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Shooting Industry mag had a chin wag with Dennis Rohamm, GM of P2K Range in El Cojones, California. Sorry. El Cajon. “We have a lot of people who aren’t shooters who walk in wanting a handgun,” Roham revealed. “We explain to them the difference between handguns and shotguns [for home defense]: that intruders aren’t necessarily going to be intimidated by a handgun.” Author J K Autry fills in the blanks (so to speak). “Additionally, Roham and his sales team emphasize to experienced customers that shotguns command ‘universal respect,’ another reason they make an ideal weapon for personal defense.” I say the intimidation factor should be a [relatively] low priority when it comes to home defense weapon selection. What say you?

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65 Responses to Question of the Day: How Intimidating is Your Gun, Really?

  1. Honestly, I could care less how intimidated someone is if they break into my home. I don’t plan on giving them enough time to be intimidated.

  2. The sound of a pump action shotgun being cycled may or may not be intimidating but it will sure get someone’s attention mighty fast.

      • It deters those who are not determined, and if they are determined, well, what better weapon to have against a determined opponent than a shotgun?

        The problem with shotguns isn’t that they aren’t intimidating enough, or aren’t enough gun when intimidation fails, it’s that they’re complex weapon systems. They take skill to run properly. Only a tiny minority of shotgun owners is going to ever become really proficient with a shotgun. Intimidation had better work, because there’s a good chance they’re not going to use it effectively beyond that.

        If a salesman has to explain the utility of a shotgun to a customer, that customer is going to be better off with a handgun. Preferably a revolver.

        This weekend, in two hours of shooting at the range, I stopped two different guys putting their thumbs behind the slide of semi-auto handguns. This is the shooting public. If these poor fellows go out and buy shotguns, are they going to even remember where the disconnector is if they ever have to use it? Are they going to short stroke the pump in the heat of the moment? Do they even know what a pattern is, much less bother to pattern their guns?

        More than any other firearm, shotguns are what you make of them. I would not recommend them to anyone who simply wants “a gun”. Beyond intimidation factor, they’re not going to get much out of them at all.

        • I agree. I love shotguns but I think they are viewed as a magic home defense gun too much, especially pumps. If you are not going to train and familiarize yourself with your HD gun you need something super simple like a revolver or a double barrel.

    • A lot of people say that about pump guns. Funny thing is at my range when my buddy is shuck-shucking boom his scattergun and mine is going boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, and boom in the time it takes to unload most pistols everyone looks in my direction and walks over to see what I’m throwing around. Also when I turn a corning the shuck-shuck doesn’t give me away. Just the boom… Maybe when I get the X-Rail and my new 6.5 that will change… for the better 😉

    • I want the first sound the intruder to hear is the firing pin hitting the primer. There is no fair fight in a home invasion.

  3. Intimidation factor? How exactly does anyone think the average DGU will play out? There is no war of words or reasoning. You come out with a gun. If the bad guy or guys do not immediately flee, you start revoking birth certificates. There is no stand-off when the leader of the pack observes that “All right, gentlemen. He’s got one barrel left. When he fires that, take out your pistols, and shoot him down like the mangy scoundrel he is!” When the would-be home invaders see there associate fall down with parts of his insides leaking out after hearing a small bomb explode in their ear canals, I doubt any will begin to count barrels, judge calibers, or decide if your hands are steady enough to hit a second member of the elite home-invading team. There are going to act just like the Knights when the rabbit started biting off heads. Their motto will be “Run away!”

    And your first shot does not necessarily have to hit anyone one. Blow a hole in your china cabinet. I bet robbers will still leave in a hurried manner if they think you missed but are correcting your aim and intend to not miss with the next one.

    My only concern in DGU choices is “will this gun stop a determined attacker?” Someone in a drug-addled state may not think like a normal human being. You may have to kill them to keep yourself and loved ones safe. You need a gun that you can control and get good follow-up shots. You don’t have time for a crackhead to bleed out while you and he are fighting over the gun. He is not feeling pain and is not thinking logically.

    A defensive gun choice should be guided by the ability of the operator to effectively use it. Can they load and fire the gun? Can they handle/manage the recoil? Can they practice with it without having to drive an hour one way?

