Like President Obama’s thinking on gay marriage, my views on the home defense shotgun have evolved. Despite owning all three of the Benelli shotguns shows above, I’m no longer convinced a scattergun should be a home-defender’s go-to firearm. Don’t get me wrong: a 12-guage shotgun loaded with 00 buck offers the best chance of a one-shot solution. We’re talking about a firearm that unleashes eight .33-caliber, 53.8-grain pellets, each packing about 172 foot/pounds of energy. That’s roughly equivalent to shooting eight rounds of.380 ACP at Mr. Bad Guy in one go. Yes, well, amongst the downsides . . .
A HD shotgun requires two hands – in a situation when you need a hand to open doors, grab kids, call 911, etc. Shotguns are easier to grab and deflect than pistols. Ammo capacity is limited. Safe storage (with practical access) is difficult. You’re less likely to practice with an HD shotgun than a pistol. Over-penetration is an issue. Reloading under stress is problematic. Handing a shotgun to a family member probably won’t be as effective as a quick pistol share. And one blast without ear pro will deafen you for life. I reckon my Benelli M4 is the gun for a defensive, waiting-for-the-cops position. Otherwise, a GLOCK 19 with night sights does bedside duty. Am I wrong?