12-Gauge Shotgun vs AR-15 for Personal Defense

At one time back in the day, inside most police cars were equipped with an M-870 shotgun. Then theres an odd ball patrolman with his AR-15 with .223 caliber. Which patrolman has the advantage?

The logic behind the usage of an AR stems from situations where a firearm needed for greater range than a shotgun.

So the debate begins, shotgun folks talk about having the knock down power to stop the fight with its 00 buck. AR’s with its high velocity and more firepower in terms of 20 rounds – 30 rounds magazine capacity.

Using either firearm we can make a perfect case as the weapon of choice to have for personal defense. In order for us to decide in an un-biased environment, a test should be conducted for validation. We can do this by pitting the two guns in a side by side shootout.

There needs to be a determination that each gun should be fired at the same target and at the same range. Because the idea is to ascertain some kind of combat effectiveness under stress, a time limit needs to be establish on each stage.

This test was based from Wiley Clapp test out on Gunsite where he had two Range Masters both skilled with the shotgun and AR go through this special course of fire. (Bill Murphy – shotgun and Vince Morgan – AR-15)

This course of fire were as follow:
A shooter armed with respective firearm would engage a silhouette at various ranges. First at 15 yards, then 25, 50, 75 and 100 yards. At the command of a whistle the shooter would have 3 seconds to fire off as many rounds as possible onto the target.

Results
Without looking at the facts but common firearm knowledge of the two weapons. Shotgun at close range would have more hits, but at greater range the carbine would have more.

Within the shooting circle it is understood using anything like a .73 caliber, soft lead hollow-base bullet weighing 437 grain, traveling 1,325 fps at 25 yards will pack a punch. This punch when hitting a torso will instantly stop the fight.

Another thing to note from the test was that both range masters were supplied with stock guns. If you didn’t know, stock shotguns does not come with rear sights. So obviously, the test resulted that the AR was dominant at greater range.

Another perspective or to implement, if you were to put on some Red Dot sights for the shotgun and check out the wider use of slugs. I’m willing to bet at intermediate ranges from 50 to 100 yards the shotgun would fare well. Which is perfect for personal defense, then again that’s our opinion whats yours? Let us know below in the comment section.

Sources: GunSite, Wiley Clapp, Bill Murphy, Vince Morgan

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July 11th, 2017 by