Home defense gun

WayneB

Senior Member
Both have their advantages and disadvantages over the other.
I have a similar mindset, we have 20G mossberg pumps strategically stashed around the house for home defense, of course we have handguns and AR's pretty readily available as well.
first choice is always the pump shotgun..

My load out is #8 bird first, then #00 buckshot.
theory behind it is birdshot will only penetrate so many layers of drywall, so downrange risk of family in a 'gotta shoot' moment is minimized, pepper someone's torso with birdshot while you maneuver to a 'safer' downrange backdrop, or wait for another family member to provide backup.

I've been peppered with #8 at around 100 yds and with several layers on in a bird field. It'll make you say words you don't want grandma to know you know, even at distance.
It shreds yotes and possums up to about 20 YD, so I know what damage to expect.
Still don't want to use one in my house, but ain't gonna risk my wife, kids or grandkids' lives on a whacked out crackhead..
 

WaltL1

Senior Member
I have a similar mindset, we have 20G mossberg pumps strategically stashed around the house for home defense, of course we have handguns and AR's pretty readily available as well.
first choice is always the pump shotgun..

My load out is #8 bird first, then #00 buckshot.
theory behind it is birdshot will only penetrate so many layers of drywall, so downrange risk of family in a 'gotta shoot' moment is minimized, pepper someone's torso with birdshot while you maneuver to a 'safer' downrange backdrop, or wait for another family member to provide backup.

I've been peppered with #8 at around 100 yds and with several layers on in a bird field. It'll make you say words you don't want grandma to know you know, even at distance.
It shreds yotes and possums up to about 20 YD, so I know what damage to expect.
Still don't want to use one in my house, but ain't gonna risk my wife, kids or grandkids' lives on a whacked out crackhead..
first choice is always the pump shotgun..
Same here.
There is no "perfect" choice but for me personally, all things considered, the pump scattergun comes out on top.
If you want to get completely technical about it a single shot or double barrel is probably the MOST reliable/least that can go wrong, but then you have to weigh only having one or two shots in a possible multiple attacker situation.
But as mentioned by someone earlier the most important thing is having SOMETHING that you know how to use and are prepared to use.
 
My "go to" shotgun is a 20-gauge, and sometimes I put the 18.5" slug barrel on it and clamp a laser/ tactical light to the barrel just forward of the magazine cap and call this my "home defense" gun.

I have three issues with it, that I hold against it as a combat / home defense weapon, if I'm attacked by a home invasion robbing crew (as contrasted with a single burglar).

1-- Ammo capacity. My gun is 5+1 with 2.75" chamber shells. I know I could get an extended mag tube to bump that up to 7+1, if I relocated my light/ laser unit.

(I prefer a semi-auto carbine that holds 20 or 30 rounds).

2-- A pump shotgun requires 2 hands to operate, to include multiple shots in a short time. A semi-auto carbine with a pistol grip type stock can be used one-handed. That's a big advantage.

3-- NOBODY TALKS ABOUT THIS ONE MUCH, but...

From my own testing, 20-gauge buckshot (#2 and #3 were the biggest sizes I could find) just doesn't impress me as the be-all, end-all Hammer of Thor that both 12 and 20 gauge shotguns are supposed to be.

I've shot my shotgun with that buckshot into soft pine boards, and newspapers, and the penetration is LESS than I expected. It's basically going through about 1.5" worth of wood.

That's compared to my 9mm carry pistol, which shoves its 124-grain bullets about 4" deep into that same wood, tested the same day.

Yes, the shotgun puts several holes in the target.
The 9mm or .38 only makes one hole at a time. But the penetration difference is significant. If I were aiming at a 230 lb muscular felon who just finished a 10 year sentence in prison, pumping iron in the gym daily, I'd have doubts about a one-shot stop from a 20 ga.

(Unless I used slugs. Shotgun slugs really penetrate well and make a huge hole!)
 
