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 manoeuvrability 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 manoeuvrability 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…





Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • MaxPower515

    This video doesn’t actually touch on maneuverability within the confined space of a home.

    • tompinto

      You mean, “manoeuvrability” . . .

      • Dougscamo

        He has it right for our side of the pond….

        • tompinto

          GSTQ! (I was joking about the author’s spelling, which seemed odd in this blog.)

          • MaxPower515

            I had it the first way and spell check changed it. Both are still commonly used

          • tompinto

            _Your_ spelling was fine. I was teasing the author of the blog post, who oddly chose to use the British spelling (not commonly used in the United States of America at all) in the body of the article.

          • Dougscamo

            Nathan has been so many places, I don’t think that he knows where he is at any given time….and my bad….I didn’t pick it up in the body…just the tagline….good eye Tom…. 🙂

          • tompinto

            No bad, just fun to tease. My English cousins and I have a great time going back and forth on Facebook: “divided by a common language,” don’t you know. 🙂

          • Dougscamo

            Loved the GSTQ!…..

          • Swarf

            Maybe he used that spelling under the guides of being a world traveler?

  • No one

    “Would you rather fire one shot from a handgun at a guy running at you with a knife or a shotshell?”

    I’d rather rely on the unmentioned Carbine/SBR which, while maybe not as lethal as a point blank shotgun blast, is still going to be far more lethal then pretty much any pistol round while still being more then compact enough to “maneuver” around with.

    • Twilight sparkle

      Plus in that case you don’t have a barrel that’s the full 18.5 inches of a shotguns barrel (I mean you could sbs but then you get like 2 shots…)

      • jsjsjjs

        Velocity of shotgun rounds practically maxes out at 8inches, the longer barrels instead help with reducing the noise level. (which is lower than a pistol)

        • iksnilol

          Yeah, but you also got a mag tube to consider. You cut down a barrel to 8 inches and you got like a 2.5 shot mag tube.

          • Twilight sparkle

            That was exactly my point

          • HSR47

            “[cutting down the barrel reduces capacity]”

            It doesn’t have to. I have an 870 right next to me with a 12.5″ barrel on it, and it has exactly the same magazine capacity as the 3-4 other Title I (18-20″ barreled) 870 shotguns that are in the house.

            @disqus_2UNQOhFSp9:disqus : The vast majority of self-defense buckshot is loaded with wads designed to help control the pattern. Hornady’s Critical Defense buckshot groups very well out of my 12.5″ barrel with just a mod. choke.

          • iksnilol

            Won’t the barrel be shorter than the mag tube then? I don’t mind the mag tube being a bit in front of the muzzle but there are limits.

            Also what’s the mag capacity 5-6+1?

          • HSR47

            No. The muzzle of my 12.5″ barrel sits just barely ahead of the cap holding the barrel to the end of the magazine tube.

            The Magazine tube is the standard length for the 870, which IIRC holds 4 3″ shells or 5 2.75″ shells.

        • FarmerB

          Well, actually, the main role of barrel length is (combined with choke design) to control pattern.

  • This comparison is simplistic to the point of near meaninglessness.

    • Giolli Joker

      Welcome back!

    • Paul Rain

      Aww, poor beby.

    • K-Gunner

      Agreed. Great, so Clint has long arms and when fully extended, the pistol’s muzzle is at the same point as the shotgun’s muzzle. I guess he forgets about those convenient joints (I think they’re called elbows) that would allow his monkey arms to retract the pistol closer to the body for both maneuverability and retention, as if people are going walk around their house holding the pistol straight out and locked arms like a zombie. Never mind he ignores all the other reasons a shotgun is not the wonder weapon for home defense some people think.

      I get the feeling Clint wants to sell more TR edition Mossbergs.

      • Aaron

        Not to mention you will be point shooting with a pistol at that range and not using sights for the most part, anyways, and don’t need full extension.

        Also, on the one shot comment, anyone with any degree of training knows you are never going to just shoot once with a pistol.

        • Hellbilly

          “Also, on the one shot comment, anyone with any degree of training knows you are never going to just shoot once with a pistol.”

          Until that happens to be the one inconvenient time it misfires or otherwise malfunctions.

          • Aaron

            That’s what training is for, correcting malfunctions. Well, one aspect of it, anyways.

            Any weapon can malfunction anyways,

          • Gary Kirk

            You have an R51???

          • iksnilol

            Well, then we shouldn’t be using firearms since they can blow up if fired.

        • The_Automator

          At room distance I will be using sights.

          • ostiariusalpha

            If you can’t point shoot at room distance, then that is a defect that you should address.

          • The_Automator

            I can, and have literally thousands of hours of force on force training doing just that.

            However, due to those thousands of hours of training, I’ve learned to use my sights and get precision hits instead of making educated guesses as to where rounds will land.

          • ostiariusalpha

            If you’d actually had any real training with point shooting, you wouldn’t be calling it guesswork.

          • The_Automator

            So, are there any nationally recognized trainers who advocate it over sighted fire?

          • ostiariusalpha

            Actually, nearly all accredited trainers advocate point shooting over sight shooting for close quarters self-defense. This is based on rather well known physiological facts: when adrenal dumps into your system, the diaphragm muscles that control the focus of your eye lens relax and force your focus out past 2 meters. You can overcome it with a couple of seconds of concentration, but that is a really, incredibly dumb thing to try in a fight.

          • The_Automator

            Do you have a source for that? Literally the only time I’ve had unsighted fire advocated is shooting from retention, which you wouldn’t do with someone across a room anyway.

          • Tassiebush

            I’m not linked into the contemporary US shooting scene but extremely experienced trainers (basically the guys who founded Allied special forces training in WW2) who’d been through a lot themselves like Fairbairn, Sykes and Applegate were strong advocates of point shooting for the reasons Ostiariusalpha mentioned. The things they learned were that fine motor skills are prone to deteriorate under close shootout situations and that point about difficulty focussing on sights was seen as very relevant. It seems born out by footage of actual

          • The_Automator

            We’ve been at war for a long time and current doctrine is using sights whenever possible. People did a lot of things with guns we no longer do. They recommended keeping your finger on the trigger, should we do that, too?

          • Tassiebush

            Look I agree we’re actually in a time when lots of lessons are being learnt but arguably those aren’t necessarily involving handguns all that much. But yes things have changed. Sighted training is much less bulls eyes and much more practical which closes the gap and a lot of people do heaps of practice which doubtless helps. I’d be interested in Bill’s (or anyone similarly experienced) take on it. Bill being a trainer and experienced in armed encounters.
            The finger on trigger comparison to point shooting as a system is a bit harsh.

          • iksnilol

            CRAP! I could’a done mentioned Fairbarn and Sykes as examples of “recognized” trainers.

