Shotguns don’t suck for Home Defense!!

and the other video Shotguns Suck for Home Defense


  1. I just love Paul Harrell’s straight forward, no BS way of delivering info based on his own experiences. Not opinions. He really has some great videos.

  2. Due to the construction of our house and it’s layout, I choose a handgun and a shotgun w/frangible #4 buckshot. So far, I have not had to test it’s effectiveness.

    For outdoor/camping I have a lever action, pistol caliber rifle and a handgun for backup. Again so far no real world test conducted.

  3. Seasoned_Citizen says:

    A few years ago, our large Metro area had a public hearing on banning “assault weapons” because of their “horrific wounds” produced.

    Opening up the debate to we gun owners, I was one of the first to speak. The proponents of the AWB made the mistake of having the County Coroner and Med Examiner present at this hearing.

    My only question was directed to the Coroner, who had seen thousands of gunshot wounds in his 30 year tenure with the county. I simply asked him:

    “Describe the wounds you have seen from a 12 gauge shotgun versus those wounds you’ve seen by centerfire rifles.”

    The Coroner went on in great length to testify as to the “horrific” wounds he saw by a shotgun blast (which uniformly “terminated” any aggression by an assailant) whereas the rifle wounds were “not that bad” and usually survivable.

    I then said to the County Executive: “Are we going to ban shotguns as “assault weapons due to their “horrific” wounds?”

    The answer I got was a barely audible and meek “no,” while the crowd in attendance cheered heartily. The hearing ended quickly with a motion to “table” the AWB. It has never been brought up.

    HOO-RAY for the shotty! Got me a few–in barn, in garage, in pickup, in bedroom, in basement.


    • Chuck Findlay says:

      Whereas the rifle wounds were “not that bad” and usually survivable.

      I shoot with a friend, he’s a sitting judge and he says to make sure there is only one side of the story being told. Meaning you shoot to kill and make sure you do so. That way the perp can’t tell lies.

      If it takes more shots, so be it. If asked you say you were afraid for your life and just kept shooting. And that will likely be the truth, if someone is coming after you with a gun we all would be in fear for our lives…

      PS: This judge ruined my life as he married my X and me, but he to this day insists it’s my fault, not his…

  4. Allrighty then. Believe I’ll keep my shotgun. (BTW, Thankyou Mr. Harrel).

  5. I hope to God I never have to test my home defense system at any level. A nosy neighbor is all I have to contend with now, and an occasional annoying man over the years. The annoying men worry me in shtf because they want their way without regard for their welcome. Ah well, I have always known one might go too far and that helps keep me alert for trouble to avoid.
    My first line is avoidance of trouble. I like the gray man concept. No escape? I would emulate a cornered rat.
    I am grateful that avoidance has served me well for 62 years. What will be will be.

  6. In my view, the video is flawed. For use inside a home .223 hollow point ammo should be used, not FMJ as shown by the key holing.

    The shotgun is a good weapon for close range encounters. It remains a long, heavy, difficult to reload weapon with brutal recoil compared to a .223 carbine.

    If the author had set up the test with 55 grain hollow point ammo in the AR-15, it would have been a much more fair test.

    I can tell you that my 115 pound wife loves her AR-15 with Aimpoint sight. Her 20 gauge youth model Remington 870, not so much.

    • In an actual survival scenario, you or your wife will not be worrying about recoil or how heavy the weapon is, just that it works…

      • Dank, I have see the damage done by a .223 hollow point to a human being it exceeds that of a load off 00 buck, due to hydrostatic shock which starts to exhibit itself above 2,000 fps. It creates a huge wound cavity. I would suggest you look at the IWBA research. (International Wound Ballistic Association) There is a lot to be learned there.

        In a actual shooting you will shoot about half as good as your best day on the range.

        I forgot to mention that shotguns are low capacity weapons. You should always take the gun to the fight that you feel most comfortable with. Our testing at my department with layers oddrywall and plywood showed that a .55 grain .223 hollow point penetrated less and 00 buck or slugs form a shotgun.

