Every family should own at least one shotgun for home defense. A home defense shotgun should possess specific qualities, including:
- Easy to use
- Rugged and reliable
- Easy-to-find replacement parts/accessories
Easy: You want a gun that’s easy to use. If the worst happens and you wake up to trouble in the middle of the night, bleary-eyed and forced to fight, you don’t want to have to think too hard about your home defense shotgun.
Rugged: You also don’t want your home defense shotgun breaking or jamming in the middle of a fight. You need a gun that’s rugged and reliable.
Parts: And if, god forbid, your firearm malfunctions or needs repair, you want one you can quickly acquire parts for, which means a popular model from a major gun company.
With those criteria in mind, I have chosen the top three home defense shotguns for me. I say, “for me,” because every gun owner has different needs and expectations from their firearm. You may value ammo capacity or rate of fire more than me. That might make your list of home defense shotguns different than mine.
For my purposes, though, there are three superb home defense shotguns on the market.
My Top 3 Home Defense Shotguns:
- Remington Model 870: The Model 870 is a classic pump gun that’s been in use since 1950. Remington has produced over 11 million. Most use the traditional tube magazine, but Remington now makes a model with a detachable magazine called the 870 DM. The 870 comes in models for hunting and defense. I like the Model 870 Express Tactical Magpul seen below.
- Mossberg 500/590: The first Mossberg 500 rolled out in 1960, and over 10 million have been produced. Mossberg’s 500 shotguns are “the only pump-action shotguns ever to pass all US Military Mil-Spec 3443 requirements–the heart of which is full interchangeability of parts in the field, and a 3000-round endurance test using buck shot loads.” If you live near the ocean, you may consider the 590A1 Marinecote model shown below. Marinecote is “an innovative Talfon and nickel formula which penetrates into the pores of the metal to provide protection you can count on.” That should help fight corrosion in salt-air environments.
- Benelli M3: There’s something unique about the Benelli M3. It can be operated as either a pump-action or as a semi-auto shotgun. This feature is especially useful for police or military units who want to fire less-than-lethal rounds like bean bags or rubber bullets. The low recoil of those rounds isn’t enough to power a recoil system, so having a pump option is a great alternative. Added options come with increased complexity, so that’s something to keep in mind if you are drawn to the Benelli.
Whichever shotgun you choose, it has to be right for you. Take advantage of local gun ranges or gun clubs where you can often “try before you buy.” And most important, get your guns and your training now.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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