Finding the best home defense shotgun

Selecting the ideal home defense shotgun: Get tips, reviews, and top choices for ultimate security. Ensure your safety with the best firearms suited for home protection.


9/10/202311 min read

home defense shotgun
home defense shotgun

When it comes to home defense, nothing beats the best home defense shotgun. With its power and accuracy, it's a great tool for keeping your home safe. But with so many different models on the market, it can be difficult to find the right one for you. This blog post will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision when choosing the best home defense shotgun for your home. We'll cover everything from the features and benefits of different models to the most important safety tips. By the end of this post, you'll have the knowledge and confidence to choose the perfect home defense shotgun for your needs.

Why a shotgun is a popular choice for home defense

When it comes to choosing a weapon for home defense, there are many options available. From handguns to rifles, the choices can be overwhelming. However, one option stands out as a popular and effective choice for home defense: the shotgun.

A shotgun is a versatile firearm that has been trusted by homeowners for generations. There are several reasons why a shotgun is a popular choice for home defense. First and foremost, the power of a shotgun cannot be understated. Whether you choose a 12 gauge shotgun, a 20 gauge shotgun, or even a .410 shotgun, the sheer force of a shotgun blast is enough to deter any intruder. The spread of the pellets ensures a high chance of hitting your target, even in high-stress situations.

Another reason shotguns are popular for home defense is their ease of use. Unlike handguns, shotguns do not require as much accuracy or marksmanship skills. In a high-pressure situation, when adrenaline is pumping and your heart is racing, it can be difficult to aim precisely. With a shotgun, you have a larger margin for error, as the pellets will spread and increase your chances of hitting your target.

Shotguns are also known for their intimidation factor. The mere sound of racking a shotgun can send shivers down an intruder's spine. This psychological deterrent can be just as effective as the firepower of the shotgun itself. Most criminals are aware of the destructive force of a shotgun and are less likely to challenge an armed homeowner.

Furthermore, shotguns offer a wide range of ammunition options specifically designed for home defense. From buckshot to slugs, there are various types of ammunition available that cater to different needs and preferences. Additionally, the versatility of a shotgun allows for the option of using non-lethal ammunition, such as rubber pellets or bean bags, if you are concerned about the safety of loved ones in close proximity.

Lastly, shotguns are relatively easy to learn and operate, making them an accessible choice for homeowners. However, firearm safety should never be taken lightly. Proper firearm training and knowledge of shotgun safety are crucial to ensure that you are prepared to defend yourself and your loved ones effectively.

a close up of a gun on a table
a close up of a gun on a table

Factors to consider when choosing a home defense shotgun

When it comes to choosing a home defense shotgun, there are several important factors to consider. Taking the time to carefully evaluate these factors will ensure that you select the best shotgun for your needs and preferences.

First and foremost, you'll want to consider the size and weight of the shotgun. Home defense shotguns are typically shorter and lighter than traditional hunting shotguns, making them easier to maneuver in tight spaces. Look for a shotgun with a barrel length between 18 to 20 inches, as this provides a good balance between accuracy and maneuverability. Additionally, consider the weight of the shotgun, as you'll want to be able to handle and aim it comfortably, especially in high-stress situations.

Next, consider the capacity of the shotgun. Shotguns typically have a tube magazine that holds shells, and the capacity can range from 4 to 8 rounds, depending on the model. A higher capacity allows for more rounds to be fired before needing to reload, which can be advantageous in a home defense scenario. However, keep in mind that higher capacity shotguns may also be bulkier and heavier, so consider your own physical abilities and preferences.

Another important factor to consider is the action type of the shotgun. Pump-action shotguns, such as the Remington 870 or Mossberg 500, are popular choices for home defense due to their reliability and simplicity. With a pump-action shotgun, you manually rack the slide to chamber a round, providing a tactile feedback and an audible sound that can be intimidating to potential intruders. Semi-automatic shotguns, on the other hand, automatically chamber the next round with each pull of the trigger, allowing for faster follow-up shots but may be more complex to operate and maintain.

Consider the accessories and features that you want on your shotgun. Many home defense shotguns come with options for adding accessories such as tactical lights, lasers, and extended magazines. These can enhance your ability to accurately engage targets in low-light situations and provide added functionality to your shotgun. Additionally, some shotguns have adjustable stocks, allowing you to customize the length of pull for a better fit and more comfortable shooting experience.

