The best of the worst

With regards to the post below on pistol gripped .410 shotguns for home defense, if my only choices for a home defense gun were between a Smith & Wesson M&P-22 (the .22 LR AR trainer) or a pistol gripped shotgun in any caliber, I would choose the M&P-22 every time. Assuming for the moment that those two types of guns (pistol gripped stockless shotguns and an the S&W) were my only choices, the .22 wins hands down for one big reason: only hits count. I’ve shot a ton of rounds though one of those, and if the balloon went up at midnight in my house, I’d much rather have a semi-auto .22 with 25 rounds in the mag than a 5 or 8 round shotgun that I can’t aim properly.

Sure, a .22 isn’t ideal, but a light, accurate, easy handling carbine with big ol’ mags that you can hit with in .22 makes a lot more sense than a shotgun that lacks a proper stock.


  1. Great point, Caleb. Even me who’s Home Defense regiment consists of caliber-war veterans .45 ACP and 12 Gauge #00 buck, I certainly have thought that my little Greenfield M60 (Marlin M60 with a longer magazine) with it’s 18 shot mag couldn’t be a HORRIBLE choice for an HD gun, given that it’s small and light and quiet to shoot (I’d imagine it would be hard to discharge more than a few rounds of my shotgun or .45 in the rooms of my house without getting SOME permanent hearing damage) and I can keep all those shots in a VERY small group as fast as I can pull the trigger.

    I wouldn’t even be going for TRIPLE TAPS I’d be going for “sprays” but I’d image the big mag and accuracy and fast follow-ups I could even engage multiple attackers before the tube went dry.

  2. The only real criteria I have is that the HD gun be something I have a decent amount of recent trigger time on or a close approximation of it..

    And that’s sort of what gets me about PGO shotguns: Unless you’re out there shooting them all the time you’re not going to have any real skills with them. There’s no “close approximation” to them. There’s no sharing of skills with other platforms. At least not to my knowledge. They don’t shoot like a pistol and they don’t exactly shoot like a shotgun or rifle either. They’re this weird-ass thing hardly anybody actually uses from what I can tell.

  3. I’ve had instructors of tactical handgun and rifle course both say that given the choice, they’d go for the rifle before anything else. And yes they understood the issues of overpenetration and how a hallway or doorway can be a restriction on getting the rifle into play. Still, they said they’d go for the rifle as the best round to stop the threat

  4. Sure……….25 rds of mayhem ricocheting about the home and neighborhood…..Come on get real!! Very irresponsible and actually not very well thought out.

    So you dont like a pistol grip on your shotgun. Dont make your query an either or. Ahhh if all I had was a fork or a butter knife to defend myself I would choose……

    A shotgun would be a superior choice in a HD situation for reasons that are and have been evaluated Ad infinitum.

    Then a carbine of moderate caliber. Certainly not a .22long……..Puhleeese….people are reading your blog now….turn up your game!

  5. As to a pistol griped .410? I have not heard to many reports of the Taurus Judge’s recoil resulting in the shooter getting whacked in their ‘Snot Locker’………..but still, is a .410 enough to confidently sweep a trench? Probably not.

    I’ve been using an Italian made Super Soaker Expressocappuccinolatte Mark IV with AC heater holdover rack as my primary HD. Pistol gripped!

  6. It’s an intellectual exercise, as in “if I were faced with choosing only a stone or a sturdy tree bough, my weapon would be…”

  7. “. . . a .410 enough to confidently sweep a trench? Probably not.”

    I think Caleb is just talking about protecting home and hearth, Ares. A .410 is a .40 caliber rifle with slugs. And 200+ pound apple and corn fed deer have been dropped with .410 slugs.

    Any long gun is a step ahead of a pistol in your bedroom. Rule #4 and all. I live close to downtown where the houses and are on top of each other (literally, terraced neighborhood) and will not be using any rifle or shotgun with slugs.

    In my profession, I have seen both .22lr rifles and .410 shotguns (deer slugs) produce one shot stops (the .22 was though a door). A .22lr and the .410 are not optimal, but if they are all I have, I’ll make them work.

  8. When I see someone using a PGO shotgun, I can’t help but form a raft of assumptions about them.

    Because I am polite and an adult, I keep these assumptions to myself, which allows us to remain friendly, but that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking them.

  9. I use an M&P15 for home defense. I live alone and there is no neighborhood. Shotguns are nice and all, but I prefer my carbine.

  10. When I see someone using a PGO shotgun, I can’t help but form a raft of assumptions about them.

    Whew. I thought I was the only one who did that. 🙂

  11. “When I see someone using a PGO shotgun, I can’t help but form a raft of assumptions about them.”

    Hmmm. I’m gonna guess that it is not that they are door breeching.

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