Which Shotgun is Right for You?

 

types of shotguns

Buying a new firearm is always exciting. 

 

Sometimes you’re looking for it to fill a specific role: concealed carry, “truck gun,” home defense, hunting, competition, or simple target practice. And sometimes, something behind the counter just catches your eye — and you have to have it.

 

Shotguns in particular tend to span those categories — other than concealed carry, of course. When it comes to shotguns, there are a few different basic types: break-action, lever-action, pump-action, and semi-auto. And each has its unique purposes and followers. 

 

Break-action Shotguns

 

These shotguns feature a receiver comprising two main parts, which are hinged together. As the name would imply, these shotguns “break” open to allow loading and unloading of shells. Break-action shotguns are most often seen used in competition and hunting. And while they can be pressed into other roles, other shotgun types are probably much better suited in those cases.

 

Pros:

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Very traditional
  • Reliable and accurate
  • Lightweight at 5-6 pounds on average

 

Cons:

  • Typically very expensive, though of course there are exceptions
  • Light weight and lack of a recoiling action make for a heavier recoil
  • Manually reloading after every one or two shots is slow, making them less than ideal in a home defense situation




Lever-action Shotguns

 

With very few exceptions, you don’t see as many new lever-action shotguns these And that’s a bit of a shame. Lever-action shotguns, like lever-action rifles, load through use of a firing-hand-actuated lever that swings down from underneath the receiver and then back up. With practice, they can be cycled quite quickly. And they easily fill a number of our identified roles.

 

Pros:

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Traditional
  • Reliable and accurate
  • Fairly lightweight at 7-8 pounds on average
  • Prices for new models vary from $300 to $1,500 or so

 

Cons:

  • Light weight and lack of a recoiling action make for a heavier recoil
  • Levering the action to reload after each shot does take a certain amount of time — time that’s very precious in a high-stress situation like a home invasion



Pump-action Shotguns

 

A pump-action shotgun (or slide-action shotgun) is exactly what it sounds like: The shooter must manually pump or slide the firearm’s forend back and forth to load and unload shells. Click, clack, aim, fire. 

 

Pros:

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Reliable and accurate
  • Fairly lightweight at 7-8 pounds on average
  • Inexpensive, costing between $250 and $500 for most models

 

Cons:

  • Light weight and lack of a recoiling action make for a heavier recoil
  • Because you have to pump the action after each shot, you can lose precious time in a home defense situation



Semi-auto Shotguns

 

Instead of manually inserting and extracting rounds in a break-action shotgun — or using a lever or pump to accomplish the same — semi-auto shotguns automatically eject a spent shell and load a new one each time you fire the gun (as long as your magazine has rounds). They accomplish this action through an inertia or gas-operated recoil system.

 

Inertia-based systems harness the recoil energy from a fired shell to cycle the firearm’s bolt from its closed position rearward to its open position. A recoil spring pushes the bolt forward after it reaches its most rearward position, picking up a shell and loading it into the chamber for the next shot.

 

Gas-operated recoil systems also harness the energy from a fired shell. But instead of relying solely on the recoil energy of a fired shell, they make use of the expanding gases from the burnt gunpowder. One or more small vent holes at the base of the barrel are “plumbed” into the action. Upon firing, the expanding gas causes the bolt to cycle, unloading the spent shell and loading a new one into the chamber.

 

Pros:

  • Automatic reloading allows for faster follow-up shots
  • Recoil is reduced thanks to heavier weights and a recoiling action

 

Cons:

  • Typically more expensive that other shotgun types—with break-actions being the exception
  • Heavier than most other options
  • Often more complicated than other options, which may be a concern during high-stress situations
  • Requires more maintenance due to more moving parts for firearm function

 

When choosing among the various shotgun action types, the most important thing you need to consider is finding a firearm that best fits your needs. Then learn how it operates. And practice with it regularly so you’re prepared for whatever situation you might face that requires the use of a firearm.

 

It’s also important to know your state’s gun laws so you can avoid legal concerns. 

 

Generally, break-op, lever-action, and pump-action shotguns are immune to so-called “assault-weapon laws.” Some states consider many semi-automatic shotguns “assault weapons.” And still other states don’t allow them for hunting.

 

You might also want to consider these 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Gun and What is a Non-NFA Firearm for more information.

 

Now let’s talk a little more about some of the various uses we’ve identified for these shotgun types.

 

Home Defense

 

In general, shotguns are a commonly used firearm for home protection. 

 

Main reasons include:

  • Shotguns are by and large easy to use. This is never more important than during the high-stress scenario of a home invasion. Adrenaline changes everything.
  • Because the shot spreads out after it leaves the barrel, your hit probability increases. In other words, point and shoot.
  • Stopping power is another often-cited reason for choosing a shotgun for home defense.
  • At the same time, by selecting the right size of shot, you can reduce your chances of a projectile going through a wall and injuring a family member. Shorty shells are also worth considering for recoil-sensitive users.



As we mentioned earlier, any type of shotgun can be pressed into home defense duty. But let’s be honest, there’s nothing more intimidating than the sound of racking a shotgun. That pump-action sound can, in some cases, be enough to scare off an intruder before you have to take any further action. 

 

Mossberg and Remington are among the most popular pump shotguns used for home defense. You can also check out these Top 5 Firearm Accessories for Home Defense. 

 

A semi-automatic gives you faster trigger action, but when your adrenaline is pumping during a moment of defense, you may be more likely to go through all your rounds quickly. Training and practice are vital with any home defense firearm. Especially with a semi-auto.

 

While not technically a shotgun, a great semi-auto choice for home defense is the Remington V3 Tac 13, which is made with the Shockwave Raptor Grip






Fun

 

We’ve talked a lot about high-stress situations you could find yourself in. But let’s not forget that shooting firearms can be a lot of fun. 

 

For those who enjoy skeet or clay target shooting — whether just for target practice or for competition — any of the shotgun types we listed at the beginning of this article can be used. However, many competitions prescribe which type and number of shells can be used.

 

But if we’re talking strictly recreational shooting, lever- and pump-action shotgun are good for shooting single targets. However they can be slower and more distracting when you’re trying to shoot multiple targets moving across the open sky.

 

If you plan to shoot clay pigeons for longer periods of time, a semi-automatic may be a good fit. Its lower recoil won’t wear out your shoulder as quickly. But semi-autos do tend to be heavier firearms.

 

Hunting

 

While many would consider hunting to be a fun activity, we’ve given it its own section here. 

 

Again, any of the described shotgun types can be pressed into hunting duty. The choice is largely up to you. Certain state and local laws will likely specify type, gauge, and number of shells for taking various game.

 

The semi-automatic shotgun may be preferred (when legal to use) thanks to the capability of fast follow-up shots and lower recoil.

 

However, lever- and pump-action shotguns may be preferred when shooting in harsh conditions (higher altitudes, cold or hot temperatures, etc.). They’re also known to be less sensitive to load variability and ammo condition.

 

Finally, there’s little that’s more traditional when it comes to hunting than walking across a dewy morning field searching for upland game birds with an over-under 28-gauge broken open in the crook of your arm.

Why You Should Choose an AR-15 Pistol for a Home Defense Firearm

Let’s cut to the chase: The AR-15 pistol is one of the best firearms for home defense. 

 

Why? They’re affordable, reliable, accurate, and found everywhere. It’s no wonder the AR-15 is informally known as America’s 21st Century musket. And for good reason. 

 

When an intruder sees the easily recognized AR in your hands, they know you mean business. 

 

Learn about the evolution of the AR and AR pistol

 

But first, let’s dive into the benefits of using an AR-15 pistol for home defense. Each benefit is like a ripple effect — they all go hand in hand to make this firearm perfect for defense purposes. 



Benefits of an AR-15 Pistol for Home Defense

 

shockwave blade stealth ar-15 pistol

Affordable

 

You can find an AR-15 pistol to fit every budget: from just a few hundred dollars to the “sky is the limit.” The typical .223 ammunition is easily found in stores (when there’s not a global pandemic unfolding daily or nightly riots) and one of the least expensive ammos, with prices averaging about 32 cents per round. 

 

 

Low Recoiling

 

A low recoil makes the AR-15 pistol easy to shoot and a good option for beginners — even younger members of the family.

 

 

Accuracy

 

Because of such low recoil, accuracy is improved for most shooters.

 

 

Lightweight

 

At a mere 6 pounds — with ammo! — the AR-15 pistol is light enough for shooters of all ages and experiences. Because it has such a lightweight body, you can easily customize and add accessories to your firearm without making it too heavy to handle safely and accurately — especially in a home defense scenario. 

 

 

Ergonomically Designed

 

Many features of the AR-15 pistol are designed with ergonomics in mind, making this firearm comfortable and safe to shoot: pistol grip, trigger reach, safety location, forward handguard, sights, etc.

 

 

Ammo Capacity

 

A typical AR-15 pistol magazine holds 30 rounds of ammo. 

 

Many experts recommend using the .223 cartridge because it’s typically easy to find in stores,  inexpensive, and provides lower recoil. Some recommend using a 55-grain soft-point load that minimizes bullet penetration, which can be beneficial to protect your family in other parts of the home (or surrounding neighbors) in case the bullet misses the intended target. However, as you may know, the AR-15 is available in a multitude of calibers.

 

 

Size

 

During a home invasion, you don’t want to be turning corners and allow the intruder to discover your location before you know theirs. The AR-15 pistol is a great option for home defense due to its relatively short length, allowing you to turn corners discreetly and avoid disclosing your location that can put your defense game at risk. 

 

 

Customizable

 

From function to ergonomics to aesthetics, there are simply too many types of firearm accessories for customizing your AR-15 pistol than we can possibly cover here: grips, forearms, slings, sights, lights, lasers, scopes, red dot sights, triggers, muzzle devices, and so on. 

 

For home defense purposes, however, we recommend keeping it simple. Focus on the following accessories:

  • Brace, grip and/or sling: for better and safer control of your firearm
  • Flashlight: for better visibility in low-light conditions and stunning any intruders with the bright illumination
  • Red dot sight: for accuracy



A note about pistol braces:

 

Whether you’re building a custom AR-15 pistol or bought an AR-15 pistol without a brace, adding a brace can improve control and accuracy.

 

An AR-15 pistol cannot have a stock but it can have a brace, such as the Shockwave Blade and Shockwave Blade 2M. 





Shockwave AR-15 Pistol Accessories

 

Shockwave Technologies offers products to enhance your home defense use (and enjoyment) of your AR-15 firearms. Check out these Shockwave products compatible with AR-15 pistols.

 

 

Blade®

 

Made from high-strength glass-reinforced polymer, the Blade® is manufactured to exacting tolerances and fits all pistols equipped with a standard AR-15 pistol buffer tube (up to 1.25? in diameter). Just slip it on and tighten the large set screw for a rock-solid installation.

 

Blade® fits all pistols equipped with a standard AR-15 pistol buffer tube (up to 1.25? in diameter) AR pattern, Glock, CZ Scorpion Evo 3, HK9X pattern, etc.

 

Features include:

 

  • Available in black, flat dark earth, OD green, and stealth gray
  • Quick and easy to install.
  • Provides additional support during firing.
  • Weighs a scant 5.0 ounces.
  • ATF approved for pistol use 

 

 

Blade® 2M

 

Made from high-strength glass-reinforced polymer, the adjustable Blade® 2M pistol stabilizer is manufactured to exacting tolerances and fits all pistols equipped with a Mil-spec buffer tube. Just slip it on and lock in place.  Adjusts with a simple finger lever.

