Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

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For Home Defense would you use?

A high capacity pump shotgun (Mossberg 590, Remington 870)
16
36%
Or a high capacity pistol (Glock, S&W M&P, XD, etc.)
28
64%
 
Total votes: 44

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Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by Mikeyboy » Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:11 pm

Lets say for a moment something like an AR, a rifle or a Pistol Caliber Carbine is not an option. Also this is just for home defense, to protect yourself and your family from someone breaking into your house, defense in a home invasion, etc. You are not going outside to fight a war, bugging out, needing to hunt food, or whatever with it.

For home defense you only get two options

A 12 gauge pump shotgun hi capacity or tube extension (assuming around 8+1 max unless there are longer tubes out there), with whatever flavor of shells you seem fit

or

A high capacity pistol in whatever caliber you want. For a moment lets exclude those super long mags like the Glock 33 round mags. Just the standard stuff that comes with the pistol.

Which way would you go?

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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by woodsghost » Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:30 pm

If I could use a suppressor, I'd really like that pistol. Otherwise, the shotty. And honestly, even with a suppressor, I'd probably still pick the shotgun. But I REALLY want a pistol with suppressor for HD. Mostly because of the potential for hearing damage.
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by TheZone » Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:35 pm

Shotgun. Less chance that a miss or over-penetration would cause third-party injury or property damage.

Plus the sound of the action working will preclude actual use for your average thief.
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by Rev » Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:52 pm

^I think that was supposed to be in blue text.^

If it's the only gun I'd own I would take the pistol, since I would also carry.
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by JeeperCreeper » Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:32 pm

I voted pistol... But its tough. Obviously, shotguns are immensely more powerful and give more options on ammo selection. I think the shotgun is more effective, but I don't know if it'd be my top choice....

OK, here's my situation and thinking: I have my pistol on a shelf under my bed. I can grab it in a second and it's always there. If I hear a crash in the night, I feel I can get a pistol into action fastest. I also have other pistols here and there and they are easy to keep in rooms with no one knowing.

My HD shotgun is always unloaded but always has 5 defense loads mounted on the stock. If it were handy, I'd get to my shotgun after acquiring my pistol. But it depends on where in my house I am and how fast stuff is going down.

Plus, I've had to clear my house three times (long story) twice with pistols and once with a shotgun. Pistols are so much easier to move in tight spaces with and you don't have to worry about pumping to reload.
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by Paladin1 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:22 pm

Pistol.

Free hand to fend off attacks, manipulate lights/doorknobs,etc. Less chance of a weapon grab, able to fire from retention. Blast from shotgun inside house will totally blind and deafen you.
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by TDW586 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:37 pm

Paladin1 wrote:Pistol.

Free hand to fend off attacks, manipulate lights/doorknobs,etc. Less chance of a weapon grab, able to fire from retention. Blast from shotgun inside house will totally blind and deafen you.

What he said for those reasons.
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by procyon » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:33 am

If you are asking if I hear the bump in the night and I have both a shotgun and pistol in reach - which am I grabbing? Shotgun. Period.

If you are asking which am I going to carry around while cooking pancakes? Handgun.

But I am assuming it is the first.

But I also have a shotgun with an extended mag, WML, and sling by my wife's side of the bed that is my go to gun when I think there is something bothering my livestock. So I am very used to having it when I am checking the barn/chicken coop/hay loft/etc and am pretty good at using it to make small/fast/unwanted predators go bye-bye.

The other reason I am not a handgun fan is my older eyes. Focusing on the sights when it is dim/dark - isn't as easy as it once was. Let alone getting a good sight picture in a hurry. But I can still sight down a barrel.

Once I can't sight down the shotgun barrel - I'm leaning towards a flamethrower.
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So, since I am assuming it is that first scenario - shotgun.
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by Mikeyboy » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:35 am

procyon wrote:If you are asking if I hear the bump in the night and I have both a shotgun and pistol in reach - which am I grabbing? Shotgun. Period.

If you are asking which am I going to carry around while cooking pancakes? Handgun.
Wait no Pancakes....if that is the case you will need a shotgun


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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by eeb » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:14 am

I just go out on the front porch every night, and fire off two rounds from the ol' coach gun. Ya know, as a preventative measure. "Two blasts a day, keeps the burglars away."
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by 00dlez » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:33 am

TDW586 wrote:
Paladin1 wrote:Pistol.

