January 2004

12-Gauge Home-Defense Shotguns: Benelli Nova Tactical Pump and the Mossberg Model 500 Pump

We check out a pair of shuck-masters that can sound as chilling as the guttural growl of a guard dog when a round is pumped into their chambers.

Despite the creative depictions released by Hollywood movie producers, most Old West sheriffs facing down outlaws would rely on a shotgun to give them a gunfight advantage.

At close range, a shotgun is simply the most effective weapon that anyone can put in their hands to defend themselves or their home. Point and shoot, rather than being concerned with maintaining a proper sight picture, gives a shotgun and its easily controlled pattern of shot a clear edge.

Toss in the fact that most shotgun loads, other than slugs, will do their self-preservation damage without passing through walls, and it is easy to see why many security officials recommend shotguns as the best home-defense firearm.

Remaining near the top of the list of recommended shotguns are pump-action firearms. As some experts relate: “The sound of a round being chambered in a pump action shotgun is one of the most chilling sounds you will ever hear.’’ Even a homeowner with just a little experience on the range can be deadly with a shotgun fired across a room.

A load of bird shot produces a disabling or lethal pattern 12 to 15 inches in diameter at the typical distance of 20 feet or less, providing the home defender with a much wider range of error than with the single slug of a pistol or rifle.

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