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SCAR 16 vs. Benelli M4 (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

You live in a suburban neighborhood, with houses on all sides, separated by manicured lawns. You’re a single Dad without any overnight company. It’s ‘o dark. The house alarm goes off. The dogs start barking and head for the stairs. You hear noises indicating there are at least two invaders in your house. Your mission: get to the kids down the hall (away from the stairs), assume a defensive position, call the cops. Your phone’s by the bed, your guns are in the closet: a SCAR 16 with a red dot sight and a Benelli M4 with the standard ghost sight and six rounds of extra ammo on an attached sleeve. Both are loaded with self defense ammo. (You have electronic ear pro on the safe door.) Which gun would you grab?

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    • Yep. Not only that, but more controllable. Feasible one-handed shots if necessary (while the other hand is busy herding wee sprogs). In this case, a more night-friendly optic. If it’s loaded with HPs compared to 00 buck in the Benelli, then likely less of an over-penetration risk. No question at all, IMO.

      • Which gun would you grab?
        AND you don’t live in NY, NJ, CT, MA,CA etc. It sort of changes the equation when you are limited to
        10 rounds in whatever you choose. Which is it?

        • Mossberg 500 with a Sidewinder Mod with a 10 round detachable magazine and a spare mag.

  1. Spare rounds in a stock sleeve is useless during a gun fight. Go for the Scar. Shotguns have been relegated to breaching tools

    • If walking point in Helmand’s forested zone is “breaching duty,” I hadn’t heard. But wait, there’s more: The US Marines actually put an M4 on point when they enter many types of building. The “shotguns for breaching only” meme was launched before MARSOC got used to the idea. Nine rounds of buck and go to the end of the stack.

      • Exactly. Nine rounds of 53gr or a single 55gr? At household engagement distances, its no contest.

    • ” Shotguns have been relegated to breaching tools”

      I feel like this is one of those “someone who has previously known what they’re talking about” either stepping outside their area of knowledge, or just making flat pronouncements expecting them to be accepted. If I was to attempt to give your statement any credence, I could not do so without first getting the answers to two questions: By whom? and In what situation?

      Lots of people use shotguns for lots of things, including home defense, all the time.

      • Matt, being that the Rabbi is a known expert, what are YOUR qualifications for calling him out?

        • Known as an expert by whom? I’m not arguing that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, in fact, I even said he usually does. I’m arguing that making a flat pronouncement that “shotguns have been relegated to breaching duty” is as incorrect as those who say “ARs aren’t useful for hunting.” There’s no book where this stuff is all written down and peer reviewed and agreed on like that. Have you ever heard anyone say that shotguns are outdated for any use except breaching before? What is that blanket statement based on?

          My point is that he didn’t say “The SCAR would be the better choice, and here’s why,” he said, “Shotguns have been relegated to breaching tools.” Period. Full stop. That’s a nonsensical and unsupportable statement, as are most flatly-stated statements about guns and their uses.

        • All disrespect ignored. Let me count the ways…

          Rifle is good from point blank to 300+ yards. Just because your engagement starts at close distance, doesn’t mean it will end there. Sure, slugs with a slug barrel can go further than CQB distances, but that’s not the way most people run.
          30 rounds vs 6 or7?
          Pinpoint accuracy. Sure, slugs with a slug barrel can be accurate, but that’s not the way most people run.
          Much easier to reload, less clumsy
          Much easier to reload on the move
          Can reload 30 rounds in less time than 1 shell.
          Much easier to control
          Faster transition to multiple targets due to lower recoil
          Much more adaptable to the specific shooter
          Much easier to carry and shoot one-handed if needed
          Most gun owners rarely practice, or practice very little with shotguns due to the recoil. I have shot 1000 rifle rounds a day in classes. Some gun owners are not bothered by the recoil, most are and their practice is minimal.
          With heavy, hollow points, 5.56 is devastating. Personally, my personal weapon is an AR in 6.8SPC with 308 as back up–along with 3 handguns 🙂
          Shotguns’ only advantage is breaching. Professionals breach with shotguns, enter and take care of business with rifles.

        • Matt,

          Just because lots of people use shotguns does not mean the are the best tool. The vast majority of people are ill informed about most important subjects; guns included. I still don’t see a list of YOUR credentials?

        • Rabbi, in the spirit of fun:

          If you need more than thirty 5.56 rounds to stop two or three burglars/home-invaders that SCAR isn’t going to keep you alive.

          You can reload the M4 with four still in the tube, cause the two meth heads are already on the ground, dead from your first two or four shots. A suitably equipped and loaded M4 holds 9 of the 2 3/4 shells.

          If they’re wearing soft armor and rifle plates? No problem: Buckshot to the neck, to the groin/thigh, and they’re done. Standard spreading buck, #1 or your preference, is your friend against SBA-with-plates close in.

          At length, what do you care? You don’t go anywhere without 8 or 9 lbs of pistol!

        • “Rifle is good from point blank to 300+ yards”

          Unless you live in Texas I don’t see how that is going to be relevant especially in the close in suburban environment.

        • tdiinva,

          You do realize that a very large portion of this county is rural? And 300yds is very common even in suburbia?? Sorry to hear that your life is restricted to blocked in buildings, but thinking 300yds is out of the question, is, well, just short-sighted.

        • But Sammy, the scenario is dense suburbia where 300 yards is not a likely occurance unless you live on a golf course.

          FYI The reference to Texas is based on the ROE that allows you to use deadly force to recover your property so you can take long range shot at a fleeing perp. I don’t know if any other state that allows that. For those of us who don’t live in Texas the threat starts when they enter the house and ends when they leave. There is no 300 yard shot in this scenario.

          In force protection amatuers talk tactics while professionals talk scenarios.

        • Given the choices above, I’d go with the rifle.

          But given CA gun laws where I live, I’d go with detachable magazine shotgun. Which is related to Rabbi’s comment about the rifle being easier to reload than a shotgun. It depends on the shotgun. Detachable magazine shotguns are just as easy to reload as a rifle. And if I’m limited to 10 rounds with either weapon, well 00 Buck wins for me.

          In CA, the detachable magazine shotgun is easier to reload given the requirement for the ‘bullet button’ here on most semi-automatics.

        • Known as an expert? How? All he did was found a couple of sham charities that use 90% of the donations to pay him to make mediocre uninspired training videos that just rehash stuff you’ve already heard before. He says that he serves as an officer and a trainer for “…a New Mexico police agency.” He never says which agency, nor does he ever specifically mention any specific law enforcement actions in which he’s been involved. For all we know he’s the brother in law of the mayor of a New Mexico town that has a 2 man police department where he’s been appointed a reserve officer. I know this won’t win me any friends here, but I’m just not convinced that Kenik has any business speaking as an expert about anything other that how to make a living jumping in front of a parade and declaring himself Grand Marshal of said parade.

        • Nobody on the internet is a “known” expert.

          Anyone who says the shotgun is worthless is simply a tier 1 Delta grade tool who’s never been instructed in the use of a 12GA outside of their own little ridiculous three gun gamer matches.

          Let’s see you Delta operators defend your decision to use force at 300M to a judge and a jury of your peers. Real life isn’t a video game, and 12 GA 00 Buck is nothing to laugh at.