Free hand to fend off attacks, manipulate lights/doorknobs,etc. Less chance of a weapon grab, able to fire from retention. Blast from shotgun inside house will totally blind and deafen you.

What he said for those reasons.
What he said the other guy said for those reasons.


I'll also add that training to become proficient with a pistol is cheaper and less physically punishing than a typical 12 gauge HD shotgun.
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by RonnyRonin » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:45 pm

TheZone wrote:
Plus the sound of the action working will preclude actual use for your average thief.
Sweet baby Moses in a handbasket. If we can have ONE shotgun thread without this coming up my head will explode with happiness.

"What was that sound Carl, was that a shotgun action?"
"Naw, just a high capacity handgun. lets keep robbing this guy."
"Oh, whew! I thought he had a shotgun for a second."

I always vote anything but shotgun (Ok, I'd take a pump gun over a bolt action).
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by eeb » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:28 am

RonnyRonin wrote:
TheZone wrote:
Plus the sound of the action working will preclude actual use for your average thief.
Sweet baby Moses in a handbasket. If we can have ONE shotgun thread without this coming up my head will explode with happiness.

"What was that sound Carl, was that a shotgun action?"
"Naw, just a high capacity handgun. lets keep robbing this guy."
"Oh, whew! I thought he had a shotgun for a second."

I always vote anything but shotgun (Ok, I'd take a pump gun over a bolt action).
Fortunately, the sound of an AR bolt sliding home sounds similar, so I figure I'm good to go.
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by AS556 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:41 am

I always thought that was odd, to me almost all guns sound pretty similar when going into battery save for a few obvious exceptions. Anyway, if I had a shotgun setup how I'd like I would take that over a handgun for HD. I don't plan on clearing my house, no kids, so I'll just hunker down in my upstairs bedroom (the doorway of which opens perfectly to cover the stairwell) and let the cops deal with it. My 12ga Wingmaster has a 28" bbl but soon enough I'll swap it for a 20" with extended tube underneath. Realistically at present I keep my G17 handy for home defense loaded with Federal 9BPLE.

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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by Panpiper » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:50 pm

Shotgun, cause I'm Canadian. Owning a handgun in Canada requires major hoop jumping. Owning a shotgun requires not having a criminal record and filling out a form.

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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by hillbilly1986 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:30 pm

Depends on the layout of the house and if there are other occupants. Alone, I'd take the shotgun. More devastation per shot, if i were in a shootout with anyone I'd want them to be incapacitated with as little resistance as possible and I've got to think the shotgun is the better option for this, especially since over penitration wouldn't be a concern. On the other hand, if there were kids stuck in their rooms on the other side of the house I'd take the handgun. Only one projectile to worry about at a time, less concern for over penetrating, free hand available to help guide a small child back to your designated safe room. Kids right across the hall, I'd probably go with the shotgun in both single story or two story homes. At that point you're primarily concerned with keeping anyone from getting into/down the hall, from your end you should have a pretty narrow field of fire which would be easiest to cover with a shotgun. Again, I want there to be as few incoming rounds as possible before the threat is neutralized and in this case the over penetration could actually come in handy if they're ducking behind a corner for cover. Obviously it would be nice if all you had to do was huddle you family in the corner and wait for the police to show, but having a boomstick pointed at the door while you wait isn't a bad idea
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by mr.trooper » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:55 am

Its a lot easier to tuck a pistol in your wasteband to investigate that 3AM 'bump' than any shotgun.

Also frees up a hand to do important stuff like open/close doors and turn lights on/off.

Bottom line is that a handgun is far more practical to live with
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by 00dlez » Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:50 am

RonnyRonin wrote:
TheZone wrote:
Plus the sound of the action working will preclude actual use for your average thief.
Sweet baby Moses in a handbasket. If we can have ONE shotgun thread without this coming up my head will explode with happiness.

"What was that sound Carl, was that a shotgun action?"
"Naw, just a high capacity handgun. lets keep robbing this guy."
"Oh, whew! I thought he had a shotgun for a second."

I always vote anything but shotgun (Ok, I'd take a pump gun over a bolt action).
Or many other cases...

