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This post is more a placeholder for open discussion (requesting my Gentlemint brothers' advice!): I'm looking at purchasing a home defense shotgun and was wondering what people thought regarding:
1. Brand
2. Gauge
3. Price (my price range is ~$200-300)
4. Ammo capacity
5. Tips for safety in the home.

This would be my first gun purchase and since I have a wife and 5 month old daughter I figure it's a long overdue purchase. Any comments are appreciated!

13 comments

  • flipaldinho 7 years, 1 month ago

    My experience with the Mossberg 500 series has been nothing but great. I bought the 535 for $267 and have put a couple thousand rounds through it without any issues. 12 gauge would be the way to go considering power and performance. It's also very versatile. There are some tactical versions of this shotgun that have extra features (shorter barrel, longer mag tube, etc...). I believe my Mossberg holds about 5 in the tube and 1 in the chamber with the mag tube limiter taken out. The Remington 870 would also be a good choice. It has been around for awhile and is very realible. Both the Moss. 500 and Rem. 870 are very customizable and many companies make add-on parts for them (Magpul comes to mind...). Here are some basic gun safety tips:

    Treat every gun as if it's loaded.
    Never point a gun at anything you are unwilling to destroy.
    Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
    Know your target and what's beyond your target.

    Many more can be added on to that but those are the basics that I have grown up with. Hope this helps!

    Reply

  • CFCLUNA10

    CFCLUNA10 7 years, 1 month ago

    I agree, cannot gor wrong with Rem 870 or Moss 500 /590. Although through experience, shooting slugs through the 590A1 is easier than the other model ranges. Good luck!

    Reply

  • Razorback

    Razorback 7 years, 1 month ago

    I would also vote for the the Remington 870. I have no experience with the Mossberg 500 but have heard very good things so either is probably a good choice. When researching the Remington, you might opt for the 870 Express. You can pick one up new for $319 at either Bass Pro or Cabelas. Probably even cheaper somewhere else. Don't be afraid to shop used either. With a little care and cleaning, these guns hold together well. I have had my 870 Express for over 20 years, duck hunt with it every single year and have never had a single issue.

    For home defense, I would recommend you use a 12-gauge. For ammo, consider buckshot instead of birdshot as it has more knockdown power. At home you can keep the plug out of the tube and load 4-5 rounds easy. Just don't hunt without the plug in because many states have laws limiting you to three shells.

    For safety, I think flipaldinho gave some great tips, especially about never pointing it at something you do not wish to destroy. Rule # 1 however is to go to a safe location, such as a shooting range, and become very comfortable with the weapon. If she is willing, take your wife with you and have her get comfortable as well. The most effective home defense weapon is the one you can use without thinking about it. Practice everything over and over. Loading/unloading, assembling/disassembling, cleaning, etc.

    I am not a fan of trigger locks because they delay response time (not good during a home invasion). However, with a small child in the house, you should give that option very thoughtful consideration.

    Oh, and don't fall for what you see in every TV show/movie. While the sound of a shotgun cocking can often be enough to scare an intruder, not having one already loaded in the chamber will only slow you down. Do what you have to in order to keep the gun secure from children but also make sure you are ready to defend them when necessary.

    Reply

  • flipaldinho 7 years, 1 month ago

    Razorback has added some great points. Also consider buying some snap-caps or plastic dummy 12 gauge rounds to practice loading/reloading with. These greatly improve ability and confidence with the gun.

    Reply

  • icelind

    icelind 7 years, 1 month ago

    Thank you all for the tips! I'll definitely keep my eyes open for the Mossberg and Remington models mentioned below. I've been out to the range but only used a shotgun a few times before, I'll plan on making a point of taking my wife out as well.

    Reply

  • bean

    bean 7 years, 1 month ago

    I bought the remington 870 police magnum. Smooth shooting gun with open chokes and rifled sights but I would like to add a pistol grip and magazine extension!

    Reply

  • BenW

    BenW 7 years, 1 month ago

    I have both the 870 and the 500. It's really a toss up between the two. Some like the topside safety of the Mossberg a little better, especially if you're left handed, but again, both are robust home defense shotguns.

    If you're new, definitely get some training. I highly recommend training specific to defense use. Shooting at the range is fine, but nothing opens your eyes more than a defensive course that "gets you off the X" and has you actually practicing what you might have to do in a home defense situation. Standing on the line at the range will never teach you that.

    Reply

    • Razorback

      Razorback 7 years, 1 month ago

      Good advice BenW. I recommended the range as a way to get used to the weapon but you are definitely right about taking it up a notch and investing in home defense training.

      Reply

      • BenW

        BenW 7 years, 1 month ago

        Thanks, and totally wasn't knocking range time. In fact as you say, it's best for a newbie to get comfortable handling the weapon at a range before they take defense specific training, or they'll waste precious training time fumbling around with a still unfamiliar gun.

        I just speak from experience on the defensive training. After my first tactical pistol class, my skill level for "not shooting targets" went up tremendously, even after 20 years of previous and regular shooting. Made me wish I'd done it 19 years earlier.

        Reply