The 12 Gauge pump action shotgun is the most formidible and effective weapon available for close range personal defense. 

Recommended 12 Gauge Pump Action Home Defense Shotguns listed below.  (Make sure whichever make and model you choose is dependable and reliable and that you are fully trained in the proper use and operation of your weapon.  Short barreled smoothbore models 18 to 22 inches in length are the preferred option)

  • Mossberg 590A1, Mossberg 590 and Mossberg 500
  • Remington 887 and Remington 870
  • H&R Pardner

Recommended Buckshot and Birdshot listed below.  (Make sure you factor in overpenetration possibilities and what is around your target and behind your target as both buckshot and birdshot can penetrate sheetrock walls)  Pellets or balls within the shotgun shell when fired, will expand rapidly with the distance traveled and will produce a shotguns pattern.

  • 00 Buck 2 3/4″ OD green hull manufactured by Olin Winchester (Each pull of the trigger will put nine, 00 buck  33 caliber pellets into a target.  At close range can produce target penetration of up to 12 inches)
  • #6 Bird 2 3/4 “  Black hull manufactured by Remington (Each pull of the trigger will put a significant quantity of small diameter pellets into a target.  At close range can produce target penetration of  up to 6 inches)

Shotgun Accessories to consider listed below.  (Mission dictates weapons selection and accessory choices.  Not all accessories are needed for all shotguns)

  • Full Buttstock or Folding Buttstock (Avoid pistol grip only with no buttstock)
  • Pachmeyer slip on Recoil Pad 
  • ATI Buttstock Shotshell Holder
  • Blackhawk Single Point Sling Adapter
  • Blackhawk Single Point Sling
  • Front and Rear Sling Attachment Points (If not using single point sling)
  • Outdoor Connections 2 Point Military Sling (If not using single point sling)
  • Ghost Ring Rear Sight
  • TacStar Shotshell Holder (For mounting opposite of the Ejection Port)
  • ATI Heat Shield
  • ATI Clamp On Flashlight Holder
  • Surefire G2 Flashlight
  • Breacher Barrel Screw In Adapter
  • Improved Cylinder or Modified Choke (These chokes will give you a 15 to 20 inch spread pattern at 10 yards)
  • Mil-Spec Molle Saw Pouch (For carrying spare shotgun shells)

A choke is a screw in device which constricts the bore end of the barrel and its purpose is to decrease the spread of shot.  A choke will effect the tightness of the shot pattern.  Tighter patterns will contribute to better accuracy and wider patterns contribute to more area coverage. 

Defensive Shotgun Tips

  • The shotgun for defensive purposes should be used only when you are in immediate fear for your life or the lives of your family.  It is not for bluffing.  If  and when you pull it out you need to have the mindset that you may need to use it to protect your life or your families life.
  • Shotguns offer devestating close range stopping power.
  • At typical home defense distances the shot pattern is going to be very tight so you must aim or you will miss.
  • Racking a shotgun does not scare an intruder away.  Human predators frequently do not feel fear or compassion and racking will not stop an attacker.  Shotshells properly aimed and fired when your life is in danger will.
  • The primary objective in home defense is to hit the criminal who is threatening your life without overpenetrating and hitting unintended victims.
  • A weapon is not about bluffing; it’s about surviving.
  • Make sure you have a workable understanding of weapons manipulation, sight picture, sight alignment and trigger control.

Rules of Firearms Safety

  • Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
  • Never let the muzzle cover anything or anyone you are not willing to destroy.
  • Keep your fingers off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
  • Be sure of your target and what is around it and beyond it.


  • People of principle, you and I and other Americans who seek to defend themselves and not be victims are what keeps the thugs from winning.
  • Everyone has the right and responsibility to protect their homes and families from criminal attack.

  1. 1stminstrel says:

    AAA+ Post…everyone should read..

  2. Shawn says:

    you know I feel that Birdshot is the worst round for defense you could can get. I have recently tested it in my penetration series of tests from inside a house, I wont go through a typical couch and make a dent in a cardboard target behind, Stick to something like number 4 buck.

    • rmactsc says:

      00 Buckshot is my preferred choice; but I’ve seen #6 birdshot do some mighty nasty things at close range.

      • Shawn says:

        it will make a horrific shallow wound, but it does not meet FBI ballistic penetration requirements to insure the best chance for stopping a threat. It just not go deep enough, it makes a mess but its just not deep enough

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