Added preface by Chris Costa to Remington 870 Guide:

Chris Costa from Costa Ludus

Chris Costa from Costa Ludus

Shotguns are not for everybody. Just because you can buy one, it doesn’t mean that it’s right for you. Just because they sell a 44 Magnum in a gun shop, it doesn’t mean that you are the guy who can actually shoot and handle it.

Bring enough gun to the fight, but bring to the fight what you can actually control and handle. And shot placement is extremely important. Don’t ever think that there is a magic bullet out there. Your ability to drive the gun, control the recoil and get round on the target, and actually move the gun from location to location will be more important and vital than any type of magic bullet or ammunition that somebody is trying to guarantee you. At the end of the day, shit gets in the way; there’s clothing, there are chairs, walls, and there are mediums in between you and your threat that the bullet is going to encounter that you have to take into account. This means that something might deflect, or the penetration might not do what you thought it was going to do.

You need to be able to control what it is that you’re shooting. The shotgun may be a little too complex for you, especially if you don’t train on it consistently. And by train consistently, I mean that every few weeks you should run through a training session with that particular gun. If you are putting it in a closet and 6 months later you are going to grab the thing and shoot it – that’s not devotion. You are not going to do well when something bad happens if you’re not familiar and well-practiced with your gun.

Keep it real and keep it practical. And don’t be sad if the shotgun is not for you. I certainly would recommend handguns to the average male or the average female for home defense. I would rather someone shoot a 9mm handgun and control it and have 18 rounds that they can surgically place on a target. I would rather they can move from one location to another and clear their house extremely fast and wield their weapon that much easier. I would rather they can shoot it and employ it, even if they get injured, extremely quickly.

Employing a shotgun one handed in a home defense role is very, very difficult. Picture your wife trying to hold your shotgun one handed, when she could have employed her handgun one handed a lot easier.

At the end of the day – it’s not for everybody.