AR Or Shotgun for home defense

I have some 3" 410 loads that are 4 .40" balls. Coming single file out of a .410" cylinder bore the pattern is very tight. At 7 yards it is one ragged hole.


That’s interesting. I’d love to see them shoot that at a home defense distance, 10 yards max. That is probably one huge hole.


Two pellets of 0000 buckshot side by side are right at or slightly over the bore diameter of most 12 gauge barrels, depending on who’s pellets you use and the exact diameter. Notice there’s no shot cup in the images Bruce linked. If the pellets are too large, they can get dented or scatter like breaking the balls on a pool table. It’s generally a better diameter for 10 gauge.

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I load 4 000 buck in a 2.5" 410 shell using a shot cup. Less deformation and tighter patterns. I have loaded 3 .375 balls in the 2.5" shell. I use a paper tube to shim them since they don’t fit in the shot cup. I can get 4 in a 3" shell. For my single shot 410 I make light shot loads in 45 Colt cases for pest control or snakes. I have 45 Colt dies. Easy and cheap.

Hahahaha! So true!

“Military Grade” means it was built to the minimum standards for the US Military (trust me, that ain’t too high) by the lowest bidder. As many here can attest, “you get what you pay for,” As proof: on my first deployment (Iraq) I was issued a M-16A2 whose upper and lower receivers had so much slop in them that it rattled when carried. I did get a better weapon on my second deployment (A’Stan): M-4 with an EOTech holo-sight.


My go-to for home defense is a AR-9 (with a 20 round magazine full of Norma MHPs) fitted with a laser and RDS, then a .40 S&W pistol, then if all else fails, a S&W Model 3000 (Rem 870 Clone) 12 ga loaded with 00 Buck and 1 oz slugs.


Here is the thing about “military grade” and standards.

Everything was built to the minimum standards. Everything.

It’s a matter of what what the minimum standard actually is.

Everybody, every company, sets a spec, and builds to that spec for as cheap as they can. Every company that outsources anything (like, BCM outsources most of their stuff including BCG) has a minimum spec to be met and the supplying company that meets the spec for the cheapest is usually going to get it.

Upper/lower fit as far as I can tell is not a function or reliability concern so it wouldn’t surprise me if the military has a loose fit there.

Look up the parts we know or can infer for the TDS on an M4 rifle and you’ll see they are good specs. For example, a bolt made within spec from C158 that is appropriately heat treated, HPT, and MPI is a good part. As proof just look how many AR manufacturers push significantly cheaper [almost] as good as parts that don’t meet that minimum spec.

Yeah, some probably exceed it…the KAC SR15, the LMT eBCG if you can actually get one, the Geissele REBCG…but the milspec bolt/rifle is good (now if only it didn’t have a 16" barrel in the nerfed civvie version and a short higher pressure carbine gas system…it’s better with a 14.5" barrel and a mid length gas

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Good points. Thanks for the clarification.

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When you look at optics, “Military Grade” takes on a different meaning. Military beats the crap out of their equipment. It has to hold up and has to operate in all kinds of conditions.

“Military Grade” is a pretty meaningless term, when it’s used in commercials.
A “military grade” isn’t a standard. The military has multiple grades for everything when they’re in the acquisition process.

I don’t have the specific example in front of me, but I recall that the military has multiple “grades” for lumber. Top grades are reliable and straight, and suitable for housing. Bottom grades are pretty much trash, and suitable for burning. There are many grades in between.

So I can tell you I’m selling “military grade” lumber, but am I selling you something to frame your house with, or something to burn in your fire pit? Well, that’s a secret, I’m not telling you that.

Beware of retailers selling “military grade” anything, unless they can give you the specific grade.

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I am a handgun enthusiast. I was on some regional pistol teams many years ago & still enjoy training & my range time. I don’t own an AR. I really would love to but my money always seems to go toward another pistol. I do own a Ruger 270 deer rifle, 22lr rifle & a Mossburg 12ga 18" 590. My primary home defense pistol is a full sized service 9mm with 17+1 & a surefire torch. I also have my 12ga. Loaded & ready to use on the other side of the bed.


I was never really into the whole AR craze. Always liked more traditional looking semi auto rifles even though there aren’t many alternatives to choose from. But then I won one of the USCCA gun a day drawing which at the time was giving out gift certificates to dealers instead of checks. I was actually able to pick up a couple guns including an upper and lower kit for an AR since that’s what the dealer specialized in. I’m still not into the looks but I really like the ergonomics and ability to easily customize it to my needs. Now I’m pretty hooked on the platform.

