AR Or Shotgun for home defense

Happy to see you say “yet” … surely Santa will bring you a shiny, black, stylish new “accessory” to keep close…after all Santa is all over the world, and flies through, no doubt, hostile skies…he gets it… :cowboy_hat_face: :innocent:

12ga 00buck is maybe the most powerful weapon you can use
But some issues to consider

  • Maneuvering in a smaller home can be difficult
  • 00Buck is equal to 9ea 9mm rounds going thru your house and thru all your walls, and maybe down the street
  • Reloading (while not usually needed) can be a chore, in you PJ’s
  • You will need a “Mounted” Light
  • more

What kind? I’d like to know cause that’s what I want.

AR9 pistols are nice, just research the hell out of whatever you buy if you want to use it defensively. AR9’s have a common issue in that they don’t feed hollow-points well. Initially I went with AR9 for home defense. I’ve had a Foxtrot Mike and PSA ARV and neither could consistently feed Federal HST 124-grain. I’ve since sold both. If you want something solid you’re probably looking at like Sig MPX or maybe a Scorpion.

1 Like

Considering the “encounter” in home defense is most always in close quarters. Also, you are responsible for the shot fired and shooters skill level must also be taken into account.
My choice is a shorter barreled shotgun loaded with BB load.
A shot gun with BB has less likelihood of a past target penetration whereas an shot (possibly errant) with a pistol or rifle can continue through the target and quite a bit further through walls. 00 buck (.33 cal.) is, in fact, multiple “bullets”. BB loads (.18 cal.) have a lot less penetration and far shorter energy dissipation distance but up close and personal, in a group, they can be devastating.
The shorter barrel with a stock hits a medium for control and maneuverability, and accuracy is not as important with a shotgun.
Somethings to consider in a high adrenaline situation, when you may be caught totally by surprise.

1 Like

It’s a build using Spikes 9mm lower which has last round bolt open.

I also have an Extar EP9. Pretty impressed with it so far. Polymer frame so it’s very light. Great 9mm for $450.

Well… I live alone, there is an M9A3 with a Steiner SBAL_PL I sleep with. BUT…
My Remington 870 Express Magnum, an old Shotgun I installed tactical components on, longer tube, packed with 00 is definitely my choice. She’s from the 80’s but she’s a killer…
Yes I have an AR-10, AR-15, Lever Guns, and a pile of Firearms for that matter…
Now you folks might beat me up but don’t, ok… Here is why I feel a Shotgun is a great bedside vehicle to dispatch a threat…
One might not be asleep… Three guys barge in… A shot gun with 00 will smack three guys in a hallway without having to aim, in one shot. Of course One might need to shoot again. Kill them… I personally wouldn’t want to deal with the consequences from a “injured” Victim. Call 911 and the USCCA…
Yes, If I had the AR I could just “spray away”. I get that… But now…
For one, your asleep… SHTF and you jump up or out of bed… Groggy… Sleepy… Trying to figure out what is going on??? Is my teenager who snuck out of the house coming home?
But the threat is on you like “RIGHT NOW”, That’s where the Shotgun is handy… Put a good light on it and Train. Know your Threat… Don’t shoot until you are completely confident of the threat.
I mean no insult there Folks…
Regardless… I could go on. I feel the Shotgun has a permanent place in Ones home.

1 Like

Accuracy IS Still important, even with a Shotgun.

Agree with most of what you say except - “accuracy is not as important with a shotgun”.

At in-home distances 10ft to 20ft, shotgun-wad spread is not that wide so Aiming, even with
a shotgun IS still important.

At 10ft even a BB Load can shoot thru an outside wall to the neighbors.
Or to another room.

ps I have seen and done a lot of testing on Sheet-Rock Penetration by various calibers and loadings.


I have had personal experience with an intruder in the middle of the night. Once I racked my tactical 870 I never had to shoot or even seen the intruders face. I did have to move an end table back in place and pick up a tipped over lamp as they left in a hurry.


I love the sound of a shotgun being racked… I was told years ago- by an officer-- that it also lets the bad guy(s) know where you are at if he/they want to push the issue.

1 Like

In My Personal Opinion (and nothing more)

The best home defense firearm is the one you are most proficient with. Well, allow me to narrow that down a little…the firearm(s) in question should function reliably and should offer enough penetration to reliably stop an attacker. Keep in mind that anything with enough penetration to be relied upon to stop an attacker will also go through multiple interior walls while remaining lethal on the other side, that’s just physics. It also should not have ‘too much’ penetration, with too much meaning something like, for example, Brenneke black magic magnum slugs living in an apartment…please don’t do that.

A pistol has a lot to offer. A person can have just ONE defensive firearm, that is a pistol, that they carry openly or concealed, have available in their vehicle, and also use for home defense. Easy to transport, easy to travel with, consistent, fairly inexpensive, can be used fairly effectively with just one hand, easy to hold tight to your body for weapon retention.

An AR-15 has a lot to offer. Easier to shoot and hit with than a pistol, much less recoil than basically all shotguns, better capacity, light recoil, very easy to adjust to the individual user, significantly more effective at stopping a threat ‘right now’ than a pistol yet does not have a significant difference in penetration through walls when compared to a typical pistol.

A shotgun has a lot to offer. For those that hunt with a shotgun, a similar (or even the same!) shotgun for home defense is something they might be very confident in handling. There are some really nifty shotguns out there, too, who doesn’t want a Benelli M4 just because? You can put a red dot and WML on many shotguns without too much trouble these days. Limitations are that for the less than seasoned, a short stroke with a pump is a real possibility, recoil can be tremendous, and capacity is low. However, there isn’t really anything else available that can match the right-now threat stopping ability of even just one round of well placed buckshot. If you haven’t yet, try a cylinder choke/bore (yes, open cylinder) with Federal Flight Control Wad or Hornady Critical Defense buckshot with versa-tite wad (they are the same wad tech). You are likely to see a single hole for all 8-9 pellets of 00 at across the room distances, and maybe softball size as far as 20-25 yards.

Make your choice, and train with it.

Here is a recent USCCA Blog entry dealing with wall penetration as it relates to home defense


Shot gun for in house. Pistol close by

1 Like

Shotgun and AR… If someone is trespassing my home, my wife and I both are ready to defend ourselves and our children if necessary but together. Multiple points of action create a scenario that increases survivability IMO. If someone enters with illegal intentions, then having the ability to distract by drawing the perps attention to multiple areas can be an advantage to avoid using deadly force and hopefully they would retreat out of self preservation.


1 Like

IMHO, confidence in your firearm, and confidence in your ability to deploy it should be a driving factor in your selection.
Either will do the job.
A former GI may be comfortable with an AR
A duck hunting enthusiast may be more comfortable with a shotgun.
I’ll take a 1911 :smirk:


I have a Panzer AR-12 Semi Automatic 12 Gauge Shotgun for quick home defense. AR platform with collapsible stock, foregrip with flashlight and laser built in, and red dot scope (probably no time to ever use that lol). 5 and 10 rd magazines. Can purchase a 20 rd drum. I absolutely love it!

1 Like