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View Full Version : Shotgun vs. Mini-14 for home defense


benelli shooter
03-04-2010, 10:28 AM
I want to hear the most up to date thinking on this subject. I know this has been discussed before. However, sometimes thinking on tactics evolve over time. And, sometimes new posters can add things that have not been considered before. Which do you prefer?

Please assume the following:

1. Money is not an object
2. The user would be equally trained on both systems.
3. Civil liability is not a concern.
4. This is not a Katrina / End of the world riot situation.

I am looking at this purely from the viewpoint of which system would best allow you to engage and defeat one or more people who have entered your home with deadly intent.

BIGCHRIS
03-04-2010, 10:33 AM
I am sure others will say, but if money is no object, why not get both, they both serve different purposes. I have both and wouldnt have any other way.But as basic HD I would stick with a tried and trued shotgun. The way I have it, is my 1911 makes it to where I can defend myself and let the wife and kid get into the safe room where the safe is and the shotgun is loaded and then if I need to pick off the zombies coming over the hill I will use the mini or AR :)
But for HD either a handgun or a shotgun.

plankowner
03-04-2010, 10:34 AM
I believe the shotgun is the better of the twoI, know the shotgun can be kind of hard to manuever in the home but you are talking about long guns anyway , I just think the knockdown power of the shotgun in 00 buck is one hell of a weapon to deal with.

Dirtbiker
03-04-2010, 10:55 AM
The shotgun gives you a greater choice of ammunition. Everything from rubber buckshot to 1+oz slugs.

tombinghamthegreat
03-04-2010, 11:04 AM
Shotgun is more ideal for close range.

Argonaut
03-04-2010, 11:11 AM
The shotgun is best. At close range they are even more effective than a sub machine gun in most tests. A good pump gun will cost 50 to 60% less than a Mini 14 as well. My son just returned from Iraq and a tour with the 101st airborne (Infantry) and he said the first guys through the door on the streets carried shotguns.

1911su16b870
03-04-2010, 11:43 AM
I want to hear the most up to date thinking on this subject. I know this has been discussed before. However, sometimes thinking on tactics evolve over time. And, sometimes new posters can add things that have not been considered before. Which do you prefer?

Please assume the following:

1. Money is not an object
2. The user would be equally trained on both systems.
3. Civil liability is not a concern.
4. This is not a Katrina / End of the world riot situation.

I am looking at this purely from the viewpoint of which system would best allow you to engage and defeat one or more people who have entered your home with deadly intent.

Going with 1 and 3 the best solution is to hire ex-Israel, Russian, South African, American special forces personal body guard team to deal with anyone with bad intent. :D

Peter W Bush
03-04-2010, 11:49 AM
Get a good shotgun unless you want to man guard towers.

Dangerous1
03-04-2010, 12:08 PM
I'd say a Benelli M4.

dragonbait1a
03-04-2010, 12:12 PM
I'll be the voice of dissent. ;)

While I'd typically recommend a shotgun as a home defense longarm, the semi-auto .223 has some strong arguments. A detachable magazine is faster to load and reload. For environments where you wish to keep a ready weapon but it must be unloaded (a car gun for example, or a spouse who will allow the gun but not stored loaded) this is a prime advantage. It is also easier to to unload and make safe. Even with 10 round magazines the autoloader has the round count advantage, with 20 or 30 rounders, the gap gets bigger. An autoloading 223 will have less recoil then a 12ga, making it more likely that a wider range of authorized users can train with it and use it effectively.

Assuming a reliable rifle, and reliable magazines, and the cost is not an issue a Mini-14 or SU-16CA are valid choices. Other 223 autoloaders are also good, but in CA using an OLL or RAW for defense may make your case harder. It SHOULDN'T, but why borrow trouble.

On the shotgun side...


The shotgun is traditional, it is more "jury friendly" then a autoloading rifle, especially a "Black Rifle."
The shotgun is cheaper, you can buy 2-3 12ga pumps or the cost of a SU-16CA, Mini-14 or inexpensive AR. If you want to keep several guns in different locations (responsible child's room, by the door, in the trunk, etc) you can get more shotguns for the same money.
This also means that should one get stolen, broken, confiscated or lost you still have another to defend yourself with.
Pump actions stand up to neglect better then autoloaders.
An effective fighting shotgun needs fewer accessories then a fighting rifle (mostly magazines, occasionally optics)


While the versatility of ammo in a shotgun is a fact for home defense it is irrelevant. There are lots of shotgun loads, but only Buckshot and Slugs are good choices for Home defense. If you are deploying a lethal weapon you should employ effective ammo. It has been proven that birdshot gives very little penetration, leaving messy wounds but not necessarily fatal ones. Rubber shot and "less lethal" raises the argument that you didn't believe that the threat warranted lethal force yet you used a lethal weapon. Also at inside homes ranges the chance of lethality from those rounds is higher. Most beanbags and rubber shot/bullets need a minimum of 15yards to perform as designed.

RGB

Vanguard
03-04-2010, 12:16 PM
I just think which one you'd least like to be hit by and the answer is clear...

Broadsword. :D




Just kidding, I'd go with the shotgun.

johnthomas
03-04-2010, 12:18 PM
Mini 14, 1 shot one hit. Shotgun, 1 shot, many hits.

Alexjr1967
03-04-2010, 12:27 PM
depends on property size ... but I'd go with the shotgun if only getting one with the purpose of home defense ...

nemisis1400
03-04-2010, 12:41 PM
i go for the mini-14 for the whole issue of "5.56 won't go through the entire house with the right ammo", but shotgun has many points for being cheap and doesn't look as evil with the right furniture.

JDoe
03-04-2010, 3:00 PM
I want to hear the most up to date thinking on this subject. I know this has been discussed before. However, sometimes thinking on tactics evolve over time. And, sometimes new posters can add things that have not been considered before. Which do you prefer?

Please assume the following:

1. Money is not an object
2. The user would be equally trained on both systems.
3. Civil liability is not a concern.
4. This is not a Katrina / End of the world riot situation.

I am looking at this purely from the viewpoint of which system would best allow you to engage and defeat one or more people who have entered your home with deadly intent.

I'd go with the weapon that is:

1. Easier to quickly get back on target because of lower recoil.
2. Fastest to reload.
3. Is suited for fast acquisition and re-acquisition of multiple moving targets.
4. Is more likely to stop a threat with the first shot.
5. Can be used for precision shooting without changing ammo.
6. Has the larger capacity for ammunition.
7. Is lightest.
8. Would be a good weapon to rapidly punch through walls that a bad guy might be standing behind.
9. Etc.

SCMA-1
03-04-2010, 3:16 PM
There are well established reasons why most LE tactical teams nowadays use 223 carbines as their primary weapons instead of tube fed shotguns (pump or semi) or handguns. A 223 carbine is my primary HD weapon.

Bobotheclown
03-04-2010, 5:50 PM
Why not compromise and get a saiga 12? Mag fed and a shotgun to boot.

aermotor
03-04-2010, 5:58 PM
Shotgun by far... Get an 870 w/ 18" barrel and extended tube mag and be done with it. Hogue pistol grip and for-end is really nice too... If you need to cover more ground got for a 22"+ but still get the extended mag.

Tenamaxtle
03-04-2010, 9:21 PM
Unless you want to ask "What?" every time some one talks to you, I wouldn't recommend using a Supersonic caliber in an enclosed space. So the shotgun would be the first option.

Argonaut
03-04-2010, 9:24 PM
There are well established reasons why most LE tactical teams nowadays use 223 carbines as their primary weapons instead of tube fed shotguns (pump or semi) or handguns. A 223 carbine is my primary HD weapon.

Those are offensive weapons, not Defensive.

tuna quesadilla
03-04-2010, 10:10 PM
Well, how very interesting. To those who aren't aware, benellishooter posted this exact same thread over on AR15.com, and the response that he got over there was overwhelmingly different from the response here on Calguns. It seems that most people here believe the shotgun would be the superior weapon. However, over on ARFCOM, most people thought otherwise.

Me? I'll take the Mini 14. A shotgun (assuming your standard pump action 870/590 and not some crazy Saiga or something) has limited mag capacity, is slow to reload, has problems with overpenetration, requires 2 hands to effectively operate, and offers very slow followup shots.

To the poster who remarked that .223 out of the Mini 14 would be supersonic while the shotgun would not -- Most 12ga buckshot loads are in the neighborhood of 1200-1300 FPS, and the speed of sound is in the neighborhood of 1100 FPS.

nemisis1400
03-04-2010, 10:10 PM
offensive or not, it works and do you really want to worry rounds that go thru your house? Oh and Argonaut, did you ever get my pm? I know it's been awhile.

elSquid
03-04-2010, 11:52 PM
Why not compromise and get a saiga 12? Mag fed and a shotgun to boot.

