What do you think is the best HD long arm?

knitepoetknitepoet Senior MemberPosts: 19,140 Senior Member
There is no "right" or "wrong" answer, since I'm seeking your opinion.

While I respect the power of a 12ga, and have one set up for HD use, it stays in the safe, while an AR stays out in an accessible location.

Pros of the AR:
  • portability
  • ACCURACY
  • number of rounds available
  • Ease of reloading
Accuracy is one of the main advantages. I can keep all my rounds inside a sheet of notebook paper well past the distance required for HD. A shotgun with slugs..... not so much, with buckshot? forget about it.

So, what type of long arm would/do YOU choose for HD?

edited to add: Besides voting, please post the reasoning behind your vote

Preferred HD long arm? 38 votes

Pump Shotgun
50% 19 votes
AR
36% 14 votes
Semi-auto shotgun
13% 5 votes
Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


«13

Replies

  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,619 Senior Member
    I have a shotgun now, but would prefer a suppressed SBR......

    AR pros; Won't blow your eardrums out, will penetrate walls less than buckshot (Vmax)

    AR cons; $400 worth of tax stamps
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Well, I don't think in terms of "Home Defense" at all, I think in terms of General purpose defense, and for that porpoise, I choose an AR-15, shortest length legally possible, and next, a Remington 870 shotgun, shortest length possible, (thinking tax stamp short) 14 inch barrel / pistol grip etc.....
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,235 Senior Member
    I have to go with pump shotgun with extended magazine to hold 8 rounds. Make my rounds 1 oz. slugs in 2 3/4" max loads. I have seen what the slugs do internally on a lot of deer. Hydraulic shock doesn't quite describe it. I'm not worried about over penetration as I live way out in the country.

    An AR holds more rounds, but it will take more than one to stop somebody unless you are going for head shots, so higher magazine capacity is not all that much more comforting if you have to deal 2-3+ rounds per person in a multiple person home invasion thing.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • 41 cal41 cal Member Posts: 97 Member
    I had to vote for pump shotgun, I keep my mossberg 500 181/2 " barrel with #4 buckshot. Even after reading all the posts recently about advantages of ar15 over shotgun.Home defense means inside my house to me and with my setup I feel confident. To me mental attitude will be an advantage as I don't really think being on the receiving end will matter as to which weapon is used.
    I was always taught to respect my elders, but its getting harder to find one ...
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »

    Pros of the AR:
    • portability
    • ACCURACY
    • number of rounds available
    • Ease of reloading


    I think the AR is a better choice, for basically all of the same reasons you stated.......but I don't own an AR, so for right now, I'll stick with my shotgun.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 19,140 Senior Member
    I have no qualms about the effectiveness of a 12ga. I've seen what they're capable of on humans on numerous occasions and to put it bluntly, they're NASTY.

    If I KNEW a HD situation would be inside the house, I'd feel wel armed with my 12 ga.
    Life's about compromises though, and while I may never "need" the accuracy advantage the AR gives me, I still like having it "just in case"
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,720 Senior Member
    I chose AR for the same reasons as Paul,however I don't own an AR at this time and doubt that I ever will so is it ok if I swap out the AR for a mini 14?
    Now I have nothing against the shotgun and do have a pump but it has a 28" barrell so it is unwieldly in the house.
    All that said the gun that I do keep beside my bed is my PC4,and what ever my carry gun for the day was.
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,277 Senior Member
    I think it's dependent on each individuals particular situation...living out here in the sticks where it's likely that I may have to confront someone outside the confines of my house as inside, and having a much larger area to control than someone living in an urban environment, the AR carbine is the firearm of choice. However, there is still a loaded shotgun close at hand in the house. Back in MI living in the inner city, the shotgun got the nod when it came to long guns...

    Another issue out here is that should I desire to disable the perpetrators vehicle, it's easier to accomplish with an AR....something I didn't need to consider when living in a metropolitan area...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,513 Senior Member
    I actually prefer the shotgun, although I don't have one properly set up. I've got short barrels for all my autos, but none for 870's.


