Home defense is a major reason for buying guns during these dangerous times we’re living in. Pistols and rifles each have advantages over shotguns for home defense. Pistols are easier to maneuver in close quarters and most rifles have a higher capacity than shotguns. But despite these advantages, shotguns are still the best.
People wrongly assume shotguns don’t need to be aimed to clear a room. Typically, a shotguns vicious payload will only spread about an inch a yard. That’s one inch of spread for every 36 inches of travel. The fact is most home defense shooting will take place within 7 yards. So that’s roughly 2 1/3 inches of spread for, what’s normally, the maximum range you’ll need to shoot. This however is an advantage, the closer shot is grouped the more damage it will cause when it hits.
Shotguns also offer a load variety other weapons can’t match. Slugs, birdshot, and buckshot all have uses when defending your home. If over penetration is a concern, birdshot is the way to go. If you need to return fire through a barrier, go with slugs. If you come face to face with that intruder going bump in the night, buckshot will instantly make him or her regret their life choices.
Shotguns also offer a much better and more stable platform to mount optics than pistols. I’ve shot pistols with red dot and lights attached to them and to say they were clunky would be an understatement. Shotguns offer non lethal alternatives as well. Police have used beanbag rounds for decades with success and less wealthy people filling spent shells with rock salt isn’t a myth.
Compared to ARs and most pistols, shotguns are almost always cheaper as well. As more and more police departments move toward ARs for their officers police trade in shotguns are becoming much easier to find. These shotguns often spend the majority of their life in cars but not getting shot much. If you can overlook their cosmetic problems they’re often close to brand new internally.