"What was that sound Carl, was that a shotgun action?"
"I didn't hear anything because the there is a very loud house alarm going off and we have to shout just hear each other."
"Oh, whew! I thought he had a shotgun for a second."
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by woodsghost » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:00 am

hillbilly1986 wrote: More devastation per shot, if i were in a shootout with anyone I'd want them to be incapacitated with as little resistance as possible and I've got to think the shotgun is the better option for this, especially since over penitration wouldn't be a concern. On the other hand, if there were kids stuck in their rooms on the other side of the house I'd take the handgun. Only one projectile to worry about at a time, less concern for over penetrating, ...
The idea of fewer rounds to worry about makes sense. But unless you are shooting slugs, you will have more over-penetration with a pistol. Look up the tests. Pistol rounds are individually heavier projectiles at a similar speed to a typical shotgun round and punch through more stuff and have more power on the other side than buckshot does.
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by RonnyRonin » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:15 am

woodsghost wrote:
hillbilly1986 wrote: More devastation per shot, if i were in a shootout with anyone I'd want them to be incapacitated with as little resistance as possible and I've got to think the shotgun is the better option for this, especially since over penitration wouldn't be a concern. On the other hand, if there were kids stuck in their rooms on the other side of the house I'd take the handgun. Only one projectile to worry about at a time, less concern for over penetrating, ...
The idea of fewer rounds to worry about makes sense. But unless you are shooting slugs, you will have more over-penetration with a pistol. Look up the tests. Pistol rounds are individually heavier projectiles at a similar speed to a typical shotgun round and punch through more stuff and have more power on the other side than buckshot does.
everything I've researched says the best way to think about buckshot is as a swarm of crappy .380 ball rounds, once I got that I had a much better frame of reference.
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by zero11010 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:36 am

The following are the average footpounds of force generated by specific rounds.


From another thread:
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=113386

"Let's assume that this is accurate: http://www.georgia-arms.com/mecalc.html
.22LR: 127 - 157 (federal crap jacketed - winchester x super HP)
.38: 199 (taken from a wiki)
9mm: 383 - 409 (winchester crap white box - federal JHP +P)
.40: 425 (taken from a wiki)
.45: 383 - 410 (winchester crap white box - federal HP)

00 buckshot: 175 (winchester crap)

.556: 1306 (winchester crap)"

A thing to think about with the notion of overpennetration. Have you ever known someone to put a fist through the interior wall of a house? You think a bullet (of any caliber) generates more force than that? Yeah, of course it does. If you're talking about hitting a stud (insert joke here), or other furniture that changes things a lot. Another factor will be the expansion of hollow point rounds (not an option with buckshot) which make a pretty big difference in penetration depth.

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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:36 pm

woodsghost wrote:
hillbilly1986 wrote: More devastation per shot, if i were in a shootout with anyone I'd want them to be incapacitated with as little resistance as possible and I've got to think the shotgun is the better option for this, especially since over penitration wouldn't be a concern. On the other hand, if there were kids stuck in their rooms on the other side of the house I'd take the handgun. Only one projectile to worry about at a time, less concern for over penetrating, ...
The idea of fewer rounds to worry about makes sense. But unless you are shooting slugs, you will have more over-penetration with a pistol. Look up the tests. Pistol rounds are individually heavier projectiles at a similar speed to a typical shotgun round and punch through more stuff and have more power on the other side than buckshot does.
Really? Most hollowpoints will stop in 16" of gel or less, most buckshot over #4 will get 18" or more in the same gel, as it doesn't have the same footprint for the energy. A good way to think about buckshot is a mag-dump from a .25, .32, or .380 pocket pistol with FMJ. A bunch of holes, lots of penetration, not a lot of expansion or deformation.

I hate Ttag and Farago, but they ripped off a clumsily formatted forum post and reposted it here: http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2010/0 ... us-rounds/

Scroll to the bottom-ish to see where they had to stack two gel blocks together to catch the heavier buck loads. If anything, a load of buckshot is more likely to go through a person and off into space than an expanding handgun load. Both present a risk of going through residential walls, but that's barrier penetration, not over-penetration. If you keep the bullets in the bad guy, you don't have to worry as much.

Soon we'll see the shotgun paradox appear, where the shot spreads enough to turn a miss or mostly-miss into a fight-stopping hit, but also you don't need to worry about the pellets that don't miss. I'll tap out before someone suggests #8 Bird. Remember kids, ballistic gel is a scientific test that allows us to compare performance against known loads, not a 1:1 predictor is penetration or behavior in flesh.
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by DarkAxel » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:08 pm

I voted pistol because I train enough to be effective with a pistol. I can also fit a pistol in my bedside lock-box.

