a. ShotgunsYou'll notice one thing when comparing shotguns for outdoor ranges and ones for home defense- the length of the shotgun barrel. Short-barreled shotguns, or otherwise known as riot guns or tactical shotguns are extremely effective for defending your home with. Combat shotguns are equipped with barrels that range from 18" to 20" in length. Some combat models have added features such as specialized sights or extended magazine capacities. They are about the same as sporting shotguns in this respect. Perhaps the best feature in keeping a shotgun for home defense is its intimidation factor. An intruder, or any other person with malicious intent will surely think twice as they stare at a shotgun barrel. Carrying a shotgun reduces the chances that you'll actually have to shoot! Some of the most common shotgun types you will see are the pump-action types, semi-automatic types and the break-action types.
- Pump-actions or Slide-actions require the gun operator to pull the shotgun's forearm to the receiver and push it into its starting position to put a round into the chamber. These shotgun types are plentiful and inexpensive. Reliability-wise, they have the best mechanism over their counterparts.
- Semi-Automatics. This type of shotgun puts in fresh rounds for each pulled trigger as the magazine empties out. The semi-automatic shotgun is more accurate and has a faster shooting rate, but is more expensive than the other shotgun types.
- Break-Actions. Break-action types have a hinged base positioned right at the end of the single or double barrel to allow for manual reloading. These shotgun types are probably the easiest to operate out of all the different shotguns, but you can only fire one or two rounds at a time.