          • Tassiebush

            Haha yeah they were just a bit;)

          • iksnilol

            I mean, they were crazy. But sure knew how to kill a dude.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Sure thing, bud, I’m always happy to enlighten. There are numerous medical articles and law enforcement studies on the subject of the sympathetic nervous system’s effect on performance, but a good introduction would be “Understanding the Human Physiological and Mental Response to Critical Incidents” by Lt. Darin M. Clay. You can Google it for a read.

          • Tassiebush
          • ostiariusalpha

            You’re a good man, Tas! A dirty bugger, but a good man.

          • Tassiebush

            Thanks mate! I don’t know what you mean. As an aside I’ve sort of wanted to try one of these but I’m not sure if I’d be happy with the result. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5840e02c6a6cf55f2ca03230051df3921dd4ef1161c1098f5c5da61455739541.jpg

          • ostiariusalpha

            Are you planning on shooting with it? Lots of people have been disappointed with the UTAS as a practical firearm, both in fit and function. I’m sure if you were inclined, you could find a creative use for it though.

          • Tassiebush

            Mate its the DP12…

          • Tassiebush

            I agree they are not a good option. The whole benefit of a shotgun is largely based around the fact that it handles and points like one. If you mess with that you get something inferior. We actually can’t own pump actions here anyhow. I’ve got a nice U/O though!

          • ostiariusalpha

            Are we talking about a shotgun or your wife? I’m just getting lost here.

          • Tassiebush

            Goodness me! How rude! Mind out of the gutter! 😉

          • Dougscamo

            Okay….you’ve done it again….how do you get the link through Disqus? I’ve got one that is still hung up and not shown from 2 weeks ago….

          • Tassiebush

            I’m not entirely sure why it works for me. I think maybe some get checked by moderators and others don’t. It’s certainly quicker for me than it once was.

          • ostiariusalpha

            You can’t link to porn sites, Doug. ?

          • Dougscamo

            DRAT! Do you think that is the problem?…..I was beginning to think they didn’t like my avatar…. 🙂

          • Tassiebush

            Your avatar is awesome!

          • Joe Schmoe

            Not sure that this counts as “advocated’, but in the army we are taught to shoot the M4 instructively as well during certain situations. Not ideal, but then the distance or situation isn’t ideal either.

          • Dougscamo

            Having been involved in a few scrapes in my life, there are other dumps that occur when bullets start flying….but you get over it if you survive the first one…. 🙂

          • ft

            As a LE Officer instructor for 2 decades, I taught point shooting as well as using sights. After I retired, I taught my wife and daughter to point shoot at a max of 7 yards and they are both very good at it, using double tap method. One with a snub nose revolver and one with a S&W Shield. Both make head shots with no problem. My daughter can shoot he Ruger LCR better than I can. Great pocket gun. We enjoy candle pin shooting competition against each other.

          • Nicks87

            Ever heard of the high tuck position? Most police officers are taught the technique. It’s not more accurate than sighted firing but its much quicker and better for retention purposes, in close quarters fighting.

          • n0truscotsman

            Point shooting was pioneered by the SAS and 1st SFOD-D before the advent of reflex optics. Im sure it is still being emphasized today.

          • F4GIB

            Unless you have your eyes closed or are shooting from the waist, you will always have a sight picture so all fire is “aimed”. Not the sight picture in the training manual but better than nothing at 15 feet or less. If you are shooting from the waist because the distance is minimal, you can use your body index to aim your fire. Everything depends on the circumstances.
            Massad Ayoob, LFI-1.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Right, hip shooting and point shooting are both “instinctive” aim. There’s nothing wrong with using your front sight in a close quarters fight, but don’t depend on being able to focus on it. Point shooting is part of the fundamentals of sight shooting, and it doesn’t go away if you have too much adrenaline flowing.

          • iksnilol

            If you know point shooting like you claim to, then it wouldn’t be guesswork where the rounds will land.

          • The_Automator

            So, are there any nationally recognized trainers who advocate it over sighted fire?

          • iksnilol

            I don’t care about your “recognized” trainers. But you did out yourself as somebody who doesn’t know point shooting yet claims to know it.

            So good job on that, I guess.

          • The_Automator

            Oh, okay. So there’s not anyone who actually knows what they’re doing who would say you should shoot without sights over shooting with.

            I would also like to know how you can guarantee shot placement without seeing sights.

            Can you place all your shots in a 3×5 notecard at 10 yards without sights? How about the first shot?

            I’ve seen more people point shoot and miss than I have use sights and miss. And I have seen a *lot* of sims round fired.

          • iksnilol

            Yes, again, I am not blind and 10 yards is awfully close.

            Sights are for distance, like 15-25 meters.

          • The_Automator

            If sights aren’t needed at 10 yards, why do high level competition shooters use them? Don’t you think they have a lot to gain by trying to go “faster” and point shooting? Why do they use their sights?

          • iksnilol

            No, competition is about precision, tightest groups. You won’t get the tightest groups without sights.

            Also, what competition stages (like 3 or 2 gun) have 10 yards and closer only pistol targets? It’s always targets at varying distances.

          • Nicks87

            Here we go again with people equating competition shooting to defensive shooting. Two different things. Both require a certain level of skill but two different mindsets.

          • Tassiebush

            I think the point is that the fight is probably at 3yards and in such a close encounter physiological responses can work against you using your sights.

          • Beju

            Maybe in your peasant hovel, plebe. I need to engage attackers across the lengthy halls of my manor through the Novak sights of my Cabot National Deluxe.

            And when it jams I’ll simply shelter in my panic room with my Sphynx cat while admiring the Cabot’s finish.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Pfft, Cabot. Unless it was a Korriphila, or at least a Pardini, with engraving and finishing by Vacheron Constantin and sights hand crafted by Westley Richards gunsmiths, then your “manor” is still feasible for point shooting .

          • Beju

            Those have to stay in display cases in my cellar museum of curios. I can’t risk natural light marring them.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Ah, so the Cabot is just your throwaway, beater gun; your little vacation manor might indeed be a bit too spacious for effective point shooting in that case.

        • iksnilol

          Not with a shotgun either. I’ll be damned if I don’t provide unwelcome visitors with the courtesy of at least two shots.

        • F4GIB

          Indeed, your problem will be with NOT emptying the entire magazine under stress.

      • n0truscotsman

        A shotgun is better because long guns are better for home defense than hand guns.

        But for women and men of smaller stature, and lesser trained people, they have a few glaring issues that keep them from being the best option.

    • Twilight sparkle

      Kinda what I was thinking, to get the full benefits of the handguns size you’d need a demonstration with sas style house training

    • Nicks87

      I agree. I have much respect for the instructors at thunder ranch but unfortunately they are guilty of rehashing a lot of outdated techniques and old beliefs concerning firearms and self-defense. Clint is notoriously anti handgun for home defense purposes. I’ve heard him comment on it more than a few times.

    • 40mmCattleDog

      I wonder if any of these people have fired a 12 guage indoors without ear protection, and i seriously doubt anyone would waste time to put ear pro on in a real life or death home invasion scenario. Firing that shotgun in your house will f@&k up yours and also your wife and kids hearing hiding behind you.

