Previous Post
Next Post

Yada, yada, yada fleeing felon. “A few doors down, the suspect broke through a pedestrian garage door and into a young family’s home. The homeowner heard the commotion downstairs, went to investigate and struggled with the suspect inside the house as his wife and 18-month-old daughter hid upstairs. After the suspect entered the garage to steal a vehicle, the homeowner fired a shotgun twice at him, police said. The intruder died in the garage.” The story highlights a simple truth: the shotgun remains the ultimate crime stopper. What smooth bore would you bring to bear on a day when the bear’s chasing you? Is it your first line of defense or your last? [h/t Dan]

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. If you didn’t laugh during that video, you’re doing something wrong.

    My shotgun is within two steps of the front door, and it’s neither my first nor my last line of defense. It’s just in there somewhere. As I live on the second floor of a three story apartment building, overpenetration is a serious concern, so it’s extremely situational.

      • I can’t speak to 20 gauge at all. To be completely honest, I think I’m boned no matter what. I have regular wood frame construction on all six sides for walls, floor and ceiling. I have people above and below me, and I share walls on two and a half sides. The third side is the hallway, which has people on the opposite side, and the fourth (half) wall is my sliding glass door. I guess my shotgun really would be my last resort, because with that much surrounding me, there’s too much chance of collateral damage. The gun that’s in reach of me where I sit is my EDC P238 in .380, and I’m pretty certain that will stop in whoever it hits, or deflect considerably if it misses and hits a wall.

      • I’ll take a stab at this NW. If the loads are similer from both gauges you get the same muzzle velocity. A 12 ga. 2 and 3/4 inch field load of #6 shot is going to have the same muzle velocity as a 20 ga. 2 and 3/4 inch field load of #6 shot. Penetration of individual pellets would be roughly the same from both bores. The main difference is the number of pellets in both loads. The 12 bore is going to throw more shot than the 20 bore. The 12 bore starts to have the advantage with heavier loads. The longest 20 bore shell is 3 inches while the 12 bore has a 3 and 1/2 inch.

        At house ranges there is probably little to no difference in the 2 loads as far as hitting power and penetration goes.

        I once had the fun of going with a man that owned an old house that he donated to the local VFD for a training burn. We took a variety of shotguns and loads into the house and experimented shooting various walls and doors. Maybe a forensic scientist can tell you the difference in the damage caused by the different gauges used in that house, but it all looked much the same to me.

      • Got to go to a few wound ballistics seminars. Walls, windows, cars, dry wall, etc…
        The fastest, smallest pellet seemed to be the least problematic. The 5.7 out of a pistol barely penetrated gelatin after clothes. Averaged 1/4 inch. The best was bonded core stuff like gold dot.
        Mind you, this was handgun only. Duty carry stuff.

    • I feel the same way. I live on the end of an apartment building, so I have one neighbor. Two doors down are my daughter and grandson, so the 12-gauge wouldn’t normally be my first choice. The routine goes .45 ACP, 5.56, then shotgun. Subject to situational changes, of course.

      The 12-gauge is loaded with #4 buck, mixed 2 3/4 and 3-inch shells. I also have nail and flamethrower rounds in the shell carrier!

    • Oh geez. Reminds me of some high speed photo stuff from an UN named big gun maker of squirrel shots with a 22.250.
      Exploding squirrels!

  2. I would use my KSG bull pup 15 round 12 gauge pump .. 00 Buck in both tubes .. on a concrete floor you can juist bounce the buckshot off the floor and take out their legs, if they are behind something just shoot through it. With 15 rounds not much cover will suffice .. he he he ..

    • Something tells me you have never actually shot a real live firearm. This isn’t grand theft auto or call of duty. Purposely Ricocheting is extremely dangerous and unpredictable under the best of circumstances.

        • Interestingly enough, my best friend learned the technique of shooting into the floor of a “hallway” (whatever they call those on a ship) when he served on a destroyer many years ago. Of course, the floor and all walls were metal. I’m just sayin’.

        • Decks and Passageways … We were trained not to hug the bulkheads (walls for all you land lovers… 🙂 ) Bullets tend to slide down them. We’d stay low and just off the bulkheads…

        • Tis true! Standard Vessel warfare is to ricochet the pellets into the bad guys… learned this both as rapid response and VBSS when in the gulf…

        • @Sky: That’s lubbers, with a bb. 😉

          I was taught as well that off ‘crete an intentional ricochet can be a useful thing.

          With cannon, it’s called a grazing shot and the idea is to do as much damage as possible as it skips along for a couple hundred yards.

          With a shottie it’s a good means of non-lethal stop. Round stuff doesn’t behave like cylindrical pointy stuff, and a well-vectored “reflection” is the usual outcome.

