Friends can disagree — especially when it comes to guns and all things tactical.

After all, telling someone what type of gun they should buy is like telling someone what kind of shoes they should wear. We’re all different. What works for me might not work for you.

That said, my good friend AWR Hawkins recently released a video, in which he extolls the virtues of a shotgun for home defense.

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“ARs are precision weapons, especially with a red dot. A shotgun is powerful, but it is not precise. While nine rounds of 00 buckshot is a fight-stopping dose of lead, so are 5.56 rounds when they’re delivered exactly where they need to go. The bad guy will be just as dead.”

Good for AWR!

If he wants a shotgun when the SHTF, that’s his choice. He’s certainly not alone in his thinking. For more than 100 years, shotguns have dominated the home defense arena. However, in my humble opinion, there’s a better option available.

I prefer an AR for home defense, and here’s why:

Shotguns are heavy beasts — sometimes more than twice the weight of an AR, depending upon how they’re configured.

Lighter is faster — especially for follow-up shots, and that’s what gunfighting is all about — shooting bad guys multiple times, not just once. For me, swinging my 870 from target to target is like swinging a railroad tie, compared to my AR. The difference in weight is also very crucial for smaller shooters who may lack upper-body strength.

The recoil of a shotgun — especially with defensive rounds — can be daunting for some. This, too, affects follow up shots, and this, too, is exacerbated for smaller shooters.

Ammunition capacity is another factor. My fighting shotgun holds seven rounds, which is more than most. My AR holds 30 rounds, and I’m 99.99% sure that’s enough for most dire social dilemmas. If it isn’t, mag changes are quick. On the other hand, reloading a shotgun one round at a time is much slower, especially under stress.

Ergonomically, there’s no better weapon than an AR. It’s much easier to maneuver than a shotgun, and this is incredibly important for CQB. Its ergonomics also make an AR easier to retain if a bad guy tries to take it away.

ARs are precision weapons, especially with a red dot. A shotgun is powerful, but it is not precise. While nine rounds of 00 buckshot is a fight-stopping dose of lead, so are 5.56 rounds when they’re delivered exactly where they need to go. The bad guy will be just as dead.


My AR is simple: It has an EOTech, a Surefire light (on the left side), Magpul BUS and sling, and a tourniquet.

Selecting a home defense firearm is one of the most important decisions a gun owner will make, whether it’s a carbine, shotgun or handgun.

It, literally, means you are staking your life on the weapon, so choose wisely and spare no expense.

Once you’ve made your decision, please realize that you’re only half done. Now, you need to train, and that is just as important as choosing the right weapon.

As always, thanks for your time.

Lee