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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why a Shotgun?

A $190 find at the local gunshop
I have no illusions about the suitability, or lack thereof, of a shotgun. It seems to have been surpassed by the AR-15 in law enforcement circles and for good reason. Most days of the week, a good AR-15 will bring more useful capability to the table than a decent tactical shotgun. From an AR-15 you can get a much higher level of precision/range capability, AR-15s are lighter, by far easier to shoot and there is plenty of wounding capability in that tiny bullet. But there is a catch, a good AR-15 will cost a fair bit of money, especially when you add in an optic, spare magazines and whatever other tactical goodies you want to throw on it. A used but still serviceable and reliable tactical sort of shotgun cost about $250-$300, maybe less if you find a really good deal.

In terms of "shootability" a shotgun falls between a handgun and AR-15, meaning a handgun is the most difficult to shoot well, AR-15 the easiest, and the shotgun falls somewhere in the middle. It is significantly easier to shoot than a handgun, but harder than an AR-15 because of the recoil and required manipulation. I know a lot of former and current military guys who can out shoot me all day long with an AR-15 but struggle with shotguns even though they have training on the platform. I know some SWAT veterans who love the shotgun because they are the old school kind of guys, but they still shoot an AR-15 better. I know some novice shooters who have picked up an AR-15 for the first time and been straight up good, and not quite so good with a shotgun.

On the other side of the coin, I know some average pistol shooters with near zero training on the shotgun who have picked one up and made shots they could never make with a pistol. I am at heart a pistol shooter, but in all honesty most people I know who own handguns are not. They are for whatever reason not willing to put the time and money into learning how to run a handgun to its potential. Nor would they be willing be put the time and money into learning how to run any firearm to its potential, but given the same amout of training most people will end up being more capable with a shotgun than they could be with a pistol. A shotgun is just easier to shoot than a pistol, and significantly cheaper to buy and run than an AR-15. That is why.

1 comment:

  1. Great article. I'm a handgunner at heart myself. However, if I could legally carry and conceal a 12 gauge, that's what I'd be using for personal protection ALL the time. The stopping power is just about unbeatable.

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