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Home Defense Shotgun Buyer’s Guide

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Having said all of that, we still love shotguns for their punch and versatility, especially in areas like defense against predators, and anti vehicular applications when using slugs. Additionally, shotguns loaded with buckshot are great against attackers wearing body armor, since the lead pellets spread out. While some rounds will hit the torso and be defeated by body armor, some will also hit the legs, face, and arms, making the shotgun a good option against armored foes.


Unlike rifles and pistols, which are manufactured by caliber, shotguns are manufactured in terms of gauge. The technical definition and comparison of the two terms is academic and unimportant to this article, but the point is that gauge is similar to caliber in that the number corresponds to the size of the bore.

The take away for you, the shotgun novice, is that you need to stick with a 12 gauge shotgun. There are both smaller and larger bore sizes, but the reasons we don’t want to use those is basically due to commonality. Keep in mind that 12 gauge shotguns are:

  • The most widely produced gauge
  • Military and police forces adopts it worldwide
  • Have the most ammunition choices available
  • A good balance between power and bore size
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