I read a lot of Gabe Suarez and I am also an Infantryman. The conventional wisdom that shotguns are the greatest thing for close quarters/ home defense has been a topic I have questioned a lot.
Shotguns are great. First of all they are relatively speaking quite cheap. Never paid $200 for a pump shotgun and I like name brands in decent condition or new. They are also versatile and can hunt ducks or small game, deer or do a good job against bigger meaner game.
However if it is 2am and I hear the front door explode is a shotgun what I really want to grab? I am becoming less and less sure that a good rifle like an AR or an AK (or a Mini 14 or a .308 or whatever butters your bread) isn't a better choice.
Shotguns have 2 weird myths associated with them. They kind of flow together. First is that because they shoot multiple projectiles they are automatically going to be way more accurate and useful in close quarters like a house. The thing is that for a shotgun to actually stop someone it needs to connect with a good amount of shot. Along with this at close range patterns tend to be pretty tight as in inches or fist sized or maybe even dinner plate. Certainly pointing it in the general direction of a person isn't enough to guarantee their destruction.
Second is that shotguns are safer because they do not ever penetrate. This all depends on the load used. Small minimally powered shot designed to kill little birdies penetrates a lot less than buckshot designed for hunting or self defense. The issue is that you need penetration to stop a goblin. I wish I could say there were readily available, proven and reasonably priced loads that would do the job on a goblin but not go through a single stick framed residential wall but that just isn't the case.
So yes bird shot doesn't penetrate much but the issue is that at all but point blank range it doesn't penetrate enough to be an effective defense load. To me the whole point of a gun is that you can defend yourself beyond point blank range. To put it in perspective a hatchet is a darn effective pointblank weapon but at 5 yards it isn't at all effective, ditto for bird shot.
The thing is that shotguns do not hold very many rounds and are slower to reload (both between shots and if the weapon runs dry) than modern magazine fed rifles.
Also we live in an increasingly dangerous world. Home invasions are reality. That shotgun which holds 5-8 shots was plenty when the norm was one or maybe two guys who probably just had knives anyway. Nowadays 3-4 goblins with guns is not at all uncommon. That makes a rifle which holds 20-30 shots seem a lot better than a shotgun holding maybe 8.
Honestly in that ugly worst case situation me thinks I want an AR or an AK with a 30 rd mag and maybe a surefire light with a pressure switch. Also a bullet proof vest would be good.
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