You would rack only if you are willing and legally authorized to use the gun.
We were disusing the scenario of an intruder already in your home and now trying to enter your bedroom were you have held up. You have already committed to fire once the door is breeched. Willing and legal are pretty much covered. Why not give, if the circumstances allow, a warning to the BG? You David are huge on doing whatever you can to avoid shooting so I ask you in this situation why not?
I for one would not downgrade a tactic likely to prevent a death, but you assume that the almighty racking sound would automatically de-escalate the situation without violence. There is too much of a chance for things to go wrong and end up dead as it is, why add more by intentionally adding a nonsense chance for mechanical failure to "hollywood" someone? What if the intruder was only intent on robbery, and now he knows you have a loaded gun, and will now try his hardest to kill you before you kill him? What if your hollywood shotgun rack does cause a mechanical malfunction? Why add another element of risk to a scenario, no matter how negligible you feel it is?
Derius, I didn't assume they would stop the attack. I said it could possibly end the attack just as it did for me and my cousin. The mere sound of my Mini 14 racking (from inside the house no less) sent 2 guys running. If they had breeched the door I would have fired until they stopped. The noise or the BG's knowing I was armed with something nasty ended the attack.
Mechanical failure is always possible but I have never had a problem with my pump shotgun to raise a concern.
"Hollywood" someone? I'm not talking about racking the slide in front of the bad guy. Once they can see the weapon there is no need for noise. They will either run or fight or freeze. That choice determines the next action........either shoot or don't shoot.
My personal experience suggests that the BG will stop the attack. In the limited times I would even conceder doing it the BG would still be at a great disadvantage. You seem to think that the BG is going to be a trained swat team member which if he is and alone he is still in serious danger facing down a shotgun armed homeowner hiding somewhere behind door number 3 in the dark and behind cover. In the real world he will probably be a drug addicted thug who will run at the sound of the shotguns action. If he continues through the door he will be shot without knowing were the shot came from. The only thing that changed is he had a warning not to continue and I had one less shell to fight with.
BTW If I allow the intruder to enter my room before attempting to fire I also face increased risk.......gun could still malf, ammo could be bad etc.