    • OTOH Lott argues that most DGUs end at brandishing. Now I wouldn’t _plan_ on things ending at imtidation, because you never know if you’ll be in the other 15%. . .

  4. If you have the chance to intimidate the BG and not shoot, then racking the shotgun will do the trick. If he hears you.
    If you want a noise to intimidate the BG (i.e. shoot & chase him off) either a handgun, rifle, or a shotgun will do – but now you’ve got to worry about where you’re shooting.
    But, if the goal is to stop the BG and defend your family by putting lead under his epidermis, then you’ve got to consider where you’ll be and what conditions you’ll be under.
    As we all know here, handguns have the advantage of portability and concealablity with the disadvantage of stopping power. (Yeah, even a .45 ACP loses out to a slug or 00 buckshot or a 30-30.)
    The shotgun or long-gun has the advantage of stopping power and some intimidation, and the disadvantage of being less convenient to carry and not real concealable.
    Trade-offs. Life is made up of ’em.

  5. It really is just a bit clumsy to carry a shotgun around the house. It can discomfit your guests, bemuse your children, and cause your neighbors to wonder whether home values are headed down (if you don’t have heavy curtains always closed). Except for these concerns, a shotgun is almost always better for defense. Given the laboriousness of toting the shotgun, though, most of us are inclined to go into denial on the subject and chose a handgun.

  6. I’ve heard this from a bunch of people. I say every gun looks like a cannon when you are staring down the barrel. Look at Ralph’s photo in the “About Us” section. Looks like a cannon. Guns are tools, not cans of war paint.

  7. The infamous demonstration of racking an 870 is a waste of time. You see a perp and he looks at you, the next thing anyone sees should be a flash and that’s it. You stand there with intimidation in mind it it either won’t work or someone is going to accuse you of being Rambo at your arraignment.
    Just take out the threat, compose yourself for the po-po, and STFU until you have a lawyer next to you.

  8. Agreed.

    Intimidation is not exactly a universal concept, either.In an inversion of the whole “long arms mean business” trope, in Iraq the citizens there were more scared of the American military’s M9s than the M-4s and long arms.Culturally the Iraqis considered long arms to be just another tool one carries to the market, but a pistol being unholstered meant Saddam’s thugs were about to put a bullet into someone.

    We cannot estimate the nature of who will attack us. An armed perp who breaks into an occupied home probably has experience with firearms and won’t care what the guy or girl on the other end of the screen door is armed with. They will care once the trigger’s pressed, which is why no matter what a citizen arms themselves with they must be ready to use it.

  9. Long guns, including shotguns, are often too unwieldy to be used effectively indoors. Also, you have to take into account the enormous BANG and flash if you discharge the gun. I’d recommend a SBR AR-15 with a suppressor for the ultimate in home defense. If not that, get a Glock and throw a weapon light/laser on it. Both are great for the sort of thing you run into clearing rooms, which is what you are doing in home defense.

  10. You know, I don’t really care how intimidating the hunk of metal and polymer is, what I care about is what multiple pieces of 165 grain 1100fps lead do.

  11. I put absolutely 0 confidence into “intimidation factor” and here is why.

    Lets ignore entirely for a moment the “give away” factor: the idea that you may give your own position away by racking a slide or working a pump-action shotgun’s action. The real problem is that intimidation is entirely a matter of an individual. Lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) intimidate the hell out of me and yet I see on the discovery channel or animal planet almost daily, people rolling around in cages with these beasts. So, clearly not everyone is afflicted with that same feeling.

    Racking a gun slide, or pumping a shotgun isn’t terribly intimidating to me on the other end of that stick.

    The point being overall is that just because some, or most people are frightened or intimidated by the presence of a firearm, doesn’t mean that the criminal rooting through your things in the middle of the night is one of them.

    But there’s a solution to this. There is something that is almost universally feared by the good guys and a bad guys alike: A sucking chest wound.

    Be proficient with your firearm because the only sure-fire way to stop an intruder/criminal/sociopathic killer is to make him physically incapable of continuing further. Fear affects everyone differently. Don’t rely on it to save you in a life or death scenario.

