Long Guns Not Too Long for Home Defense

When you're in a shooting stance, a shotgun doesn't actually extend much farther from your body than a handgun.

We told you earlier in the week about Remington's new TAC-14 non-NFA shotgun in 20 gauge, a short-barreled smoothbore that is geared toward home defense. With Mossberg also introducing a similar design in the 590 Shockwave this year, it seems to be the beginning of a trend, and a way to address the problem of using a long gun for self-defense inside the home. But is it really as big a problem as some make it out to be?

The common mode of thought is that a long gun, with a decently sized barrel and stock, is too cumbersome for the average person to effectively wield in a close-quarters situation.

In the video above, Clint Smith, President and Director of Thunder Ranch training center, provides a quick demonstration that shows how far out a shotgun extends from a shooter’s body compared to a handgun. Surprisingly, it’s not all that different, with a variation of only a few inches or so.

“To properly use a pistol and to use a long gun properly, there’s probably only about a nominal four to six inches of difference on the gun,” Smith says in the video. “There is a bit of a difference, but not nearly as much as people concern themselves with.”

Smith does address the fact that, in a situation where you have to clear rooms in your home, getting through a doorway and checking corners is a bit different with a long gun than a pistol, but it’s not a deal breaker.

“If i have six more inches of gun to work through a doorway, I have to address that,” he says.

The bottom line is that long guns (as long as they aren’t too long—your 26” barrel duck gun probably isn’t a great choice) are perfectly adequate for home defense, and can be worth the extra practice when it comes to wielding them correctly in confined spaces.

Like Smith says in the video, you have to ask yourself:

“If someone is going to run across the bedroom at you and they have a big knife, would you rather shoot him one time with a pistol, or one time with a shotgun?”