      Thats the main and top reason why a a suppressed Glock 19 is my home defense choice, you dont have to worry about putting ear pro on every family member or yourself, plus not to mention 15 rounds instead of 7 or 8 in a shotgun. Plus what if you need to lead a family member by the hand or assist them somehow with your free hand like moving them to your safe location in the house, how are you gonna do that with a huge two handed shotgun?

      Thunder Ranch is a good outfit but they are seriously getting dated and are stuck in the 1980s era of training.

      • A.WChuck

        From what I found online is that the 12GA Shotgun is LESS loud than 9mm, 38spl, 45acp, or any magnum pistol round.

        www(.)m1911(.)org()loudness(.)htm

        • 40mmCattleDog

          Which is why I advocate a suppressed handgun for home defense. Any firearm being discharged indoors without ear pro will hurt and leave your head ringing.

      • Dan

        If it comes down to shooting someone in my home I am not so worried about my hearing. Sorry family your ears are ringing but at least you’re alive. Plus we can all bond when we compare hearing devices and learn Sign Language

        • A Curmudgeon

          Most of my family already knows ASL. Just consider the potential tactical advantages.

      • MIKE

        YOU USE AN NFA ITEM FOR HOME DEFENSE?

        • milesfortis

          I do. Actually two; SBR with suppressor.

    • Joel

      Agree.
      Would add, do you think you could grab and deflect a shotgun or rifle barrel easier, or that of a handgun? Nothing against shotguns, but each choice has advantages and disadvantages.

      • iksnilol

        I’m pro handgun, but what are they gonna do if they grab your shotgun/rifle barrel? You fire off a round and they’ll let go (while most likely bleeding to death).

        • A Curmudgeon

          Don’t ever underestimate the self-protective instincts of even a stupid crook. I read Clint Smith’s comment on lighting up the BG who grabs his long gun for an “E-ticket ride” or somesuch many years ago (maybe in American Handgunner), but remain convinced it’s an optimistic over-simplification. An opponent with barely a year of martial arts training can be quite effective at controlling any stick-like object.

    • MadMonkey

      There is so much more to it than this it’s almost mind blowing.

    • Core

      I don’t hold my pistol extended when I’m clearing rooms like this gentleman in the video. Given the space, I do shoot the pistol out to extended position if precision or distance shots are required. I can maintain a sight picture and keep the gun close to my body as long as I don’t jerk the trigger, it will hit what I’m aiming at. I also tend to use one hand for defense and pistol hand as offense. I expect getting tackled in the event of a home invasion so I do utilize some point shooting techniques. I will be honest, I would like to take a gritty hands on point shooting CQD type course to gain better knowledge and continue to evolve my training. I have taken a good amount of CQD in the military, and much of it was shooting from the ground and in various positions shooting around barriers, but I would enjoy a hardcore smash and grab type CQD session, I know it would be beneficial. I think I would enjoy incorporating some hand to hand combat also, that’s something you don’t see combined often. I spent a few years studying Okinawan Karate when I was young, and a handful learning American Kenpo under Master Willy Steele. Master Steele was part of the CQD development program for Navy SOF. Master Steele was a student of Senior Grandmaster Ed Parker, and founded OAKKA with Grandmaster Dave Hebler. In 2006 Master Steele was inducted into “The Masters Hall of Fame” he’s a top rate Human being.

    • n0truscotsman

      I disagree.

      It validates a point I’ve made plenty of times when home defense was brought up in discussions.

      Im also not sure how one could add more science into the discussion.

  • A Fascist Corgi

    Pretty stupid argument. I actually ran a few mock home invasion response drills through my house in order to get a feel for how easy or hard it to use the various types of firearms that I own, and the shotguns that I own were by far the most cumbersome to use. In comparison, pistols were obviously the most maneuverable, and semi-auto rifles were in the middle.

    • Don Ward

      Why am I not surprised Fascist Corgi does “mock home invasion response drills”?

      • iksnilol

        I still wonder whether he wears brown shirts to be honest.

        • AlanHan

          Corgi? Fascist? Only the Queen is famous for her Corgis, and “God Bless the Queen and Her Fascist Regime” is punk, so I thought he must be a punk rock who hit middle age.

          Your English has advanced tremendously. I just hope you finally passed all your courses despite your gun…..interest.

          • iksnilol

            What English courses? My last one was 2-3 years ago if I recall correctly. Nonetheless, thank you.

            But yeah, fascists wore brown shirts so I dare assume a fascist corgi would wear a brown shirt. No wait, Italian fascists wore black shirts.

      • A Fascist Corgi

        Doesn’t everybody who owns guns for self-defense?

  • Some Guy

    >Handguns can only be fired at full extension

    Is this news to anyone else?

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      I successfully fired one close in the other day at the range… Did I make a new discovery? They had better put my name in the history books.

    • iksnilol

      I done reckon it’ll be easier to limp wrist it, but still, it shouldn’t be too hard to hold a gun tightly without being fully extended.

  • Don Ward

    I think this video needs more production with irrelevant intros and musical soundtracks and shots of the American flag.

    • Don Ward

      Also this is a two-year old video…

    • Phillip Cooper

      Not to mention shots of the people sitting there gazing stoically into the distance..

  • FulMetlJakit

    Good point (?)
    Doesn’t address CAR, and overpenetration.
    Would be more legit if they were all the same height, i.e. arm length, especially with the scatter gun guys wearing cover.

  • Bullphrog855

    Mobility is useful, but it is over rated. People act like a home invasion is a excuse to put on your mall cop gear and do room-to-room clearing. That may be appropriate in some situations, but it isn’t ideal or likely to be necessary.

    I would much rather just sit there and let them come to me while I wait for the Cops. In which case, the length of the gun has less of an impact.

    That said, a pistol has the same advantages in the home that it does as a EDC gun. You are prepared for surprises, and I dunno about ya’ll but I’m not walking around with a Ar-15 or Shotgun all day in my own home like it’s Chicago or something..

    • iksnilol

      A slight concern of mine, what if the BG knows you’re hiding and just shoots through the wall to get at you ?

      • milesfortis

        If you’ve run into the subset of ‘BGs’ that’s out to hunt you down in your own house, instead of burgle your stuff and exit as fast as possible, you’ve got more problems than you probably can actually handle.

        • iksnilol

          Dude, I am an amateur assassin gone pro. OF COURSE I’VE GOT MORE PROBLEMS THAN I CAN HANDLE!

          • Dan

            And with that I have now giggled at work while trying to look like im doing something “official” thank you

          • AlanHan

            Yep. Same old story. It always starts out as a hobby. Before you know it….

    • MrBrassporkchop

      I think it’s a combination of having an excuse to buy more toys and spending more time at websites and reading gun mags than out shooting.

      Not too long ago the general consensus was to use what you got and if you don’t have one then go with a 12 gauge. The #1 factor always was to train with it.

