Just posting this to stir up discussion, NOT arguments. At the end of the day everyone will do what makes them comfortable and that’s quite Ok. You all have the right to sleep like a baby at night. What I’m posting here is my opinions but I love to hear other folks take on this topic.
So last night I was teaching a class on SD weapons and the topic of shotguns was brought up by two lovely ladies. Same topic came up again today during another discussion.
So here is my take on SD/HD shotguns…
Not for me, thank you.
I think any “normal person” trying to decide what their long gun of choice should be for SD/HD should look for slow motion videos of someone firing a shotgun and someone firing an AR rifle and THEN decide. I like the concept of 30 rounds, almost no recoil all day long, and add to this the fact that a quick switch of mags gives me a completely different ammo performance profile? Winner…
That being said my biggest concern with using a shotgun for self defense is how unwieldy and obnoxious it is to fire ANY shotgun. I have the misfortune of training a LOT of new shooters that some misguided clerk in a gun store convinced that a 12 gauge pump is the answer to ALL Home Defense needs. Some even have bought into the ultra short pistol gripped 12 ga concept! These are folks that have no training and in some cases have NEVER fired a shotgun, and most (when you press them on it) really made this critical decision based on cost primarily. Reality is that a basic no frills 12 or 20 ga pump is about as inexpensive as it gets for a HD weapon, and an easy decision when propped with info derived from the opinions of the counter guy and a bazillion hollow echo voices on the internet.
When I get these folks I will go out of my way not to give them any preconceived notions of their own capabilities or limitations since many will surprise you. I spend time and prepare them physically AND mentally for that first shot. I even use light target loads to make sure they have the relatively best possible experience on that first shot. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM has hated the experience and acknowledged they made a mistake. Can they be trained to get past that? SURE! But again, why start with a handicap?
So I am clear, I believe a shotgun loaded with slugs AND outfitted with proper sights in the hands of a professional/civilian well trained in its use is an AWESOME tool that will most likely defeat even a body armor clad bad guy. I think it’s the closest to Thor’s hammer us mere mortals will ever experience. BUT, in the hands of someone that is not trained it is most probably, based on my observations, a wild ONE shot wonder.
I consider myself relatively proficient with a 12 gauge in any configuration and I sold all my SD shotguns a long time ago. I can’t see me reaching for one when I have an handy AR as an alternative.
And let’s set aside the fact that a long gun is normally easier to shoot well than a handgun, there is no argument there. But my point here is that if a long gun is the answer, and it could very well be for most folks, why make it a shotgun? If an 5.56 AR is “too much” why not a Ruger carbine, which will be just as easy to shoot as a shotgun and easier to add real value accessories like a red dot sight and lights AND it can deliver 30 rounds of soft shooting yet highly effective 9mm versus 3-5 rounds of shoulder pounding 20 gauge.
Or even better, a 9mm pistol with a 5"-9" barrel, either the Ruger or AR variants with a brace on it running high capacity Glock mags. Why would any shotgun be a better option for indoor use for HD?