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View Poll Results: What is your preferred home defense gun
Rifle 6 8.00%
Pistol 51 68.00%
Shotgun 21 28.00%
Other (explain in comments) 2 2.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 75. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 17, 2018, 11:43 AM   #1
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Preferred home defense gun

Yes, I'm digging up an age old discussion. What is your preferred gun for home defense purposes. Obviously, there is no right answer and each person's living situation will dictate their choice. Such as: if you have children living in your home and other houses close proximity to yours, you may not use rifle calibers due to over penetration. Or maybe you do and use ammo designed not to penetrate.

I simplified the poll into just a few categories: rifle, pistol, shotgun. If you feel your choice doesn't fall into one of those categories, hit other and explain in comments. I know there are pistol chambered carbines and AR pistols that might muddy up the water. Just answer according to the ammo your choice is using. For example: a 5.56 AR pistol will fall under rifle and a 9mm pistol carbine will fall under pistol.
I'm also interested in hearing what caliber choices you use and what ammo brand too. I don't want this to turn into a caliber war though.

Personally, I'm split between pistol and shotgun. In fact, I have both by my bed. Whatever one I grab to investigate "bumps in the night", my wife can use the other to protect herself (she's comfortable using either one). I don't have kids, but live in an average neighborhood where houses are close together. I don't want to put holes in my neighbors' houses, but I always want the advantage over any potential assailants. My bedside pistol is a 9mm with +P hollow points and my bedside shotgun is a 12ga with 2 3/4" #4 buck shot to mitigate the penetration a little more than 00 buck.

Last edited by TrueBlue711; January 17, 2018 at 11:53 AM.
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Old January 17, 2018, 11:53 AM   #2
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It is easier to move thru a house without having to be mindful of clearance if using a long gun/shotgun.

Number of shots is not very important to me.
I practice accurate point shooting in similar light conditions as in my home during evening times.

Also I practice multiple target strikes at "home" distances.

Accurate placement first, speed second.
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Old January 17, 2018, 12:00 PM   #3
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Inside the home a handgun is the 1st thing I'd reach for. Keeping any long gun handy, loaded, yet out of sight is not as practical. And most likely anything that happens will happen fast with little if any time to prepare. And at contact distances having one hand free to do other things is a big plus.

If I do have advance warning there is a shotgun and AR carbine close by that can be ready in seconds. At one time I'd have reached for the shotgun 1st, but it'd be the AR now. With pre loaded mags it is ready to go faster, is lighter, shorter, has 1/6 the recoil and 6X the ammo capacity. My shotguns primary advantage is throwing a large pattern making it easier to hit moving targets. At close range that is negated, might as well use the rifle.
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Old January 17, 2018, 01:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jmr40 View Post
My shotguns primary advantage is throwing a large pattern making it easier to hit moving targets. At close range that is negated, might as well use the rifle.
Although it depends on a number of factors, the pattern of shotgun rounds doesn't expand all that much in typical home defense distances. I suspect most shots taken indoors with a shotgun will need to be fired like a rifle if you plan to hit the target. If fired at close distances, like most home defense scenarios, I think the shotgun's primary advantage is power over a lot of other weapons.
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Old January 17, 2018, 01:55 PM   #5
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I live in an apartment, maximum range 10 feet. A handgun for me. Easier to control clearing a room IMHO.
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Old January 17, 2018, 03:00 PM   #6
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Rifle. I don't clear rooms and I live out in the country so i feel good with my choice. But if I have my ccw on me that changes things a little.
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Old January 17, 2018, 03:50 PM   #7
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Pistol. Easier to maneuver with and I’ve got neighbors and people in close enough proximity I need to think about over penetration.
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Old January 17, 2018, 03:56 PM   #8
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I live in a small apartment so use EDC 9mm Shield since it stays loaded,sometimes load up Mod 65 with .38+P. Growing up in a large house Dad kept his JC Higgins 12ga ready, that heavy metal pump will get your attention.
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Old January 17, 2018, 08:08 PM   #9
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I have a pistol, an AR, and a shotgun by my bed. Why choose just 1?
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Old January 17, 2018, 09:00 PM   #10
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Shotgun would be my first choice. But in reality my pistol is normally the closest and probably be what i grabbed.
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Old January 17, 2018, 09:06 PM   #11
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Pistol, both those with a brace and those without a brace and chambered for standard pistol calibers, i.e 9mm, 10mm, .40 etc.