        • One hunting trip we got three caribou. Each shot through the chest cavity. Caribou #1 dropped like a rock from a .308 at between 50-100 yds. The bullet missed ribs on both sides. On the entrance side there was a massive blood clot/area (didn’t have enough time to fully clot) about 12 inches in circumference between the skin and the ribs. Nice clean hole between ribs and the lungs in the chest cavity were totally destroyed lying in a large pole of blood and lungs at the bottom of the cavity. A simple 308 at 50+ yards and instant death and total destruction. If that happened to a human they could have 12 surgeons and full staff waiting and still zero chance of survival.

          Caribou #2 was heat in the shoulder breaking a lot of the bone, took out the lungs and hit a rib on the other side on the way out and made a nasty large exit wound. It was dead within seconds. Ran perhaps 10-20 feet mostly momentum.

          Caribou #3 hit in the upper front leg (too bad destroyed some meat) and the leg was severed hanging by an inch of skin. Second shot through the head from 20 feet away and half the skull was totally gone. The .308 again.

          So how does anyone think the 223 is worse? Are you ‘deader’? All of the rifles used on big game will kill you dead.

          Just for comparison I saw a heavyset guy take a .357 in the gut almost point blank. He walked about for 10 minutes before the cops and medics showed up and was still talking and uncomplaining when they took him away. If that had been any long gun he would have been down probably (maybe 50/50 with quick response) dead.

          • As Clint Smith at Thunder Ranch says; “The purpose of your pistol is to fight your way to your rifle.”

            My truck gun is my M1A Squad Scout with Aimpoint M3, 150 grain soft points.

  7. Thomas The Tinker says:

    In my view both of them are flawed. The second one by virtue of being done with a stated bias. As to the hormone level and character of the ‘star’… well … some folks have a way of expressing themselves … that suck.

    The first was presented with no bias … well … a little trash talk regarding the second…. Simple demo. It allowed me to come to my own conclusions rather than listening to the barking and gusto.

    Thanks MD.

  8. West of the Big Chicken says:

    12 gage loaded with T-shot, goose hunting round, 64 bb sized pellets in 3″ magnum, my home defence round.
    Nasty round at close range and at longer range, take out several perps.

  9. AK Johnny 1 says:

    Not a huge fan of the shotgun for home defense, unless utilized for a very narrow and specific purpose.
    Speaking defensively, it is a great Anti-breach weapon! Especially semi-auto shotguns. A LOT of concentrated firepower into a small area like a doorway or patio door will deny a determined breach. The problems for the shotgun in home defense come AFTER that….
    IF a hostile foray into the home is successful, the shotgun’s wide shotspread then becomes a liability. Especially with family members still in the home. Even if you know where every last soul in the home is hiding, (Bathroom, bedroom, saferoom, etc) the closer aggressors get to your family, the more PINPOINT your shots need to be to minimize danger to your own family. A shotgun is USELESS in that scenario.
    So, what’s the solution? Every person reading this will have a different one. Mine? An AK-47 pistol. Reason; very accurate for the short distance needed, and it fires a round that has a high damage quotient, and the round will easily penetrate wood studs, drywall, glass, sub-flooring, brick, etc.
    I never trusted the 5.56/.223 round due to it’s lack of stopping power efficiency. In some cases, (and many in our military would agree) you have to put multiple rounds into an opponent to take em off the chessboard. The 7.62×39 takes the guesswork out of it….
    Not for use if you live in highly populated areas like condos, apartments, or zero lot line neighborhoods though… The bullet is powerful enough to continue traveling into neighbor’s abodes. This is ideal if you live in a heavily wooded area with NO close-on neighbors on hand. Again, one must find their OWN formula that will work in their own circumstance.
    Just be mindful of the shotgun’s limitations beyond initial breach….. That was my primary point here….

  10. Chuck Findlay says:

    Again a good video MD!

