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Thursday, October 29, 2009

First gun: Shotgun or Handgun?

Anonymous said...

More emphasis should be placed on food, something like a minimum of 6 month to 1 year's worth to see one through a period when precious metals will not be widely traded and during a time when food shortages may occur. Although the situation appears similar to that of Argentina, the U.S. is unique and can't be expected to experience a collapse exactly like Argentina's. If money is tight, get a water filter or water storage, 3 months of food, then protection, and then 3 more months of food. Do some thing like this, taking a balanced approach as one prepares and continue until comfortable.

Personally, an inexpensive Remington 870 shotgun might be considered over and an expensive Glock and it would be far more effective for someone with little training. Glocks are twice the price of the 12Ga.870 shotgun and money saved should go for food. It takes lots of practice to get good with the Glock or any hangun, and with a shotgun, a less than well placed shot, will be more effective. Try the low or managed recoil 00 buck loads from Winchester. It's same that law enforcement uses. A 12ga. kicks harder than most hunting rifles. Practice with cheap 'game loads'. If possible try it before you buy. Get the Glock and the ammunition to become proficient latter. If really broke, start with 3 months of food and water and pepper spray.

Thanks FerFal for what you do. We can show our appreciation by sharing our thoughts and helping eachother.

A-non-y-mous?


Silverado Coach Gun


You're right, as more money is available, work your way towards 6 to 12 months worth of food. Either way you're going to use it no matter what, and you sure can't live without it.
I'm of a different opinion regarding the first (and for many the only) weapon to own.
A used Glock in good condition isn't that expensive, and if nothing else at least get a revolver but I've always insisted on a handgun first, and enough training to be profficient with it.
Of course its less powerful, but you can't drop a shotgun in your jacket's pocket or carry in in your waist and that makes all the difference.
Street, or home, the handgun will cover both, while the shotgun will only be a home defense gun, and even at that, you dont carry a shotgun all the time in the house or keep it handy. Entering or leaving your home, the garage, unless you conceal carry you'll be unarmed when you need it the most.
Another couple things I'd like to mention: A shotgun, specially a pump action shotgun, requires a LOT of skill to operate, specially at close range and against several targets many operators will transition to their handgun when in CQC, which is the most common self defense range.
A shotgun also needs to be aimed well, at close range there's no difference between shogun shells and solid projectile, they both make a single hole. It takes several more feet and even then the spread isnt that much you can afford not to aim as you should.
One of the worst inconveniences with shotguns and close range fighting: A) You need both hands to operate B) It requires a complex mechanical movement that requires both hands for each shot.
Shotguns are nice, but for all these reasons, I always recommend a handgun as a first and maybe only firearm.

FerFAL

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Handgun all the way as first gun. For the reasons FerFal states. You can carry it with you anywhere. They can be used to defend a home, defend a car, defend on a walk, defend at work, etc.

Shotguns are NOT easier to use than a handgun. Especially a Glock. The Glock operation is simple:

1) Put in a magazine.
2) Pull back the slide.
3) Pull trigger and go bang until the slide stays back.
4) Repeat from #1 above.

Shotguns you have 3-8 rounds. They are big and heavy. Perhaps you have another 6 or so rounds on a side saddle. You need to work the action with two hands on some of them. They are unwieldy to reload vs. a magazine. You DO need to aim them. They have a lot of recoil which is bad for smaller people. You can't carry it in your pocket.

I've grown less fond of shotguns for defense. I'd rather have just a pistol and a good semi-auto rifle personally. That will take care of most things people will ever need. Pistol for portable and powerful self defense. The rifle if you need to keep people away from your home.

FerFAL said...

As versatile as teh shotugn is ( longer barrel for hunting and shorter one for defense) there's nothing a handgun and short rifle wont do better, other than small game hunting nad handling specialty ammo. Give me a Glock and AK any day.

FerFAL

Dan Tanner said...