    P.S. Lets not turn this into the “well I think this gun is the ultimate home defense laserbeam blaster rifle lightsaber combo”. Thats not what this is about. Its about whether or not you buy into the “intimidation factor” line of reasoning.

  12. I agree RF, the absolute last thing i would be thinking about if i had a firearm out and was preparing to defend myself/family would be “how ****ing scary does my gun look?” that is some hyper masculine BS if you ask me.

    in my state, our “duty to retreat” does not apply in the home, i would not be looking to scare someone if they were fool enough to let themselves into my house.

  13. Anecdotally, I’ve heard from LEOs who’ve racked a round as they keyed their mic before calling “Halt, police!” – to have the BG come to a screeching halt with hands high in the air.
    -Yeah, intimidation works. But like most things in this ol’ world, not everywhere for all BGs.
    As for the “can they really use it” line of argument:
    1) For any firearm, practice and proficiency must be emphasized. Nothing worse than someone who buys a firearm and expects it to magically stop the BGs when they “point and shoot”.
    2) It is easier to hit someone with a scattergun than a pistol. Again the LEOs anecdotal evidence: cases where the homeowner emptied their revolvers at the BG on the other side of the room, the BG dodging back and forth until “click” – then they take over.

    For a newbie – the shotgun is the better choice. And all the current and retired LEOs I know concur with that.

    If you can catch the BG coming through the “funnel of death” and have a handgun, you’ve got a good chance of hitting him. In an open room, not so much. On the other hand, if you have a shotgun & get them in the funnel you can do a lot of damage to all the BGs in the group.

    As for which is better, pump or semi-auto: Depends on the operator. I’m about the same with either type. My LEO brother can run a pump faster than most folks (i.e. his fellow LEOs on the firing line) can run a semi-auto). He’s also ex-82nd Airborne…

    Practice with what you have. Practice enough to be proficient. Know your weapon and use what you have.

    • Absolutely. You can hit harder and faster with 12 gauge 00 than any handgun toted for self defense, and it’s easier to hit with. My breacher barrel 870 is also an impact weapon, and the muzzle is sharp enough to cut hands if anyone tries to grab it.

      If the BG has a 9mm or .45, your .380 is less than ideal. If lead flies, the shotgun wins in CQB. All the time. That’s why LEOs carry them.

      No the shotgun isn’t for everyone. My first line of defense is a Glock 35 with a Tac light. The presence of kids precludes having the shotgun out 24 / 7. But intimidation is useful, and can stop the gunfight before it begins, especially in a stand off situation. I know that many of you all think that won’t happen, but I’d be much more inclined to drop a handgun if a shotgun was pointed at me.

      If you could choose your BG’s weapon, you’d much rather he had a .22 or .25 than a 12 gauge. Heck, a plastic spoon even. Why wouldn’t the reverse be true?

      • So in that standoff situation what’s your plan when the BG holds your kid in front of himself? Fire off the 12ga and deal with your kid taking 25-50% of the pellets in the face?

        Shotguns are for clearing rooms with no good guys in them, that’s why assualt teams and not rescue teams use them.(FWIW: I’ve been on both) IMHO cops carried shotguns because they where cheap and relatively effective with little skill. (Training costs money after all) The ones that do still carry them mostly do so because of the versatility, i.e. buckshot, slug, beanbag, taser or OC round as well as the cost, training and tradition.

        • I’m with Accur81, my mossberg 12 with breacher barrel is one hell of a badass gun I can shoot or strike with. As for the child situation, my 1911 is always with me so a transition would be extremely quick. I do buy into the intimidation factor, but I don’t rely on it. I keep my 12’s chamber empty because I have kids in the house and its one more step towards preventing an accident should they get a hold of it (extremely unlikely), so hopefully a BG hearing the slide racking, followed by seeing a large man pointing a shotgun at his chest will make him rethink his actions PDQ. I hope that’s where the situation ends, but should he not be discouraged I will be prepared to escalate.

  14. I have never bought a firearm with intimidation in mind. They were all bought with a specific purpose, be it target shooting, hunting, self protection, etc.

  15. I think it’s a bad idea to count on intimidation, ever.

    Aside for intimidation, I can’t think of anything a pump does better than a semi-automatic rifle. If a .223 isn’t good enough for you, a .308 has about the same muzzle energy as a shotguns slug.

