When it comes to defending yourself and others, there are few better firearm choices than a good shotgun. Defensive shotguns, whether for use in the home, on the road or for law enforcement use, are some of the most versatile guns ever developed. My first defensive shotgun was a Remington 1100 auto-loader. As any Remington fan knows, the 1100’s barrel is quickly and easily changed out. When not carrying my 28-inch 1100 12-gauge in the field, I had an 18-inch riot barrel that I could quickly change out, providing me with a dandy self-defense gun. Loaded with 00 Buck or #4 Buck, the riot version of that shotgun was, and is, a deadly piece of equipment.
While the defensive shotgun provides its user with maximum protective potential, there are several considerations to keep in mind. Many folks defend their homes with field shotguns designed for wildfowl hunting or clay target shooting. This is certainly an option, particularly if that person owns only one scattergun. One of my concerns in this case is that some folks tend to use birdshot, (generally smaller than #4 Buck), which potentially could be a defense problem. Birdshot might provide a decent pattern, but it’s unlikely to provide significant penetration. I’ve heard the argument that the birdshot won’t go through walls making it a viable home defense round, but it also may not stop an armed intruder at the crucial moment. Of course, at very short ranges, the small shot may be effective, but it will quickly lose its punch as the distance increases.
Featured image is a Rock Island M5 fighting shotgun with custom graphics.