So You Want A Shotgun?

The SRM 1216 12-gauge, 16-shot semi-auto might be for you.

Enough has been written about shotguns to fill several books, yet there are still plenty of people who misunderstand what the shotgun does and why. These are constant issues since there are new gun people coming into the self-defense fold and bluntly, even a lot of old gun people do not understand the shotgun completely. So let us address some of the more subtle issues (this is not to say I have all the answers, but then again I do know some of the questions).

The shotgun is legal just about everywhere in the United States, and if you live where you can’t own a shotgun, you need to move—seriously. The barrel has to be 18″ long with an overall length of 26″. In some states the shotgun cannot have a detachable magazine, box-type or drum. In some jurisdictions and hunting applications there is a shell capacity issue.

The shotgun is a bit longer than a handgun. In short-barreled versions, often called riot guns, the 18″ barrel even at full overall length is not much longer than a handgun held and shot properly. The big thing with a shotgun is to practice the manipulation of the gun in the environment you plan on applying it in, whether it’s your home or vehicle or elsewhere. Whether a shotgun is better than a handgun is a moot point. If the door opened now and a guy stepped in the room coming at you with a knife, would you rather shoot him once with a pistol or once with a shotgun? Question answered. The shotgun will, in a proper place and time, physically remove bone and meat, which makes for quite a fight changer if not a fight stopper.

Thinking back, I remember as a cop personally seeing four different people shot at close range with a shotgun. One had a missing leg, one had a missing lower jaw and the other two had missing heads… the gun at close range seems, in my limited experience with it, to be modestly effective.

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One thought on “So You Want A Shotgun?

  1. Jim Allen

    Ranging Shots by Clint Smith / March 2012 : Clicks & Booms

    THE FINGER !! Great story, may I share with you.

    IPSC Match, Regional Big one. I was stage RO. Cooper Tunnel ; 3 shoot positions as you went though. A very large, over weight shooter comes to the line. BEEP, he is on the ground trying to get under the boards, and they are dislodging all over him. He is now very frustrated, trying to shrug the boards off him. He shoots from position 1, boards on him, begins to move, more lumber falls. He takes his gun hand, finger on trigger and sweeps the boards off himself. He also sweeps me and the crowd of about 200 right behind me. GASP from the crowd.

    -STOP !! FREEZE !! He looks up at me. Muzzle down range, unload, show me a clear weapon !! He comes to his knees, still has a fully loaded 1911 in his hand.

    -Muzzle down range, unload, show me a clear weapon !!

    Now he stands up, he has over 100 pounds on me and a loaded gun in his hand. He now unloads, holsters. I request the match director; he is done. DQ. I get an earful, and we ask him to leave. He does.

    He totally denied breaking the 180, did not believe he had swept the crowd. Brain Fade.



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