The debate over which type of firearm is best for home defense has been raging for years. Some people swear by the shotgun, while others prefer the AR-15.
There are pros and cons to both weapons, and the best choice for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences.
Here we will take a closer look at the shotgun and the AR-15, and compare them on a number of factors, including stopping power, accuracy, maneuverability, and over-penetration.
We will also discuss some of the other factors you should consider when choosing a home defense firearm.
When it comes to stopping power, the shotgun is generally considered to be the more powerful weapon.
A shotgun shell loaded with buckshot can deliver a devastating amount of energy to a target, and it is more likely to stop an attacker in their tracks than a rifle round.
However, it is important to note that stopping power is not the only factor that matters in a home defense situation.
Accuracy and maneuverability are also important, and the AR-15 can be a more accurate weapon at longer ranges.
The AR-15 is generally considered to be a more accurate weapon than a shotgun. This is because the AR-15 has a longer barrel, which helps to stabilize the bullet in flight.
The AR-15 also has a more adjustable stock and grips, which allows you to customize the fit of the weapon to your individual needs.
However, it is important to note that accuracy is not always the most important factor in a home defense situation. In a close-quarters encounter, a shotgun loaded with buckshot can be just as effective as an AR-15, even if it is not as accurate.
Until very recently, the AR-15 won this battle so convincingly it was really just a footnote. And in most cases it still does, but a new wave of high capacity shotguns has at least closed the gap. In some exceptional cases, you get more rounds of 12 gauge shells than you do 5.56 NATO rounds.
Magazine fed shotguns come have changed the rules and you can now strap a 20-round drum magazine to a Kalashnikov KS-12T. You can use a Mossberg 590M with a 20 round box magazine and the IWI Tavor TS-12 holds 15 rounds of 2 3/4 inch shells, while the Kel Tec KSG pump action shotgun has 12 rounds.
Of course you can get extended magazines for your AR-15, too, and once again the rifle storms out ahead.
The AR-15 is generally considered to be a more maneuverable weapon than a shotgun. This is because the AR-15 is shorter and lighter than a shotgun, and it has a shorter barrel. This makes it easier to move around with the AR-15 in tight spaces, such as hallways or bedrooms.
However, it is important to note that maneuverability is not always the most important factor in a home defense situation. If you are defending your home from an intruder who is armed with a long gun, you may need the stopping power of a shotgun.
Also, there are exceptions. The Mossberg 590M Shockwave is smaller than an AR-15, and the Remington Tac-14. There are several other short barrel shotguns with a variety of grips that are shorter than an AR15 rifle.
But the elephant in the room with that particular comparison is the AR pistol. Without getting into 410 revolvers, which is just being clever for its own sake here, the AR pistol is way shorter than any 12 gauge.
One of the biggest concerns with home defense generally is over penetration.
Shotgun slugs and FMJ rounds in particular can pass straight through the target and through drywall. That can be a problem if you live in a house with other people, or if you live near neighbors.
The AR-15 is generally considered to be less likely to over-penetrate than a shotgun. This is because the AR-15 uses smaller, lighter bullets that are designed for maximum expansion on impact, if you choose your ammunition carefully.
Honestly that is the solution for both firearms, to make sure you have the right ammunition. Either hollow point bullets in the AR-15 or buckshot in the shotgun.
Other Factors to Consider
In addition to stopping power, accuracy, maneuverability, and over-penetration, there are a number of other factors you should consider when choosing a home defense firearm. These factors include:
- Your personal preferences. What type of weapon do you feel most comfortable with? What type of weapon do you enjoy shooting?
- Your budget. Home defense firearms can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. It is important to choose a weapon that fits your budget.
- The laws in your state. Some states have restrictions on the types of firearms that can be used for home defense. It is important to familiarize yourself with the laws in your state before you purchase a firearm.
The shotgun and the AR-15 are both excellent weapons for home defense. The best choice for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you are looking for a weapon with a lot of stopping power, the shotgun is a good choice. If you are looking for a weapon that is accurate and maneuverable, the AR-15 is a good choice.
Ultimately, the best way to choose a home defense firearm is to try out a few different weapons and see what feels best for you. You should also take some time to practice shooting the weapon so that you are familiar with it and can use it effectively in an emergency.