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Old November 25, 2012, 07:42 PM   #1
WildBill45
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Shotgun for home defense, weaknesses and strong points

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng7bT2pSQh8

I address a few issues with using a shotgun as a personal home defense tool, and it’s strong points as well. The limitations are not always talked about, but after putting a quarter of a century on the streets carrying a shotgun with me, I find that some folks do not know of or recognize these limitations and the liability that comes with them.

I picked up another shotgun, and decided to do a test shoot, whilst also addressing these tactical points for the homeowner who may not think about such things, but trust me these points are real, and should be taken into consideration when considering a shotgun for home defense.
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Old November 26, 2012, 11:11 AM   #2
Frank Ettin
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This thread was getting off to a rocky start. Let's see if we can keep this on topic and polite.
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Old November 26, 2012, 11:15 AM   #3
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To me, the biggest limitation of the shotgun is that I would have to be able to get to it for it to be of any use to me.
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Old November 26, 2012, 11:17 AM   #4
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The primary limitation of the shotgun is length. In close quarters even the 18.5 inch barrels can become difficult to maneuver.

The other misconception is the pattern of the shot. In close quarters it does not have time to spread. Therefore, it is just as easy to miss as hit.

Perception is another problem. Many people think you can pick up a shotgun, without practice and training, and immediately take out a target. My own experience indicates that you must practice. Granted it takes less practice to become proficient with a self defense shotgun than a pistol.


Even an experienced shot gunner cannot pick up a new weapon and expect to perform satisfactorily.

I have used shotguns most of my life. I am proficient on rabbit and squirrel. Yet, when I purchased my Mossberg short barreled shotgun with collapsible stock, I went to my range. At 10 yds. I engaged three standard targets in rapid succession. I missed all three targets. I then engaged the same targets with my Rem 1100. I hit each target in the 10 ring. It took several sessions to obtain a minimal proficiency
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Old November 26, 2012, 12:22 PM   #5
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I personally don't prefer a shotgun for home defense primarily because its size, maneuverability, and convenience are not favorable in my little house. Given my situation, I prefer handguns. If I wanted to arm a safe room with a long gun for home defense, I think I'd prefer a .223 rifle for faster follow ups and more capacity.

A shotgun's biggest strength IMO is that it provides more bang per buck (quite literally) than any other option. If stopping power and cost are the biggest factors in your home defense equation, a shotgun is a good option.
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Old November 26, 2012, 12:47 PM   #6
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I guess I agree with Oldmarksman.

I don't like having unsecured weapons about the house. That means either I have the weapon with me or it's unloaded in the safe.

I'm not going to walk around all day with a shotgun.

Now I have no objection to parking one next to the bed at night, but that means unloading it and putting it in the safe every morning. That gets old. So, without a compelling reason to do so, the next to the bed at night routine is not going to happen either.

So, no shotguns for me.
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Old November 26, 2012, 01:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
To me, the biggest limitation of the shotgun is that I would have to be able to get to it for it to be of any use to me.
This is true depending on your household situation. If you have no kids, and not many daily visitors, it can be loaded and in wait out of sight somewhere. The big choice is whether to have one in the chamber ... many shotguns are NOT drop safe; the safety only blocks the trigger and not the sear, so a big jolt has set them off! This is why in my Police cruiser it was procedure to have the shotgun loaded in the mag, gun in the electric holder with an empty chamber. Many a police cruiser had an unplanned hole in the roof due to errors in judgment with a loaded chamber.

If you want it next to the bed at night with an empty chamber, one just has to put the gun in the safe or put a lock on it in the morning. The lock is to prevent the thief from shooting you if you return early ... not preventing a theft of the shotgun. If you lose one, so what, the protection it provides is worth the risk. RISK VS. BENEFIT is the way to see that scenario.

Up close OO buck make ONE BIG HOLE, with little spread in most rooms, save Bill Gates home size rooms.

This is why you have a handgun: to get you to the big bore shotgun or rifle elsewhere!!! Besides, it doesn't have to be one or the other, both can be handy to have, especially so if other family members are trained in the use of fire sticks. If you go down, the kids can defend themselves.

