It’s uncertain when it all began, but gun enthusiasts have been witnessing an invasion—nothing sinister like rampaging hordes, but something else. Inexpen-sive shotguns have been entering the U.S. marketplace for several years and are showing up on shelves, from big-box stores to small country gun shops. Leading the charge is Turkey. On the whole, American gun-buyers are a frugal lot—which is why many foreign-made firearms have a strong appeal here. Spending as little as possible on a home-defense shotgun that passes years under the bed keeping the dust bunnies company isn’t a bad idea.

The basic principles of home-defense weapons are simple: They’re there when you need them, and they deliver lethal force with reliability. A 12 gauge pump action shotgun I recently tested does just that. I like pump shotguns. In a home-invasion situation, there’s a lot to be said for dissuading an intruder by racking the bolt back and forth on a slide-action scattergun. It’s such a universally understood sound that Hollywood goes to great pains to ensure nearly every shotgun on set is unloaded so that actors must pump them (and make those clacks) before firing. I’ve had a chuckle or two when actors pump their shotguns in one scene then pump them again moments later without ejecting live rounds…

Find out more in the Complete Book of Guns 2014—on newsstands NOW!

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