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Shotgun vs Handgun For Home Defense


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54 replies to this topic

#41 set2374

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Posted January 11 2017 - 06:12 PM

Handguns are the best and only option for concealed carry and personal defense.   As for home defense, they would be my LAST option.   For example, the average 9mm round is 115gr and has a velocity of 1200fps.   That combination of mass and velocity means the bullet is not likely to loose mass or break up on impact inside the home.   It's going to penetrate walls and/or ricochet, creating a major hazard to loved ones hiding in closets and behind walls.   Also, the NYPD did a study of police involved shootings where they found that only 20% of shots fired resulted in hits on perps.   Moreover, if you're shooting a 9mm, .380 or even a 45, there's a good chance you will need more than one bullet to incapacitate an invader.   Since we have a 10 round limit on mags in NY and there's a good chance that your friendly neighborhood home invader has a buddy with him.    I don't like those numbers.

 

A shotgun is a superior choice in this circumstances; however, the BS from the liberals out there suggesting you just point the gun in the general direction and pull the trigger and the bad guy is hit--well, it's just no true.   Even if you're going to use number 8 birdshot for home defense, assuming you're invader is 15 from you (a likely home defense distance), you're only going to get a 2-3 inch spread from the shot.   It will be a horrendous hit if you connect with your target, but there's a good chance you (or your wife or loved ones) may not hit the target.   Most people have something like a maverick 88, mossberg 500 or remington 870--usually in 12 gauge.   Even with birdshot, the recoil and muzzle rise makes it a pretty unwieldy weapon to use in hands that don't have tons of practice.    There's also a good chance that you or a loved one will short stroke the gun and reloading a shotgun under pressure is not easy!!  If you're going with a shotgun, a compact 20 gauge with a 18" barrel is the way to go.   

 

Personally, I prefer a rifle--preferably an AR.   It's easy to handle.  You'll have HD rifle equipped with a light.  You have 10 rounds still-like the handgun--but your chances of hitting what you're shooting at is much higher and the chance of incapacitating your invader with one shot is higher.  The biggest advantage in my opinion though is (contrary to popular believe) reduced risk of over penetration--particular with hollow point, soft tip or varmint rounds.   You're shooting a 55gr (or less) bullet at 3,000fps.  You're going to devastate your perp, but the rounds are going to break up and fragment quickly after making contact with solid objects.   Sure, it will penetrate sheetrock (even a couple of rooms), but it looses energy fast after making contact, tumbles and breaks up--loosing mass in the process.  I don't think it's a substantially greater risk than overpenetration with birdshot.   

 

Anyway, that's my two cents!



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#42 Steyr AUG man

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Posted February 22 2017 - 08:36 PM

Please don't believe that a shotgun will be scarring off an intruder.


When you rack that slide, i cant see anyone sticking around for the coming blast about to come out of the business end. I remember back in the day, when NYPD ESU carried the Ithaca 37 pump shotguns as the first go-to gun on the trucks. If we has a big melee on the street and had to call an "85 Forthwith", we loved to see them arrive to back up. As soon as they exited the truck and grabbed the Ithaca 37, they would hold it by the slide with the canvas strap on it and rack the slide holding the gun with one hand. The crowd heard that unmistakable sound and stopped their fighting right there. They knew that sound meant that these just arrived cops meant business.



#43 leftjammer

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Posted February 22 2017 - 08:54 PM

Shotgun....

 

because nobody gets up after taking a shotgun blast (with the right load) not even that guy pumped up on the latest drug


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#44 boosti

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Posted February 22 2017 - 09:16 PM

When you rack that slide, i cant see anyone sticking around for the coming blast about to come out of the business end. I remember back in the day, when NYPD ESU carried the Ithaca 37 pump shotguns as the first go-to gun on the trucks. If we has a big melee on the street and had to call an "85 Forthwith", we loved to see them arrive to back up. As soon as they exited the truck and grabbed the Ithaca 37, they would hold it by the slide with the canvas strap on it and rack the slide holding the gun with one hand. The crowd heard that unmistakable sound and stopped their fighting right there. They knew that sound meant that these just arrived cops meant business.

That is a different scenario, a real determined criminal that is inside your home won't retreat at that sound.
Saying you have a gun and your scaring me is good when you are talking to an 911 operator who is sending the Calvary in.

#45 Parashooter

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Posted February 27 2017 - 12:45 PM

AR with HP ammo

 

Your home has all concrete walls? - you need to consider wall penetration - 



#46 boosti

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Posted February 27 2017 - 01:20 PM

Your home has all concrete walls? - you need to consider wall penetration -

The FBI was replacing the 10 mm MP5 for M4 .556 carbines. This was a few years ago, an agent shot a pit bull and the bullet didn't exit.
If using a carbine or handgun,definitely use a reliable expanding type ammunition for reducing the risk of overpenetration.

#47 Steyr AUG man

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Posted February 27 2017 - 01:59 PM

Your home has all concrete walls? - you need to consider wall penetration -


Absolutely. If you shoot at an intruder in your home, and it goes clean through, or misses all together and goes through a sheetrock wall and vinyl siding, or a window, you can hit your neighbor cutting his grass, or his kid playing ball in his driveway, or an old lady walking her dog, or a guy driving by. Unless you were an off duty cop, who might be indemnified by his government employer against civil suits, you will be facing financial ruin, and possible criminal charges.

 

A nice shotgun round will be more effective at close range, more likely to hit your target in harder to see low light indoor conditions, and less likely to hit a an elderly neighbor walking her dog a block away.  An AR for any home self defense use, other than an end of the world scenario with mobs approaching the door, is very foolish. Unless you live on a farm of several acres, with your nearest neighbor a mile away, and nobody else in any room of your house, and hence, no chance of collateral damage.