I will have to respectfully point out that while a shotgun does require more dexterity to use, I feel it is the easiest system to use because with a buckshot load you don't require fine aiming skill to be effective with it. I would rather my wife use our shotgun to defend our home in my absence than a pistol because she does understand basic operation, has fired it before, but in a panic situation, she won't have to line up a shot, just take one.

parabarbarian said...

All thing being equal and if I'm asked, I generally reccommend a revolver for beginners. Not because I think it's better than an autoloader in a gunfight -- there are pros and cons for each -- but because a beginner need something simple to get started on. I've seen too many times where a guy goes out and buys a Glock or a 1911 because his buddies recommended it, blows off a box or two of ammo and then the gun goes into a night stand and MAY get to the range twice a year. In my experience, most people will not spend the time and money to get even minimal training in gun fighting nor the time to keep in practice. All the arguments about magazine capacity, volume of fire or reloading speed are moot if the owner won't practice it.

A basic Taurus model 66 with 4" bbl and seven round cylinder is a good gun for the beginner who just wants a robust gun for protection. It's not sexy or bad ass but it will work and even a guy (or gal) who thinks range time is a once a year chore can learn the manual of arms well enough to stop an attacker at 20 to 30 feet. The 357 has the advantage that I can keep it loaded with +P 38 spl for a wife who hates recoil and drop in full bore 357's when I want to shoot it.

Anonymous said...

You do have to aim a shotgun. It's a myth that you don't. 20 ft. or less that thing will have a pattern only a few inches wide at most. At 50 ft you are getting to about half a man size target so perhaps less aiming required, but still you may miss with most of the pellets if you don't have at least acceptable aim. At 100 ft. you don't need perfect aim, but then again you are hitting with less pellets and the damage is less. At 100ft. and over the shotgun is starting to lose a lot of steam. Then there is the much bigger recoil for follow-up shots vs. the pistol.

In terms then of defense inside a home most encounters are going to be 20 ft. or less just due to how most homes are laid out. A shotgun will have to be aimed just as well as a pistol at that range. If you think you're going to have to keep people away from outside your home, well I'd like them to be more than 100ft. away if I can and a rifle is best suited for this vs. a shotgun. With a rifle I can also more easily stay behind cover and not have to jack around with the thing during reloads. I just aim and fire over and over again until reload.

The shotgun is versatile, but not as much as a pistol and rifle combo. IMO. I think a pistol is easier to learn to shoot than a shotgun. The shotgun requires way more fumbling around with things during operation and reloading than a pistol or even a rifle. I'd get a pistol and rifle before a shotgun for self-defense. No doubt about it.

Anonymous said...

Amen! to the Glock /AK combo.

Don Williams said...

1) In considering cost of a gun, you have to also consider ammo. Boxes of double ought buckshot are expensive in terms of cost per round.

2) The big advantage of the shotgun is that it is a pretty sure stopper within 20 yards. Whereas no handgun below the power of a 44 Magnum can be counted on for a one shot stop.

One shotgun blast delivers the equivalent of NINE 9mm bullets.
Three shotgun blasts are equivalent to emptying a 27 round clip of a fully automatic machinegun.

FerFAL said...

Don, when considering the cost of ammo, dont consider it related to round per bad guy. Ammo used on actual gunfights will be 0 to very little at all. Ammo cost comes into play when it comes to training, and on that regard there's no difference between a shotgun round (and how many equivalent 9mm pellets)or handgun ammo round.

FerFAL

Anonymous said...

Let's give the shotgun the props it's earned for home defense. In an urban or suburban environment where neighbors are mere yards away, the beauty of the shotgun is that they give tremendous stopping power at close range, but will not penetrate too far on the other side of any walls it may travel through,thus minimizing killing or wounding your neighbors (always a good thing). This includes 00 buck rounds. Also, there is something to be said about the psychological effect on the bad guys when they hear a pump shotgun being racked for their benefit. As with any gun, training with a shotgun and equipping it for home defense (good sights, tactical mounted light, etc.) is necessary.

Greg in CA said...

Short-Medium-Long distance defense is another way to look at this. Meaning pistols for short ranges, shotguns for medium distances and rifles for longer shots.

