A shotgun is a firearm that is usually designed to be fired from the shoulder, which uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called “shot” (e.g. buck-shot/00), or a solid projectile called a “slug”. A shotgun is generally a smooth-bore firearm, which means that the inside of the barrel is not rifled.
Why we LOVE shotguns for defense are as follows:
- Provides maximum stopping power! (~10x energy of a single .45 ACP)
- Reduced risk of over-penetration vs. rifle/handgun loads.
- Reduces need for shot placement due to the wide spread of the shot.
- Great for novice shooters. Just point and shoot!
Now that you know what definition of a shotgun is, (and why we love shotguns!) let us focus on shotguns we would like you to consider purchasing for defense purposes.
There are many kinds of shotguns out there (auto, break, lever, bolt-action, etc), but we will cover only two types of shotguns for defense purposes: pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns.
Pump action shotguns are designed to be “fail-safe” and have fewer moving parts than the semi-automatic shotguns. So, For reliability in the shotgun world, think pump-action. Only drawback is you must “pump” the shotgun after each shot which takes one second or less with proper training.
On to our top picks!
The Kel-Tec KSG pump action shot gun is a dream! Like most shotguns, there are no magazines, but it has two tubes that holds six, 3″ shells each! If you want even more shell capacity, Aguila sells mini-shells that would make the max capacity of 25 shells! Another factor that makes this shotgun ideal for defense is the 26.1 inch overall length. This gives the user more control over the weapon when clearing rooms in their home or business.
If you are looking for a classic pump action shotgun, Remington is it! Truly, you can’t go wrong with any model of the Remington, but why we like the 870 express synthetic model so much is because of the weight alone. 6 lbs! The barrel length of 18.5 is also perfect for home defense.
Semi-automatic shotguns are great alternative to pump action shotguns. Because of its design, it utilizes recoil and gas from the fired shot shell to work the action. Translation: the shooter will experience less recoil and the shotgun reloads itself in the process.
Very popular back in 2009, and still popular today! Mossberg 930 Spx is light and durable.