Shotgun As Self Defense Means

Discussion in 'Guns & Weapons' started by Frank Sanoica, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    Much has been said about the effectiveness of various self-defense means. If the objective of protecting your own life, or the life of a loved-one, against sudden presence of lethal threat is the imperative, where to alternative to oneself or others may be death or grave injury, the shotgun likely provides just about the most assurance of success among the great variety of means available. Small arms, like handguns or rifles, must be aimed with accuracy. Other self defense tools capable of bludgeoning, baseball bats, tire irons, shovels, and the like, are acceptable only if no other protective means is available. And, they are large and unreliable.

    Consider sudden lethal threat in your home: an intruder whom you know nothing about, suddenly appears, menacingly. His immediate objective is escape, possibly by any means he has. Is he armed, crazed, dope- laden? If you keep a firearm for the purpose of self-defense, can you aim it with adequate accuracy in the heat of such confrontation? The shotgun typically needs only to be pointed, as you would point your finger at some object.

    Here is a typical display of the kinds of shotgun loads available, ranging from a single heavy slug, to smaller numbers of pellets of various sizing. Even shot the size of tiny grains can do the job, but the best, IMO, would be those at the extreme left, about B-B size.

    upload_2019-10-18_21-6-15.png

    Now, the rough part. Following post contains a human hit in the front of the head by a single shotgun blast. There can be no question that regarding "stopping power", "knock-down" power, or instant cessation of threat, this assailant was instantly "neutralized"

    If you are squeamish, fear blood, or puke easily, DO NOT VIEW THE NEXT POST!
     
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  2. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    upload_2019-10-18_21-13-16.png
     

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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I have a 12-gauge. Although I don't anticipate having to every use it for self-defense purposes, the presence of a shotgun can be more intimidating than several other weapons that someone might have. Of course, its effectiveness depends on the distance you are from the target. At longer distances, there is a wider pattern, with a greater chance of hitting the target, but it's not necessarily going to take someone down. There is also a very good chance that when and if you should ever find a need for the shotgun that you have in your house, you will be in a different room than the shotgun. I have one because I like shooting it, because it makes me feel safer, and because it might be useful. I also have a handgun, and a slingshot, for that matter, but I don't expect to need any of them.
     
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  4. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    A double 19" barrel 12 gauge shotgun is the most effective close range weapon in my opinion. Even loaded with rock salt it can stop an intruder if shot in the face. My preference these days for close range home protection is a high powered stun gun. I don't like cleaning up messes. Best deterrent is a secure place making any intrusion difficult giving time for 911 call and weapon of choice in hand.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
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  5. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Veteran Member
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    I don't understand why everyone wants a 12 gauge shotgun?

    If I wanted a shotgun, it would be a 16 or 20 gauge.

    Hal
     
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  6. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    Well at least you didn't say 410 and upset me. Actually 20 gauge was my favorite for a short barrel.
     
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  7. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Faye Fox

    How short?

    I actually expected some remarks, perhaps furor, over the horrible death photo I chose. This self-defense thing is a very convoluted and controversial topic. This is because we simply have too many laws, many of which overlap and give impressions impossible to interpret outside of the courtroom, sometimes not even then. This all gives the lawyers great leeway in portraying a direction of events. Thrown in with the differences existing from state to state, one believing in following a life wherein self-defense is carried about with them, would do well to know and understand as much as he/she can about it..
    Here are two examples known to me, for comparison. Texas. A family asleep was awakened by noises as someone was attempting to break open their patio sliding door. The man of the house retrieved his handgun and pulled open the drapes, saw a burglar, and fired through the glass door, killing him. District Attorney charged him with manslaughter, probably an outcome preferable to the one had entry been gained by the burglar.

    Arizona. Same scenario, pretty much, except in this case, the intruder was a college student, new to the community, inebriated, thinking he was attempting to enter his own apartment. He was not a criminally-bent intruder, a fact unknown to the homeowner. Truly an unfortunate event. No charges were filed.

    For as long as I have been an active reader of self-defense theory, I continue to be amazed by the amount of misinformation considered Gospel. One everlasting one is: If you kill an intruder outside your door, drag his body inside the house. This will unfailingly get you a prison term. Another fact to weigh: In the event the intruder you injure lives, be prepared to be actively sued for injuring him. This applies still, but far less so, if he dies.

    Hazy interpretation of the laws of firearms use in self-defense has produced a number of unique aspects. Here is one I have not seen addressed. National Firearms Act 1934 (NFA) strictly rules as illegal any shotgun having a barrel shorter than 18 inches, or an overall length under 26 inches. Yet, some years ago, a pistol was marketed capable of firing shotshells!

    upload_2019-10-19_11-2-50.png

    .410 gauge shotshells may be used interchangeably with .45 Long Colt pistol ammunition.

