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This Katrina thing and all the SHTF scenarios got me thinking -- do I "need" a combat rifle? I've got a couple of handguns and a shotgun that's set up for shooting skeet, but no rifles. And I guess I'm just paranoid enough to where I think of stuff like this. I've been thinking about an AR-15. Am I being overly paranoid or is this something I really should invest in? Is the handgun "enough" for SHTF type stuff or even most everyday emergencies and breakins?
 

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A shotgun is better, there is no "best", for typical home invasions, a handgun can be adequate. I don't see an AR being that effective for situations that take place inside the home, especially in an urban or suburban area since you are accountable for every round fired.

For a SHTF on the scale of something like Katrina where you might have to make your way out of an area to a safe(r) place an AR might be better suited with its longer range, more capacity and sheer intimidation factor.

I seriously doubt any of us will ever have to fight our way to freedom and safety except by way of the voting booth.
 

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A rifle 1) is more powerful, 2) is more accurate at longer ranges, 3) has more capacity, 4) is larger and heavier, 5) uses ammo that is larger and heavier, 6) is less concealable than a handgun, and 7) may be less useful in close quarters.

Although there are a multitude of SHTF senarios and responses, in a SHTF situation involving protecting my family and home from individuals or groups when L.E. capabilites are limited, such as widespread civil unrest or an environmental disaster, I would definately keep a rifle. An AK or AR would be good choices, IMO.

Fireslayer23, I respectfully disagree that "it can't happen here." I suspect that a lot of "it can't happen here" is already happening in Louisiana and Mississippi. When the is limited L.E. presence, and the public is desperate, angry, and/or opportunistic, there is a concommitant reduction in the external and internal controls that deter and prevent crime.

Even if "it", whatever it may be, never happens, I still want a fighting chance if it does.
 

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According to the internet, the police are shooting armed criminals. It might be dangerous to carry a rifle in NO now. If I were on foot, I would stick to a (or maybe 2 or 3) handgun. In a vehicle maybe a AR. Be careful they don't think you are one of the BGs. My P-14 and 5 hi-cap mags would feel comforting.
 

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1911.45 said:
A rifle 1) is more powerful, 2) is more accurate at longer ranges, 3) has more capacity, 4) is larger and heavier, 5) uses ammo that is larger and heavier, 6) is less concealable than a handgun, and 7) may be less useful in close quarters.

Although there are a multitude of SHTF senarios and responses, in a SHTF situation involving protecting my family and home from individuals or groups when L.E. capabilites are limited, such as widespread civil unrest or an environmental disaster, I would definately keep a rifle. An AK or AR would be good choices, IMO.

Fireslayer23, I respectfully disagree that "it can't happen here." I suspect that a lot of "it can't happen here" is already happening in Louisiana and Mississippi. When the is limited L.E. presence, and the public is desperate, angry, and/or opportunistic, there is a concommitant reduction in the external and internal controls that deter and prevent crime.

Even if "it", whatever it may be, never happens, I still want a fighting chance if it does.
I never said "it can't happen here", I said I doubt any of us will ever have to go through it. The federal, state and local governments have just been taught a huge lesson in crisis management and better controls will be put in place.

I'm not relying on the government to keep me safe, but I won't be the one sitting at home when a hurricane comes. I would hope that most of the others on this board would have the sense to beat feet when faced with a situation that could turn as ugly as the one on the Gulf Coast has.

I also don't think a rifle is a more powerful tool for typical home defense than a shotgun. A 1oz. slug does a lot more damage than a 55 grain hollow point.

We can agree, to disagree.
 

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A CAR-15 loaded with 55-gr. JHPs with an Aimpoint and a light on it will be more lethal to the BGs and safer for any loved ones in the house and your neighbors than a shotgun.
 

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I assume that we would consider different scenarios, depending on our locations, the specific crisis, availability of resources, etc., but in a SHTF situation, I would attempt to prevent a BG from getting into my home, and a rifle would be more effective than a handgun. For inside-the-home protection, I rely on handguns and dogs.
 

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1911.45 said it better than I can.
To think it 'can't happen here' even after all the Katrina madness, strikes me as..... Not wise.
Ever since the Los Angeles riots I have been very much in favor of having a long gun somewhere on hand. Although my suburban neighborhood suffered no damage, the fact that the LAPD more or less conceeded the streets to the badguys was an eye-opener.
No, we may not have to fend hordes of gang members or bands of looters, but it is a fact that a rifle is a more effective weapon than a handgun.
In a SHTF senario where concealment is no longer an issue, your 'enemy' can likely be armed with long guns themselves. Defending yourself against an attacker armed with long gun with only a handgun puts you at a disadvantage in accuracy, power, and perhapse capacity.
It seems we are admonished often that a handgun is used to fight our way to a rifle. Makes sense to me. Given that we are unable to sling an AR over our shoulder while we conduct our daily buisness, we are stuck with concealed handguns. In a SHTF situation, in order to keep form drawing fire, a long gun could be kept out of sight yet near enough to be retreived quickly if needed.

I will disagree that the AR-15 in 5.56 is a poor choice for urban defensive use.
I know I have read somewhere that 5.56 is gaining in popularity because it is less likely to over-penetrate through walls than 9mm SMGs (internet bs?)
 

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For a true SHTF situation (such as we are witnessing in NO), I would not want just a handgun to keep BG's, thugs and looters away from myself, my family, and-or-home and supplies. These scum often travel in packs, and you might need to fend off more than one or two.
A 12-ga shotgun with 0 or 00 buckshot would be better than a handgun.
But, in that situation, I would reach for my AR-15. No question about it.
Hi-cap mags, quick reloads, highly accurate, low recoil, light weight and awesome firepower. There's a reason the military uses 'em.
That said, I would also want one of my handguns strapped on, for obvious reasons.

Jim
 

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fireslayer23 said:
I never said "it can't happen here", I said I doubt any of us will ever have to go through it. The federal, state and local governments have just been taught a huge lesson in crisis management and better controls will be put in place.
Yeah right. That maybe true for this specific crisis, but not for the many other possible crisises that are lurking in the future.

I'm not relying on the government to keep me safe, but I won't be the one sitting at home when a hurricane comes. I would hope that most of the others on this board would have the sense to beat feet when faced with a situation that could turn as ugly as the one on the Gulf Coast has.
disagree.
You are assuming that if anything happens, you will avoid it. Sometimes escape isn't an option. Most of us do not have ESP and are unable to predict when the next major crisis comes along, so that we can be safe and sound somewhere else. Can I borrow your crystal ball?

I also don't think a rifle is a more powerful tool for typical home defense than a shotgun. A 1oz. slug does a lot more damage than a 55 grain hollow point.
In your first post you criticise the AR for being overpenetrative in an urban setting. Now you say a slug will do more damage than a 55gr bullet. OK, I don't get it. If you are concerned about over-penetration why would you be launching shotgun slugs in a home defense senario? How deep do shotgun slugs penetrate through typical urban sheet rock compared to 5.56? How controlable is that shotgun? How about muzzle balst, and flash?
 

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QUOTE=John 242]Yeah right. That maybe true for this specific crisis, but not for the many other possible crisises that are lurking in the future.


You are assuming that if anything happens, you will avoid it. Sometimes escape isn't an option. Most of us do not have ESP and are unable to predict when the next major crisis comes along, so that we can be safe and sound somewhere else. Can I borrow your crystal ball?


In your first post you criticise the AR for being overpenetrative in an urban setting. Now you say a slug will do more damage than a 55gr bullet. OK, I don't get it. If you are concerned about over-penetration why would you be launching shotgun slugs in a home defense senario? How deep do shotgun slugs penetrate through typical urban sheet rock compared to 5.56? How controlable is that shotgun? How about muzzle balst, and flash?


We can agree, to[/QUOTE]

Sorry, the crystal ball is at the shop for a polishing.

I don't live in an urban setting (we don't know what kind of setting CTSA1911 lives in). I also don't use slugs for my first line of home defense but the part you don't seem to get, is that with a shotgun you have a choice.

What do you do when you start popping rounds off with your AR inside your house and one passes through a window? That bullet can travel hundreds of yards and strike an unknown target. The shot from a shotgun is effectively dead inside 100 yards, where you're ultra-sooper, oh-so tactical .223 can still be cruising along rather nicely up to 6 or 7 hundred yards.

Know your target and beyond.

I have 3 AR's, an RRA M4, a Stoner M5 (that isn't a typo, it's a model) and a JP Enterprises CTR-02 24" varmint. I've owned several other guns, including other AR's, in .223, I know what the .223 is capable of. I've also figured out that the AR isn't the ideal weapon for inside the home defense. Outdoors is a different matter.

With a shotgun you have a much larger margin for error and still be able to make a good hit.

