Tags: Gun Control | shotgun | self-defense

Best Shotgun for Self-Defense: Experts Offer Advice

By    |   Monday, 06 Apr 2015 11:29 AM

More Americans purchase firearms for self-defense every year. Many first-time firearm owners are looking to protect themselves, their families, or their property. Choosing the right firearm to defend yourself can be a life-or-death decision if it is needed. The best shotgun for self-defense will be one that can be used quickly, accurately, and comfortably if or when the time comes. 

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If an incident happens where you must use a firearm to protect yourself, you need to know if you will be ready to pull the trigger. "Don't blow this off, this is of utmost importance," advises the website Graywolf Survival. "If you have some doubts now about whether or not you could potentially kill another human being should you be in a life-threatening event, those doubts will most likely be compounded and magnified in a high-stress incident."

Most self-defense firearms for day-to-day carry are pistols and other handguns. Shotguns are nearly impossible to carry concealed on your person, and laws from state to state govern how or whether shotguns can be carried in your vehicle where it can be accessible.

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The National Rifle Association says that since there is no uniform state transportation procedure for firearms, travelers must be aware of the laws of each state they visit. These laws can also be different for handguns versus long guns, such as shotguns and rifles. If a state requires that the shotgun be unloaded and kept where a driver or passenger cannot reach it, then it does not act as a good self-defense option.

Pump-action shotguns have a distinct noise advantage compared to semi-automatic shotguns and other self-defense firearms. "There is no sound in the world quite as identifiable or as intimidating as the rhythmic 'click-click' of a pump action shotgun being racked," says the website Internet Armory.

From bird shot to buckshot, the pellet size inside the shell casing is an important factor for a self-defense shotgun, and therefore a point of debate among self-defense experts. "To be frank, this is an area where there's a lot of leeway," writes Wiley Capp in a 2005 Guns and Ammo article. "At 'inside the house' ranges, shot size isn't critical. Even No. 8 birdshot will pattern into a six- to eight-inch circle at these distances. And it will do plenty of damage, too."

A well-trained shooter is a safer shooter. Even if you expect to use your shotgun only for self-defense, or otherwise hopefully never, you must choose one that is comfortable enough to practice with it frequently. But good training habits are vital. "Practicing with your defensive firearms is important, but only if you practice smart," writes Bryce Towsley in Personal Defense World. "Going out to the range and just blasting away is practicing bad habits."

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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More Americans purchase firearms for self-defense every year. Many first-time firearm owners are looking to protect themselves, their families, or their property. Choosing the right firearm to defend yourself can be a life-or-death decision if it is needed.
shotgun, self-defense
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2015-29-06
Monday, 06 Apr 2015 11:29 AM
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