Shotguns have an effective range, or sweet spot, between the maximun effective range for most pistol shooters and the minimum effective range that a rifle's advantages of accuracy is needed.

In this sweet spot, the spread of the shot opens to allow for near miss targeting, while still delivering more power than a pistol or most rifles.

Golf clubs offer an analogy, with putters/pistols for short stuff, irons/shotguns for mid-range work and drivers/rifles for long shots. One of each might be a good place to start.

theotherryan said...

Ferfal, I agree with your general point that a handgun makes for a better first gun. It does this not because it is the best gun but because it is the gun you can (theoretically) have with you all the time while a shotgun or rifle would need to be left at home or in the vehicle.

As for the cost of handguns we don't need to get too Glock centric (thought I do love em). If your budget is such that spending $400+ on a Glock is prohibitive you can probably pick up a good serviceable name brand .38/.357magnum revolver for a bit under $300 if you have a day or two to spend scouring used gun sections in gun and pawn shops. I know I've gotten a couple in this range. Still you might be best off waiting a little bit and stashing enough cash for a Glock.

I do however disagree that a shotgun is more difficult to operate than a pistol. While it is certainly not true that just handing someone a pump shotgun turns them into a Grizzled Master Sergeant from CAG I believe that in realistic self defense (in the home) situations most people will do better with a shotgun. Shotgun do absolutely need to be aimed (not just pointed in the general direction) but long guns are inherently much easier to shoot accurately than pistols are.

Get a pistol with a few spare mags and a half case of ammo then get a shotgun with some buckshot and a few slugs. This stuff isn't that expensive, stop eating out or work a couple more hours or sell some junk you don't need anyway.

As for the pistol and a rifle point from a self defense perspective it is interesting but totally fails from a cost perspective. Good used Rem 870/ Moss 500's can be had for under $200 all day long. A good self defense rifle is difficult to touch for under $400 and that is a lever action 30-30 or an SKS. Go to mag fed and it is at least $600+.

Fredo said...

"but will not penetrate too far on the other side of any walls it may travel through,thus minimizing killing or wounding your neighbors (always a good thing). This includes 00 buck rounds."

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot3_2.htm

"The 00 Buck penetrated 8 boards (5/8" sheetrock), but was stopped by the 9th."

While shotguns may penetrate less than other weapons, 00 buck still with go through the equivalent of 4 interior walls.

"Also, there is something to be said about the psychological effect on the bad guys when they hear a pump shotgun being racked for their benefit."

Or you could have just told the bad guys where you are and that you are armed. I see that as giving up vital tactical information. No thanks.

Anonymous said...

Its kind of weird that people always emphasize the shotgun for home defense. In my opinion it is more of a home 'offense' weapon and then only in a short barreled version. (make sure you have earplugs)

Shotguns hold much less ammunition, they are difficult to reload under stress and only one round at a time, they are incredibly awkward to maneuver in a tight space like a house, you need to use the sights to hit anything. As has been said the 'spread' of buckshot is not relevant in the distances encountered in homes. It is also much harder to practice due to ranges not allowing shotguns and ammo being expensive.

A pistol, a rifle and a sub carbine are all superior choices.

Anonymous said...

A Nam vet told me that in the trenches a shotgun is the best to have, but I never plan to be in any trenches. For self-defense, a handgun may be better than a shotgun, but a shotgun is better than no gun. If a person muct use a shotgun, they should know about the stuff I found on these pages:

"Missing with a shotgun is far easier than it looks. It's also embarrassing...Moving across ground while operating a pump shotgun is akin to patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time. There's a lot going on with your body, and if you stop to think about it most of it will stop. Also, it can be embarrassing."
http://carteach0.blogspot.com/2009/02/defensive-shooting-with-shotgun.html

I had to sacrifice some body stability to stay flexible enough to make the transition right to left, and back again.

"In addition, I learned my natural tendency was to toss the shotgun from one hand to another, losing control of it for just a fraction of a second. While this might have been slightly faster, it 's an unacceptable trait and must be practiced away."
http://carteach0.blogspot.com/2009/04/defensive-shotgun-skills-moving-to.html

Anonymous said...

