Random thoughts on using shotgun for home defense

– saw someone on the web note that there is a difference between setup for a home defense shotgun (HDS) and a combat shotgun (CS). I fully agree. For example HDS is better used without a sling in most HD scenarios, so that it does not catch on something, while CS needs a sling so that operator can switch to a secondary arm without having to drop the CS on a ground. Sights needs better protection on a CS than on HDS (side “wings”) due to likely more severe conditions and a need to last longer since they can’t be easily replaced in a field. Ammo capacity needs to be larger on a CS since one more likely to encounter more foes in a combat cituation than in a typical HD case. HD can benefit from being “jury” friendly, while CS can be as aggressive looking as it needs to be. and so on…

– saw someone comment on the web how so many folks say that pump is much more reliable than a semi-auto shotgun, yet for concealed carry they use semi-auto pistols and not revolvers. Old myths die hard…

– another good comment I saw, was posted on a thread discussing pump vs semi-suto vs double barrel, 00 vs bird shot, etc, etc. The comment basically stated that a pump is a good HD choice, a semi-auto is a good choice, a .380 pistol is a decent choice, a sharp axe is fine, a dull axe is fine, a bat is OK… So don’t loose too much sleep choosing or advocating one over another. Get something that works and go from there.

– My setup for HD shotgun

Type: I dismissed a pump gun as inappropriate for me right away. I do not practice nearly enough to avoid short stroking or even remembering to pump under stress. I looked very closely at a double barrel due to simplicity/reliability/price/barrel length, but decided against it because:
— it can not be kept loaded with hammers down (I did not want to get the model with exposed hammers)
— none that I saw in my price category came with ejectors, which would be very important for quick reload under stress
— auto safety on reload (albeight easily disabled in most cases) did not appeal to me
— lack of rails or a rib makes installing after market sights expensive (requires gunsmith services) (edit on Feb 2, 2012 – now there are at least 2 double barrel shotguns that come with rails).

Btw, Stoeger coach double would be my choice if I had to get one.

I almost got a used over/under with ejectors that would solve some of the above issues. It is simple, reliable, small sized (after barrels are cut), but then I came across an amazing deal on a new semi-auto with 5 year warranty and good reputation. It’s a CZ model 712 Utility with syntetic stock, 20 in barrel, 41.5 overall length, ribbed barrel, 4+1 in 12ga, and 5 chokes.

– Accessories: sticking with models that have been in production for years or decades offers one the most variety in accessories: sights, flashlight mounts, sling options, stocks, etc. I hear that Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 top the list in this department. However, having bought a much less popular shotgun, I realized that with a little creativity I can do OK with generic accessories for what I need. If you want a highly customized gun, get a very popular model.

– Short barrel (20in or less) 12-20ga shotgun is a good univeral survival tool in a doomsday scenario. It is simple to operate, reliable (autos might require more frequent basic maintenance depending on the number of rounds shot), can be used for hunting small, medium, and large game on land, water, and in the air (from squarrels to geeze to bears (with 12ga slugs)), can be used for close range self defense with buck shot or medium range with slugs(out to 75-100 yards depending on ammo, sights, and your skills). Of course weight and size of the shotgun and the shells can be a drawback.

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