I just wrote an email to a client about my preferences on the set up for a home defense shotgun. I figured it was worth sharing:
It is my opinion that making a shotgun lighter is a bad thing. I have found shooting telescoping stocks in 12 gauge to be very painful. 25 - 50 rounds max and I’m hurting the next day. I had a lightweight Weatherby that I added 1.5 pounds of lead shot in the butt stock to make bearable to shoot.
I have a Speedfeed butt stock that holds 4 shells. No pistol grip.
I like a pistol grip butt but I also note that it has no tactical advantage. For topping off shells mid-cycle, it is faster to have a plain butt.
I have a plain bead. I shoot it well and it is simple. Remember, the shotgun is a 20 yard tool with buck shot and a 50 yard tool with slugs.
If I were to upgrade my irons I would use Big Dots. The style depends on what type of front sight you currently have.
I’ve used red dots on shotguns. I like them but they do not co-witness with irons. I do not like that you have to remember to turn them on in what would be a stressful situation unless you buy big dollar RMR sights that come on automatically. I do not like that you need to raise your cheek weld on your stock to use a red dot. IT HURTS! The one I would recommend if you insist is the Redfield Accelerator.
I have the Magpul fore end on my 870. I like it and it is short. This fore grip allows the use of side saddles.
I added a flashlight to it that removes quickly. Flashlight is mandatory. You have to identify a possible threat before anything else.
A side saddle is more important than many other considerations. If you grab your shotgun, you will probably only have it and whatever shells it carries. I have 4 buckshot and 2 slugs in my saddle. I have 2 more of each in my butt stock. I have 6 + 1 in my mag tube.
An extended tube is also very important if you do not have one. Make sure that you have removed the plug in your magazine to ensure full capacity.
The last important feature is to have the ability to use a sling. I like a single point attachment plate. Two point is fine for some folks. If training for 4 plus hours with it, I think the single is more comfortable and allows administrative duties to mirror my AR15.
Shotguns traditionally have been the long gun of choice for home defense since the Pilgrims brought their blunderbuss with them and propped it in the corner of their cabin.
The key to a home defense long gun is caliber and ammo selection. 30 caliber is simply too much for use in the home. An ideal round perhaps is .223 Remington. A soft point 55 grain bullet fired from a rifle is no more penetrative through common building materials than a pistol bullet and is an effective bad guy stopper. The small bullet typically creates massive internal damage and almost always stays with in the body.
The mild recoil associated with a modern sporting rifle (MSR) or AR15 is one of it's biggest advantages. People that are small of stature can handle the gun and keep its muzzle down and on target. The adjustable buttock allows the length of pull to fit a wide variety of shooters. These characteristics alone separate the MSR from a 12 gauge shotgun. Once trained, anyone in the house can successfully use it. This allows an AR15 to be a "pool" weapon - much like the long guns kept in a police cruiser for three shifts per day. No matter what shift you are working, the rifle can adjust to you, your stature, and your preferences.
With the proper ammunition and training, the AR15 can become your entire family's home defense gun. Contact us for more info and to check one out!
Jim Benoit's thoughts on guns, gear, & training
CAJUN ARMS & TUSCARORA TACTICAL TRAINING
WEST CHESTER, THOMPSONTOWN, PA