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Old July 27, 2009, 10:02 AM   #1
Kjeil
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When would a shotgun be your first choice?

I'm trying to decide if it's really worth getting a tactical style shotgun (Remington 870 or Mossberg) with all the associated overhead such as training, practice, etc.

So here's my question: Say you already have:
- Various.40 S&W handguns
- SBR AR in 50 Beowulf
- Normal length carbine style AR in 5.56
- SPR style AR in 6.5 Grendel with backup iron sights
- SPR style AR in 5.56 also with iron sights

What type of situation would make reaching for a shotgun your first choice? I'm not sure I can think of one but I have the feeling I'm missing something
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Old July 27, 2009, 10:06 AM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Only when I can reach it.....

A shotgun would almost always be my first choice if it's available. Far more power, less worry about over penetration or missed shots going through 5 walls. The only reason I carry a handgun is because a shotgun is too big.

That said, I personally have no use whatsoever for a "tactical" shotgun. My 11-87 does a number on deer, I don't suspect that it would be any different in a defensive situation.
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Old July 27, 2009, 10:17 AM   #3
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You hear someone breaking a window at 4 am. In the dark, close range it's hard to beat a scattergun.

Your handguns can do the job, but never choose to fight with a handgun if you have the choice of longarms.

Your SBR would be good in close quarters, except I wouldn't want to have to go to court after using an SBR, or anything in 50 Beowulf for defense. Not to mention the obvious over penetration issue.

Your other Ar's could also fill the role, but again the over penetration issue is a problem with any rifle round.

Before I get trashed I'm more than aware that defensive loads in a shotgun can punch through walls and kill. The danger of this is less when using a shotgun compared to a rifle.

and +1 to peetzakilla, within 25 yards I take a shotgun, beyond 25 yards I take a rifle. I choose the handgun when it's my only option
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Last edited by rburch; July 27, 2009 at 10:22 AM. Reason: peetzakilla posted before me
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Old July 27, 2009, 10:21 AM   #4
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I'm considering a tactical shotgun myself, but it would almost never be a "bump in the night" (BinN) solution - it'll be locked in my standup safe in the basement. I'd consider it my DEFCON 1 gun - when I have some reason to believe bad things are going to happen, it's what I'd grab.

But for the other 364 days a year, I'm grabbing the BitN handgun (currently Beretta PX4 .40 with 17-round extended mag).
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Old July 27, 2009, 10:28 AM   #5
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"It's the Indian, not the arrow"

If you have no training/experience with the shotgun, but have training/experience with the others, go with what you know..........

The time to figure it out isn't when you need it.

As to the overpenetration issue, compare a lightweight high velocity .223 round to 00 buckshot and see which one goes through more drywall. My money's on the buckshot personally.

(this from a shotgun guy.........)
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Old July 27, 2009, 10:37 AM   #6
Kjeil
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Quote:
If you have no training/experience with the shotgun, but have training/experience with the others, go with what you know..........
Yeah, that's what I meant by "Overhead"

Most of my training and experience is with the AR platform, I've always felt that if you have something you better know how to use it. So if I did pick up a shotgun that would mean more classes. That's not necessarily bad but it would take the place of more rifle or handgun training so I want to be sure it's worth it.

I actually have a Saiga 12 but that feels more aligned with carbine training than shotgun.
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Old July 27, 2009, 10:47 AM   #7
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With your nice selection of firearms if your knowledgeable in their function and abilities you don't probably need a shotgun. If your not familiar with a shotgun you'll need to train to be proficient with it. Personally the 2 guns in close proximity to me are a revolver and a shotgun. I can work either in complete darkness very quickly.
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Old July 27, 2009, 10:48 AM   #8
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I don't know why you'd actually need classes to use the shotgun.
Defensive training? Yes. (Which you have.)
Practice? Yes, you need that with any gun.

Shotguns are not that complicated. You know how to use a gun, the actual differences in deployment are not that significant.
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Old July 27, 2009, 10:58 AM   #9
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Trained pistol man here and rifle shooter by choice. When things go squishy at 2 in the morning and I have to check something out my bedside gun is a 357 loaded with 38's. Enough for a close bedroom distance encounter. If I have to get out of bed the Mossberg ends up in my hands loaded with #4 shot because I know the longest likely shot in my house, who is on the other side of the walls and I like the intimidating factor of the shotgun. The chances that I would have to use it goes down and if I do have to shoot the chance I would have to shoot twice is lessened.

Just because its called a scattergun doesn't mean you don't take aimed shots with it unless you are talking a 16" double barrel 10 gauge loaded with #9 bird shot, That is going to scatter like crazy. Can't do that anyway without a NFA stamp and I would never recommend small shot like that for HD. Couldn't do that with a semi or pump because of the tube underneath but you can get 18"-22" which are short enough for in house use.

I use an IM choke so I can shoot anything in it including slugs if needed. Add a 1.5x scope or ghost rings to it and you have a fast sighting accurate gun up to 7 or 8 yards, your longest likely shooting distance inside. Action up to you, I have old farmers guns, single shot break action, doubles, pump and semi's and I choose pump as my go to gun because of its reliability and its the one I'm most familiar with.

Better to have one and not need it than to be facing a couple of dopers flying high at dark thirty in the morning and wishing you had one.
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Old July 27, 2009, 11:09 AM   #10
Kjeil
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Quote:
I don't know why you'd actually need classes to use the shotgun.
The devil is in the details

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu83.htm
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Old July 27, 2009, 11:15 AM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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The devil is in the details
How does that explain why you need more classes?

