"For three hundred dollars I'd cut anybody in two with a sawed-off shotgun."
Texas Rancher and noted shotist
The Hospice folks told us that there would be good days and bad days as mom enters the final stage of her life, but it seems that she is having a whole lot more better days that anyone expected. I have said it before and will say it again, my mom is tough enough to turn goat pee into gasoline and may just fool us all. I went over to check up on her today and she looked at me over her glasses and asked me why I was there on such a nice day when I could be out shooting something. Never being one to argue with a lady, I made sure that everything was taken care of and took her sage advice and broke out my latest acquisition, the 12 gauge double barrel that I have named Ol' Loudmouth.
In my time, I have worked with, trained with and trained others quite a bit in the use of shotguns. Mostly pump guns, the 870 Remington, the 500 and 590 Mossberg, 1300 Winchester, 37 Ithaca, High Standards and even a 97 Winchester. These weapons ran the gamut from fresh out of the factory box, to rusted, scratched up pieces that haven't been out of the trunk of a patrol car in years. From factory standard to high speed/low drag race guns (Or as Tam calls them flat black people poppers) So on many levels, I understand what an effective tool the shotgun is. I could have chosen a pump gun to keep around the casa to repel boarders if the need ever arises, but I think my new double will fit the bill just fine.
I also don't think that it matters much what load I use for defensive purposes. Any shot load would be effective in the ranges that you would be dealing with in home defense. A friend of mine, a former investigator for the State Medical examiner referred to shotgun wounds that were suffered at short range (Say across the room) as "The bloody rathole" because he stated that it looked like a rat had gnawed into the bodies he worked with.
As I said earlier, my double is chambered for 3" shells so it gives me a bit more flexibility in ammunition selection. I played around with some different types of ammunition today and think I found a shell that I like. It's a 3" loaded with #4 buckshot. That means that each shell holds 41 .25 caliber pellets. Just to see how effective this load was, I put up a silhouette target at about 10 yards and shot it once.
The large hole in the silhouette's left shoulder is from the wad. As you can see, all 41 pellets hit center mass of the target. The silhouette reminded me a great deal of a death picture I saw of noted old west outlaw Bill Doolin. On August 25th 1896 Doolin was ambushed by a posse led by U.S. Deputy Marshall "Heck" Thomas. When called apon to surrender Doolin opened fire with a Winchester rifle. The posse returned fire, a round knocking the Winchester from Doolin's hands. Most would have given up at that point, but Doolin was, as they put it, game to the last. He drew his Colt's revolver and fired two shots. At that point, Thomas shot Doolin once with his Winchester and posse member Bill Dunn opened up with a shotgun. Doolin went down, dead before he hit the ground with 21 holes in his body.