    • I’ve got an 870 Police next to me, and another with the trunk loaded with bean bags. I almost got to use the bean bag gun on a barricaded homeless man armed with an 8″ kitchen knife. One of my co-workers was able to talk him out – no shots of any sort fired.

      If shotguns have been relegated, I definitely didn’t get the memo. In close quarters, the shotgun rules. I’d take the M4. In real life, I’d grab one of my 870’s (on duty or off) or my Mossberg 930. If I suspect long distance, the SCAR or AR.

      • Close suspect DRT by your shotgun. Fire returned from getaway car 150 yards away and all you have is a shotgun. Rifle would have worked in both situations. And you’re a cop?????????????????????

        • If the getaway car is 150 yards away:
          1. Ain’t nobody gettin’ away….and
          2. Since it’s a get-away car you can retreat to cover, load up some Brenneke SF Max hardened alloy 1 5/8 ounce slugs, and, if you still care, start turning the car into a Gardenia planter.

        • You really missed the part where I said I’d grab a rifle if I suspected long distance. And I’m just going to conjecture here than I’ve been in more dangerous situations than you’ve told stories about.

        • Perhaps you missed the part that you never know where your threats are and how many there are until its too late. What if you “suspect” the threat is close, but its actually not????

        • Justify taking that shot with your hi-speed .223 to a judge.

          If they’re getting away, they’re no longer an immediate threat.

          Go back to CoD.

      • “I almost got to use the bean bag gun on a barricaded homeless man armed with an 8″ kitchen knife.”

        Sorry your hopes of getting to blast a homeless man with beanbag rounds got dashed. Stay classy. And nobody cares how many ‘dangerous situations’ you’ve been in.

        I heard the more you brag the smaller you are. Just something to think about. Stay safe, tough guy.

    • ” Shotguns have been relegated to breaching tools”
      I am sure anyone who has been shot with one would beg to differ. But what exactly has been changed about shotguns that makes them breaching specific. Please quantify this statement because it has lost and confused me

      • He’s borrowing the comments of various military officers from the 5-20 years ago, who claimed they didn’t need a standard-barrel shotgun, but only a shorty for breaching duty. That’s changed in the last few years. A shotgun isn’t a replacement for a carbine, but it has come back into military use for patrols in thick cover, raids with a need for intensely violent building clearing, and a few other uses.

        Police prefer carbines because they have low recoil. At police encounter ranges the M4 provides very good accuracy. Several production cartridges pierce most soft body armor. Heavy hardened slugs can crack wheels and engine blocks in a way a 5.56 simply can’t…..after which the shotgun can be loaded for close-in defense once again.

        • That sounds like something an officer would say, makes sense now. Well it makes sense that it doesn’t make sense.

        • Intensely violent means going in shooting, not looking. Building clearing means …clearing the building.

          This would be as opposed to entry to interview and detain.

          But you could have guessed all that. It isn’t unfamiliar to you. Call it whatever your buds would. If they want to put heads down fast and for good. What would you prefer I call moving on a building and killing everyone inside in a military context?

        • Clearing a building is what I would call it. The only time you should be going around kicking down doors is if you are doing a hostage rescue. Going around screaming surprise cockfag is a goodway to get shot. If i want to go talk to somebody you make them come out,

    • Agreed. If shooting over 200 yards is necessary, the resulting trial might call into question the need for self defense. The Germans didn’t like facing shotguns in either war – there is a reason for this. In the heat of combat, a sore shoulder wouldn’t be noticed. If you are in regular combat, your lifestyle might do with some adjustments. Othrwise go with whatever is to hand.

  2. If I’m upstairs shooting downstairs, the shotgun.

    If I’m upstairs shooting upstairs, the ammo makes the difference.

    5.56 has been shown in at least one box o’ truth to penetrate drywall less than 12 gauge buck, so if that is mitigated by the type of SD ammo then I’m keeping the shotgun. Otherwise, the rifle.

  3. SCAR. I wouldn’t care if the 5-0 took ownership of it for a while, or forever for that matter. A Benelli M4 is a thing of beauty, a SCAR, not so much IMO.

    • Are you really going to make a decision that important based on what gun you would rather look at in the future? Besides, i would factor in the cost of buying a new one if i was going to risk my life with that mindset.

      • The comment was made in jest, as I don’t take these questions seriously. IRL, I’d grab a flashlight and the pistol on my nightstand.

    • My thoughts exactly. If I had these exact two firearms ready to go as they are in the picture I’d grab both. Sling the SCAR and ready the M4 and then see what the defensive situation brings.

    • Correct answer! Now you’re ready for anything at any range. And the perps will scatter like the vermin they are at the first racking sound. Remember Detroit!

    • 6 rounds? I agree that through shootist negligence, it looks like RF hasn’t put a 7-round tube on yet. It should be 7+1, or 9 total if he ghost loads. Oh, and move the EO over onto the M4. Put a scope on the SCAR for small-boar hunting (intended…).

    • I think this depends not so much on which weapon to choose, but WHY ARE THOSE GUYS IN YOUR HOUSE?

      If they have a hard-on for you personally, or if they want your kids, setting up in a defensible position with either or both weapons is your optimum choice, preferably both.

      If they are just there for your stereo or flat-screen the chance are extremely high that any challenge followed up by one or more shots in their direction ill result in IUAAO (Immediate un-Ass of the Area of Operations), NOT a protracted gun fight.

      In the case of scenario #1, if they have breached your security this easily to start with you may already be in a world of hurt. Gun ’em down with multiple 60 round mags of 5.56. IF you run dry, go for the shotty as a last resort. And by the way, in Scenario #1, the neighbors are on their own.

  4. Given this situation and the choice presented I’d probably go for the Benelli M4. Although I don’t really care for either weapon that much.

  5. I’d take the SCAR, because it has more rounds, and because it is easier to integrate a light (pic. rail), than on a shotgun. A light is a must on a home defense weapon for target identification.

    • You do realize that a flashlight on a firearm makes it really easy for the bad guys to see you and know where to shoot, right?

      If you want a flashlight, purchase a big L.E.D. Mag Light that requires 3 D cells and pre-adjust the bezel for flood, not spot. When you hear intruders at 0’dark thirty, turn it on and place it on the hallway floor in front of you shining toward the direction from whence the bad guys must come. Now you will be able to see the bad guys. They will not be able to see you. They will have no idea where you are. And that light will run on a fresh set of batteries (3 D cells) for several hours.

        • While your comment is absolutely true, why would someone ever transition to another location beyond the flashlight in the hallway where they have cover and/or concealment? Trying to clear your home yourself with a flashlight facing multiple attackers at unknown locations in your home is a suicide mission.

          I can only imagine three scenarios where you would be absolutely forced to transition to another location:
          (1) Your family members are spread throughout the home and you are trying to rescue them from the home invaders. (But that was not the scenario in this article.)
          (2) Your family members are so critically wounded that you must extricate yourselves to go to a hospital before police arrive and while the armed bad guys are still in your home.
          (3) Your home invaders have set you home on fire and you must evacuate while the armed bad guys are still in your home or burn alive.
          All three scenarios above are absolute worst case nightmare scenarios and your family probably isn’t going to survive whether or not you have a flashlight.

      • “You do realize that a flashlight on a firearm makes it really easy for the bad guys to see you and know where to shoot, right?”

