An Introduction To The Combat Shotgun

Part of a man’s arsenal is detailed towards defending his home. The pistol is a good thing to carry while out and about, and it makes a good nightstand decoration. The rifle is for hunting and controlling a field or a street. The shotgun, however, occupies the place in between, and today we are going to talk about the very thing you want to be holding when you yank open your front door to confront whatever hell has deposited itself on your front yard: the combat shotgun.

What is a combat shotgun?

As our readers will no doubt recall from previous articles, the shotgun itself shares common roots with the rifle as both were, at one time, the same weapon. A smooth-bore musket would fire whatever you wanted down the bore, whether that be a single ball, or a pile of shot. Once rifling was developed, the idea of a single projectile took precedence over some shot, and the shotgun stayed smoothbore entirely until much later, with the advent of dedicated slug guns.

Modern shotguns developed alongside rifles with the introduction of cartridges to replace muzzleloading around the end of the Civil War, and smokeless powder to replace black powder. As these technologies evolved, certain shotguns were modified for close-up, non-hunting use.

Externally hammered Winchester side by side double barrel shotgun.

Beginning with the so called “coach gun” and continuing with first and second World War trench guns, a shotgun evolved for use in fighting situations. These had characteristics unique to the idea, and the primary one is that they are short compared to a field wing shooting shotgun. Robust actions, the ability to carry more ammo on and in the gun, rifle or carbine style sights, and some differences in furniture, finish and accessories add together to make a completely different beast.

Winchester 1897 shotgun in “trench gun” configuration. Note the barrel shroud, short barrel, and bayonet system.

Other names for this type of shotgun are the previously mentioned trench gun, riot shotgun, military shotgun, tactical shotgun, LEO (law enforcement officer) shotgun, and I’m sure there’s others, but the idea is to differentiate it from a traditional or hunting shotgun. Let’s talk particulars.


Although it’s arguable that the double barreled break action was the first one that got converted for anti-bandito use, and, while there ARE some double barreled tactical-ed up shotguns out there today, it’s not common. The lever action isn’t used any more in shotguns due to lack of strength, and there’s few bolt actions.

There’s two ways to go: slide (pump) action, and semi-automatic (of either the recoil driven or gas driven varieties). Both have advantages and disadvantages.

The pump shotgun, in a tactical role, is a very reliable design, provided the operator runs the gun correctly and doesn’t stop in between strokes of running the action (some models will drop the shell on the ground if you do that) or “short stroke” and not fully actuate the mechanism. They’re generally cheaper, don’t care what power shell you run in them, and make that cool noise.

We’re a long way from a Wingmaster, but that IS a Remington 870 under all that tactical stuff.

Being lighter, and not using any of the recoil to run the action, they will punish your shoulder more than semi-autos, and you DO have to run the action yourself, which means longer time between shots, and making it harder to re-aim for follow up shots. You can leave them without a round in the chamber for safety, and leave the safety off, thus enabling you to rack and go.

Do not, however, and I repeat DO NOT, think you can sneak up on some home invader and rack the slide and scare him off. Either you have an empty gun to start with, or you chuck good ammo on the ground, while taking your aim off the bad guy. The proper way to scare a home invader off that is in your home is point the gun at him, announce that you have a gun and you’ll shoot, and, unless he immediately surrenders and drops weapon, hose him. Or just hose him preemptively; if he’s in your house with a weapon, you are legally allowed to do so.

Semi-automatics are the other alternative. Recoil operated, or inertia operated, shotguns are still very popular; they’re simple, light, and will hammer you about as hard as a pump, but, making a bit of a generalization here, they are primarily hunting based weapons these days.

Most combat semi-autos are gas driven, and they use the same style system initially pioneered in the M1 Garand where a little bit of gas is bled off through a hole in the barrel to drive a piston which will, in turn, run the bolt for you. They’re heavier, and they mitigate recoil through that weight and by eating some of the recoil in the actuation of the action. They do, however, shit where they eat, although not as bad as a direct impingement gun like the AR platform, so you will need to clean them more often.

A Benelli M4, with optic, full length mag tube, pistol grip, and collapsible stock.

One big disadvantage of gas powered semi-auto shotguns (that you don’t see in rifles) is that they have to reliably cycle with a variety of loads. Your gun needs to cycle with low brass #8 birdshot 2 and 3/4 shells, but not have a high-speed come apart when you fire 3.5 inch magnum buck through it. Recoil driven shotguns just take it all, there isn’t that much difference in recoil between those two examples to matter, but gas systems have to be set up to use all the gas power on low power shells, but meter some of it on high power ones so as to not blow the gun up. This is done via an adjustable gas plug near the gas port in the barrel, or the gas pistons are set up with valves to bleed off the excess automatically.

