I’m no longer willing to deal with the downsides of the shotgun, especially when there are other ways to achieve the same ends. My AR-15, for instance, is shorter, lighter, has a significantly rearward weight bias in comparison to just about any shotgun, recoils less, is easier to get back on target for followup shots, and frankly is a lot more fun to practice with. It’s also extremely effective, particularly at the distances one is likely to find in a home.

(A lever-action rifle isn’t quite as easy to use as an AR-15, but it still beats the shotgun as far as I’m concerned!)

For me, the advantages of the shotgun are few and are outweighed by the disadvantages I’ve noted. The trouble is that too many people buy into an idea (“the shotgun is the ultimate home defense gun!”) without honestly assessing their own needs and capabilities.

via I don’t care what Joe Biden says, the shotgun isn’t all it’s cracked up to be! | Rifles, Home security.

At least partially. Yes, a good rifle will do what a shotgun can and with less apparent disadvantages but… only if you can afford it.

Here is where I have a problem with the rifle concept: A decent M4-type weapon is gonna cost you and that is before accessorizing with a red dot and even a light. And then you need the ammo and the extra mags and the sling…and by then you are broke doing the tactical Barbie thing and shelling up to $2,000.

Now, our objective is defense and even if we do so with less than the “perfect” tools, it beats waving the feather duster against a bad guy. Take for example the  Hawk Model 982,  a Chinese clone of the Remington 870 that has had decent reviews and can be bought for under $200 and in many cases in the $150 to $160 range. Or you can go the used shotgun way with prices slightly above the Hawk and still leaves you with enough money to buy shells and get some basic training.

Is it the universal long gun for home defense? Of course not. My petite wife may take one or two shots with it and call it a day so her training level will be zero. But if the person can deal with the recoil, why not?

So basically that is my humble opinion. The shotgun is still a viable long gun for home defense depending on the circumstances.



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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

10 thoughts on “Where I disagree with Grant Cunningham.”
  1. While I am a huge advocate for the pistol caliber carbine, I have to take into account that in some places, a pump scatter gun is the only “tactical” long gun you can own. In Chicago (current home town) pretty much any semi-auto rifle more tactical than a 10/22 is VERBODEN!!! Even the California Legal Mini14 with the wood stock and no flash hider is banned. Semi auto shotguns can’t carry more than 5 rounds or have a pistol grip. So My HD gun is a Mossberg 590SP with ghost rings and a 8+1 capacity. Why? Cuz it is both effective and legal.

    NY/NYC, DC, NJ, CT, all have similar laws, so your beloved AR can’t be had there.

    1. what tics me off about the pistol carbines is they are also frigging expensive. Most want to stay wit the AR pattern design which OK is cool and all that, but the objective again is DEFENSE.

      1. Yeah, I’m with you on that one fact.

        I have a few. I think they are really the best home defense (HD) guns for a few reasons. They have rifle like accuracy out to reasonable HD distances, say 75 yards. There is no non-TEOTWAWKI where you can legally justify a 300 yard self defense shoot. Form one side of your yard to the other is the max I think you could get away with in a post-Katrina type disaster. Recoil is nonexistent for the most part. Magazine capacity is better than a shotgun, and in some cases 30-33 rounds depending on which mag your gun uses (extended aftermarket, Glock 18, or UZI). Being long guns, they are easier to use under stress than a hand gun. If you get one in which the mag fits in the grip, they are shorter than AR’s, about the same length as an AR SBR. While all guns are loud, 9mm carbines are quieter than shotguns or AR’s and are not eardrum rupturing loud. The best ones, I feel, use pistol mags, allowing the shooter to pair a carbine and handgun to the same mag and ammo, which is fantastic.

        I have a Kel-Tec SUB 2000 that goes with my S&W 5904

        Beretta CX4 storm with my Beretta M9

        Ruger PC9 with my P95 (If Ruger brought back the PC9 to go with my SR9 I’d buy two).

        As for non-semi, a Marlin 1894 in .357 that goes with my S&W 66, S&W 586, Ruger SP101, etc.

        There are a few more on the market. The Hi-Point is a fugly, boat anchor. The Taurus is… a Taurus POS. The Thureon Defense goes with Glock mags but is $900 and can’t be found in stores.

        What I don’t get is why PCC’s are so expensive. They are simple, blowback operated guns. The number of moving parts is low and lower tolerances are needed compared to locking bolt semis. Material costs are less than 10% the cost of guns, most of the expense is in machining and finishing. They should come in the $500 range. The now discontinued Marlin Camp 9 and Ruger PC9 are essentially overgrown 10/22’s. Perhaps if they were cheaper, more people would have them. But truly, I love my AR’s, I love my shotguns, but if I was allowed to have the gun of my choice withe me, my #1 HD gun is either the Ruger or Beretta with a 20 round Mec-Gar mag and 124grain +P Gold Dot.

      2. I agree also about the shotgun being the best home defense “bang for your buck” gun. I bought a Mossberg Maverick 88 12 ga pump, with an 18 1/2″ barrel, for under $200 a couple of years ago, from a local sporting goods store. I keep it loaded with No. 6 shot, which is both cheap and effective at home defense ranges. It also doesn’t have the heavy recoil that full power 00 buck loads do, and I don’t have to worry so much about over penetration into adjoining rooms.
        I have other guns, but I wouldn’t feel undergunned if the shotgun was all I had.
        For the petite ladies, a 20 ga can also be a good choice, with low recoil and enough power to get the job done.

  2. “The shotgun is still a viable long gun for home defense”

    Absolutely, but then so is the used .30-30 carbine.

  3. I still prefer the shotgun. Most self defense emergencies are short range affairs. The light may be bad; the target(s) may be in motion. The shotgun gives you a higher hit probability than any other personal weapon, within its range limitations (per JSSAP). So a riot gun with a light on it makes a lot of sense.

    Oh, yeah, and it’s cheaper too. 🙂

  4. All good points. I use low recoil law enforcement 8 pellet OO buckshot which has tight patterns. I really like the idea of 8 pellets striking my target at the same time and carving either a huge wound channel at close range or several ones at a longer range. Now that’s a boo-boo!

  5. Shotguns are ultimate home defense weapons. They are the most effective weapons on short distances. That is why police and army still use them. Of course, AR-15 has less recoil but you will be able to mitigate 12 gauge recoil effectively after several trainings. Shotguns are not that bad.

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