#48 set2374

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Posted February 27 2017 - 04:16 PM

Absolutely. If you shoot at an intruder in your home, and it goes clean through, or misses all together and goes through a sheetrock wall and vinyl siding, or a window, you can hit your neighbor cutting his grass, or his kid playing ball in his driveway, or an old lady walking her dog, or a guy driving by. Unless you were an off duty cop, who might be indemnified by his government employer against civil suits, you will be facing financial ruin, and possible criminal charges.

 

A nice shotgun round will be more effective at close range, more likely to hit your target in harder to see low light indoor conditions, and less likely to hit a an elderly neighbor walking her dog a block away.  An AR for any home self defense use, other than an end of the world scenario with mobs approaching the door, is very foolish. Unless you live on a farm of several acres, with your nearest neighbor a mile away, and nobody else in any room of your house, and hence, no chance of collateral damage.

 

 

I think shotguns and AR's can both be excellent home defenders, but choice of ammo, training and a good plan are key.   As for shotguns, they will overpenetrate big league unless you use the right ammo.   You can't safely use slugs or any buck loads in HD situations in suburban long island (certainly not in a home with the typical 60x100 lot you'll find in Nassau).  I personally using a No. 4 turkey load in my shotgun for home defense.  It certainly doesn't have the stopping power of buck, but at short distances under 30 feet, the difference is negligible since the spread is minimal.   At the same time, don't rule out an AR for home defense--and not just for WROL situations.  An AR can be a very effective home defense weapon, even in densely populated suburbs provided you use the right ammo.   A standard 62gr HP or even 55gr HP will still present overpenetration issues.  I personally prefer very light varmint rounds, my choice being a Hornady 40gr V-Max.  Shot from 10 yards into ballistic gel, you'll get 4-6" of penetration--but the wound cavity will be horrendous.  Since the body isn't a gel solution, chances of over-penetration are slight at best.   If, however, you miss and hit dry wall, the bullet will penetrate but break up upon exit.   You can still injure someone on the other side with bullet frags, but the chances of a fatal wound are far less than with most other loads.  

 

Please note, however, that appearances matter.   An AR is going to raise a lot more eyebrows than a shotgun--and that is something to take into consideration.  Although I am far more confident in my AR, I am currently using my mini 14 for first line home defense since it will be a lot easier to explain--even though I believe it to be the inferior weapon for the job.        



#49 LarryD23

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Posted February 27 2017 - 04:34 PM

Your home has all concrete walls? - you need to consider wall penetration - 

It doesn't matter as much as you would think...



#50 bspz28

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Posted February 27 2017 - 05:11 PM

Clearing a house should only be done by police. The homeowner can retreat to a safe location. If the intruder is a threat, and you fear for your life and safety of others, no reason to get killed because of what a DA might do.

So you are on your way home from the range and just got off the phone with your wife saying that dinner will be on the table in 10 minutes and the children are waiting for your arrival. As you pull into the driveway you notice your front door is kicked in and a strange car is parked across the street.  You are telling me you are not going to enter the house with your weapon drawn looking for a threat or your family , that you will sit in the car on the phone with the police to come rescue your family. 

 

If that is the case i'm glad i am not part of your family.  



#51 boosti

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Posted February 27 2017 - 05:12 PM

It doesn't matter as much as you would think... https://youtu.be/AXOIQgfvVlE

The Critical Defense 9 mm 115 grain didn't expand. I prefer a .45 caliber handgun for self defense. Slower moving wider bullet that doesn't shrink.

#52 boosti

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Posted February 27 2017 - 05:17 PM

So you are on your way home from the range and just got off the phone with your wife saying that dinner will be on the table in 10 minutes and the children are waiting for your arrival. As you pull into the driveway you notice your front door is kicked in and a strange car is parked across the street.  You are telling me you are not going to enter the house with your weapon drawn looking for a threat or your family , that you will sit in the car on the phone with the police to come rescue your family. 
 
If that is the case i'm glad i am not part of your family.

In that scenario my responsibility is the safety of my family. Definitely call 911 and give them a heads up your licensed to own a handgun and have your family inside. Police responding may need more details, when they arrive they see that gun and may see you as a threat and you get smoked by the police.

#53 bspz28

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Posted February 27 2017 - 05:20 PM

How would the police know to come if you did not call them.  If time allows then I would call. otherwise I would clear the house first then call the cops off needed. FAMILY COMES FIRST...... 



#54 boosti

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Posted February 27 2017 - 05:48 PM

How would the police know to come if you did not call them.  If time allows then I would call. otherwise I would clear the house first then call the cops off needed. FAMILY COMES FIRST......

You have to form some type of plan it takes about a minute to call 911. The bad guys will know you pulled in the driveway and you will stumble in an ambush situation. The front door is open and a car parked across the street. You better have a good plan.

#55 TwentyTimes

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Posted February 27 2017 - 07:43 PM

When talking to shops when buying my gun, multiple said "shot gun for home defense." The sound of the shotgun is a derent. In a quiet home, the sound of a mag being put in and slide isn't exactly going to make an intruder all warm and fuzzy either.

I have 2 young kids. If a noise occurs and I find it nessesary to bring my weapon downstairs, I rather it be a hg. I don't want my boys (4, 1) to see me coming up the stairs with a shotgun. I just think, at their age, it'll be more traumatic than need be. Then again, i don't know. I also want them to know they're protected too.




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