I like a braced pistol/SBR because it is much shorter than a rifle and I can maneuver it better and be accurate with it inside the home and around corners and skinny hallways. Also, if there are multiple invaders I can be faster with the braced pistol firing it off my shoulder and if for some reason I have to take a shot at longer distance around the property, the braced pistol is more than capable of hitting out to 75 yards.

If I'm living in an apartment where that's not a possibility, a standard pistol is best. Even more maneuverable than a braced pistol/SBR and you can fire it one handed.

Preference is a revolver because in the home they're so darn reliable and I can fire very low powered rounds so over-penetration isn't an issue. A pistol with 17 or 20 round magazine is fine too, especially if there are multiple intruders.

Rifles are too powerful, deafening, blinding, etc.

Shotguns are too big and unwieldy. I don't deny the power of a shotgun, they're the best, but size is a factor. If I'm using a shotgun inside the home, I don't see the need for anything bigger than #1 Buckshot. I've become very fond of the Aguila Minishells that use a mix of #4 and #1 Buck. They increase the capacity in the tube and they're low recoil, yet still effective but less chance to be lethal if they go through a wall.
Any good revolver > Any good semi auto
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Old January 17, 2018, 09:07 PM   #12
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One might mention if your choice is based on training with your choice and trying it out in FOF, classes and/or competition.

Stopping power is insufficient. Over penetration comments should take into account the well known results of testing the various suggested solutions.
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Old January 17, 2018, 09:09 PM   #13
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I now keep a full size .40sw but I used to keep a shotgun ready for HD scenarios.

The reason I switched is because my local range only has a patterning board stuck at 40 yards and skeet and trap ranges. I didn't feel like I was training efficiently with it or have the facility to do so. I feel I can train more efficiently and often with a handgun with the facilities I have access to.
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Old January 17, 2018, 09:42 PM   #14
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Shotgun is what I am grabbing if I have time, if not its the handgun.
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Old January 17, 2018, 10:02 PM   #15
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Former State Trooper Mossberg with a 20" barrel and 8 round capacity is my bedside gun. I have pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns shattered through out the house and readily available.

The best protection is my large three dogs which provide an early warning system and a deterrent.
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Old January 17, 2018, 11:31 PM   #16
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Pistol. Because it is what I have trained with most by a large margin at this point.
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Old January 18, 2018, 12:33 AM   #17
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12ga Mossberg 500. Overpenetration is an issue in my house, even with 9mm.

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Old January 18, 2018, 12:59 AM   #18
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Shotgun. 12 ga on my side, 20 ga on mama's side.

Both with #7 1/2 shot.
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Old January 18, 2018, 01:08 AM   #19
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If you mean defense outside the Home then I’d say rifle. Big enough to stop the vehicle coming down the drive.
Inside it’s a pistol.
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Old January 18, 2018, 04:16 AM   #20
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If I have a choice, I am going to use a rifle. Realistically though, the pistol is more likely to be at hand. I’d use the rifle because I have a lot of training time with it, including in indoor and dark environments. It also gives me better accuracy, more power, and more onboard ammo.

And although I have a .300 BLK SBR that addresses blast and length concerns nicely, I’d use the 16” 5.56.
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Old January 18, 2018, 06:06 AM   #21
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I want all three available.
rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6
originally posted my Mike Irwin
My handguns are are for one purpose only, though...
The starter gun on the "Fat man's mad dash tactical retreat."
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Old January 18, 2018, 11:14 AM   #22
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FNX tactical 45. cal with suppressor, I do not want to damage my ears and wake up the neighbors. Also as back up a 20 gauge with no. 3 shot.
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Old January 18, 2018, 12:03 PM   #23
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AR15 carbine.
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Old January 18, 2018, 12:37 PM   #24
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Which room would I be in at the time ??
As I do not anticipate facing down any large gang intrusions,
I have within close proximity, in my
Bedroom = 1911/.45
Living room = 4" GP100
garage = 12Ga.Moss.500

+ my Constant carry = LC9S
I have gotten smarter as I've aged, . . . . . . . . No, Really !!!
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Old January 18, 2018, 02:09 PM   #25
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My house has many walls, built in the 1940's.

I prefer my SD40 for this house.
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