What ever you decide make sure it is a semi auto. Since we all know full auto is illegal. With bump stocks and all. An AR15 with a red dot scope would be my recommendation. I don't like lasers or flashlights because they give away your position. But I love the red dot and 30 rounds. If it is for a female my daughter is 18 and her favorite gun to shoot is the ar15. They don't like guns with larger recoil.
 
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Robert28

Senior Member
I actually recently changed up my home defense setup. I came across a deal on a police trade in Glock 22 gen 4 for $319. Only came with one mag but that's all I need for this gun. It just sits next to my bed on the night stand. I think it had been carried most of its life and never shot, just by looking at the overall condition of it. 40's are cheap now as everyone wants to unload them it seems, plus ammo is easy to find even in panic situations.

Now, if things get super hairy there's the 6920 and numerous shotguns that can be deployed.
 
There's some interesting misinformation in this thread for sure. The old "get off my lawn!" while holding a double barrel shotgun imagery just won't go away.


One MAJOR thing that is always missed in threads like this is that there are two kinds of dudes that will break into your house.

1) A couple of idiot kids who need some cash for weed so they scope your place out and make sure you're gone at 1pm on a Wednesday so they can go swipe your DVD player and jewelry to pawn real quick.

2) The true "home invasion" where Roscoe and the fellas have decided well before the event that they are entering an occupied house at night with potentially armed residents. Their intentions are much, much worse than the first group. You do not want to be fooling around with trying to scare these dudes off with the sound of a pump shotgun or peppering them with some dove shot. Most likely they will be slinging lead at the first movement/sound/light they see.

If it happens while you're watching TV or clearing the dinner table you're toast unless maybe you still have on your EDC Glock and can react instantly. If it happens while you're sleeping you better have that gun silently ready to go in the pitch black for when they come charging through your bedroom doorway. Be ready though because as soon as you touch off that nice LED weaponlight to see who's there you're going to be receiving a big dose of gunfire.


Keeping your EDC Glock on your body until bedtime when you put it on your nightstand next to a nice Streamlight handheld, couple spare 17rd mags, and charged cellphone is probably the simplest answer. Plus if you do have to go scurrying around trying to round up kids you still have the ability to open doorknobs, pick up babies, etc.

Keeping your AR with an Aimpoint on it somewhere close by is still a decent idea though, in case this drama plays out across the street and you have time to post guard at the front door to protect your castle from wounded Roscoe trying to find cover in your living room.


Unless you're running a drug house or are into some shady business dealings you're still about 10000x more likely to need to pull your Glock on some clown in the Walmart parking lot than reenacting the Saddam raid in your living room. These things still do happen though.
 

WaltL1

Senior Member
There's some interesting misinformation in this thread for sure. The old "get off my lawn!" while holding a double barrel shotgun imagery just won't go away.


One MAJOR thing that is always missed in threads like this is that there are two kinds of dudes that will break into your house.

1) A couple of idiot kids who need some cash for weed so they scope your place out and make sure you're gone at 1pm on a Wednesday so they can go swipe your DVD player and jewelry to pawn real quick.

2) The true "home invasion" where Roscoe and the fellas have decided well before the event that they are entering an occupied house at night with potentially armed residents. Their intentions are much, much worse than the first group. You do not want to be fooling around with trying to scare these dudes off with the sound of a pump shotgun or peppering them with some dove shot. Most likely they will be slinging lead at the first movement/sound/light they see.

If it happens while you're watching TV or clearing the dinner table you're toast unless maybe you still have on your EDC Glock and can react instantly. If it happens while you're sleeping you better have that gun silently ready to go in the pitch black for when they come charging through your bedroom doorway. Be ready though because as soon as you touch off that nice LED weaponlight to see who's there you're going to be receiving a big dose of gunfire.


Keeping your EDC Glock on your body until bedtime when you put it on your nightstand next to a nice Streamlight handheld, couple spare 17rd mags, and charged cellphone is probably the simplest answer. Plus if you do have to go scurrying around trying to round up kids you still have the ability to open doorknobs, pick up babies, etc.

