NSSF Video: Shotgun vs. Handgun for Home Defense — Thunder Ranch

YouTube video cover of Shotgun versus Handgun for home defense

The argument between which firearm is best for home defense is almost as old as the 9mm vs. .45 ACP debate. However, we are still debating it because neither camp has conceded. The primary argument against the shotgun is a longer length leading to less maneuverability. On the other hand, the pistol offers better maneuverability, but lacks the stopping power of a shotgun and you may be giving up some accuracy according to the critics.

In this video, sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Clint Smith, president and director of the Thunder Ranch training center, talks about why the comparative length of a handgun—when used properly—is insignificant to that of a shotgun and that length alone should not be a deterrent when choosing a firearm for home defense.

Did the video change your opinion or strategy for protecting your home? Which do you depend on—shotgun, handgun, or both? What caliber, or gauge? Share your answers in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog. "The Shooter's Log", is to provide information - not opinions - to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decicions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (12)

  1. I am one who believes a short barrel shotgun is as good a choice as any and if you read my entire post you would see that I have a great many available options and I also live alone. So for you tactical cowboys who think you are going to rescue someone in a hostage situation you might as well keep on dreaming and playing swat team. You are far more likely to get yourself killed than I am. I would suggest you reread my post before making snide remarks.

  2. For those who think using a shotgun with any kind of shotshell- including ‘buck’– is a good idea, practice some ‘hostage’ situation targets and then tell me the shotgun is the better solution. I’m willing to bet your wife or child will think a whole lot differently. Especially for those who think using a short barreled ‘coach gun’ is a great choice.

    However, the question is really moot since people will use what they have available and there’s nothing wrong with that. My personal choice may not be a shotgun, but it may not be a pistol, either. SBRs are as good a choice for maneuverability as any shotgun.

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