Choosing a practical shotgun for home defense can be a matter of opinion. Some may say that the 30″ barrel of a Remington is better to have than a 18 inch KSG from Keltech. Both barrel sizes has its advantage and purpose. You be the judge of what you want to carry but we will cover some universal key points for you to consider when choosing a “home defense shotgun“.
In this segment, the article is not a product review of all the sporting or customized shotguns. Advance shotgun tactics will be covered below courtesy of GunSite video.
There are 10, 12, 16 and 20 gauges shotguns, but the one that most shooters uses is the 12 gauge. Widely popular due to the many buckshot choices for it. Word of warning 10 gauges recoil is extremely hard. For the female shooters in mind use a 20 gauge with a #3 buck (20 .25 caliber pellets) is just as effective for close quarter as a 12 gauge loaded with 00-buck, but with less recoil.
For anti-personnel defense pellets double ought buck OO is the choice. Each pellet is a .30 cal weighing around 52 ounces, usually 9 in a shell.
Having a short barrel is preferred for home defense, not to say that you couldn’t use the longer barrel shotgun. The shortest available is a 14 incher, depending on your state, the 18 inch may be the legal limit for short barrels. Its just easier to maneuver the shotgun around while clearing. Ten to twelve yards is considered a long shot, with 6 to 8 inches pattern circle can do plenty of damage.
Choke is a mechanism placed into the muzzle end of the barrel. This controls the size of the pattern of shots at certain range. A modified chokes works well with buckshot, can tightens patterns to increase the gun effective range or to increase the pattern.
For basic home defense there isn’t a need for any fancy laser, red-dot sighting system or even a ghost ring. The choice is yours, just remember most of home defense shooting is pretty much point shooting and doesn’t require precision.
A buttstock is needed, going for a sawed off is not ideal, you’re taking away the ability to point the gun as it was design for.
Flashlight may not be needed, but with a powerful light mounted on the gun can give you an advantage of seeing your target and blinding your adversary.
SureFire is a good system to use as it has been tested by most law enforcement and military, plus its simple to use.
House Clearing Tactics
Below is a video demonstrating how a single person clears a hallway and rooms with a shotgun, this may be a mockup of your house. The tactics of clearing are:
keeping barrel in
knowing your angles are important to adhere by
The more you practice with different layouts (availability) the more comfortable you’ll get at breaching these choke points while utilizing these tactics.
Paramount thing to remember is “Keep it Simple” and practice with your shotgun more often than just letting it sit there in your closet.