      Now things suck in a way now that the tactical industry is huge. In some circles it’s like of you don’t have a plate carrier and if you do if it’s not rated for rifles or multiple hits then you’re not serious about your family’s safety. Or if you only have a revolver because they hold less ammo. Or if you only have a .380. Or if you don’t have a tactical flashlight that blinks. Or if you don’t account for multiple former spetnaz attackers. Things have gotten wacky.

      • The_Champ

        “Things have gotten wacky”.

        Totally agree.

        In all honesty part of me believes it’s due to the extensive media coverage of the wars of the last 15 years, the prolific use of SF in said wars, and the popularity of Call of Duty style video games.

        Everyone wants to be a bad ass operator now days.

        • MrBrassporkchop

          Yes I agree. I mean there’s nothing really wrong with that. Enjoy firearms any way you want as long as it’s safe.

          I think what it really comes down to is on a personal level being able to take a step back and be realistic.

        • AlanHan

          Yep. I feel so cheated. My stink in’ M16A1 didn’t even have a light! No laser sight! No IR laser! No bipod base. Nothing. Jeez, I guess we were lucky to even have bullets and sights….

    • Scott Tuttle

      I keep the shotgun out all the time because any adult in the house (or brother who lives next doors) can use it and my concealed carry glock is also out when I’m home.

  • Bill

    Just from reading the comments, lets not get too het up on doing structure clearing. If you and the Significant Other and Otherlings are in a safe place, hunker down with the biggest gun you’ve got. Let the cops do the ninja stuff; and they may start with a lengthy weapon themselves like Fang the Wonder Dog.

    • R

      I agree. I’d just point out, its a bit easier to hold a phone connected with 911 in one hand, and a pistol in the other.

      It’s safer for both you and the cops if they know your status.

      • Dan

        Just mount your phone on one side of your rails while having a go pro mounted on the other to provide evidence. Bam… gtg.

    • FarmerB

      But Foo-foo the assault poodle is more manoeuvrable.

    • iksnilol

      That’s why the best home defense firearm is the United States Machine Gun, Caliber 7.62 mm, M60. You hunker down with that bad boy, loaded with soft points, ain’t nobody gettin’ through to you or your family. And if they do, 200 rounds of 7.62×51 should hold them at bay for the half hour needed for the police to come and pick up the bodies.

  • ProLiberty82

    So you hit the guy rushing you with the shotgun/rifle but he does not fall dead in his tracks, now he’s on top of you and you can’t line up a shot with your long gun and he gets to stab you until he bleeds out.

    Just look at footage from combat zones and police/self defense shootings, people rarely just die where they stand even with high powered rifles. If you get attacked indoors you should prepare for the fight going to the ground and long guns are useless there, but you might get a chance to angle off shots with a pistol/revolver.

    It seems the most neglected part of firearms self defense is the hand-to-hand/grappling aspect, a lot of people just buy lot’s of guns and maybe go 10 trips to the range a year and call it good.

    • CommonSense23

      You realize you can strike people with a rifle or shotgun right.

      • iksnilol

        Yeah, but kinda hard to hit with a shotgun or rifle if they’re grappling it and by extension you.

      • ProLiberty82

        And I do hope you realize it’s infinitely easier for your assailant to grab hold of your long gun than you pulling of that one in a million KO “butt stroke” at that range, and forget about using your long gun as a striking weapon rolling around on the ground when that fails.

        “Butt strokes” are as Hollywood as it gets in regard to being an effective fighting technique, it has though traditionally been used to bludgeon to death/”finish off” downed opponents and executing defenseless captives, neither of which is applicable to any form of home/self defense.

        • CommonSense23

          Did I ever once mention a butt stroke. Muzzle strikes are what I’m referring to. Which work and are effective. The first time I ever was knocked unconscious was from a muzzle strike and I was wearing the red man suit.
          I have had to do a lot of work in close quarter combatives. As both the trainnee and role player. If I’m going to rolling around on the ground, I rather not want to be holding my pistol. And if I’m trying to take someone’s gun, I rather it be the pistol.

        • n0truscotsman

          They aren’t going to grab ahold of anything when my muzzle (a piece of hardened steel) strikes them across or is lunged into their face. That is if they dont have 5.56mm holes in them first, which they definitely will.

    • FarmerB

      Shotgun with birdshot, and he might not be dead, but he’ll have no face left.

    • n0truscotsman

      If you end up on the ground, you are in an abysmally bad situation. Even more so in a home defense situation.

      Which goes back to a couple points

      1.) Room clearing a house that you suspect is broken into is stupid. Call the police and hold the room.

      2.) If a threat presents itself and you have the target identified, you shoot until the person is stopped. Accurate shots from a long gun are going to be far more decisive in stopping than handgun bullets, preventing a fight to the ground before it even begins.

      3.) This goes back to training.

  • Sid Collins

    Dear God…. what a flawed analysis. I have to make two critically tight turns from my bedroom to my kitchen. Just waking up, poor lighting, cramped space. There is a good chance I am going to bump into everything with a shotgun. Also, I do not have a free hand to work a cell phone or flashlight. And as others have already observed, I can fire my handgun with my arms bent. My shotgun is longer than my pistol regardless of which reality you chose to live in.
    Shotgun vs pistol? I will leave that up to the individual protecting their loved ones. But if maneuverability is the main criteria, then a handgun wins.

  • Nocternus

    They make ballistic panels that you can install on your walls that look like paintings or mirrors. Just install them where you expect to encounter bad guys in your home. Like along hallways then when the need arises you don’t have to worry about bullets going through walls.

  • Sasquatch

    Well I think we can all agree that the guy in the picture is deaf.

    • Don Ward

      WAT?

  • Tassiebush

    It can’t always compensate for the length issues but short stocking offers an option in some contexts for long arms. I guess if someone needs to clear a portion of the house rather than immediately take up a defensive position (might need to move to protect the kids) it might help them negotiate a corner on their way.
    https://goo.gl/images/ESrc2e
    https://goo.gl/images/8WU5NE

  • Bull

    Meh. I’ve been doing room clearing with a rpk. No problem.
    Just familiarize yourself with your tool and your surroundings.

  • Gary Kirk

    Uh oh the long gun vs handgun debate… Someone’s smoking in the powder magazine again..

  • MIke H

    I live in a condo with a lot of tight corners and little open space. There is no space to run at me with a knife. And in the event I’m reacting to someone breaking in, the nearest cover point between my bed and the front door is the bedroom doorway. If someone were to charge with a knife, I’m just closing the door and shooting through it. My previous place, also a condo, was the same, except the there was a long hall that went straight from the front door to the bedroom door, allowing room to charge, but also plenty of time to get more than one shot off before, closing the door to break the charge.

  • RSG

    And that’s why I have a 9″ 300blk pistol for home defense.

  • Major Tom

    But pistols typically cannot accept bayonets. My rifle has a bayonet and it would do more for stopping a criminal in his tracks than any hand cannon.