    However, we have an AR at the ready. My wife is comfortable with the AR, scared to death of a 12 ga.
    So, for us, that's the best.
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    After a few well respected members here pointed out how bad even my #4 buck was on drywall or other wall materials I looked at a little M4 carbine with TAP as stated here and have never looked back. I still have my Benelli M1 waiting in the wings if ever needed.
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,862 Senior Member
    I voted AR even though I currently have an 18" mossberg 500 set up as my HD gun. I did keep my AR handy however when I lived in an apt where over penetration was more of a concern. I feel adequately "gunned" with either.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 19,140 Senior Member
    jbohio wrote: »
    My wife is comfortable with the AR, scared to death of a 12 ga.
    I'm in that boat with you
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,170 Senior Member
    Well, like you say, there is no "right" or "wrong" answer, but I can't agree with your assessments:
    knitepoet wrote: »

    Pros of the AR:
    • portability It's a HOUSE GUN! You're not climbing up to the Khyber Pass!
    • ACCURACY It's a HOUSE GUN! If your house is sufficiently large to contain a 50 yard indoor range, might as well set up claymores
    • number of rounds available A couple of dirtbags in the night does not equal "zombie apocalypse". That's a different kind of preparation, and you'll have time to open the safe.
    • Ease of reloading Two part response: 1. PRACTICE! 2. See "zombie apocalypse" comments above
    Accuracy is one of the main advantages. I can keep all my rounds inside a sheet of notebook paper well past the distance required for HD. A shotgun with slugs..... not so much, with buckshot? forget about it. You need to shop more carefully for your ammo, and put better sights on your shotgun. Cloverleafing slugs at 25 yards is no big deal these days, and Federal's Flight Control 00 typically keeps all nine pellets in your handspan at 15 yards

    There is the ears issue to consider also. 5.56 ammo starts at 50,000 PSI plus at the chamber, and IIRC, it's around 20,000 PSI at the gas port. Probably got a pressure wave starting at about 10,000 -15,000PSI when the bullet exits. A 12 gauge STARTS under 15,000 PSI, and it has a much larger bore volume to expand that into before the projectiles exit. If you live where you can put a can on your AR, that's the big valid argument for the rifle.

    00 buckshot: nine pellets x .33 caliber = 2.97 inches worth of holes, applied with 540 grains of lead

    1 ounce slug: starts at .73 caliber, reliably expands to about an inch, applies with 473 grains of lead.

    5.56: Might tumble, might fragment, might expand, might penetrate in a straight line, might make a "banana" wound. Same slug may to any or all of the above at different yardages or with different barrel lengths. None of these are necessarily bad things, but you should know what YOUR round is going to do. This requires a fair amount of ballistic geekery. Even though I've got pretty decent access to folks with ballistic gelatin to figure all this out, it's this variability that leans me to the simple brute force of a shotgun for household applications.

    There's a place for the rifle - I just don't think indoors is it.

    As for pump versus semi-auto shotguns. . .

    I like pumps for the simple reason that they do not care what you feed them - especially when it comes to ammo on the lighter end of the spectrum. I've seen plenty of semis choke on reduced recoil defense ammo or bird loads, and I've seen guns that would cycle these light loads fine until you held the weapon a little loosely.

    That said, there are valid reasons for the semi-auto scattergun - physical limitations, small stature, and being generally non-mechanical being the biggies on the list. So long as you know what ammo the gun will run with, there's nothing wrong with them.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,475 Senior Member
    I voted shotgun, mainly because it's so easy to operate in a high-stress situation. With the safety being right where my trigger finger will be when I pick it up, it's very quick to employ; just press and press. I put an AR-style adjustable stock with a pistol grip on it to make it fit me better, and I feel it gives me better control should I need to move. It's a Winchester 1300 18", and I keep 8 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense 00 Buck in it that feed very smoothly and pattern decently out to 10 yards, which is farther than I'd have to shoot from inside the house.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • gunrunner428gunrunner428 Senior Member Posts: 1,018 Senior Member
    Add my vote for "pump shotgun". While the others have their advantages as have been noted, for this cheapskate son-of-a-Dutchman getting into a quality HD rig for less than $400 has a lot of appeal.

    In addition, I like a pump shotgun for the same reasons I appreciate a manual transmission, while performance is dependent upon the operator, the gun leaves ALL control for its state of readiness in the shooters hands as well. Light birdshot loads or 3" thumpers, with a little authority on the fore-end a pump shotgun will feed them all.