Definitely recommend giving one a try. They don’t cost much more than a good handgun. Some even cost significantly less.


Ergonomics are one of the leading advantages/pros of an AR type firearm for sure


To start, I want to say I am not a trained operator. I am not going to try go Rambo on a home intruder. I am just a Husband and Dad trying to keep his family safe. With that being said, here is my input on what I want in a home defense scenario…

Home defense situations are always a matter of distance. How far is the longest distance you will shoot inside your house? Mine is about 30 feet. Tiny house. Within that distance EVERYTHING will over-penetrate should a wall be struck.

I do not have anything in an AR platform within our arsenal. I do not have any desire to own one and it does not fit our defense strategy anyway. Just my personal preference.

For our home defense plan, I have my EDC Beretta 92A1 and two spare mags on my belt, always with me except when I’m in the shower, in bed or if I am going into someplace in town that does not permit weapons - school, bank, etc. All other times it is with me. Next in line is my Keltec Sub2000 chambered in 9mm and accepts the same magazines my Beretta does. They are my travelling companions. Next up is my 870 Tactical. It has an 18.5 barrel and one piece 6 round magazine. I have a 6 round side saddle on the left side and a 6 round tear off carrier on the right side of the stock.

The plan goes like this: Somebody kicks in the front door and I use my pistol to fight my way to my long gun (the Keltec) which is in the hall 12 feet away from the front door. I use the Keltec with either 17 round mags for my pistol, 30 round happy sticks or a 50 round drum ( I have 2 ) and I hold the attackers off from the hall door while my Wife gets the children from their room into the Master bedroom. I fall back into the Master bedroom and close the door, my son shoves my dresser across the door where it wedges into a 2 x 4 screwed to the floor. Inside the Master bedroom with 4 shooters are 2 Beretta pistols, my Keltec, my old Lee Enfield .303, a Marlin model 60, my Wife’s Remy 870 in 20 gauge, my Remy Tactical 12 gauge and my Dad’s old Browning A5 Auto Loader. LOTS of ammo for all weapons. NO ONE will be able to breach the Master bedroom once we are barricaded in position. We sit back and wait for the cavalry to arrive.

As long as my Family is safe and I am doing everything in my power to keep them that way, everything else outside the Master Bedroom can go away. It is replaceable. My Family is not.

With God as my witness, if the intruders do succeed in breeching the Master bedroom and I do perish from this Earth, they will advance through a hailstorm of hot lead and I will die in a pile of empty brass and shell casings.


If you had said you were, we wouldn’t have believed you. :laughing:


I mean, it is the internet

Fair enough, but we have all run into “Trained Operators” who didn’t know their asses from a hole in the ground.

I was at my local range one day, patterning my HD shotgun, and a “Trained Operator” (Amry small arms instructor, door kicker in Afghanistan, several other qualifications) tried to show me I was holding my shotgun incorrectly. Being the open minded individual I am and having no proof to refute his claims, I took him at his word and accepted his input. He took his stance, pulled the trigger and promptly lost his grip on my Remy. Luckily, I was standing close enough to grab it out of the air before it hit the ground. Then he started crawfishing saying he wasn’t that experienced.


I sleep with a .10mm next to me.Within reach are a Ruger MPR in 5.56,A Ruger SFAR in .308, and a Remington 870 Tactical.My wife also has a 10mm 1911 next to her.Im ready when trouble comes a knocking.If I were to grab a long gun I would lean toward the shotgun…but in a hurry I’m not going to be too picky.Trying to get in here will damn sure get you killed.

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I know feels here, Brother. You just cannot ask the bad guy to wait while you make your decision on which weapon you choose to defend yourself with.

Nice choice on you Remy. Mine is also the 870 Tactical. Many Reminton “Purists” as I call them will argue it is an Express model that has been dressed up. Remington calls it an 870 Tactical. It says 870 Tactical on the receiver, so it must be an 870 Tactical.

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…


I’m not really a “purist” as you put it, but my dad has one of the original 870’s. In my opinion, any of the newer renditions that have “870” in the name aren’t necessarily bad guns, but they’re just not worthy of the 870 title. They’re too different. But I digress.

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