View Full Version : Shotgun as primary home defense

November 3, 1999, 04:38 AM
A friend of mine is thinking of a shotgun as his primary home defense weapon. My other friends joke him that if he catches the intruder near the expensive wide screeen TV he'll have to say something like "kindly step away from my Sony TV so that I may blow you away safely".
Comments please. Also is there any danger of a buckshot round not hitting it's mark and bouncing all around a room that's mostly composed of cement? As for slugs, don't you think if a miss occurs that it will go through, say, a thin plywood wall?
Please excuse my ignorance. That's why I need feedback from pros who have been there.
Thanks in advance.

November 3, 1999, 05:21 AM
this is just my opinion so noflames please but in a hd situation were you have to shoot
im going to wory more about staying alive thanwhat hapens to my bigscreen tv ect.. the shotgun is one of the best allaround hd weapons you can have imo as for the slugs they will go through sheet rock plywood ect. i dont think there would be tomuch trouble with concret though i dont know aout the deflection ricochet on the buck shot of the concrete though someone else will have to get that one any body with more info or better onfo please correct anything im wrong about


Dave McC
November 3, 1999, 05:44 AM
If your friend doesn't shoot a shotgun recreationally,it's not the best choice. Shotguns are beautifully effective tools,for those who will practice and shoot them frequently. They are NOT a substitute for poor skills.

Even #6 shot,the size used on squirrels,will penetrate interior walls. The idea of being in a concrete room with 00 zinging around is disquietening,to say the least.

Unless every responsible adult in that house who may need to use a HD firearm is willing to practice frequently with a shotgun, t'is better by far to go with something else,say a nice reliable 38 Special revolver.

As to my qualifications, as part of my duties for more than 10 years with the Md Dept of Public Safety, I taught hundreds of Correctional Officers to shoot, including shotguns.

November 3, 1999, 11:54 AM
Pro's and Con's of a shotgun for HD use:


1. Excellent "stopping" power.
2. Easier to aim and hit than a handgun.
3. Very intimidating.
4. Fairly inexpensive.


1. Bad maneuverability (esp. in corridors).
2. Bad retention.
3. Difficult to operate with one hand (to operate a phone, light switch, etc.).
4. Heavy for some folks (particularly small women).

For my wife and me, a handgun is our primary home defense weapon and (as Massad Ayoob suggests) use a shotgun as the last ditch artillery in the barricaded/bedroom scenario.


For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu

Bennett Richards
November 3, 1999, 12:08 PM
Shotgun for HD is great IF you know what you are doing. It happens to be THE most devestating close-range weapon in existance.. The Slugs are a NO-NO for HD as they will overpenetrate MOST dwelling materials. 00 or 000 is probably just as bad. Birdshot probably better and just as devistating at 3-10 yards. But when you MUST drop the target NOTHING outperforms the Shotgun.


November 3, 1999, 12:39 PM
here is a page worth reading:
Tactical Briefs #10, October 1998

Shotgun Home Defense Ammunition

For home defense, a shotgun is superior to a handgun in terms of being able to stop a violent intruder as quickly
as possible. A reliable, well-made, pump-action shotgun can usually be purchased for less than the cost of a
handgun of comparable quality. Also, inexpensive birdshot ammunition, typically used for training applications, is
about three-fourths the cost, round for round, of comparable handgun ammunition.

Most people typically choose a shotgun for home defense for one of three general reasons: 1) to minimize wall
penetration to reduce the danger to innocent third parties in case of a missed shot, 2) to maximize wound trauma
to stop a vicious assailant as quickly as possible, or 3) because a shotgun does not require as much skill as a
handgun to put lead on target.

Glenn E. Meyer
November 3, 1999, 12:42 PM
My suggestion:

If you decide to use a shotgun,
take a tactical shotgun course.

In TX - www.sdsinet.com (http://www.sdsinet.com)
or www.krtraining.com (http://www.krtraining.com)

No bucks for me - just buddies.


November 3, 1999, 04:23 PM
For HD, go with a premium Tactical Buckshot load. These are typically low-recoiling rounds that still pack 12 gauge punch. Keep in mind that buckshot can and will penetrate through sheet rock and light cover inside of a house. Slugs should be avoided due to their inherent ability to penetrate through human targets as well as light barriers behind the human target! A good investment is a weapon light for your shotgun. With this, you can keep both hands on the gun without having to wrestle with a free flashlight. Sure-fire makes the best weapon light for $150.