A shotgun or handgun for home defense both have their positives and negatives. It may seem simple, but “one is bigger and therefore must be better,” doesn’t necessarily apply to home defense.
However, that’s not all there is to the equation. In fact, there is a lot more to base your decision on. Not to mention, there are multiple options to upgrade and customize your weapon based on how you like to prepare.
Here are 5 key things you need to know when deciding between a shotgun or handgun for home defense:
Price is always going to play a factor with any gun you buy. Typically, you can find a pump shotgun for around $300 dollars or more. Shotguns from trusted brands such as Remington, Browning, Beretta, Mossberg, and others are going to be cheaper than your average pistol.
If you are on a budget, a Mossberg 500 can be a great gun for home defense.
Pistols, specifically those used for home defense, are going to be steeper in price. Pistols usually start around $550 and up. They can easily reach into the $800 dollars or more range. Most people recommend your Glock brand for home defense due to ease of use and ample ammo capacity.
Both weapons are customizable and come with modifications. This can include flashlights, new sights, extended clips, and other accessories.
Pistols are much smaller, and therefore much easier to carry around. You can move quickly and efficiently without awkward motions. This is the perfect weapon if you would also like to conceal carry. Pistols have the bonus of being a multifunctional tool.
If you were to only buy one gun that you could use for self-defense, a pistol may be the correct choice for you. Specifically, because you can carry it with you.
However, on the flip side, shotguns are much bigger. Obviously, you can’t conceal carry a shotgun. A shotgun doesn’t require precision aim, and you can afford to not be a sharpshooter.
A shotgun or handgun for home defense boils down to how accurate do you need to be in a high-pressure situation. While you still need training, a shotgun is still the point and shoot home defense king.
One of the many reasons to buy a shotgun is because they are much more reliable and require less maintenance. Pump shotguns can be learned by just about anyone and are battle-tested.
Pistols are known to jam even in the best of circumstances. Without proper training, a gun jam could mean the difference between life and death. If you plan on going with a pistol, consider training for intense situations. Take gun training to be responsive and ready for anything to happen.
Both guns have their unique ways of dealing with stopping power. On one hand, pistols have multiple calibers to shoot from, and specifically designed bullets (known as hollowpoints) to stop from overpenetration.
Shotguns shoot a wide array of smaller metal beads or slugs. Both of these can penetrate through. However, using a lower caliber can reduce the chance of overpenetration. At the same time, it will lower the rate of effective stopping power.
If you are worried about overpenetration, a pistol may be your best bet. If you are concerned more with stopping power, you can’t go wrong with a shotgun.
All in all, whatever feels most comfortable for you to hold, carry, and shoot should be your first choice. You need practice and training to respond correctly in a high-pressure situation. Even with the best gun, inexperience can lead to disastrous results.
Are you considering a shotgun or handgun for home defense? Do you need help deciding what is best for you and your home? At Spring Guns & Ammo we can help! We have the tools, training, and expert advice you need to feel safe and secure. Contact us today and find out how we can help you!