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Choosing a Home Defense Firearm

Choosing a Home Defense Firearm


What is the best choice for home defense? Is it a handgun or a long gun? If you choose a handgun, is a revolver or semiautomatic pistol best? If you choose a long gun, is a rifle or a shotgun best? That is a difficult question to answer, it depends on your experience level, living situation, local gun laws, and overall personal preference. No one firearm is necessarily the worst choice nor the end all be all choice. This section will look at some of the most popular options in each category and their pros and cons.


One of the most popular categories overall that is generally 50 state legal is the shotgun. The two most popular actions are pump and semiautomatic. These firearms are popular because they are easy to use, generally affordable and have a wide variety of ammunition available. Like with any tool there are things it does well and things it doesn’t do so well. For close quarters defense this is a great tool, it is powerful and devastating at close range. Some downsides are that shotguns are generally very limited in capacity, anywhere from 2 rounds to 7 rounds and takes time to load each individual round into the mag tube. The effectiveness of the shotgun can widely vary based on the type of ammunition chosen for example buckshot is much more likely to stop an threat than birdshot. For some a shotgun may be heavy and difficult to fire, and depending on ammunition choice recoil may be intimidating to a novice user. Two of the more popular models are the Mossberg 500 and the Remington 870.



In the long gun category another firearm that has been gaining a lot of traction for home defense over the last 16 years is the AR 15. The AR 15 is popular for a large variety of reasons. One of the biggest reasons for its popularity is that it is very easy to shoot and handle, and is a good option for novice users as it is light, ergonomic, and has very low felt recoil. The AR 15 is good in that is is light, has light recoil, can be adjusted to different sized users, has varying magazine capacity that can be as high or low as the user desires or is able to have based on local regulation. The AR 15 can also be fitted with accessories to help the user better identify their target such as lights, lasers and optics. Some of the downsides of the AR 15 are that it is often regulated in various states and localities, and in tighter quarters such as an apartment building a missed shot in a self defense situation carries risk as AR 15 rounds as well as other rifle caliber rounds tend to penetrate drywall which can put others in the home or adjoining apartments at risk.  There is no one set type of AR 15 that is more popular than the other there are dozens of brands as well as home builds, it is generally determined by budget.



In the handgun category the semiautomatic pistol is the most popular. They are popular because they are semiautomatic and generally have a higher capacity than revolvers. They come in multiple calibers depending on preference. Handgun are good because they are smaller than long guns and can maneuvered easier inside tight places like hallways. Ammo type can effect effectiveness of the handgun for example full metal jacket rounds often can pass through the attacker with risk of penetrating walls hitting unintended persons. Another round that makes the semiautomatic handgun more effective is the hollow point. These rounds expand on impact doing more damage to the attacker, and mitigate the risk of over penetration. The downside to the semiautomatic handgun for some shooters is recoil mitigation. There are some that believe the bigger the handgun caliber the more effective the weapon, however if that logic is followed then a shooter may be limited by shooting ability. Another train of thought is that shot placement is more important than caliber size. Either way training is key to effectively using the semiautomatic handgun for self defense. These firearms come in many different sizes to fit different shooters. Some popular semi automatic handguns are the Glock 19, Sig P365, and the Smith & Wesson Shield.



The last category on our list is the revolver. This is probably one of the more controversial firearms. It has very obvious pros and cons attributed to it that are the basis of the debate surrounding using a revolver for self defense. First revolvers come in a variety of calibers like their semiautomatic cousins, as well as many different sizes for different shooters. There are fewer moving parts which some say make them more reliable, while others say that when they have a malfunction they are much more difficult to address quickly which can be esspecially problematic if you are in a dangerous situation. The biggest con to the revolver is the capacity will always be limited, and becomes more limited the larger the round you choose is. Whereas with semiautomatic handguns you can generally get extended magazines to add a little more capacity. One of the pros of a revolver is they are safe, they have a double action trigger which is has a heavier pull and generally makes for safer carrying though we always suggest that the 4 rules of gun safety are always followed at all times regardless how safe you feel with your firearm. The heavy double action trigger though comes as a pro as it makes the firearm a little bit safer can also be seen as a con by some as it takes a little more practice to become proficient with a heavier trigger.  Some of the more popular revolver brands are Ruger, Taurus, and Smith and Wesson.

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SlapShot Minis – Coming Soon

Increased speeds and increased capacity! The SlapShot mini contains our full bore 12ga hollow-point slug we have all come to love out of our top performing LA-72, but now more compact! This new round will allow increased capacity in your shotgun and still provide top of the line performance!

Features and Info:
Gauge: 12
Recommended Barrel: Fully rifled (accuracy decreases in smooth bore)
Range: Personal Defense ranges (10-30 yards provides best performance)
Slug Weight: 72grains
Overall Weight: 222.5 grains
Overall Length: 1.6″
Magazine Compatible: No
Controlled penetration: Yes
Velocity: 2700 Feet per second

What to know before you buy minis:

Cycling: There are a few things to know about minis, most shotguns are not designed to shoot short shotgun shells. There are a few brands that do well in this regards, Browning and Kel Tec seem to have the upper hand in cycling minis. However there are companies that are working to make adapters to easily place on your firearm which would allow it to properly cycle the minis.

