In this article I will explain the best type of shotgun and shotgun ammo to use for home defense and tips on employing the shotgun safely.
Things You'll Need
Shotguns come in several different gauge sizes (the dimension of the barrel that decides the size of the round). For home defense a 12 gauge shotgun is the best to use. One can be found through any licensed gun dealer or possibly found at a local pawnshop.
after choosing a business to buy your shotgun from you must now decide on what kind of 12 gauge to purchase. There are 4 items to look for in the case of home defense.
- Is it a pump action shotgun?
A single shot, or side by side is never a good bet for home defense because of the limited shot capacity if you miss your first or second shot. A semi-automatic shotgun is also not a good choice due to the increased size of the receiver it needs, making the gun longer and more unwieldy in tight spaces.
- Is the shotgun outfitted with a pistol grip?
This should be thought over carefully. for home defense I view the pistol grip as ideal as it significantly shortens the shotgun and makes it easier to control and fire from a hip fire stance as well as simplifying the aiming technique by simply pointing the gun like a finger and firing. however it does make it harder to control recoil with and less accurate at father ranges(not something likely to happen inside a house).
- How many rounds does the magazine contain?
Most shotguns can be equipped with an extender on the magazine tube that increases the capacity 2-4 rounds. something to be desired when you may not be aiming well due to the adrenaline and shock going through your system at 3am when it finally comes time to protect your family and property.
- Is the shotgun equipped with a lug barrel?
This is a important upgrade in my mind. the lug barrel is a much shorter, thicker, and heavier barrel then normal. it shortens the barrel by a good bit legally while allowing easier recoil control due to heaviness. Also although I never recommend it for home defense they are designed to shoot slugs with less barrel wear should the need ever arise.
whether purchasing from a dealer or pawnshop make sure you bring your drivers license with your current address and be sure that you do not have any kind of criminal or otherwise counterproductive record that prohibits you from owning a firearm. Next you will fill out about one page of paper work. After that is done be prepared to wait for about a half hour after agreeing on a weapon for the dealer/owner to call in your information to a hot line and make sure your record allows for the purchase. If everything checks out your free and clear to pay and leave with your new shotgun.
Now that you have your 12 gauge shotgun you need to buy your ammo. As I started to get into in step 2, you never want to use slugs for home defense. A slug can be extremely dangerous as it will go through walls and possibly injure family members as many as two rooms away. A 12 gauge shot shell containing approx 1 oz round pellets works extremely well as it will do a lot of damage at close range to a person but slows quickly once entering a wall posing much less risk to persons in another room. Another caution, Make sure you use low brass shells as high brass will shoot with a higher velocity then needed and once again increase risk to family members in adjacent rooms.
As with all firearms you need to practice and become familiar with your shotgun before using it in a real life scenario. always be aware of your target and its background and never shoot at anything before you have identified it. The last thing anyone wants is to accidentally shoot the family member who forgot their keys and so is crawling threw the window. be careful, be safe, and be aware.
Tips & Warnings
- Firearms are not toys and are never to be used as such, not even unloaded.