    Actually, Gator's passing mention of the Ruger PC4 and similar pistol-caliber carbines would be another top pick for me - carbine advantages in velocity, ease of handling (versus a handgun), increased accuracy, using commonly-available handgun magazines, etc. The old Marlin Camp Carbines would fit this bill nicely as well. Nothing against a good AR, but something about using easily-available and reliable LE and HD ammo that can be found in abundance most places ammo is sold appeals to me.
  • QuinianQuinian Senior Member Posts: 707 Senior Member
    I chose the pump gun. I load buck shot in mine and the spray effect did bother me so I tested at HD ranges for my house and all pellets were about the size of a soft ball. Slugs for some reason land extremly high out of that gun so I don't use them.

    Now if we were talking general SD like out in my yard I'd probably go with an AR for the reasons you listed
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,102 Senior Member
    Went with the Semi-Auto Shotgun.
    It is a 12 Benelli, and it is what I have.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,952 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    Well, like you say, there is no "right" or "wrong" answer, but I can't agree with your assessments:



    There is the ears issue to consider also. 5.56 ammo starts at 50,000 PSI plus at the chamber, and IIRC, it's around 20,000 PSI at the gas port. Probably got a pressure wave starting at about 10,000 -15,000PSI when the bullet exits. A 12 gauge STARTS under 15,000 PSI, and it has a much larger bore volume to expand that into before the projectiles exit. If you live where you can put a can on your AR, that's the big valid argument for the rifle.

    00 buckshot: nine pellets x .33 caliber = 2.97 inches worth of holes, applied with 540 grains of lead

    1 ounce slug: starts at .73 caliber, reliably expands to about an inch, applies with 473 grains of lead.

    5.56: Might tumble, might fragment, might expand, might penetrate in a straight line, might make a "banana" wound. Same slug may to any or all of the above at different yardages or with different barrel lengths. None of these are necessarily bad things, but you should know what YOUR round is going to do. This requires a fair amount of ballistic geekery. Even though I've got pretty decent access to folks with ballistic gelatin to figure all this out, it's this variability that leans me to the simple brute force of a shotgun for household applications.

    There's a place for the rifle - I just don't think indoors is it.

    As for pump versus semi-auto shotguns. . .

    I like pumps for the simple reason that they do not care what you feed them - especially when it comes to ammo on the lighter end of the spectrum. I've seen plenty of semis choke on reduced recoil defense ammo or bird loads, and I've seen guns that would cycle these light loads fine until you held the weapon a little loosely.

    That said, there are valid reasons for the semi-auto scattergun - physical limitations, small stature, and being generally non-mechanical being the biggies on the list. So long as you know what ammo the gun will run with, there's nothing wrong with them.

    I second this. But I will take my old Rem 1100 running 2.75" double ought shells. It is absolutely reliable and there is NOTHING that can equal the effect at short range.

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,767 Senior Member
    I'm all over the place on this subject, since I'm not quite sure what type of home defense I would be most likely to need. Presently, I keep a short barreled 20 gauge 870, with extended mag, ready to go. It is presently configured with a 20" rifled barrel and a Burris Fast-Fire red dot, and will shoot sabot slugs into a 3-4" group at a hundred yards. But I keep it loaded with #3 Buck, around the house, with slugs handy. Likely, I will rob the Burris off of it for something else, and put the 18" smooth-bore back on it.

    I do have a new AR, but it is set up as a varmint/target rifle, with 20" heavy barrel, and I am much impressed with it in that configuration. But I've not had enough experience with it, yet, to know if I would like a home defense version, or if it would make sense for my situation - probably not.

    Truthfully, I think that in most likely scenarios, I would be lucky if I could just get to my .45 pistol in time to resist a home invasion.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,254 Senior Member
    Honestly? I don't care. Either my 11-87 or my AR will do. Pumps? I like them, and they are less finicky, but I shoot shotgun so rarely I've not invested in one, as I don't have the opportunity to get proficient with them and keep my skills up. So the auto or AR gets the nod there just due to training. But I'd be willing to take either.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 8,838 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    I'm in that boat with you