Keeping your AR with an Aimpoint on it somewhere close by is still a decent idea though, in case this drama plays out across the street and you have time to post guard at the front door to protect your castle from wounded Roscoe trying to find cover in your living room.


Unless you're running a drug house or are into some shady business dealings you're still about 10000x more likely to need to pull your Glock on some clown in the Walmart parking lot than reenacting the Saddam raid in your living room. These things still do happen though.
So for the sake of discussion NOT argument.....
There's some interesting misinformation in this thread for sure.
I don't see this "misinformation" you are speaking of.
I see a variety of opinions, ALL of which can be backed up/debated with facts FOR or AGAINST.
For example -
1) A couple of idiot kids who need some cash for weed so they scope your place out and make sure you're gone at 1pm on a Wednesday so they can go swipe your DVD player and jewelry to pawn real quick.
Well obviously not a life threatening situation so doesn't really apply. Hopefully all the guns are locked in the safe!
I would agree with #2 for the most part. I place 0 stock in the "scare them away by racking the slide" theory.
Has that worked before? I'm sure it has. Would I depend on that? Not a chance.
But for the sake of "misinformation", I'm not sure this is real accurate -
peppering them with some dove shot.
Getting "peppered" with dove shot is what happens in a dove field from a guy shooting a couple hundred yards away.
Not sure shooting Roscoe in the chest at 20 FEET with bird shot would fall into the "peppering" category.
Is it the best choice? Lots of ballistic testing would tell you absolutely not.
But lets not suggest that bird shot at across the room distance doesn't cause some serious trauma and shock
to the human body. At that distance your basically talking about a hand sized pattern. Thats not getting peppered, that's getting hit with a sledge hammer.
Keeping your AR with an Aimpoint on it somewhere close by is still a decent idea though,
Sure that's a great idea.
But an AR might not be the best idea for certain situations. Live in an apartment? One of those subdivisions where you can shake your next door neighbors hand through the kitchen window? Kids bedroom on the other side of the wall or just across the hall?
All of a sudden now, while not the BEST choice ballistically, bird shot has some distinct advantages over the AR that needs to be considered.

So I guess my point is, not sure "misinformation" is fair. More like multiple choices fitting various situations.
 
There is tons of testing information and medical case studies online showing the effects of bird shot on humans at close range. It is not physiologically incapacitating.

That is the misinformation. Obviously I can't link a bunch of pictures of bird shot wounds so you'll have to do that on your own.

Here's the old box o truth stuff that's been going around for years. Bird shot only penetrates two sheets of drywall. Basically as strong as a 13 year old boy throwing an adolescent tantrum.

https://www.theboxotruth.com/the-box-o-truth-14-rifles-shotguns-and-walls/
 
Bird shot is not designed to incapacitate the intruder but one of two things: make them leave asap or stun them enough so you can do what is necessary to eliminate the threat safely.
 

WaltL1

Senior Member
There is tons of testing information and medical case studies online showing the effects of bird shot on humans at close range. It is not physiologically incapacitating.

That is the misinformation. Obviously I can't link a bunch of pictures of bird shot wounds so you'll have to do that on your own.

Here's the old box o truth stuff that's been going around for years. Bird shot only penetrates two sheets of drywall. Basically as strong as a 13 year old boy throwing an adolescent tantrum.

https://www.theboxotruth.com/the-box-o-truth-14-rifles-shotguns-and-walls/
We've already established bird shot is not the BEST choice.
Since you wouldn't be attacked by drywall and I don't have a clue how the strength of a 13 yr old boy having a temper tantrum applies... lets go with something a bit more accurate -
This establishes why bird shot isn't the best choice and it also establishes the performance it does have -


The performance it does have coupled with a person who has legitimate over penetration concerns makes bird shot a legitimate choice to be considered.
1. You might miss and your bullet/shot is going somewhere.
2. Even though as you pointed out, bird shot "only" penetrates 2 sheets of drywall..... that puts the shot into the next room. Is the next room your kids room? Whos heads might be laying on their pillow six inches from that second sheet of drywall?
Some folks would sacrifice some ballistics for the peace of mind that there is less potential of "collateral damage"
Doesn't make their choice wrong if they have weighed the advantages and disadvantages.
Again, I'm not advocating the use of bird shot. Its clearly a questionable choice ballistically.
But lets be accurate about what we are discussing and how our situation can affect what is considered positive/negative.
 