        Sometimes that’s the burden we must bear as the good guys. We have to be certain of our target, no matter the situation. BGs, not so much.

        • uncommon_sense,

          You’re reading comprehension is lacking. Try again. What he is asking is what happens if a target appears where the your light is not shining? The answer is obvious, your “solution” is not a solution.

    • There’s a great little attachment, a piece of rail, that replaces the standard forward sling swivel on a Benelli M4. You can still attach your sling and you can set the light (SF 300X or whatever) on the rail, left or right of the fore-end grip. It works well. Google Benelli M4 gun-light mount.

  6. Shotgun.

    Three reasons….

    1. I would be less upset with the M4 sitting in an evidence locker for awhile.
    2. An over zealous DA would have an easier time using the “assault weapon” to label me as a crazy person.
    3. 00 buck

    • +1

      ‘Man defends family with shotgun’ makes no headlines and doesn’t scare the panzies or give ammo to a deluded hoplophobic zealot DA or media

      Works pretty well in close too.

      • When it’s third down and long-yardage, if you are worried what people think about your shoot afterwards, you’re not only doing it wrong, but you’re f*cked regardless..

        • You have to worry about it, other people are the ones that decide if your “3 down and long” play was justifiable, or not…

          You have 3 seconds to decide and they have 3 months to break it down.

          You know, that whole police, DA, prosecutor, judge, court, and grand jury thing.

          So, even though that sounded really cool, Matt. I’m going to take a quote from a song, “Snapback to reality, oh, there goes gravity…”

        • Thanks for the smart reply Rock, but you should re-read what I wrote, because I don’t think you got it.

        • Sounds like your saying not to worry about the aftermath, beforehand.

          What am I missing? Tell me and I’ll retract it, won’t be the first time I’ve apologized for being a smart ass.

          I’ve already done it twice this week at work, matter of fact.

        • won’t be the first time I’ve apologized for being a smart ass

          RockOnHellChild, there’s never a need to apologize for being a smartass. It’s okay to apologize for being a dumbass if that ever happens, but not for being a smartass.

        • My smart ass and dumb ass personas are too closely linked for me to be able differentiate between them.

          At times, I need a mediator.

  7. I’d pick the SCAR because of the optic and thirty round magazine. I assume there is also a light on one or both? I like the shotgun and I think it would work very well but if there is more than one intruder the additional rounds in the magazine might be the difference.

  8. The Benelli. Less felt recoil, easier to reload, simpler to deal with under stress, lighter

    • Less felt recoil? A poster above says the SCAR is more “controllable”. Who’s right? (I really don’t know, would like to learn).

      • Having never shot either one of those, I’ll say this. In a DGU, you will likely be so hopped up on adrenaline that you won’t feel either one anyway. My choice is SCAR + bedside pistol (no kids). They say in the middle of an adrenaline dump you lose fine motor skill. Trying to jam shells into a tube, not going to risk it.

      • Well, you can continue to feed the shogun as you shoot if you have a moment between squeezing off shots, I guess in that sense it may be “easier”…

        • Being able to top off the mag tube is nice but it’s still *way* more difficult than slapping a fresh mag into the SCAR. Just ask anyone who has competed in three gun.

      • Personally, I assumed he was being sarcastic and listing the carbine’s virtues….

    • Since when does 00 buck not provide more felt recoil than 5.56? And jamming a new mag in is easier than loading individual rounds. And that’s not even considering that you probably won’t need to reload if you have a 30 round mag.

    • Benelli? Yes. Less recoil? Are you kidding me? Easier to reload? How’s that? Simpler to deal with under stress? Riiiight. Weighs less? Per FNH – SCAR 7.2 lbs. Per Benelli – 7.8 Both unloaded. I agree with the answer. The articulated basis for the answer? Not so much.

    • Absolutely if a handgun were not available. Just have to argue about what size shot. 00 through #2 should do nicely. I wouldn’t consider slugs.

  9. The M4, being that its dark and Accuracy is less of an Issue with a scatter gun, and it wont over penetrate as badly inside the house. Also, nothing says GTFO like a 12ga. going off in a confined space..

  10. SCAR: precision. I don’t want an intruder trying to hide behind my daughter. The last impression on his retina will be about 75 gr of lead at 2790 fps.

    • Incidentally, for those who cry “overpenetration” I hear you but I’ve seen some gel tests on BHTP 75 gr hollow points that have gel penetration less than 14″, less than a lot of .357 rounds. Maybe Shootingthebull410 will do a video sometime…not super concerned with the ammo I have.

      • dwb,

        Where can I purchase some Boat Hollow Tail Point (BHTP) ammunition, it sounds fantastic!

        • Thanks for finding the time to catch my typos. There are more if you look real hard. Also, I have some laundry and dry cleaning you could pick up, thanks.

    • You’d really try to tap someone hiding behind your daughter, adrenaline and all, with a rifle round?

      Benelli, loaded far to close: #4×2, then the rest 00. Proximity blast during approach. If the Zombies are still coming at you, the tighter and harder the 00 will be, buying time with first two. Lower initial penetration and easier to shoot under duress and at CQB.

  11. benelli, but primarily because most of my long guns have ghost rings. for my eyes, easier target acquisition in a high stress environment.

    • If you have a bit of Presbyopia, old eyes, you wouldn’t believe how sweet an EO is on a shotgun. That goes doubly at night. Ten years ago EO’s had problems with that due to loose battery compartments. That problem was fixed long ago. You just look at the target, the gun comes up, and you’re on it with no “chasing the dot” or ‘looking at the front sight.”

  12. I keep the M4 set up like RD keeps his Pardner Pump. Since I see an EO on the SCAR, try it on your M4. You won’t believe how fast you get on target. Use #1 buckshot if you fear for your neighbors. Oh, and the whole setup is much more PC in US suburbia. Hand your daughter the SCAR: It may take more shots, but the recoil’s more manageable.

    If you need more than eight rounds of buckshot before reaching cover, you bought the wrong house in the wrong neighborhood, else MDA has lost the ounce of self-control it had to begin with.

  13. The SCAR because of at least 2 invaders. I like shotguns though & my 870 was always loaded with home defense slugs.

  14. Under those circumstances, the Beneli M4. 5+1 capacity and additional shells at the ready, plus a defensive position in a fatal funnel, is perfect for holding out until the cavalry arrives. Each discharge is more likely to stop that particular assailant that the Scar would, too

  15. Nice editorial touch to point out the electronic ear pro is available – mitigates the effects of the boom boom boom boom.

    If I like my neighbors, I choose the 5.56 assuming they are soft or hollow points that won’t pass through the side of my house.

  16. I’m going to cop out and not offer a “theoretical” answer. I would “choose” which ever I had more confidence in based on practice and training.

    I would hope the choice would be automatic based on that instinct of the moment and not some rationalization based on theory done on the fly.

        • Benelli. In cqb, I’d like to end the fight as quickly as possible. 00 buck will help drop ’em w/o drama.

          If it were involving distances beyond my indoors, the scar wins all the way.

          I have an M3T and an old timey M16, so I kinda think about this sorta thing from time to time.

    • I could imagine that.

      But whichever is chosen, remember to shout “say hello to my little friend!”

      OK don’t, but skip the dual-wielding, too. Laugh.

  17. Either would do the job although in the dark with multiple moving targets from a strongpoint, I favor shotgun.

    However: No flashlight on either?? You need to rectify that IMO.

