6 Features of a Home-Defense Shotgun

A man sitting with a shotgun in armchair, concept of home self defence | Features of a Home-Defense Shotgun

When it comes to a home defense shotgun, you want all the advantages you can get hence the need for a shotgun specifically designed for home defense.

To ensure you do not settle for barely adequate, here are features to look out for to defend your home.

RELATED: Top 5 Home Defense Handguns Under $400

6 Must-Haves of Every Home Defense Shotgun

1. Short Buttstock

Gun rack top bottom 22-rifle | home defense shotgun for sale

Most home defense shotguns come with rather long stocks. However, shorter buttstocks are ideal for defensive shooting because they allow you to square your shoulder to target.

This way, you can bring in the shotgun to have the weight of your entire upper body behind the gun. Having more than just your shoulder behind the gun gives you more control, and you will ultimately feel less recoil.


  • A 12 to 13-inch length of pull is a great place to start. You can achieve this by cutting your wood stock to this length or buying an aftermarket replacement stock.
  • A shorter buttstock also works great for people with larger than average bodies.

2. Short Barrel

Hunter with shotgun gun on hunt Home defense shotgun SS

Contrary to what you may think, a short barrel has nothing to do with the spread of your shotgun. And everything to do with ease of retrieval and use around your home.

Considering the walls around the house, any barrel longer than 18 to 20 inches will only be challenging to use. The shotgun will be slow and almost clumsy to use, both of which are the last things you need in a self-defense shotgun.


  • What’s more, a shotgun with a longer barrel will also be more difficult and expensive to store away.
  • Do not worry about the shot spread, as a shorter barrel will not affect it in any way.

3. Magazine Capacity

Shotgun on USA flag Home defense shotgun SS

Most shotguns have a magazine capacity of four shells. Since that might not be adequate for home defense in some cases, a magazine extension to give a little more than that.


If you do not like a lot of extra weight at the end of your shotgun, a small +1 extension tube will suffice. But you can also go with a longer tube for a few extra rounds as long as you do not exceed the length of the barrel.

Note: Rarely will most shotgun encounters require more than five to six rounds, so you do not have to go with an extraordinarily long extension.

RELATED: Home Defense Guns | Shotgun vs. Handgun

4. Sight Upgrade

Hunter shotgun gun on hunt Home defense shotgun SS

Most people are okay with using the standard brass bead front sights. However, you are likely to get more precision while using go string aperture or rifle sights even over short distances.

What’s more, with a bit of practice, you might be able to get on target even faster, especially if you have a rail on top of your receiver to mount optics.


  • A high-performance red dot is a quickest and easiest sight you can get for your shotgun.
  • Also, note that sight will have it rough if it is mounted on a 12 -gauge. For such, only stick with the premium optic brands.

5. Spare Ammo

12 Gauge Shotgun With 1911 45 Auto Handgun | semi auto home defense shotgun

You never know the kind of self-defense situation you may find yourself in, and therefore having a way to carry extra ammo on your shotgun is an advantage. Though not mandatory, a stock-mounted shell carrier is both functional and inexpensive. The same applies to the side saddle types of shell carriers.

Though it is easier to load from the side saddle carriers, keep in mind that they add weight that might tamper with the gun’s balance. Stock mounted carriers, on the other hand, are slower.

The best thing is to practice firing and loading rounds from your carrier to develop muscle memory should you need to do that in a real-life situation.

6. Mounted Light

Flashlight mounted an running under a shotgun barrel | remington home defense shotgun

Though your house might not get as dark during the night, having a mounted light enabled you to confirm your target identity. You can mount a rail on the barrel onto which you can attach your stream handgun light.

The best thing is that the various options in the market can work for you.

Watch this video by Lucky Gunner Ammo on why use a shotgun for home defense:

There you go, gun lovers. While some of the gun accessories in this list are not mandatory, they are vital components of a functional home defense shotgun and therefore features you should look for. The cherry on top is that you can add to this list anything you feel would help you amp your home defense rifle.

Which feature of a home-defense shotgun are you particular to?

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6 Responses to :
6 Features of a Home-Defense Shotgun

  1. C L Edney says:

    Interested in letters

  2. M.Mitchell says:

    I have a Mossberg 300 – pump action w/ pistol grip,
    as my home defense shot-
    gun … Capacity is 8 + 1 in the chamber- ready to go!
    I didn’t see it listed-but I’m sure, many others have this brand- GB America !

  3. ray says:

    Love it! Keep reminding people to arm themselves..

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have a Standard Manufacturing DP 12 shotgun as my go to home defense weapon , with a capacity of 14 + 2 in the breach.

  5. Bud says:

    Learn to spell Ruger. It’s not Rugar….

  6. Lucy Littlewolf says:

    Where can I get a home defense shotgun like the top photo?

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