Home Defense Firearms

This is a most serious issue, especally in todays world of 'Sue The Victim' Lawers and the anti-gun lobby.

First off, you need to seriously assess your abilities...
Unless you take extensive training, target practice at least twice a month, and wade through the tons of paper work required, and hand gun probably isn't the best choice.
Most hand guns bought for home defense lie around unused until someone like a child or teenager finds them and starts playing with them.
One stastictic that I find interesting is that 90% of reported hand gun thefts were stolen during burgleries!
Unless you are going to take the training and put in the time at the range, a handgun is not the best choice for home defense.


The sound racking the slide on a pump shotgun alone will make most 'Bad Guys' jump out of a second story window!
I always leave the chamber of the shotgun empty. Not only does this make the shotgun much safer with the trigger lock on, but when it's time to use the shotgun, I get the biggest effect a pump shotgun has to offer, Racking the slide to chamber a round!
That sound alone will make a strong man wet himself!

Shotguns come in a lot of 'styles', but basics are basics, and there are some you should look for in a home defense gun.

1. Look for a name brand. Winchester, Remington, Mossburg, ect.
Winchester model 12 is one of the most popular shotguns ever made. Easy to operate, reliable and available everywhere.
Even the low end of the Remington line (the 'Model 870 Express') is very well suited to the role of home defense.
The same is true with the Mossburg line (the 'Model 500').

Stick with a 'Pump' style shotgun. Autoloaders are nice on a sunny day, but springs weaken, gas seals harden & crack, and you want to make damn sure the thing works after being in the closet or gun safe for three years...
There is a reason police and military use pump guns, and that reason is reliability.

2. Get a 'Slug' barrel.
Barrels ment for deer slugs usually are shorter (18" to 20") and have rifle type sights instead of the usual 'Bead' sights shotguns have.
As a bonus, all modern slug barrels will chamber 2-3/4" or 3" shells making ammo a non issue.
Make sure the barrel is a 'Smooth Bore' and not 'Rifled'. You do not need a rifled barrel for anything but longer range hunting, and rifled barrels usually increase the price by a good margin.
Shorter barrels make the shotgun more managable in confined spaces and the rifle sights make targeting a snap.

3. Ammo.
You need to put some thought into the type of ammunition you will be using in the home defense roll.
Deer Slugs, Double or Triple Zero (00 or 000) buckshot will penetrate doors, walls, roofs and all of the above, potentally injuring or killing innocent bystanders outside the house, or family members in other rooms inside the house.

'Light' loads, like the type ment for clay pigons will reduce much of this threat, but will still penetraite like a deer slug at point blank range.
The good point of small shot is it scatters and disapates when it hits something like a plaster wall.

There are 'Specal' home defense rounds available. Some have smaller powder charges, some use powdered steel or lead that readily dissipates with range (like when you miss) or when the load encounters an obstruction like a plaster wall.
I don't put much faith in these, but you can make up your own mind.

4. Size Of The Shotgun.
Shotguns are rated by the bore size of the barrel, and that size is refered to as 'Gauge'.
American 'Standard' (if there is such a thing...) Gauges are,(smallest to largest) .410, 28, 20, 16, 12, and 10.
Most hunters, police and military use 12 gauge, but I have much better luck bird and squrrel hunting with a 20 gauge. The 20 Ga. just has better ballistics.

5. Accessories.
A 'Must Have' accessory is a gun lock of some sort.
I recomend the type that covers the trigger and attaches to the wall. This holds the shotgun at the ready, but prevents unauthorized users from being able to remove or fire the shotgun.
(Remember that 90% of reported stolen guns were taken in burgleries)
With the shotgun attached to a wall inside of a bedroom closet, it's out of sight for childern and burglers, handy for those middle of the night emergencies, and inert even if it's found by an unauthorized user.

Firearms reports can and will cause cumilitive hearing damage!
You may not notice it when you are young, but you damn sure will pay the price when you get older!
A good set of ear plugs are manditory! And a good set of 'Ear Muffs' on top of those won't hurt anything...

Another excellent accessory for a home defense shotgun is a mounted flashlight.
You really don't want to be shooting in your own home when you really can't make out the target!
There are several types available, and I prefer the type that attaches to the pump slide.
The better ones are not cheap, but worth every penny when your family's lives are involved.

Think about an extra soft recoil pad...
You can't hit any target unless your eyes are open, and they are not likely to be open if you are anticipating heavy recoil (kick).
Soft silicone and gell filled recoil pads are about $20, and will make the recoil much more bearable.
Some of the overly macho types will make fun of them, but all the best marksmen use them, and that says alot!