          The effect is akin to that of a lowered power sawed-off fired from low. You’re guaranteed a whole lot of stop, but the likelihood of an eventual amputation is somewhat reduced from that associated with a direct hit.

          In a garage or shop — especially a commercial property — it’s often the best choice should you wish to stop but not kill.

          And irrespective of Internet tough-talk, a lot of us would rather just that — at least under some circumstances.

        • Thanks for squaring me away Russ… I may be more Lubber then Shellback these day’s…. Time to get back to my roots…

      • Granted, this method is fraught with possible negative consequences and probably should never be used off the square range as a demonstration. However, under extremely limited specific circumstances it can be a viable option. I saw it used twice in 32 years of LE. Once, a bank robber had run off the road into a wet grassy field and got stuck after a high-speed chase. He got behind his car and began firing at pursuing officers, two of which took him down by firing multiple buckshot loads at low angle into the wet grass in front of the vehicle, skipping them into his lower legs as he knelt down. In another case, a retired highway patrol trooper who had the beginnings of dementia started shooting at passing cars while standing in his large front yard out in the country, bringing out the posse. He was probably going for suicide by cop but the local sheriff, a long time friend, was there and didn’t want to kill him so he did the skip-it-off-the-grass-with-birdshot thing into his feet and ankles taking him down as well. In both cases, the background was known and the shots presented no danger there. Still, not recommended.

  3. I continue to be perfectly happy with my Mossberg 500 Persuader. 00 solves a multitude of problems. My family is behind me, you don’t want to be in front of me.

    • I have a Persuader. After a short while, I decided that the pistol grip was stupid and it didn’t do anything I couldn’t do just as well if not better with a stocked gun, so I put one on it.

      • Yep, I’ll second that. I went a different route and went with the LEO Telescoping Stock Adapter from Mesa Tactical. I already had a spare tube, stock, and castle nut. Ergos are now perfect. The pistol grip is pointless, unless you are breeching doors all day long, then….

      • I had a dual pistol grip setup on my 870.. for a short while. I think it shot it on two occasions, and it was just too punishing, and not that effective. I installed a recoil-reducing plastic stock. I can’t remember who makes it, and it doesn’t have a name or trademark on it. It works very, very well, though.

        If anybody knows who makes those, please let me know.

        • I have a Knoxx SpecOps wire folder (not the copstock) and I like it very much. However a friend said that it whacked him in the face pretty good. Not that I have really tried but I have been unable to replicate the phenomenon.

      • +1… It’s much harder to work the safety effectively when running a pistol grip on a 500/590. Fully vetted weapon though. I really like my Benelli M1 but I keep my Mossberg 590 loaded…

      • But Mike B. the 590 Mossberg is not good enough for the Marine Corps, that’s why they use the Benelli M4 Super 90 shotgun.

        BTW as a retired Marine my HD shotgun is a very close relative of my choice hunting shotgun the Browning BPS Upland Special.
        At home it’s a Browning BPS Defense with the factory full size magazine tube, standard tag safety, and both bottom feed / bottom eject.

        • I’m sorry! i thought the 590 was the MArine’s go to shotgun until fairly recently?
          I remember that being one of the selling points when i bought it when i was 18 (which was 18 years ago)
          my 590 was my VERY first firearm!

          (if it turns out it was the Army’s shotgun, i am going to be a tad embarrassed)

        • I was just in San Diego for meetings and my leadership team got a private tour of the USS Carl Vinson yesterday. The roving security team carried M9’s and Mossberg 590’s loaded with buck . . . .

        • No need to be embarrassed if you carry the Army’s shotgun, Mike B. The two branches have a lot of the same equipment. Back in 1970, I packed a M12 Winchester. That’s what my unit had and it worked just fine. The M2 .50 caliber machine gun is the Army’s heavy machine gun. I hope that doesn’t embarrass you as well.

        • As combat engineers in a Marine division (in 2011), one might think we’d be good candidates to get the new semi-auto shotgun. But no, we got beaten up Mossberg pumps that didn’t even have extended magazine tubes. Somewhere in between 500’s and 590’s, they had 20-inch barrels without bayonet lugs, and had metal trigger guards and safeties. The receivers were stamped “500MILS 12GA,” and we referred to them as M500’s. I’m sure some other units enjoyed their Benellis, but I never saw one.

          Now that I’m no longer active duty, I keep a Mossberg 590 under the bed.

    • The 590A1 is a good choice, that is what I use to protect my home. I use a mix of 00 and 000 buck. And since it has a speed feed stock I have 2 slug shells and 2 flechette shells as options. Backed up by a 45 and you got a mean combo.

  4. With a shotgun, there’s rarely a need for a “perfect” shotgun. To me, the best shotgun to have is whatever I have in my hands at the time. I really don’t care about specifics that much unless I’m shooting for score on clays.

    If you really want to fling shot downrange, then you’ll be best served with some very old guns, like the Winchester 1897 or Model 12, which have the ‘feature’ by which you can hold back the trigger and just cycle the slide. They’ll fire as soon as the bolt closes. You can shuck shells through them like crap through a goose.

    Or, you could go very classic and get into a side-by-side coach gun with dual triggers. Light off both barrels at once and if you’re on target, your work is pretty much done.

    • “Light off both barrels at once and if you’re on target, your work is pretty much done.” I think you meant to say: Light off both barrels at once and if you’re on target, your work is FREAKING OBLITERATED!

    • You’re just not with the program, sir. There’s always a new Perfect Gun which makes everything you owned obsolete. You absolutely HAVE TO BUY IT or you’re just not one of the Tacticool kids. At least, that’s what the gun magazines keep telling me.

      • Yea, yea, I know. I’m a heretic. I keep calling “BS” on most of the industry’s breathless developments.

      • Godfather, on this the day of your daughters wedding, I ask you for this, help me buy a new lupara, but ya’ know, a Zombie Stopper™ lupara with mini sidesaddle, not da old kind.

        • An that’s why we call her a little she-wolf! But the kid Georgio says to me “but, papa, can it kill Zombies?” An I smack him on da back of da head and tell him, “no, but it killed Lucca D’Nunzio, an he was real, so your papa is still alive, so stop reading those American websites already.”

      • Couldn’t agree more. The 1897 is the pinnacle of shotgun perfection. Not sure how only the second pump shotgun ever invented is the best one ever invented, but it is. I never saw a shotgun safety I would trust leaned against the wall day in and day out with a shell in the pipe, but with it’s hammer decocked my 1897 sits there peacefully, ready for anything that might come it’s way. Ever got your thumb stuck in the loading gate of a shotgun? Not on the ol’ 97. They figured out how to get all that crap out of the way for effortless loading, and you can easily see or feel if one is in there. The fact that anyone continued making new pump shotgun designs is absurdity.

        • Layne, I don’t believe your 97 is drop safe. If there’s a round in the chamber a good solid whack against the hammer can set it off. Counting on the half cock safety on an older gun like that isn’t a good idea either.

        • I agree the 1897 isn’t “drop safe.”

          But let’s look for a moment at actual unplanned discharge stats. The Glock is “drop safe” and then some.

          Yet, what particular pistol family garners the most press from plenty of unplanned discharges, even (as we saw this week) while sitting in a holster?

          Gaston’s plastic wunderpistolen.

          I don’t hear much about unplanned discharges from dropped weapons that much – unless we count the Glocks that someone tried to save before they hit the ground.

          This is one of those things like the Series 70 1911 not being “drop safe.” I suppose that’s correct, and under the exactly right circumstances, a Series 70 or GI 1911 could go off if dropped. In all the years I’ve been around 1911’s, I’ve never, ever heard of a GI or S-70 1911 going off from being dropped.

          In all the wonderful combat feature-ization of guns recently, we seem to have forgotten the #1 reason a gun fires, whether intentionally or not:

          Someone had their booger hook on the bang switch.

    • There are some much more modern Ithica guns that do the same shuck and fire job. On the other hand, with practice, trigger control and recoil management become one and the same. With good technique it’s possible to rock a pump gun so fast that it sounds like a tube dump from a semi. Essentially no discernible delay between rounds going out.

      That said, and though I’ve trained for it, I simply can’t imagine needing to dump shot shells that fast.

  5. I’m glad he specified it was a home made,wax slug he was shooting. I swear in one of the target closeups I saw a power pole with a transformer on it in the background. In a country farm setting like this appears to be tree lines are often cultivated to provide wind breaks and shade for houses. That transformer indicates a house nearby. Behind the target.

    And yes, I believe in the shotgun as the perfect Defensive weapon if you’re in your home and the bad guys are trying to enter.

    • It’s my position that an adequate shotgun (pump or semi, at least 7 rnds capacity) with reasonable ammunition (4buck, 000 00) is the queen of the battle space within it’s range. A sub gun is more versatile, and a MSR even more so, but within it’s limited reach the shotgun rules the space.

      Thinking specifically of HD, I can’t imagine needing more range that any shotgun provides, and while a sub gun might put a round or two on a BG dashing across a hall or doorway, a well timed shotgun blast will put as many as 36 but no less than 9 handgun caliber pellets on the target.

      There is a reason these weapons still have a place in the fight . . .devastating firepower.

        • -and so did General Smedley Butler, and he fairly proved it as well. The Brits and Malaysians did the same during the Malayan Emergency, fighting the communist Malayan National Liberation Front.