    The problem with a pump-gun is that while it’s extremely resistant to mechanical failure, there are a *lot* of things the user can do to mess it up. Other kinds of shotguns are less prone to user error, but you still have to fumble with individual shells to load them, those guns are more expensive. An AK is usually much cheaper than any but the pump, and is far easier to operate than any of them.

    My thinking is that if you’re committed to using a long gun, (not necessarily a bad option) the only good reason to go for a pump gun is low cost. For people who already have the pump gun, or have a lot of experience with them, that’s fine. Beginners would probably be best served by shelling out the extra $50 or $100 for an AK.

  16. A few points:

    First, I think maybe the “racking the round” noise, which, thanks to Hollywood, is universally identified, is nevertheless irrelevant. All it means is that you did not have the gun in a charged state ready to fire. That’s not where I want to be as the oatmeal hits the fan.

    Next, what if you need one hand to do something, possibly necessitating a one-handed shot? And what about the reload? In tactical shotgun classes I’ve attended, we fired one-handed (both strong & weak side), with comical results. Even with a semi-automatic Bennelli M-2, you can be rocked off a good stance if you’re only using one hand. (The reloads can be easier, though!)

    Next, if one is wedded to the pump action shotgun as a first-response home weapon, I suggest using a child-size model Remington 870 chambered in 20 gauges. A 20-gauge is sufficiently effective and the shorter length of pull, lighter weight and overall size make it easier to swing and manipulate inside the house, using one or both hands.

    Next, in a recent basic forearms class I was teaching, I told my students to operate the shotgun (loaded with dummy rounds) with great authority and fluid motion. One young man, of athletic stature, racked the shotgun with authority but without fluidity—and hopeless jammed the shotgun. I relate this because I could see this happening to anyone with in a desperate defensive situation when the oatmeal is really flying and the adrenaline is surging.

    Last, my first-response home weapon is a S & W Model 327 8-shot .357 Magnum with a light and laser, with which I’ve enjoyed a lot of practice and flawless performance. If the bad guy is not intimidated by the sight of it, well, then I’d better shoot him! In the final analysis, what’s truly intimidating is what works.

  17. I think most people here are not quite answering the question. I would say my ruger 10/22 isn’t very intimidating but it could provide adequately for a DGU. Of course, I’m a college student working on my gun collection in California……mehh

  18. I understand the value of a shotgun. When the zombies attack, a shotgun may be the answer. I’ll stick with the handgun for home defense, however. My 110 pound wife, my 14 year old son, and my 11 year old daughter can all handle that with confidence. The same isn’t true for a shotgun.

  19. Zero I think people hope intimidation will prevent having to actually shoot the scumbag. When your door is crashing in, big, black, scary looking guns making racking noises ain’t gonna win the day. I can understand why people don’t want to pull the trigger, but hoping intimidation will save your life undermines the determination to do what it takes. Me thinks.

  20. I don’t want my guns to intimidate anyone. I want them to be non-intimidating, happy-happy-joy-joy-looking tools that are about at scary as a Ryobi palm sander. If I could paint little pink bunnies on my guns without looking like a total doofus, I would.

    Intimidation comes out of the muzzle. That big hole at the business end of the gun is where I want the intimidation to start, and lead flying out of there is where it ends.

  21. The people at P2K range in El Cajon are a bunch of know-nothings. They will try to sell you anything or get in your wallet any way they can.

    Terrible range, terrible service.

    • Counter help are salesmen first with a few of them knowledgeable about firearms.
      I have been a member (discount on range time) and needing a place to shoot and fairly close to home since 2005.
      Used to be able to drive east 20 – 60 miles and shoot in Pine Valley, Horsethief Canyon, Kitchen Creek and finally Jacumba until those areas were closed due to areas being trashed, using trees for back stops or Border Patrol safety concerns. Next place was the desert 200 miles round trip.
      Indoor 100 yd rifle and 25 yd retractable target range with 2 different shotgun ranges. Whats not to like ?
      I have seen some shooters with out a clue, either spoke to shooter or reported it to staff and offender was educated. On numerous occasions shooting in the boonies I had incoming rounds, haven’t had to deal with that at P2K.
      Would feel better with full time RSO.
      Never had a problem with service other than waiting line to use the range.

