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Ok I'm putting this question to more experienced people. I am in the market for a long gun for defensive/sporting purposes. Right now I am stuck between either a shotgun or an assault rifle.



I'll be straight and say I have never fired a shotgun or assault rifle. My experienced is limited to hanguns, bolt action 30-06, and .22 rifle. However, I have plenty of experienced individuals to learn from.



I have been looking at Mossberg 500/590 and Remington 870 for awhile but was hesitant to act because of the limitation of the shotgun (being a job specific tool, ie. less lethal, short distance).



I recently have been bitten by the AR bug. It's just cool. That and I would like to learn to use one for future employment. I have contemplated buying vs. building and am pretty sure of the set up I want and where to get it. However I have also been thinking about AKs as an option, but have not done any research on them.



I recently read the new proposed AWB and this is pushing me toward the AR/AK option. A shotgun can be had even with the ban. So, based on my budget I can have one of the following:

1:a basic AR

2:a build AR w/sling and 10 mags

3:a decked out shotgun w/plenty of ammo

4:a basic AK w/plenty of ammo



So I'll stop my newb ranting and listen to the experts. Thanks.
 

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systemmaster said:
Ok I'm putting this question to more experienced people. I am in the market for a long gun for defensive/sporting purposes. Right now I am stuck between either a shotgun or an assault rifle.



I'll be straight and say I have never fired a shotgun or assault rifle. My experienced is limited to hanguns, bolt action 30-06, and .22 rifle. However, I have plenty of experienced individuals to learn from.

I'll give you the same advice that I was taught at the police academy, the best home defense weapon is a 12 ga pump shotgun, loaded with #4 Duck loads, the bird shot is deadly at short distances, the type you run into in home defense, at the same time bird shot doesn't penetrate walls worth a darn. That's what I was taught by a very experienced law enforcement instructor, I've tested the idea to my own satisfaction, in addition, on Personal Defense TV they have talked to a number of pros at Gunsite, the S&W Academy, and some others I can't remember, they recommended the same thing for the exact same reasons. A lot of people I have talked to think that bird shot isn't good enough, personal experience, and the results of a shooting that involved our department proved that completely wrong.



I have been looking at Mossberg 500/590 and Remington 870 for awhile but was hesitant to act because of the limitation of the shotgun (being a job specific tool, ie. less lethal, short distance).

Get the Rem 870, it's the most popular shotgun with law enforcement, lots of accessories available. At short range the shotgun is a far superior weapon to a rifle or a pistol, it will stop faster and more reliably than a rifle or pistol.



I recently have been bitten by the AR bug. It's just cool. That and I would like to learn to use one for future employment. I have contemplated buying vs. building and am pretty sure of the set up I want and where to get it. However I have also been thinking about AKs as an option, but have not done any research on them.

AR's are a good tool, AK's are a toy, reliable but inaccurate, and quite frankly the 5.56mm cartridge has proven a better man stopper than the 7.62x39, even the Russians changed over to a 22 center fire with similar ballistics to our 5.56mm. I have both AR's and a AK, I far prefer to shoot the AR over the AK, it's just a more pleasant rifle/carbine to shoot.



I recently read the new proposed AWB and this is pushing me toward the AR/AK option. A shotgun can be had even with the ban. So, based on my budget I can have one of the following:

1:a basic AR

2:a build AR w/sling and 10 mags

3:a decked out shotgun w/plenty of ammo

4:a basic AK w/plenty of ammo



So I'll stop my newb ranting and listen to the experts. Thanks.
 
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If you want a gun for close quarters, as in house defense, go with shotgun.



If you want to hunt and shoot long range, go with rifle.



Shotgun is for short range, and rifle is for long range. Generally.
 

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the AR-15 is not an "assault rifle"



that is a term created by the anti-gun crowd to scare people.



it is a semi-automatic rifle
 

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Argh, I've been pondering the same thing. Shotguns are very effective, and are widely recommended for home defense. I just don't like the fact that you'll also be destroying you house by peppering your walls too. What if a family member is too close for the shot? That's where a rifle comes in handly. But then that round may not only go through the bad guy, but through you walls, and your neighbors wall too, depending on how close your neighbor is. Shotguns are more "messy", and rifles are more precise, but could be too effective. Both are going to be freaking loud going off in a home.
 

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My Mossberg 590 8+1 with a Knoxx Industries recoil reducing stock is my favorite gun. I love shooting it, and it's the gun I grab when things go bump in the night.



That said, shotguns will most likely never be banned (even CA lets you have scary features on shotguns). In the current climate, with democrats in control of the house and senate, and an upcomming presidential election, a ban of scary semi-autos is entirely possible.



So if I had your choice right now, I'd get a scary semi-auto.



The AK is a great gun. You could get 2 AK's for the cost of 1 AR. I really enjoy beating guys with expensive ARs with my lowly AK. But it takes some time and effort to get an AK to shoot strait. They usually come pretty rough. Usually you have to fix a cant on the FSB and the gas block, and you have to polish the FCG. But AK's are super easy to work on. The only tools you need are a vise, a hammer, a drift punch, and a dremmel. And here's a web site that tells you everything you need to know: http://www.gunsnet.net/Linx310/.



