I love guns! Ever since I was a little boy I have been fascinated with firearms and how they work. Over the years I have owned many firearms and have always been very comfortable with them – which is a good thing since I have carried one professionally for most of my adult life.
But, although I am fascinated with how firearms function and admire the craftsmanship necessary to create them, I see them as a tool. That is, I do not purchase firearms simply because they look good; I purchase them because they do a job. Every one of the firearms I own, I purchased with a specific task in mind. I have a duty sidearm, backup pieces, hunting rifles and shotguns for hunting or target shooting. You get the picture.
Due to my line of work I find myself coming in contact with a lot of people who have firearms related questions and, because I enjoy the subject matter, I am often willing to offer what advice I can. Aside from the obvious questions “What firearm should I buy?” or “What caliber is best?”(which I think every firearms instructor hears in their sleep) the most frequent question is “What is the best firearm for self-defense?”
Of course, this should come as no surprise. Self-defense is large and growing market for firearms and has even sparked several cable television shows as well as monthly magazines dedicated to educating gun owners on what is “best.” These shows and magazines are interesting, and often informative, but they do not answer the most basic of questions: “If I can own just one firearm, what should it be?”
For many of us, the idea of owning just one firearm is unthinkable. Many of you, like me, own an assortment of firearms, each designed to meet a specific need. But, the fact remains that many potential gun owners do not have the ability or desire to own a safe-full of specialized firearms. They want, or can only afford, to own just one. If this is the case, I would quickly and almost always recommend a shotgun.
The shotgun may not be a sexy as an AR. A shotgun may not be able to be tucked away like a compact .40. But a shotgun is the “Swiss Army Knife” of firearms and packs a lot into one package. A shotgun is the go-to for hunting small game or birds and, if properly equipped, can be used for big game as well. You can enjoy a day at the range busting clays for a fraction of the cost compared to many rifles and even some handguns – and ammo is easier to come by. But, most importantly, a shotgun is a natural when it comes to home defense.
Think of what you want in a home defense firearm… Easy to use – check! Easy to maintain – check! Capable of stopping the threat – check! Ammo is plentiful and available in multiple configurations – check, check! Plus a shotgun holds some additional features many users do not think about. They are able to penetrate a door or wall if needed, but will not then go on to penetrate your neighbor’s door or wall and injure an unintended target. Furthermore, there is nothing quite as intimidating as the sound a shotgun makes as its being pumped, even from behind a closed door.
So, if you find yourself in need of just one firearm, look no further than a trusty shotgun.