Home Defense Shotgunning
"There is a lot of bullshit out there in the home defense shotgun arena. A lot of money can be made in the plastic tactical whizbang market, and it leaves the newbie wondering if the shotgun itself is really a necessity if he has all that extra junk to throw at an attacker. The truth is, a combat shotgun needs very little to be a devastatingly effective weapon, and they can be bought on the used market very cheaply. There is no reason for any home not to have one."A few years ago, I published my thoughts on shotguns for home defense, and I haven't cranked out much about the subject since. I figured I had said what I wanted to say, what I had learned over time, and that was that. Still, the lure of the dark side is strong. I continue to see people adorning their scatter guns with more mongo bongo black tactical secret squirrel crap than a high school kid with a new job, a beater Nissan sedan, and a J.C.Whitney catalog.
Now, Carteach0 takes on home defense shotgunning. First, he writes about selecting and equipping your shotgun of choice. Good stuff there. Probably the most important bit is to have spare ammunition on the gun itself. Much of the high speed black plastic stuff can be done away with. Keep it simple. Don't even think about a pistol grip. I tend to agree with him concerning slings as well. Next, Carteach0 provides a few drills and thoughts on it's use.
He makes some good points. First, you can miss with a shotgun. It is not a magic gun. You have got to aim the thing. A 12 gauge is a devastatingly effective fight stopper....... if you hit your target. At home defense distances, the buckshot will pattern very close together, even out of a cylinder bore. It will not be an impenetrable hail of lead in your hallway. If you fail to draw a bead on the threat, you will likely fail to stop the threat.
Shotguns empty quickly. Reloading with the bead on target, especially while moving is a skill that takes training to acquire. You simply cannot expect the tactical Tam fairy to wave her magic wand and sprinkle survivor dust all over you in a fight for your life. If you don't train for it, you will not be able to accomplish it under pressure. Hell, if you do train for it you may still fail.
Training at the range with your home defense weapon is an imperative. Shoot at realistic distances for home defense, from cover, and while moving. Also important is learning to move about your home with your shotgun.
To avoid scaring the neighbors, do this when your home is empty, with the blinds drawn. Make absolutely certain your shotgun is empty. Check the magazine. Finger the follower. Then open and check the chamber. In that order. Then do it again. When you are absolutely certain your shotgun is empty, go though your house with it shouldered. Then go through doorways and halls slicing the pie over the barrel. Learn for yourself just how difficult it is to negotiate your home in this fashion. Think about where you have cover, or concealment. Then imagine doing it in the dark with the stack of books by the door that your wife or girlfriend left there for you to trip over.
Finally, decide whether house clearing or taking a defensive position would be in your best interests in a home invasion. All families and homes are not the same. The best course of action may not apply in all situations, even within the same home. Have more than one option, and when needed, chose the best one you have.