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Long Gun vs. Handgun In Home Defense

(from TFB, in part)

Long Gun vs. Handgun in Home Defense – Maneuverability Differences Overblown

It used to be conventional wisdom to have a 12 gauge at the ready for self defense. Then, slowly, the tactical world fell back in love with the handgun under the guides of maneuverability within the home. The thinking was that the handgun, being a smaller package, was better for one to clear their home. Combined with the higher capacity and ease of reloading, the handgun, was per thinking, the easier to use weapon.

This is, of course, before one even brings up the ability to suppress the weapon, which is good for the defender to maintain their hearing.

However, Thunder Ranch posits that this significant maneuverability advantage is overstated. While sure, the shotgun is a longer weapon, when presented to a target its really not significantly longer than the handgun at full arm extension in the proper firing position. They back this up with a quick demonstration of a common Mossberg 500, an over-under and a full-size 1911.

There was one point that the instructor made in the video that I think is poignant (paraphrased): “Would you rather fire one shot from a handgun at a guy running at you with a knife or a shotshell?

I,  for one, will take the shotshell.

Unfortunately, I have wee ones floating around so the need to keep the weapon locked up while easily accessible trumps my desire for 00 buck…

Yea, I remember those ‘olden days’, when home defense was defined by having a shotgun. (This was the 70’s).   I remember a discussion in some gun store with a proprietor, while drooling over an Ithaca Model 37 Deerslayer Police Special, and making conversation, suggesting it would be a ‘fine, upland bird gun’.  (This was before I owned any).  And the sales guy responded, “Would be good for turning around in a hallway, as well!”  🙂

Well, my friends, we seem to have gone full circle.

I would take the shotshell, as well, if I were ever fortunate enough to own another DSPS, again.


About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.


8 thoughts on “Long Gun vs. Handgun In Home Defense

  1. There’s another bit o’ wisdom which I’ve read or heard a number of times: “the gun you have with you is better than the one you didn’t bring.” Whatever comes to hand is better than a baseball bat, or bare hands – unless you’re Chuck Norris. If you have a shotgun, great! If you don’t, then use what ya brung, you know?

    Posted by Rev. Paul | January 13, 2017, 9:20 am
  2. On all counts except concealability, long gun trumps handgun.
    On what was that? checks, handgun goes with me.
    On Something Is Wrong! occasions, gimme that 12 ga and I’ll just wait here. (while calling for 911 backup)

    Posted by KM | January 13, 2017, 1:25 pm
  3. Similarly, I always tended to think of an AR as being “too much” gun, that the .223 would over penetrate. No matter who else is in your house, you don’t want to punch walls through your neighbor’s house. A few years ago, I saw some comparisons between 9mm handguns, a shotgun and an AR carbine. The buckshot did tend to over penetrate, but the “safest” gun (least amount of over penetration) was the AR. The .223 would be stopped by books on a book shelf, and other common household items. I recall Rob Pincus doing the demos, but didn’t go look for them before commenting.

    If you live in one of those Japanese houses made of paper in wooden frames, disregard this.

    Posted by SiGraybeard | January 13, 2017, 1:40 pm

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