However, if I were living with people that weren't as enthusiastic as I am about shooting but still want something around that they could defend themselves with, I'd probably pick the pump shotgun because the learning curve isn't as steep as it is with a pistol, and during high-stress situations a shotgun is a little more forgiving wrt accuracy. Before anyone starts the snark, I'm not saying that shotguns don't have to be aimed. They do. I'm saying that a two inch spread on the target is more likely to hit a vital area than a single bullet when fired by someone hopped up on adrenalin and shaking like a leaf.
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Re: Pump Shotgun vs pistol for Home Defense

Post by woodsghost » Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:16 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
woodsghost wrote:
hillbilly1986 wrote: More devastation per shot, if i were in a shootout with anyone I'd want them to be incapacitated with as little resistance as possible and I've got to think the shotgun is the better option for this, especially since over penitration wouldn't be a concern. On the other hand, if there were kids stuck in their rooms on the other side of the house I'd take the handgun. Only one projectile to worry about at a time, less concern for over penetrating, ...
The idea of fewer rounds to worry about makes sense. But unless you are shooting slugs, you will have more over-penetration with a pistol. Look up the tests. Pistol rounds are individually heavier projectiles at a similar speed to a typical shotgun round and punch through more stuff and have more power on the other side than buckshot does.
Really? Most hollowpoints will stop in 16" of gel or less, most buckshot over #4 will get 18" or more in the same gel, as it doesn't have the same footprint for the energy. A good way to think about buckshot is a mag-dump from a .25, .32, or .380 pocket pistol with FMJ. A bunch of holes, lots of penetration, not a lot of expansion or deformation.

I hate Ttag and Farago, but they ripped off a clumsily formatted forum post and reposted it here: http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2010/0 ... us-rounds/

Scroll to the bottom-ish to see where they had to stack two gel blocks together to catch the heavier buck loads. If anything, a load of buckshot is more likely to go through a person and off into space than an expanding handgun load. Both present a risk of going through residential walls, but that's barrier penetration, not over-penetration. If you keep the bullets in the bad guy, you don't have to worry as much.

Soon we'll see the shotgun paradox appear, where the shot spreads enough to turn a miss or mostly-miss into a fight-stopping hit, but also you don't need to worry about the pellets that don't miss. I'll tap out before someone suggests #8 Bird. Remember kids, ballistic gel is a scientific test that allows us to compare performance against known loads, not a 1:1 predictor is penetration or behavior in flesh.
Great points, but hollow points don't always expand. Brassfetcher has done tests of penetration into gel with bone simulant front pieces. Hollow points typically don't expand for any of the calibers I have looked at, though you do get occasional or partial expansion with some rounds. Looking at the Box-O-Truth, it seems drywall tends to clog up hollow points too, turning them into FMJs, or equivalent.

In short:

http://www.theboxotruth.com/the-box-o-t ... x-o-truth/

All rifle and pistol rounds penetrated 12 sheets of drywall and kept on truckin'. However, when they used pine boards, they manged to capture the pistol rounds.

http://www.theboxotruth.com/the-box-o-t ... x-o-truth/

00 Buck only penetrated 6-7 sheets, though a few pellets from one load got to 8-9 sheets.

http://www.theboxotruth.com/the-box-o-t ... and-walls/

Using different spacing, but only 8 sheets, they found shotgun and rifle rounds to penetrate all walls. The shotgun rounds used were 1) a reduced recoil 00 buck load (Remington, and I suspect they are plated, given factory description), and a "hardened 00 buck load" (no brand?).

If the 00 buck that penetrated a bunch of walls was all hardened and plated, and the stuff that failed to penetrate many walls was all soft lead, then I suspect that is the key finding. Soft balls of lead each at 53.8 gr and traveling between 1100 and 1600 fps, typically 1100-1300, will not do as much penetrating as chunks of lead massing 115-230 gr, traveling between 800-1200 fps, and possessing a hard copper jacket. While I would expect hollow points should be expected to expand, this does not seem to be the case. They can get clogged with stuff or crush/cave in.

My biggest surprise was that "M193" out of a 16 inch barrel consistently failed to break up and fragment in drywall, which is contrary to everything I have understood about the round. Either I have missed something, there is something off with the ammo they used, or I have been misinformed about how M193 behaves. I must have misremembered the Box-O-Truth results, as it has been a while since I last looked at these.
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