Shooting illustrated | Are Shotguns Good For Home Protection?
IIf you’re like me – which I suspect you wouldn’t be reading Shooting Illustrated – you own a specialty home defense shotgun (or two) tailored for the job. But we are the minority. Many Americans don’t have an IWI US Tavor TS12 or Mossberg 590A1 Tactical in a biometric rack above the headboard.
Rather, they stow a wood-tipped Winchester Model 12, an old Ithaca Double, a Browning A5, a Mossberg 500 All Purpose, a Remington 1100 or similar behind the clothes in the closet or in a safe. While these bird figurines may not have been made specifically for castle defense, they can. Here are half a dozen of the most popular shotguns that can double serve as a home defender, along with some tips for using them as such.
For the past 30 years, Remington’s venerable 870 Express has been on sale at major discount stores for around $ 250. Because this 12-gauge pump simply works every time, whether clean or dirty, in bad weather or air conditioning. In its typical hunting configuration, it comes with three choke tubes and a 26- or 28-inch barrel.
If you don’t want to spend money making him the best home defender, that’s your decision, but at least make sure to remove the plug (mandatory for hunting migratory birds) so that it will last four rounds of its tubular magazine. Then screw in the cylinder choke tube and you’re ready to go. I’d rather have this Jagd-870 in my hands than any handgun on the planet when a bad actor comes through my window.
If you’re looking to remodel your 870 but still want to use it for hunting in the fall, buy a simple sling for it, a $ 82 Plus 2 round magazine extension from XS Sights, a Velcro-mounted grenade carrier to keep reloads close at hand and a simple flashlight mount like the $ 30 Ultimate Arms Gear Flashlight Kit. The only downside to the 870? While there are currently over 11 million in circulation it’s not hard to find a used one, but at the time of this writing Remington’s Ilion, NY plant is not yet operating under its new owners.
Winchester model 12
If your grandfather was a duck hunter before World War I, he likely shot either a US-made double barrel or a Winchester Model 12. A hammerless update of the 1897, for half a century it was the fastest and most reliable repeating device there was. and that’s why it was modified by the military and used as a terrifying “trench gun” during World War II.
Today it is still a quality firearm in its 28-inch barrel hunting configuration, despite being usurped by the more advanced Remington 870 in 1964. Still, if this is the weapon you have, rest assured that it will work wonders to ward off evil. Hopefully it has an improved cylinder choke and you can figure out how to remove the magazine plug.
Winchester’s latest production update for the Model 12 is its Super X pump. Although this overseas-made model comes in myriad configurations – some are more naturally suitable for home defense than others – the most common is a 26-inch barrel, camouflage, hunting version. If you have one, it will work like a gangbuster.
It’s probably the fastest and easiest to use pump on the market because its spring-loaded pivot pin system initiates the ejection stroke when the trigger is pulled. Just install the cylinder choke tube and remove the plug so you can feed it five 00 dollar rounds. If you want to spice it up, order a flashlight mount and side saddle for it.
If you don’t have an 870, chances are you have a Mossberg 500 somewhere in the house. After all, 11 million Americans think the 500 is good for everything from dumping ducks in a salty swamp to exterminating terrorists in some less attractive locations overseas. While I would never recommend neglecting a gun, the 500 is one that needs next to no pampering to be trusted. Mossberg 500, built over the past 30 years, feature screw-in choker tubes, sling studs, a highly visible white pearl, ambidextrous release lock and a 26-inch barrel.
Since the plug was removed to reveal its five-round magazine (six rounds total), it’s a great defensive option. As with the other popular shotguns on this list, there is no shortage of aftermarket parts, so with a few hundred dollars you can easily turn yours into the ultimate home defender. Most of the money ($ 187) would be spent on a factory 18.5-inch “safety run” and the remainder on a four-round magnetic tube extension, flashlight mount, side saddle, and sling. When the duck season returns, let Batman transform himself back into Bruce Wayne.