A good question.

This question has more relevance for cities and suburbs, especially given the occasional social disruptions like the NOLA and London riots. Unlike shotguns, rifles can reach out and touch a looter with an incendiary device in hand without the defender having to leave cover and concealment. The same threat of long-range tag ought to keep riot police a little more restrained when dealing with peaceful, lawful locals.

(For the curious, this FAL was home-built on a Coonan receiver.)

Bayou Renaissance Man is of opinion that we will see much more unrest on a global scale very soon. While non-ballistic preparations are more likely to be helpful, a rifle or two per household can’t hurt…provided proper backstop discipline is observed. One advantage of shotguns used with buckshot is that neighbors are less likely to catch an errant bullet.

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17 Responses to A good question.

  1. Aaron Spuler says:

    “incendiary device in hand without the shoot having to leave” => “incendiary device in hand without the shooter having to leave”

  2. Patrick Cotton says:

    “The same threat of long-range tag ought to keep riot police a little more restrained when dealing with peaceful, lawful locals.”
    Some clarification on this line please.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      Riot cops would be motivated to avoid harming people just because they (the police) can if they have to worry about a possible sniper response. In many states, shooting cops who are committing a felony battery is a legitimate affirmative defense. Would cut down on the incidents like what happened in Oakland where uniformed thugs roughed up locals who were not in any way involved in rioting.

      Although Nashville PD deployed snipers of their own with that possibility in mind, they tended to behave themselves. Oakland PD had no such worries.

  3. Historian says:

    “Unlike shotguns, rifles can reach out and touch a looter with an incendiary device in hand without the defender having to leave cover and concealment. ”

    Ummm, how far can your rioters throw a molotov cocktail? A shotgun with slug and a low-power scope, ghost ring or red dot sight can hit a human-sized target at 75-100 yards no problem. That far further than anyone can throw a crude incendiary, with less risk of over-penetration and the versatility of buckshot, birdshot, whatever. And there’s few places in the acerage city where you can see much more than 100 yards, anyway.

    Don’t get me wrong: I wish I owned a modern rifle, and I think every American should know how to operate an modern military rifle (I only barely do). But I still think that for “civil unrest” in an urban or suburban setting, the shotgun is and will always be king.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      Shotguns aren’t adequate for precision shooting at 75-100m. Even rifled slug guns typically have 3MOA dispersion. They also have rather heavy recoil which discourages practice.

      And the scenario I’ve outlined doesn’t involve close-in defense, rather providing neighbors with enfilading fire. If somebody wants to burn out my neighbor and I am in the position to stop them from several houses over, I might want the ability to place the shot precisely and not worry about shot spread or destabilized slug hitting unintended targets.

  4. perspicuity says:

    how do they know to avoid his house?

    almost nobody local knows what i have or don’t have, and i like it that way…

    and hopefully, they never find out.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      One person provides a show of force. Others provide the backup necessary to do such a show of force safely.

    • Dee says:

      All he’s got to do is show himself with the rifle. After a few shots are fired, I’d be willing to bet that the word would spread and he would be given a wide berth.

      Texas House of Representatives member Suzanna Gratia-Hupp testified before Congress:
      “As far as these so-called assault weapons, you say that they don’t have any defense use. You tell that to the guy that I saw on a videotape of the L.A. riots, standing up on his rooftop protecting his property and his life from an entire mob with one of these so-called assault weapons. Tell me that he didn’t have a legitimate self-defense use”.

  5. Lanius says:

    Do hollowpoint hunting rounds overpenetrate in people?

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  8. darkknight9 says:

    I love my Coonan FAL!!!

  9. Will says:

    Problem with buckshot is it can be similar to emptying your pistols mag all at once. As someone once commented (Ayoob?) every round has a lawyer attached. That round of buckshot has 9+ balls flying downtown. Example: In San Jose, police fired multiple shots at someone. A ball from one of those rounds hit a brother officer at a distant intersection, killing him. That’s a major oops!

    In tactical shotgun classes, you learn to pattern your gun with buckshot and slugs, and buy it by the case to get the same lot#, to get consistent performance. Most people aren’t going to do this. Sometimes it’s not practical. This is one of the reasons a rifle tends to be a better choice if possible.

  10. Southerner says:

    Just remember, today’s buckshot runs from T (.20″) to Tri-Ball (.60″) and pattern tighter than most realize. Try 4 inch 40 yard patterns with Tri-Ball buckshot and better penetration in glass and metal than most conventional slug rounds.

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