Again @Jokke is spot on about practice, practice, practice! But back to the subject of ammo. I have shot, practiced and done tests on all the types and sizes available. And found slugs to be way more than overkill for anything on 2 legs. For a camp gun on Kodiak Island they are perfect due to the extreme devastation they produce. Nevermind a 12ga slug, a 20ga slug can and will go through both sides of a 1970's American automobile including the occupant inside. So with that in mind, the thought of using a 12ga slug indoors is just too scarry to consider. With the typical 12ga 18.5 to 20 inch barrel with no choke the spread of #1 Buckshot is about a 7" circle at 30 feet of distance. And 00 is about 4" at the same distance. So at typical close quarters encounters you are looking at about a fist sized hole. So with this in mind the notion of strays hitting innocents isn't much more than a 45 ACP pistol at the same range. Now back to that slug. Several years ago I WAS ON Kodiak Island hunting Blacktail Deer and shot a 9 foot tall Brown Bear that was over 1,000 lbs in self defense with a 12ga slug. Both of my shots ended up just under the skin on the far side after a complete penetration.
*Next very important point:
Never brandish any firearm without fully intending to use it. *Never shoot without the expectation of fatal results. There are many cases of wounded intruders winning lawsuits against law abiding citizens who shot the scumbags in their own homes. It is essentially combat. Kill or be killed (or even worse, sued for everything you were trying to protect).
Let's hope none of has to do it. But it is always good to be prepared.
Boy Scouts motto;
"It is better to have it and not need it. Than to need it and not have it."
BTW, this is my home defense shotgun.
For a one gun kit, a Remington 870 with interchangeable barrels in 12ga is an excellent way to go. For anything double barrel you would end up with 2 guns.
I know next to nothing about skeet shooting, but I have some experience with shotguns as a tactical weapon. We use the Benelli supernova tactical (Benelli has several shotguns in the Nova series). https://www.benelliusa.com/shotguns/nova-series.
Fairly easy to use, and I imagine it would fit nicely for a home defence scenario, although I have next to no experience with this either.
Ammo is a thing to consider, I see buckshot being mentioned, but I want to mention slugs. Spread is good, 'cause you have a better chance of injury or death, even with a bad shot, but you have the increased chance of damaging third parties as well. With a slug, there is one projectile hitting the target, with tremendous force. I've also heard of combination ammo, where there's one big slug and a few pellets, like a hybrid shell.
Which brings me to my next point; practice. Sure, you could have your shotgun laying around for that rare occurence of a home invasion, but if you've never fired the thing, you sure as hell will fudge it up when your heart is racing, tunnel vision kicks in and you have no muscle memory. Make sure you fire it often. Practice loading without looking, make sure you know how the gun (and you) perform under different circumstances. Practice in light, practice in darkness, practice in sun, and practice in rain. Do pushups or jumping jacks to get your pulse racing, then do the shooting. A gun is only as good as it's shooter.
Sure, you can get a shell with plenty of pellets, and a choke that will give you all the spread in the world, but I'd rather have one slug, that I know for certain I can place in the upper body of an individual at 50 meters, in the dark, with a pulse of 120. The only way to get to that point is practice, practice, practice. Maybe even a class, to get the fundamentals down.
Also, if you're really serious about using it for home defence, a good, weapon-mounted light is paramount. Making a shot does not matter if you cannot ID your target. The last thing you want is to gun down your neighbour because a stray cat is rummaging trough your garbage.
Another good thing with shotguns is the (I guess depending on state?) availability of less-lethal rounds. Bean bags, rubber bullets, those tiny CS-gas powder balls. Why kill when you can convice the invader to flee?
While a 12ga side by side pistol can be visually intimidating there is nothing on this planet that sends shivers through the hairs of anyone than the sound of racking one in the chamber of a 12ga pumpgun.
*FOOD FOR THOUGHT**
For trap and skeet (aka; blasting clay pigeons out of the sky) a 12ga w/ #8 shot out of a 26" barrel and a "improved cylinder" choke (the pellets form a big circle) is the ticket. For home defense #1 Buckshot is king. Most people think 00 Buckshot is king. But it is not as good for 2 reasons. 1, 00 Buck is 9 0.33" pellets carrying a lot of energy without too much dispersion. So it is easier to miss and go through a wall and potentially do harm or even terminate a life on the other side. 2, #1 Buck generally has 12 to 14 0.30" pellets that form a slightly larger circle (better chance of hitting vitals) and while still having excellent penetration on flesh and bone do not have as much ability to go through a wall. It can potentially go through but less likely to do as much bodily harm after passing through the wall. Buckshot does much better with no choke to control the patterning. And you really do not want to be swinging a long barrel indoors. A legal minimum length 18.5" barrel is much better!
For both, shooting clays and home defense 12ga is definitely preferred.
Double barrel in either over and under or side by side is preferable for shooting clays due to having to load and entirely unload frequently. Although a pump gun can work.
The Sunday after. Prize info has been distributed. It feels just like sitting in the ICHQ living room put back together in non-Expo configuration. Rocky on the sumo. Lynx likely still asleep up stairs. Couple of suitcases in the entryway to soon be on their way with some of the last attendees. It's quiet in the house for the first time in a week. Visions of amazing memories created this week mixed with ideas for next year racing through my head.
I didn't set out to replicate Expo. I didn't think NotExpo2020 would generate the same level of emotion as Expo, but it did.
Thank you Icrontic. I love you.
Great work @BobbyDigi for taking on the initiative, running events, and loving this community. 💙💚💜💛❤️
For this battlestation... (thoughtful pause)
Yes, you need the weeb-boardino 3000. Now who is your favorite waifu? We'll need to get the silkscreening started
So I'm assuming part of the mechanical keyboard prize is an in-person visit from @Garg for a totally bespoke fitting for keys, switches, layout and keycap style guide, correct?