  18. We know there are at least two, possibly more.
    What we don’t know, is are they armed, if so with what?
    We also don’t know what is their motivation? Will they hear the racking of a shotgun at the top the stairs and flee? Are they willing to fight their way in?
    Statistics show that a shot gun, yes even a $199 Remington special will do the job just fine. So my tendency would be to grab the SCAR.
    Shocked? Well don’t be.
    Here is why.
    Being proficient with a shotgun is not the issue. But what happens if I am injured and my 13 year old daughter needs to pick up my SCAR, or shotgun. I am confident that she will have no issue with the SCAR, but less so with the shotgun. Also I am partial to semi automatic rifles. It is just me.
    I can say if I was home alone I would grab the bird gun.
    I also have a dog. The SCAR has no spread, where if I was a little off with the shotgun, my dog might get injured. It could happen…

    • Its amazing how well ladies can use a 20ga youth model shotgun. I have a buddy who lets my wife use his 1187 20ga and the difference is unreal.

    • They’re RF’s guns in the photo, and you know in reality he’s going to hand his daughter the SCAR before he does anything else.

  19. I would take the scar to get my kids and get back to my safe spot and then transition to the benelli….they would have come up a long stair well with no cover…. a 12 guage at those ranges will make one ugly hole with the shot cup coming out on the other side.

      • Exactly my thought…. Nobody would spend time contemplating the pros/cons of their firearm at that point. You’d grab whichever was closest that you are most comfortable with. This nonsense about shooting down a hallway and “not having to aim” is absurd, some folks have clearly not spent enough time with their shotguns.

        • Once I’m armed up and with my kids, I’m shutting the door and I’m posting up right there with my crowd pleaser in hand, waiting for police to show up.

          I don’t know if Michael actually has little kids, but getting them from one place to another is like herding cats.

  20. Shotgun – I might have to clean up the puddles on my floor after I rack the M4 but nothing says “you picked the wrong house” like 15 pellet 3″ magnum 00 buckshot. That’s what I’ve got in my 870 and it qualifies as “defense ammo” in my part of the world.

  21. I pick SCAR 16. The problem with Benelli is that I would hate scrubbing my walls from blood splatters and soft tissues. It may make me vomit,

  22. If you have the choke point (top of stairs) where they must come one at a time, after the first it will probably be , one, one time, after they catch 00 or slug. Thus M4
    Remember the 300.
    If you come down stairs and find four in the living room fanned out, must have semi-auto.
    Stay behind the choke point.

  23. Shotgun, have many more years of clearing buildings with one then a .223. Would assume all projectiles would exit my house so would try for a down angle if possible.

  24. Scar simply because the other choice is a semi-auto shotgun and I prefer pump shotguns.

  25. The SCAR. Some people believe one can’t miss with a shotgun in such a scenario, but if the targets are moving, the shooter is moving, and it is dark, many sub-optimal outcomes are possible. I’d rather have more rounds, since I have no idea how many intruders there are.

  26. For me the scar, more versatile, higher capacity, less weight. Nothing against the Benelli, always room in the safe for one of them.

  27. I would take whatever fell to hand first, and then grab the other one as well. I like the idea of the sights on the SCAR over the Benelli given that it’s dark. But I’d grab both. Sling one, carry the other; I don’t think it matters in which order.

  28. Tom Gresham got a fight going this past weekend on his radio show, with a similar proposal. Is birdshot ok for you in home defense?

    Please consider that like Don Rumsfeld says, there are things you know, things you don’t know and things you don’t know that you don’t know.

    What if the bad guys are wacked out on meth?
    What if there are multiple BGs? And you don’t know how many? or where they are in the house?
    What if YOU MISS? Each miss and your ammo counter starts going down. Now you are running out of ammo.
    What if the BGs have on body armor?
    What if the fight REQUIRES you to shoot thru stuff like a wall or a couch or a refrigerator or a car door?
    What if……

    Like the saying goes….All things being equal, I’d rather have a belt fed….

    p.s. Taking a look at that picture, I’d really like a sling on the M4. Just in case…

  29. I think I would grab the SCAR 16 for faster follow-up shots. There is no doubt that a shotgun will promptly stop an attacker but recoil is huge and cycling the pump action tends to take you off target for longer.

    And I would have loaded that SCAR 16 with 55 grain hollowpoints to prevent any rounds from going through the walls of my home and my neighbors’ homes.

    Plus, if the home invaders are wearing common ballistic vests, buckshot won’t penetrate; 55 grain 5.56mm bullets will … although I don’t know if you would need full metal jacket at that point and how full metal jacket would affect concerns about over-penetration.

    • The Benelli is a semi-auto, not a pump. BUT–is it just me, or do semi-auto rifles cycle faster than semi-auto shotguns? My only experience with SA shotguns was with my dad’s old “Ted Williams” from Sears that he won in a football pool at work. You had to be careful not to pull the trigger too fast because of the time it took for the action to cycle as I recall.

    • Having shot a lot of skeet with a pump shotgun, I don’t recall having to come off target to cycle the action. I’ve watched others shoot rapidly with pump guns and same observation. Some of those guys can cycle pumps insanely fast.

      Recoil may be another matter for time off target, but not the pump itself in my experience.

      • Not only that, but in my younger days I could empty a pumpguns mag faster than a semi autos. The semis action was regulated to work at the same speed for each shot by its design. The pump was only slowed by the lack of experience of the person using it.

        Now, don’t get me started on slam firing the older pump guns. Damn near machine gun speed.

  30. I’m reaching farther back and taking the Tavor. True one hand capability and 30 rounds of bang.

  31. Neither. I’d want a handgun and hopefully some sort of holstering mechanism so I can better corral the kids, operate doors, and, if need be, operate one handed.

    A Glock 17 with defensive ammo would be just fine. Or a 1911. Or anything with an OAL of less than 12 inches.

      • Seriously. A 1911? Who would take 7+1 rounds of .45 over 30 rounds of 5.56 NATO? Bad trade.

        • My 1911 is 14+1. Mags are easier to load than a SCAR. Those with young kids have no one else to call 911 while doing a head count, opening doors, guiding sleepy kids in the dark, trying to stay tight to corners, etc; not every situation is best served with a long gun.

        • Yeah, except an awful lot of folks that have been in real gunfights for their lives say they would not bring a pistol to a gunfight if they knew it was going to happen.

          Pistols are secondary weapons.

          There may be exceptions. This scenario hardly seems like one. I’m truly stunned that folks are rejecting either a rifle or a shotgun for something that is very marginal at best in terms of efficiently stopping threats.

          But, hey…to each his own.

        • My question for you guys knocking handguns is, where’s your rifle? Is that really whats next to your bed side? Let’s be real.

          I’d go with the SCAR if I were RF in said scenario, but I ain’t RF, and will likely never face that situation. In reality, I rely on a Glock 19 for home defense, and wouldn’t necessarily feel under armed facing that situation with just my Glock and flashlight either. I own an M4gery, but I don’t have it accessible enough to be relied upon for “bump in the night” duty. One Reason is that IMHO long guns are too difficult to maneuver in the tight hallways and doorways of my dwelling. But the main reason I’ve decided against my AR for home protection is that I can’t secure it in a way that will be as safe and quick to access like I’m able to with a handgun. I’d pick a carbine for any gunfight, but to check on a noise coming from the kitchen at 3am, it’s not the most practical IMO.

