AR Or Shotgun for home defense

The other thing that almost certainly helps me with the choice of shotgun is that I really just enjoy shooting them too. No idea why. I prefer shotgun range days to AR range days.

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I will say it again. It is a lot easier to explain multiple holes when using a shotgun.

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Back when I lived in California, one of the guys I knew had the same concerns. He ended up with a Ruger Mini-14. Semi-automatic, 5.56, detachable magazines, customizable for a red dot (at least his was), about the same weight — and looks completely NOT like an AR-15. He told me it was an AR-15 that wasn’t an AR-15. Might be worth looking into if you want all the benefits of an AR-15 without the looks of one.

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To be clear, I watched through the video now…

…this was a study on mock trials in the 1990’s.

AR type rifles are far more common now than when the study was done, and it reads as though there was no ‘diffusing’, mitigating, explanation, etc, from the defense attorney or any expert witness on the why behind what makes an AR a great home defense firear

I also didn’t see in the video where the jurors for the mock trials were pulled from

These are actually very nice semi auto rifles. The original models had a bit of a reputation for not being super accurate but Ruger redid the assembly lines and did some tweaks to the design a decade or so ago and they are now known for being reliable and reasonably accurate. The only real negatives are they don’t take the really inexpensive AR magazines and the non tactical stock models don’t have an easy way to mount a light.

If you get one with the laminated wood stocks instead of the black plastic stock or add a wood stock later then there is nothing tactical looking about them. Even with the black stock they are way less tactical looking than most tactical shotguns.

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A tricked out 30-30 M1 carbine will also fill the bill. Too bad the ammo is so expensive.

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If you replace the Mini top handguard with an Ultimak or Amega rail you can use a 45 degree offset mount for a flashlight and it will take a red dot or a scout scope. I prefer the Ultimak. I mounted a short rail to the bottom of the fore end for a bipod.


Sound points
But I counter, With these guys

Pretty good article.

It points some things that people often have mis-conceptions about. Some I hand picked

*Birdshot is for birds. It’s dumb to use for self-defense unless you are stuck in a specific Alfred Hitchcock movie.
*Pump actions tend to be more affordable and mechanically reliable but do run a higher risk of user-induced malfunctions.
*Semi-auto shotguns offer a higher rate of fire and are typically much easier to use. They have less recoil and can be operated with one hand if necessary.
*For home defense, a tighter pattern is more desirable .
*Red dots are not necessary, but they make it faster and easier to aim in all lighting conditions.


Just finished reading this article from Pew Pew Tactical. Very interesting. I had heard of two of the three incidents before but not in this great of detail.

My biggest takeaway: As a result of these gunfights, LE has generally moved towards 1) more powerful weapons with greater stopping power, and 2) weapons with faster reload times. As it says in the article, practically, that meant moving away from the shotgun and toward the AR-15.


I will grab some excerpts I’d like to point out as I read:

“Alleyn fired his Remington 870 rapidly, emptying every round he had. In the chaos, he even ejected a live round. Only a single pellet of buckshot struck one of the criminals and only left a superficial wound.”

“It bears mentioning there was a rumor regarding Pence and pocketed brass. The CHP trained troopers to pocket their spent casings at the range, and a myth circulated that Pence had pocketed his brass before reloading. This is a complete myth, as his casings were found on the ground.”

"An important lesson learned is that handguns suck at fighting, especially when your opponent has a long gun. Several other FBI cars had shotguns, M16s, and MP5s, but those didn’t make it to the firefight."

“The cops and robbers exchanged gunfire several times, and the officers found themselves outgunned and pinned down. Several officers went to a local sporting goods store and obtained AR-15s.”

" After the shootout, the LAPD SWAT teams began issuing AR-15s to supplement their MP5s, and the patrol rifle grew in popularity across the nation.

The DOD gave 600 surplus M16s to the LAPD, with every patrol sergeant being issued a rifle. Eventually, every LAPD Patrol car was equipped with an AR-15, and their doors were fitted with bullet-resistant Kevlar."


For me, the Sig 229 chambered in .357 is the night watchman around here. Carry pistol for backup, but the old machete and baseball bat does the job. Glock BB gun for regular riffraff.
It’s usually pretty quiet.


I would like to insert a couple more excerpts, the first form the NewHall shooting and the other from the North Hollywood shooting:

“Alleyn fired his Remington 870 rapidly, emptying every round he had. In the chaos, he even ejected a live round. Only a single pellet of buckshot struck one of the criminals and only left a superficial wound.”

The shotguns used by law enforcement back in the day were lovingly referred to as “Belly Button” Guns because in order to do any damage to a bad guy, the officer had to “aim” at the belly button. It was a simple matter of not understanding you do indeed need to aim a shotgun just like you need to aim any other weapon. Specialized training with shotguns changed all that.

“The police returned fire with a mix of S&W Model 15 revolvers, [Beretta 92FS](https://www.pewpewtac pistols, and Ithaca 37 shotguns. At 200 feet, the weapons did not have the reach or penetration necessary to stop the armored gunmen.”

The use of these three weapons in this situation should have been used as diversionary “covering” fire, taking the bad guys focus off officers with ranged weapons, allowing those officers to take aim at critical areas.


This is a very salient observation about the period of the study on the mock trials. We do have some evidence from actual court cases that one can use ARs and successfully use self-defense in court and it will be accepted -even in highly contentious cases with lots of publicity.

Others have also pointed out that there are a great deal more expert witness who can attest to the reasonableness of utilizing an AR for home defense. I would think that if it is okay for police to have a type of platform, that the same platform should seem just as reasonable for a citizen to have. A citizen is likely to be the one interacting with a threat before the police arrive and dealing with the same kind of threats, for at least some amount of time before help arrives.


How about a Kabar knife? USMC standard. I’m stealth. Come on in. 357 Sig if that don’t do it.
Machete too. ■■■■ there’s all sorts of stuff around here.

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Machetes make excellent garden/camping tools as well as improvised weapons.

One of the hardest things to defend against in my martial arts classes is a machete.

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Changed the load out in my 410 pump. 1st 2 are 9 pellet #4 buck. 4 pellet .40 caliber ball loads are next and on the saddle.

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I sold my shotgun. It was a John Wick. I wanted a granny clampet.