        • Che, pig that he was, also recommended shotguns for insurgents because shotgun ammo was often allowed in the market even when the government banned rifle ammo during insurgencies. But the Bolivians let him down, and he recorded in his notebooks a string of racial slurs against ‘native americans.’ And black people too, as he was later ‘let down’ in Africa. What a creep.

    • At about 2:10, to the right of Barbie? It’s along the camera’s line of sight, not the gun’s. And it seems to be at least 1/2 mile away (presuming a little 1/4 section field).

  6. Shhh. Be vewy vewy quiet. I’m a cwime stopper. Huh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh.

    The Vice Pwesident says to use a double bawwel shotgun, but I pwefer a pump action twelve gauge with 00 buckshot.

    • I’ll just say this about that:

      For the home defense gun that might sit for months or years loaded, quietly sitting under the bed, in a corner, etc, the “marine” (as in ocean-going, I’m not referring to the US Marines) style of shotgun can be quiet good. It will resist corrosion for a long time without service.

  7. I’m cheap on a gun that basically just sits there: Mossberg 500 “Maverick 88”. 8+1, simple bead (come on it’s for inside the house!) dead on reliable. 20″ cylinder bore (again, inside the house).

    I load mine with 4 rounds of 000, 2 00 and 2 slugs, all ammo 3″ magnum, described in the order they exit the gun.

    It just sits there, 25 rnd bandoleer slung over it’s muzzle, waiting for it’s day I guess. I’m to beat up to shoot it much, just a few dozen rounds a year, but though it patterns like a blunder buss it always goes bang. Hard to argue with a shotgun.

    • Same here, minus the slugs. Inexpensive, simple, reliable, and there when you need it. I’ve been surprisingly good experience with mine out in the field, too.

      • Maybe I should explain those slugs.

        My theory is that anything not stopped by 6 rounds of buckshot is either armored, covered, or out of range.

        I also practice ‘feeding the pig’ which is shoving rounds into the tube whenever possible after firing.

        My assumption is that even getting to the last two rounds means an emergency, and thus the slugs to deal with body armor, cover, or distance.

    • Every bad guy worth his salt (or not) knows the racheting sound of a pump shotgun. The sound alone will stop all but the most determined – or the stupidest – bad guy. And if he doesn’t stop, NO PROBLEM.

      Spell check doesn’t like “racheting”; screw Spell check!

      • Spell check doesn’t like “racheting”; screw Spell check!

        That’s weird.

        I wonder if it likes “racking”.

  8. I prefer an AR for home defense for a few reasons, but in the grand scheme of things half of something is better than all of nothing. Given that, I often joke to sales people that I already have a home security system made by Remington, the 870 line, series 12 gauge. Ifn cash wasn’t an issue, I’d like to move to a semi-auto, but but the good old pump gun hasn’t failed me yet.

  9. I have a 12ga Persuader w/ an Hogue 12″ L.O.P stock on it.
    I prefer #4 shot for inside the home although I do have some hard rubber 00 buck
    and mil grade 00 buck.

  10. Shotgun is the preferred primary, not just for me, but for my woman and our 12 year old. We have a 20 gauge for all 3 of us in mind for being able to use it. Federal #3 or #4 buckshot and Remington 5/8th oz. sluggers seem to work well for all of us to use and hit with it.

    • I’m the only one I foresee using my shotgun but even I’m daunted by the recoil of such a light gun (synthetic stocks, aluminum receiver and mag tube) when using the loads I pack it with. 3″ all, 000 00 and 1 oz slugs. My line of thinking though is that it’s virtually impossible for an experienced shot gunner to miss a man sized target at in-the-house ranges and thus my plan is for each shot to put as much energy on the target as the weapon is capable of, recoil be damned.

      • thats why i bought a heavier gun. my Benelli supernova weighs like, 8lbs.
        great for recoil management.
        great for use in arm strengthening workouts (unloaded of course).
        great for letting baddies know they entered the wrong house.

  11. I’m pretty partial to my 870 EXPRESS Tactical 12 gauge, with side saddle, MOE furniture, red dot, and sling. I keep her loaded with 3 inch 00 buckshot…

    It’s pretty much the perfect home defense firearm.

    If 13 rounds of buckshot won’t get it dead, nothing will.

    • In my youth we referred to the 97 winchester as the gun that killed at both ends. I never saw one with a recoil pad on it and that buttstock felt like it was designed to inflict pain when you touched one off.

        • Russ, we both like the mosin. But the comrades rifle has a solid 2-3 pound advantage weight wise over the 97. And recoil wise I don’t put the 54r in the same class as 12 bore. Have fun.

        • That was humor, sir. I have fired a ’97, and find the counterattack on the part of the weapon to be unpleasant but tolerable.