This is a Saiga. The ringed thing is the piston, and the threaded thing is the gas plug. Note the two slots in it (1 and 2) and the pushpin on the gun. The tapered end is down when the pin is at 2 for full power, and the plug blocks half the gas when it is flipped over at 1, for half power when you are using magnum rounds.

Either is fine for your use in a combat shotgun.

Magazines and shell carriers

Shotgun shells are big. They’re not necessarily longer than a lot of rifle rounds, but they are much fatter, which makes stacking them sideways, like most rifles and pistols, to be a bit of a challenge. Some guns, like the Saiga series of Kalashnikov shotguns, just shrug, slam some vodka, and run around with a foot long 10 round box mag hanging out of the bottom of the receiver (or a 12 or 20 round drum), but most shotguns, including combat shotguns, stick with the traditional underhung linear tube mag under the barrel inside the forearm.

That mag holds TEN (10) and only ten rounds. Saigas are some of the only box mag shotguns out there, being Kalashnikovs, and they are the ONLY gun old B-Rock Obama managed to ban from further importing.

One thing that does typically get changed is that your normal shotgun has a 5 round tube mag when you’re using 2 and 3/4 inch shells (less with longer ones) and they come with a plug to limit you to 3 shells total in the gun while hunting (which you can, of course, remove). The combat shotgun runs that tube mag out to the end of the barrel to pick up a couple extra shells. Add to that carrying one in the pipe, and occasionally some creative loading practices like Benelli’s “ghost loading,” and you can get that up to 9 shells in the gun.

Mag extension

The next step is more of an accessory, but it is for ammunition carrying. Shell holders can be mounted to the left side of the receiver (opposite the action’s port) and can carry 4-6 rounds. Butt sleeves with loops for shells can be strapped around the buttstock and give you about the same once again. While the tube mags are beneficial in that they can be topped off while still keeping the gun loaded, they do take practice to load quickly and smoothly while staying on target. Practice a lot.

This shotgun has both a receiver shell carrier and a buttstock sleeve shell carrier, and is a good example of tasteful and useful customization, without going full retard.


Sights on a shotgun are typically a different beast than your typical rifle irons. A single bead at the end of the barrel, sometimes with a pin a little closer in, are all the traditional shotgun has, and one aligns either the top of the barrel’s cylinder, or a flat sighting rib, with the center of your eye, and you simply point the bead at your target. Many targets for shotgun sport shooting are moving, and the idea is to instinctively point the gun and punch the trigger as you arc your aim following the flying bird.

Rifle sights, at least classic irons, are set up to give you a little more detail that would normally be blocked out by the barrel underneath the target. This is also why field shotguns will often pattern a little higher than dead center on the bead, it allows you to aim lower and see more. The concept is that, with the front sight higher than the barrel, you can see more of the target, but you also now require a rear sight of some sort.

Benelli “ghost ring.” Note that the rear aperture is almost not there, it’s almost just a suggestion. The white dots line up with one on the front, and are tritium night sights.

A popular combat shotgun sight is the “ghost ring” which is a very wide aperture sight that is a thin ring. It allows you to line the back end of the shotgun with the front sight while allowing your field of view to be unobstructed. On the optic side, red dots, lasers, and small magnification scopes are frequently used. The takeaway is to use sights like a carbine rifle would, while making sure they can handle 12 gauge recoil.

Furniture and accessories

Although the original riot and trench guns had wooden furniture (stock and forearm) on them, often with a simple metal perforated screen for a barrel heat shroud, modern combat shotguns are almost always equipped with black polymer furniture. This helps in a few ways, mainly by being weather resistant and allowing a few more options.

Collapsible, or folding, stocks are common, as well as pistol grips. I don’t see a whole lot of vertical fore ends on combat shotguns, unless someone is doing a classic wood  furniture Saiga conversion and wants to use a “donkey dick” fore end. Some will use a “hand stop” style of device that lets your support hand have something to push up against while holding the normal forearm.

The only dick that will ever show up in my articles ever: the classic AK-47 wooden vertical fore-grip; the donkey dick.

Like all close action modern guns, rails are in. Whether you want a shell holder, a light, a laser, the hand assist mentioned previously, an optic that can be quickly taken off, sling attachments, or all of the above, the Picatinny rail system is where it’s at, and you can tune to your taste. Personally, I’m a bit of a minimalist, but having an optic rail is very nice, and a light is the next thing I’d go for, especially if you already have some sort of night sight.

