Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Single-Action Revolver Compared to a Shotgun for Home Defense

    I am a huge fan of old and replica firearms and was looking over the numerous single-action "cowboy" replicas offered for sale to collectors and target shooters. Few will recommended a single-action revolver regardless of caliber and quality for self-defense. I was thinking, is not a pump shotgun a single-action firearm? Would there really be much of a difference between a single-action revolver and a single-action long gun?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Single-Action Revolver Compared to a Shotgun for Home Defense

    I have no problem using my USFA Single Action Army as a home defense gun. Five rounds of .45 Colt is nothing to sneeze at. The only issue is reloading takes time, and focus. But, the analogy is pretty good in that a pump shotgun has to be manually cycled for each shot. I would feel well protected with either (or both).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Single-Action Revolver Compared to a Shotgun for Home Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by IamOzzy View Post
    I am a huge fan of old and replica firearms and was looking over the numerous single-action "cowboy" replicas offered for sale to collectors and target shooters. Few will recommended a single-action revolver regardless of caliber and quality for self-defense. I was thinking, is not a pump shotgun a single-action firearm? Would there really be much of a difference between a single-action revolver and a single-action long gun?
    For the most part you would not get that classic sound that causes the bad guy to run away in terror.
    Don't be an ass.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Single-Action Revolver Compared to a Shotgun for Home Defense

    The biggest factor -- always -- to consider when choosing a defensive weapon is your own proficiency with it.

    If you're an accomplished SASS shooter and can run your SA wheelguns as well or better than a semi-auto handgun (e.g. -- better accuracy and speed) then great. Use them if that's what you are most expert with.

    If you just really like SA wheelguns, but when you run your defensive practice drills you can't produce the same accuracy at speed as you can with other guns, DON'T use the SAA types for defensive uses.

    The same basic figuring applies to shotguns. What do you SHOOT best and fastest? Use a shot timer and find out for real which you can get on target fastest and hit with fastest, "mostest."

    A shotgun puts a pretty massive payload on target compared to any handgun, but you do have to hit what you're aiming at. Shotguns don't really spread much at home defense distances, so you can miss just as easily with one as with a handgun. Also, if you're considering a pump gun, do you practice a lot with them? Have you ever short-stroked one and jammed it up? How confident are you that you won't do that in the dire moment of need? A reliable semi-auto might be a better choice to take the "you factor" out of the equation.

    Consider your house and your defensive strategy. When you hole up in your safe area, do you have room to maneuver that shotgun? Would you be more able to react quickly and accurately with a handgun?

    ...

    You can have and enjoy any sort of cool guns you like, but don't consider putting them into your defensive plans unless they are THE GUN(s) that get you the fastest hits on target, period. Lethal force uses are not the time to enjoy your nifty old antique or unique fun gun. (Save them for plinking at the range.) When you need to shoot to save your life, use whatever gun you have proven to be YOUR most effective tool.
    --Sam

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Single-Action Revolver Compared to a Shotgun for Home Defense

    I recently got into the SAR (single action revolver) 'thing'. You will get different opinions here, but here is mine:

    I do carry and keep a SAR for self defense. I have other firearms that do other things, but I don't feel at a distinct disadvantage with my Ruger Super Blackhawk 3.75 inch barrel at my side.

    Just recently I had a 'condition orange, very close to red' situation that de-esculated thankfully and quickly. I had my Ruger Super Blackhawk at my side, and when my hand instinctively went to the plow handle and my thumb touched the thumb-break, I did not feel afterwards that I was 'under prepared' with a single action 44 caliber six gun.

    Become familiar with the platform, train with it, and know its limitations. That's with ANY gun. The benefits of the SAR are: 1)It can be had in VERY powerful handgun calibers. 44, 45LC, 454 casull, and even bigger. 2) It's very ergonomic. It points very naturally. 3) If you have one with a short barrel like mine, it carries BETTER than a double action revolver of the same size. The plow-handle and less metal in the grip frame and behind the cylinder actually make for a more packable piece. 4) There's no doubt, it's about the most American you can get when it comes to choosing a defense pistol.

    The limitations: 1)slow reload. Don't count on being able to reload in a fight. You MIGHT be able to top off the cylinder one or two cartridges at a time, but not much more than that. Get it done with six shots. 2) They tend to be bulkier than auto loaders. 3) having to cock the hammer for each shot MAY be a limitation on speed of fire.

    You can think of the SAR in the same way you think of the pump shotgun---having to 'chamber' the next round manually. Some folks think having a pump shotgun is a disadvantage when compared to the options of an AR, AK, or a semi-auto shotgun like a Saiga.

    Know the limitations, and fit the tool to the job. I think a SAR is a fine choice if it's an informed decision and proper mindset is taken.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Single-Action Revolver Compared to a Shotgun for Home Defense

    Most of the people that I know who own SAR's and like them are VERY good with them. From what I've seen and what I've read about high intensity situations where gunfire happens, the people who are very good at controlling their firearm WIN every time.

    My opinion, you hold a gunfight between a street punk with a high cap 9mm, and a guy who shoots SAS every weekend, the guy that shoots SAS is going to win unless he does something really stupid, or the other guy gets really lucky.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Single-Action Revolver Compared to a Shotgun for Home Defense

    My personal preference is to use a pistol for defense inside a residence. A pistol is easily manipulated with one hand, freeing your other hand to instruct your family where they should go.

    More importantly, you have better control over where the pistol projectile lands when compared to the lead shot of a shell. Unfortunately, many still prefer to load their home defense shotgun with 00 Buckshot. If you have ever seen what 00 Buckshot does when fired inside a newer house, it will be clear that it's not the best choice for home defense when there are others (Family, friend, pets, etc) in the house.

    Be proficient and comfortable with your pistol and use it with confidence!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Single-Action Revolver Compared to a Shotgun for Home Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Pilot321 View Post
    I have no problem using my USFA Single Action Army as a home defense gun. Five rounds of .45 Colt is nothing to sneeze at.
    5 rounds of 45 lc coming at you is downright terrifying!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Single-Action Revolver Compared to a Shotgun for Home Defense

    I keep a SAA style revolver loaded around the house - just in case. And I carry it away from home from time to time.

    The biggest issue is reload time. Fortunately though the vast majority of "shootouts" between non-LEO's and badguys has only 5-6 shots fired combined. However, there are those rare exceptions. The smart thing to do with a SAA, or any handgun for that matter, is to use it to get to a shotgun or rifle.

    When I do carry my Ruger Vaquero away from home, either my Winchester 94 Trapper (45 Colt also) or my Stag M4 is in my vehicle. ...unloaded of course per PA law.
    RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot, dregan, Frenchy, Fragger, ungawa, Mtn Jack, Grapeshot, R.W.J.

    Don't end up in my signature!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Single-Action Revolver Compared to a Shotgun for Home Defense

    I've always thought that a pump shotgun is a limited capibility for home defense.

    I mean, use what you are comfortable with. If you want to justify why the flintlock is your go-to HD tool, cool. A SA revolver is less capable than a pump shotgun, and a modern assault rifle is more capable than both put together. Regardless, individual training, comfort, and belief makes a big difference.

    Another big difference is what you think you will be defending your house from. I like an AR for HD, but if my home is assaulted by an armored vehicle, I would be fucked. The chances I will need an AT-4 for home defense are slim. In reality, a flintlock would be adequate for a large percentage of home defense situations. That's why it is the responsibility of the home owner to live and die by their choices.

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