          I certainly won’t be shooting it for fun, but should I find myself ploughing the road (so to speak) fun will not be the object of the exercise.

      • On another note, anything that has a history that includes defenters shooting incoming grenades like skeet and frightening the Spandau-shooting Heinies into protesting its use is just what I want by my door.

        • + 10000 …. Except my wife is a Kraut, her passport is all red and funny looking. I keep my Heine, Kraut, Boche and Jerry comments to myself these days. Quite a shame really since many a beloved family member has perished bombing and burning her fatherland to rubble and killing in a most violent manner her countrymen.

        • I’m of (among other things) Russian descent, but found myself married to someone of Finnish descent.

          It’s a weird world.

    • I’ve always thought that the M1897 is the bee’s knees. Very utilitarian and mean looking, especially with that outrageously long bayonet fixed. I’d love to own an original trench gun, but I’ve never seen one available in any semblance of good condition.

      I’ll just settle for my old Winchester 1200 I bought off a retiring state trooper for $100. It sat in his cruiser for 25 years and never got used (supposedly).

  12. For home defense, I rotate between a Rem 870 Express Mag and a Mossberg 930 SPX. Both have 18″ barrels. I really like the Mossberg better, as it has 7 + 1 (+1 in a ghost load) capacity and its a semi auto. The 3 1/2″ chamber of the 870 is a long stroke. Either will be loaded with 00 buck on a rotational basis. They are locked in the safe next to the AR that is loaded and ready to go, also on a rotational basis (currently the 6.8 SPC). The Benelli SuperSport is for busting clays. I’d love to own a high quality over / under, but the budget prevents me.

    Since I’ve got kids, the handgun is either on me or in the nightstand.

  13. Ithaca 37 with Fiocchi low recoil rifled slugs with a couple of
    00 Buck backup rounds strapped to stock for variety.

  14. Dreamy First choice: A supressed 300 AAC BLK SBR PDW.
    Last Choice since I have one: One overpriced Remington 870 XCS Marine Magnum.

    • I’m not sure “suppressed” would be such a good idea. You want the police to show up. And you want the bad guys to know a gun just went off. If they really wanted to rob, rape and kill you, personally, no two ways about it (in no particular order) you won’t be any worse off. If they’re rational enough to be weighing what they want against what they’re going to have to pay to get it there’s a good chance the lines on that back-of-the-envelope microeconomic calculation won’t come together where they wanted them to and they’ll decide to treat the time spent as sunk costs and maximize their utility through location-discrimination.

      In English: “Holy S|-|!t, run!”

      • That’s kind’ve a tough call, though. Even suppressed it should be enough for close neighbors to hear, but you won’t be as shell-shocked by a blast in close quarters with no earpro.

        • Don’t take offense, but the purpose of contractions is the shorten a two-word phrase. “Kind’ve” is actually one character LONGER than “kind of”!

  15. We have two twelve gauges, a Benelli for my wife, a Mossberg 590 for me. Mine is loaded with Remington Solid Copper slug. Hers has the military issue stuff that’s an updated version of the “10 silver dimes” load. The whole point of a handgun in home defense is to deal with things long enough to get to the shotgun. We had an Ithaca, but it practically had to be disassembled if it was short-stroked.

    There’s also a 16g double-gun from my Cowboy Action days. But that’s not a primary weapon.

    • I’ve never quite understood people talking about pistols for their bed side guns, and then showing high dollar SIGs and HKs. Around these parts at least, a shotgun could be had for the fraction of the price of even a Glock or the cheaper Rugers and Tauri, and I’ve always felt that your pistol exists to get you to your rifle/shotgun.

      • My EAA Witness .45 ACP shoots like a dream, and cost less than $400 – about the cost of a good shotgun. I live alone, so I keep it in a holster, unchambered, within arm’s reach on the bed. I live alone, and if my grandson’s in my house, I either hide it, or don’t let him upstairs alone. He’s 9, and his mom will not let him handle a gun anytime soon. For good reason. He’s not nearly responsible enough yet.

        • You might want to invest a couple bills in a more secure storage method than saying “Don’t go upstairs” or hoping you can hide things so an inquisitive 9 year old won’t find them.

          • Coming soon. Trigger lock, for certain. Gun safe, in a bit. Like I said, it’s with me. And when he’s upstairs, it’s another place. In my bag, within five feet. Unchambered and safety on.

  16. Pistol first because that’s what I have on me. Home carry is a must. If needed I’ll go for the shotgun. I’ve got a Mossberg 930 JM Pro. 8+1.

    You should have many lines of defense. Motion sensing lights, alarm, security cameras, good doors and locks, a couple of large scary dogs, etc.

