Alot of people are looking towards the shotgun as their “go to” home defense firearm and for good reason. A shotgun has alot going for it in a home defense situation ….. it’s simple to use, uses a highly effective round which is very versatile and just the look and sound of a shotgun is a very menacing thing, sometimes that alone can end an situation.
So it’s easy to see why alot of people choose to go this route. But what are some of the things you should look for in a home defense shotgun? Well the answer to that question varies depending on your personal situation …… things like the size and design of your home along with how close you are to other homes and how much property your home sits on are all things you’ll want to take into consideration since those things can have an affect on things like barrel length and what load your using.
All that being said there are some basics that I’ve found useful and a good place to start when choosing a good defensive shotgun.
First is barrel length. A good all around length for a defensive shotgun is about 20 inches or less. Now if your defensive situation involves you home sitting on a larger area of land that you’ll want to defend then you might go for a longer barrel but most people just looking for a defensive shotgun for in home use will find the shorter barrel just makes more sense.
Next you’ll want to make sure you comfortable with your stock setup. I’ve found that having a pistol grip makes more “tactical” style shooting easier. Now this doesn’t mean you should do away with your shoulder stock, in fact having a setup that uses a pistol grip and shoulder stock usually gives you the most control over the gun.
You’ll also want to make sure you have a reloading system in place somewhere on the weapon. Now what I mean by this is that you’ll want extra ammo somewhere on the gun. Some options for this are stock mounted shell carriers, side saddles shell carries that sit on the left hand side of the receiver and slings or bandoliers that hold several rounds of spare ammo.
Another things you’ll want to look into is getting a good mount and flashlight on your shotgun since just as with any defensive weapon you never know what time of day or night it will be when you need to use your weapon.
You’ll notice that two things that you might otherwise think I’d mention were left out ……. those being choice of Gauge and what particular Brand to look at. The reason those were left out is because I feel they are less of a necessary factor and more of a personal choice.
The question of gauge really comes down to preference and choosing shotgun loads that compliment your weapon in a defensive situation …. an example would be that if your shotgun is a .410 gauge then I’d definitely recommend using proper defensive ammo as opposed to bird shot, whereas in 12 gauge many times birdshot might be enough to take care of the situation.
As far as brand goes …… a shotgun is a shotgun and its petty hard to screw it up, especially if its not a semi-auto. So go for the model and brand you prefer.
So those are the basics as I see them. Choosing a shotgun doesn’t have to be too complicated and usually doesn’t have to require too much of an investment, just remember to choose wisely.