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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