    (I don’t know how I made it through all 22-min of it???????)

    I don’t use a shotgun for home defense, I use a lever action 357 Mag loaded with 140 gr jacketed hollow cavity ammo. In a rifle the 357 mag bullets are 600 feet-per-second faster then out of a handgun. That’s a lot more power. And being 140 gr jacketed hollow cavity bullets they are very explosive on targets. A few years ago there was a dog that roamed the neighborhood and would come into the yards and growl and get aggressive coming at people. After an encounter with it I took the 357 mag rifle to the garage when working out there, and one day the dog came around and did his (or her) thing, and I did my thing. That was to put a 140 gr bullet into it’s head, it went down instantly. This was a doberman, a big dog. The bullet did not come out the other side

    One complaint I have heard is that rifles and shotguns are hard to swing around in a tight situation like a hall. I have not found this to be a problem, but people that like handguns over long guns for home defense make this argument.

    Maybe a video of the handgun vs. long gun issue would make a good post MD, I’m sure many would weigh in on it

    Another good debate would be what home defense gun is best for woman as there are a lot of woman that post here.

    I would like to have seen him compare the shotgun to a typical handgun such as a 9-mm and 40-S&W. to see how the penetration compares.

    PS: Sierra made 140 gr jacketed hollow cavity bullets that are (were as I don’t see them any more, but I put up several K of them 20-years ago) better then jacketed hollow points as the hollow cavity is bigger and expands better. More deadly on medium to small game. I have used them a lot in the Contender handgun hunting woodchucks. It’s a shame they quit making them, they are a good bullet, all they make now is jacked hollow points.

  11. I think the adrenalin would handle the recoil. I would be so terrified, yet focused, I would probably never even know the recoil had hurt me. I would be willing to take my chances anyway for the coverage the shotgun would provide.

  12. Ya go to a party, ya dance with the one you brung. Doesn’t matter is it’s blonde, brunette, or red head.

    Point being… shotgun, rifle or handgun, it’s whichever you’re most comfortable with that is the real deciding factor, with a bit of “it’s the one in my hand(s).”

    The hallways in my home are so narrow that a shotgun is out of the question, even my short 20. Carbines are almost as useless. The weapon near my hand 24/7 carries 16 rounds of 125 grain man stoppers and is the one I’m going to grab and use when things go “bump!” in the night.

    • Curley Bull says:

      I like layers. I have three shotguns to choose from; 1. Double barrel coach gun loaded with #1 buck, 2. Just past that one is the Moss Mav 88 loaded with high brass #6, and 3. Just past that one is the Rem 1100 loaded with 8 slugs. However, I will grab the S&W 1917 (45ACP revolver) 99% of the time from the night stand. You tell me, which one is the best . . .

  13. Thomas The Tinker says:

    This “Arm chair Commando” depends on his shot waffen to ‘defend’ his choice of spots in the house. It is custom built to do that cause I’m 6’3″ and I don’t move in and outta a door way neatly.. I sorta fill the hall way.. I cast a shadow on the walls in even dim light.. My shorty doesn’t have bore to sight issues while slicing pie at a door jam.. it has a limb saver recoil pad and.. a limb saver cuff to reduce ‘recoil’ to that of my “M-forgery”.. Each time I engage something with it.. IT delivers not ONE… but TWENTYEIGHT 22 cal. rounds each time I press go.

    My Rifle has its place in the scheme of things. If a soul is drilled through the ribs, arm, leg with a 5.56 zipper he or she has a 90% chance of going to the hospital and walking the dog in a few weeks or months… assuming systems are provided to render aid quickly. Drilled, no .. lets say Bored out, with an ounce or so of deer slug or shot in a tea cup sized pattern… I donno.. Not jumping up and down barking like a dog and grunting like a hog here.. just considering the terminal results of one Iron or the other.

    I, for one, have been shot at and hit with a 7.62.. I’ll take the hit but will skilp the opportunity for another try with any load of shot or slug.