    Add one more to the wife is afraid of the 12 ga. She is quickly becoming comfortable and accurate with the new M-4.
    I think once we find a better quality holographic type sight for it, she will not only become proficient, but totaly enjoy it also.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • mythaeusmythaeus Senior Member Posts: 831 Senior Member
    Mine is not on the list. I've long believed that my choice of the PS90 is the best for me for all the factors that you listed. Owning an SBR is extremely difficult in Philly due to not being able to get the signature from the CLEO for the stamp. However, the PS90 bullpup configuration (OAL of 26.3") is 4/5th the length of a standard AR (~34"). Typical ammo is VMAX tip SS197SR. Standard capacity is 50 and mag change isn't all that difficult, though not as easy as an AR15. I can't find the decibel level for SS197SR out of a 16" barrel PS90, but I can tell you that it's noticeably more "quiet" than any of my ARs. While not as accurate as an AR15 at long distance, the PS90 very accurate well beyond personal defense distances. Out of the relatively light PS90, the 5.7x28mm is virtually recoil-less, which is one of the reasons that every woman who tried my PS90 loved it.

    Al
    "In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves." - Siddhartha Gautama
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,855 Senior Member
    I switch between HD guns all the time. I know the whole 'beware the man with one gun..." thing. Whatever. I have a whole pile of guns, and darn it, I'm gonna use em.

    Last night was a .45ACP carbine. Tonight, it might be the Saiga 12 with a 20 round mag. As long as it's reliable, I can hit with it, and it's accessible, I don't care.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    That is because you are an incorrigible Philistine !

    Don't you know you are supposed to run with the herd and not do anything differently from everyone else ???

    :jester: leetle joke !!
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 19,140 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    I switch between HD guns all the time. I know the whole 'beware the man with one gun..." thing. Whatever. I have a whole pile of guns, and darn it, I'm gonna use em.

    Last night was a .45ACP carbine. Tonight, it might be the Saiga 12 with a 20 round mag. As long as it's reliable, I can hit with it, and it's accessible, I don't care.
    I hope if you ever need it, you remember what's in your hand and it operational necessities are
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,968 Senior Member
    I have a pump, a Mossberg 500 20 gauge. It needs a shorter barrel and so my primary HD gun is a hand gun. I sleep with it. However, I don prefer a shotgun and not necessarily a pump or auto. I really like my Citori 12 ga. and feel very confident. Yeah you have to reload after two, but hopefully Two will make Mr. BG wish he were somewhere else. I figure that between my O/U and my trusty 9mm I can fend off most any attack.

    Living here in town, the thought of a rifle within these thin walls and close proximity of neighbors doesn't give me that warm, fuzzy feeling.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Now the clincher, back in the day-o in Banana land, it was handy to have an M-16A1 on hand, and preferred over a shotgun, the selector set on semi, not full auto, chamber empty, full magazine.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • SicSemperSicSemper New Member Posts: 16 New Member
    MP-15 with 20+1 load with the Barnes 55 grain Triple-Shock X bullets and half a dozen actcesserious. All that and still at only 8 pounds, only thing I need to complete it is a eo-tech
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,619 Senior Member
    SicSemper wrote: »
    MP-15 with 20+1 load with the Barnes 55 grain Triple-Shock X bullets and half a dozen actcesserious. All that and still at only 8 pounds, only thing I need to complete it is a eo-tech

    20051230172429_bunny2.jpg
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,619 Senior Member
    mythaeus wrote: »
    Mine is not on the list. I've long believed that my choice of the PS90 is the best for me for all the factors that you listed. Owning an SBR is extremely difficult in Philly due to not being able to get the signature from the CLEO for the stamp. However, the PS90 bullpup configuration (OAL of 26.3") is 4/5th the length of a standard AR (~34"). Typical ammo is VMAX tip SS197SR. Standard capacity is 50 and mag change isn't all that difficult, though not as easy as an AR15. I can't find the decibel level for SS197SR out of a 16" barrel PS90, but I can tell you that it's noticeably more "quiet" than any of my ARs. While not as accurate as an AR15 at long distance, the PS90 very accurate well beyond personal defense distances. Out of the relatively light PS90, the 5.7x28mm is virtually recoil-less, which is one of the reasons that every woman who tried my PS90 loved it.

    Al

    If they weren't $1500, I'd love to have one (supressed). Other than ammo scrounging, it would be the perfect Zombie gun.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.