I am so ready for the shotgun as a concealed carry tool. And none of those old jokes about, “Is that a shotgun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me,” either.
Think about it. One shot from your 9mm at close range makes an entrance hole that’s about one-third inch wide. An open choke shotgun—whoa!
We tend to exaggerate (a little dramatic emphasis) the effective open pattern of a shotgun. After all, even at 10 yards, the diameter of a lead shot string is only going to be 19 inches if you are shooting an open or cylinder choke. That’s not really very much until you realize it’s about 57 times as wide as the 9mm. Then, it seems impressive (until we begin to argue penetration and foot-pounds of energy and actual lead on target and so on).
There are a couple scenario issues with this, but when people think of a shotgun, they imagine their Remington 1100 autoloader. Eight pounds. 48 inches long. Unless you’re a cowboy striding down Main Street to a duel wearing a duster, fuggedaboutit.
Of course, there are some new shotgun models for tactical use: Kel-Tec’s KSG, for example, which holds 13 rounds and is extraordinarily useful in close action. Still, the KSG is 26 inches long and weighs 8.5 pounds loaded. A wee bit large for the ankle holster or the purse.
Actually, a few years ago, a Brazilian company marketed a concealed carry shotgun and named it after an officer of the court. Wait on it ….
The Taurus Judge.
The Taurus Judge was an instant hit with consumers even if it ignited fierce debate about such topics as stopping power. From a single gun model, Taurus built an entire line. Essentially, they lengthened the chamber of a .45 revolver after realizing it was the ideal size to hold a .410 shotshell. Now Taurus builds these guns with 2.5- and 3-inch chambers. An owner could load all .45 or all .410 or any combination.
The revolvers in the Judge line are not exactly small. The original Taurus Judge weighed 2.5 pounds loaded and only held 5 rounds. The newer, 6-shot Raging Judge Magnum shoots the .454 Casull in addition to a .410, but it weighs 4 pounds and is 10 inches long. Strap that to your ankle!
The Taurus Public Defender
Taurus’ Public Defender has a polymer frame, 2-inch rifled barrel, and 2.5-inch cylinder. It’s only a 5-shot, but the weight is below 2 pounds and it’s only 7 2/3-inches long. The Public Defender is sized for concealed carry, but remember that it is 1.5 inches wide—many semi-autos, the Springfield XD-S, for instance, are barely 1 inch wide—and the curved cylinder might hang on loose clothing if it is drawn in a hurry. The gun leaves the factory fully customized with fixed rear sights, fiber optic front sights, and rubberized grips.
S&W’s Governor Revolver
Smith & Wesson’s Governor is a 6-shot revolver that handles both .45 cartridges and .410 shells. It’s under 2 pounds with a 2.75-inch barrel and an 8.5-inch length overall.
So although there are several concealed carry shotguns to choose from, there’s still no shotgun in my pocket. I am, nevertheless, happy to see you.