  22. Shotguns, IMO, are too unwieldy for tight corners and hallways. They’re home defense artillery that would be put to better use defending an entrance. What if you have to go grab your kid out of another room? Are you going to call the cops with one hand and use the shotgun with the other?

    I live by this:

    1. Handguns for required trips to gather up everyone and take them to safety.
    2. Shotguns and rifles for room defense.
    3. Police for back-up.

    I’d rather not get into a gunfight if I can avoid it. Obviously if the bad guy interferes with the plans then it’ll come to that and I’ll be ready but I’m not going in search of some armed a-hole in the darkness. Let them come to you.

    • Michael, you might want to change 3. to “Fire Department for back-up.” Then add; “4. Police to draw chalk outlines.” As scary as a gunfight with bad guys is, the idea of police getting involved in the middle of one scares me even more. I don’t know of too many things more dangerous than a confused policeman. My folks both worked in police work for over thirty years and my Mom always told me to call the Fire Department if I needed help. These were the days before the 911 system started. She would say the Fire Department would get there and fast. The police maybe.

  23. Having worked at a skeet range I can tell you from personal experience that most people who fire a shotgun for the first time get a little poo in their shorts from it, so to say. People who buy a shotgun and do not familiarize themselves with it are not going to do well using it in a SHTF situation, worse than most other firearms. It takes training to effectively absorb the recoil of a shotgun.

    Shotguns are great for room clearing when there are only bad guys in the rooms. If you have kids or a dog or anyone else in the house who might end up down range of you I would not recommend using shot shells. I consider myself to be prety near surgical with a shotgun and I will not be grabbing mine when something goes bump inside my house.

  24. I want the Kill-O-Zap from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    “The designer of the gun had clearly not been instructed to beat about the bush. ‘Make it evil,’ he’d been told. ‘Make it totally clear that this gun has a right end and a wrong end. Make it totally clear to anyone standing at the wrong end that things are going badly for them. If that means sticking all sort of spikes and prongs and blackened bits all over it then so be it. This is not a gun for hanging over the fireplace or sticking in the umbrella stand, it is a gun for going out and making people miserable with.'”

    In addition to a “safety” catch, it also has an “extreme danger” catch.

  25. I don’t choose my SD weapons based on any imagined “intimidation” factor. I choose my SD weapons to get the job done.

  26. There is some intimidation involved when looking down that big drain pipe on a 12 ga. for anyone who knows what a shotgun will do to you. But there’s plenty of intimidation for anyone carrying a pistol too. I just think there’s more for a shotgun. Like others have said there are drawbacks though. I would not trade the ability to fire in close spaces for intimidation of the bad guys any time. I would trade the ability to knock extra big holes for a handgun though. It has nothing to do with intimidation. I just would rather have a really solid way to deal with BG’s when they show up. I have a hiding place that can be defended by pointing my shotgun one direction. I have cover from all oher directions excep maybe from straight dow

  27. There is some intimidation involved when looking down that big drain pipe on a 12 ga. for anyone who knows what a shotgun will do to you. But there’s plenty of intimidation for anyone carrying a pistol too. I just think there’s more for a shotgun. Like others have said there are drawbacks though. I would not trade the ability to fire in close spaces for intimidation of the bad guys any time. I would trade the ability to knock extra big holes for a handgun though. It has nothing to do with intimidation. I just would rather have a really solid way to deal with BG’s when they show up. I have a hiding place that can be defended by pointing my shotgun one direction. I have cover from all oher directions except maybe from straight down from the upstairs bedroom and that won’t be at all easy. But it’s handguns I have next to where I sleep. I will take a shotgun outside for varmint work though. And I grew up shooting shotguns so I am prepared for the recoil.

  28. What’s with this “either/or” bit for home defense? You’re at home. Grab both. If intimidation is the point, just hope my mother-in-law’s visiting you. Push her along ahead of you, with her hair in curlers. That should do. If anything goes wrong, don’t worry. I won’t hold it against you.

