Among the most persistent of myth is the value of a shotgun for home defense.
Now let’s be clear; someone well versed in the use of a shotgun will be very effective with the weapon. That being said most people who have settled on a shotgun for home defense are not doing so because they enjoy training with a shotgun; but rather because they believe a shotgun will cover the sin of being unskilled.
I have watched dozens of shotguns leave gun stores in the hands of people who have never been to the range. “Just rack it,” they say, and the sound will scare away anyone and, if it doesn’t, just point it down the hall and blast away.
Telling someone to fire blindly is terrible advice for many reasons, and this very unsafe counsel was given by Vice-President Joe Biden. Remember Safety Rule #4 “Know your target and what is behind it”. Don’t be like Joe.
Is a shotgun best for home defense?
In the movies, shotguns solve a great many problems and perpetuate the myth that a shotgun is a “street sweeper.” In reality shotguns are challenging to handle and racking one in the stress of the moment is not an easy manipulation to perform.
These shotgun myths are busted when a novice is punished by the recoil of a 12-gauge buck shot load and discovers that shot doesn’t spread that wide.
In an indoor residential environment, buckshot will easily penetrate walls. Handguns are smaller, easier to maneuver with and have a much higher capacity then your standard 5 shot home defense shotgun.
An AR or pistol caliber carbine has stacks of ammo in the magazine, little recoil and are vastly more accurate then shotguns or handguns.
When making a choice for home defense you can take the advice of Joe Biden; or come talk to the professionals at Stock and Barrel.
Stock and Barrel is an indoor shooting range and pro shop located in the south Twin Cities metro area with locations in Chanhassen and Eagan.