Everyone knows what a shotgun sounds like when it is charged, except those with an auditory impairment. A friend of mine that was a bail bondsman/bounty hunter before he died from cancer had admitted that his hide had been saved on a few occasions by the sound of his Mossberg being readied.

A shotgun is completely controllable when the proper techniques are employed, my wife at 5'3" and 120lbs can muster up under anything short of buckshot. Considering I'm 8 inches taller and 60lbs heavier I think I can manage just fine.

Take your AR and fire it outside, then under an awning. Then do the same with a shotgun and tell me what you hear. The AR is louder by far. Somehow I don't think if I ever have to employ a weapon in a self defense situation that the bark is gonna bother me. I don't even hear my 300 RUM when I take a deer down and I don't figure that is half as stressful.

I've never compared an AR and shotgun in low light, but the other evening when I was using up some old no. 6's and 5's I had on some skeet the flash wasn't bad at all. The flash wasn't as bad as my 38 super but it was more than my .45. I've shot a wide array of handguns in no-light (indoor ranges with the windows blacked out) IDPA matches.

My opinion, this is America and we still are allowed to have them, is that the AR will do indoors but there is a better choice. It's your hang up, not mine.
 

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No doubt a shotgun is a fearsome weapon. Close range, anyway.
I own several, including an Ithaca Homeland Security model 37, and a Remington Marine Magnum. Both are awesome. Both are 12-ga.
And, yes. The sound of a pump-action is intimidating.
However, we're talking about a SHTF situation. Gangs of thugs bent on looting your supplies, rape and murder. Maybe forcing their way into your house, maybe shooting at you from cover across the street. How many are there? One? Five? Ten? Who can say? Last thing I'm worried about is how much my weapon 'barks', or if it might penetrate a wall or two. I know for a fact...it WILL. If you want to talk about intimidation, the bark from an AR-15 fits that description.
I have a lot of confidence in my shotguns to keep me safe. However, for this particular situation, I'd grab one of my AR's, thanks anyway.

Jim
 

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The original question also included "most everyday emergencies and breakins". Any situation that requires me to employ deadly force is a SHTF situation, regardless of how many zombies show up to the party.

I also alluded to the strengths of the AR in my original post and that they are more suited for outdoor duty than a shotgun.
 

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Hopefully none of us will ever have to actually FIRE a weapon when the SHTF. Hopefully the mere presence of an armed individual will suffice.

20 years agoI used to live next door to my mom. One night her dog was barking like crazy. Mom was out of town and I needed to check on the dog anyway. I loaded up my Remington 870 and stayed in the shadows down her driveway.

Concealed and behind cover, I racked the slide on the 870 making as much racket as I could. (I even caught the ejected live round and popped it back in the magazine.) I shouted something like, "get out of there" and could hear people scrambling over the back chainlink fence. It was probably just a bunch of kids, but they recognized the sound of somebody racking a pump shotgun.

Today I've got a different 870 and a 1911 with Crimson Trace grips. Hopefully the sound of the 870 and laser dot in the middle of a badguy's chest is enough to keep me and the family safe.

Randy
NRA Life Member
 

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fireslayer23 said:
A shotgun is better, there is no "best", for typical home invasions, a handgun can be adequate. I don't see an AR being that effective for situations that take place inside the home, especially in an urban or suburban area since you are accountable for every round fired.
Actually, the .223 has proven to be a remarkably effective round for urban environments, and penetrates less than most handgun rounds and magnum shotgun loads.
 

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This debate goes on constantly on all survival forums...never settled.
To the original question,yes if you're watching the Nawlins chaos go down then you aren't being paranoid thinking you might need a rifle.A rifle would be a good thing,now which one is the question that you need to decide.Research the options while you have the time,which may not be that much,and get one.
As far as shtf situations,I'm not worried about over penetration,as a matter of fact,I want as much penetration as I can get.
There's a difference between cover and concealment.
And don't think shtf can't come to a theatre near you.
Oh btw,I get sick of this racking a pump and scaring everybody off crap,what if your pump sound is answered by rifle fire?
 

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fireslayer23 said:
I seriously doubt any of us will ever have to fight our way to freedom and safety except by way of the voting booth.
I bet thats what lots of people in NO said about 2 weeks ago.
 

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shane45-1911 said:
Actually, the .223 has proven to be a remarkably effective round for urban environments, and penetrates less than most handgun rounds and magnum shotgun loads.
Care to address what happens when a .223 flies out a window?

Then tell me the effective range of 000 buck.
 
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