A sling is a must on any sort of working gun, because there will be times you need to stow that thing while doing something else. Rifle sling marksmanship can also apply to the combat shotgun.

This one is getting a little intense, but is usable with enough practice. It has: light, rails, two different ammo stores, foreend hand stop, optic, mag extension, a “door breacher” muzzle attachment, barrel shroud, and customized riser on the stock.

Lastly, a word on chokes. Most modern shotguns come with internal (the tube sits in the barrel) and external (the tube screws onto the end of the barrel) chokes. Do not shoot an internal choke gun without a choke. Do not run around without at least a thread protector on an external choke gun.

Combat chokes are one of two extremes. Run a full, or extra full, choke for buckshot (and do NOT shoot anything less than buck at a human target, bird shot is stupid, and rock salt might get you legally in trouble, as they might say you didn’t think he was scary enough to kill him, but shot him anyway), and run a cylinder (or open cylinder, or “slug”) choke for slugs. You want full choke to keep the buckshot concentrated, and you want an open choke for the slug so it doesn’t bind up passing through the tighter coke, which hurts the gun and the accuracy of the shot.

Choke recap.


Combat shotguns are fun and useful, and they serve a nice niche between your pistol and carbine. You can protect your home, make a statement by really wrecking something, and participate in things like 3 gun for fun. The best book I have seen on running a combat shotgun, although it is a little dated, is Massad Ayoob’s Stressfire II: Advanced Combat Shotgun, if you want to learn how. Be safe.

Read More: 5 Firearms A Man Should Own

112 thoughts on “An Introduction To The Combat Shotgun”

    1. Mossberg 590 is a pretty solid bet. I used them in the service and own one as well. Priced pretty reasonable too.

  1. Most of the shotguns I’ve used reload from the side, as the Remington shown, but a few feed on the underside (between the trigger-guard and the pump). Having never been in a rapid-reload situation (closest was hunting quail), I was wondering if you find one or the other more efficient.
    Naturally, it only really matters in a group-assault situation, where for some reason the shells you already loaded aren’t sufficient. Just curious, as more of a rifleman than a shotgun expert.

    1. The side loading version is easier to directly load one straight into the chamber. Even shooting left handed, one can reach over and slap one in with the rear (left) hand. Some models (browning A5,Auto 5, now the bps I think too) automatically chamber the first round loaded (bypassing the magazine). Essentially so if you wanted to be chambered while reloading or whatever.

    2. The Browning BPS and Ithaca Model 37 pump action shotguns both load and eject from the bottom. They are not difficult to load directly into the chamber and are ambidextrous for us southpaws. The BPS has a magazine cut off so it can be set to not pick up the next round when the action is operated. That makes it easy to unload without having to cycle through every shell in the tube.

  2. Nice article. First gun I ever shot was a 12 gauge. I was about 5 and my dad thought it would put a healthy fear of guns into me. It did the trick, I got a decent bruise on my shoulder and stayed away from them until I was about 12 or so.

    1. Shotguns are the class of rifles where a separate study given to development of impact padding is needed 🙂
      The one serious weapon I fired was a Kazool (spelled?) which at the time was the largest round to be fired from a hand gun – that thing was fuckin’ insane. I didn’t think anything could top the recoil of a desert eagle.

      1. Yeah I remember shooting one that a friend had. Can’t remember the caliber. Fun as hell. Still I prefer a good old 44 magnum six shooter.

        1. ” Still I prefer a good old 44 magnum six shooter”
          That should do the trick fine – not need to use a weapon that can drop a rhino when it’s just humans fighting anongst themselves.

        2. I picked it up in Alaska to hike around in bear country. Have this side holster, look like Yosemite Sam with the whole getup.

      2. The cartridge in discussion is the .454 Casull, packing some 1900 ft lbs energy, and it’s a revolver, while the Desert Eagle (shooting .50 Action Express) is a gas operated semi-auto (thus absorbing some recoil) and sitting around 1500 ft lbs. I think the current top of the heap is the .500 S&W at 2868 ft lbs. That thing might kill people on both ends of the gun.

        1. “I think the current top of the heap is the .500 S&W at 2868 ft lbs. That thing might kill people on both ends of the gun”
          I don’t doubt that.

