If a home defense shotgun is your preference for protection, consider this as a knowledge check to make a better decision.
In this article:
- The Sound of a Shotgun Makes Intruders Run
- Ammo and Penetration
- Immediate Incapacitation
- Short Barrels Are Better
- You Need a 12 Gauge
Home Defense Shotgun | Shotgun Realities and Myths
Must-Know Shotgun Home Defense Facts
A lot of gun owners choose a home defense shotgun compared to other defense firearms. Why? Because the shotgun is a proven close quarters weapon that packs a big punch.
If you're considering using a shotgun as your home defense weapon, these are some of the things you must know.
1. The Sound of a Shotgun Makes Intruders Run
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The shotgun pump makes people run away? False, the only time they will hear that is after a blast.
Taking an unloaded gun to a gunfight is not wise and the act of just pointing the gun at an intruder gets their attention.
2. Ammo and Penetration
Is the birdshot ammo recommendable for a home defense gun? Birdshot will still go through walls if you are close to them because it's just a wad of pellets.
If someone is hiding behind a wall or couch, you want to be able to shoot through them.
Some people say, “Oh, what about my kids?” Well if you're using a handgun it will go all the way through the house versus just a wall.
If you are actually worried about it, then use an AR-15. Use ball .223 ammo and it will break up sooner through your wall than other weapons.
3. Immediate Incapacitation
Another myth is when a person is shot with a shotgun, that person will be immediately incapacitated. NOT TRUE!
There are many cases where slugs or buckshot bounce off of human skulls.
Buckshot Definition: A shotgun ammunition with bigger pellets but has 9 to 12 pellets only inside its shell.
This is also true for .45s. Make sure your target has actually been hit and is incapacitated; don't leave it to chance. You can miss with a shotgun and any shot will spread at about an inch per yard.
This home defense weapon can miss, especially if you're very close to the target.
4. Short Barrels Are Better
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Another fallacy is you need a shortened barrel or special ammo to keep a tighter pattern. Answer? GET SLUGS.
You neuter the power of a shotgun when you shorten the barrel. Leave the shotgun alone, and let them do what they are designed to do.
If you want that tight pattern, use slugs, otherwise, let it do its thing. You can also use full power buckshot.
If you want low penetration and low recoil, it means you will get less penetration. The reason is they put less gunpowder in it but if you can shoot full power ammo, do it.
5. You Need a 12 Gauge
No, you do not need a 12 gauge. A 20-gauge tactical shotgun is still twice as powerful as a 44 magnum handgun.
Keep in mind that anyone who can shoot a 12-gauge can shoot a 20 gauge better. A 20-gauge is a great choice for a small-bodied male or female.
A great choice will be the Remington 870 youth model 20-gauge. It has a shorter stock, so it's easier to use in a gunfight.
Check out this video from OreGear for more information on shotguns for home defense:
The shotgun is an easy weapon to use that people of any age can learn. With it having such a prominent role in home defense across America, it comes with a lot of myth and fiction.
We want to clear up these fallacies so you are never put in a situation where you or a family member is in danger due to misinformation. Know how the shotgun operates and take advantage of its effectiveness in home defense.
Will you consider using a home defense shotgun? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 18, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.