    • Dougscamo

      Not to mention the properly executed “butt stroke”….

      • Phillip Cooper

        A good point, and another reason to stick with a shotgun in “dear old Grandpa’s old duck gun he left us” format (ie- with the standard stock, not PGO, collapsible stock, or other Mall Ninja tactitard format).

        I’d rather have a jammed shotgun I can use to beat the attacker to death with, than a jammed pistol I can maybe hit him with and annoy him.

        • ARCNA442

          I think you might be surprised at the fragility of many wood stocks. Before the introduction of polymers, militaries were very particular about what woods they used and even then hand to hand fighting resulted in a lot of damaged weapons.

          • Phillip Cooper

            I think you might be surprised by the fragility of a human skull when subject to repeated blows by even cheap pine.

    • Phillip Cooper

      One of the greatest horrors in any scenario I can think of, involves having to use a knife to stop an intruder.

      Ignore that if you get into a knife fight you can pretty much count on being cut.

      Consider that, even in the most holy and righteous of self defense scenarios, having the defender and his knife covered in blood makes great photographic evidence for a Public Defender out to make a name for himself in the media.

      “And these pictures, ladies and gentleman of the jury, show the defendant covered in the blood of my client’s son after he brutally hacked him to death”.

      Add that bloodsoaked knife in a plastic bag- and god forbid it’s attached to a weapon!- and waved under the jury’s noses, and you can nearly count on spending a very long time in prison, righteous or not.

      Remember, Juries are not necessarily selected from “your peers”. These are the people that couldn’t figure out how to get out of jury duty… or wouldn’t… or were hand-picked by the lawyers and not necessarily in your favor. The average person is an idiot- you want them deciding your fate?

      Stick with firearms. Leave the “fix bayonets!” nonsense to the folks that might have a legitimate use for it- the warriors that keep you safe in your bed at night.

      • tompinto

        “And these pictures, ladies and gentleman of the jury, show the
        defendant covered in the blood of my client’s son after he brutally
        hacked him to death”.

        Wait, what? You said “a Public Defender out to make a name for himself in the media” – did you mean a plaintiff’s lawyer?

        • iksnilol

          “It was an accident, I was peeling a banana and somewhat carelessly threw away the peel which the accused then slipped and fell on”

          “But he was stabbed 27 times”

          “Well, I ate a lot of bananas that day”.

          • Dan

            He fell on my silverware drawer

        • AlanHan

          A famous Texas Ranger was asked why he often shot the suspect rather than clubbed him. He replied that it was easier for the DA to claim he’d clubbed him too much than that he’d shot him to much.

        • Phillip Cooper

          Look, I’m not a lawyer, and luckily I haven’t needed one. This stuff happens.

      • Major Tom

        I’ve been a member of a jury twice. Once on a murder case the other a sex assault. None of those theatrics were done in either. Nothing like it.

        Under Colorado law you have no duty to retreat and if the guy is on your property doing things he shouldn’t being a threat and ends up with a bayonet rammed up his backside then as far as law enforcement is concerned, the f*cker deserved it.

        And I learned how to fight with a bayonet in the Army. I’m not some tactitard.

      • iksnilol

        No offense, but a bayonet is less knife and more spear.

        • AlanHan

          Unless you’re a US Marine, in which case your OKC3S bayonet is really more a knife forced temporarily into serving as a bayonet. And that was the design concept.

        • Phillip Cooper

          A bayonet in itself is a knife. Quite literally a knife that is designed to fix onto a gun, but can still be used on its own.

          Once attached, it’s more along the lines of a naginata, unless you regularly throw your rifle with fixed bayonet.

          Don’t know how they do it in Norway, but throwing the rifle was A BAD THING when I was in the Infantry.

          • iksnilol

            Dude, it’s essentially a pointy stick. You jab the pointy end towards the opponent.

            You pedantic folks are reaaally annoying.

      • milesfortis

        This is why you get your ‘honest politicians’ (definition: One who stays bought) to get laws passed that preclude civil suits against a person who used deadly force and the PA/DA/Jury found as lawful self defense.

        If it’s “justifiable homicide”, the surviving family – significant other what-have-you, no matter who it was done, have no right to sue for civil damages.

        Several states. including my home state, have such laws, and if your state doesn’t, it needs to be seriously considered.

  • gunsandrockets

    Apparently the shotgun wielder never has to open a door or use a telephone or flick on (or off) a light switch, so of course the shotgun is as maneuverable as a handgun!

    • Don Ward

      A shotgun wielder simply shoots through the door and pulverizes any opponents unlucky enough to be on the opposite end with a hail of buckshot and wood splinters reminiscent of that sea battle scene in Master and Commander.

    • CommonSense23

      It’s pretty easy actually doing all those things with a long gun.

      • gunsandrockets

        easy? while having the shotgun ready for action?

        • CommonSense23

          Yep. Though AR is better than a shotgun.

          • gunsandrockets

            Riiiight.

          • CommonSense23

            We are talking about a shotgun or AR. Not a MK48. DO you really think when people clear rooms anytime they have to open a door or manipulate something with one hand they make themselves defenseless. How about going thru the door. You think don’t go thru in a way that minimizes the rifle to hand gun length but still allows to to shoot.

  • diana pierce

    This question must pertain to civilians only and only they can tell/choose what tool they will use.. regardless of a correct ‘best choice’. consider those in the business … who do this allot … any officer or military wanting to clear a location will go for one of two things especially…. none other than 12 gauge or a sub-gun. Is this not the answer to this question?

    • CommonSense23

      Look what is being used to clear building by any competent force. Its not a sub gun or 12 gauge. It’s a SBR.

      • milesfortis

        And a MK18 upper seems to have followed me home when I retired.
        (No, nobody cared because we didn’t use the model, and it came our way via a SGM’s brother in law with idiot friends who had made up a AR-15 as a PCS gift.)
        But I did buy my own suppressor.

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    My friend legitimately defends his house with a sword. Im not saying its the best, but it also has its merits.

    • Sand

      swords never run out of ammo…

    • lammdn

      Not practiced but would recommend the gladius, held in the horizontal position as you stab. 100% silent too.

  • Travis

    And what about once the invader is already closer than arms length?

    • gordon

      A shotgun or rifle becomes a long baton and you get to test your Kung-Fu?

      • lamdnd

        Go to secondary ala pistol, but you need to be practiced in drawing it to deploy quickly, a knife is the other option if you don’t have a pistol, but again requires drawing proficiency. People only go hand to hand when they fail with the two above. And if you do go hand to hand, no martial arts are gonna help you much, you need to know the dark arts and I don’t mean magic.

  • kannd

    And now you know why the sawn off shotgun has been outlawed, it combines the advantages of the pistol, with the firepower of the shotgun. And probably due to rich people enjoying recreational hunting, one of the few weapons they are familiar with.

  • TexianPatriot

    Read an article where 8 firearms instructors/gurus were asked what firearm for home defense. Came back 1 for shotgun, 2 for pistol, 5 for SBR. I have a 10.5″ 300 Blackout by my bed every night.