        2. Typically any handgun chambered in 500 Smith is going to be ported. The newer versions of the Model 500 have six (round hole) ports, three to each side of the front sight ramp. They improve shot to shot recovery by making the muzzle flip a bit more manageable. But let’s face it the recoil of this type of cartridge is going to be incredible. So it’s not a good choice for self defense (other than against large bears; think Alaska) due to controllability and over penetration issues. The S&W Model 500 is a massive revolver, but only holds 5 rounds in the cylinder (same as the original Freedom Arms .454 Casull single action). I have my eye on one that’s up for sale locally right now. But I’m having a hard time justifying paying a grand for a play-toy (and a used one at that). I already own a power ported model 629 from the S&W Custom Shop that I love; but alas, it’s only a .44 Magnum (sigh). Bigger just has to be better… I think I’ll stop by and have another look at it tonight.☺

        3. Honnestly, in think that ‘extreme’ ammo calliber for handguns are a ‘geek’ thing.
          Weapons have to be practical. When you’ll have to use a gun, to defens your life, it will probably be in difficult situation (at night, with lots of agitations, in a split second…)
          Use a gun easy to handle, a gun you’re familliar with. It’s better to have a .25 caliber pistol and to put 2 bullets in the throat of an assaillant than to have a Casull that you can’t handle without 20 seconds preparation.
          If you want a high powered weapon, don’t use a handgun/ Use a rifle or a shotgun.
          if you live in a tiny appartment (or in an appartment where it’s difficult to move), use a reliable, easy to use gun (a 38 revolver)
          If you got some space, and you have to defend yourself, shotguns are the best options.
          (Note: you’ll probably be deaf after the first shot…so it could be a good idea to keep electronic protections near your gun (ear protection that suppress noises ove 70 decibel)

        4. I knew a fbi asswipe who carried two 1911’s chambered in .38 Super in thr small of his back and a bandolier of mags around the front of his belt.
          Each magazine held 26 rounds, too.
          You urban cunts need IDPA in your lives. You wont fear the gangbangers anymore, if you had that problem.

        5. Strange choice, but if it works for him… Personally, i like weapons with typical calibers for their model.

        6. He ‘bragged’ about thise race guns being his service weapons.
          That leads me to believe he was a desk jockey.

        7. Well gentlemen, I took the plunge and am now the proud owner of a S&W Model 500 with a 6 1/2″ bbl. It does not kill on both ends at all. In fact with Armscor 300 grain hollow-point factory loads I was a bit disappointed. They were loaded so light the brass didn’t even seal the chamber (long streaks of burnt gases down the side of each case). There was no more recoil than what I experience with .44 magnum target loads.
          But then…I switched over to Magtech 325 gr. flat points and that X Frame lived up to its reputation. After 15 rounds, I definitely had a pretty good sting going on to the heel of my hand. The porting works fantastic; very little little muzzle flip. The recoil is straight back into your hand, not at all a like a single action Western style revolver. But that little foray into testing the Model 500 with a mere 35 rounds cost a bit over seventy five bucks, so some dies and a bullet mould are definitely next on the shopping list. I also want a better optic than the BSA red dot I put on it for testing. But right now, I still can’t stop grinning.

        8. Original 1911 where nearly perfect, the only ‘problem’ was the limit of the number of ammos. Of course, there are ‘modern’ 1911 with double stack mags.
          Well, i Wonder… if you want a modern gun with a double stack mag, why wouldn’t you buy a gun build around that concept ?
          I guess they woul be more reliable in extreme circonstances, and probably less expansive.
          I mean, i’ve no problem with people transforming their harley in a quad, but i don’t really see the point…

        9. His set up is a idpa race gun set up-all flash and no balls.
          I liked Paras doublestack 1911’s, I have big palms and the single stacks are narrow.

  3. When it comes to close up and personal, I don’t think man has invented a better weapon to date than a good 12 Gauge Riot Gun, except maybe a flamethrower (impractical for most home defense applications).
    Men in gunfights have taken a few hits from 9mm, 5.56mm, 7.62 x 39mm, even .45 and 7.62mm NATO, and stayed in the fight. I have never heard of anyone taking a full dose of 00 Buck center mass and doing much of anything but bouncing a couple times and bleeding out. I have never heard of anyone taking a solid dose of 00 center mass and staying frisky. There may be someone out there, but I never heard of him.
    While the article discourages doing so, racking the action has a immediate psychological impact on most people. Do you know what the action of a 12 Gauge Riot Gun being racked sounds like? It sounds like the action of a 12 Gauge Riot Gun being racked. Nothing on earth makes that sound, people who have never heard it in their life know it when they hear it. Home Invasion robbers have been known to suddenly remember business they have 2 or 3 Counties away when they hear it.

    1. Bs on scaring people with the rack.
      Thats dumb. It means you were unprepared and gave away your position.
      …its dumb.

