Question of the Day: Why Doesn’t the Self-Defense Shotgun Get the Respect it Deserves?


“Nothing causes criminals to back off more hurriedly than does the presence of a shotgun,” gun guru John S. Farnham pronounced. “Shotguns scare people as do no other weapon.” And no wonder. When loaded with 00 buck or the new breed of self-defense shell, a shotgun is about as close to a “instant man stopper” as you can get. Even before all that sturm und drang, the sound of loading a pump action shotgun with that first shell should give pause to the most determined attacker. And yet cops are all swapping the scattergun’s combat distance devastation for “reach out and touch someone with a .22 (or ten)” AR. Millions of civilians have made the AR their “go-to” home defense gun. At the other end of the scale, a lot of fresh entrants into the world of concealed carry put their piece on the bedside table at night and call it good. Given their reliability and fearsome firepower, why have shotguns become the red-haired stepchild of armed home defense?