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Best Weapon for Home Defense?

Credit to John Lovell of Warrior Poet Society for the general direction and idea that I convey in this post.

Everyone has an opinion on what the best blaster is for home defense. Lots of people believe what they have been told, and lots of people have been told that a pump shotgun is the perfect home defense weapon. Every one of you has heard the old "When they hear that pump sound, they'll run away as fast as possible." I hope that you all dismissed that as soon as you heard it. In the words of the wise Andre 3000, "Don't pull that thang out, unless you plan to bang."

Let's look at this quandary with a more systematic thought process.

Let's judge the 3 most popular options (Pistol, shotgun, AR15), based on 6 criteria and a 1=10 scale: Recoil Management, Ammunition Capacity, Ease of Manipulation, Ease of Accuracy, Over-penetration, and Effective Threat Stopping.


Recoil Management- 6

Ammo Capacity- 5

Ease of Manipulation- 8

Ease of Accuracy- 3

Over-penetration- 3

Threat Stopping- 3

Total- 47%


Recoil Management- 4

Ammo Capacity- 2

Ease of Manipulation- 5

Ease of Accuracy- 9

Over-penetration- ??? (what load)

Threat Stopping- 10

Total- 58%


Recoil Management- 8

Ammo Capacity- 10

Ease of Manipulation- 5

Ease of Accuracy- 7

Over-penetration- 6

Threat Stopping- 8

Total- 73%

The final verdict:

The Shotgun is a pretty good option. It isn't AR15 good, but it beats the pistol. Let's talk about how we arrive at the score. The AR15 has a very manageable recoil. It has a little pop, but it is nowhere as beefy as the shotgun's punch. 30 round standard magazines (sorry CA) makes it an obvious 10 when compared to 15 in a Glock 19 and 8 in a Mossberg 500. A 16" rifle can be a little difficult for new shooters to manipulate while indoors. It ties the shotgun and is bested by the small size of the pistol. Shotguns aren't quite the point and shoot weapons that most people think they are, but they will make it pretty easy to get hits. The AR15 is easy to shoot to the point of aim indoors, due to the barrel length and sight radius. Pistols can be problematic in this arena, for most shooters. Will the shotgun over-penetrate? I don't know. That is too dependent on the ammo choice. Remember, shotguns are only effective with the right load at the right range. The light projectile of the AR15, while fast traveling, doesn't have the mass to penetrate like the pistol bullet. The shotgun scores a perfect 10 for threat stopping, but remember what I said about loads and range. Rifles create larger wound channels than pistols. While getting shot with a Glock will not be insignificant, I would take it over a blast from an AR15 any day.

Agree? Awesome! Disagree? Great! Tell me why.

Atlanta, GA 30339

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