The Truth About…Shotgun Spread & Shotguns For Home Defense [VIDEO]

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Iron Horse Firearms Sentry 12 Pump Action Shotgun

Have you seen a movie before? A TV show? You might have the idea that it’s effectively impossible to miss with a shotgun. Perhaps that it’s the best possible option for home defense? In this “The Truth About…” episode, I talk shot spread and a potentially better alternative to the 12 GA riding shotgun on your night stand.

Watch the video embedded above, or click HERE to view it on Rumble. Visit Silencer Shop for the best prices and the easiest, most streamlined suppressor buying process in the country.

By the way, we’ll be launching a “studio” video like this one every Monday afternoon and a range video every Thursday afternoon. Subscribe on Rumble to see ’em before their associated TTAG articles go live.


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  1. Coincidentally Military Arms Channel has the quite similar thing on his Youtube channel today. I agree with him and have relagated my shotgun to a distant 3rd after my pistols & AR rifle. Free Kyle!

    • Watched that myself also.
      Still have the shotgun by the bed as I’ve got more experience and training with a shotgun than an AR.
      Pistol is handily ready also should I want it.

  2. Unless you’ve had experience with shotguns, the recoil can be less than pleasant. I’ve heard a 12g with double-o can have the same recoil pulse as a .375 H&H rifle.

    Not my thing and I don’t own any. I wouldn’t have anywhere to use it.

    • I have both shotguns (3 1/2, 3 and on down. I also have a Winchester Model 70 in .375 H&H. It recoil much less than the shotguns. At least using turkey and duck loads. Don’t be a pussy

      • For the sake of trivia, the free recoil energy of a 9lb Model 70 in .375 H&H is approximately 38ft-lbs. That of a 9-pound Remington 870 12-gauge firing a 2 3/4″ Magnum 1-oz slug is approximately 58ft-lbs.

        • i shoulder 12ga a bit more pectorally than a rifle. so i can play shottie all day, but hesitated when given the opportunity to fire .375 h&h a second time.
          i’ve just shy of 100rds .375 h&h, with no use for them. part of a package dealio.

    • Texas Spiny Lizard. That’s Stubbs. He’s a wild lizard who lives in our backyard, but my daughter semi-tamed him and he comes by sometimes so she can feed him mealworms. He’ll see her and come running over haha. It’s kinda cool. He’ll run up onto her hand and eat the worms. I got that pic by putting a couple on the gun on my deck 😉

  3. Good info but I’m sticking with my shotty as rapid access home defense. A simple 870 specifically tailored to me. I’m very comfortable and accurate with it so no need to change.

    • “…consider the spackling you’d have to do.”


      That’s one of the least of my concerns after a defensive use situation…

    • 00 buck or slugs will penetrate way more layers of drywall than a 55 grain 5.56. I build a bunch of test walls like 7 years ago and tested these things myself, but I don’t know if that’s available on the interwebs anywhere. Thankfully, tons of other people have done the same. First one on Google:

      Short version: most but not all of a fast .223 tends to leave the second sheet of drywall (as in, leave the far side of one single interior wall after hitting nothing but clean drywall) as teeny fragments. It has disintegrated. 00 will go through many interior walls. In the test I linked above it exited the third wall and kept on trucking.

      Fast .223/5.56 rounds have low overpenetration and comparatively low ricochet risk cuz they tend to disintegrate when they hit hard-ish surfaces.

      • .223 will shoot through both sides of a car door, 00 wont.
        .223 has a better chance of leaving an exit wound on a deer, 00 don’t
        .223 will shoot through 1/4 steel a slug wont.
        Drywall wont stop a .22RF but it will stop a 223 because they blow up? Maybe hollow points.

  4. None of my other choices take 00 buck or slugs, so I’ll stick with it. I’ve trusted mine for going on 48 years now.

  5. I like the AR in a 5.56 M193 with a suppressor. Without a suppressor it’s still a great gun, but man will your ears ring shooting it indoors. The 12 gauge 00 or #1 buck is still a fine choice. The 18″ shotties aren’t that long, and you can go shorter in some states. One of my pistol grip Mossbergs is just 27″ long, and has a breacher barrel. Searches will first be conducted by Weimaraner.

    • soon to be deaf dog.
      neighborhood guy had his golden everywhere he went, bar stool, etc. watched it retrieve a quarter stick. dude has never been the same. cheery to sadsack.

  6. Jeremy, Thanks for the video and the real ups and downs for home defense shotguns.
    I use and 18 1/2 inch barrel on a 12 gauge 870, and or 1 of its’ clones, my home defense load is BBB as I feel it is heavy enough to get the job done without my next door neighbor ( next Apt.)having to dig Buckshot out of their walls.My preferred target in that case is Face/head as to much heavy clothing in our far north climate makes for body shots to be less effective, and an ounce of BBB will stop them I’m sure. again as you made plain I’m not looking for a spread in my home, just a shot that will stop the illegal entry end harm to the residents of my domicile.
    As Southern Cross pointed out if your not used to shooting a shotgun you need to do it often to know what it will do to you, I frequently shoot Brenneke Black Magic Slugs to keep me in shape for bear protection when my family goes hunting ( I’m the safety in the back)

  7. All good points but there’s always more to a story than both sides. My domicile is a good distance from others. My confidence and competency with my Mossberg, backed up by the pistol is high. YMMV.

  8. Frangible ammo? Say for example Hevi-Shot HEVI-Duty 12-gauge (discontinued). If anything, ‘frangible ammo’ is a topic for a future “The Truth About…”

  9. Keep my Mossberg 500, 18 1/2″ barrel, loaded with #4 Buck. Live in a small place, at the ranges it would be used that shot column would be devastating.

    Keep my Mossberg 590A1 loaded with alternating #00 Buck and slugs. Just in case of attack by Zombies, Velociraptors, lions, tigers or bears. In a pinch I’ll pop the bayonet on it.

    It is good to have options.

  10. What about the shortie (1.75 inch long). Has anyone tested what 00 buckshot or slug would do thru drywall? They are supposed to have a lot less recoil and at across the room distance should still have more power than all but the most powerful handgun. I would specifically like to see what the new Mossberg 590s is capable of doing since it’s supposed to be able to mix up shorties with normal size ammo.

    • Blue Water Fox, there is no like button here but consider it pushed anyway.
      Besides birds, there are Snowshoe Hare also shootable by shotgun and must be aimed.

  11. For inside-the-home-defense, stick with a handgun (any type). Range will be measured in feet, inches or contact. A handgun can be operated with one hand. You might need that free hand to fend off the attacker, dial 9-1-1, grab a kid, close and lock a door, turn on a light, etc.. Long guns are obviously more lethal but they require two hands to operate them. Also, if an intruder gets close enough, they can grab the barrel and render the long gun useless just by keeping the barrel pointed away from them. In addition, if an intruder gets both hands on a long gun, they can twist the weapon out of a person’s grip and use it on the homeowner.


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