But with the ban on importing barrels, and a proposed ban on the import of surplus ammo, getting a gun whose parts and ammo are manufactured outside of the US might be risky.



The AR is a great gun. It's American made. The parts and ammo will most likely remain available because the people who make them live in the US. It is in their best interest to stay ahead of our laws. They will spend the time and effort to keep their products available. Foreign sources might not put in the same effort to keep their products available.



If you're really going to use an AR in future employment, then I'd get an AR.



DPMS and Rock River both make quality products for $700-1000. If I had $700 I'd go this route. Or I'd build an AR and get a bunch of mags as they would probably be part of any ban.



If I had $1000 I'd get a complete lower for $250-300, a bolt and carrier for $100-150, and an upper from GG&G for $780. OK, maybe it's more like $1200, but the GG&G stuff is amazing. GG&G is one of those companies who only make great products: http://www.gggaz.com/index.php?id=35&parents=38,39. That thing is gorgeous, and very scary.



Just my opinions, take them for what they're worth. "Put your opinions in one hand, and sh*t in the other, and see which one fills up first."
 

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Discussion Starter #10
machgt said:
the AR-15 is not an "assault rifle"



that is a term created by the anti-gun crowd to scare people.



it is a semi-automatic rifle


Yes, your right but I live in an anti-gun state and everyone refers to them that way, even gun stores.

Sorry.



bobbthompson said:
That said, shotguns will most likely never be banned (even CA lets you have scary features on shotguns). In the current climate, with democrats in control of the house and senate, and an upcomming presidential election, a ban of scary semi-autos is entirely possible.


This was exactly what I was thinking. My state is proposing a AWB of sorts itself, and with a majority democrat house, senate, and governor I fear it will pass. I already have mag restrictions which are not too bad but could change in the future.



That said I do like the shotgun as a defense gun for all the reasons stated. However, I would be hesitant to us it because I have 2 dogs and would opt for a handgun if they where nearby.



Now this rifle vs. shotgun debate could go on forever so from a strictly first time user view which would be better.
 

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I prefer a carbine length rifle, such as the AR-15 in M4 profile. It is short, lightweight, and I have 30 deadly rounds ready to go. Should something go bump in the night, I'm not limited to short ranges. It is possible that you could have to defend your family while you are leaving your home. I understand that's not as likely as someone coming into your home, but I like to have my bases covered. I can grab my M4, and be ready to control a small mob if need be.



I will not discount the usefulness of a shotgun at short ranges. But if I'm going to grab 1 gun, it will be my M4.
 

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YukonGlocker said:
I will not discount the usefulness of a shotgun at short ranges. But if I'm going to grab 1 gun, it will be my M4.


+1



Get a good red dot or get some exp with sights and a light mount, and some TAP rounds.



I'll post a pic of mine as soon as I get the upper back, it will be a bad mofo.



any M4ergy will work, but i recommend getting a mid length handguard with a m4 profile for weight savings.
 

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I own at least one of each- I say go with the AR. You can get a "Plain Jane" model and add accessories as your budget allows. I would start with magazines as your first priority- you should be able to get brand new ones for$10-$15 a piece. After that whatever else you want. You can pick up a shotgun later on- like everyone has said they shouldn't be affected by an assault weapons ban. Just my $.02 . Rich
 

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What if a family member is too close for the shot?


This is why you can run slugs, do a "select slug" drill (switching from buck to slug), or apply offset aiming. It is in these situations that it is paramount that you know how your shotgun will pattern in whatever load you are running in the gun.







But then that round may not only go through the bad guy, but through you walls, and your neighbors wall too, depending on how close your neighbor is.


If you are running something like the 55gr 5.56 load, you wont come anywhere near that level of penetration. If the round does exit the body, it likely wont penetrate more than one or two interior walls and should be easily contained within your residence.





Both are going to be freaking loud going off in a home.




Thanks to auditory exclusion you will probably never hear the shot when you make it.
 

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MP4ME said:
Argh, I've been pondering the same thing. Shotguns are very effective, and are widely recommended for home defense. I just don't like the fact that you'll also be destroying you house by peppering your walls too. If someone is in the house, I won't be worried about what happens to the walls.



What if a family member is too close for the shot? That's where a rifle comes in handly. You do realize that at close quarters, under 10 yards, the spread of a shotgun, even with a wide open choke, is only about 1 INCH, that's as close as you could aim anything.



But then that round may not only go through the bad guy, but through you walls, and your neighbors wall too, depending on how close your neighbor is. Shotguns are more "messy", and rifles are more precise, but could be too effective. Both are going to be freaking loud going off in a home.


Rifles and pistols both have excessive penetration, actually the pistol will usually penetrate more walls than a AR-15, the AK in 7.62x39 will over penetrate to a ridiculous extent, it's a very poor choice for home defense because of that problem. At short range, nothing will stop an intruder like a shotgun, I also know a person who ran off an intruder with the sound of a pump shotgun, as soon as the intruder heard the noise of the shell being chambered, he took off!
 