        • “Excuse me sir, I was just wondering why are you carrying your pistol? Are you expecting trouble?”

          No, if I was expecting trouble, I would have brought my rifle.

        • JonR, but the scenario specifically was you have a choice between a rifle and a shotgun, and guys are REJECTING those two choices to favor a handgun.

          This belies a very poor understanding of terminal ballistics and effectiveness.

          If your home defense plan does not include ready availability of a long gun that’s your choice. But that was not the scenario presented here and is the problem being responded to.

          First rule is “have a gun.” Handgun fits that. But that does not mean a handgun is the best choice given other options.

          (Overall, I think we fundamentally agree, by the way).

        • JR, we do. A handgun is not my weapon of choice, I’d rather have a rifle in my hands if I could make one magically appear in a defensive situation. Point I was trying to make is that the majority of carbine owners don’t actually use them, or have them accessible enough, to be quickly relied upon for home defense, like the scenario suggested one might. Due to Maneuverability, Accessibility, and Noise (of firing it) a carbine might not serve as the best option for a majority of folks, and like in my particular case, a handgun may be a better compromise as a go to home defense weapon.

  32. M4 but the SCAR would have a sling on it so maybe both. Or SCAR and sling the M4…I can’t decide!! Either way, I’d have both guns. But my plan calls for a pump shotgun and a handgun G-19. Just the way I have it set up.

    • Seeing how most gun owners don’t have the disposable income for the nice toys, likely choices are a 5 rd pump hunting shotgun, or an inexpensive handgun.

      • OK, I feel safe to say it now–Don’t feel too bad, liljoe, I’d be choosing between a bobtailed Stevens double barrel and a 1963-vintage Winchester .22LR. Or one of my Commie bloc milsurp handguns (Polish P-64 or E German Mak). My sons made off with the best guns : \

  33. I’m going benelli for home defense. At that point, I want the threat down as fast as possible and I’m going to hit them with 12-15 #00 pellets per trigger pull at the distance of top of stairs down to the bottom. But I would want a light on whatever I used, which is lacking from the photos.

  34. Don’t get me wrong, either or would be great, but damn. I wouldn’t use a trebuchet to launch a dog turd from my lawn, when a small shovel will do just fine.

    Unless the Taliban are planning to break in, I think my 870 can handle it.

  35. To defend a stairway, I like the shotgun.

    With the extra rounds on the sleeve, I can do tactical reloads. I figure a couple of blasts down the stairs ought to buy me a little time.

    For any other home defense need, more rounds might come in handy. The shotgun is kind of a specialist.

  36. How is there even a debate? Benelli M4 offers tremendous firepower and ergonomics in a CQB situation. A rifle with in this scenario is wasted potential. Red Dawn scenario? SCAR every time. Bump in the night scenario? M4 trumps all contenders.

  37. Let’s see…

    SCAR advantages:
    Lighter, more ammo capacity, less recoil, more precise, RDS, easier to reload, less overpenetration

    M4 advantages:
    Better terminal ballistics

    The choice seems clear to me. I would choose the rifle based on the red dot sight alone. Anyone who thinks ghost ring sights are easier to shoot well hasn’t put enough time behind a dot.

    • “Easier to reload” would not even be remotely considered, in a gun fight, at least not by me.

    • The only things I own that do not have a solid red dot on them are my scoped bolt rifles, and my handguns. I can nail 5″ patterns at 100yds pretty fast with my Mossberg loaded with slugs. With buckshot, it’s scary fast on follow ups. The only decisions between the two would be, how many BGs am I facing and do I like hearing stuff.

  38. In Kalifornia we can only have 10 round mags but the bad guy will have 30+. Maybe the bad guy will wait for me to reload and go back to my room and fetch the second 10 round mag??

    • Here is a simple workaround:

      Keep a 30 round magazine in your home defense rifle and also keep a dozen 10-round magazines on hand that only have a few rounds in them. If the bad guys come into view, squeeze the trigger as many times as necessary. Before the cops arrive, remove and hide the 30 round magazine and insert a full 10-round magazine in your rifle. When the police show up, they will see several shell casings and several 10-round magazines on the floor as well as a 10-round magazine in your rifle. As long as you exercise your right to remain silent, I guarantee the police will be more than satisfied with what they see and have absolutely no inclination whatsoever to suspect that you have a 30-round magazine. As long as you stash it some place out of the way, they will never find it.

      • That workaround becomes a whole lot less simple when your home is thoroughly searched and the 30 round mag has GSR (gun shot residue) and the 10 rounders don’t. Whatever gun you use in a DGU might be thoroughly tested regarding ammunition, ballistics, shot spread, powder burns, etc.

        • In theory, sure, the police go to the Nth degree. In real life I don’t see that happening if the following assumptions are true:
          (1) You are a “good guy” with no criminal record.
          (2) You are in your own home.
          (3) The bad guys forced entry.
          (4) Damage at the point of entry is obvious.
          (5) Bad guys are incapacitated and have weapons.

          And to be extra safe, in the event that gunshot residue “ages” and residue on your 10-round magazines from previous outings is “old”, slip in several 10-round magazines and fire one shot from each in the same direction that you fired at the bad guys. After all, you were jumpy and thought you heard the bad guys coming again … or more bad guys coming … or you wanted any more bad guys who were waiting outside and thinking of coming in to know that you were still armed and had ammunition.

          Or, law enforcement could refuse to enforce unconstitutional laws on magazine capacities especially when a good person just used a 30-round magazine to defend him/herself and his/her family in their home.

  39. Benelli.

    According to Uncle Joe I am supposed to either:
    A) empty that puppy out on the balcony or
    B) shoot through the door.
    Since I have more than twice the capacity of Joe’s trusty double barrel, I can do both! Which would conceivably take care of both intruders.

    No need for the (of course my man baggage isn’t big enough) SCAR after that.

  40. Hands down, no question about it:

    The M4.

    It is far more likely in a high-stress SD scenario that you are going to stop the threat far more quickly and reliably with a blast of 00 Buck to center mass than with your 5.56 rifle. Make it two to make it harder on the EMT who responds, or more of a challenge for the coroner.

    • … unless the bad guys are wearing common ballistic vests which stop #00 buckshot every time.

      That is why I would always use a rifle if one were available. A 55 grain bullet striking at violent home invader in the torso or head at 3000 fps will be devastating.

      • Headshots from a 12 ga can be pretty devastating. The ole Mozambique Drill is not just for handguns. 😉

  41. In my fascist state shotgun, for one we can’t buy anything like a Scar anymore, and lastly if you do have one and you lose it, that’s it!

  42. +1ValleyForge77…I’d be locked up & key thrown away in MY Cook County,Illinois neighborhood shooting a SCAR. Shotgun all the way.

  43. Simple … Whichever holds the most ammo!

    …In liberally-retarDed states that might not be much of a difference though.

  44. Neither, they are too pretty!

    I’ll put it this way. A 20 gauge semi-auto with #4 buck will put out twenty-four .24 caliber rounds at 1200 FPS with just ONE SHOT. That’s almost the whole magazine in the Scar all delivered at the same time with just one pull of the trigger. 7-shells is ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY EIGHT ROUNDS downrange in like five seconds. Scar who?