  14. While I agree you will get off the shots faster with the rifle if you look at the difference in the damage caused by the shotgun as opposed to the rifle it is huge. Now some may say those six shots with the AR would kill you just as fast and I might agree but what if you only get the one shot off before you are hit. Seems the shotgun (by the authors own voice) blew a hole the size of a fist in the targets chest as opposed to a small rifle wound. I think I will keep my shotgun as the home defense weapon of choice but then that’s just MHO.

  15. Chuck Findlay says:

    We are debating the killing power of a 5.56 (that propels a bullet at 3,200 feet per second to a shotgun that fires a column of shot at 1,150 feet per second.

    Both are very deadly and are more then up to the job.

    Remember last week when many of us posted that a lowly 22 would work if you had it and had to defend yourself. Well it’s a lot less powerful then either a shotgun or a 5.56.

    This post is mostly about over penetration and both the shotgun and 5.56 will go through walls. The shotgun a bit less then the 5.56, but that is dependent on the shot size.

    If a person had a shotgun and wanted to limit penetration I would go with 7.5 or 6 size shot. Both will kill a person and make a horrific wound (pretty much all shotguns firing any size shot make nasty wounds, it’s what they do) but the smaller pellet size won’t penetrate as much.

    One thing that will catch on quick post-SHTF (other then the slow-learners that will get removed from the gene-pool rather quickly) is that any gun wound, even a 22 one, will kill you.

    And being that calling 911 and an emergency room could be a thing of the past. It will cause people to be more careful in what they do. We won’t know till we actually get SHTF, but it may mean that if a person comes upon a home with guns and people willing to use them, they may move on as death is kinda forever.

  16. Rich in Pa says:

    I think most home invasions start with the perp casing the house to see what opposition they will run into both day or night. In my neighborhood if you answered the door with either a shotgun or a rifle you would be labeled a nut job, but a loaded Glock 43 or 27 in your back pocket is prudent without alarming the neighbors. The choice has be based on your individual location and if some drastic event has occurred.

  17. I’m late on checking out both videos…………work can get in the way sometimes.
    I really enjoyed watching the “Shotgun Doesn’t Suck” video.
    Very sound reasoning.
    I didn’t make it through the Capt. Jack-Wagon video & his ego.
    But after skimming it, even he knows what a versatile weapon the shotgun is.
    I got my primary Rem-870 fighting shotgun from Scattergun Technologies back in the 90’s.
    I know how it shoots & what it’ll do if I do my part.
    It was said long ago & still holds true today:
    * ( ” YOU ” ) are the Weapon. Firearms are just tools for a job.

    • Richard
      You are the weapon. Shotgun is a tool.
      I agree 100% I am the weapon and that’s more important to accept than training and tools… they come later.

    • Curley Bull says:

      A little story of what I pulled on an LEO couple of years ago. I got pulled over and told to get out of the vehicle. I did. With his hand on his sidearm, he asked me if I was armed and I answered “Yes”. He then asked if I had a CCL and I answered “No”. He then released the retainer on his sidearm and asked me where my firearm was and I answered in the center console. He then (somewhat irritated) asked me why I said I was carrying one and I answered “I did not say I had a firearm on me”. Now with more of a puzzled look, he ask, “OK, how are you armed?” My answer was, “I have two hands, two elbows, two feet, a walking stick, and a very tenacious brain”. This young man just stood there for about a minute and a half, then said, “Sir, would you please get in your truck and get the Hell out of here before I decide what else to do with you?” I complied without ever finding out why I was pulled over to start with. I have seen this young officer several times since and each time he sees me, he’ll wave and shake his head.

  18. Axelsteve says:

    I get that the the shotguns suck clown is either trying to sell fear or his own agenda. I have to see the whole thing ,I just skimmed it. It was a long video. Personally I do not care if he was military and law enforcement and some kind of trainer. He is still a flawed man and can be wrong. Before we hear our back door splinter with a home asault I would hear dogs barking.

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