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Long guns offer a lot of advantages over handguns as defensive arms. They are easier to aim and more accurate over longer distances. They “tame” the recoil of higher caliber rounds and offer increased value as a deterrent. But they have disadvantages. It’s easier to take a long gun from a person than it is to take a handgun. That said, incidents in which armed defenders are disarmed are rare. Cases where a disarmed defender is shot with their own gun, rarer still. Still, it happened in Arizona. From . . .

APACHE JUNCTION — Pinal County authorities say an Apache Junction-area man was shot and wounded with his own gun after he went to investigate noises in his backyard and was disarmed during a scuffle with an intruder.

The Sheriff’s Office says the 31-year-old man is expected to survive the thigh wound he suffered early Thursday morning.

It’s difficult to take a handgun from someone without being shot, especially a small handgun. There isn’t much to grab, and the handgun can be kept close to the body. The owner’s other hand can fend off the attempt to disarm while the weapon hand is used to shoot the attacker.

A defender recently took a shotgun from an attacker in North Carolina. From

Bryant, 49, wrestled a shotgun away from one of the intruders and shot one of them, Peterkin said.

The primary defenses to any disarm: don’t let the attacker get close. Do not hold a pistol or a long gun muzzle ahead of you as you approach a corner.  It is an invitation for someone on the other side to grab it. If an attacker sees a muzzle coming around a corner they will grab it. But do move. A moving target – you with a gun – is harder to grab. (Note: a handgun, an AR pistol or a bullpup shotgun or rifle is easier to maneuver inside a home.)

You must also have a willingness to shoot. Someone who is willing to attempt a disarm is a deadly threat. Shooting someone gives them strong incentive not to approach. And yes, you can “shoot” someone off your gun.

Use of the firearm as an impact weapon is fairly common, but the defender runs the risk of creating a disabled or damaged firearm.

On the other side of the equation, if someone is holding a long gun against you, remember that disarming him is a dangerous tactic, only to be used when the alternative is worse. Assess the situation. If a disarm is called for, don’t hold back, take the opportunity and go all out.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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  1. Should never allowed the perp get close enough to grab it. The Hi-Point was the gun the homeowner had. At least he won’t lose a $1,500 AR

  2. The use of a firearm of a impact weapon is pretty much safe for any modern firearm. Your not going to damage a gun muzzle striking someone with the vast majority of weapons.

      • In all honesty, most muzzle devices would do in that situation. 200lbs of person throwing their body weight into even a three prong flash hider is going to do nasty nasty things. Thought to be fair, if your muzzle is on the BG, 99% of the time, just pull the damn trigger.

  3. This is an important reason to home carry a handgun, if needed you can fight to the long gun and hopefully stay in a defensive position with the long gun until the cavalry arrives.

  4. Disarming someone with a rifle or a shotgun is a neat trick. If you have a properly fitted firearm, it’s practically impossible. (Leverage is a cold hearted bitch.)

    That being said, a one point sling for a HD firearm is a must. It takes a second to put on, and when properly fitted gives you the ability to free up your hands or have very positive retention of the weapon.

    I always laugh when home owners are portrayed clearing rooms in pith darkness with a gigantic double barrel bird gun. The only less suitable weapon would be a full sized WWI battle rifle.

    • True, an M1 Garand wouldn’t be ideal for room clearing, but it’d work fine outside the house.

      “Get off my lawn.”

      • A 30.06 round might do an acceptable job in the “exterior attack” (as the fire service is now doing). From the yard thru the wall a 30.06 is most capable with most construction types. Judicious application would be key though (what friendlies are in the room/structure).

  5. An AR pistol for home defense. lulz. I understand the smaller size being useful indoors, but I have a better idea: a regular pistol that doesn’t cause you to go blind or deaf.

  6. This is why you should have a sling for a self defense long gun. I prefer single points for stuff like that. It only takes a second to throw it over your head and a shoulder. If I actually had to carry my rifle around for a long time I would want a two point.

  7. When I was an 11B, I learned a good bit about room clearing and MOUT with a rifle, and it can be effectively done. Just don’t be an idiot and stand there at a corner with your muzzle poking out, but I still would rather go around the corner somewhat quickly or pie it if I have time, that way if there’s a dude standing there with a gun pointed at me mine will be already at him and not pointed at the ground. Milliseconds count

  8. Long guns are indeed more accurate than pistols at long range but unless you are engaging the DC snipers the local prosecutor is going to begin doubting self defense. Once you get past 10 yards his skepticism is going to rise exponentially with range.

  9. Did anyone else watch the start of that Krav Maga video and note that none of his disarm maneuvers got him off center quickly enough to avoid taking a gut/lower back full of buckshot?

  10. Or if you’re going to do pistol in one hand, maybe have like a short bladed weapon in the other to fend off rushes.

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