WATCH: Close Quarters Shooting with AR-Style Rifle, 12-Gauge Shotgun

Mossberg 590M, a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun
AWR Hawkins/Instagram

AR-style rifles are so wildly popular that other types of long guns, such as shotguns, can end up overlooked or underestimated.

But after some side-by-side, close quarters shooting with an AR-style rifle and a pump shotgun, shooters can be quickly reminded how formidable a shotgun can be for self-defense.

Consider the Mossberg 590M, a pump-action 12-gauge with a detachable magazine. The magazines come in four configurations: 5-round, 10-round, 15-round, and 20-round (Yes, that means 20 shotgun shells ready to go).

We took a 590M to the range and shot it side-by-side with an AR-10, which is a .308 on an AR platform. The goal was not accuracy but a demonstration of the different impact the guns would have on a target at close range.

We fired five rounds from the .308 and made five pencil eraser-size holes in the target. We then fired five rounds from the Mossberg 590M and the close quarter impact was markedly different:

This is not meant to criticize any firearm. Rather, it is meant to show that a shotgun — the Mossberg 590M in this case — is superior to a rifle in close quarters.

Every gun has ideal applications, and it just so happens that the 590M is perfectly suited for close quarters self-defense.

In fact, a 590M loaded with 15 or 20 rounds of the Federal Premium Personal Defense Shot Shell in 00 Buck would bring peace of mind to any outdoorsman who spends lots of time isolated high in mountains or deep in the forest or camping by a stream. Trade the magazine of 00 Buck for one full of six or seven shot for home defense and you have 15 or 20 rounds of confidence sitting by the bed at night should intruders break through your front door.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


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