    A 20 gauge semi-auto barely recoils and the #4 Buck will not over penetrate walls so it is my preferred inside the house gun.

    The reason AR like rifles are used by assault teams is not why you want to defend your house with one. Them assault teams have to fight themselves in and out, maybe requiring distant precision shots. Moreover, they are all pumped and wide awake.

    At 0 dark thirty, groggy from sleep forget the Scar for defense. There is a reason shotguns don’t have rifle sights and it’s not because you don’t have to aim. think about that one.

    And here’s what #4 Buck looks like – read the conclusion at the end:

    • “A 20 gauge semi-auto with #4 buck will put out twenty-four .24 caliber rounds at 1200 FPS with just ONE SHOT. That’s almost the whole magazine in the Scar all delivered at the same time with just one pull of the trigger. 7-shells is ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY EIGHT ROUNDS downrange in like five seconds. Scar who?”

      Now there’s something to ponder.

    • I like that. But to avoid denying the premise of the question, I think I would go with the Benelli.

    • Though it’s plenty true that you get all those projectiles out of a shotgun with one trigger pull, you can still only service 7 targets (or make seven attempts at one target, or something in between) with a shotgun. It has more brute power in the mag, but less flexibility as to how many distinct shots you can make.

      Still, I would prefer one for “bump in the night’ scenarios. I personally have two of them closely available in the bedroom (no kids).

  45. The key statement is “You live in a suburban neighborhood, with houses on all sides, separated by manicured lawns” Second, assumed you have cleared the house and everyone is assembled together, then answer is Shotgun.

    SCAR may travel way too far. Given the right loads (as far as penetration/stopping power), you can cover the door while contacting 911. That said, SCAR would be a great second cover weapon.

    • It’s a common misconception that shotguns penetrate less than small-caliber rifle rounds like that fired from an AR-15 or SCAR 16.

      Unless your shotgun is loaded with birdshot it will penetrate just as much as 5.56mm rounds! (Handguns almost as much too).

      Go look at the tests conducted at

  46. SCAR, I personally can run the SCAR better than I can a scattergun. Shorter length and lighter weight make it easier to maneuver within the house, and handle while rounding up the kiddos. Optic makes it easier to make good hits, especially after waking up middle o the night. Once barricaded I may find myself wanting for the M4, but I’ll do work the the choice I’ve made.

  47. Thinking of what the Dems and liberals would think about this. Somebody mentioned 55gr(or whatever weight) buckshot rounds vs 5.56 55gr. If you pumped 5-10 rounds rounds of 5.56 into somebody(an intruder) it may come off excessive in potentially killing someone. If you are using buckshot you are lodging the same amount of weighted pellets without the overkill aspect of pumping rounds into a body and hopefully less ramifications. Depending on your state, you could land up in court and home defense isn’t what it used to be. I don’t care what one you use but dead people can’t talk and give there side.

  48. By the scenario you described, I’d go with the SCAR because SWAT teams wear body armor and unless you’re using slugs I don’t think the Benelli would be effective.

    This also got me thinking – is it legal to own flash-bang grenades and if so where can you buy them. Because I think they’d come in pretty handy in this situation.

  49. I’ll take the shotgun. 5.56 is to dangerous to your family and neighbors and the size of the bore is enough to scare anyone.

    • Is that you Joe? (Biden)

      …spreading falsehoods about small caliber rifle penetration vs shotguns again.

      If you look up actual experiments you’ll find buckshot penetrates more than the XM193 (55gr 5.56mm) round typically found in AR-15’s.
      – has conducted many such tests.

      • Funny Steve. Guess all of those ballistics tests are bullshit and our soldiers need to carry shotguns instead. I remember story my dad told me about a redneck bar he went to. The sheriff and 3 deputies came in to investigate something. The patrons ignored the sheriffs demands for everyone to get down on the floor. One deputy had an M-16 and there was no reaction from anyone when he racked a round into the chamber. However when one of the other deputy’s racked a round with his 12 gauge pump everyone immediately shut up and hit the floor.

        • oh, wow. I guess I will carry a shotgun from now on because of a BS story of people getting scared of the sound of it being racked. If you are choosing a weapon based on the sound of it being loading you are doing it wrong.

      • Certainly the penetration issue depends on the exact loading in either of the weapons.

        I do remember how B ‘o Truth finished that series: “What I learned is that any round good enough to reliably stop an assault is going to over-penetrate.” (paraphrased)

        And the FBI 1989 report when they selected 10mm, SA Urey Patrick (paraphrased slightly) “The overpenetration myth was one we created when trying to sell the public on hollow points. We actually no of no case in which a bullet fired by an agent caused liability after going through a suspect.”

        I don’t know the truth of the matter, but I think more about hitting an aggressor. Nearby houses are about 50 yards apart, at least, and lots more room in front and back. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed. With all the pellet spread at 50 or sixty yards, I won’t hit someone with more than one pellet.

  50. If you watched the Magpul training videos, the obvious advantage of the AR type platform becomes apparent. Shotguns are just a PITA.

    • Sure, the AR platform is great no argument there. The shotgun, however, is an extremely effective manstopper that should not be underestimated. If I were defending a large amount of property id grab the scar, but for a single family home or an apartment is grab the benelli in a heartbeat

    • SCAR isn’t an AR. And 5.56 bullets go a long way and into places you’d rather they didn’t. The people are in your house and not breaking into a house 300 meters away.

    • Magpul training video?? WTF,,, does Magpul EVEN make parts for any shotguns?!?! Of course they are gonna go with an AR platform,,,, that’s kinda a no brainer eh?

      Shotguns are a PITA??? REALLY??

      I find it hard to believe people actually believe there is a right & wrong here. I see it as a matter of opinion. As for everybody mentioning recoil,,, recoil is a percieved factor,,,, some mind and some (like me) don’t.

      • it was the same with Blackwater. They super-emphasized the carbine because that’s where their expertise was and their minds thought ‘military’ even when training cops and citizens.

  51. Shotgun, over penetration is your friend when shooting through a door.
    Not having “pinpoint” accuracy is an advantage when nerves are high and time is short.
    If bullets down range is good medicine then 9 projectiles at once is a miracle cure.
    And close quarters is prime time for shotguns, and if the gun fight starts close then exceeds the effective range of a shotgun, the enemy has retreated and there is no need for you to engage him when he is two blocks away while you are on your roof with the SCAR.
    But since the burglar isn’t a wooden door he will most likely be untouched by the shotgun to to recent regulations.

  52. M4!!! Especially since I consider FRAG-12 rounds to be suitable for home defense. Nothing says GTFO so much like mini grenades.

  53. Considering I have over 1000 lbs of roaming land sharks in my house, I would probably just grab the SCAR (to end their suffering in the end) and a camera to record the fun that followed when 2 German Rottweilers, 2 Giant Schnauzers, 2 Staffordshire Terriers, and a Lacy Blue Mountain Cur had their way with the 2 intruders. LOL

    • Sure, but think of how much money you spend every year on dog food? You could purchase a lot of firearms and ammunition with that much cash.

  54. Shotgun. Best defensive weapon available to the majority of citizens. Cops and soldiers have different ROE’s and missions from we citizens. I’ll never engage a burglar at 300 meters. If I do I’m going to prison, no doubt.