      1. “Thats dumb. It means you were unprepared and gave away your position.
        …its dumb”
        If the goal is to take the attacker down, then I think you have a point. Most guys would welcome scarying them away, but then again, eliminating the scum of society entirely is ultimately a good thing.

      2. If you have enemies that are going to send people to kill you, ok. But for your average home invader dindus, most run at the first sign of danger. But yeah, at least find cover before you rack it. I can see how some people might want to avoid having the police in your house for days, paying lawyer fees, and possible unwanted press coverage.

        1. Loaded , cocked, aimed ay the intruder, then yell something while still having your weapon on them. ….

        2. Not everyone is ready to install a nest of Hydroshocks into the cultural enrichment envoys upper mass, some are.
          Either way, youll need a mop.

        3. >But for your average home invader dindus, most run at the first sign of danger.
          Then they reach behind them and fire shots blindly with their stolen .38 revolver as they run. They’ll generally miss, but you roll the dice on a lucky shot towards the direction of the racking striking you, or a family member in a bedroom when the bullet easily penetrates a sheet of drywall.
          The sound of gunfire causes you to return fire due to your training. Then next thing you know you’re facing the Jewish Inquisition, because you shot an unarmed future black astronaut doctor in the back. Execution style, while he was surrendering, with his hands up prayin to Jesus. Cracka.
          Your self-defense claim now becomes infinitely harder, because forensics does indeed show that the entry wounds come from the rear. The media jew attacks you relentlessly, encouraging riots in which four cops are injured, two businesses are set on fire, millions of dollars worth of property damage, and the full name and address of all of your family, and photos of your children getting off the school bus are all coincidentally published in the Jew York Times.
          Holding fire because maybe the fucker that just broke into your home is a gudboi is playing Russian Roulette with your life.
          … all because you didn’t want to shoot an armed nigger in the chest when you had a clean opportunity and full legal right to do so.

      3. im sure it probably will scare them off in most situations…its still stupid to bet on it. if you get the gun out,be prepared to use it.

    2. Several years ago I was living in an apartment that someone tried to break into in the middle of the night. The sound of my shotgun being racked had him tearing back down the steps so fast he fell and broke his leg. I think he was rather lucky that his ambulance ride was for a broken bone rather than high-velocity lead poisoning.

    3. “people who have never heard it in their life know it when they hear it. Home Invasion robbers have been known to suddenly remember business they have 2 or 3 Counties away when they hear it”
      Excellent point. Indeed when working the action of a shotgun it makes a very distinct sound and anyone who hears knows that he best get out or his brains and skull fragments will be decorating the walls.

  4. Best weapon there is. You led off with a photo of what’s going to be my birthday present this year (provided I have adequate funds and am feeling generous). Nothing like 16 rounds of 12 gauge in one convenient package.

    1. Those are nice.
      Its great to keep a few dragons breath handy.
      For outdoor uses, obviously.

    2. I DO need a couple ammo articles. I run into 2000 words on an article fast, so I can’t cover everything. I need ammo articles, and will eventually do individual gun reviews once I’ve covered all my “general types of guns” articles.

    3. Is it true that 00 “double aught” buckshot is like shooting several slugs of 9mm or .380 bullets at once??

      1. There are nine .3″ balls in a 00 shell. It’s gonna be a bad day for anybody on the wrong end of that thing.

        1. As I pointed out above, it may also be bad for anyone on the other side of the thug as well. Three inch magnum double ought will go through a man sized target with ease up close.

    4. Not a fan. That slug is going to penetrate more than any other ammo you could choose. Neighbors and other people in your house are a consideration.

      1. Nope. A slug isnt a rifle bullet and its not known for penetration.
        For suburbanites, shot is best though.

        1. Wrong. A shotgun slug is a heavy, slow moving projectile, typically 1 ounce (437 grains) with a velocity of 1300 fps (more for magnums). This kind of projectile penetrates deepest because it punches straight through the target and has a lot of momentum.
          A rifle bullet is lighter and has a higher velocity, so it will typically tumble and fragment upon hitting a target, which is why an AR-15 is such a good option for home defense.
          The .45-70 in the picture is a comparable weight and velocity to a slug. Taken from:

  5. That last one is one sexy piece of equipment. Granted I am anything but a gun aficionado but I find its machismo very appealing. It looks like it’d be a fearsome thing to be wielding.

  6. I always wondered why they always say, racking the slide will scare the bad guys away. I figure the only thing they should hear prior to BOOM! Is the safety clicking off.

