Don't Overlook the Shotgun

by
posted on March 9, 2012
wilson2015_fs.jpg (17)

Nowadays, it seems a lot of attention is focused on ARs as long guns for personal defense. While this is fine, citizens considering a long gun for home and personal defense should not overlook the shotgun. There are a number of reasons why the shotgun will fit the bill quite nicely as a defensive proposition.

Cost is certainly one of those considerations. Compared to other defensive firearms, shotguns are not all that expensive. This is especially true when you consider the variety of used shotguns available in virtually every gun shop. I recently bought two Remington Model 870 Police shotguns sold by a state prison system, and I can tell you a suitable defensive shotgun can be purchased for just a couple of hundred dollars. In addition, long-barreled sporting shotguns can have the barrels shortened by a gunsmith and will serve quite nicely. Your defensive shotgun does not have to have a synthetic stock, accessory rails and an extended magazine to do service protecting you and your family.

When ammunition is considered, nothing is quite as versatile as a defensive shotgun. It can be loaded with birdshot for use inside the home (to prevent over-penetration), various sizes of buckshot for use out to about 25 yards and slugs for use out to 100 yards. Of the two Remington 870 I use, the house gun is loaded with low-base shells with No. 6 shot, while my car gun is charged with high-velocity 00 buckshot—with slugs close at hand when needed.

When used at effective ranges, the shotgun delivers an impressive amount of energy to a target. A center hit with a 12 gauge, or even a 20 gauge, will generally take the fight out of the most determined criminal. It is the rare documented gunfight that involves more than three or four shots from a defensive shotgun. 

Unfortunately, too many folks think that all you have to do is point and shoot a shotgun to restore peace to the immediate area. Such is not the case. At close ranges—those most commonly encountered in gunfights—the payload from a shotgun is surprisingly tight, about the size of a fist. A shotgun has to be aimed to be effective, action movies notwithstanding. It is critical to practice with the defensive shotgun to know exactly what your chosen load does at a particular range.

So, while the shotgun may not be currently the most popular choice for defense, it should not be overlooked by serious defensive shooters. It is a relatively inexpensive and quite effective defense gun. And, in this day of economic troubles, that is something to consider.

Latest

handgun with bullets and magazine
handgun with bullets and magazine

Review: Tisas PX-9 Gen 2 Pistol

The Wonder Nine gets reimagined with a new 9 mm from SDS Imports.

Why We Need to Encourage New Shooters to Get Training

When we can, we need to tell the new shooter that they really need to learn to walk before they can run. And then we need to help them find the kind of training that will give them the basics of safe gun handling and marksmanship.

First Look: BulletSafe Vital Protection 3 Vest

The BulletSafe Vital Protection 3 (VP3) Vest is a new and significant addition to BulletSafe’s impressive collection of life-saving products.

AAC Suppressor Brand Relaunches

Advanced Armament Company (AAC), known as “The Silent Authority” and pioneering leader in firearm sound suppression since 1994, has restructured and relaunched.

Is the .357 Magnum the Best Option for Personal Defense?

Time and data have also unquestionably revealed that when compared to these semi-auto-pistol cartridges, the .357 Magnum does a better job at stopping bad guys.

First Look: Viridian Weapon Technologies HS1 Hand Stop Laser

Viridian Weapon Technologies is rolling out a game-changing hand stop laser, the HS1, which is now available with an infrared beam.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.