    • milesfortis

      Seriously.
      Spend the $$ and get a suppressor. Your ears and nasal sinuses will thank you if it ever become necessary to use that indoors.

      • TexianPatriot

        Plan to, waiting on HPA. For now I have hearing pro hanging on it. (Sonic ears of course so I can still hear)

        • milesfortis

          Don’t depend on HPA getting passed into law. I hope it’ll happen, and we’ve now got the best chance for it, but I’ll get no takers on the bet that the Demoncraps in the Senate will do anything they can to stop it, just because it’s pro-gun and the “other side” is for it.

          All you’re dealing with is $200 more, some paperwork and time.

          Oh and I have a set of Peltor ComTacs handy as well.

          • TexianPatriot

            It’s more a matter of principle. I don’t agree that we should have to, so I don’t.

          • milesfortis

            Well, cross your fingers. The HPA just got introduced in the new congress. And off we go to the races.

  • Rick O’Shay

    I don’t know about you guys, but I personally prefer to clear rooms with my Mosin Nagant 91/30 with the bayonet attached.

    Just kidding.

    As Nate F said, simplistic to the point of being meaningless.

    • iksnilol

      I was about to upvote, but then you added “just kidding”

  • Drew Coleman

    I’ll stick with my Sig 556 for home defense (with suppressor). More rounds than a pistol or shotgun and plenty effective.

  • Will

    I would think the best home defense firearm is the one you shoot well, UNDER STRESS, and train with A LOT!
    I agree with the trainers at Thunder Ranch about the length NOT being an issue….IF YOU TRAIN WITH IT!
    I, personally, believe the handgun is just to keep the bad guy occupied until I can get to my shotgun ;-).

    • Joseph Goins

      So if you were attacked in your garage, you would run inside the house just so you could get your shotgun just so you can deal with the threat?

  • Joseph Goins

    #1. “Maneuverability” in this case assumes that you are going to walk around your house with your arms at full extension for the pistol. (Pistols are also capable of being fired in a hand-to-hand situation when rifles and shotguns are not.)

    #2. Clint is taller than the other two. Of course his arms with the handgun are going to extend more than theirs would!

    #3. I would rather fire one shot from a bullpup rifle than once from a Mossberg 500. (Although using a DP-12 or KSG would be a better comparison.)

  • Beardedrambler

    Think the difference is insignificant? Try opening a door while keeping each weapon pointed into the room ahead of you and get back to me.

  • The_Champ

    I can’t add much to what has already been said in the comments.
    Lots of pros to the shotgun but, more than once while clearing a house with my patrol shotgun I’ve wished I’d left it behind in the cruiser as I tried rounding tight corners, clearing small crawl spaces, under beds, etc.
    Also more than once I’ve had to transition very rapidly from having someone at gunpoint to holstering and grappling with them. That’s a lot more difficult to do with a long gun.

  • Mmmtacos

    You forget that when I go into my tactical John Wick Central Axis Relock mode, I become far more maneuverable with a handgun.

  • dhdoyle

    Some people get paid to clear buildings. Pay attention to what gear they use. This is called a clue.

    • .45

      Ah, so ideally I need several other guys in heavy body armor all ready to go with carbines and shotguns. Sounds slightly impractical…

      To be a little less sarcastic here, what the SWAT uses when they are working as a team supported by multiple buddies does not make it the best set up for me or you when we hear a window breaking in the night.

  • iksnilol

    You can’t fire with the pistol closer to your body? Think CAR just less tacticool.

  • Joshua Knott

    I just came here for the pistol operators operating operationally in everyday tacticool BLACKHAWK! gear telling me a shotgun is useless…
    *grabs copious amounts of popcorn

    • AlanHan

      Those guys were in and out of here in a flash, moving fast, but they asked me to tell you that you bought the wrong gun and you’re holding it wrong.

  • SlowJoeCrow

    Of course the other option is “run what you brung” which is why my 1st choice for dealing with an intruder is my AR since the alternative is a .22 until I can afford another gun.

  • Zebra Dun

    I intend should the need arise to gather my closest weapon of defense, which can be either a revolver in .357 magnum/.38 spl, a Colt Series 70 Gov model in .45 acp or a double barrel coach gun in 20 ga. loaded with two shots of number 3 buckshot.
    With the revolver/1911A1 I can put all my shots inside a four inch pie plate under stress and with the coach gun I can put 36 out of every 40 pellets load into a man sized target at 25 yards.
    Closer is more better.
    If I don’t get to grab the firearms there is this old Marine K-Bar lying in it’s sheath right by my bed.
    I don’t plan on manipulating either the shotgun or revolvers/1911A1 more than it takes to acquire a sight picture and squeeze the rounds off.

  • nick

    interesting comments! one thing that isn’t being talked about here is, the Law. I know the laws vary in the US from state to state, but up here in Canada, its uniform all over the country, so its a wee bit more complex. Handguns, although used in home defence, are a rare thing that gets deployed by law abiding citizens.

    Use of force guidelines under Canadian Law are very specific, and, if you deploy a handgun for home defence, there will be a ton of charges heading your way, not saying convictions, but the Crown will come down hard on you. Using a 12 gage or similar “non scary long gun” will be easier to defend from a legal point of view for us up here, as long as you are well versed in the law, and have the correct shot placement / threat neutralization discipline down cold

    I do enjoy the pros / cons discussion, but for me, its a legally stored long gun, with well trained family members . ( its truly amazing how fast you can unlock and bring a gun into action when a bear is battering the front door !)

    • The_Champ

      Actually I’m not sure this is accurate. While there have been a handful of high profile cases to support this notion, I think they are few and far between. Ian Thomson, in Ontario, firing over the heads of the men who just fire bombed his property has been the case pointed to relentlessly. I believe he is finally free and clear, although not without being dragged through the ringer of the court system for years.

      My impression is that this case is an outlier. You are right in the general sense that the authorities will look much harder when a Canadian brings a gun to a dispute vs in the United States, but I don’t know of that many actual cases where they’ve charged someone for using a firearm in legitimate self defense.

      For example, in the western Canadian city I police in, last year 4 gang bangers did a drug rip on a house, and one of them got shot, and killed, by someone in said house. That person wasn’t legally supposed to own a firearm, and he was charged to that effect, but he was not charged for murder, or agg. assault or anything along those lines because the investigation determined he was in reasonable fear of losing his life and acted appropriately(as appropriately as you can being a criminal with a gun you aren’t supposed to have).

      A few months later we had another incident where a basement tenant, high on drugs, made his way into the upstairs suite. A lady living there with her kid, who was herself an addict and very erratic, stabbed and killed this fellow. He likely wasn’t a true threat to her, but she perceived him as such at the time. Again, no charges laid.

      With these extreme cases in mind, I really believe that if you are an honest Canadian citizen with legally owned firearms, and you use them in self defense reasonably, and when fearing for your life, or the lives of others, you should come out ok, legally.