Compromise? No way!

Have both at the same time... with a Crossfire.

http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/attachment.php?id=1755

-- Michael

SCMA-1
03-05-2010, 12:05 AM
Compromise? No way!

Have both at the same time... with a Crossfire.

http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/attachment.php?id=1755

-- Michael

I closely followed the development of the Crossfire; originally it was a semi-auto dual mag fed 223/12g but laws changed and it was decided to change the action to pump for both cartridges which IMO killed demand for it.

benelli shooter
03-05-2010, 5:56 AM
I did post this at ARFCOM. It is very interesting that the responses are so different.

The answer probably is that there is no answer.

They both are probably equal with different pros and cons.

JeePerz
03-05-2010, 7:53 AM
I beg to differ ...

You asking this question on the AR15 forum is like asking a Beef farmer whether he likes Beef or Chicken for a meal!!!

Of course -most of- their answer is going to be biased towards the AR15 genotype whereby they WILL pick the .225/5,56 over the 12 Gauge ...

As opposed to CalGUNS.net where clearly -some- people are less biased and more inclined -hypothetically- to answer such questions from a purely argumentative view point.




Now for the question at hand!
If you already own a .223/5,56 stick with the Mini. If you already own a 12 Gauge, stick with the shotgun.

If you own (none of / or) both, -IMHO- (go / stick) with the shotgun ... It's a better platform to (start-up /stock-up ) (from / on) as it will allow you to shoot anything from clays to paper, hunt just about anything from birds to bucks ... bla bla bla ...

Plus you get certain perks that a Mini just can't allow you to do ... ie: -000 buckshot- eight~nine ~9mm rounds impacting the target within the same second, a spread that will almost guarantee that one of your pellets will find it's way to the intended target ... more bla bla bla ...



Good luck in your quest ...

Regards,
JP

benelli shooter
03-05-2010, 8:17 AM
I think the biggest question in this whole debate is:

"Which weapon characteristic is most important for a dynamic home defense scenario with an adversary trying to kill me back?"

Is it so-called knock down power, capacity, speed of followup shot, maneuverability, ect...?

That is the issue. What makes it tough to answer is that there is no scientific quantitative way to test the various theories. A gun school training class can't realistically simulate this reality. Most of us have never even seen one person shot by a shotgun or a carbine. You would need to see dozens and dozens of people shot by both weapons systems to form a rational opinion on just the "stopping power" issue alone.

Fighting in an urban war would probably be the closest you could get to really knowing. Not an option for most of us.

Gem1950
03-05-2010, 8:41 AM
Shotgun by far... Get an 870 w/ 18" barrel and extended tube mag and be done with it. Hogue pistol grip and for-end is really nice too... If you need to cover more ground got for a 22"+ but still get the extended mag.

Si Senior,
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt109/draper1950/tach870001.jpg
A Mini-14 is for dealing with a troublemaker down the street.

challenger
03-05-2010, 9:43 AM
I peraonally like the shotgun for home defense. If I'm awaken in the middle of the night by some intruder my first thought is to go for my 12 gauge. After I pump that thing and the bad guy doesn't run for the door I'll quickly wish I had my AR.

Black Majik
03-05-2010, 10:00 AM
I find people tend to overthink this. Too many seem to focus on magazine capacity or reloading time. This is home defense, not post-apocolyptic SHTF senario. For myself, I'd want a quick handling shotgun. I've even taken the extended magazine tube off of my 870. I feel 4 rounds is plenty fine for a home defense role. Simple, effective, and lightweight.

Really, it just depends on what you feel more comfortable with. If you shoot rifles better, than a Mini-14 is a great rifle to use. If you prefer shotguns, then pick any of the big 4 (Remington, Mossberg, Benelli, Winchester/FN). I choose a shotgun because I'm confident in the effectiveness of each shot over a .223, but that's personal preference.

tombinghamthegreat
03-05-2010, 12:29 PM
If you were to go with a semi auto rifle i think a saiga in 7.62x39 is more ideal and a heck of a lot cheaper than a mini(like 50%).

RideIcon
03-05-2010, 8:44 PM
your going to have to worry not only whats past the wall, but whats half a mile behind that wall with the .223