How to Choose a Shotgun for Home Defense?

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When the fuss is about home defense, it all boils down to firearms. And these days, firearms pack excellent protection against any situation for you and your family’s safety, especially the shotgun.

Well, now, a shotgun for hunt may not put up a similar fight for defense. In a sentence, each shotgun serves a different purpose and isn’t made equally. For choosing the right gun for your protection, you must know how to choose a shotgun for home defense.

So, how do you pick the right one? Having multiple options available can hit you hard choosing one. No worries, if you aren’t familiar with the situation, I got your back, like a good friend.

I’m pretty familiar with shotguns, rifles, and sniper rifles and know precisely what makes a particular firearm suitable for a specific purpose. With my knowledge, experience, and opinions from experts, hopefully, this article will make it clear to you whether you should go for a shotgun or not.

Let’s look at every nitty-gritty detail you have to consider while picking a shotgun.


How to Choose a Shotgun for Home Defense?

Having a shotgun for home defense will safeguard you from a bunch of criminals or theft situations. Here I’ll discuss a few specifications you need to know, including types of shotgun, gauge, length, etc.

Types of Shotgun

Before pulling your wallet out right away, you’ve to make a pit stop at the types of shotgun. As I said earlier, not all shotguns are made for similar purposes; So, you’ll need to know which one can boost the ultimate defense for you.

Shotguns come in various types; renowned ones are double-barreled, single-shot, pump-action, break action, and semi-automatic. Each piece ships with its own caliber, weakness, and that’s where the debate lies.

Some experts say semi-automatic and break actions are the most reliable because this piece fires as fast as lightning. You can say goodbye to short strokes.

But still, if you want the best piece, you can always look at a pump action. This gun can let you shoot a wider range, have more ammo space while leaving any misfire issues that could go awry. Plus, pump ones come with a lower price tag that could save your pennies.

One more peaky note is that always have a defense gun safe to hoard your shotguns and keep your ammo away from the wrong hands. But if you’re afraid of your kids who might play with your safe, make it a kids-proof gun safe as well. When you have a gun safe, make sure it’s fire-rated and has an anti-drilling feature.

Barrel Length

Shotguns are available in a bunch of lengths – some are better for home defense, and others are for hunting, shooting, or playing. Well, you’ve to pick the ones dedicated to home defense.

The top-notch home defense shotgun has to meet some requirements. It has to be short enough that you can maneuver it indoors, lightweight enough for easy lifting, easy to move, and small enough to operate single-handedly.

An average of 20 inches or so barrel length will do your safeguarding job. You can move the gun around, even in a pimping space like hallways, living rooms, or bathrooms.

However, barrel length also matters if you wish your teens or women to lift the guns in emergencies.

Gauge Function

As soon as you’ve decided the length, it’s time to check the gauge. This gauge refers to the actual diameter of your shotgun’s barrel bore. When the number is low, you’ll see a wider barrel hole that allows you to keep bigger and heavier ammo.

Shotguns come in several ranges, starting from 8 to 32 gauge. But mostly, 12 and 20 gauge are the most sorted out. The 12 gauge ones are the common defensive ones with developed shotshells, which means you can get your best chances at 12 gauge.

On the other hand, the 20 gauge has lower recoil giving it a bit of a hard kick. So, check out the gauge for a better operating and firing system.

Shell Capacity

When the situation is at your wit’s end, you’ll have to fire multiple rounds. In that case, you have to ensure your shotgun has a longer and wider space for at least four to five shells.

A single shot that is solely aimed at the target can end the whole fighting, but you might miss the shots in difficult situations. To that concern, you’d love to board a minimum of four to five shells in the shotgun.

Why You Should Choose a Shotgun Instead of Handguns or Pistols?

Well, it’s no surprise; the reason a shotgun steps ahead from handguns or pistols is that one shot can call it a day to most fightings. Surprising, right? These firearm options differ from each other when it comes to barrels, pointing target, ammunition, length, and other aspects.


  • It comes with a long barrel and an excellent bore to eliminate friction.
  • The walls of a barrel are tenuous because of reducing pressure, which lets your fire simultaneously.
  • They are specially designed to shooting both low and high ranged targets, even in the air.
  • The bore can meet only one gauge specification of ammunition, leading to desired shots.


  • It comes with short barrels paired with thick walls and rifling to combat high pressures.
  • A handgun needs special care to have control over the muzzle because it comes in a short barrel.
  • They are used for aiming at stationary targets.
  • The bore can handle a specified ammunition caliber, not more than that.


  • It comes in a pretty smaller size and lightweight body compared to the other two on the list.
  • Most popular for home and self-defense, but you need multiple rounds of shots, whereas shotgun does the job with just one.
  • Only work in close-ranged shooting, never puts up a good fight for long ranges.

Disadvantages of Shotgun for Home Defense

Nothing in the world is entirely perfect, which isn’t an exception for shotguns as well. Each piece has its drawbacks or disadvantages – whatever you call it. Let’s check out some drawbacks that might pique your mind. See if you can live up to these disadvantages.

Limited Rounds

Most of the shotguns carry a magazine tube, paired with 4 to 8 rounds capacity in general, which depends on the type or model you’re looking at.

Imagine a 30 round magazine of a shotgun; well, honestly, I’d say that’s not a lot. Plus, reloading a shotgun is a tough call, and it adds more toughness while changing a higher-capacity magazine.

Range Limitation

The biggest and traumatizing drawback that comes with a shotgun is the range limitation. You can just fire at a short range without any customization, but it can be enhanced by doing some alters like choke type, barrel length, ammo type, etc.

Don’t worry because most of the shotguns are meant for defensive and offensive personal protection.


Compare to a rifle, pistol, or handgun; the shotgun is pretty bulky and heavy due to its heavy ammo. If you aren’t using a shotgun for serious fights, you’ll suddenly realize having much ammo makes it difficult to load and move around.

It’s better to keep just the right number of ammo – not too much. That way, you won’t have to deal with extra weight.


Things look peaceful, sound, and healthy when everything feels sorted around you until it boils down to you and the protection of your family. In such cases, a firearm will be your sole partner, and it’s a shotgun that’ll get you out of a tight situation.

So, think about the possible scenarios you might face, what the odds are, or the protection you crave, basically everything. Precisely check out the things I’ve mentioned earlier when looking for a shotgun, especially the types.

Impact Guns have a wide range of shotguns for sale. and was founded in 1997.

  • Life Time Warranty on new guns
  • Fast Shipping
  • Huge selection in different types

Impact Guns, the original online gun store- guns, ammo, and accessories for low prices.

Last but not least, have a gun safe as soon as you have yourself a shotgun and a bunch of ammo.

Break a leg!

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