WayneB

Senior Member
I've capped yotes and possums off my back steps under 20 Yds, and they didn't run off. Was not an insta-kill but pretty devastating.

Second round in battery is 00Buck, that's enough to finish about anything.

While a Yote aint a person, I'm gonna tell you that a 3/4" hole in your hide is going to change your mind while I take the time to ensure there's nothing I value behind you for the second round.

It don't have to be deep to hurt.
 
I guess if you just consider your bird shot to be glorified pepper spray that's fine.

When you wing Jamal with some #8 and then he and his three buddies toting Draco AKs ventilate you and then move on to your family I guess you can be glad you made him say "owee" before the fireworks started.
 

WaltL1

Senior Member
Shotgun Load Tests
...it covers birdshot as a defense round.
I never really understood these "shoot through drywall" kind of tests. What is that supposed to be telling me?
I'm really not anticipating somebody that's made out of drywall attacking me.
Seems like something like this is more realistic
(not completely realistic but more realistic) than drywall if you aren't going to use ballistics gelatin -
Starts out with the drywall test then moves into meat testing at 2:30.


And theres a "shot him in the chest and he kept walking" story for just about every caliber one would be using for home defense.
 

NOYDB

Senior Member
There will be no "show down at the OK coral" If you're sleeping, you will have no time to take a stance or calculate backgrounds. Have a gun YOU can bring to bear quickly and practice so that you aren't fumbling around trying to load or chamber a round. You will not need a second mag. Make your first shot count.
 

GoldDot40

Senior Member
I never really understood these "shoot through drywall" kind of tests. What is that supposed to be telling me?
I'm really not anticipating somebody that's made out of drywall attacking me.
The video was highlighting the penetration through drywall because that's what most people have in their home as walls. If you have somebody made of drywall attacking you...you obviously have bigger issues.

It boils down to knowing your home and what's beyond the perp. For instance, I can walk out of my bedroom and shoot in the direction of my front or back door with a 30.06 without fear of hitting anybody else...even neighbors. "IF" the perp gets into the living room (my security system obviously failed), then I wouldn't even consider a shot with any gun because beyond him is my oldest daughter's bedroom.

My dedicated home defense shotgun is stuffed with 00 buckshot, though I have an option to just as quickly opt for a 9mm stuffed with 124gr Speer Gold Dots or a .40 stuffed with 165gr Speer Gold Dots. The likelihood of a perp walking/running away is extremely slim.
 

GA native

Senior Member
I never really understood these "shoot through drywall" kind of tests. What is that supposed to be telling me?
I'm really not anticipating somebody that's made out of drywall attacking me.
Seems like something like this is more realistic
(not completely realistic but more realistic) than drywall if you aren't going to use ballistics gelatin -
Starts out with the drywall test then moves into meat testing at 2:30.


And theres a "shot him in the chest and he kept walking" story for just about every caliber one would be using for home defense.
The "through the drywall test" dispels the myth that you can shoot birdshot in the house without putting your family at risk.

Cardinal rule #4 still applies.
 

biggsteve

Senior Member
I just wanted to toss out something on home security....

remember, years ago, that when you went into your local gas station, a driveway 'ding-ding' bell would sound?

well, they're still available at auto parts stores for about 80 bucks. air hose is 20 cents a foot.

I've got one mounted in my concrete drive way, up by the mail box. the bell is on a porch post. it can be heard in the house, in the shed, or out back.

mailman, pizza guy, visitors all hear the bell.

no surprises here, folks............if you hear the bell at midnight......?
 
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