  55. Benelli, without hesitation. No need to rack a round so they will be down before they see the muzzle flash and the roar mine makes when goes off will cause any accomplices to soil themselves and run in fear.

  56. Shotgun. Period.

    And if you want, check these ballistics gel tests. A case is made for #1 buck over 00. And that’s what I have loaded. A bad catching a full load of buck is not having a good day.

    Only a breaching tool. My ass.

    • Reading comprehension a bit on the low side? He never said a SD wasn’t deadly, he said that it wasn’t the best tool

  57. The Benelli in a blink…I have the forerunner to the Benelli M4, the Beretta 1201FP…

  58. Didn’t read all of the comments but came here to post whichever one has the light on it. And I run a Remington 870 with a surefire fore end, night sights, and extended mag giving it eight rounds.

  59. I’ll take the Benelli with the confidence that not only will it NOT jam but send a nice cloud of Get Out of My House into whoever comes up the stairs without having to worry about aiming for center of mass, head or hoping they are not hopped up on pain killers.
    A single round or #4 will do mucho damage and the fast cycle Benelli will allow a follow up round of slug, buck, or 1 1/4 ounces of anything else.

  60. Benelli M4 but loaded with #4 buckshot.

    If you can afford an M4 and the SCAR why not spend some $$ on a laser/light combo for the M4? I love my Streamlight on my Supernova Tactical! Also you may not have time to put a long gun to your shoulder and actually aim.

    In a real world situation you’ll be inside your home at close range defending yourself or your family. You won’t be chasing the BG down the street and firing at his car as he speeds away unless you want to drop $50k on a lawyer and risk jail time and a felony conviction which means that when you get out of prison you’ll be unable to legally own a firearm.

  61. In this scenario I take the m4. My kids are behind me and the stairway doesn’t leave much room for the bad guys to dodge. A hit with buckshot will be more devastating than with 5.56.

    Personally I’m set up with an 870 with 6+1 rounds of buckshot. Any scenario where I needed to fire more than 25 yards wouldn’t be “self defense” in the suburbs.

    • Which threat?

      And no. There’s actually a lot of experience on this thread, of diverse sorts. There is no right answer to the question posed. There are advantages to either of the guns. So far the thread includes quite a few vets, at least one heavy-duty vet, several very highly trained non-vets, a few attorneys to screw it up, and several cops. And Shelly at the NSA, but she only listens.

      But you’ve got the one opinion to rule them all. Got it.

  62. Benelli gets the nod.

    Read the sitrep – suburban neighborhood=unlikely to have long range shots. Also means possibility of urban/suburban police and prosecutors as well as media scrutinizing the way the situation gets dealt with. The M4 is plenty of gun for the situation described and most other household chores, and is less likely to lose the battle for your well-being AFTER shots get fired.

    • Apparently in some parts of the country that view doesn’t resonate, but it certainly is a key for me. If I used a black rifle instead of a shotgun, 3/4’s of the people that matter in my township would never speak to me or do business with me again. And that isn’t a good way to live. I’m very fond of my 3G AR, but it’s a target and apocalypse item for me, not first choice for home defense. ARs/SCARs are legal here, but not yet socially acceptable. It wouldn’t affect a court outcome. I simply wouldn’t have any social life left. And the M4 more than suffices.

  63. Exact defensive situation in my house. Rally point is our bedroom or the baby’s room at the end of the hall if we are short on time. Only shooting if they come up stairs.

    Shotgun it is.

    Especially since the angles I would be shooting mean neighbors are relatively safe especially at zero dark thirty.

    Also consider that if bg#1 goes down bg#2 may be irate, desperate, and scared. The ability to put lead through a wall may actually be a good thing if he is still a threat and sheltering in another bedroom or around a doorway. (Shooting blindly around a corner for example)

    • I’m struggling to imagine how “blindly shooting” is all that good of an idea.

      Ability, opportunity and jeopardy. If you are shooting around corners, blindly shooting around corners, can you truly justify those three things as an imminent threat?

      How could you say he was not running away, or trying to surrender?

      I guess shooting around corners sounds tactical and all that…but for home defense it seems a bit of a stretch.

  64. Couple suggestions….

    First, take whatever you’re best with. If you shoot the SCAR weekly and the shotgun a couple times a year, go with the SCAR, and vice versa.

    If you can get holed up in a room with your kids, then M4 for sure. As someone said in an earlier post, you can do tactical reloads with the M4 to avoid the empty gun situation. Unless the bad guys are wearing vests, which is highly highly unlikely, the M4 is superior in stopping power.

    If you think there may be lots of bad guys, more than 2-3, I would go with the SCAR.

    In the end it really comes down to whatever you like best. No time to think. Just grab your go to gun and protect this house!

    • Thank-you. Agree 100%.

      “Have a gun.” The rest become academic and fun to debate and sound knowledgeable about, but practical realities show real home defense paint a different reality than most of these theoretical discussions.

  65. M4! i wouldn’t be able to find replacement ammo for the scar.

    but seriously, the M4. if the amount of rounds for the shotgun are not sufficient (your in a horrible situation) then i will grab the 9mm stashed in whatever room I’m in at the time. why keep all your eggs in one basket (main safe)?

  66. easy pick….m4….it will solve any problem that comes through the door….true 1 shot stops without question….you can argue that the 30 round magazine has more shots but it is a no brainer….a 3 “round of 00 buck shot or 1 oz.slug of your choice… inside of a house has no peers…period! more devastating damage in one shot than 5 of the 5.56…a 12 gauge shot gun is the most versatile and usable platform to most mere mortals for home defense

  67. I agree, Timothy Wahl. It is a no brainer, no need for a lazer sight either. All a person would have to do is glance with the end of the muzzle instead of direct bead sight like one is shooting skeet. I love my Mossberg 500 self defense weapon & that is definitely my first grab on an intruder along with side arm, Glock 22.

  68. Holy hell this is a busy thread. As a guy who sleeps with multiple calibres within reach, probably the benelli, which I have. I practice weekly, I reload without dropping and in between shots fast, and the assortment of shells on my belt on the bedpost, which I have memorized the shell order of, gives me options. Additionally, the decreased penetration of the shells over rifle rounds could be useful if children are in the vicinity, especially given that they may move from a known location. I rarely hear of anyone just brushing off 6 buckshot. Close quarters, dark, shotty rules the night.
    Unless of course I happen to be fairly certain of multiple armored attackers. In which case the muzzle braked 308 should do the trick. But really, that’s rather unlikely.

  69. Y’all need to move to Kentucky.. They’re taking our jobs away, but they’ll never take our guns away! We support our gun owners & laws as we do the rest of the proud gun owning Americans in our other states that recognize our CCDW!

  70. I have a SCAR-17 and a Benelli m4 w/ upgraded 7rd tube (9 shots w/ ghost load).

    I think I’d grab the m4. I live in an apartment, and I’d be afraid to shoot a 7.62 NATO rd here (yes I know post was talking SCAR-16, but even 5.56 seems like a bad idea in an apartment building). Even a SG w/ buckshot is a bit risky in an apt. building, no?

    Plus, living in CA, I’m limited to 10rd mags anyway.

    BTW, is there a good compromise load for the shotgun that would have good effect but minimize risk of going through walls and hitting neighbors?

