What would you reach for, handgun or shotgun?

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johncanfield
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What would you reach for, handgun or shotgun?

Postby johncanfield » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:01 pm

I tried to search to see if there was a previous thread about this topic but I got over 13,000 hits. Anyway I was thinking about getting a Remington 870 Tactical shotgun to keep handy by the bed (we're rural on a smallish ranch) but I started thinking about what would I reach for first, my Sig P226 with Streamlight/laser on the nightstand or a shotgun. Our house is fairly small and even a bullpup shotgun might be a bit long to use in a crisis situation, but the idea of a pump shotgun with the racking sound must project a fear factor unless the perps are high on drugs.

Dear wife couldn't handle a 12 gauge but she's a pretty good shot with handguns. Maybe let her keep the P226 on her nightstand and I have the shotgun by my side of the bed? What do you guys think?

(Shotgun might be a better choice for feral cats, skunks, etc. than my 10/22.)
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Re: What would you reach for, handgun or shotgun?

Postby Tex1961 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:13 pm

It's always encouraged to ask questions.. Heck.. That's one of the main reasons forums like this exist.

But I find that in situations like this you need to be careful. So much advise and we all will put our own preferences into our answers. There have been countless articles over the years from plenty of "experts" on this very subject. I would first recommend that you do a bit of online research and listen to what they have to say about the subject. Second, Only you know your skills, your wife's skills, the layout of your home.

Let me throw the question back at you... What do YOU want to do?
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Vol Texan
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Re: What would you reach for, handgun or shotgun?

Postby Vol Texan » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:15 pm

John,

Other things come into play also: are there children or others in the house apart from you and your wife? Dogs?

If, for instance, you have a dog, and that dog is protective enough to stay between you and the intruder, then the shotgun may not be a good option.

Or, the general layout of your house may be a factor. If, for instance, the kids' bedroom is on one side of the front door, and yours is across the living room, then shooting a handgun toward the front door may not be a good option. Shotgun might be better in this instance because the wall would (hopefully) absorb some of the pellets - but even then it wouldn't stop then enough for my comfort. If I had that situation, I'd likely harden that wall a bit to make it more shotgun-repellent. There are lots of ideas online about that using concrete between the studs, etc.

For me...I prefer my Sig as a bedside gun, but it works well for me, my house layout, etc.
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Re: What would you reach for, handgun or shotgun?

Postby Dan20703 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:19 pm

Have both handy but....................

The perps should never hear the sound of racking a shell for two reasons:
1. There should already be a round in the chamber.
2. You will give up the secret of your location to anyone that hears it. Might start a hail of bullets in your general direction!
Last edited by Dan20703 on Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What would you reach for, handgun or shotgun?

Postby rotor » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:24 pm

Mossberg maverick with 18" barrel, #4 buckshot. Inexpensive gun with devastating effect. There are many opinions but this is mine.

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Re: What would you reach for, handgun or shotgun?

Postby pbwalker » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:27 pm

johncanfield wrote:...but the idea of a pump shotgun with the racking sound must project a fear factor unless the perps are high on drugs.


My $0.02, for what it's worth.

This is a bad idea. The sound of a slide racking gives away your location, and the element of surprise. The last thing a perp should hear is the click of your safety going from safe to fire. Could chambering a round scare someone in reevaluating their choices? Sure! But I don't want to take that risk personally. The shotty should be loaded already.

ETA: Dan beat me to the punch...too slow on the typing. :lol:
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Re: What would you reach for, handgun or shotgun?

Postby txglock21 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:53 pm

For me, I have had a shotgun by my bed for the most part since I was 12 years old. I was the designated "chicken protector" from coyotes and bobcats growing up. :lol: I didn't become interested in handguns until I joined the Air Force. All this to say, I would probably grab my shotgun first just out of habit.
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Re: What would you reach for, handgun or shotgun?

Postby couzin » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:09 pm

Yep - shotgun.
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Re: What would you reach for, handgun or shotgun?

Postby Middle Age Russ » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:10 pm

Well, you asked, so here are a few of my thoughts on the matter -- surely worth more than you paid for them (at least I hope so).

A shotgun is a fine tool, but may offer few potential benefits and come with some shortcomings as well compared to a handgun. As you mentioned, close confines in your home may make it more difficult to move from room to room due to the length of the firearm.

Birdshot of any kind is for just that -- birds. If you choose to have a shotgun for two-legged predator control, you'll want to feed it with some sort of buckshot. #1 and larger offer a reasonable amount of penetration in close quarters.

Cycling the pump on a pump action shotgun prior to using it in case of need may or may not be a good idea. The thing is, you won't know until you do it. The downside is that the predator you picked up the shotgun to address now knows where you are without a doubt and can therefore focus their energies directly against you. The upside is the predator now knows you are both armed and presumably ready to meet their threat with deadly force, which may or may not discourage them. Being risk-averse enough to employ firearms as defensive tools, I don't favor cycling the pump since I don't want the predator's focus on me if it is not already there.