Depending on where you live, a long gun of some sort can be a handy and life saving device. If you live where home invasions take place, multiple suspects may be your problem, and a long gun has some advantages there, in firepower and psychologically! Some folks talk about it, but have never been in extremis moments before, and I assure you fighting for your life never works out as planned. Overwhelming odds and firepower are always welcome in such situations. Great skill sets are a major plus as well.

PRACTICE, TRAIN, AND DO IT SOME MORE!!!
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Old November 26, 2012, 01:55 PM   #8
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I like them & it is one gun I use for HD.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrxkjRXk7m8
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Old November 26, 2012, 05:10 PM   #9
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It depends on what your home defense strategy is and what other non-firearm measures you've taken.

In my case it involves holing up in a bedroom behind cover and not moving to clear the house. I play the odds that any robbery or burglary, while I am at home, will be after my wife and I go to bed.

The odds of a daylight robbery, while I am at home, is smaller than the chance of shark attack.

If I had to maneuver through the house I might develop a strategy that used a hand gun. At present I don't feel that need.
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Old November 26, 2012, 05:16 PM   #10
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Massad Ayoob had a great perspective on the shotgun. He classifies it as the "artillery" gun, for when the family is all gathered in one spot and there is less need for the primary defender to move around. He refers to the handgun as the "infantry" gun - for use on the move.

I've always liked this school of thought. The shotgun is still a two-handed weapon, regardless. That other hand may be needed to open a door, use the phone, pull a loved one out of the way, fight off a bad guy etc.
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Old November 26, 2012, 05:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Massad Ayoob had a great perspective on the shotgun. He classifies it as the "artillery" gun, for when the family is all gathered in one spot and there is less need for the primary defender to move around. He refers to the handgun as the "infantry" gun - for use on the move.

I've always liked this school of thought. The shotgun is still a two-handed weapon, regardless. That other hand may be needed to open a door, use the phone, pull a loved one out of the way, fight off a bad guy etc.
That sounds brilliantly accurate.

In my case I work I another city. At that location I have Remy 870 which is almost as big as the place itself. Definitely holding up.

At the house the wife and I have pistols, and I practice as much shooting one handed as two handed, with the view I will be shepherding family members (or may have to depending on the situation).

Of course if there's a riot type situation thats when Dad's M1 comes in handy.
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Old November 26, 2012, 06:53 PM   #12
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Handguns and shotguns are not mutually exclusive.

Handguns and shotguns are not mutually exclusive.

You can have a handgun in your pocket or holstered while using a shotgun if needed... Backup guns are always a good idea if going to battle! You can never have too much firepower!!!

But, and there always is a but in life, if a family is depending on you, surviving trumps macho-behavior. Know when to back away ... you can always buy a new big screen, but you never can replace a family member lost to a dumb move. Hopefully you will have a choice if you ever find yourself in such a situation, but then again you may not.
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Old November 26, 2012, 07:46 PM   #13
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I have a tactical shotgun in the the bedroom for use as a backup for my .38 on the bedside table.
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Old November 26, 2012, 11:21 PM   #14
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When discussing home defense scenarios, often we think of the optimum situation - glass breaking downstairs at 3:00 am, family dog going bananas, grab the family, lock the door, rack the shotgun.

A real HD situation may come in a variety of flavors, including one where the bad guys are up in your grill real quick. The handgun is certainly easier to deploy quickly while the long gun may be better for situations where you have a little more warning.
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Old November 27, 2012, 01:50 AM   #15
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I like the infantry versus artillary analogy, I also understand other folks preference for an AR, particularly those good people with military training and experience with the platform clearing rooms etc. Just like a house fire, have a plan to get your family to safety and have the tools to get them there, there is a lot to say for being prepared and if that preparation includes multiple contingencies and options all the better.
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Old November 27, 2012, 02:17 AM   #16
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The idea of using a revolver such as the S&W Governor or the Taurus Judge for HD is appealing to me. It seems you can get the best of both worlds between shotgun/handgun, without the over penetration if you so wish.

