home Defense - a discussion starter

This is a discussion on Handgun vs Long gun for Home Defense - a discussion starter within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by bmcgilvray "...get a shotgun...its easy to use and they don't have to aim." Actually, they do have to aim. Try a shotgun ...

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Thread: Handgun vs Long gun for Home Defense - a discussion starter

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    "...get a shotgun...its easy to use and they don't have to aim."

    Actually, they do have to aim. Try a shotgun at household self defense distances next time you are at the range. You won't find a room-filling pattern. A person still has to properly place that shot charge.
    Yep, if you do find a room filling pattern it won't have enough energy in the projectile to be effective in stopping any threat.

    No matter what you choose, you better aim and be sure of your target, or you might as well pick up a ball bat and go at it that way. A gun no matter what kind is only as good as its user.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    To my mind the order for HD is as follows based on the _average_ American home size including hall width spacing, door frame width, and average room size including overall distance as from wall to wall measured on the longest side.
    Of course affordability is a factor as well and thus the scale of opportunity slides...

    Short-barrel shotgun (SBS w/ 14" barrel) running shot as through a cylinder bore or optimally improved cylinder choke
    $$$


    Short-barrel rifle (as P.D.W. format)
    $$$$


    A handgun preferably in an intermediate power level chambering
    $$


    ...augmented by a dog of determined size & temperament.
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  4. #18
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    Yup, gotta aim a shotgun. This: "Most shotgun ammunition is also less expensive than handgun ammunition. " is bunk when you compare the appropriate ammo.
    AR's with collapsible stocks have less recoil (depending on config) and will be more appropriate for more members of a household - good for follow up shots as well. IMHO, shotguns seem to be better weapons when you've barricaded yourself.

  5. #19
    Senior Member Array RebelRabbi's Avatar
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    Rule of thumb for "spread" of a shotgun is 1 inch per yard, thus, a 10 inch spread at 10 yards, 20 @ 20, 30 @ 30, 40 @ 40 and 50+ inches @ 50 yards. I consider 50 yards the Maximum Effective Range of Buckshot. At extended distances (60+ yards) buckshot forms a circular pattern so the target is actually inside a funnel of shot going above, below and on each side.
    In a typical (if such a thing exists) HD gunfight the shots would probably be at less than 7 yards meaning a spread from 0 - 7 inches, not a great deal of advantage over the rifle/carbine.
    In a smoothbore shotgun, Foster Slugs are superior to Buckshot in terms of terminal performance and will stay on a pie plate sized target at 75 yards.
    Oh yeah, a 20 ga. slug is plenty enough for two legged predators. Plus a 20 ga. is a much faster gun to wield.

  6. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    ...augmented by a dog of determined size & temperament.
    Yeah, but explaining to Animal Control why they shouldn't take the rabid dog gets tedious...


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  7. #21
    Senior Member Array Devone6's Avatar
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    Can't take credit for this Quote, but I agree with it totally-"My handgun is a tool to get me to my shotgun, my shotgun is a tool to get me to my rifle, my rifle is the tool I want if I need to defend my life".
    I guess I could shorten it to "My handgun is a tool to get me to my rifle, my rifle is the tool I want if I need to defend my life".
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  8. #22
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Decent article that presents a number of good points to consider.

    For me: Pistol and shotgun. Given the likelihood of certain crimes, the layout of the house, the location and proximity of neighbors, I feel the pistol and shotgun is the right combination.

    Of course, my ideal layout would be different: At the heart of 25ac; warning of anyone on campus; a secure double perimeter; dogs guarding between perimeters; customized lighting and alarms for advance warning; a defensible hallway and space preceding the "safe" room to ride out rough stuff. In that setup, I can see all three having their place. Not much different than the current layout, except for the 25ac, the defensible nature of the hall and space. Right now, the layout simply isn't conducive to an effective prolonged defense.

    A nice 10-11" bbl rifle would do nicely, on the larger spread. Can't quite get used to the ergonomics and interface of the AR-15, though the Noveske N4 Light Shorty would do. Give me a SIG 556, an HK G36 or 416 ... select-fire, of course.

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  9. #23
    Distinguished Member Array Guardian's Avatar
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    Excellent points all around. Everyone has their own views on what works best for them. Mine is handgun for in home, shotgun for yard and rifle (w/scope) for that distance (their coming up the driveway type of thing). Distances might vary just a little either way, this is not all inclusive here, if the shotgun is handy and the pistol is 20 feet away, the shotgun gets the nod and so on.
    "I dislike death, however, there are some things I dislike more than death. Therefore, there are times when I will not avoid danger" Mencius"

  10. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX-JB View Post
    No doubt handguns are easier to handle in close spaces, but if possible, I'm getting a long gun...either long gun or shotgun...hit probability goes up exponentially using a shoulder fired weapon over a handgun...I'll pick a 12ga. first, then a pistol caliber levergun...my handgun is for getting to one of those...
    What he said.

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  11. #25
    VIP Member Array bsnow's Avatar
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    Great article, really enjoyed. My preferences are various hand guns within easy reach and two shotguns that we can get to easy.

  12. #26
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    I keep may handgun near by for imediate use and if I have time my plan is to grab the 870 and hand the pistol off to the wife.
    Either you are a weapon and your gun is a tool or your gun is a weapon and you are the tool.
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  13. #27
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    How 'bout a rifle-like shotgun? Eh?

    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

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  14. #28
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    Thanks for the article...I've got my house and perimeter covered.
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  15. #29
    Member Array Kenny256's Avatar
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    My pistole is there to help me get to my shot gun...
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  16. #30
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    handgun, shotgun, and rifle . .... in that order for me.

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