I prefer birdshot to 00 buck, it will cut a man to ribbons at short range. My primary HD weapon is a 20 gauge double barrel. No racking that one.

Anyone who is still around and looking for trouble will get the handgun backup.

Don Williams said...

A combat vet I knew decided to get a home gun a decade ago-- in case things turned to crap because of the Y2K computer bug.

He thought the US Army would suppress any rioting or large scale social disorder after two or three weeks but thought home robberies could increase.

He passed over my suggestions --AK47, 1911 Colt 45 -- in favor of a Remington 870 pump.

When you are dealing with multiple assailants breaking into your house-- maybe at two different points -- you do not have time to dick around.

You don't have time to pump 4 or five rounds into an assailant --because his buddy is drawing a bead on you in the meantime -- and yet you need to make sure that assailant A is down and won't be shooting your or your wife in the back before you move on to Assailant B.

Violent People can be very hard to stop --even if you put multiple rounds into them -- if you don't hit the heart or brain. Plus it can be hard to hit moving figures.

For short range (less than 20-25 yards) combat, the Shotgun with double ought buckshot is still
the best tool.

Especially if you are alone and don't have a squad of guys with fully automatic M16s backing you up.

Don Williams said...

PS A 30 caliber FMJ rifle round may pass through an attacker's body with very little IMMEDIATE stopping power
if it does not hit the heart or brain. And a rifle hollow point may not expand if it is clogged with leather or cloth from the attacker's clothing.

The primary point is that fighting off home invaders is short range fighting and you need something that stops an attacker IMMEDIATELY and with 100 percent reliability.

Anonymous said...

I mentioned the merits of shotgun use for home defense because they will penetrate walls less than rifle or hand gun rounds. Of course shotgun rounds will penetrate sheetrock to some degree. If I threw a "D" cell battery at a wall, it would probably penetrate 2 layers of sheetrock, and hurt someone in the next room. But the effective lethal range of shot shells is far less than bullets, therefore overpenetration is reduced.

Idahoser said...

First gun:
Not just handgun, but specifically a double-action revolver. Semi-auto pistols are for people who like guns and will practice and study and get it right. For your lady who may have to pick it up but you could never get her to take seriously the training, she would probably not effectively use the pistol, but she would have a chance to fight with the revolver. Point and shoot. You don't have to teach somebody how to shoot a revolver. Sure, you'll have to teach them not to slam it closed but that's minor compared to being able to pick it up and use it with insufficient training or motivation. And .357 Mag in the US since you can use .38 Special and can cover just about any task with that range of power levels in a gun anybody can use.

Anonymous said...

A shotgun is not a guaranteed 'one shot stop' that is action movie talk. What if the baddie needs two or three shots to go down? What if theres more than one of them? With the slow rate of fire of a shotgun in high stress situations and low maneuverability get ready to be overrun.

Penetration issues are HIGHLY overrated, you already have only a 20 percent chance of hitting a baddie what chance do you stand in hitting a neighbor?. Use of bird shot to ameliorate these issue reduces the penetration and stopping power of the shotgun rounds.

Also a shotgun needs TWO hands to operate and aim properly. what if you need to call the police or restrain a baddie or open a door or use a flashlight or hold a child's hand?

Anonymous said...

On over penetration. Let's be practical. Nobody knows what a lead round is going to do when it is leaves a barrel going at Mach 1+. That includes shotguns. So instead of just firing willy-nilly and thinking that the walls are going to stop things, you're going to have to take into consideration, always, what is on the other side of the shot just as you do at the range. Remember that rule "be sure of your target and backstop before pulling the trigger"? If you know your kid is on the other side of the wall then you shouldn't be taking the shot no matter what you have in the gun because it may go through. You just have to aim higher, aim lower, or adjust your position to make sure it doesn't go near that direction.

