Shot gun or pistol for home protection?

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by charliegirl, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. charliegirl

    charliegirl New Member

    I have asked a few people I know whether they think a shot gun or a pistol for home protection would be best. I have gotten mixed answers. Some people say shotgun because there's nothing like the sound of racking it to deter a threat. My uncle said hand gun because he doesn't like the thought of a long barrel for a threat to potentially grab onto. Another person said a hand gun with a laser because that gets the point across (no pun intended). Anyway, thought I would take this to the forums!
  2. unclebear

    unclebear New Member

    each has advantages and disadvantages as with anything in life, long gun can give a way your position if misused as where hand guns are more controllable in CQB. Also stopping power 12 gauge 00 buck vs 9mm slug, 12 gauge will stop a guy easier (more holes) where you can maneuver a 9mm pistol easier then a long gun. Personally I've always wanted a 223 pistol with a drum mag and a 870 mounted under the barrel, but as far as my home I have a model 66 taurus 357 mag I bought from a guy last year.

  3. RecklessRegard

    RecklessRegard New Member

    Have you shot/had experience with either? Is one more comfortable?

    I have shot hundreds of rounds out of shotguns. I have shot tens of thousands of rounds through pistols. I am far more comfortable shooting pistols, therefore my shotgun stays in the safe.

    With a shotgun, you just aim down the long barrel, and its hard to miss your target. But like mentioned, you need to move throughout your home without knocking into walls, hitting lamps, and anything else laying around.

    With a pistol, it is much easier to move around a house. Keep the pistol in chest ready , with the barrel pointing downward, and you're free to walk the house. But, without proper practice, its hard to stay proficient.

    Shoot both, practice with both. Pick what works best for you.
  4. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

    NEVER purchase a PD/HD gun because of how it sounds or a red dot. That felon tweeked on PCP won't hear the shotgun being racked or see that tiny red dot!

    If you depend on intimidation to protect you it will get you dead!

    The purpose of a self defense firearm is to stop a threat. Find one that is of the largest caliber you can accurately handle, physically fits you and one in which you establish a high level of trust.

    Practice until it is boring, then add new twists to your training until you reach the level of competency you feel comfortable with. THEN start over with more training. Continue this training for the rest of your life.
  5. PanBaccha

    PanBaccha New Member

    Depends on the lay of the home. Can you sweep corners
    effectively with shotgun? Are you able to accomplish
    same effect (BG down) with handgun? Which medium
    are you more comfortable with? That's the one you go
    with. Because when the shtf fashion ain't gonna cut it.
    Accuracy will.
  6. moonpie

    moonpie New Member

    i have to protect myself. my guns are perfectly happy to lay there and watch me get my butt kicked. i do keep shotgun and pistol and a few others.
  7. Firearms4ever

    Firearms4ever New Member

    I agree with Cane. If someone broke into my house they're going to be starring down the barrel of my Springfield 1911a1. I've had someone attempt to break into my house before, and even before that I've always had my 1911 loaded and on my person when I'm at home not when I'm asleep of course.
  8. charliegirl

    charliegirl New Member


    I am most comfortable shooting a hand gun vs. a shotgun. That is because I have fired more with hand guns. Yes, I can sweep corners well with a long barrel (wide open space floor plan). After what Cane said (thanks for weighing in, Cane), I have 100% given up on deciding on home protection based on how it sounds or the red dot. Now, it seems like it's going to have to come down to what I'm going to feel confident with and then practice, practice, practice.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2011
  9. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

    Barricaded at the top of the stairs? Shotgun, hands down.

    But, if you have to move through the house to retrieve a loved one, a handgun wins, hands down. You can heft a child over your shoulder and still shoot one-handed with a handgun, but a pump shotgun (or any long gun, really) is going to be hard to use while retreating through a house, shooting one-handed.

    I like handguns because it is something I know I can always have on or near me. If I hear screams across the street, I can't run over there with a rifle at the ready and expect to receive any kind of welcome. Having a handgun tucked into my waistband, provided I am properly trained with it, allows me to appear relatively harmless without being unprotected. Basically, I don't like investing too much time or money on long guns. First, I am already pretty good with one from previous experience before I got into handguns. Second, given my nature of "expect the worst and hope for the best," I am WAY too unlikely to be in a defensive situation in which I actually have access to a long gun, to actually want to rely on them. For a soldier, yes it is his lifeline. But for a civilian, I feel better served with a handgun, just because I know I can have it with me much more often. If times get rough, if you've got a handgun and know how to use it, you can go run errands with it under your shirt and still be ready when a couple of thugs try to hijack you. If all you've got is a shotgun under the bed or in the trunk, you're screwed.

    I guess I'm trying to say, get a handgun first and get good with it, and then add long guns as you see fit for the more extreme cases.
  10. magnumman

    magnumman New Member

    Where will you keep it? shouguns dont fit in the night stand. if it is under the bed,it wont be as quick to the shoulder as it may need to be. I perfer a handgun, my .45 and .357 are probably the most likely to be used in a situation like that. Which ever you choose, make sure you have plenty of practice at close range. bullseye shooting isnt going to do much for you. practice point and click.
  11. SgtSam

    SgtSam New Member

    Both are excellent. I keep both handy. I have a "short" barreled shotgun (20" or less barrel), and a .45ACP 1911 available. The 1911 is under my pillow. The 12GA resides in a rack at the side of my bed, kept in place between the mattress and the boxsprings. That way my hands can grap whichever I chose to in a hurry.