  29. I’m a fan of the shotgun for home defense (my apartment has big rooms, few tight corners), but that said……..intimidation? Really? Let me guess, they suggest you rack the slide to get the attention of the bad guy, thereby tossing your first shell on the ground. Intimidation is for punks at the “club”. Intimidation is for the irresponsible morons who pulled their weapon in a situation that didn’t call for it. Intimidation is for the people who don’t understand that if you pull a weapon, it is fucking go time, and you’d best be shooting. Otherwise, leave it in the holster/closet.

    Do your deciding beforehand, make your red lines and stick to them. And if the worst should happen and you need to draw your weapon, don’t stand there with your thumb in your ass and a pistol in your hand waiting for the bad guy to be intimidated. Incapacitate him.

  30. Agreed, if you choose a gun purely for intimidation factor you are banking on the intimidation winning the day. Some people get lucky and that works, but I’d rather be prepared to fight it out.

  31. As someone who has used a shotgun in DGU, let me tell you my story. Jan 29, 2009 I was home alone as my wife and son were staying with my mother in Raleigh, N.C., I live in a small community in southern VA. I had an opossum that was gingerly taking liberty with dog food from my dog. Plan was to use a single shot 20ga NEF shotgun with #6 shot to destroy said opossum and end my ever growing dog food bill. I must say at this point that I am a gun enthusiast and have multiple weapons that are capable of obliterating said opossum. DPMS .223 AR-15, Savage .22/250, Marlin .17hmr, Savage .270 Win, Rem 870 Supermag, and a bunch of others ranging in caliber from .220 swift to .45/70 govt. Plan was to use my first gun from my dad to dispatch this opossum but little did I know that there was a BG in my back yard that night. BG tried to enter a window in my sunroom portion of my home. The only weapon I had available at that sec was my 20ga single shot. Would I rather have a heavier caliber or gauge for this encounter? Absolutely, I would, but I was prepared for an opossum not a BG. BG got a full charge of #6 shot directly in his leg and foot when I saw it. BG ran away in the frozen night. No visible blood to track ( it was 2:00am then) all I saw was black pants but I’m sure he was insulated to the t. I don’t recall how long it took me to reload my single shot but about a sec is what I’m thinking. I was amped as hell. Intimidation factor for shotgun doesn’t get my vote, effectiveness of shotgun gets my vote. Multiple pellets at short range equal stopping power. Should I have encountered multiple BG I’m sure the shot to the leg of there buddy would have been a deterrent from my home. If not, I could have gotten to other weapons, who knows what would have happened. To all that say a shotgun is the last choice in a DGU, pull the trigger, watch what happens. My 870 supermag with 18.5″ inch barrel is the gun I would work toward in a home defense situation.

    Cheers to all

  32. If you want to intimidate an intruder, show up wearing only woad and scream nonsense. If you’re serious about defending yourself, the only reaction your weapon needs to evoke is the one where they drop to the floor.

  33. Been thru this reasoning for myself over last couple years, and practiced both, in defensive shooting classes at range. Here in CA its complicated by inability to get a CCW in my county due Sheriff discretion on Shall Issue that means “no”, for most everyone, as personal defense is not a good enough justification.
    I have a nice G23 that I shoot, and notice I have to keep it locked up just like the shotgun so the neighbor kids wont find it, but its lots easier for them to figure out how to shoot, and manage, than the 870 I got years ago based on:

    Advice from USMC sniper on first best HD weapon = shotgun.
    Advice from trusted LEO on first best HD weapon = shotgun
    Advice on defensive shooting instructor, former USMC, LEO trainer = shotgun, but conditioned on practice practice practice- so I have.
    My learning curve to hit something consistenly at 20 yards or inside, which is hd scenario is I feel more comfortable being consistent with the shotgun.

    I have a big dog that barks at slightest noise at door and sparrows in the backyard- still working on that…heh.

    If I wake up groggy and find someone got past the dog, and is wandering in my house I am going to first call 911, lay the cell on the counter and loudly announce that I am armed and they need to get out. I will then rack the shotgun to reinforce the point, and give me that extra credibility in court later, that I was giving someone a chance. Could be my kid sleepwalking or getting a peanut butter sandwich for midnite snack, for all I know…

    I will be in cover and behind concealment, and going around corners far enough back to stay out of the funnel, and not let them grab the gun- so its a wash to me as to which is easier- I figure if operators can run around the MOUT shoot houses on Camp Pendleton with this same weapon its good enough for me.

