Home Defense: The Best Ammo for Your Shotgun

best ammo shotgun for home defense

For many people, the shotgun is the preferred weapon for home defense. A rifle or pistol can serve this purpose too, but in many cases a shotgun is a more versatile and effective home defense weapon.

One oft-cited advantage of a shotgun for home defense is the element of intimidation. The sheer size of the barrel can instill fear in an intrudor.

There is a story circulating over the web that an invader literally soiled his pants upon the sight of a double barrel shotgun. This firearm is so powerful that injuries are almost impossible to recover from completely, that is if the burglar or attacker survives.

However, do not go fall for the notion that the sound of reloading scares the perp. It is the sight of the gun and not so much the sound of a loading shotgun that they are afraid of.

In any home defense situation, you have to act quickly. Unlike the movies, your enemy will not wait for you to reload before shooting, much less take the time to listen to the sound.

The Ultimate Best Ammo for Your Home-defense Shotgun

Whether you're using your shotgun for home defense or some other purchase, it's important to carefully consider which ammo you use. In fact, the type of ammo is almost as important as the firearm itself.

Hunting calls for a certain type of ammo, while self and home-defense calls for another. When a disaster strikes you want to be armed with plenty of the right ammo.

But how do you choose? Read on to learn more about choosing the best ammo for home defense.

For the full post, click here.

Ammunition Demystified: The Best Shotgun Ammo for Home Defense

If you’ve chosen a shotgun for your home defense needs, a good grasp on the size and type of available ammunition is essential to your survival plan.

Because they are such versatile firearms, the ammo produced for shotguns comes in a wide variety of sizes, power and styles. Here’s a crash course on what your ammunition is trying to tell you, along with a comparison of different types widely available for home defense.


GaugeA shotgun’s “gauge” is the term used to refer to the diameter of its bore–the internal diameter of the gun’s barrel. Unlike the term “caliber,” which works similarly for rifles and handguns, the larger the number of the shotgun gauge, the smaller the bore.

In other words, a 20-gauge round is going to be smaller than a 12-gauge, which in turn is smaller than a 10 gauge. Whenever shopping for shotgun ammunition, the gauge on the box must match the gauge on your firearm.

There are several different gauges of shotguns and shotgun ammo available, but the most often recommended for home defense are probably the 12 gauge and the 20 gauge.


The shell, or outer casing, of shotgun ammunition comes in three basic types. Active shells are created almost entirely of plastic, save for the tiny metal piece that holds the primer at the very center of the case head.

Active shells are best for hunters and outdoor shooters because they are nearly impervious to elemental damage, including rust.

Low and high brass shells, on the other hand, work better for home defense situations. High brass shells have a brass base that extends up the body of the shell by just under an inch, while low brass versions have a much narrower band of metal at the base of the shell.

Low brass shells generally pack a less powerful punch than the high brass ones, but either will work well.

via Ammunition Demystified: The Best Shotgun Ammo for Home Defense | Self-Sufficiency.

Shotguns are quite versatile, especially when it comes to ammunition. You can choose from different shells, lengths, stopping power, as well as the pellets inside the ammo – all depending on whether you intend to use your shotgun for home defense, hunting, or some other purpose.

Because of the wide selection of ammunition, you need to be informed when choosing ammo for your home defense shotgun. And remember to practice your shooting stance, aim and other skills that are essential for self and home defense.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 25, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

6 Responses to :
Home Defense: The Best Ammo for Your Shotgun

  1. billy cool says:

    birdshot would’nt be my first choice for home defense.maybe during the warmer times of the year it would work okay but it just won’t penetrate heavy clothing as well as buckshot will.i realize that you must consider collateral damage[wall penetration,etc.]but would be my last choice.

  2. Anonymous says:

    2 3/4 magnum #4 shot

  3. Hector Uba says:

    Finding the right ammo is definitely just as important as finding the right gun for your home security. You really want to make sure you find ammo that is reliable so you aren’t caught in a bad spot when you really need it. My brother is looking to buy some ammo for his conceal carry pistol; I will be sure to share this information.

  4. Anonymous says:

    After watching this, it’s clear this guy is not an expert with firearms and at self or home defense. I have been at this game for many years. I would not rely on what he has to say. I herd several things that I would do different and some he never addressed. Lest of all, every gun guy knows that Rem is not what it used to be. I would not put my life on the line with one. Give me a Mossy 590 any day of the week. For many, many reasons. But that’s just me.

  5. gat says:

    flechettes. 12g and 10g. hand loads.

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