Home defense shotgun myths.


Article submitted by M.

During a recent range day Shawn and I were discussing the popular urban legend of the shotgun as the ultimate home defense weapon.  The most common reasons we’ve heard repeated for its use are that “you don’t even have to aim” and “you’ll kill all of them with one shot.”


While hardly a scientific test we figured we would give it a try.


We first tried the “you don’t have to aim” theory.  We also did this one with birdshot as we’ve known some to believe it’s better for home defense situations.


HD Shotgun PIC 01


For this one Shawn fired as he was bringing the gun up from a low ready position without trying to find or line up the sights.  As you can see most of the pellets missed the target entirely, passing over the “bad guy’s” left shoulder.  Those that did hit would have probably done nothing more than piss the “bad guy” off unless we scored a lucky eye hit that incapacitated him through blinding.



Next we tried buckshot to try the mythical “kill everyone in the room” lethality theory.  We set three targets down as though three “bad guys” were advancing on an intended victim, and fired roughly in the center of the three to see if one blast would take them all out.


HD Shotgun PIC 02

It did not.  While we got some good hits on the center “bad guy” and would likely taken him out of the fight the left “bad guy” was completely untouched and the right only hit once with what probably would not have been an incapacitating injury.


I acknowledge this was not a scientific test in any way, however I still think it illustrates the fallacy of the popular shotgun HD myths.  Yes you still have to aim and no it won’t vaporize attacking hordes with one shot.  Don’t believe everything you hear at the gun counter.




  1. Racking the shotgun in the middle of the night also doesn’t cause invaders to run away or pee their pants uncontrolablly either


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