Adapters: SlapShot is working with a company called OpSol out of Texas that has already made an adapter for Mossberg 500, 590, 590A1, and Maverick 88 model. The current OPSol adapter is a bit large for cycling SlapShot Minis currently. But the OPSol team has come up with some great alternatives that have so far tested promisingly.

Racking (ejecting and loading): Something to note about shooting minis is you cannot be afraid to rack your shotgun. If you are pausing, even with the adapter, to check how the ammo is loading into the ramp it risks the possibility of the round rocking back and misaligning with the tube feed, then you will have to remove the shell from the chamber and rack in a new round. In the video below of the minis test with the OPSol adapter you can see we almost had this happen twice as I checked the rounds while racking them in our live demo.


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Elevating the Shotgun – Making your shotgun SlapShot ready

SlapShot ammunition is designed to elevate the performance of the shotgun. Our current 12 gauge  ammunition is designed for hunting, personal defense and professional applications. This article will show how inexpensive and simple it is to build a rifled tactical shotgun, or how economical it is to buy a shotgun with a rifled barrel to shoot SlapShot USA’s high performance shotgun ammunition.

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Increasing Capabilities with MAPX – Mechanically Adaptable Projectile

The SlapShot MAPX is patent pending technology that allows for mechanical adaptation of a round of ammunition to a desired tactical application. Dependent on the “X” variable of the Mechanically Adaptable Projectile you achieve different ballistic performance (see D1,D2,D3, and D4). The question of why or when an adaptation is done is a tactical question, but how an adaptation is done and what the adaptation achieves is a question of capability. MAPX live adaptation is a capability. Mechanical Adaptable Projectiles are a capability. SlapShot USA is providing increased capability and increased effectiveness, the user is responsible for tactics.

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The Firearm Blog – SlapShot USA High Velocity Shot

[Article written by Hrachya H,]

SlapShot USA's New High Velocity Buckshot Loads (2,800 fps) (21)

SlapShot USA develops shotgun loads for short-range defensive use. Their ammunition is loaded with very lightweight (for the gauge) projectiles that travel at extremely high muzzle velocities resulting in devastating terminal performance at close ranges. For example, their 12 gauge 193-grain Precision Home Defense (PHD) slugs, which we talked about earlier, reach a muzzle velocity of 3,000 fps. Recently, the company came up with a 12 gauge high-velocity buckshot load that throws 9 pellets of special single aught (#0) buckshot at a muzzle velocity of 2,800 fps.

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Precision Home Defense Prototype Test

Precision Home Defense Prototype Test

(threat body armor penetration)

Fired one 3957 FPS, 110 grain, .73 caliber projectile at type 3A armor protecting a human spine analog. The Kevlar® was attached to a one-gallon jug of ballistic gel. The bottle of gel contained a poplar dowel approximately 1 inch in diameter.

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SlapShot ammo vs cow head testing

SlapShots testing team decided to serve the curiosity of our customers and followers. Our Precision Home Defense (PHD) ammunition is designed for controlled penetration home defense. While our ammunition is designed for the purpose of self defense we have gotten several inquiries about the performance in relation to animals.  It is time to see exactly how the results from our ballistics gel compare to that of a multi-medium target. WARNING ⚠️ Some of the follow images/videos are not for the queasy and weak of heart! 

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SlapShot USA: Shot Talk

SlapShot USA Non-Toxic Shot

SlapShot USA is constantly seeking non toxic materials to use in projectiles. Although our primary focus is on ammunition for defense and professional services, we have been experimenting with sporting munition and applying what we know to that industry. We have looked at typical steel materials which are widely available, tungsten, red metals, and of course lead. The industry has provided us with a variety of shot options that basically are light and hard, heavy and hard, heavy and soft. SlapShot USA has learned to make projectiles fly fast so we like to work with what we know.
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Building The SlapShot Razor

Building The SlapShot Razor

(In a nut shell)The 12 gauge Razor shell utilizes a 118 grain two stage projectile. This shell, like other SlapShot ammunition benefits from Mechanically Adaptable Projectile technology and proprietary manufacturing techniques. The two stage projectile creates a massive initial crush cavity (stage 1) and a secondary wound channel that penetrates deep into the target (stage 2). The Razor is designed as a defensive and professional services munition that is fired from a fully rifled shotgun. The Razor posted an average velocity of 3102 FPS and held super sonic speeds well beyond 50 yards. Although it is potentially lethal beyond 100 yards, it is optimized for engagements within 50 yards.  SlapShot USA will also produce 20 gauge and .45 caliber Razor ammunition. These will be more suitable for extended ranges.

Razor ammunition uses a two stage projectile which means it has increased penetration over our Precision Home Defense ammunition. Upon impact it will rapidly release energy causing significant hydraulic reaction. The mechanical reaction upon impact releases the 41 grain, .25 caliber Interchangeable Component (IC) which continues into or through the target. Read on for full details on our two stage projectile. Continue reading Building The SlapShot Razor