Lastly, consider the cost and availability of ammunition for the shotgun. While shotguns offer a wide range of ammunition options specifically designed for home defense, it's important to consider the availability and cost of these rounds. Common calibers for home defense shotguns include 12 gauge and 20 gauge, which offer a wide variety of ammunition options. If you have concerns about overpenetration or want to minimize recoil, you may also consider the .410 shotgun, which offers reduced power but can still be effective in close-quarters situations.

brands of home defense shotguns
brands of home defense shotguns

Top brands and models of shotguns for home defense

When it comes to choosing a home defense shotgun, it's important to select a reliable and trusted brand. While there are many great options on the market, here are a few top brands and models that consistently stand out for their performance and features.

One popular brand known for its quality shotguns is Remington. The Remington 870 is a pump-action shotgun that has been a staple in the home defense market for years. Its rugged construction and smooth action make it a favorite among many homeowners. The 870 Express Tactical model is particularly well-suited for home defense, with its 18.5-inch barrel and capacity of up to 7 rounds.

Another top brand in the shotgun world is Mossberg. The Mossberg 500 series is a versatile line of shotguns that offers a variety of options for home defense. The Mossberg 500 Tactical model features a 20-inch barrel and a capacity of up to 8 rounds. It also comes equipped with an adjustable stock and a top-mounted Picatinny rail for adding accessories like tactical lights or red dot sights.

For those looking for a semi-automatic option, the Beretta 1301 Tactical is a highly-regarded choice. Known for its reliability and fast cycling, this shotgun offers a great balance between firepower and ease of use. With its 18.5-inch barrel and extended magazine tube, the 1301 Tactical is a formidable home defense tool.

If you prefer a smaller, more compact option, A Bond Arms Derringer is worth considering. While not technically a "shotgun", A Bond Arms such as a "Rowdy" or "Snake Slayer" are .410 derringers that are chambered to both .410 shotgun shells and .45 Colt cartridges. This versatility makes it an attractive option for those who want the ability to switch between shotshells and handgun rounds for home defense. Bond Arms Derringers are also available in several models and a wide range of calibers, including .38 special, 9mm, .380 (new models)

When it comes to choosing the best home defense shotgun, it's also important to consider the ammunition you'll be using. Various manufacturers offer home defense ammunition specifically designed for shotguns. Popular options include 00 buckshot and slug rounds, which provide excellent stopping power and accuracy. Additionally, some manufacturers produce reduced-recoil rounds, which can help minimize recoil and improve control, especially for those with limited experience or strength.

Ultimately, the best home defense shotgun will depend on your personal preferences and needs. It's important to handle and try out different models to find one that feels comfortable and suits your individual circumstances. Remember to prioritize reliability, ease of use, and compatibility with your chosen ammunition. With the right shotgun in hand, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are well-equipped to protect yourself and your loved ones.

home defense shotgun ammunition
home defense shotgun ammunition

Gauge and ammunition options

When it comes to choosing the right gauge and ammunition for your home defense shotgun, there are a few important factors to consider. The gauge refers to the diameter of the shotgun's barrel, and different gauges have different characteristics and capabilities. The most common gauges for home defense shotguns are 12 gauge and 20 gauge, although the .410 shotgun is also a viable option.

The 12 gauge shotgun is the most popular choice for home defense due to its versatility and availability of ammunition. With a larger bore diameter, the 12 gauge shotgun offers a greater stopping power and a wider range of ammunition options. The most common ammunition for a 12 gauge shotgun is 00 buckshot, which consists of nine to fifteen .33 caliber lead pellets. This load is effective at close range and provides a wide pattern, increasing the chances of hitting your target.

For those who prefer a smaller and lighter shotgun, the 20 gauge shotgun is a great alternative. The 20 gauge shotgun offers less recoil and is easier to handle, making it an excellent choice for individuals with limited physical strength or those who want a more maneuverable firearm. While it may have slightly less stopping power than the 12 gauge, the 20 gauge can still deliver significant stopping power when loaded with 00 buckshot or other suitable ammunition.

If you're looking for a shotgun that offers reduced power and recoil, the .410 shotgun is worth considering. While technically not a gauge, the .410 shotgun is a popular choice for home defense due to its lower recoil and ease of use. It fires smaller pellets, making it less likely to overpenetrate walls and cause collateral damage. The .410 shotgun is also a great option for individuals who may have difficulty handling the larger and heavier 12 or 20 gauge shotguns.

In addition to gauge selection, it's crucial to choose the right ammunition for your home defense shotgun. There are various types of shotgun ammunition available, including buckshot, birdshot, slugs, and specialized home defense rounds. When selecting ammunition, consider the potential risks of overpenetration and choose a load that is less likely to pass through walls and endanger loved ones in neighboring rooms.