00 Buck can penetrate walls just as much as a rifle or pistol slug can. For short range I'll take the pistol. I'll also take a rifle. A rifle slug hitting you at 2000-3000fps is going to cause a big boo-boo. There is no way around it. It's a level of violence that is going to be hard to just shrug off, especially if it's a .30 caliber sized projectile. Heck, I'd take 30 rounds of .223 in an AR over 8 rounds in a shotgun. Having more ammo in a fire fight can be a deciding factor. Frankly, I'd rather have 13 rounds in my Glock with a spare magazine than a shotgun with side saddle. That would be 26 rounds of .45 vs. 12 or so of 12 gauge. More than twice the number of shots.

Don Williams said...

1) The issues re the Shotgun seem to arise because of different views re tactics.

2) I think it is a very bad idea to wander around a house with a loaded shotgun peeping around corners. Cops don't like that job even when there are several of them covering each other.

You run a high risk of being shot in the head by a crook who is hiding and tracking you from the noise you make in moving.

3) Rather, I think a house has to be fortified and alarmed sufficiently well that you and family have time to retreat to a strong room accessible only down a long choked corridor (hallway, stairs, etc.) You call the police and wait for them to clear the house.

In the meantime, you hide behind cover and hit anyone who tries to come down the hallway or up the stairs or through the barred door to the strong room. You need to have the cover set up in advance (heavy bookcase, kevlar mat,etc.

I think only double ought buckshot should be used -- birdshot often doesn't penetrate very far and merely leaves a shallow, surface wound which doesn't stop.

Since you are setting up the target zone in advance, you should be able to arrange it so that stray shots won't endanger your neighbors.

Again, the nine pellets in a double ought buckshot round each have roughly the mass and velocity of a 9mm bullet. If nine of those in the groin won't stop, then why are people carrying handguns?

A Remington 870 with extended magazine can hold 8 rounds -- and you can reload between shots.
(Something that you can't do with magazine guns.) Unless you are attacked by a coven of vampires, I think that should be enough gun for home defense.

Jack said...

You're all getting into the shotgun vs. rifle vs. handgun for home defense argument.

But that's not the question. The question is about what your first gun should be - a shotgun or handgun. And if you ever have to leave your house for any reason in todays society, the obvious answer is a handgun - 'cause toting a shotgun into the grocery store will just get you shot, arrested, or both.

Anonymous said...

The hardest question to answer, "What if..."

It's clear, there is no one perfect self defense gun that's suitable for everyone in every situation that everyone can agree on. Luckily we can choose, and perhaps some of us will survive to tell the tale.

Unlike so many people in places like the UK:

"More evidence that gun control kills. From the Mail Online:
The latest Government figures show that the total number of firearm offences in England and Wales has increased from 5,209 in 1998/99 to 9,865 last year - a rise of 89 per cent."

http://karendecoster.com/no-guns-more-crime.html

Anonymous said...

A pump shotgun in the hands of someone who trains regularly can be racked as quickly as a semi-auto. I learned this from my years as a gun dealer, and my regular range exercises. It is not a slow, cumbersome weapon in the right hands. It does have great stopping power with the right loads, and it IS more safe towards friendlies when used in an urban environment.

Anonymous said...

So true. A handgun is FAR better than a shotgun for home defense and all around defense.

You can carry a handgun anywhere. In the house it is easier to operate, more shots, one hand shooting, easier for less experienced, lighter, a LOT faster to reload, etc...

You still have to be a good shot with a shotgun, just like a handgun.

Anonymous said...

If or when SHTF, I'll bet in many areas it will be perfectly acceptable to carry a shotgun to, and even through, the grocery store... probably only in small rural towns though. It's not like millions of people don't already walk around carrying shotguns now while hunting in the woods or along the roadsides or to certain trading posts. City slickers would probably still freak at the sight of one, so I doubt this would happen in any larger city.

Here is a pretty good article talking up the 20 gauge shotgun for smaller framed guys and for women who cannot handle a heavy kick:

"My little girls grew up discovering that they could shoot the 20-gauge a lot better than they could shoot the 12. My current consort is a petite female who loves to shoot her 20-gauge semiautomatic shotgun and hates to shoot any of my 12-gauges. Whether we're going to the hunting field together or defending a household together, which would be the best choice for them to have available? Duh...let me think.

