Preview: Finding The Best Shotgun For Home Defense

Offering true stopping power and a variety of tactical accessories, the 12-gauge shotgun is a reliable option to put down any attack on your castle!

Finding The Best Shotgun For Home Defense, shotgun, home defense, home defense shotgun, shotguns

In an article for the Fall 2014 issue of PERSONAL & HOME DEFENSE, author Fred Mastison explained the advantages of the versatile home defense tool that is the 12-gauge shotgun. First, Mastison focused on the shotgun’s stopping power, including which loads perform best during a home invasion scenario, before he moved into tactical accessories that make the shotgun arguably unequal in performing the task of protecting you and your loved ones.

“Shotguns are a solid choice for home protection for a variety of reasons. The first and foremost reason is stopping power. This term is tossed around a lot these days, but with a shotgun it has real meaning. The chance of a first- or second-round fight-stopping shot with shotgun ammunition is a reality,” said Mastison.

The author then moved into a discussion of ballistic data, focusing on the issues of over-penetration and pellet spread that supported the shotgun’s use as a home defense tool. “The baseline for stopping power is a round’s ability to penetrate a minimum of 12 inches into a target. This is the general standard used by the FBI. Using #1 buckshot, a shotgun can deliver 16 pellets at high velocity into an intruder. These pellets combined have a surface area of 1.13 square inches, which is the equivalent of shooting someone 12 to 15 times simultaneously with a .32 ACP or .380 ACP rounds.”

Finally, the author investigated several tactical accessories and alterations that homeowners could employ to optimize their 12-gauge, including short-barrel versions of production shotguns.

“Most major manufactures have
 a factory-built, short-barrel version of their tactical shotguns. You can also contract with a gunsmith to shorten your existing gun.
 It is important to note that a short-barrel shotgun falls under some very specific ATF regulations. You will need to verify that your state allows short barrels before you begin the long process of getting your short-barrel shotgun approved. While being a bit heavy on the paperwork side, the short-barrel shotgun offers improved handling and manipulation in close quarters,” said Mastison.

To read the full article, check out the Fall 2014 issue of PERSONAL & HOME DEFENSE, available on October 14, 2014. To purchase or subscribe, go to

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