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Choosing Between the Short-barreled Rifle and Shotgun

Choosing Between the Short-barreled Rifle and Shotgun Image

Choosing between the short-barreled rifle and shotgun is a decision that you’ll have to make as a starter to firearm usage. Or you don’t have to be a starter anyway. Let’s see which to buy off you’re still on the fence regarding the duo.   

Understanding the Technical Differences

A short-barreled rifle is just what a rifle looks like, albeit that it has a shorter barrel. A rifle can be classified as an SBR (short-barreled rifle) when it has a barrel shorter or equal to 16 inches. This includes every firearm, from bolt-action rifles to semi-autos like AR-15s. And so you don’t get confused, the difference between an SBR and an AR pistol is that the latter has no stock. It cannot be fired from the shoulder like the former. 

A short-barreled shotgun, meanwhile, is like every shotgun that you know. It only has a shorter barrel. The NFA classifies shotguns that have less than 18” barrels as SBS (short-barreled shotgun). Note that these shotguns use stock and are fired from the shoulder. 

Advantages of the SBS

With self-defense being the focus, there are various reasons to opt for an SBS. 

For a start, the shells used by shotguns are relatively safer for home defense. This means you’re less likely to injure others around when you shoot at a criminal in your home. This is because most energies of the shells are dispersed upon impact. Unlike the SBR that can fire bullets that may penetrate a wall, the SBS cannot — or there is a much less risk of it happening.

Also, the SBS is more versatile. The spread is wider, and it can be tightened using various chokes if you wish. 

Advantages of the SBR

The SBR may well be the reason SMGs have become obsolete. The SBR comes with the maneuverability of the latter, similar magazine capacities, and a whole host of attachments usable on the latter. The fire rate is competitive, but that’s it. The SBR shoots rifle rounds and goes a longer range. Just as it goes further than the SMGs, the SBR goes much further than the SBS too. While it is clear no one chooses a short-barreled gun if they really care about range, the little advantage offered by the SBR cannot be ignored. 

Also, SBRs hold up to 30 rounds in their typical magazines, unlike the SBS that holds just 10. You can buy a larger magazine too, making it all merrier. I believe being able to fire many shots without stopping will be of great help should a home invasion ever occur. 

Choosing Between the Short-barreled Rifle and Shotgun — Final Decision

Before choosing between the short-barreled rifle and shotgun, you should know that they both have an advantage over long-barreled firearms: improved maneuverability. Length matters if you have to hold a firearm in close spaces. Longer firearms can be disturbing when moving through archways and doors. That’s that. The decision is yours to make. We’ve considered the upsides of both, so what’s your choice? Let us know below. 

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