Let’s talk about shotguns for a minute. While shotguns are probably one of the most common home defense weapons, they are also the most frequently misunderstood. Let’s examine a few myths about scatterguns.
#1 A Pump Action Will Drive The Criminal Away
This old-wives notion just won’t die, but there’s no good reason to believe it. The sound a pump shotgun gun makes when you work the action simply isn’t that loud, and wouldn’t necessarily deter a determined intruder. Scaring intruders off without firing a shot this way is Hollywood nonsense.
#2 It’s Impossible to Miss
It’s often suggested that a shotgun will strike everything in front of the barrel, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Again, Hollywood is probably to thank for this myth. The average defensive length shotgun patterns 7 inches at 20 yards, and even tighter if you’re using a hunting length shotgun. 20 yards is a very long shot in a home defense scenario.
#3 You Only Need One Shot To End the Battle
While in defensive handgun incidents the average shots fired is 3, it’s not a great stretch to assume that a shotgun could solve your issues in one. But it is never guaranteed that an intruder might stop after receiving ordinarily lethal damage. Attackers can often be high on drugs, reducing their susceptibility to pain, and requiring overwhelming lethal damage to stop. The takeaway? Don’t use a double-barrel, get a pump or semi-auto.
So what are some realities of shotguns we can trust with so much nonsense floating about?
First, shotguns truly are effective home defense weapons. Their lethality at close range makes them ideal weapons for home defense use. Second, keep in mind that buckshot is more effective than birdshot, a few large pellets will wreak far more damage than a large number of small BBs. Incidentally, it’s also a myth that birdshot won’t penetrate walls.
Author: Jack Andrews