As with in any industry, the gun industry is rife with bad advice and some beliefs that are just plain false. While it isn’t the biggest issue to have these myths in most industries, where firearms are concerned, the myths could get downright dangerous. It’s always a good idea to know what is fact, what is fiction, and what could get you killed. Several of these myths revolve around the shotgun, as it is one of the least understood guns available. Therefore, before you consider buying a new shotgun, let’s tackle some of these things, right now —
First, push out of your head that shotguns cannot be accurately fired. Also get rid of the idea that all you have to do is point in the general direction of an attacker and let the shot spread take over. Anyone who says such things should be avoided in terms of firearms advice. I’ve heard horrible advice given to folks like: “It doesn’t matter if you can’t see your attacker, just point and shoot.” Truth is, if they weren’t accurate, hunters wouldn’t buy them to bring dinner to the table.
Whenever we have a gun in our hands with the intention to use it, we have to do our part. Do shotguns have a wider spread than a handgun or rifle? Absolutely. But, that’s not an excuse to just “point and shoot.” I strongly suggest for you to pattern your shotgun to see just how wide the spread is. Many can be just the size of a fist at average hallway distances, but it depends on your gun, ammo, and the choke tube you’re using.
The second thing you should push out of your head, right now, is the shotgun myth: “All a criminal needs is to hear is the pump go ‘ku chack’ and he’ll run like a schoolboy avoiding a bad case of the cooties. Couple of things going on here:
- The criminal who is high out of his mind on meth may not have the mental capacity to recognize a shot shell being chambered, or just doesn’t care to begin with. Plus, these are people who move forward with plans, because their ability to control themselves is broken.
- Someone who is on a low, needing cash for that high, won’t care about the pump action on your shotgun because their next fix is all they can think about. Their “give a damn” is busted.
- Believe it or not, some people may not have ever heard the sound of a pump action cycling. Sounds strange, but I’m sure there are folks out there who wouldn’t recognize it. Remember, there are some folks out there who think suppressors make guns completely inaudible.
You never want to assume that a criminal will respond in a certain way because that could get you hurt. You need to bring your A-Game, and making assumptions is dangerous.
Huge difference between 12 and 20 Gauge
Plenty of folks believe that since 20 gauge is a smaller shell without as much shot, it must recoil less than the bigger 12 gauge. While that would be the case with the exact same guns and the exact same shotshells (minus the gauge), much more goes into it than that. In other words, while it is true in theory, it isn’t always the case.
Truth be told, many 20 gauge shotguns are lighter in weight than 12 gauge shotguns, and the perceived recoil hits harder because the overall weight of the gun has a direct correlation to controlling recoil. A heavier gun, even though it may have more recoil, feels less because the weight helps absorb it. It’s a good idea to shoot as many guns as you can before you buy, and choose one based on that range time.
Perfect for new shooters
I know someone who shot his first gun, a 12 gauge, at the ripe old age of 10 years old. It turned out okay, but that isn’t the best choice for a first gun. Why? First, the shotgun doesn’t build confidence in shooting. It’s loud and produces a lot of recoil. Those two aspects don’t exactly scream “confidence booster.”
It’s also hard to teach shooting mechanics on a gun that only has a front bead, without any rear sight. Not all shotguns are like this, but enough of them are that it could be a concern. Instead of starting a kid or any newer shooter off with the biggest gun you can find, get them acquainted with a .22 rifle, first, to boost confidence and teach them how to shoot.
Perfect in all situations
Finally, the thought that the shotgun is the only home-defense gun you’ll ever need is wrong. While the shotgun is a devastating tool, we need to remember that it isn’t always the best tool for everyone in need of a home-defense gun. There are plenty of folks out there who cannot maneuver a long gun through their homes because of its weight or length. There are also plenty of people who cannot handle the recoil or are otherwise not capable of shooting a shotgun.
Also, keep in mind that the best defensive tool is one that you practice with. If you’re not going to the range with your shotgun and practicing with it from time to time, you shouldn’t be relying on it for home-defense. Any gun that you rely on to potentially save your life needs to be used regularly at the range.
Why do I mention that? Because shooting a shotgun for many people isn’t exactly an enjoyable experience. It feels like getting punched in the shoulder by an aged Mike Tyson (old, but still capable of a butt-whooping), produces a loud blast, and can get heavy. Therefore, they won’t actually bring it to the range. We can’t stress enough that a gun you don’t shoot should not be used in self-defense. How could you be proficient with anything if you don’t practice?
Did I leave out any shotgun myths? If so, let us know in the comments. Otherwise, make sure you have liked our Facebook Page to stay up to date on our latest deals and sales.