    "The Taurus Judge is a five shot revolver designed and produced by Taurus International, chambered for .410 bore shot shells and the .45 Colt cartridge. Taurus promotes the Judge as a self-defense tool against carjacking and for home protection."

    "It got its name "The Judge" in 2006 when Bob Morrison, Executive Vice President, learned that judges in high-crime areas of Miami, Florida were purchasing the revolver for personal defense in their courtrooms....."


    Here is how the "hazy" interpretation goes:
    ".....the Judge does not qualify as a "short-barreled shotgun" under the National Firearms Act of 1934 as its rifled barrel makes it a regular handgun. However, the Judge is considered a short-barreled shotgun under California state law, which has a broader definition of "short-barreled shotgun," and the Judge is thus illegal to possess in that state."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurus_Judge#History
     
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  8. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Very Well-Known Member
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    If someone was trying to break in, I would be more prone to just shoot the gun randomly in their vicinity & hope I scared them enough for them to run. I wouldn't shoot with intent to kill or even harm unless they were actually IN my house. Even then, it would be really hard to kill someone, especially if they are just a burglar. Taking a life over a TV or something would be hard to live with. Then again, you never know their intent until it is too late.
     
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  9. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    Lots of interesting discussion Frank. I would never shorten a shotgun barrel under 19" Leave an extra inch so it can be see even in a photo as legal. Yes, the discussion on the .45/410 shot shell pistol is interesting. One can easily buy .22 shot shells and use them in a .22 handgun. I doubt even the 410 shot pistol would be very effective except at very short range and I would rather use a high voltage stun gun. I think the best personal home defense weapon depends on the individual using it. Pulling a gun on a intruder might make things worse if one hesitates using it or one was just bluffing trying to scare the intruder into running. Best home defense is an offense making any intrusion very difficult. Once the intruder is in, then there is a lot of issues at hand. Yes, lots of misinformation and one must understand the laws were they live and what they may have go through should they take a life, especially if the intruder was unarmed. I would advise anyone to know the laws and at least keep their cell phones close. Whatever method of self defense you choose, practice it.
     
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  10. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    @Bess Barber Yes, this is why I have a super loud megaphone with a siren on it. it is deafening and along with that and a super bright blinding flashlight, I think anyone except someone that intended me bodily harm would take off. If you are going to fire your handgun in your house, have two handguns. One loaded with blanks for the scare and one loaded with bullets for stopping the intruder should they not scare easily. I had a neighbor that got frightened when someone was trying to open their door and fired several rounds out a window knocking down a major electric line. Intruder took off but we were in the dark for several hours and the home defender got a reckless citation and also a hefty bill from the power company. Even if you shoot bullets in you own ceiling, it can result in some damage.

    shotsfired.gif
     
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    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  11. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Bess Barber
    I both like and somewhat dislike your post. May I rather softly criticize a bit?

    Obviously, circumstances dictate action taken. Varies a lot by state, but in general, truly fearing for one's life allows use of lethal force. However, given open circumstances where visibility is good, one may not legally use lethal force against another if that person is: clearly not armed or has a weapon of some kind in view, has made no advance upon your person, or is attempting to get away. Shooting a break-and-enterer fleeing from your premises is generally good for a prison sentence (for the shooter). Firing a gun as a warning means has been used successfully in court by a burglar, who claimed he was merely seeking directions, especially if he were unarmed. Again, the degree of fear experienced is the guiding factor, and one of the most difficult defenses to substantiate.

    Their REAL intent may never be known. The very astute among career thieves know the public is armed, fear facing such force upon breaking in, try in advance ALWAYS to ensure no one is present in the target building, and unless they are brutishly defiant and in need, hesitate to enter while armed. They know breaking and entering is far less serious given court "dues" than "armed robbery".

    Thieves seek money first, guns second, drugs to steal, then small expensive trafficable items. If you possess a firearm at home for self defense use, but feel you would not be able to bring yourself to effect such use, better to not have one at all.
    Frank
     
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  12. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Faye Fox May I?

    "I doubt even the 410 shot pistol would be very effective except at very short range and I would rather use a high voltage stun gun." Two points. In a home, the range may be hardly more than 20 or so feet. A 12-gauge torso hit under such circumstances would be devastating. .410 gauge, less so. With very little practice, I was able to cut a 2X4 in two pieces using my 12-gauge. A stun gun requires close bodily contact with an assailant, quite difficult unless done by stealth from behind.

    "Whatever method of self defense you choose, practice it." Probably the most important factor of all!

    Frank
     
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  13. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Faye Fox "Even if you shoot bullets in you own ceiling, it can result in some damage."

    Too much rain damage from above. That's why I always shoot downwards through the floor......:rolleyes:
    Frank
     
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  14. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Supreme Member
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    If a bad guy breaks into my house, I'm going to assume that he is not there to bring me a bouquet of pretty flowers. Is he is, I'll find out after he is neutralized.
     
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  15. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    There are also things like electrical wires that you'd rather not shoot a hole into.
     
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