ideal home defense shotgun would consist of a short barreled model, 18-
to 22-inches, chambered for 12- or 20-gauge. Recommended action
would be pump or autoloader.
quality pump action shotguns offer a distinct advantage over autoloaders
in the sense that their operation tends to be mechanically reliable, even
under the worst of adverse conditions. They often represent the
best choice for a home defense application because they can be stored or
carried in a relatively safe condition: magazine loaded, chamber
empty, safety on, hammer down.
From this state the pump can be
brought to bear on an assailant very quickly. There is no sound in
the world quite as identifiable or as intimidating as the rhythmic
"click-click" of a pump action shotgun being racked.
Again, in a home defense situation, the gun owner is cautioned to secure
any loaded firearm, including a pump action shotgun, in a responsible
reliable, well made pump action shotgun can usually be purchased at a
cost less than a comparable quality handgun. Advantages of the
shotgun are threefold. There exists less danger of harming third
parties through walls in the event of an errant shot; the potential for
inflicting wound trauma to a criminal assailant is maximized, thus
halting a violent confrontation quickly; and it is easier to hit one's
attacker with a shotgun when compared to a
superior quality autoloader represents an acceptable alternative to the
pump. The action of the finer models tends to be flawless. As
with any autoloader, one must be careful after the initial shot not to
inadvertently discharge the firearm.
Practice unloading a cocked
autoloader with a shell in the chamber. Repeat the drill until it
becomes second nature. Naturally, do this routine in a safe place
to allow for the potential of accidental discharge. Always remember
the primary rules of safety, and never touch the
trigger until you are actually ready to shoot.
versatility, it is desirable to select a shotgun with a receiver
chambered for at least 3-inch Magnum shot shells. This receiver
will accommodate both 2-3/4-inch Standard and 3-inch Magnum shells, a
worthy feature in the event ammunition ever becomes scarce. The
"Super Magnum" receivers now available will function with
2-3/4-inch, 3-inch, and 3-1/2-inch shells interchangeably.
home defense, however, use 2-3/4-inch shells. The Magnum and Super
Magnum loadings offer little incremental benefit in this type of
application. Their tremendous recoil makes shooting uncomfortable for
many, a factor which inhibits follow up shot accuracy. For the
12-gauge, shoot Standard 2-3/4-inch, 00 buck. Shells for the
20-gauge should also be 2-3/4-inch Standard, loaded with #3 buck.
you might consider for a home defense shotgun include synthetic stock and
fore ends (standard on some models), pistol grips, rifle sights (on deer
barrels), bead sights (on field barrels), a sling (standard on some models), a means of securing
spare ammunition, and a method of illuminating the point of aim during
poor light conditions.
a means of keeping extra ammunition handy, bandoliers
are the best, shell holding
stocks are acceptable, and side saddle shell caddies may be the least
preferred due to their propensity to get in the way. You may wish
to attach an extended magazine to the shotgun as a means of
increasing ammunition holding capacity above factory standard.
These extensions are installed essentially without tools because they are
machined to mate with the existing tubular magazine once the end cap is
unscrewed. An extension can add up to five additional rounds of
capacity to the existing magazine, depending on shotgun make, model and
means of illumination is desirable. In defending one's residence,
especially at night, you need to be absolutely sure of the intent of any
intruder. Is this a criminal invasion of your home, or has one of
the older kids decided to make a surprise, unannounced visit? Could
it be a room mate who had car trouble? Tactical lights are
available which mount to the shotgun forearm, providing a means of
positively identifying any night time intruder. Such a light allows
hands free operation, in the event the worst has occurred and
lethal force must be brought to bear in the defense of one's life.