Updated: Oct 18, 2019
Hello folks!! Today I'll be adding my opinion on the use of the 12 gauge shotgun for home self defense. I say opinion, because quite frankly, there are numerous firearms out in the market that can be used to fend off those nasty little critters who choose to commit crimes. And let's be honest, who doesn't want to protect their home and the their family, right? When choosing a firearm for home self defense, there are so many things that should come in mind. Such things can include availability of rounds, type of round, round capacity, the interior layout of your home, whether you live in the city or rural area, and the cost/reliability of the firearm, just to name a few. As mentioned earlier, this is my personal opinion and what I feel meets the basic needs to protect not only myself, but most importantly, my Family.
I personally love the shotgun for home self defense because they are so versatile and can fire several types of load from buckshot, birdshot, beanbags, slugs and more. The shotgun also comes in various styles from pump action, semi-auto action, double barrel, ect. The shotgun is also a very economical option when compared to carbines and handguns. I ended up buying a brand new Maverick 88 (Mossberg) from Walmart for $188. Nothing beats a very economical and reliable piece of metal that can stop the bad guy/gal dead in their tracks. The shotgun can also be used to put a duck on the table, prevent wild animals from killing your live stock, and used for good ole tradition hunting. All in all, the shotgun is an all around weapon for home defense, especially when you build it to your preference.
So, let's talk real quick on the availability of rounds. Straight and to the point, I'm a brother on a budget. Depending on the brand and type, shotgun ammunition can be quite inexpensive and available. For example, you can go shopping for food at Walmart, then stop by the clothing section to buy a pair of socks and your favorite $5.99 t-shirt. Finally before you leave, you can stop by the sporting goods section and buy you a pack of shotgun ammunition. Killing several birds with one stone, both literally and figuratively. So this type of ammunition is definitely available other than just the gun stores. And let's hope it stays that way and cross our fingers that the gun grabbers don't ruin a good thing.
Ammunition capacity can be a concern and in any life or death situation, its best to have more and use less, than to have less and need more. My Maverick 88 came with the standard 6 shot, 18.5 barrel length. I choose the 18.5 inch barrel because I believe it's ideal when coming around those sharp corners in your home. You definitely don't want to cut corners with a longer barrel. Bear in mind, you can come up with shorter barrel lengths, but make sure you check with Federal and State laws so that you don't end up on the naughty list. I've also decided to go with the 6 shot, because honestly, it was the only one available on the rack for such a good price. I simply added a side saddle to have an additional 6 rounds to pick from. Practicing quick combat loads can be useful and could potentially come in good use whenever you're confronted in that real life or death situation.
There are several types of rounds, but I'm going to guess that the most common three are the bird shot round, infamous double O Buck, and that mighty slug. Shotguns are unquestionably effective weapons at close range and certain types can make a good day turn into a very bad one. In fact, the shot gun and ammunition type used were so devastating in WW2, that German officials protested their use in combat. Most home defense situation are going to happen in the length of a room. No other type of weapon will deliver as much fire power in the brief time that most gunfights occur. Depending of the type of double O buckshot you buy, three rounds of 12 gauge 2 3/4 inch loads of OO buckshot delivers 24 .33-caliber pellets to the bad guy. A slug round can cause some devastating fatal damage to the bad guy as well. However, you should consider the environment you're in. A slug shot load can be ideal in a rural area where house are miles apart. But consider the penetration level of that type of round, what's behind the bad guy (i.e. wall), and if a loved one is on the other side of the wall. Slug ammunition load may not be ideal if you're an apartment dweller as well. That's when the double O Buckshot comes into play. So know your home layout and the effects that a particular ammunition type can do. Oh, and hit your intended target. I will write another article and opinion on the three basic common shotgun ammunition type.
Well, those are just a few of the many reasons why I prefer the shotgun for home self defense. To be honest, there's so much more I can get into because I barely scratched the surface with some of the more interesting 12 gauge self defense ammo choices (more articles to come). Again, there are so many other firearms one can choose from. However, the shotgun is truly an effective and versatile tool and is worth considering when choosing a home defense weapon.