    • 9 rounds of 00 buck, yes please. That’s the next gun I plan on buying. So far everything from what I have read and watched it eats anything you feed it, very reliable, and it’s a nice looking gun. Have you had any personal problems with ejection or certain ammo types?

      • I’ve done home carry some, but don’t particularly care for it. I keep my EAA Witness in an OPMOD bag (thanks, Robert, for the tip) about one step away, in an unzipped rear pouch pocket. I live in a very low-crime suburban apartment complex, but I make sure that bag stays nearby!

        • I live in a very rural area that never had any reported crime until 3 years ago on a sunny July day. I didn’t expect to find a camo clad burglar hiding in the woods a few yards from where I was working in the garage. If my wife hadn’t let the dogs out, He might have car jacked me because he couldn’t carry the 15 firearms and other valuables he stole from the neighbors house. A few steps away would have been too far. Luckily my large charging dogs scared him and he ran off, dropping everything he had.

          It was a high school friend of my neighbors who had gotten addicted to drugs. He knew they had guns and new their house, their schedules. I’m lucky he didn’t shoot me and my dogs. My gun was inside on the counter. I had slipped it off after I got home and just ran out to the garage for a few minutes.

      • To be honest it still fairly new. It’s only got about 65 rounds through it. So far no issues. 3 inch Hornady Turkey loads, Federal 2 3/4 slugs, Winchester Super X 00 buck 2 3/4, and various target loads. No issue at all except I’ve had the bolt fail to lock back on empty a couple of times, but that could be a break in issue.

    • I’ve got the house backlit so I can see from the core the silhouette of anyone inside via the windows. Obviously this means the exterior is well lit. The doors are steel clad and deadbolted, I’m armed to the teeth in here so never mind that. Large scary dog. . . I have an 8lb yorkie that barks incessantly at anything that’s out of place, does that cover it?

        • I’m partially an insomniac but I’m also used to sleeping with lots of light and noise. In fact, I don’t care much for sleeping in the same bed night after night and thus spend many nights on a couch or something elsewhere in the house.

          Either way, the backlighting doesn’t bother me but means that anyone outboard of my position is silhouetted by the windows/blinds like a light box. Add to that me, and one yappy little dog and my home security system is complete.

  17. My go-to HD shotgun is my go-to Pheasant gun… My Browning BPS 16 gauge with a 24″ bbl. 12 pellet, #1 buckshot at 1225 fps… good to go. And the pretty purple hulls are cute too :).

  18. We have scatterguns are located in strategic locations. Moss 500 12ga each loaded with 5 rounds of 2 3/4″ skeet loads (#8). At close range… a tremendous amount of damage, but won’t penatrate through the brickwork to the neighbors house. Not the primary home defense guns…. but in a pinch nothing will walk away under its own power.

  19. “pedestrian garage door” A place to park pedestrians?
    Garage’s pedestrian door?
    As to Shotties: Pumps, always pumps

  20. Last!

    20ga, cause it’s my wife’s gun, it is to be found in our Alamo, I won’t be using nor needing it cause if they make it to our Alamo, my Tavor would have fallen silent only due to the lack of a pulse to pull the trigger.

  21. I had a pursuader but i gave it to my brother. Where I live, my shotguns are for hunting and the barrels are too long for self defense

  22. Due to the very tight space right outside the bedroom into a hallway, my go-to is my XD 9mm with a TLR-1 attached to provide target identification.

    My shotgun of choice is/would be the Benelli Nova tactical though. If I was concerned with looters in a post-disaster situation, it’d be out with me in the main room loaded with #00 buck.

  23. I love my Winchester 1200. It’s my go-to SD long gun. However, given the tight spaces of my apartment, I’d opt for my Dan Wesson 357 first.

  24. Let’s see, my 12 gauge Wingmaster is unloaded, lubed, cased, and stored in the highest cabinet in the garage, about 10′ off the floor, so it doesn’t even make it onto the defensive firearms list. In fact, I think there is only one shell in the house, which for unknown reasons resides in the armrest of my car (I didn’t put it there; the boy must have left it behind one fine shooting day).

    My primary is a five shot .36 revolver. And that’s a backup to four dogs. There are “a few” more loaded handguns after that that are readily available in strategic places, but I don’t think I’ll ever need to get that far. I’d like to get a CX4 carbine as a primary (if I could make up my mind what caliber would be the best over all), but I’ll have to hurry if the California AW ban passes and is signed into law.

  25. My go to gun is whatever Glock I was carrying that day. The shotgun, a Winchester 1200 resides in the closet loaded with #5 birdshot…because I don’t hunt deer with a shotgun and #5 is good enough for me. Things would have to be pretty desperate for me to grab the shotty.