      However it is a razor thin line. If one second perp is shooting at you, and the next he drops his gun and flees, and in that brief second you shoot him the back, who knows what can happen. My impression, without being an expert on American laws, is they leave much more leeway for the good guy, so to speak.

    • The_Champ

      I should add that, statistically in Canada, the odds of someone breaking into your home with the specific intention and means of doing you harm, are EXTREMELY thin. Not to say that it doesn’t happen.

      • Beju

        Honestly, if you’re not a drug dealer/mule and don’t have any crazy exes/stalkers, the odds of home invasion are also pretty low in the US.

        • The_Champ

          Yeah good point. I was gonna add that I would hazard to guess that in most parts of the US it is much the same.

  • iksnilol

    Because I don’t shoot those comps you numbskull. And some of those targets were far out, like 15-25 meters.

    And you also used the guy tactically hooking his leg and leaning 45 degrees as a good example? Good grief.

  • ROLAND BUBB

    I am new to this Blog and reading this is hilarious. All this talk of Butt stroking, bayonets up the ass, length matters…….too funny. Amongst the funny comments there were some good points made. Point shooting…when I am double tapping at speed I am looking over my sights and the barrel, not fixing on my front sight as there is no time. Is this what you mean by point shooting? I prefer my 10 mm for the home as I shoot most with it. Training is the key. I agree with one of the posts, might be cool to do a John Wick and wack the bad guys, but you are coming out of a deep sleep, they have the adrenaline pumping….what do you think is likely going to happen? Better to get yourself in cover, call 911, and let them come to you. Differect if you have kids, you have no choice but to get yourself between the BGs and your kids. Most intruders are likely after money or your TV, not so much your life. Is protecting your TV a priority?
    I have an AR but I have trained more with the pistol so that is my go to.

    • Dougscamo

      Come for the comments….stay so you can derail the original post….

      • ROLAND BUBB

        Looks like this post was derailed long before I came along

        • Dougscamo

          Panic…chaos….confusion….our work here is done….

    • uisconfruzed

      A 10MM in the house will be deafening like a 44 mag.

      • ROLAND BUBB

        Unless it is suppressed, any gun in an enclosed space is going to be deafening. First Competition, UKPSA, shooting a .357. Excited and nervous, forgot to put on my ear defenders. Indoor range. Shot the stage without, but never forgot my EDs again. Another reason why you should get behind cover, call 911, and let the intruders come to you and hope you don’t have to fire. If I do have to fire I will be trying to survive and will not be worried about being deafened.

        • uisconfruzed

          If there’s a second perp, unsuppressed you’ll be deafened & possibly night blinded.

          • ROLAND BUBB

            So will he, and I have done my share of shooting in the dark. Do you think he will have? Is he likely to spend time on a range like me? I don’t think so.

          • uisconfruzed

            Ya never know. I’ve keep a 40S&W and a 300BLK suppressed SBR handy.

  • inchang

    Meanwhile Canada laughs at us because they have things like sawn off double barrel shotguns without the extra paperwork

  • Next they’ll say battle axes are on their way out. But add a little picatinny rail to your battle axe, and it will gain another 5 millennia.

  • ostiariusalpha

    You should know that many top IPSC shooters do use point shooting in competition; Taran Butler and Vitaly Kyuchin among them.

  • GearHead

    So what I learned from this quality piece of educational material is that SBS is love, SBS is life. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bc278695c571c05bb8ca63676cbb8b0515442d5fa47fa39790d8dafc1746cc71.jpg

  • F4GIB

    The real deficit of all long guns is the centuries old principle of the lever. And the likely bad spot is any corner. If the defender isn’t ready and firmly holding the gun, pop and it is twisted out of his hands. Now he has to draw and fire in the midst of shi*ing his shorts.

  • scaatylobo

    interesting study,bit pointless as he totally leaves out the ONE HAND ABILITY of the “handgun”.
    That allows one to hold a light,Mac can etc.
    As well as open a door, and protect the gun muzzle [ if you need to learn that,your behind the ‘8’ ball ].
    I too would LOVE a 12 bore,or a 20 too ,if the manure hit the ventilation system at O’dark thirty.
    BUT the hand gun is what is on me at all times,AND at hand at night.
    Not about to leave a 12 bore loaded all day IF no one is home.
    Nor remember or bother to load and unload it every night/day.
    Did a “few” hundred building searches as an LEO with a model 10 S&W,long before we carried anything better at confrontations.
    Still do as I trained and taught.

  • Jim

    The video and article appear to be overly simplistic and one-dimensional when it comes to choosing a home defense weapon. Shoulder mounted weapons take both hands to operate. They are much heavier than handguns. They are usually more complicated to operate. In a home defense situation, your engagement range is mere feet if not full contact with your attacker. You might wake up with the intruder already on top of you or a struggle ensues when the intruder jumps you in your darkened hallway in the middle of the night. Even if an attacker cannot gain total control of your long gun, once he gets his hand(s) on the barrel, he can easily divert the muzzle away from himself and render it useless. It is also relatively easy to completely strip a long gun from a shooter, especially someone who is weaker or poorly trained. Your average homeowner falls into this category. Shotguns are devastating weapons in close combat, however, for the average person defending their family inside of their home, a good handgun is a more reasonable option.

    • CommonSense23

      How much training have you received and conducted.

    • n0truscotsman

      “Shoulder mounted weapons take both hands to operate”

      So do handguns, for them most part.

      You *can* reload and clear malfunctions single handed, although its very difficult and near impossible when its needed.

  • AlanHan

    Are their IPSC targets shooting back? Of course they can shoot faster with the use of sights: They practice hours every day and have the luxury of not worrying about what’s happening down range.

  • Tierlieb

    As much as I love Clint Smith, does he know that you can shoot a pistol from position 2 or 3 and not just from 4 (if TR teaches the 4 position draw stroke, that is)?

    There are good arguments to be made there, no doubt. For example you can work around the length disadvantage a rifle gives you when rounding corners and slicing the pie by simply staying back further. And Clint surely knows that and teaches it. But that’s not the argument he made here. This one is stupid.

    • Cymond

      Of course, that assumes it’s possible to stay back further. Many homes have tight corners, hallways, doors.

      It was nearly impossible to turn the corner from bedroom to hallway with a long gun in our SC home. This place seems better so far, but we’ll have to see how our furniture gets arranged.

  • Budogunner

    “…under the guides of manoeuvrability…”

    Really, guys? Is there no proofreading by either author or editor anymore? The firearm community should do its best to reperesent itself with professionalism.

  • MP

    Open a door. Use a phone. Grab your kid.