    1. Negative. If you are about to encounter a hostile entity in your home, the safety should already be off.

    2. The problem is that if you have to shoot someone you’ll end up spending several hours doing paperwork and might have to make some court appearances.

  7. I have the shotgun in the first picture…Standard Mfg DP-12. The thing’s a beast and it’s heavy, about 12 lbs loaded. If you’re used to getting sand kicked in your face like I am then your arms will get tired after putting 50 or so downrange. But the smile on your face will endure and you can actually feel the testosterone coursing through your body.

  8. I still like my break-action single barrels that are simple and last forever, even with abuse.

  9. If you are putting shells in carriers, be smart and get the green and black military shells.
    You dont want bright red and shiny metal on your gun

        1. Nope. Restricted to class 3 dealers and ANYONE who has applied to the shit head atf for a machine gun tax stamp.
          Americans CAN own full auto. They just need the permission of a greedy and unconstitutional construct known as thr batfe.
          The NFA is Unconstitutional!

        2. They can’t own any full auto manufactured after May 18 1986 which means AA12s are only available to law enforcement/military.

        3. You are being pedantic now. Fyi- ANY class 3 dealer can own an AA12 but only pigs and soldiers can buyit.
          I refered to machine guns in general being available with some grovelling to the atf pigs.

        4. If I was a class 3 dealer I could.
          You are also assuming I would give a rats’ anout the unconstitutional laws cucky fudds like you bow down too.
          If I wanted an AA12, barney fife and the stand down border patrol wont be able to stop me any better than they stop the 50 IQ commies from crossing.
          YOU go ahead and be padantoc anout what you are ‘allowed’ to do.
          These laws limit you, not me.

        5. Forfuckssake, who do you think SELLS those post 86 samples to military and pigs?
          So YES, any class 3 dealer can OWN post 86 guns.
          Dont argue with me, use your damn search bar.

        6. A dealer who can only sell them to military and police so, you still can’t have one…..

        7. But you aren’t a class three dealer which renders you SOL.
          My original statement was
          “Because the only place you can get one is in a video game”. That’s still the case and why it wasn’t discussed here to begin with.
          I usually refrain from discussions with morons however this was mildly amusing but, I’ve lost interest now so… whatever, your mom is calling, probably time for you to do your homework.

    1. Class 3 dealers only. FUCK THE NFA!!!
      Id like to see you nice, professional types get on board the REPEAL THE NFA bandwagon.

  10. mall ninjas… for home defense a cheap mossberg 500 or even a H&R pardoner pump with a smooth bore and standard bead sight will work fine. yes,even with bird shot. forget all this fancy tactical junk. its just a tool meant to waste your money. only thing you may want is a flashlight. duck tape one to the receiver,and itll work just as well as any expensive rail system… remember the words of clint eastwood on heartbreak ridge. “improvise,adapt,overcome”

    1. I agree except the birdshot part.

      A man should have. 12Ga tactical shotgun, but unless youre moneybags, should go with a basic mossberg 500, rem 870. Or as you suggested an hnr pardner. A chinese 870 clone.
      Simple tough and will do the job.

      More significant investments should be made on rifles, bolt and semi.

      1. the reason i mention birdshot being ok,is that there wont be much spread pattern at the short distances inside a home defense situation(20ft or less),and you dont have to worry so much about overpenetration issues inside your home.

        1. #4 buck or larger to meet the FBI penetration minimums.
          You may only get one shot to stop the threat. Buckshot is far more likely to do so than birdshot.

        2. I’ve seen testing showing #4. I try to maximize my chances to stop the threat quickly and go with #00.
          Thank you for the link…

    2. Tactical means optimized. Yes duct taping a maglite to the end of your shotgun more or less is the same function as a tlr or surefire , but is it optimal?

    3. Piss on that. I got a Saiga and added features.
      Id have no problem running a course side by side to show you who is boss.

  11. Had a Remington 870 …dude at the gun store said it was the “Glock 19 ” or the Toyota Camry of shotguns. Reliable. Tried and true….

  12. Most handguns are ‘better than Nothing’ options. There only advantage is that you can bring them with you, and they aren’t ‘cumbersome’ if you have to move with them.
    But if you want a weapon that can stop an assaillant with one shot: use a riffle or a shotgun. Period.
    Plus, in most countries that have strong ‘anti gun’ laws, you can have a shotgun at home if you do some paperwork and verifications.

      1. Well, i respect your opinion, but it’s debatable. HAnd guns needs more regular training to be usable in real tactical situations. Most people can’t handle such a caliber easily. 45 is the caliber wich beguins to allow a stop in one shot. Before that, you statically needs at least two shots, ‘to be sure, etc
        There are no universal solutions. Guns are Tools, and each circonstances needs a specific tool.
        Shotguns have qualities and flaws. For home self defense, i think their qualities a bigger than their flaws.