    If someone is upstairs messing with my kids, its too late to worry about being surgical with a pistol or shotgun, and I am going thru that door using it as a club to separate them, and being a big guy who wrestled in school, I expect to have more leverage in the wrestling contest with the shotgun, than the pistol if they try to get it away from me. Plus lots of bad guys know how to pull a trigger on a pistol, but fewer know the different safeties on different shotguns, and I can cover it with my hand to prevent that, so its one more small advantage.

    The 870 is something to get used to carrying and for someone with limited time, I can extra “practical hands” on hunting dove, ducks, and turkey with the wingmaster barrel that swaps in, in about 30 seconds, plus the plug to make it 3 round legal. And I get lots of practice carrying it deer hunting with the rifled barrel that works out to 100+ yards with Hornady slugs and a scope, that works real good on wild pig, and same for long pig, if we ever find ourselves in a no-kidding neighborhood watch for roiters in a TSHTF scenario.

    So, for this OFWG who cant use a handgun outside the house, the shotgun is the one gun I would grab if I had to leave in a hurry and could only take one.

    • That is the ONLY response so far that has any reality contained in it. Most of the responses are from people who are obviously ‘new’ to guns and are simply following the herd. To them only the latests bada$$ weapon is effective.

      Your explanation covers the whole field. congrats.

  34. If people are worried about the intimidation factor then they aint serious about armed self-defense and are probably not ready to make the ultimate decision – to shoot someone. Guns are just NOT for everyone.

  35. My main line of defense is a Remington 870 converted Wingmaster. It really is not very impressive as it still has the standard wood stock, just a police barrel and a magazine extension. I have a Walther PP and a Colt Peacemaker to augment. Other long guns, Ithaca 37, Winchester Model 12, and a Nylon 66 for possible defense.
    I am not interested in intimidation, but I am interested in effectiveness.

    • “I am not interested in intimidation, but I am interested in effectiveness”.

      I think that’s the right realistic attitude.

  36. ‘How Intimidating is Your Gun, Really?’

    Intimidating to whom, the intruder or a jury?

    Hearing the racking sound of a pump shotgun might intimidate one intruder yet another will grin now knowing where you are located in your home and what you have in your hands. Rack a pump and you have given away your position.

  37. Just for the record when I said that shotguns and pistols were intimidating I never meant to imply a person should use them to intimidate. If you pull your pistol it’s go time. And by go I mean don’t stop until the BG is completely incapacitated. No shooting at their legs or any of that stuff either. If they’re armed too they can and will shoot back if you hit them in the legs. Personally it’s one shot center mass and one shot right in the kisser. Yeah I know the SOP is two shots center mass but I shoot pretty good and rarely miss what I’m aiming at. I hope to God it never comes to that but a BG in my house is a big time threat IMO and they should be prepared to meet their maker. Any hesitation on my part is a chance for the BG to maybe find his gun and incapacitate me. Racking a shotgun just says, “hey look over here where there’s someone about to shoot you so you should pull your gun and start shooting.” I can pull and fire a .44 magnum with an 8 3/8″ barrel in half a second and hit what I’m shooting at. I’ve seen a guy (Bob Munden) pull a SA revolver, hit 2 small targets 8 feet apart and 8 feet away, and re-holster his gun in .02 seconds. Now that’s intimidating and I won’t give a BG the chance to do that to me. He doesn’t have to be as fast as Bob to draw and shoot faster than I can react. Heck you can’t even see Bob’s hands moving without slow motion video. And it’s not that uncommon to see people draw and shoot in half a second. To be honest, the fact I have to rack my shotgun for that first shot (it’s not safe to leave a round in the chamber of an 870) is a big reason my bedside gun is a pistol. There’s no warning sound that the BG is about to be shot. It’s just boom, boom – plop.

  38. If you don’t think 6 rounds from a .38 Spl or 9mm will protect you…. then I think you best skip the shotgun and go straight to an AK-47.

    Shotgun with birdshot is not a bad choice if you live in an apartment.

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