  26. Old beater j c higgins 12 ga pump. Deer slug, 00 buck, #6 pheasant load. My closest neighbor is 3/4 mile away. No worrys of over penetration

  27. Mossberg 500 w/ #00 buck and a side saddle w slugs . . . . but first would be whatever handgun I grab out of the safe first when the alarm trips or the dog goes beserk (she even barks when I come home so it is a great alert for the spousal unit).

  28. A 870 Rem Express supermag with #4 Shot. The shot cup won’t open enough at room range so it is pretty deadly but will break up enough in the walls to not overpenetrate. If the guy is at ranges of 20 yards or more then he is outside of the home and running away. If he is running toward then he is really stupid and the wife is behind me with the AR or the Marlin 336.

  29. 12 ga with 00 buck. By the time it comes out, the dogs will have given me ample warning so it’s not the first or last choice, its just a choice. It has a big hole in the business end, and if you are staring down the barrel you are not having a good day.

  30. The wife and I have discussed this a number of times. The dogs freak out, I grab the 1911 and flashlight and watch the stairs leading up to our bedroom. She grabs the stoeger condor outback o/u loaded with 00 buckshot in the closet, watches the door to the bedroom, and dials 911. I don’t like how our townhouse is laid out, but it does have a distinct advantage when it comes a home defense scenario. FWIW, she has practiced a lot with the stoeger and we have gone over when and when not to pull the trigger.

    • Good on ya for making your wife part of the team rather than someone you have to protect.

      Around here I investigate disturbances while she bunkers, watching the bedroom door with her pistol.
      However I have an energetic and curious little dog that will most certainly be running around the feet of an intruder, barking from stress and a desire to get attention. Either way it’s hard to be stealthy with a yapping dog running round you in circles. It’s not so much that I’m going room clearing as I’m moving to the entry point/location of BG with full awareness of where he is and if he’s moving.

  31. My Remington 870 (tactical express, with Blackhawk stock and a couple other small upgrades) is my preferred option, but not necessarily my first. It hangs out in the bedroom upstairs, and is likely my first choice if I’m woken up by something suspicious in the night. If I can get to it during the day I’d go with it as well, but I nearly always have a pistol on me, usually my Kel-Tec 3AT (not the shiniest option, but always goes bang and incredibly easy to have with me) or Glock 26. If someone broke down the door (either front or back) right now I’d empty the Kel-Tec while trying to run to the shotgun (the stairs going up are a perfect kill zone, so once I’m upstairs with the shotgun I’m in a great position).

  32. Mossberg 930 SPX sits by my bed every night. In fact, it’s propped there whenever I’m home.

    The first 3 shells are #4 birdshot, because I live in an apartment. If the perp takes that and decides he’s too bath-salted up to stop hostilities, the next two shells are 00 buckshot, and the two after that are Winchester PDX1 Slug/Buckshot combo loads.

    In other words, I’m doing everything I can to not kill my neighbors on accident, but if push comes to shove I’ll do my best to reposition my line of fire to “least dangerous” and I’m blasting that fucker in half.

  33. First line of defense at home is an FNX 45 Tactical. Easy to grab at night, sleeps with me, great tritium night sites, TLR-1, 15 rounds of .45 JHP – and a safety (which I don’t have on any of my other handguns). That allows me to keep a round chambered, un-holstered, without worrying that I’m going to Eff up somehow if I grab the thing half asleep. Also has a stock trigger, so no legalities to worry about there…

    If things get ugly or I have some time, then I’d grab the Mossie 930 SPX, and can basically clear out a room in 2 seconds (from the hip if needed). Honestly, what I wouldn’t grab is one of my AR’s (as much of an AR fan boy that I am), and only because of politics (isn’t that a pitiful state of affairs?). You defend yourself with a shotgun in your home, no news. You defend yourself in your home with an AR and CNN and all of the wacko panzy sheeplings will wet themselves in a rush to demonize you and fixate on you as the object of their rabid anti-black rifle obsession.

    Just my .02c.

    • My initial reaction gun is the same 1911 I also often carry, but I’m with you on the shotgun Vs AR though for different reasons.

      I love my AR’s, but they are not the optimal weapon for inside the house ranges. The shotgun however (Mines an 8+1 Mossberg 500) is the master of the battle space when that space is residential rooms and halls.

  34. 930 SPX, purchased on TTAG’s recommendation, sits propped next to my bed whenever I’m home.

    Magazine has #4 birdshot x3, 00 Buckshot x2, Winchester PDX1 x2. I live in an apartment complex, so the preference would be for 3 wads of birdshot to be enough to convince the intruder to cease hostilities and wait for the police.

    That said, if he’s too bath-salted up to notice 3 gaping holes in his body, the buck and slugs will leave him/her physically disassembled and unable to attack even if still willing.