        1. Don’t ever depend on a handgun to stop someone in one shot. All my training says expect to fire 3-5 rounds. In modern hollowpoints, there isn’t a big difference in effectiveness between 9mm, .40, and .45, so I go with 9mm for higher capacity and lower recoil, for fast followup shots.
          Personally, I’d stick with an AK or M4 civilian clone for home defense, if you are dead set on a shotgun, a 20 gauge semi is probably your best bet. Half the recoil, with still plenty of power.
          I personally stick with an M4, as that is the only rifle I have actual practical experience using inside buildings. But my carry 19 with a G17 mag swapped out works for home defense as well. I’m confident and well trained with either.

        2. Personally, i think than people shoukld rely mainly on shotgun on rifles if they HAVE to stop an assaillant.

        3. Yeah, there’s no debating the power of a shotgun. I did use a rifle indoors, and in my experience, even with the “weak” 55gr 5.56 rounds we were using, a quick two rounds center mass put someone down. I never saw one person survive it.
          We did have a couple of pump shotguns, 870’s I think, but rarely used them. Fighting could spill out into the street and it could go from CQB to a couple hundred meters away pretty fast.
          Shotguns are good, I just prefer the versatility of a rifle.

  13. “Or just hose him preemptively; if he’s in your house with a weapon, you are legally allowed to do so.”
    This is true in my state, but aren’t there several states where you are expected to make a “reasonable effort to retreat” or something stupid like that?
    Not to mention Europe. Who knows how ridiculous the laws about home invaders and when you can kill them are in Europe.

    1. I don’t believe that applies in the home, only outside the home. But…I’m not a lawyer and could well be wrong, so it can never hurt to check local state laws.

      1. Stand your ground and Castle doctrine are two different things.
        My state has one, and not the other, so technically the dindus still have the streets-as long as Im playing by the rules(dont count on that)

    2. The idea behind castle doctrine laws was to shield homeowners who choose to stand and fight, rather than retreat, from any legal repercussions. Many states have passed castle doctrine, but some have not. So you need to know your state’s laws on the subject. Some places still require you to retreat if you are able to, even in your own home, as stupid as that is.

  14. Oh Gunnnnns, I loveeeee guns. Sad that my country doesn’t have amendment rights like America.

    1. Your society is due for a revolution right now , France too.
      Come stateside and get what you need to take it back from brussels!

  15. What, no mention of the KSG?
    Recall the mention of some containers of guns seized at the border last fall? The imagery coming from that shows a lot of shotguns.
    Word on the street is that the Reconquista types have a thing for slug guns.. I once saw a hollow point slug make three holes in a boar. One going in, two coming out, and it hit the ground before its last squeal was completed. Nasty stuff you don’t want to be in short range of. Your own bones become the fragmentation grenade with that stuff.

    1. If you have to shoot through a car door, slugs work great. A friend of mine and I just did some ballistic testing on an ’01 Impala he was getting ready to haul to the junk yard. It was eye opening to say the least. Let’s put it this way, if you’re using a 9 or .45 you’d better shoot through the glass. If you’re using an M1A with 7.62 150 gr. ball, feel free to shoot just about anywhere through the car body. You may even be able to stop the engine with the NATO round, but fuggedaboudit with a .223, even green tips. You DO NOT want to be on the receiving end of a 12 ga. conventional slug in a car. They go right through the door (even the reinforcing panel) and out the other side. Impressive to say the least.

      1. Ah yes. Material penetration.
        …762 nato- all good
        …223 – not so much
        ..762 x 39??
        .did you test?

        1. Yes Chip we did test the 7.62×39 round out of a Century Arms AKM. Performance was lacklustre at best with 1967 head-stamp Chinese copper washed steel jacketed (corrosive) ammo. It would penetrate the door and go through the interior plastic as long as you stayed above the reinforcing panel in the door. Shooting into the subframe above the front wheels merely left a dent. If you wanted to take out the motor with that round, you’d have to hit the radiator and wait for the engine to overheat. Or maybe get lucky shooting high into the front fender and hit a fuel line or wiring. That’s highly unlikely, unless you shot your own car by mistake; then the odds would probably be >100%. 😉
          What we did discover is the super lightweight, high velocity 9mm Civil Defense ammo from Liberty Ammunition works very well through the windshield, even at an oblique angle. Shooting this round out of a Smith & Wesson M&P Performance Center Shield at 10 yards, standing at about 30 deg. (as if the car was coming past me), I was able to put two rounds in close succession through the driver’s side headrest at the point of aim. There was no deflection and that 50 grain lead free hollow point went right through the headrest even after going through laminated glass.
          BTW, I am not affiliated with Liberty Ammo, I am just a truly impressed customer. I have also used this round to slaughter a couple of sheep to butcher and it is extremely effective. The bullet does not exit (i.e. over-penetrate) and the hydrostatic shock literally pushed brain matter back out the entry wound. From what I can tell, everything Liberty says about this round on their site is accurate.

