Defensive Use of the 12 Gauge Pump Action Shotgun Revisited

Posted: December 7, 2012 in Weapons
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The 12 Gauge Pump Action Shotgun is best suited for close range, short duration, defensive conflicts that do not require a significant amount of rounds per target.  In terms of close range stopping power, the 12 Gauge Pump Action Shotgun using 2 3/4″ 00 buckshot is one of the best available small arms to defensively end hostilities at an effective range of 0 – 25 yards.

Proficiency with a 12 Gauge shotgun is only one part of an overall defensive solution.  It is just as important to have the right mindset and the right attitude.  You should practice defensive shotgun techniques at reasonable intervals, but also remember it is not only the shotgun which can save your life but the skill and determination of the person defensively using the shotgun.

Recommended 12 Gauge Pump Action Shotguns include the Remington 870 Express Tactical, Remington 887 Nitro Mag, Mossberg 500, Mossberg 590, Mossberg 590A1 and the H&R Pardner.  The ideal defensive shotgun should be a 12 Gauge Pump Action Shotgun with a short 18.5″ smoothbore barrel. 

The shotgun is a tool which is designed for a mission so any modification which enhances the mission should be considered worthwhile.  Recommended shotgun accessories include a Pachmeyer recoil pad, ATI heatshield, ATI side saddle for stock mounting,  TacStar side saddle for receiver mounting, Surefire or UTG light, Blackhawk single point sling with single point sling adapter, Molle ammo pouches and a sufficient supply of 12 Gauge 2 3/4″ 00 buckshot ammunition.

Train with your shotgun and make sure you know how to handle it properly.  Fundamentals should include safe handling, loading, unloading, clearing malfunctions, target acquisition and proper shot placement.  When used at close range, hitting an attacker with a well placed round of 00 buckshot = the equivilant mass of 4.5 rounds of 9mm ammo. 

Remember that using your shotguns sights is essential at all but the closest of ranges.  The more distant the enemy, the more refined and precise your sight alignment must be. 

  1. Idahobob says:

    I love the 12 ga. pump shotgun. Purchased my first 870 tactical many, many years ago, before it was cool to own one.

    The one drawback with them that I see, it is tough to rack the slide from the prone position.

    Thats where I feel a semi auto… the Benelli M4, shines.



  2. rmactsc says:

    Been a long time since I’ve used a shotgun in the prone position but I remember angling my pump action shotguns and having to do a mini elbow prop up to cycle it 🙂

  3. Just so long as I remember which way round to hold it I should be fine! Would probably need to be a close range shot if there was to be any chance of my actually hitting something! lol 🙂

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