    While we’re touching on the subject, I’m a big fan of hybridized magazine loads. My EDC has 3 frangible rounds at the top of the mag followed by gold dot hollowpoints. Again, the idea being to minimize potential for collateral damage at the (often rushed and sloppy) initiation of defensive procedures.

  35. My HD weapon is my AR if I am upstairs and something goes bump in the night. If I am downstairs it is probably my Mossberg 930 SPX over my Saiga 12 since I do not leave them loaded in the safe. I can load a few rounds of buckshot much quicker into the tube than into the magazine. If It was already loaded I would snag my S12 with stick mag and repel the invaders (ie crackheads).

    • The fight is going to be over long before the safe is opened and magazines are loaded. I don’t own a defensive gun that isn’t either already loaded or resting near it’s loaded magazines. A safe is where I store collectables, antiques and other such guns as aren’t suited to home defense. The ones which are so suited are loaded and seeded in strategic but hidden locations.

  36. Benelli M2 sbs with 00 buck. The short(14 in) length is great in cramped areas. Bit o recoil with this one, but that’s what practice is for

  37. Some local LE guys say to use 2 3/4″ ammo in the 3″ chambered guns. They learned that in high tension situations people were more apt to short-stroke pump guns and the 3″ hulls never cleared the ejection port….your thoughts?

    • It’s a valid thought, over come with training. If you don’t regularly and effectively train with a pumper then certainly mitigate the tendency to short shuck them any way you can.

      My training, practice and protocol call for using the recoil to assist in slamming the pump backwards with tremendous force then forward again as the gun begins to return to target with the same wrist spraining, neck snapping power. It’s very fast, a decent gun can stand up to it indefinitely, and it will ensure that the chamber is cleared of empty hulls and the next round is seated with the gun in battery.

      It has the added effect of ensuring that you’re never standing around with an empty hull instead of a live round in the chamber.

      Big, gross motor movement is where it’s at in high stress. Minor manipulation goes right out in combat. I’m pulling the gun to my shoulder with the support/pump hand so hard to begin with that as soon as the bolt is unlocked by pulling the trigger I’m already drawing the bolt open automatically with considerable force and instantaneously at that. Thus, train to pump the gun like you mean to break it, full power back using the recoil as an assist and back into battery like a thrown punch. Gun will run.

    • At home defense ranges with good modern ammunition the 2 3/4″ stuff will work just fine. If you can fire it more reliably under pressure that makes it a better choice.

  38. 870 Express, 18″ barrel, 4 rounds of 2 3/4″ #4 shot (I live in an apartment) in the tube and 5 more waiting on the saddle.

    It’ll get the job done.

  39. Strong love for the shottie in my home. Gave my wife a Mossy 590A1 for our first Christmas and my son Benilli Nova for trap/skeet/duck/dove/etc. Love the 12 gauge. I want a decent O/U next.

  40. people always talk about over penetration and say “i use #4 buck not 00 buck to solve the problem.” if over penetration is a big concern, don’t count out the .410. there are some nasty new loads out there for the .410. with the right load, it is as deadly or more deadly than some of the common defensive handgun rounds.

    i do not have a .410 yet, but i have shot the one that i want to get (when it comes in stock), and it will make a fine home defense gun. mossberg hs410, awesome gun.

    • .410 ammo is ridiculous expensive. I would not recommend it for HD or a boys first shotgun. RF could start a whole QOTD with the cons of .410.

    • In my youth when kids were allowed to roam the fields and hills without adult supervision the single shot .410 was the near perfect first gun for a brat. Or a pack of brats.

      But as a primary self defense gun? No. Granted, just having a gun will run most bad guys off without the need to fire a shot.

      I would consider the .410 for someone that’s very challenged because of physical disabilities. But for a healthy adult, no.

      If you’re worried about overpenetration use a load of 6 shot in your 12 or 20. Cheaper too.

  41. I bought an ol’ Luger 12ga off a coworker last year. Turkish, apparently imported by Stoeger. Sawed the barrel to 18 3/4″, unplugged the tube and added a rail for a light and had myself a nifty lil semi auto house gun for less than a tank of gas.

  42. With my limited scratch atm I got a H&R P3 a few months ago for HD which might as well be marketed as a war club that just happens to shoot 12g shells. At the range with my pal he had two times when his Moss 590 action got stuck OOB and took a few hard yanks (lol) to rack and firing his I noticed more upward recoil that was not at all appealing to follow-up shots…I suspect that it’s lighter weight contributed to that. Anyway, I came away from that range session confident my humble Bi-Mart sale piece may have been less than 1/2 my friend’s in price, by no means was it at all inferior. Defintely a working shotgun, not one to hang on a wall as art. Which is how I like ’em.

Comments are closed.