My regular readers know that I regularly say that the shotgun is the best personal defense arm. Nearly all personal defense is short range business, and the shotgun is the best weapon at short range.
After years of saying that--and demonstrating the details--from every angle, I think I am done now. No use harrowing that ground again. You may not agree, but I trust that my reasoning is at least clear to all. Better hit probability than other guns possess, proven track record of stopping fights, and the option to shoot at and hit the chinks in the armor, should body armor be a factor: All this adds up to a persuasive case, to me.
To move on: Which shotgun to use is still an interesting question. I will continue to write about new developments in shotguns. The classic pump guns set a good baseline for comparisons to anything newer. Innovations in ammunition are also interesting. Buckshot is the baseline in ammunition. My question moving forward is whether anyone is doing anything notably better than loading a pump gun with buckshot, if the purpose is real-world self defense.
Two things prompted this. I lately started yet another shotgun article on my old pattern of explaining the pros and cons of the weapon. I stopped short of finishing it. I see no use in repeating myself on the shotgun's general excellence as a personal weapon, for people either agree or they don't. The second thing was an observation I made during a recent visit to a big store that sells lots of guns and accessories. Presumably, this company is in tune with what customers want. I considered what was prominently on display and what was sort of shoved to the back. I concluded that a whole lot more people are interested in AR and AK rifles than in fighting shotguns. I like both of those rifles, can shoot both and would feel well armed with a good example of either one. I would not, though, feel optimally armed; I'd want one of the shotguns from the back of the showcase. I get the feeling that when I extol the shotgun's virtues I am preaching to a smallish choir that agrees with me, and they have heard it before.