Shotgun vs. Handgun for Personal Defense in the Home – Thunder Ranch

Choosing Your Home Defense Firearm | Thunder Ranch

Clint Smith, President and Director of Thunder Ranch training center, talks about why the comparative length of a handgun–when used properly–is insignificant to that of a shotgun and that length alone should not be a deterrent when choosing a firearm for home defense. Watch Thunder Ranch’s video on Shotgun vs Handgun for home defense scenarios. 


We want to give you a tip.  There is often a lot of discussion by people that you wouldn’t use a long gun for a first personal defense inside your home because of the length. 

I need to show you this so that you understand that there is a difference in length, but to properly use a pistol and a long gun properly, there’s probably only about a nominal four to six inches of difference on the guns. 

Rodger holds up a pump gun that’s long. Just got it back against the wall. We’re trying to prove to you what the length is.  So that would be the Mossberg 500 Thunder Ranch gun, then the over and under gun will come up and you can see its length in comparison. Again, his back is to the wall. What we’re all trying to do is give you a measurement.  

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I took a pistol and put it in a proper firing position so that it was forward. Now if they’ll move the guns up and down slightly you can see what’s going on as far as overall length, there is a difference, but is not nearly as much as people concern themselves with. 

Closing remarks from Clint Smith at Thunder Ranch

What I need for you to consider is that when you practice, practice these manipulations and it’s a very simple format. That is, addressing the issue with the length of the gun. I know that if I have six more inches of gun to work through a doorway, then you need to address that, but the idea that this is all very easily solved by only one question: 

If someone’s going to run across the bedroom at you, and they had a big knife, would you rather shoot at one time with a pistol or one-time with a shotgun?

Clint Smith, President and Director of
Thunder Ranch Training Center

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