That's some really basic stuff there.

Most of that information is not terribly relevant to most people. Action types? If someone is not familiar with the action types available for a shotgun then they should probably be taking some more classes.

If a gun is too heavy for you then you shouldn't use it.
If you can't handle the recoil then you shouldn't use it.
If it's not reliable then you shouldn't use it.

Personally, I would not consider, under virtually ANY circumstances, using a rifle for HD. I can keep a shotgun on target easier than a handgun. I use #6 or 5 or 4, or similar, birdshot not buck shot, to minimize over penetration issues.

Some mighty good info from our buddy Rob Pincus and The Best Defense here.
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; July 27, 2009 at 11:25 AM. Reason: add video
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Old July 27, 2009, 11:54 AM   #12
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Shotgun?

Kjeil, I'd much rather have a plain old 18.5" pump shotgun. Keep the fancy taticool add ons. #2 shot for the first two and slugs for the last two shots. If it isn't settled by that I'm a goner anyway.
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Old July 27, 2009, 12:23 PM   #13
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The muzzle-end image of my State Police issue Model 870 kept me out of 100% of those gun-fights I would have otherwise had over nearly a three decade law enforcement career. I learned to REALLY appreciate it!

It's STILL my weapon of choice around the home if given enough warning!

Last edited by Captain38; July 27, 2009 at 01:29 PM.
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Old July 27, 2009, 12:28 PM   #14
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When would a shotgun be my first choice?

When the only other choice is a handgun.

Pretty clear pecking order on my totem pole; rifles are king, shotguns a distant second, handguns trail in third, honorable mention to the pointed stick...

I like to keep things simple
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Old July 27, 2009, 12:31 PM   #15
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If I have my choice, and it's inside of 50 yards I'm going for the shotgun. My Law-12 will pattern all 9 out of Federal Flite Control 00 buck on a standard IPSC target inside 50 yards. Inside 25 and I'm in the A & C zones.

Don't even get me started on what slugs will do.
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Old July 27, 2009, 12:32 PM   #16
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Sporting Clays. That's 'bout it.
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Old July 27, 2009, 12:33 PM   #17
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I wouldn't choose a shotgun simply on account of the "go with what you know" logic. Don't own a shotgun, and have rarely fired one, maybe 20 rounds in my entire life. So basically, I'd go with a shotgun only if under some circumstance, it was the only option. In which case, I'd hope it's a Saiga 12 with 10-round mag.
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Old July 27, 2009, 01:36 PM   #18
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If I was just checking something out and was moving around in my house I would select a handgun. If I was taking a stand against BG or BG's I would choose my 18 1/2" pump 12 gauge with 2 3/4" Federal Tactical Buckshot. If there was a problem outside my house I would be keeping track of what is going on with shotgun in one hand and cell phone ready to call 911 in the other. I would NOT go outside to check out a problem. Wait, watch, and be prepared to call 911 or protect myself if things turned south.

Last edited by Sportdog; July 27, 2009 at 02:24 PM.
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Old July 27, 2009, 01:43 PM   #19
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The shot gun is, and always will be my first gun to grab if something starts to go down. Alot more stopping power, less risk of overpenetration.
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Old July 27, 2009, 01:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
What type of situation would make reaching for a shotgun your first choice? I'm not sure I can think of one but I have the feeling I'm missing something

when there are more than one BG comming at me close range, maybe put enough hurt on all of them with one shot to turn them away, if not at least slow them all down a bit.
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Old July 27, 2009, 02:14 PM   #21
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most all home defense type happenings that I can think of ,awoken in the middle of the night ..I would use my handguns cause you can operate them with one hand and still have one to defend with or phone or anything else
Now if a gang of thugs called and said they were coming to burn down my house a shotgun would meet that type of threat.8 rounds of OO buck or slugs would even the odds a little...
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Old July 27, 2009, 02:21 PM   #22
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Quote:
when there are more than one BG comming at me close range, maybe put enough hurt on all of them with one shot to turn them away, if not at least slow them all down a bit.
Unless we are talking about a very short barrel, most shotgun loads will not disperse much (if at all) at close range. At most social distances, the only advantage buck shot has over a slug is that it is less likely to penetrate.
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Old July 27, 2009, 02:32 PM   #23
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In a duplex or similar type of dwelling.
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Old July 27, 2009, 03:36 PM   #24
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I really don't understand all of the commotion about this. If I am in my house and a BG breaks in the longest shot I am going to possibly have is 30 feet and that is maximum. I figure it will be closet ot 10 feet. At that range I really don't need night sights and a scope etc. I also don't need a rifle, a handgun or shotgun will do nicely. I have a double barrel that I don't have to worry about jamming but it only holds two shells. I figure that I am going to hit the BG with at least one of those two shots. I also have a 870, 1100 and a 9mm handy as backups. If the BG runs outside I am not planning on chasing him down the street to need a 50 yard range gun.

All of this is based on him breaking into my house. Now if you are talking about somewhere else then you have to give details but why an AR-15 with a 30 round mag inside your house?
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Old July 27, 2009, 03:43 PM   #25
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Now if a gang of thugs called and said they were coming to burn down my house a shotgun would meet that type of threat.8 rounds of OO buck or slugs would even the odds a little...
Well, if I had that kind of "head up", I'd be on top of my roof with some type of .223 rifle and a bunch of pre-loaded magazines. Oh, and a well planned escape route. But, only if if they called me in advance and made a proper appointment.
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