Take your twelve year old daughter or son, or your spouse...
Now stand them in front of a man-silhouette target placed 20 feet away. With your shotgun loaded with number #8, #6, or #2 shot, or buckshot... aim at the silhouette and tell me you're willing to take the shot at the 'bad man' holding your child or spouse hostage.
Using the same scenario, this time, use your MBR (Main Battle Rifle) or a pistol that you practice regularly with.
Get my point?
There are a great many scenarios making the rounds these days about what the future is going to be. Short of a Zombie-from-Mars invasion, most of them are not only frightening, they frighten. From Mad Max to the current crop of Jericho, theories run rampant, with good reason: none of us knows what will ensue. (Although we can rule out Martians, unless Mork decides to pay a visit.)
Being an 'original' Mad Max enthusiast (I saw it at a drive-in theater) , I empathise with this scenario, but do not prep for it in the truest sense. I do have a feeling this is very close to what will ensue eventually, minus the Lone Ranger Maximilian and the crazed biker horde.
With the tremendous influence of South of the Border drug gangs; with the ghetto-minded youth with 'nothing to live for but the group'; with the vast number of 'regular' people who did nothing to prepare, I feel this society is in for some very tumultuous days.
The question is: How do we prepare for this? What kind of guns will I need to protect 'me and mine'? Depending upon who one asks, the answer is quite often, "The best M-15 (.223 M-16 clone for civvy market) and a hundred magazines and 10,000 rounds of ammo". Or it could be, "You need a 12 gauge loaded with number 4 buckshot," or even, "You definitely must have an 'Uber-Gestalt-double-barreled Uzi-heat-seeking radar bazooka rounds loaded with thermo-nuclear individual stomping devices that never miss a barn wall sniper rifle."
Another train of advisers recommend every day hunting rifles and enough ammo to get through a protracted period- including reloading supplies- of hunting seasons that run throughout the year. (I fall into this group for the most part.)
Getting back to our loved one behind the bad guy...
When it comes to home defense, I have long questioned the advisability of the shotgun, regardless how wonderful a sound it makes chambering a round. (That story is so old it nearly makes me feel young.) And that is one reason I always question someone who advises it as being the 'ultimate home defense weapon'. Because, if one seriously looks at that weapon, it isn't. The slugs will shoot through several walls- go ahead: try it. So will a .223 or .9mm, so the question is really moot. If you add horsepower, the damage will be even worse.
But honestly: who cares if the damn round will go through four walls and trash the neighbor's car when our child's life is at stake? So going through walls is a stupid thing to worry about.
The pattern put out by the shotgun is something to consider, though. My advice is simply to think the 'shot' through before pulling it off.
But I am an advocate for handguns when it comes to interior defense or 'clearing' a room in my house. Actually, I advocate handguns for any defense needs at less than 15 yards. That's 45 feet. At that distance or less, with a handgun, I am certain I can hit what I aim at and not have to worry about wounding bystanders. I'd never try that with a shotgun- I've shot birds at closer distance and left myself with only a pair of wings to mount.
Back to long guns...
Does one really need an M-15 or M1-A1 or other kind of M-forgery MBR? (I love these weapons.) And, why does a person 'need' anything more in an auto weapon than such as an inexpensive SKS? Why won't the 'average/common/every man's' hunting rifle be fine?
Let's consider the MBR clones as M-15/M1 or any other semi-auto, clip fed, shoulder fired 'battle' rifle, including the SKS and AK.
Load the clip to the max- usually around 20 rounds, more with some such as AK's- and go to the range. (Or go to the range then load it.) Now shoot ten shots at a target at 100 yards. Nice group? Now shoot them fast...one-two-three without stop. What does the group look like now? Nice group?
Okay- now move the target to two hundred yards. Repeat with ten shots, then shoot one-two-three again, fast. Nice groups?
Move the target to three hundred yards. Now repeat. Nice groups?
I doubt it.
The single shots may well be on target, but you can bet the burst shots are so far off as to be missing the whole barn let alone the wall.
Unless you're well-versed in shooting long distances, that MBR M-15 is no better than the 'average' hunting rifle. Maybe not even as good if it's not in .308 or better caliber.
However, that M-15 will still be a good hunting rifle for short distances. The .308 caliber will be even better. So the gun does have merit. My point in this exercise is that the 'common average every day person' is not going to have enough experience with the MBR to utilise it's full potential. Don't discount it as a weapon, but think the possibilities through.
I can hear the wheels grinding now... "What if the horde is attacking and I don't have time to work a bolt action or reload a magazine?"
If they're that close, why not use a pistol?
Currently, the Springfield Armory XD series is the 'hot' item in handguns. The XD-M more so. From 9mm, .40 cal, to a .45 Colt Auto Pistol round, they're proven reliable and battle tested rounds. As are many of the semi-auto handguns on the market today. If the 'enemy' is that close, why not choose a more maneuverable, lighter weight, fast-to-action semi auto pistol? They may not hold 20 rounds, but 19 is close enough. Too, I'm willing to bet nearly anyone can reload a pistol faster than a rifle. Besides which, this is one weapon you can pack on your belt and no one is the wiser. Try that with any rifle or shotgun.
A real problem in purchasing the MBR-type weapons today is the availability: you're probably going to have a three to six month wait, same for the ammo to feed it, before you get it in your hands. So the question arises: do we have that long? How much time will anyone have to practice with the weapon? Will the order be cancelled due to governmental restrictions suddenly imposed? Will the ammo be restricted? Odds favor a common every day weapon in this sense.
Only one person should be telling anyone what kind of weapon to purchase: the buyer. Then buy only after considering what you expect to happen, what scenario do you see upon the horizon? How deep are your pockets? How necessary is a military type MBR to your arsenal?
However, one thing every one should be telling the purchaser is "practice practice practice". You will never get enough practice regardless which weapon you choose.
Just some food for thought.