The Six Reasons Every Family Needs a Shotgun for Home Defense

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The Six Reasons Every Family Needs a Shotgun for Home Defense

One of the most popular reasons given for purchasing any type of firearm is “home defense.” That makes perfect sense when you consider the most valuable and cherished things in your life – your family – reside in the home and are worthy of protecting at all costs.

The most common question that follows is “what type of firearm is the best for that purpose?” While there is no perfect answer to that question, some choices do stand out more than others. Many of the families that receive professional instruction at Gunshots Firearms Training live in urban or suburban environments, which place them in very close proximity to their neighbors. They also tend to enjoy shooting for sport and recreation as well.

With these considerations in mind, one of the better firearm choices for home defense that stays at the top of our list is the shotgun. However, it may not be for the reasons that first come to your mind.

There are numerous myths surrounding shotguns that can be directly attributed to Hollywood cinema and television media. These myths are not based in fact and must be dispelled from the outset. The worst offender on the “myth list” is the following statement: you don’t have to aim or be accurate with a shotgun … just point it in the direction of the threat and shoot … you’ll hit the target. That statement is patently false.

At close range, the average distribution of buckshot at the time it hits the target is three to four inches. If the average hallway in your home is 25 feet long (close range) and six feet wide, that provides more than ample opportunity to miss any target. Aiming is always critical regardless of the firearm used for defense.

Now that we’ve taken that myth off the table, let’s look at some very practical reasons to choose a shotgun for home defense.

  1. Student learning shotgunLegal & Legislative Protection. Shotguns have always been a part of our American culture since the founding of the colonies, and as a result, it has remained relatively immune from the anti-gun lobby. Its use in recreational hunting and organized sports has legitimized its continued mainstream popularity. Even in the most anti-gun environments (Chicago and New York City come to mind), the shotgun has remained off the target list of state legislators. There is no reason that reality will change in the foreseeable future.
  2. Price & Availability. Shotguns can be purchased in almost any sporting goods department year round and with few exceptions never have to be “back ordered.” A quality shotgun can be purchased for a fraction of the price of a rifle or quality handgun, making its purchase practical for those on a tight budget. The ammunition for shotguns tends to comparatively inexpensive as well.
  3. Power & Precision. In the world of close-range engagements, shotguns are much more powerful than common caliber handguns. The benefit of additional force translates into a better ability to stop deadly threats within your home. When slugs are used instead of buckshot, shotguns can have the accuracy and precision of a handgun or rifle.
  4. Reduced Over-Penetration Concerns. The velocity of handgun ammunition tends to be rather high, while the construction of walls within apartment complexes and modern homes tend to be rather thin. When those facts combine, the potential of a bullet fired in self-defense from a handgun penetrating a wall and entering a neighbors’ home becomes very real. Shotguns have more power than a handgun, but that force dissipates quickly once the buckshot impacts a hard surface.
  5. Maintenance & Reliability. Shotguns are easy to clean and maintain, even for the most mechanically-challenged person. Fewer moving parts mean less chance of a malfunction and breaking as well. Even if it sits in the corner of your bedroom for three months unused, it will be there to take care of you when the critical time comes.
  6. Multiple Use & Purpose. If you’re like most consumers, you don’t want to spend a few hundred dollars on something you may never have to use. Shotguns are used for sport (trap and skeet), hunting (every season in all environments) and recreation (target shooting) everywhere in the United States. When the shotgun comes home with you after a day of fun and relaxation, it assumes its home defense role once again.

Responsible firearm owners know that education and safety are critical components of any home defense program, and understand that all members of the family should be trained in its use. If the unthinkable happens and one or both parents become incapacitated during a home invasion, it makes sense that the children of reasonable age would know where the shotgun is kept. More importantly, it makes sense that they’ll know how to safely and properly use it when the time comes.

That is one of the reasons we strongly support family-oriented firearms training for our community in Rancho Cucamonga and San Bernardino County in California. When the entire family embraces a well thought out home defense program, everyone receives the critical training that serves to keep the other family members safe and secure.

And like using a shotgun for home defense, that makes complete and total sense. Look into firearms training at Gunshots Academy in Inland Empire.

Todd Widick
Todd Widick
Todd Widick served six years with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. He currently holds instructor certifications with the California Department of Justice in Pistol and the National Rifle Association in Pistol, Rifle, and shotgun. Todd is gunshot trauma trained and a certified CCW instructor for the states of Utah & Florida. He also holds a Class 1 Federal Firearms license.

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