...For the person who wants only one all-around shotgun, I would respectfully suggest a gas-operated semiautomatic 20-gauge."

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob120.html

Massad Ayoob, he's got a pretty good reputation too I hear.

I found this other article that had other choices and was about food prep too, it doesn't seem too outlandish after reading Ferfal's accounts:

http://www.survivalblog.com/2009/09/preparing_for_uncertain_timesa.html

"You call the police and wait for them to clear the house."?
I think another thing Ferfal's observations shows is that waiting for the cops is a bad plan after an economic crash,... heck even today it's not usually a good idea. What's the joke(s) about how long it takes the cops to respond when their main office is only blocks away? Oh, maybe that's not a joke?

Water Filters said...

Nice post on Handgun............

FerFAL said...

Excellent comments guys, thanks.
About cops, (local cops, no offence inteded to tohse of you guys living in other countires and doing the right job) here they make you go inside along with them anyway, you might as well be armed and ready to shoot. I one occasion when the alarm went of in my wife's factory, they made us go ahead so as to turn off the alarm, switch on the light. Tell them thanks but no thanks, and that they can for in first themselves. Sometiems evne after that they wotn do it with whatever excuse, so the cops are there with you but aren't of much use in those particular sitaution. Again, I'm tlaking aobut Argentine cops (and those couple situations I had with some of them) , no one else.

Shotguns would be perfect for guards that dont have much training an are in residential area, the limited range in that case is a great security measure.

FerFAL

BulgarWheat said...

Thanks for all that you do, FerFAL! Great blog you have here! I am going to get your book as well.

The first thing I brought home from the gunstore was a 12Ga. Mossberg Maverick pump shotgun. I had to fill out paperwork with the county to bring my Glock G23 home. After those two purchases, I waited a little while then bought a DPMS M4, .223. I added an NCStar Red/Green retical sight to the M4. I also added a Colt M4, but in 22Lr. It can get expensive taking the kids to the range with the DPMS, and the 22LR is just a nice addition to my small arsenal.

DannyHSDad said...

If "not enough ammo" is the problem, there are semi-auto shotguns with magazines like Saiga-12 (-20 and -410). At least for Saiga-12, they sell 5 round magazines all the way up to 20 round drums.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, too many times, at least in the USA, if you call the cops you're the one who gets shot by them, it happens often enough to be a concern.

And, for examples of corrupt cops in the USA, similar to what Ferfal mentions, here is an article highlighting a few, shakedowns and traffic stops that seem more like robbery and the like:

http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2009/10/end-occupation-mission-for-oath-keepers.html

A lot of what Ferfal says is backed up when one breezes through this list of newspaper reports of examples of guns used in home defense throughout the USA:

http://www.claytoncramer.com/gundefenseblog/2009_04_01_archive.html

Anonymous said...

FerFal: "Shotguns would be perfect for guards that dont have much training an are in residential area, the limited range in that case is a great security measure."

Can't argue with your recommended Glock/AK combo for those who will train. Most will not. We often get reports of a surprising amount of shots fired and few hits. IMVHO (In My Very Humble Opinion), those who will not train are likely only going to get one chance to shoot and it will likely be within 35 yards or much less. It is easier to point a long barrel and a single hit anywhere with the 12ga will do the most to stop the aggressor, whereas better shot placement and multiple hits with a handgun may not stop the aggressor fast enough (stopping power). Those who will not train, and that is most folks, are likely best off defending the home with a sledge hammer than a scalpel. The phrase from an expert I like to keep in mind, "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast." Use #4 buck or heavier.

BTW, 7.62x39 and 5.56 FMJ are a lousy stoppers. Use soft point ammunition for the real thing or the 8M3 bullet such as found on Wolf Military Classic HP as a second choice and only this hollow point bullet. The 8M3 fragments after 3" of penetration and the remainder expands and continues to penetrate about 14". Try it on a gallon jug of water for surprising results. Any soft point is better than 8M3, yet it is far better than FMJ.

