So when you ask the average person what is their choice for a home defense firearm, I would bet that the pump shotgun tops the list. Many of these respondents typically will justify their answer with, “just hearing the rack of that shotgun will discourage any bad guy”. I’m not here to debate that the shotgun doesn’t have an authoritative sound, but seriously if all you wanted was a sound then get a recording of that sound. For those of you that have chosen the venerable shotgun or maybe a long gun consider the handgun as a go to for home defense. After all, what do we carry when we are out in the public? I know literally hundreds of people that carry concealed (a few carry openly) and that firearm is a handgun.
So let’s suppose this scenario; an unfamiliar noise happens at 2;00 a.m. You want to go investigate it so you grab your long gun (rifle or shotgun) and make your way to the disturbance. Hopefully you have a flashlight (you need to be able to identify your threat/target) and possibly a cell phone (have you ever tried to make a phone call with a shotgun in one hand?). If you’re like me, I don’t tend to sleep in cargo pants so pockets are going to be very limited on our sleepwear. This can be further impacted if you need to open a door while carrying a shotgun. I will continue with this complication by asking you to think about pieing a corner (tactically turning a corner while keeping your body exposure to a minimum) with a long gun. You really don’t want a bad guy grabbing your gun as you turn the corner. Now consider this same scenario with a handgun that has a light mounted on it. Much easier to maneuver through a confined hallway, open doors, keep control of the firearm and to make a phone call if I need to.
Lastly, I own a shotgun that has a 5 round tube magazine plus one in the chamber for a total of six rounds. In my Glock 22 I have an extended magazine with a total of 32 rounds of ammunition. This nears the firepower of a sub-machine (just not full auto) gun.
I’m not saying that shotguns or rifles are a poor choice, rather think of the amount of additional training you need to do to clear your home or business with a long gun.