Home Defense: Carbine vs Shotgun vs Pistol


Looked at the Kel-Tec's at one point because they fit the same niche as the SCR but the lack of reliability and poor quality control makes them not really a winner in terms of using for HD. It has been nice to hear some of the input on the issue though.


It depends on how Im feeling that day. Either 16" AR with some 75 gr GD's or 18" Shotty with some #1 buck. Pistol as secondary.
Bit of a thread necro but I've got a question for you all. After scrolling through I liked what I read but here's the problem what about those of us that live in the Democratic People's Republic of California? (moving won't be an option for another few years but believe me, it has been considered)

My options are: An 16" AR in a featureless configuration with 10rd mags, a Gauge that cannot have detachable mags , or a Service pistol also with 10rd mags.

Currently I have a mossberg loaded with 00 (can't get my hands on any #1 but I'm trying) with a sling, shellcard, and surefire light forend. I have enough experience with the shotty that I feel comfortable with it but the boss lady has much less trigger time and is often home alone at night due to my work schedule. If laws were different I'd buy her a 14" canned AR tomorrow but unfortunately that's not the case.
Any input is appreciated.

If you're comfortable with the shotgun, then that's what I'd go with. For your wife the Ruger is hard to beat, especially since it has almost the exact same controls as a 10/22. In our house the PCC is my wife's go to for when I'm on nights or if I have to go investigate a bump in the night with my pistol.

Speaking of the 10/22, from what I understand rimfire rifles can use standard capacity mags in CA. A 10/22 equipped with a good light, RDS, and a 30 rd. mag full of CCi Velocitor would be a very capable set up. Check out the mousegun Modcast for more info on the capabilities of .22lr.
6.8 SPC for me, hand built (by me) upper using Daniels Defense 16" 1:11 SPC II barrel, 110gr Black (VMax bullet). Performs similar to 110gr OTM, but shorter neck length and frags a little faster than OTM which is more barrier blind focused. It has demonstrated to not exit deer typically (usually penetrates both lungs and heart, gets caught in opposite side rib cage), but is quite devastating on internal organs. Shoots sub-moa with NO flyers.

Over on the 68forums, there's is a really interesting view one can get from hunting uses for deer in the 100-200 lbs range and hogs from 100lbs up to 300 lbs with that bullet. Although they tend to prefer 120gr SST more for deer because it typically exits (blood trail) and hogs because it uses a denser led alloy that does better on thick shoulder bones, it would seem that load is well suited to bad guys based on it's performance in mid-sized deer (that and it's the same bullet Hornady once sold in their 6.8 SPC TAP line).

I've found that training between my 5.56 and 6.8 uppers that practical speed is nearly the same, unless it's a gaming gun (like 3 gun, shooting mouse fart .223 loads), there's little difference in recoil / system weight, but notable advantage with full caliber projectiles shot to shot. It's about how fast it incapacitates for me rather than a question of lethality.

Cost of the "good stuff" is literally about the same between the two cartridges, but 5.56 is much cheaper for training due to mass cheap FMJ. 25rs for 6.8 spc mags vs. 28 rds for 5.56 mags in a standard sized mag (use Larry Vickers thumb nail rule for both calibers to facilitate admin reloads / reliability of feed).

Maybe that is overkill, but so is security film on my patio sliders, windows, reinforced door frames, alarm system etc. What is most valuable to me is my wife and children, so the more effective I am, the more likely I can keep them from harm. Wife runs a 8" barreled CZ Scorpion Evo 3 in 9mm, why? Because she can't effectively use an AR, so that's about as much gun as she can blend speed / accuracy at her skill level. 35rds of 90gr Leigh XD +P+.

My rifle caliber / load and handgun caliber / load choices are based off of the attached documents, that's just what I was able to find with the most substantiated testing / evidence beyond anecdotal end user accounts (which shouldn't be dismissed outright, but can't be the basis alone).


  • David Zhou 19394 Maintaining Overmatch.pdf
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  • Gary Roberts 2008 Report on Small Arms.pdf
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  • 9mm Luger +P+ 90gr. Xtreme Defender Solid Monolithic Self Defense Ammo.pdf
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  • 9mm Luger HoneyBadger™ _ Black Hills Ammunition.pdf
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  • 2016-17 JOINT BALLISTICS TEST Sanitized.pdf
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  • 2021 Ammunition charicteristics.pdf
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  • Hog Hunting - The Best AR-15 Calibers.pdf
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