What is a good Maximum Effective Range for a Home Defense Shotgun?

There are many information compile on the internet about the maximum range of slugs and buckshots. The information are based on mathematical data as a gee whiz thing. What about for real-world maximum practical ranges? Yes, the idea of using that big equalizer to thwart the would be home robber is all good, but its a good idea to know the limitations.

Many facts on the load’s maximum range is useless to know in a home invasion scenario. But knowing the maximum effective range is important. Some factors includes the shotgun, load and the shooter’s ability (training experience).

Finding your Maximum Effective Range
The shotgun that you choose will differ, but what you should look for are compactness, handling and capacity. Look into a Mossberg or Remington. The buckshot rule of thumb to follow is “pattern spread 1 inch for every yard”. So at 40 yards the spread will be 45 inches with a couple of pellets in the vital zone. This would be your maximum range that you should consider.

The maximum practical range should be at 30 yards for home defense with buckshots. Sure there are some shotgun chokes that you can use that only spreads 15 inches at 30 yards. But the idea is that inside 10 yards which is the ideal home defense distances – is that we want the inch-per-cylinder spread.

What’s your home defense shotgun and loads?

Sources: Personal Defense, Shooting Illustrated, Jeff Johnston