I know of combat vets who believe FMJ's ability to punch through light concealment is necessary, but most of us won't be in the jungle. Some Vet's would choose the shotgun over a rifle as ranges are typically 50 yards and less. If I could have only one gun, it would be a .45 semi auto as it is portable, yet I can't recommend it to all and for every situation. If I could not carry outside the home, a Remington 870 with 000 buck or a second choice, a Winchester Model 94 in .30-30 would be lowest cost and most effective as well.
?A-nony-mous

Anonymous said...

One Police Officer I know hit a 230lbs. male 6 times in the chest, taking part of the heart and the man still was able to grab a baseball bat from behind the door. As vets have discribed, some will go down right now, and some will not. They could have time to shoot back.

Although gory and distrubing, there no better documentation than a photo. It is also what we will face emotionally after the fact, and motovates myself to avoid the fight. Here's a link to photo of a head shot by shotgun. It is nasty. Imagine what this can do to another part of the body. The shotgun is the best immediate fight stopper available.


http://www.bestgore.com/murder/massive-shotgun-wound-extremely-gory-head-explosion-picture/

Anonymous said...

Another good article on which gun to choose, Selecting Your Optimal Armory:

"...shooting is rocket science! You’re better off deciding on the rocket before building the launching pad. Likewise, choose the bullet first and the gun that shoots it second. The coolest rifle is just extra weight if the ammo doesn’t do the job, costs so much you won’t practice or isn’t available."

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig10/gillespie6.1.1.html

Anonymous said...

I like that scalpel/sledgehammer metaphor but even so, give someone with no training or experience, a pistol or a shotgun and both are just as useless/useful. In very tight quarters like in a house with doorways and such, a shotgun stands more chance of being grabbed than a pistol. The pistol also has a much higher hit rate due to the number of bullets and firing rate it has. The question is, which weapon has the higher probability of being effective as first weapon?

The handgun of course. Pointing the gun at someone which is instinctual and pressing the trigger means you stand a high chance of hitting something in close quarters. The shotgun in contrast NEEDS to be aimed or one essentially is shooting a one shot pistol from the hip. Does anyone have any experience shooting a shotgun from the hip and hitting something? Compound this with adrenalin, moving targets and the shotgun no doubt stands either the same 20% chance of hitting something that a pistol has, but more likely less and with a super slow rate of fire.

Compound this with lack of accessibility to training and its a terrible first weapon. (Even movies offer a level of 'training' for a handgun in contrast) Really only a one shot 'boom stick', it might scare off some folks but if they shoot back or there is more than one and they aren't scared off, then your screwed. Highly irresponsible to recommend such a weapon to someone with zero gun experience or knowledge. An automatic shotgun is better but still inferior in my opinion to a pistol/sub carbine/assault rifle.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"Highly irresponsible to recommend such a weapon to someone with zero gun experience or knowledge."

I began shooting squirrel at 7 years old using a 12ga. Grandma cooked. It came natural to me. No one taught me to shoot. Shooting a handgun was a different story and I still doubt my ability. Most do better with a should fired weapon than a handgun.

When the time comes, most will blast away and hit nothing. We can only imagine until we have practical experience. I know some my limitations, and the handgun is one of them.

A?

Anonymous said...

When you were 7 you no doubt saw your father fire his shotgun hundreds of times. That's called mimicry and you were so good at such a young age because you copied him.

People go off and buy a shotgun or worse own a 'family shotgun' and have no idea how to fire it, holding it up to your shoulder to fire is something that you must learn.

But in anycase that's not the main issue. Because a handgun can be hidden and carried on ones person is the main reason it should be your first gun. This takes precedence over the superior stopping power a shogun has for the trained person in close quarters.

Coming in and going out of your house are the most likely times you will be assaulted and you can't walk around with your shotgun when doing this. And operating one in ones vehicle is unwieldy if not impossible.

Anonymous said...

Ok,a shotgun is much much less expensive 200 used vs 450 or 500 used for a glock. Handun is better because you can take it with you but shotgun is better for the home. All handguns are underpowered period.