Originally Posted by MarkJ
Did I ever tell you that I have played with the odd shotgun as well as some nice sub machine guns and propper machine guns.........
a 12GA shotgun.... is a serious mismatch against an AK 47
So you guys think thundering away with a rabbit blaster will worry some Somali firing mags of 30 rounds at 600 rounds per minuite at 300 meters(328 yards)?
The US Marines say a 12 GA that they use: Maximum effective range: 50 yards (45.7 meters) with "00" buckshot load
Marine Corps Fact File - 12 Gauge Shotgun
You'll be laughed out of Africa.
Both Mark's and Saltseasailor are right on the money
. And Celestialsailor, things do not have to go sideways if people stick to the points at hand and to the assumptions and rationale that drive that assumption.
In other words, genuine curiosity steeped in respect, driven by the desire to learn rather than the desire to squash usually can trump bad manners and be the oil
that can allow any debate to move forward.
The shotgun has a mystical allure for many homeowners -- and of course that allure generalizes to owning shotguns on boats. We treat the boat we own as an extension of our home. All the mental schematics that go along with home defense are naturally going to find their way into our assumptive thinking about self-defense at sea. I know that many of you have spent a lifetime learning
the needs and wants and behaviors of the sea. And you adapt accordingly. However, defensive posturing at home or at sea is a rare event, and I think it is a harder to prepare for the rare event when it occurs in an unfamiliar environment
I do not have much water
experience, but self-defense on a boat has to be different than self defense at home. There are different gun laws by states and different types of defense. Fundamentally, determining the response to a threat in or close to your home has to be different than it is at sea. For example, if someone brandishes an AK-47 at your home from the sidewalk, you are likely not going to shoot the person. And if he does shoot, odds are you will take cover, call for help, or maybe even leave through the backdoor. You shoot back and you are instantly responsible for where your bullet lands. Additionally, proving that your life as in danger
will be hard given the sheer number of escape options open to you.
One of the reasons many homeowners opt for the shotgun is that its ballistics lend itself to controlled close encounters. Conversely, a round from a bolt action rifle or from an AK 47 or an AR 15 has a much better chance of penetrating the body of the assailant -- as well as the wall behind him and likely enter someone else's wall across the way. And of course there is a purely hormone driven assumption fueled by the media and internet
chartrooms inherent in the shotgun: You hear an intruder in your home and your ratchet your shotgun and then revel in how the sound from a shell being chambered will make weak-kneed your opponent. Personally, I do not subscribe to the strategy of deterrence by acoustic displays of testosterone.
As I look around my cabin
, I know intuitively that if I have to reach for my shotgun to repel an intruder it is all over. Game
done. It is too late. Saltseasailor is correct: if I manage to get a shell fired, given the enclosed space -- which is totally unlike the acoustics in a house in an open room, I will blow my ear drums out. And if you have your loved ones with you, you will likely blow their ears out. And if you have young children
, the odds very high that they will suffer greatly. The pressure wave from a shotgun discharge will travel outwards no more than 2-8 feet in all directions and reflect off the numerous close walls and ceilings in your boat. Your ears and everyone else's will become oatmeal. And it is highly possible, depending on the severity of the reflected newton force pressure, you will sustain damage to your vestibular system. You might have a hard time walking or keeping your balance for some seconds after the blast. Look around your cabin
. The concussive force from that explosion has nowhere to go to dissipate. It will reflect back to you. For the home, I have always been a proponent of a shotgun/ pistol combination but I would never, ever bring a shotgun on board. I would not want that tool as an option for the reasons above and for those to follow. The only person who would survive the use of a shotgun would have to chuck his iPod and find an SSB
receiver that could be linked into a TTY receiver.
Mark is right in his own points: Use of shotgun against an AK 47 or an AR 15 is a lost
cause. It is simply either a case of your silly ignorance or using the only tool you have handy. You are by analogy bringing a knife to a rifle party. True, you can do exceptionally serious damage at close quarters, but it is highly unlikely you will get that close; moreover, you will damage your ability to fight. I think it inaccurate to use the incident of the flare gun to justify the use of a shotgun as primary weapon for self-defense at sea. The skipper
used the flare gun cause he had too and because it was the only thing he had. He did not use the flaregun cause it was the best tool for the job. The skipper
did a good job at throwing "knives" at the pirates. And it worked, but that does not mean it was the best tool for the job. I do not know enough about firearms and the critcally important attendant ballistics to know what would have been the best tool for the job in that incident. I suspect it would have been a carbine or decent pistol. But I am not sure.
On a side, note, I would never bring an AR or an Ak on board -- but that is a different topic. I made my defense selection based on my analysis of the continuum of a threat. I believe I can respond accordingly and have the greatest range of options.
What I am sure is this: If boarders are either grappling or are on your boat, it is too late for a shotgun and if the encounter turns lethal inside your boat, and you use a shotgun you will destroy yours and others hearing and you will possibly loose the ability to remain standing for a few seconds. A pistol or a knife would be a far better choice inside a cabin. So Christian, I suggest you re-visit your earnestly held prejudice against handguns.
To me, a very important question I would like an answer to is this: At what point does a sailor decide that an external threat is a lethal threat? The point of determining a threat is easier on land and in your home. I do not think it is as easy at sea. At home, if someone comes up to your door or wall and either stays there or tries to get in, in our collective experience, we can safely say that person is a threat. But in the open sea -- or perhaps at port -- if a dinghy
comes up either slowly or at high speed, I would imagine we are not as sure about the level of threat.
That is the key: At what point would you determine to use lethal force? Based on that decision, it would seem easier to select which type of firearm you would keep on board. If you are going to use lethal force when fired upon, then make sure what you use can be effective in that general environment
. If fired upon at 50 yards, and you use a shotgun, well, I think that will get you killed. An AR or an AK can easily snipe you and sink your boat. You are fish
in a barrel. You likely cannot escape and you cannot return effective fire.
If as Seasaltsailor says "... you're the kind a person that will only shoot as a last resort (bad guys on your boat and kicking in the cabin door)" then I suggest NOT a shotgun, but learning
how to use a pistol or a machete. There is good reason why swords and machetes and knives have been used in close quarters for as long as humans have fought: They are effective tools. Look at the post on Guatemala
. Machetes are deadly in close encounters. They work.
Anyways..... PLEASE: My point is to carefully consider the whens and ifs of responding. What makes a threat worthy of lethal response? I think then you can make defensive preparations accordingly. You cannot bring a knife to a rifle party but it may not be in your survival interests to bring a rifle to knife party.
It is best to have a good understanding of when a threat is about to become lethal, then set the parameters for the party.