Shotgun vs Rifle: What’s the Difference?

Did you know that half of all gun owners own multiple guns?

If you are one of those people who is always acquiring new firearms, you may have a lot of gun knowledge. But do you recognize all of the different firearms out there?

It never hurts to brush up on your gun knowledge, regardless of whether you have owned many firearms for a long time or are just getting started. There may be some overlap in the functions of a few weapons, most notably the shotgun and rifle. They are still distinctive in their own ways, though.

Are you are interested in knowing about the differences between a shotgun vs rifle? If so, this article is for you.

What Is a Shotgun: Pros and Cons

A shotgun is considered a close-quarter combat weapon. Like a rifle, a shotgun shoots a spread of pellets instead of one bullet. This allows the shotgunner to hit a target at a close range more quickly than a rifle.

If a target is moving, a shotgun can be more effective than a rifle because the pellets have a greater chance of hitting the target. Shotguns are also easier for non-experts because they are more forgiving than rifles.

The cons of a shotgun include that it is less effective at longer ranges than a rifle and that objects can deflect the pellets between the shotgun and the target.

What Is a Rifle: Pros and Cons

Rifles provide greater customization, increased ammo capacity, and improved accuracy. The extra powder gives the bullet more velocity and makes it more accurate over long distances.

Rifles are excellent for both mid and long-range hunting. However, using one takes two hands. So, a rifle might not be the greatest option if size and storage are essential considerations for your self-defense needs.

The Verdict: Which Is Better?

The main differences between shotguns and rifles are the projectile size and powder. Shotguns fire “shells” containing multiple pellets while rifles fire a single bullet. Shotguns are better for close-range shooting than rifles.

Rifles, on the other hand, have a higher recoil than shotguns. They have less muzzle rise than shotguns when fired, meaning the barrel rises less. This improves follow-up accuracy.

Though, shooters are shielded from gun recoil by recoil pads. These bolsters stop you from fouling a crucial second shot. A recoil pad might be beneficial if the recoil starts to hurt you.

Longer rifle barrels also lessen recoil, though a recoil pad might be beneficial if it starts to hurt you. Here is a complete guide on choosing the best recoil pads for you.

Overall, it really depends on what you’re hunting and how far it is. Use a shotgun if you’re close to large animals such as deer and bears. Use a rifle if your desired target is farther away from you. 

Know the Difference Between Shotgun vs Rifle

Ultimately, the better decision depends on your individual needs and preferences.

A shotgun may be the better choice if you need a weapon for home defense. A rifle is probably a better option if you’re looking for something to take out to the range and shoot targets. 

Take note of this shotgun vs rifle guide for your next gun purchase.

If that sounds right to you, then check out the rest of our blog for the best in firearm content. 



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