  • ft

    I’ll take my 357 with CT laser over the shotgun for home defense. I am confident it will stop an attacker and as far as length goes, I don’t care what this guy thinks; the longer gun is more of a hardship to handle and defend if in close quarters. I can pull my handgun right up to my side to protect it and shoot it from there in close quarters. Also if I splatter some guy with a shotgun, I am going to have one hell of a clean up after in the house. I prefer my 2 1/2″ 357 revolver with the CT laser on it over a semi auto because I don’t have to wonder at the last fraction of a second if its really got one in the chamber or if its going to misfire for some reason. I practice a lot making just head shots on “bad guy” targets and on hostage situation targets. If anyone can run out of the house after taking a 357 in the head, I don’t want to mess with them again ever. As for the noise, hell, I’m half deaf anyway and combined with the auditory exclusion, its not something I am that concerned about.
    Shotgun does have an advantage the guy never mentioned. You can give a great butt stroke to the head area with a shotgun. That may reduce the amount of clean up you have to do as well as the legal hassle of giving statements why you just killed some guy.

  • kcshooter

    This is true only with the handgun at full extension. Is that how you would go about clearing your house?
    Half-truth, at best.
    More clickbait.

  • Nicks87

    Ok, lets stop using professional competition shooters to prove your point. You have no idea what Bob Vogel is looking at when he shoots. You are comparing apples to oranges.

  • Mikial

    I carry my Glock at all times when awake, but when I’m in bed at night, it is the Saiga 12 in the rack next to the bed with a light on it that Is my go-to for a quick and decisive response.

  • Cymond

    “guides of manoeuvrability”
    I think you mean “guise of maneuverability”

    And as others have pointed out, a handgun can be easily pulled in around corners & such. Yes, a long gun can go around corners in high or low ready, but it’s still not as maneuverable as a handgun.

    Also, from a simple physics perspective, you’d have to be a moron to claim that a 8 pound, 30 inch long rod is just as maneuverable as a 2 pound, 8 inch block.

  • Wingbert

    A shotgun is for duck hunting and the only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle that you should not have laid down in the first place. Give me a AR15 (SBR preferably) with a standard capacity magazine any day.

  • Archie Montgomery

    Even with long guns, an M1 Carbine is handier and easier to move around than with a .30-04 Krag-Jorgensen rifle.

    The situations usually used to ‘prove’ this sort of assertion have the defender in a static position, where there are no restrictions in movement or size. My house is fairly small and I choose NOT to be confined if under attack.

    Probably the major consideration I have for using a handgun vice a long gun is accessibility. I can have a handgun with me nearly everywhere. Any form of long gun is not nearly as immediate. Suggest the person asserting this claim respond from the ‘throne’, with his or her trousers around the knees.

  • waltinvt

    Why do so many “gun” discussions have to be distracted by a few little boys insisting on having a testosterone fueled ego match?

  • Eric B.

    Hmmmm… I keep my Benelli M1 12 ga. configured for “turkey hunting” with its pistol grip stock, short barrel and long magazine. It would work great at home defense.
    And my PS90 will work very well too – with its 50 round mag and 400 lumen Surefire light to blind the unlucky felon as I ventilated him with several rapid fire rounds.

    But my Ruger LC9 s is the first weapon I’d grab. THEN I’d get the Benelli out of the safe if there was time. Here in the Las Vegas valley home invasion is a hobby – as is shooting the invaders. So far 8 invaders shot over the past 7 years by armed homeowners. Several deaths ensued.

  • cwolf

    I’m always impressed with the idea you’re going to have a firefight in your home. I personally find it awkward to carry a shotgun around the house because it makes making sandwiches slower.

    Just watch a few Youtube videos on bullet/pellet vs wall penetration. I know…. the really serious folks argue that #6 or #8 would only “cavitate” a Bad Guy’s chest at 15 feet, but at 15 feet you can include the wads in the ballistic equation.

    The good news is you can win a lot of bar bets when folks argue you can’t miss with a shotgun because of the shot spread. Yes, patterning targets are impressive but how many 35-40 yard open areas are there in your home?

    I’m even more impressed with the idea you’re going to clear your home at 0300 with a shotgun and flashlight in the dark. Now you know why daughter #3 gets shot while sneaking back into the house after canoodling with boyfriend v5.0.

    Some folks suggest that most home invasions are push-ins… which might suggest answering the door tactics are somewhat important.

    All of which gets at some basic questions. Is your shotgun going to be readily at hand whenever “it” happens? How may walls will your super-dooper load penetrate (most walls are just plaster board)? Or can you see your sights in a semi-dark room? Have you ever fired a shotgun inside a dark room with no hearing protection?

    Cheers.

  • Wolfgang

    I would still take a rifle over either because rifles create an actual wound cavity while handguns and shotguns are too slow outside of a handful of exotic rounds.

    • kcshooter

      Yeah, because shotguns don’t have enough stopping power….

      Whatever you say, buddy.

    • Mikial

      Shotguns have been used to kill a great many lions and bears over the years, and a 12 gauge slug or buckshot load will drop most big game or people pretty effectively, and in many populous rural areas you must use a shotgun for deer hunting. There’s a reason it’s called “buckshot”.

      Along with that, let’s talk about over-penetration. It is an article about home defense.

  • Mikial

    The Saiga 12 with a light kept on the mattress rack next to my side of the bed is my first choice, and with the distance from the bed to the bedroom door we keep locked and bared at night, it is the perfect choice. My G21 with the light, and the Beretta my wife uses are the back-ups for close-in and personal work.

  • Baggy270

    Number 4 buck never 00 for home defense!

    • kcshooter

      What if my closest neighbor is over 1/2 mile away?
      “Never” is almost never correct.

    • Mikial

      Why? It would be helpful if you’d provide a reason for your comment.

      • Baggy270

        Over penetration with 00 buck shot. If no one else is in danger in your home from over penetration then fine. If your neighbor lives 1/2 mile away you should be good too.

        • Mikial

          Thanks, and I can see what you’re saying. In my personal situation with just the two of us and enough space between neighbors not to worry about it, it’s 00 all the way.

  • jimpeel

    A shotgun is an excellent home defense weapon — as long as the guy is not using one of your family members as a shield. At that point, the shotgun is useless unless you are firing slugs. I have told my wife, if someone is holding her as a shield, “Close your eyes so you won’t get powder burns; because I am going to take the shot.” This is why I place my faith in my handgun.

    • Mikial

      Agreed in principle. But every situation provides the context for your choices. Our household consists of myself and my wife. We sleep in a locked bedroom with a shotgun by the bed. If someone breaks in while we are in our bedroom, we know where everybody in the family is so a shotgun is our choice. Outside the bedroom, before bedtime, we both rely on handguns. You really have to be flexible and able to adapt your tactics and techniques to various situations.

      And yes, either of us could effectively take the shot with a handgun if someone was holding one of us hostage. What you need to ask yourself is . . . could your wife take the shot if you were the one who needed to close your eyes to prevent powder burns? If not, you need to have a serious discussion with her.

  • The Osprey

    Well, didn’t Joe Biden tell us that all we need is a double barreled shotgun? And to go outside and fire two shots into the air with it?