Shotguns: The Weapon With The Most Utility

BY Herschel Smith
3 years ago

In the title of the post I’ll go ahead and say it so that everything is clear.  If I was left with only a single option for weapons to hunt or use for personal defense or defense of home and hearth, I’d choose a shotgun, or better year, several shotguns.

You can hunt deer with it, you can hunt fowl with it, you can defend yourself against large predators (such as bear) with it, and you can defend home and hearth with it.  Indeed, the range is limited to 50 yards or less, but there is no single weapon that can solve every problem.

As for tactical shotguns, there are two on the market that are considered the best of the best: The Benelli M4 and the Beretta 1301, especially enhanced by Langdon Tactical.

The 18.5″ barrel for the 1301 patterns tight and some use it unmodified for turkey hunting, and if you want more barrel length it accepts a choke.

I simply cannot imagine anyone saying that the tactical shotgun is useless, especially when using 00 buck it will launch eight 9mm size balls at 1500 FPS.  I don’t know who they’re talking about in the video below, but I’d be wary of anyone who said something like that.

In other shotgun news, the Beretta A400 appears yet again in lists of the top shotguns available for multipurpose use.


Comments

  1. On May 31, 2021 at 10:20 pm, Sarthurk said:

    50 yards? I can put a rifled slug on a paper plate at 100 yards, no problem. Offhand. A Remington 870. What?

  2. On May 31, 2021 at 10:38 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @Sarthurk,

    I’m sure, and many people can. I was focusing on the effectiveness of buck that far (e.g., self defense) or smaller shot (e.g., for turkeys). Not slugs.

    You’re focused on what I said rather than the person (whomever it is) who said shotguns are useless.

  3. On June 1, 2021 at 6:42 am, Chris Mallory said:

    “I simply cannot imagine anyone saying that the tactical shotgun is useless,”

    There are quite a few tactitards, especially in the gun groups on Facebook, who think shotguns are useless. Most of them seem to be young and have started calling us “fudds” because we know how to operate revolvers and have an affection for the 1911 and lever rifles. In their minds if you can handle anything other than a plastic, striker fired pistol and a $2000 AR you are a “fudd”. I suspect most of them are the children of single mothers and didn’t grow up with a pump action shotgun beside the front door. (aren’t stereotypes and generalizations fun?!)

    Of course they are giving the term “fudd” a new meaning from what it once had. But they use “gender” when they mean “sex” so they are ignorant of things other than revolvers.

    They also seem to have a burning hatred of Paul Harrell. Given the choice I would rather have Harrell in my foxhole than most of these tatted up tactical operators who operate tactically on Youtube.

  4. On June 1, 2021 at 7:56 am, Arthur Sido said:

    I hear lots of internet experts claiming that shotguns are useless and they invariably are idiots. Shooting at the range when you are hopped up on energy drinks isn’t the same thing as shooting in poor or no light in a house when you were just startled awake.

  5. On June 1, 2021 at 8:40 am, George 1 said:

    As Mr. Smith points out, with the proper 00 Buck load you have (9) 9mm sized projectiles being launched at about 1500 FPS, while firing one round.

    Now I don’t care what some of the tacti-cool operators say, that’s gotta hurt!! And it won’t buff out.

  6. On June 1, 2021 at 9:06 am, The Old Freedom Fighter said:

    Having watched hundreds of Westerns over the past 60+ plus years, I still get a thrill out of the expression “riding shotgun” as it applied to the days of the overland stagecoach.

    You’re correct about both hunting & home defense with a good, reliable shotgun. History is literally filled numerous examples up until the present day.

    Perhaps these young whippersnappers (how’s that for another Old West expression?) should learn a very important lesson. That is, something is better than nothing when it comes to self preservation. Especially when you’re about to be attacked by a bear or deranged mob!

  7. On June 1, 2021 at 9:13 am, Ron W said:

    “If you could just have one gun” (or one long gun), a 12 ga pump shotgun would be it.

  8. On June 1, 2021 at 2:54 pm, John said:

    I believe OO is .33 caliber (8mm) while OOO is .36 caliber (9mm) though shotgun buckshot diameters will vary slightly between makers and batches.

  9. On June 1, 2021 at 3:43 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @John,

    Yes I know. The 350 Legend is ~9mm, leading to known accuracy problems with that round (guys will load 9mm bullets for reloading).

    This was just an approximation.

    Funny how folks are nitpicking every word I said rather than the spirit of the post.

  10. On June 1, 2021 at 7:04 pm, ROFuher said:

    My left handed father carried an Ithaca when deployed with MAG-THAI in ’66, favoring the bottom ejection.
    As a deputy sheriff in the ’80s, he often remarked there was no problem two trained men with slide action shotguns couldn’t solve.
    He is still a mean shot out past 1000 yards with a rifle, and shifted from 1911 to a SIG, but it is a shotgun that is ALWAYS at hand.

    Every tool is a compromise in some fashion; a shotgun always gives back in one place where it yields in another.

  11. On June 2, 2021 at 6:11 am, Rocketguy said:

    Herschel, I used to be one of those “actually” internet pedants but try to keep the urge under control.

    I used to think the tactical shotgun was the answer to most defensive situations but have since converted to the magazine fed rifle. For me, it was magazine capacity, ease of reloading and range/accuracy. I do agree that the shotgun is the most versatile firearm and will always have them around and stay in practice. There is definitely something to the ability to deliver swarms of buckshot and whopping chunks of lead.

  12. On June 2, 2021 at 3:48 pm, Chris Mallory said:

    I do have to say with my old eyes, I relate to Clint in this scene:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaGbHX4knV4

  13. On June 2, 2021 at 4:56 pm, =TW= said:

    Heh. Good one, Chris.

    Regarding defensive weapons in general: There is no one *best* gun for ALL situations. The tactical niche to be filled must be addressed.

    Regarding shotguns specifically: A reliable chopped SG, pump or semi auto or, say, a Lupara will make a creditable defensive weapon. Trench Gun w/ heatshield and bayo lug comes to mind as well. One can be “tactical” with any of these.
    Maybe best to back it up with a trusty sidearm.

  14. On June 2, 2021 at 5:57 pm, JB said:

    The kind of survival I anticipate is urban, Balkin style. If I only had one weapon for those conditions it would be a suppressed magazine fed semiautomatic rifle. That gives me large magazine capacity, rapid fire, rapid reload, if I see em I can kill em range, while still being suitable to bring home meat. In summary, the type od weapon Biden wants to take away.

  15. On June 3, 2021 at 12:30 am, teslawasframed said:

    I’ve been raised as a rifleman from childhood, but working as a peace officer has given me a deep appreciation for shotguns. My department issued me a short-barreled 870, and my personal “fighting” shotguns are a Mossberg 590A1 Retro, and a newly acquired Stoeger M3000. I still prefer my rifles, but the notion I was under-gunned would never cross my mind if I was limited to a scatter gun for a home-defense scenario.

    9 rounds of Federal Flite control 8 pellet 00 buck gives you the equivalent of 72 rounds of 9mm, but from a shoulder-fired platform, with guaranteed fist-sized groups, all sent downrange in a leisurely 6 seconds or less. I don’t know about y’all, but I can’t beat that with my G17 OR my Stribog.

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You are currently reading "Shotguns: The Weapon With The Most Utility", entry #27514 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published May 31st, 2021 by Herschel Smith.

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