Anyone who is serious about defending themselves, their home and their family in these perilous times ought to have — at the least — a home-defense shotgun.

So that we are all on the same page, for me a home-defense shotgun is an 18-inch barrel, multi-shot firearm, capable of being fired off the shoulder. Pistol-grip-only models should be avoided. Multi-shot capacity means a minimum of two rounds with a maximum of six rounds on tap. Four rounds would be ideal as that will keep the shotgun legal in most jurisdictions. However, following these specifications doesn’t necessarily mean that the shotgun should be your primary home-defense arm. The role it plays depends on … location, location, location!

Not Great For Inside Jobs

It’s important to keep in mind that a shotgun of 12, 20 or .410 gauge, even when loaded with a light target load, has the ability to punch through modern multi- or single-family homes and endanger others. Further, long guns are not easily wielded inside a home. This is why I rely on and strongly recommend handguns for interior home defense.

A shotgun, however, could come in handy for the exterior defense of a rural property against marauding animals or people. In this situation, it becomes the primary weapon, backed up by a handgun. It is devastating at ranges of 15 yards and in most any load. Collateral damage will be limited — as long as you don’t use slugs.

The home-defense shotgun can be the primary weapon during natural disasters or defending your property in case of emergency or evacuation. It is also an important home-defense option to pack on vacation in an automobile or RV. Civil unrest has become a major concern across the U.S. A shotgun loaded with Lightfield Ammunition’s Less-Lethal Home Defense Load (backed by a handgun) could be just what is needed to turn back an unruly mob threatening bodily harm or property destruction.

Pimp Your Pump

But which type of shotgun works best for multi-role home defense? Hands down, the pump action wins! It cycles reliably with any ammo regardless of power level. Semi-autos might choke on an underpowered load or weak grip. And the sound produced by chambering a round in a pump shotgun stills says, “I mean business.”

Keep the shotgun simple with bead or rifle sights — no optics. Don’t overload it with gizmos. It needs to be ready to rock — immediately — even after long-term storage. Don’t overlook the 20-gauge chambering. It delivers a serious punch with less recoil than a 12-gauge. The .410 is also an option for the recoil-sensitive.

Finally, pick a reliable, well-known brand, like Remington or Mossberg. If you can’t afford one, go with a less expensive model from a brand with a good warranty. Then practice, practice, practice — like your life depends on it, because someday it just might.


Lightfield Ammunition:

Remington Arms: