About 20 years ago, after writing up his report (threat from tenant), the police officer was in the mood to visit and talk.
Told me about racking his shotgun. About 2am, in a mall parking lot, following up report of prowlers, he heard something deep in the lot, but couldn't see it.
Said he got the shotgun, racked it and ordered the perp to come out.
The perp came out with hands up, begging, "don't shoot, don't shoot."
He believed strongly in the intimidation factor of racking the shotgun.
About 10 years ago, I fell asleep reading in my recliner, in the living room near the front door. No one else in the house.
About 2:30am I'm awakened to the sound of banging on front door, accompanied by male voice, "open the door, open the door."
I'm shaken but I ask, "...do you need the police? Want me to call the police?"
"No!" But he keeps pounding and demanding I open the door.
Told him I wasn't opening any door and to get the hell off my property.
Didn't make a dent.
So I asked loudly so he could clearly hear, "Marcy, get the shotgun." Actually just me home, but I ran to the bedroom and came back with the 870, unloaded.
Said through the front door. "Get off my deck or I'll shoot you through the door."
And I racked the empty gun.
Didn't phase him at all -- he kept shouting for me to open the door.
So I said, "Marcy, call the police!" Loudly.
THAT phased him. He took off. And that was that.
Racking didn't scare him off; threat to call police did.
Yes, I know I did everything wrong, but that was 10 years ago and I wasn't yet spending my whole lifetime on gun boards. I know better, now.
My point is that the vaunted racking sound had no effect whatever on whoever the hell he was.
I calmed down and didn't bother to call the police.
Figured he was on something.
I might have been very wrong, but although shaken, the REAL alarm bells in my head had not gone off. Maybe something in his voice. I just wasn't scared enough to do any more than what I describe above.
Today, my 870 is fully loaded and chambered -- 8 shots. No little children in my house any more.
I no longer believe in racking the shotgun to scare off a perp.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.
"In ourselves our safety must be sought.
By our own right hand it must be wrought." --Wm Wordsworth