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3 Shotgun Myths

So, you’ve decided to get a gun for personal and home defense, and now you are trying to decide what to get. You’ve heard good things about the shotgunshotgun as a defensive weapon, it was even endorsed by anti-gun vice president Joe Biden, and you are wondering if it is the right weapon for you. Today we are going to help you make that decision.

I must say that believe that a shotgun can make an excellent weapon for home defense.  There are a lot of shotgun myths out there, though, and here we are going to separate the fact from the fiction so that you are better able to make an informed choice about whether or not the shotgun is the right weapon to defend your home. What follows are three of the most common myths associated with shotguns along with the reality. If you are considering a shotgun mainly for one of the following reasons, than you might want to reconsider and go with another option.

Myth #1: Shot spreads so you don’t have to aim

This myth commonly includes something to the effect that shotguns are good in dim environments because you just have to point it in their general direction and the spread pattern of the shot will do the rest. While it is true that the pellets spread after firing, it is equally true that many people exaggerate the amount of spread in their heads. Buck shot from a standard off the rack 12-guage spreads at a rate of between one half inch and one full inch per yard, so if you are shooting at somebody fifteen feet across your living room, the spread is only going to be one and a half to three inches. While this is certainly a larger margin of error than the less than half inch of a .45 or 9mm round, it still requires some aiming to be effective.

Myth #2: Shotguns are less dangerous to neighbors and co-inhabitants because the pellets will not go through the walls.

In truth a 00 buck shot pellet will go right through drywall, and can even go through wood paneling at the ranges that we are talking about in most confrontations in the home.  If you are using a slug, rather than shot, it will go through your wall, the neighbor’s apartment, and their far wall as well. Ah but what about bird shot? You ask. At close enough range even bird shot can go through drywall, although the chances of it happening are slimmer, the real problem with using bird shot for home defense is lack of stopping power.  With bird shot you are nearly as likely to anger the intruder as you are to drop him, even former vice president Cheney shot a seventy-eight year old man in the face with a load of bird shot while hunting, and he pulled through just fine.If your load has trouble eliminating septuagenarians it has no place in home defense.

Myth #3: The impressive sound of a pump action shotgun racking will stop any intruder in his or her tracks.

While this myth might be ‘true’ in some situations, it will prove to be otherwise as well. Everybody has a different reaction to a sudden burst of fear such as can be caused by the sound of a well-armed home owner racking his 12-guage, but for most people those reactions boil down to two responses, flight (which is what you are hoping for) or fight (which is not). This reaction can lead to a more dangerous confrontation than would have otherwise been, as a burglar not knowing you were home suddenly thinks he has to kill or be killed because he knows you are armed and know he is there. Even worse, in this situation the sound of you sliding your pump has given away your location.

With those myths exposed for what they are, do you still consider a shotgun to be a good option for defense of your home? As I said previously, I am a believer in the shotgun as home defense weapon, and would certainly reach for mine if I heard somebody breaking into my home in the middle of the night. A shotgun packs a tremendous amount of energy in a close range environment such as those in defense of home situations, and is good at dropping an intruder with one shot provided you get a decent hit.

Get the facts you need about shotguns – The Home Defense Shotgun.

Let us know in the comments what you think of a shotgun for home defense.

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