    I can move through the house quite readily with the shotgun, or the 1911. If I'm up against a drug crazed PCP addict, frankly I'd rather have the 12GA. Most other's, well, the 1911 will probably do the trick.

    You really can't generalize. There are way too many variables. I also keep a .30-.30 in a rack over the door inside a closet. That's a reserve for weird situations that might present themselves.

    Some say I'm paranoid. I live in the Chicago 'Burbs. Chicago is not a nice place to be thanks to a bunch of liberal, self serving idiots. The 'burbs, while not as bad, aren't exactly Disneyland, again, thanks to the same idiots. But, then again, find me some place that is 100% safe, if you can. No, I plan for the worst, and hope for the best. That's all I can do. However, as the old saying goes, "If you fail to plan, you surely plan to fail"!

    Good Luck on your choice. Whatever it is, practice, practice, practice; plan, plan, plan; and then ask for the Lord's help to go along with it all. Even General Patton realized the need for all three of those ingredients.
  12. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

    Why not both? I plan to use a handgun to cover my azz until I can retrieve my 12ga. Nothing says go away like a Mossberg 500. ;)
  13. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

    Outstanding! ;)

    Now you're using your MOST powerful weapon, your brain.

    Those old wives' tales work great in the movies or on TV but I've never been threatened with either.

    When a threat presents itself, my concern is how do I stop this? I do not shoot to kill, I shoot to live.

    In your situation presented in the OP, there has been a breech in your home security. The BG is in your house uninvited and you can only assume he is there to do harm.

    Your JOB 1 is to STOP THE THREAT!

    Get your gun of choice, and have a specific location picked out (usually in your bedroom) with a good line of sight to the point of BG entry. If you can, call 911 and leave the phone on. Hunker down and wait for the cops to clear the house.

    If/when the threat enters the room, stop it! If its worth shooting, its worth shooting twice. There is no additional paperwork for using extra ammo.

    The more holes in, the more blood comes out. Drop the blood pressure, drop the Bad Guy.

    Please read this for a fighting approach to firearm use. It is much different than competition shooting.

    Combat Accuracy
  14. luan87us

    luan87us New Member

    Go learn some kung-fu. Best Personal defense right there! joking aside I currently have a beretta 92fs with jhp by my bed for PD/HD I also have my AR-15 close by but it not loaded at all. I think the ar is too much for that task. Though I really suck with the handgun so I decided to sell it to my uncle so I can grab a mossberg 500 =D and a henry lever action so I can enjoy a little plinking here and there.
  15. DoyleTheDog

    DoyleTheDog New Member

    I personally feel more comfortable using a handgun for home defense. For a few reasons... I have 3 dogs that sleep in the living room who are basically my home alarms. If I had to stop a threat with a shotgun I'd be too worried about hitting my dogs as well. The other reason is a handgun would make it easier (for me) to move out around my house quickly. I keep a streamlight flashlight on my handgun and I feel it would help out. Anyone who tells you not to use one because "it will give away your position" has obviously never had one pointed directly at their face. Those things will temporarily blind you in a pitch black room...
  16. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

    Both. It would be neat if you could somehow attach the pistol to the shotgun that way if you have to go into an area where there is not much room to swing a shotgun around or if the intruder grabs the shotgun you could just grab the pistol and use it. Something like a holster attached to the shotgun.
  17. utf59

    utf59 Member

    This kind of expands on what Lindenwood said, but I think you ought to develop your plan for home defense and let that tell you what gun to use. Are you more likely to be in a fixed position covering the only approach? Or are you going to have to move through the house? Who else lives in your house? Are they "combatants" or "dependents"? Dog? Dedicated safe room? How strong are your doors and windows? Do you have an alarm system? How is the lighting controlled in your home?

    Once you answer these questions for yourself, you'll start thinking of others. Personally, my house is poorly laid out for defense, and I have a toddler in a room which can only be accessed from the master bedroom by going through the most central room in the house. I rely on the dog for early warning (she barks when anybody comes to the door) and then I know I'm going to have to come out to face whoever it is to make sure he doesn't have a free run at my kid's room. So it's handgun for me as the primary. I also have a shotgun accessible, though it would take longer to put into play.

    And I won't discount the comfort level. If, after all your planning, you're still more confident of hits — TIMELY hits — with the handgun, go with that!
  18. MLRDist

    MLRDist New Member

    Too many variables to answer question. Like many have said choose what is best for your situation. House layout and others in the house will be big factors. Plan and Practice because that will be your biggest help if and when something happens. I always plan for the worse and hope for the best.


    MLR Distributing
  19. boatme98

    boatme98 Well-Known Member

    And, I'm surprised no one has mentioned this yet, the sound of a shotgun racking is pointless. This means you have an unloaded weapon.
    If a bad guy hears that sound, it should only be because you missed with the first shot. If he can still hear. :D
  20. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

    I am not like most I guess, but I have both !