You have the option of loading different ammo types as well. If the first three .00 buck or PDX-1 defenders don't get the job done, the next three .45LC's will, or vice versa.
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Old November 27, 2012, 02:54 AM   #17
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In my house, there are just two of us, which makes things easier to sort out.

The results are not yet in, but I have tried to train my wife to do just two things: Grab the loaded-but-not-chambered shotgun from our known staging place(s) and be able to quickly reload and hand back to me that shotgun or any of the limited number of handguns I pass to her ( a large-caliber revolver and 2-3 semi-autos).

Not much different from the wagon-train days.

In a firefight all I ask is immediate obedience to orders given. Lead, or get out of the way.
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Old November 27, 2012, 03:35 AM   #18
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Quote:
The idea of using a revolver such as the S&W Governor or the Taurus Judge for HD is appealing to me. It seems you can get the best of both worlds between shotgun/handgun, without the over penetration if you so wish.
Californians don't get this luxury
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Old November 27, 2012, 05:02 PM   #19
WildBill45
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EDITED to stay on topic
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Last edited by WildBill45; November 27, 2012 at 07:43 PM.
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Old November 27, 2012, 07:36 PM   #20
Glenn E. Meyer
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Gods preserve from another Judge is a superweapon combo again. Refer to Tom Given's review of the Judge that was in SWAT.

We have plenty of threads on that. Please stay on topic with long arm shotgun vs. other options.

Here's a nice analysis from a well know trainer.

http://www.krtraining.com/KRTraining...eflonggun.html

I pretty much agree with him after training on both platforms. Comfortable with both - but I go for the AR for the long arm.
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Old November 27, 2012, 07:45 PM   #21
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I understand that pistols seem easier to maneuver in a confined space. But If I have the option between a pistol caliber weapon and the damage it causes and a shotgun with the damage it causes knowing that at the very least the BG is adrenalized and might very well have drugs on board the answer is easy. I don't know how many of you have ever been around someone who has enough drugs in his system that they no longer feel pain. I have seen many. Facing them I want massive internal damage and blood loss. A mama Grizzly doesn't take a single claw and poke holes in you if you attack her cubs, her reaction is much more drastic. The closest I can get to that sort of effectiveness involves a shotgun. My kids (and grandkids) deserve that same sort of effectiveness. Maybe you are that effective with a pistol, it's hard for me to imagine myself being that good.
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Old November 27, 2012, 08:07 PM   #22
WildBill45
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Maybe you are that effective with a pistol, it's hard for me to imagine myself being that good.
I am pretty damn good with a handgun!

But I am pretty damn better with a long gun!!!

I depend on my handguns most of the time, carrying, and at home, and on the streets for a very long time ... I am confident with my handguns, and can be aggressive as such, but there is a time for the big boomers, and at that time nothing else feels so good!
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Old November 27, 2012, 09:19 PM   #23
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Wild bill good thought. If I may expand on your thought.

One should use the weapon which you are most competent and sure of.

For that reason, when it comes to a serious social occasion I default to my 1911 government model. It is old and ugly but I am confident I will put that big bullet on target and the slug will do its job.

If one is more confident with a shotgun or M-4 than a pistol, they should opt for those weapons in a serious encounter.
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Old November 27, 2012, 09:50 PM   #24
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Itc,I can't help but agree with you, with one warning. Human bodies absorb amazing damage. I've seen it over and over again. Old Trauma Nurse on his second career. Attack with what you can damage the BG most with. Period. If you're a total noob unfamiliar with any firearm, maybe try the thing that makes the bigger hole first.
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Old November 27, 2012, 10:32 PM   #25
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I can't say I agree with the guy in the video. He's comparing shooting someone who's broken into your house with the Martin/Zimmerman fiasco in Florida. Seems a difference between night and day to me. If there is anywhere you should be justified in using deadly force if you have to it's in your home.

He also mentions any negative emails or downloads, etc. will come up in court if you dare defend yourself in your home. Why? if they had absolutely nothing to do with the "crime"? If that's the case, then many of us are doomed if we ever use deadly force, because someone will always be able to pull up something to make us look bad.
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