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Buying a new shotgun is an exciting time for anyone looking to update their home security or get some more time out on the range.  Shotguns can be great entertainment and learning to shoot one properly should be high on any gun collector’s to-do list.  Choosing the perfect shotgun for your needs depends heavily on how exactly you plan to use your new firearm.

A home protection shotgun is going to be a lot different than one specifically designed for duck hunting.  While in theory, any shotgun will work for home security; there are definitely some types of shotguns better suited for use as home protection.  Let’s take a moment to look at the different types of shotguns available to you.

Single Shot

Single shot shotguns are the least expensive in most scenarios unless you are looking for something for your collection.  These guns can be extremely accurate and they will need to be, as you will only have one shot before you will need to reload.  This makes single shot shotguns only useful against single attackers.

Pump Action

A pump action shotgun can hold multiple rounds that are loaded into the chamber by a pumping action.  This type of shotgun can be less accurate than a single shot because you will need to remove your eyes from the sights to pump the shotgun.   Pump action shotguns are very reliable because of their human powered design.


Auto-loader shotguns come in wide-ranging quality depending on the manufacturer.  You lose some accuracy but you gain the ability to fire rounds downfield without having to remove your eyes from your site.  Semi-automatic shotguns have been gaining in popularity as newer designs have made these firearms more appealing to the public.

Double Barrel

Double barrel shotguns are more expensive than their single barreled counterparts.  The double barrels can come in one of two configurations.  The barrels are either side-by-side or stacked.  You will get to shots with your double barrel shotgun and you gain the ability to fire both barrels at once if you desire.

Barrel Length

The next thing to consider is the length of the barrel you need.  A hunting shotgun will have a much longer barrel as you will be shooting distances.  A home protection shotgun may be short as it will be more maneuverable when clearing rooms.


The choke is located at the end of your barrel and it plays an important role in determining the spread of your shot.  There are generally two types of chokes available to civilians.  The first is a fixed choke which is built into the barrel.  The other type is a screw in choke.  The later type gives you the ability to change your choke when needed but can be more expensive.


There are a wide variety of shotgun shells available for your shooting needs.  You should purchase birdshot if you intend to be hunting birds with your new firearm.  Shotshells are another type of ammunition that can be used for hunting other animals or as home protection ammunition.  Shotshells have tiny metal BBs that can do devastating damage to your target.  When you need the maximum penetration power available you should consider slugs.

Test Fire

You may not always have the option to fire the type of weapon you want before purchasing but if you can, it is highly recommended.  You can check your local shooting range to see what their selection consists of and you may be lucky enough to find a similar firearm that you can rent.  This will help you to fully understand the feel and accuracy of your potential firearm before you buy it.

The Top Things To Know Before Buying Your next Shotgun – Final Thoughts

Now that you have a better understanding of what to look for when purchasing your next shotgun, you are ready to find the perfect firearm to fit your needs.  Firearm ownership is a big responsibility that’s stats with learning and you have made the important first steps in better understanding shotguns.

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