Should I Get a Gun? Shotguns and Rifles

Mar 9, 2015


Mossberg 500 Pump Action 12 Gauge Shotgun

5. What kind of gun should I get? This is a question that I am asked frequently. I will typically answer by countering, “What kind of car should you buy?” There is no “one size fits all” firearm. There are a number of different considerations that must be thought through before someone purchases a car. Firearms have considerations of their own which we will discuss.

I am going to talk mainly to the person who is purchasing a firearm for home defense. For the person considering getting a Carry Permit and carrying the gun with them, there are different issues that will need to be explored. Please understand, I’m just sharing my opinions here. Granted, my opinion is backed by almost thirty years of carrying a gun everyday, as well as twenty years as a firearms instructor. Many people have strong views and opinions about which firearms are “best.” Take what I say and then do some research of your own. In this post I am going to talk about long guns: shotguns and rifles. In the next post, I will discuus handguns.

Shotguns– A pump shotgun is an excellent weapon for home defense. It provides devestating firepower at close range. The pump shotgun is fairly simple to operate but does require some regular practice to stay sharp with it. The biggest drawback to the shotgun is it’s recoil. The most popular caliber is the 12 gauge, but most women and, even a lot of guys are not going to enjoy the weapons kick. With a little practice, though, anyone can become proficient with the shotgun. If the recoil of the 12 gauge is too much, however, you might consider stepping down to a smaller caliber such as the 20 gauge, or even the .410 gauge. The shotgun pictured above is a Mossberg 12 guage. I carried one just like it for over 20 years in my police car. It is an excellent shotgun and you will not have to get a second mortgage on your house to buy it. Loaded with double 00 or number 4 buckshot, there are not many self-defense problems that the shotgun will not solve.


Colt AR-15 Sporter Rifle

Rifles– Rifles are incredible weapons. They are accurate and deliver a tremendous amount of firepower at both short and long distances. The one pictured above is an AR-15 and is the civilian version of the military’s M-16. I also carried one of these in my police car for many years and was glad to have it. In most cases, however, rifles are probably not the best choice for home defense. Their biggest drawback is that because they are so powerful, the potential is there for over-penetration. If you have to shoot inside your house, you don’t want your bullets punching through  multiple walls. They are great weapons and a lot of fun to shoot, but not my first choice for home defense. If an AR-15 is your pick to keep by the bed, I would reccomend getting soft tip bullets instead of military, full-metal jacket rounds. Soft point bullets are less likely to penetrate multiple walls of a house.

The next installment will focus on handguns…

Since I retired from the police department, my wife, Annie, and I have been serving the Lord in Curitiba, Brazil. We are training leaders and helping plant churches. Your tax-deductible gifts are helping us have an impact on so many people! Just click here to get involved. Obrigado!

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