<em><strong>“The best home defense firearm is a twelve gauge pump action shotgun”;</strong> </em>how many times have you heard this from a firearms instructor, law enforcement personnel or read it in a personal defense magazine.
If you think about it just a little, the statement itself is pretty shortsighted, because the truth is, there is no one best home defense firearm for everyone or for every possible situation. The choosing of a home defense firearm is dependent upon a number individual considerations such as age, body size, physical limitations, and firearms experience, just to name a few. To give you an example of just how shortsighted and even dangerous this blanket statement can be, a one-hundred thirty pound, seventy plus year old female, who hadn’t shot a firearm in fifty years, was told by her local police department she needed a twenty gauge pump action shotgun for home protection.
Now, let’s give them credit for downsizing their recommendation to a twenty gauge shotgun instead of the usually proclaimed twelve gauge shotgun. And, they justified their claims by telling her the action of “racking a round into the chamber” would strike such fear into the heart of a would-be burglar/attacker, they would most likely flee for their lives rather than confront a home owner with such a devastating defensive weapon. They also claimed the spreading pattern of the shotgun pellets would make it easier to hit a target without having to aim. The elderly women took their advice and purchased a twenty gauge pump action shotgun; however, she found it too heavy, the recoil hurt her wrist, the pump action was complicated, and it required a great deal of strength (for an elderly woman).
When she positioned herself about eighteen feet away from a target, which was the maximum distance she could reasonably engage an assailant inside her home, the spread pattern of the shotgun pellets measure a whopping one and a quarter inch in diameter (This is not depicted in any of the photos at the end of this topic). So much for the spreading pattern that makes it easier to hit a target without aiming. Furthermore, would the “racking a round into the chamber” really strike fear into the burglar/attacker, or would it motivate him/her to start shooting their firearm at the home owner in self defense? Do you want to risk your life on it? After all, they were wrong about the spreading pattern of the shotgun making it easy to hit an assailant, weren’t they? As an option to listening to some shortsighted statements which panned out to be false, let’s do some research into the pros and cons of using a shotgun for personal home defense.
PROS vs. CONS - Multiple projectiles/greater Hard to control recoil damage (A) Heavy recoil/less desire to Longer sight plane/more practice accurate Expensive defensive Load noise-alerting ammunition neighbors Expensive ammunition means Less over penetration with less practice selected ammunition (B) Less able to defend against disarming (C) Less maneuverable in residential setting (D,E) Heavy Complicated “Pump Action” loading/unloading system is slow and requires sufficient strength Myth of shotgun pellet expanding pattern at close range (F,G,H,I) In the end, it is your life or that of you family which hangs in the balance, so do not listen to outdated and shortsighted beliefs. There is no one best home defense firearm for everyone in every possible situation. These pros and cons will help you choose if a shotgun really is the best home defense firearm for you based on your individual considerations, limitations, and experience.
<a href="http://thegunshowradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Shotgun-Pics.jpg"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-2184" title="Shotgun Pictures" src="http://thegunshowradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Shotgun-Pics-300x214.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="295" /></a>