1. Point and Shoot
The number one reason I recommend the 12-gauge pump as “the” essential, must-own firearm is that, in close range situations, it’s very hard to miss your target entirely.
Because shotguns shoot a spread of tiny pellets, AKA “shot,” rather than a single bullet, it requires much less skill and training to training to aim. In a home defense scenario, the shotgun is more of a “point and shoot” weapon.
On the news, we often hear about police shootouts in which dozens of bullets are fired from close range, and yet no one was injured. That outcome would be very unlikely if one of the officers was carrying a 12-gauge pump. Are the police watching too many movies?
With a shotgun, only a small percentage of these pellets need to hit their mark in order to subdue a threat. You don’t need to be a highly skilled marksman. Of course, that’s not to say that you don’t need to undergo proper training to use a shotgun safely and proficiently.
The second reason we recommend this weapon above others is simply the sound the pump makes when a shell is loaded into the chamber. This pump-action “click-click” sound is recognized by criminals the world over… it’s an international language.
Let’s paint a picture from the intruder’s perspective for a moment, shall we? Imagine you’re a professional burglar and you’ve just managed to gain entry to a home, it’s pitch black inside, and you believe that you have entered undetected…
Then you hear “click-click” of someone upstairs jacking a shell into the chamber. What would you do?
This sound alone should be enough to drive all but the most determined trespassers back through the window they just pried open. That’s the beauty of the pump-action shotgun, as opposed to other designs — it has a built-in warning signal.
Once you’ve made that sound, you will be able to gain critical intel into the trespasser’s mental state and his intentions. If the trespasser leaves quietly, you may never have to actually use violence. The threat alone was sufficient…
3. Maximum Localized Damage, Minimal Collateral
As explained above, the shotgun’s spread pattern makes it very effective at close range, highly capable of inflicting massive damage. Once again, it’s hard to miss your target entirely.
Basic firearm safety requires that you ALWAYS know what lies beyond your target. In the event of a home invasion, knowing what lies on the other side of a wall is not always possible. If you share a wall with a neighboring unit, this becomes an even greater liability.
RELATED: Top 8 “Shirt Pocket Pistols”
Unlike a bullet from a rifle or pistol, a shotgun blast releases a cluster of small projectile that have less mass, and thus less momentum to push through objects like walls. This is not to say that shotguns can’t penetrate sheetrock; they’re just not as likely to emerge on the other side with deadly force.
The Top 5
A lot of new firearms manufacturers have made it to the market in the last few years, but we like to stick with the tried and true favorites. Each of these shotguns can be had for well under $450. We spotted two of these models on sale for under $400 at a local sporting goods store just the other day.