Borepatch confesses he’s not in love with shotguns. He obviously thinks there’s some shame in that, so I thought I’d pitch in.
Me neither. Compared to rifles shotguns are heavy, kick more, and hold less ammo. As for ballistics I’m also not floored with them, and because of the weight of the payload and the fact that most shotguns use fast-burning powder more frequently found in pistols rather than rifles their recoil is PUNISHING with full-power loads.
As a new shooter I was lucky enough to know somebody who owned a Weatherby Rifle in .460 Weatherby Magnum, now this is one of the more powerful of the African Dangerous Game loads, and the Rifle was a safari gun, not a bench gun so while not feather-light, it wasn’t a gun you wouldn’t be able to lug across the veldt of Africa. It kicked, and was a challenge to shoot…but that rifle paled in comparison to a simple Winchester 12 Gage loaded with #00 Buckshot. Think about that for a second, the .460 a skilled hunter can kill an African Bull Elephant weighing in at maybe 8 tons at over 200 yards with a single shot….meanwhile that 12 Gauge #00 buck is typically deployed against white-tailed deer weighing in generally under 175lbs at ranges inside of 50 yards. Heck Zercool has hunted turkey with an 870 Magnum shooting 3.5″ shells holding 2oz of turkey shot, and that gun is downright unpleasant to shoot, and he’s using that against fucking BIRDS.
Meanwhile my FAL weighs about the same as my Mossberg 590 Trench gun, holds 20 rounds to the Mossy’s 8 (which is in a “High-capacity” extended magazine), and I can land shots on a man-sized silhouette at 100 yards offhand without really trying and using cheap steel-cased factory practice ammo. Also while skilled shotgunners can top off their magazines scary fast with practice, I can stuff a fresh box of 20 into my FAL at an unimpressive speed before they’ve managed to stuff 8 new shells into their tube.
As I said over at Borepatch’s place Overall If I’m in need, I’ll be reaching for a handgun to fight to my rifle, and if I ever need to leave my home in times of extreme danger I’ll grab my archaic SKS rifle before I bother to cart the Scatter-gun around.
Now that’s not to say that shotguns suck. Logistically they’re pretty awesome as in situations where an angry mob or home invaders needs to be fired upon, chances are they won’t be wearing body armor (even soft body armor rated for pistol shot will generally defeat buckshot) and they won’t be sticking around for you to run your tube dry, let alone wait for you to reload, and a solid hit with #00 buck generally is seen as one of the best one-shot-stoppers out there.
Still I just think a rifle runs better, so I’ll be sticking with that.