        2. Thats some crazy old commie ammo. Aim for the stuff under the hood eh? Not bad.
          ..interesting about the 9 and windshield

    2. I may do a review of it in the future. I’ve done the “types of guns” articles, and now I’m into subsets of those types, like combat shotguns, battle rifles, assault rifles, etc. Eventually I’ll get into single gun reviews of really good guns, as there’s reviews out there for every gun already.

  16. A couple of points here: If you are a southpaw like me, the Browning BPS and Ithaca Model 37 are both very reliable slide (pump) action shotguns that load and eject out the bottom of the receiver. This effectively makes them ambidextrous. It also provides a measure of protection from the elements that side eject shotguns do not. I have a Browning BPS and love it. One advantage are the various barrels available aftermarket that are easily swapped out by the shooter. You can have a short barrel with iron sights for home defense; a simple barrel swap turns it into a 28″ vent rib with Invector chokes for bird hunting. So if you’re on a budget, you only need to buy another barrel not a whole gun. Plus these are more conventional looking shotguns less likely to offend any liberal minded family members like a tacti-cool weapon will. You know, hand guards, pistol grips and rail mounted accessories always make a gun more powerful and dangerous; just ask any libtard.
    I also saw a comment in the article about not using bird shot and I understand why the author wrote this. There’s a legitimate energy and penetration concern once you start to get out a few yards. So I wouldn’t rely on low brass #8 shot unless I had no other choice. But most self defense shootings are close range. With handguns typically only 3 to 7 feet. So if you are shooting at something out in the yard or across a field at greater than fifteen yards or shooting at a hard target, then I would agree. You’ll be better off with #1 or bigger buckshot. But up close, say down a hallway in your home or through the bedroom door, #4 shot (like a heavy turkey or goose load) will more than get the job done. Up close, through a properly choked weapon, the shot pattern will spread very little. So effect on the target will be devastating, but over penetration and the attendant risk of collateral damage (like hitting your daughter sleeping in the next room) will be reduced. Up close, 00 or 000 buck magnum loads will go right through the perp, the sheetrock behind him and possibly another wall beyond that even with a cylinder bore. The pattern will be so tight across the average room, that it will look like you shot through him with a slug. But with #4, and proper shot placement, most of the shot will remain in the target, delivering maximum energy and what does come out the other side will be at a greatly reduced velocity.

    1. Yep, a turkey load of #4 or #6 or even 7 1/2 shot at the distances found inside of a home are devastating to the target without going through a couple of walls, even outside at slightly longer ranges (35ish yards) it can do a lot of damage especially with a tight choke.Nobody is going to take one of those and keep coming. A shotgun is effective at much longer ranges than most keyboard commandos realize.
      When quail hunting on plantations, when they take off you have to wait a second to let them get far enough away that they won’t be destroyed and not be edible.
      The AR Internet commandos think shotguns work just like on COD.

  17. I have a twelve gauge for defending my home and area. I live in a built up area so low velocity buckshot is what I have for it and I also have it fitted to take a bayonet in case the action jams, I get a dead round in the chamber or some other problem comes up where shooting is not an option. A shotgun is a good weapon to have where an ‘assault rifle’ well even with low velocity ammo a bullet still goes through a lot of walls and since other people live close near to where I live it is just too dangerous to risk. Shotgun is the best weapon for home defense unless you live out in the rural areas.

  18. Great reading, I remember the first time I fired my old mans Winchester, the kick back from that old gun and the general bonding experience of hunting with pops was brilliant.

  19. If any of you would create an Amazon account to smuggle gun parts and bullets into the UK it would be really appreciated…I’ll pay way over market price.

  20. Good article. In most cases I would still prefer one of my ARs or AK for most threats around the home. But a good shotgun is a useful tool to keep around.

  21. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is better at close range than a shotgun. Contrary to what some might say, you do still need to aim; the spread is not so large that you can just point in the general direction. My ‘Oh, shit’ gun will always be a shotgun and if I could have no other firearm, I’d have a shotgun.

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