America loves rifles. Hell, we have been at war now for - what - sixteen years?!
Fourteen years ago, when many of the Youtube heroes were still waiting for their balls to drop, you couldn't have rifles. Then in 2004, President Bush allowed the 1994 Assault Rifle Ban to sunset. Suddenly, the floodgates opened and all those evil weapons we could not previously own were almost growing on trees. And since the rifle industry has always been better at marketing than the Fuddish shotgun industry, the shotgun began to be ignored, and the rifle - notably the M4 series - was favored.
But all weapons are tools, and tools have specific jobs they are designed for. You may love that new chrome plated craftsman hammer you got last Father's Day, but if you need to turn a screw, rather than drive a nail, it will not be the right tool regardless of your affection for it.
Recently we had a discussion on warriortalk about the use of shotguns for "riot survival". Good and timely topic in light of our modern state of the nation.
Lets look at life...daily life, and the dynamics of actual riots. I was in one back in '92, so I kinda know.
Unless you like living in the 'hood, right at riot ground zero, your goals are usually to get out, get away and go home. The circumstances of requiring rifle fire at distance will rarely be seen unless you have made it your business to suppress the rioters. (Something usually reserved for those on the public payroll).
Look at all the recent riots in the USA way back to 1992. Unless you elected to stay behind and guard your business (ever hear of insurance?), or it was happening at your front door (unless you are living in a blighted area, you will not have riots in front of your home) you probably left early...or left as things began to get ugly. I know in L.A. there was some expectation and understanding of what was likely to happen. If your situation involves some sort of Alamo Scenario, cool - grab the M4 and hold the line. But I suspect for most educated, insured, and prepared people, that scenario is unlikely.
So our conflict profile more likely involves getting to our ride, getting in, and driving away to our "white-privilege" neighborhood where rioting is not allowed by the well funded local police. Once at home, you have many options for riot defense, but usually they will be taken care of by the police agency you support with your taxes before it becomes a problem for you.
The danger areas begin with travel time to your vehicle. If you are not armed on the way to it, I urge haste.Next danger area involves driving away from the conflict. Understand this - A Tahoe at 25 mph beats the hell out of any firearm and ballistics discussion. But if the vehicle is trapped, and you must E&E on foot, the rifle will not be as much help as the shotgun.
People are far more inoculated to violence than a generation ago. The sight of a firearm will not frighten them. Nor will a shot. What will discourage them from pursuing you is blood and physical damage. More is better. It is a race to see who will reach critical violent mass first. The presence of the shotgun (aka battle axe) will offer you the ability to do that at a higher rate of speed than a rifle.
Limited range, limited penetration, less discriminate impact, often used to discount the shotgun used for rifle problems, is what makes it a huge asset in these types of events. One round of #4, which is what I favor in the Stakeout, will present 34 pellets at 1100 feet per second. That is 204 pellets delivered into the mass of tightly massed charging attackers in about three seconds (the amount of time it will take to fire all six rounds from the Stakeout).
Think about that for a moment.
I like rifles, but the rifle is only a tool. And the more I think of the modern paradigm of conflict, the more I see the tool that is the 12 ga shotgun as a better choice for urban escape and evasion...the "Get Home" weapon, for our times.