    • Not really. If something will penetrate deep enough to “end” the threat, then it will penetrate walls and still be deadly.

      If your idea of ending the threat is just shooting the guy once, then there are several types of rounds you can use. Breaching rounds come to mind. Hit hard at close range on initial impact. No penetration though.

      My thing is, people high on adrenaline sometimes don’t even realize they’ve been shot. And those are completely sober people. You never know how someone is going to react. Unfortunately the only way proven 100% effective to stop the threat, is to end the threat permanently.

      On the other hand, if you’re not okay with that ANYTHING is better than just yelling “I called the cops, go away and leave my kids alone.” I gather most people upon being shot with anything (even bird shot or glasser rounds) will probably stop what they’re doing. But the “you can’t count on it” is why I keep high brass lead 0 buck shot in my gun.

  71. I personally would go for the shotgun. I have much more experience with shotguns than sporting rifles.

  72. Shotgun. While I trust my marksmanship, it wouldn’t trust a 5.56 to not penetrate and hit another house (remember, this is in a suburb), or worse, injure some bystander or little Mrs. Daisy walking her dog at midnight…

    The sound of a shotgun charging sticks out more than that of a SCAR. That would be my first warning. Once bad guy #1 reaches the top of the stairs, boom. I don’t much need accuracy at a close range with a shotgun.The loud report of a 12ga is probably going to send the other guy running.

  73. I’m grabbing the shotgun. I’m not trained in CQB with rifles. The Navy only teaches SRFA and SRFB with batons, shotguns and pistols. Since that’s all I’m trained with, that’s what I’ll use. I never went VBSS so I’m not trained with rifles in CQB. Since I’m assuming the sleeve is only loaded with what the magazine tube will hold, that leaves me 3 shots per intruder before reloading. Since I also shoot sporting clays (and have done the whole “run to each station” variant lots as well.) I’m quite confident that I can hit a man size target moving much slower than a cross lane clay with three shots.

    The only other weapons I’m combat trained with are the M240B and the browning 50 cal. Can’t use those.

  74. In what world do I own a Benelli M4 and a SCAR 16? I must have got a pay raise.

    Or are these the ONLY two guns I own? In that case I must have taken a pay cut…

  75. Honestly, whichever I got my hands on first. Rabbi has some very valid points regarding the use of a shotgun but that might be more related to an offensive scenario. He right, I don’t think many of us would want to be room clearing with a shotgun… But this situation is different than what you would get from a purely offensive standpoint. The important thing is to get to the kids before the home invaders do. Once you are there in a defensive position, as soon as you get positive id on who is coming through that bedroom door, someone is going to get lit up. be it a small fast moving projectile or a group of slower moving projectiles per trigger press… they are both deadly.

  76. Both. Plus my lightsaber. I am hoping they hit the trip wires and get crushed by a tree trunk.

    I tried to put down just one intruder. Well, actually my small fire team did. One of our team members was hit. My weapons sergeant capped off a full belt on his M60A3 and then picked up his buddies minigun. He let loose with a few thousand rounds. I joined him with my M16A2/M203. Our team members engaged the intruder with a mix of M16s, M&P5s, shotguns, and grenades. We wounded the intruder but he was still able to get away.

    Since then, I keep my house wired with traps and I keep multiple guns on hand. Does anyone know where I can get a Pulsed-plasma rifle in the 40 watt range?

  77. Benelli. Because Benelli.
    and the Biden Defense.

    Seriously 870 because I can practice all day on moving targets at skeet range. And no where I know in soCA for moving man targets in 5.56.

    Its all abt shot placement under stress.

  78. Seriously though, shotgun. “0 dark”. A red dot sight is doing you no good at that distance/range. This will be reflex shooting in my hallway/living room/kitchen. Point shooting. Not aimed fire.

    I am putting down 2 guys. Whether or not they are high/drunk/delusional, they pose a threat to my family. They will be put down. Buckshot at close range is going to create the damage that I need.

  79. I would prefer the 5.56 for the simple reason that both have more than enough power to get the job done, but quick accurate follow ups are easier with the rifle and 5.56 breaks up more easily in the walls of your home. 2 confirmed bad guy kills are not enough to make up for 1 negligent homicide of your neighbor.

  80. Shotgun. Rifle would go through the walls, and I’d have to aim a lot better.

    I know it’s not cool to use a shot gun anymore for most gun users, however rifle going through the wall and into the next house is way to easy for me. Not like I’ve tested it but I know buckshot won’t.

    I’m not worried about number of rounds, If I fire 6 to 9 shotgun shells down at someone, they’re not going to keep charging these are people looking for an easy score, not an invasion.

  81. So this post was meant to start an argument among your loyal following??

    M4 hands down. The bad guys are already in the house, it’s 0 dark thirty, so my night vision is probably ok at that point. If they’re coming up my stairs, I’m pretty sure they are in a funnel I can shoot with my night vision and not need anything special at that distance like a red dot. If I’m looking to engage folks at 300 yards, they are already running away and I’m going to jail if I shoot them while they flee.

  82. Tough call for me. I own an M4 and an AR (since I don’t own a SCAR, we’ll go with these as my choices). Right now, I’d go for the M4. It’s a little front-end heavy, but it’s perfectly controllable and more likely to knock down an aggressor with one hit. With my kids, I want an aggressor down as quickly as possible. It’s not about which would win in a gunfight; it’s about ending a gunfight before it begins. (If my kids are present, a prolonged shootout is on my list of things to avoid.) I live in the suburbs too; and the lower-velocity pellets will penetrate fewer walls and studs than high-velocity steel-core bullets. In my house, I’m not going for penetration of armor or barriers; I’m going for whatever imparts the most energy into the first thing it hits. That’s a shotgun.

  83. I live in NY and I have both ready to run in my safe. Its the m4 for me!! That shotgun is a Animal especially with my SelfDef rounds.

  84. Nothing beat the shotgun, Benneli M4 for me. There is just a feeling of security, high confidence and mindset that you can stop anyone when you hold a shotgun in your hand, and that my friends… are the equalizer.

  85. Many good responses here.Excuse me if I repeat another’s response.The key is to have a plan before it happens and to be well trained with your tool.Both weapons have their merits,but IMO there is a great sense of command when holding my Benelli M4.The fewest number of rounds to get the job done in my home is paramount.Indeed if situation gives me time to “suit up” I’ll have both and a handgun.I hope that none of us is ever presented with this choice.Peace.

  86. I also have an AR and a M4

    I feel the M4 is the better option due to the spread 00 Buckshot (or similar shot) can provide. Although it does not seem like much in a less than 15 foot conflict, that extra few inches of spread/coverage could be the difference between making the necessary shot and missing the target. Well practiced or not, lets not forget that most individual’s ability to be on target in a high stress situation like stated in the original post will be less than perfect.

    00 Buckshot coverage in 15 feet is anywhere from 2″-5″ depending on the ammo and choke.
    .223 covers exactly that… .223 of an inch.

  87. I have both. I have no more kids in the house. My 89 year old mother-in-law’s room is just past mine on the other side. If there’s noise, I go out with the SCAR to get her into our bedroom. Then the Benelli comes out, while we wait for the cops.’different told for different situations. We all like to think there will be time to fetch weapons. I wonder how often home invasions first contact is with the occupants still asleep.

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