Ultimately, the best gauge and ammunition for your home defense shotgun will depend on your individual circumstances and preferences. It's important to carefully evaluate the factors mentioned above and consider seeking professional advice or training to ensure that you make the right decision. By choosing the right gauge and ammunition for your home defense shotgun, you can maximize its effectiveness and ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones.

Tips for using a shotgun for home defense

When it comes to using a shotgun for home defense, there are some important tips to keep in mind. While shotguns are effective and powerful tools for protecting yourself and your loved ones, proper technique and safety precautions are essential. Here are some tips to help you use a shotgun for home defense effectively and safely.

1. Familiarize yourself with your shotgun: Before using a shotgun for home defense, take the time to become familiar with its features and operation. Practice loading, unloading, and racking the slide so that you can do it confidently and quickly if needed.

2. Train regularly: Regular training and practice are crucial for developing and maintaining proficiency with your shotgun. Take the time to practice aiming, shooting, and reloading in a safe and controlled environment. Consider taking a defensive shotgun course or seeking professional training to learn proper techniques and tactics.

3. Practice safe handling: Always treat your shotgun as if it is loaded, even if you believe it to be unloaded. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot and never point the muzzle at anything you do not intend to destroy. Familiarize yourself with the safety features of your shotgun and use them correctly.

4. Use the appropriate ammunition: Choose the right ammunition for your shotgun and the specific situation. For home defense, popular choices include 00 buckshot and slugs, as they offer significant stopping power. However, it's important to consider the layout of your home and the potential risks of overpenetration. Consult with a firearms expert or take a defensive shotgun course to ensure you choose the most suitable ammunition for your needs.

5. Aim and shoot with precision: While shotguns offer a larger margin for error due to their spread, it's still important to aim and shoot with precision. Practice aiming at specific targets to develop your accuracy and control. Remember to aim for the center of mass and follow through with your shots.

6. Be aware of your surroundings: In a high-stress situation, it's crucial to maintain awareness of your surroundings. Stay alert and identify potential escape routes or safe areas within your home. Communicate with family members and establish a plan for what to do in the event of a home invasion.

7. Communicate with law enforcement: If you ever have to use your shotgun for self-defense, remember to call law enforcement immediately. Cooperate fully with their instructions and provide them with any relevant information about the incident. Remember that your actions will be thoroughly investigated, so it's important to remain calm and follow legal procedures.

Remember, using a shotgun for home defense is a serious responsibility. Take the time to educate yourself about the proper techniques, safety protocols, and legal implications.

shotgun lock
shotgun lock

Proper storage and maintenance of your shotgun

Proper storage and maintenance of your shotgun is crucial to ensure its longevity and effectiveness. Whether you own a 12 gauge, 20 gauge, or .410 shotgun, taking the time to properly care for your firearm will help it perform at its best when you need it most.

When it comes to storage, it's important to keep your shotgun in a secure location, away from unauthorized access. Consider investing in a sturdy gun safe, lockable storage case or trigger lock to prevent accidents or theft. Keep in mind that proper storage also means keeping your shotgun unloaded and ammunition stored separately.

Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to keep your shotgun in top condition. After each use, be sure to clean your shotgun thoroughly to remove any dirt, debris, or residue. This includes disassembling the shotgun and cleaning the barrel, action, and other components with a suitable cleaning solvent and brushes. Proper lubrication is also important to ensure smooth functioning of the moving parts. Be sure to use a quality gun oil or lubricant recommended by the manufacturer.

Additionally, inspect your shotgun regularly for any signs of wear or damage. Check for cracks, rust, or loose screws, and address any issues immediately. This includes checking the condition of the stock, barrel, and other components for any potential safety hazards. If you notice any problems, consult with a qualified gunsmith or contact the manufacturer for assistance.

It's also worth mentioning the importance of storing and handling ammunition safely. Ammunition should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from heat or moisture. Properly dispose of any damaged or old ammunition, as it may pose a safety risk. When handling ammunition, always follow the manufacturer's recommendations and take precautions to prevent accidental discharges.

Lastly, ongoing training and practice are essential to maintaining proficiency with your shotgun. Consider attending defensive shotgun courses or seeking professional instruction to further develop your skills and techniques. This will not only enhance your ability to effectively use your shotgun for home defense but also reinforce proper safety protocols.

By following these guidelines for proper storage and maintenance, you can ensure that your shotgun is ready for action whenever you need it. Remember, responsible gun ownership includes not only choosing the right firearm but also taking care of it and using it safely. Stay informed, stay prepared, and stay safe.