AR Or Shotgun for home defense

The 9mm G2 is inferior to quality traditional JHP options. Penetration is acceptable (on the lower end, but acceptable), however, the silly petals fold away and drop off way-short on penetration and the light leftover core doesn’t expand at all from the 9mm starting diameter (final of 0.356" which is exactly where where 9mm bullets start)

It also tends to cost more and has what looks like a more failure prone bullet profile.


Here is what a good one looks like


I knew you were going to reference the HST. For good reasons as one can see. Like you and many others, the Federal HST and Speer Gold Dot are considered the gold standard.


Thanks for this article, it’s a very interesting read. Lots of good data. I stand corrected on my previous statement. Thanks for setting me straight.

Going back to the original topic of discussion for this thread, I stand by my previous preference of am AR-15 over a shotgun. I’m still convinced it’s the better choice.


Interesting how some say the shotgun is not effective,
Deer have similar Mass-Wieght-Density as a human
And how many deer have been put on the dinner table within 75 yards with a shotgun
Do all the Ballistic Jells you want, Then go hunting with 00 buck or a 300 grain slug



I don’t think anybody is saying the terminal ballistics of a shotgun are not effective.

But people are pointing out that:

  1. A reliable semi auto shotgun is objectively more ‘effective’ than a pump
  2. An AR type rifle is shorter, lighter, higher capacity, less recoil/faster to shoot, faster to reload, same general terminal effectiveness although it might fall short if you force a “1 hit vs 1 hit” comparison
  3. There is absolutely nothing ‘wrong’ with a reliable shotgun that you are comfortable and proficient with, be it pump or semi, 12 or 20.

But I’ll wager that if you took someone equally proficient with an AR…bearing min mind AR proficiency is probably easier to acquire that pump shotgun…and faced them off with a pump shogun…simulated/simunitions/whatever…the AR wielder is generally going to ‘win’.

This is why so many police departments, where able/politically allowed, have gone to patrol rifles over shotguns and why militaries of the world pretty much do not ever intentionally use shotguns in combat yet intermediate cartridge rifles are pretty much THE standard.


FWIW, as I am clearly team “AR is better [for most]”…I work remotely at home (always carrying a pistol on me of course) and the quick safe a few feet from my desk contains…a shotgun. Semi auto, red dot, cruiser-ready with critical defense 00.


I recently pattern tested a dozen or so different 12ga. rounds through my Maverick at 25 yds. At this distance the groups, baring one or two outlier pellets, were all within a diameter of from 2 - 5 inches. Unless you have a REALLY big house distribution isn’t going to make much difference (unless the baddies are holding hands). The rounds I tested included 1 1/2" minis, 2 3/4" standards, and 3" magnum loads.


How did the mini shells feed in your Maverick?

I have been looking into purchasing a Mossy 590S as a truck gun for the use of the mini shells as it is currently the only (that I have found) shotgun to be built to use the mini shells.


They don’t feed at all unless you install the small hard rubber wedge in the breech. Without the wedge they just fall out instead of feeding into the chamber. With the wedge they feed fine. However, with the wedge in place you can only cycle the shorties. Easy to put the wedge in and out.

OPSol Mini Clip 2.0 Flex Minishell Adapter Mossberg 500 590 Shockwave (



OPSol Mini Clip 2.0 Flex Minishell Adapter Mossberg 500 590 Shockwave (

Currently out of stock at Midway with no backorder.

I have been looking at this very hard:


  • 12 Gauge; 18.5" or 20" barrels
  • Can cycle 1.75", 2.75", or 3" shells interchangeably–without need for short shell adaptor
  • Capacities between 5+1 and 13+1 depending on shell size
  • Mossberg’s Patented (U.S. Patent No. 11,598,596) design allows the cycling of a range of 12 Ga shell sizes out of the box.
  • Traditional 590 features included: Dual Extractors; Twin-action Bars; Ambidextrous Safety; Clean-out Mag Tube
  • 590S Shockwave model also available
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Brownells has them in stock at the moment. I’m not in the market for a pump gun but if I was the 590s would probably be on my list. Was looking into shotgun ammo thanks to my upcoming acquisition and noticed that the federal mini shell slugs seem to perform pretty well though not in the semi auto I will be getting.

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I kind of followed Lucky Gunner and elected to go with the shotgun for my home defense platform, with my back up being my bedside handgun. Shotguns generally have immediate one shot effects on subjects. I’ve since learned via TFB’s James Reeves, that AR use is associated with poor outcomes in court proceedings for civilians who use them in self-defense situations. “Why did he/she need an AR?” A lot of jurors don’t seem to realize that police also need them, and that anything police will face, will also be things civilians also potentially face and so might need the same too.
Shotguns and ARs are both quite effective, and so from a tactical perspective I don’t think either choice would a “wrong” answer.


That may be true in some places with anti self defense prosecutors and juries. Though it would be easy to find expert witnesses who can show that most semi auto rifles used for self defense are less likely to over penetrate both criminals and especially walls and therefore are a very good choice for someone who is concerned about keeping their family and neighbors safer if they are forced to defend themselves from an attack.

Though I agree that semi auto rifles and shotguns can both be effective self defense tools.


Was that reality, or mock/simulations?

I do believe James still concluded the AR is best, if we’re going by him/TFB


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So as I thought about this topic, I took a shotgun to the range today. Inertia semi auto 12 gauge. Shot a couple dozen ‘low recoil’ slugs, and a couple 1600 FPS 9-00 bucks

A bit of ouch.

One of the not yet mentioned benefits of an AR…it’s quite easy to get your practice/training in, without beating yourself up


Absolutely. I think either is quite effective.

Since I don’t know what kind of prosecutor I would face if I ever did have to use a weapon in defense of the home, I’ve just decided to head that potential avenue of questions off. My neck of the woods is purple politically, which I like, but that also means that there may be potential jurors, and prosecutors who would ask of me (though not police oddly) “why does he think he needs an AR?”
I’m also sure there are no shortage of expert witnesses who would say exactly what you are saying. I also know that some jurors may have very negative feelings about the AR platform for a variety of reasons, but that distaste doesn’t often extend to things like shotguns, and lever or bolt guns. So my approach is to just attempt to eliminate that issue all together.
If I lived in a place that had much higher crime, more frequent home invasions etc, I would alter my home defense long gun choice for sure.
I do have an AR by my shotgun on the off chance my property is invaded by a Nazi Sasquatch Biker gang. Which is certainly the next most likely threat I face living out in the sticks.

He did conclude that it was still probably the most ideal home defense weapon. I dug his analysis, but at the end of the day, I’m still going with my Mossberg.

That is a fair point! The shotgun is absolutely not for every one. I run a semi-auto, so the recoil isn’t that much of a much.

Semi autos can vary a bit, too. Gas vs inertia, weight of the gun, what kind of shells you train with…etc. Training with a lightweight inertia gun shooting buckshot at the range (to mimic defense use) would seem to take a toll on anyone vs the same shot count training with a 556 AR or a pistol

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