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From my experience with both AKs and ARs I would go with the AR if money permits. I started with an AK because of price on the guns and ammo 10 years ago. After my first carbine match I was tired of it and looking at ARs. The ergos of the AR beat the AK hands down.



The stock sights on AKs pretty much suck. The rear notch is too small and the front post is too big. I widened my rear notch with a dremel and it is now usable but still nothing to compare to the peep on an AR. I'm not saying that a good shooter can't run fast with an AK and do well with it. But it is so much easier with an AR. Mounting the gun and finding the sights while moving is much easier on

an AR.



These days the cheap Russian 7.62 ammo is not so cheap any more. If you are a reloader, 223 components can be cheaper than 7.62x39.



For home defense a 12-gauge shotgun has the most one shot hitting power but I can shoot my CAR-15 a lot faster and more accurately than my Mossberg 500. At home defense distances you will need to aim the shotgun just as accurately as you would an AR.



30 rounds in the gun and 30 rounds in the gun mounted mag pouch make it my go-to long arm.



My 2 cents



Gringop
 

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AR's have a reputation for being finicky and are something of a specialized tool. They are good for social purposes, plinking, varmint hunting, and that's about it. They are also light in weight, light in recoil, and you should be able to run one well with good training. If you go the AR route, go Colt - buy cheap, buy twice.



Shotgun: generally heavier, more recoil, most are not finicky about what you feed them. Socially more acceptable (if that's important). "That? That's my dove/turkey/squirrel gun." Can be a 100 yard weapon with slugs.



The same money that will get you into a top line shotgun only gets you into a third tier AR, then you gotta deal with optics (maybe).



Here's what happened with me. Wanted a long gun for the house. I sold two 870's and got into an 11-87. Then decided I needed a battle rifle. Started looking at AK's, ended up with an FAL - which I think was a pretty good call for *me*. So with all that on-line, what's my go-to rig for a bump in the night? A 1911 with weapon light - because I can move thru the house with it. The shotgun is in cruiser ready, but I shoot pistols a lot more than the shottie. The FAL is in reserve for Katrina-type scenarios. (But I hunt with both the 11-87 and FAL
)



Good luck. You're on the front end of a long and expensive cycle of trying to get your armory squared away. It will be a work in progress.



PS. The AK may be the way to go for now. Cheap to buy, cheap to run, and gets you in the game. Downside is the popular view from the uninformed.



Good luck.
 

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AR's have a reputation for being finicky and are something of a specialized tool. They are good for social purposes, plinking, varmint hunting, and that's about it.


There are plenty of dead people around the world that might disagree with the statement about the AR being only good for social purposes. The AR system has more than proven itself and shaken the negative reputation it earned in Vietnam. As long as you are running quality stuff, an AR should be more than reliable for a person interested in using a rifle for personal protection.





If you go the AR route, go Colt - buy cheap, buy twice.


DO NOT go with Colt unless you just want to pay for a name. CMT/Stag, LMT, Rock River, etc all make ARs that run just as good as a COlt at a fraction of the cost.





PS. The AK may be the way to go for now. Cheap to buy, cheap to run, and gets you in the game. Downside is the popular view from the uninformed.



Good luck.


7.62x39 ammo is basically at the same level of 5.56 now. 1k rounds of Wolf 7.62 will typically run just under $200
 

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I would like to add Armalite into the AR mix.. Mighty fine maker of a mighty fine rifle.



It seems to me though, and correct me if I am wrong here guys, that an AR or the many variants are more of a "sniping" type of weapon. Great shooters, but unless you live in a REALLY big house, I don't see how you get much of an advantage from this weapon with regard to home defense.



A shotgun is probably the most advantageous IMO... but another option that I have not read in this thread is a good ol' 30-30 lever action! I have one, and it serves me well. The nice thing about the Marlin 336w is that it make a very distinctive, clearly understood sound when chambering a round.. it also has a pretty good accuracy up to about 150 yards (just in case you have a REALLY big dining hall in your home) and the round itself will penetrate body armor... just in case your attacker happens to be wearing body armor... but most of all... IT'S COWBOY COOL!!



That being said.. I have my M&P on the nightstand, the Mossberg 835 in easy access status.. and the Marlin nearby.



Raymond
 

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I would like to add Armalite into the AR mix.. Mighty fine maker of a mighty fine rifle.


Aramlites arent bad. I'm not exactly found of how they attach the gas block to their rifles though.



It seems to me though, and correct me if I am wrong here guys, that an AR or the many variants are more of a "sniping" type of weapon.


The AR excels at being a, for a lack of better terms, close quarters weapon. The 223/5.56 rounds dont overpentrate like many other calibers and the platform is highly customizable to suit exactly what the user needs. If you look at most SWAT teams across the nation you will see that they are running some form of an AR as an entry weapon.



... but another option that I have not read in this thread is a good ol' 30-30 lever action! I have one, and it serves me well.


Probably because he didnt ask about a lever action. I have a model 94 at home that I wouldnt hesitate to use if I had to. It certainly isnt the first weapon I'd grab though.
 
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