Having defensive tools (plural) at the ready that you and your wife can both use in a time of need -- nighttime or otherwise -- is a good idea. If you choose to add a shotgun to the mix, make it one that your wife can run as well if she needs to and get both of you familiar with using it as a defensive tool. For that matter, both of you should be familiar with using whatever tools you have available defensively. More tools = more options.

YMMV, of course, but my wife and I have complimentary tools ready for use always, backed up by others (including shotguns and carbines) that can be made ready at a moment's notice. The latter are sometimes locked in the safe so that slows access and deployment a bit, which is why the sidearms being always ready is so important. To date we haven't had to use any of these tools, but we do not have them because of the odds. We have them and train with them because of the stakes.
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Re: What would you reach for, handgun or shotgun?

Postby RPBrown » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:27 pm

JMO and .02, We have a designated plan for such an event. The wife has the shotgun on her side of the bed which is farthest from the door. She also has her revolver in her nightstand. I have at least 2 handguns in my nightstand, 1 being my carry weapon of the day and the other my normal BUG. We both also have access to an AR15 (or 2).
If it hit the fan, I would be the first up and out with a handgun. She would take cover either on her side of the bed or in the safe room (we have a 6x8 concrete safe room with steel door as our bedroom closet). If she is on her side of the bed, I either let her know the threat is gone before I walk back into the bedroom, or she shoots the first thing walking through the door because she knows I would be out of action. I would honestly prefer her going into the safe room but stubborn as she is, she wants to be my back up. We drill on this constantly so it is engraved into memory.
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Re: What would you reach for, handgun or shotgun?

Postby Pariah3j » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:32 pm

Long guns aren't bad for a defensive position, such as getting behind the bed and waiting for someone to enter the doorway (funnel of death) and having a barrier between you and your attacker and an advantageous attack position. However, most nighttime intruder scenarios aren't the type of scenario where you are hiding in your room while they try to get through the door. Most likely its going to be a bump in the night, the sound of breaking glass somewhere else in the house. Now you go investigate. This will be a sweep and clear type situation - long guns aren't the best for that. It can be done, but if you have the choice between a shotgun/rifle and a pistol and there are blind corners and doorways you have to go around/through - pistol is the better choice. This my .02 from what I've learned, so take it for what its worth.
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Re: What would you reach for, handgun or shotgun?

Postby johncanfield » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:43 pm

Wow, those are some aspects I had not thought about. Our house is only 1200 sq ft but we're getting ready to add on about 500 sq ft. No kids and we just had to put down our corgi yesterday :-( Maybe the best of both worlds would be a short barrel rifle in a pistol caliber?
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Re: What would you reach for, handgun or shotgun?

Postby pbwalker » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:47 pm

johncanfield wrote:Wow, those are some aspects I had not thought about. Our house is only 1200 sq ft but we're getting ready to add on about 500 sq ft. No kids and we just had to put down our corgi yesterday :-( Maybe the best of both worlds would be a short barrel rifle in a pistol caliber?


Sorry to hear about your pup. That's such a hard thing to do.

Have you looked at the Keltec KSG? Bullpup shotty? A dozen shells in a bullpup capacity. It'll get you the smaller form factor with the 12ga stopping power. I know you mentioned bullpup being tough, but this might work?

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Re: What would you reach for, handgun or shotgun?

Postby bmwrdr » Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:33 pm

I have no children in the house and keep a 12 gauge side by side with a TLR 2 mounted in my bedroom. The noise of racking a round is in my opinion rather harmful because you signal your location. I chose a double barrel for the purpose of simplicity and it has a savety switch.
Sorry to hear about your dog but I am actually thinking to get a 4 legged buddy but it would be a Rottweiler.

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Re: What would you reach for, handgun or shotgun?

Postby C-dub » Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:41 pm

There are several threads on this topic. If you were thinking of one in particular, it may have been this one.
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=52012&hilit=shotgun+rifle+handgun+best+home+defense

As I mentioned in that thread and is still valid today, my first choice is my M4 carbine and then my Glock .45. The carbine has a 40 round mag of hollowpoints and the Glock has a 13 rounder and one in the chamber. Both have lights attached. The Glock has night sights and the M4 has an ACOG. The ACOG is sighted in at 100 yards, as recommended and what it is designed for, but I have also practiced with it at CQC distances quite a bit to be familiar with what is needed for those sighting at those distances. However, at those distances, using the sights may be a moot point since pointing and shooting may be all there is time for and required. Which I also practice using a timer.

I don't bother keeping my shotgun loaded.
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