A Shotgun For Home Defense? Then Consider These Accessories


Normally, I would disregard anything that Joe Biden says about guns as almost certainly wrong, but he and I do agree that a shotgun can be a good choice of firearm for home defense (though my reasons are probably not for the reasons that he would give you).

A shotgun is much less likely than a rifle to injure someone in another room due to the projectile going through walls, and you don’t have to be as accurate in a high-stress situation to get the job done.

But, if you’re going to do it right, a writer named Eve Flanigan says that you may want to consider four accessories for your shotgun:

  1. A sling
  2. On-board ammunition
  3. Auxiliary light, and
  4. Tritium front site

Flanigan recommends a sling so that you can have your firearm with you at all times while still keeping your hands free. If you feel that you are under constant threat, I can see where this could be a good idea, but just lounging around the house or doing the dishes? Well, maybe not as practical.

On-board ammunition makes more sense to me. Whether you choose extended magazine tubes or some other method to keep extra ammunition ready and handy, it’s a good idea to have extra shots to be fired in a pinch. If you’re in a tight spot, you don’t want to have to fish around in your pockets for extra shells. You just want them in the chamber quickly and ready to go.

An auxiliary light on your shotgun makes a lot of sense both for safety and legal reasons. Flanigan puts it this way:

It’s your legal and ethical obligation to correctly identify a threat before firing. The handful of tragedies and more near-tragedies that happen annually due to failure to identify the target are inexcusable.

That “flashlight” attached to your barrel keeps your hands free to use the firearm, should you have to, while allowing you to make sure that you only fire on a target that is justifiable to shoot.

A glow-in-the-dark front site also strikes me as a useful accessory. You’ll likely pull out your shotgun for self-defense in low light situations. Having a site that you can see (because it is glow-in-the-dark on your side of the site) allows you to have a greater measure of accuracy, which is always a smart move.

So, there you have it. If you are using a shotgun for self-defense, depending on your situation, these four accessories could all be useful to have.



  1. I agree that a shotgun with good sights, a side saddle ammo holder, and a flashlight are great. I don’t currently have a sling, but have considered it as an option. I will take exception to the comment that aiming is not as critical and that you are less likely to hit someone in another room with a shotgun round. Go to the range and check this out for yourself. Put together a couple of 2×4’s at 16″ centers with a front and back layer of Sheetrock. Then shoot a variety of loads at various distances that you can shoot in your home. Even low brass 71/2 shot will go through both layers of Sheetrock at 14 ft.. High brass #4 buck blows holes through the Sheetrock. A cylinder bore gun will give you about a 3″ spread at that distance.

  2. A shotgun ? OK, but don’t follow the advice of “Joke” Biden and go firing through screen doors and other portals that makes lots of noise but leaves you sanding there with an empty gun.
    Also, it is easy to miss a man sized target at 12 feet or so with a shotgun. Just going BOOM doesn’t remove the threat. You still have to aim.
    Get a shotgun that was made for home defense. Granpa’s goose gun was not. Consider a pump action gun. There is no sound like the racking of a pump gun to warn off marauders.

  3. I have a Mossberg 500 12ga with camper special accessories (short barrel & stock), keep the shells away from the gun because kids love to play with guns when nobody’s looking. Nothing fancy but it a dependable self defense gun !!!

  4. And depending on what load you’re using, you WILL penetrate walls with missed pellets.
    I use 00 Buck followed by slugs in my shotgun and I can guarantee that they will penetrate drywall into other rooms.
    And yes, as a retired Police Firearms Instructor, you CAN miss with a shotgun. I’ve seen it happen all too often.

  5. InSide the motor home 20ga. The house one a 12ga both start with oo buck ,slugs next 2 rounds then oo buck, still one in the tube.

  6. Depending on the thickness of sheet rock used in construction I find the number four shot unless fired point blank will not penetrate both walls on first shot . That said I would need a good solid target to fire that first round at Two of number 4 , Two of 00 and one rifled slug in my Winchester Marine pump . Not the highest magazine capacity but enough to discourage any intruder . And if that doesn’t discourage them , there is Thor , he is big protective and very mean when protecting his family .

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