 

Compatible with all pistols equipped with a Mil-spec buffer tube: 

 

  • AR-15 pattern
  • MPX
  • Glock
  • CZ Scorpion Evo 3
  • HK9X pattern
  • etc.

 

Features include:

 

  • Available in black, flat dark earth, OD green, and stealth gray
  • Quick and easy to install.
  • Provides additional support during firing.
  • Weighs a scant 4.0 ounces.
  • ATF approved for pistol use 

Firearm Shortage 2020: How Dealers Can Quickly Restock Shelves

shockwave model

Pandemics. Economic Crises. Presidential Elections. Riots. Prisoner releases. These are just a few ingredients to the recipe for panic, causing the firearm shortage 2020 across the nation. Any form of civil unrest can lead many to fear for their families and homes, and they’ll do anything to protect and preserve it. 

 

There has been a record-breaking surge in firearm sales and new gun owners in 2020. In fact, according to NSSF, there was a 135.7% increase in background checks in June 2020 compared to June 2019 for folks to purchase or possess firearms — that’s nearly 5 million new gun owners so far this year. With Mossberg 590 Shockwave at the top of the Pump action shotgun sales, it’s clear that gun owners are gearing up for home defense

 

Much like the toilet paper demand in the Spring of 2020 with the coronavirus outbreak, gun stores have been selling out of supplies like hot cakes and forced to put a limit inventory sales to “slow the curve” of shortages for local gun owners. Due to the shortage of firearm supplies, local stores are struggling to stay afloat because they have nothing on their shelves to sell. The national shortage of firearms, firearm accessories and ammo affects everyone.

 

However, while there is low supply and high demand for dealers and stores selling supplies, there is still hope for restocking those shelves quickly.

 

Need help restocking your shelves? Fill it with Shockwave products

 

Contact Shockwave Technologies to restock your shelves quickly with reputable firearm products. We’ve ramped up staffing and production to ensure we can provide products in a timely manner. We currently have no supply issues and ship the following business day. 

 

Restock your shelves during the firearm shortage 2020 with some of our most popular firearm accessories:

 

  • Raptor™ Grip
  • Raptor™ F1 Forend
  • Raptor™ Forend Tool
  • Raptor™ Strap Kit
  • Blade®
  • Blade® 2M
  • 30 Round ZMAG™ and 50 Round ZMAG™



Find out which firearms are compatible with Shockwave.

Top 5 Firearm Accessories for Home Defense

There’s nothing more intimidating than the sound of a shotgun pumping and gearing up for fire. For this reason, we’re all about using a shotgun in general for home defense — and that pump action can be scary enough to ward off an intruder before you have to take any necessary action to protect your household. But more specifically, we vouch for the Mossberg 590 Shockwave for the purpose of this topic.

 

The Mossberg 590 is considered a top home defense firearm across the web and we couldn’t agree more. With a shorter barrel than a traditional shotgun (which is typically used for hunting and clay shooting), you can get around corners and down the stairs more easily with a Mossberg 590 Shockwave. 

 

But the shotgun itself isn’t the only element needed to be prepared with the best home defense kit. Check out our top firearm accessories that you need for home and personal defense:

 

Shorty Shotshells

shorty shells with opsol mini clip

What is a shorty shotshell? A shorty shell (or mini shell) is a shotgun shell about half the length of a traditional shell, typically running at 1.75-inches long. They don’t blow a huge hole in the wall because they have a more narrow and targeted area of penetration. They also have less power and velocity (but enough of it to be a perfect fit for home defense). And lastly, you can fit more shorty shotshells in a tube meaning more rounds to ensure you don’t run out of ammo when a home intruder attempts to attack. 

 

When it comes to Shockwave, we believe buckshot shorty shells are the way to go.



Raptor Grip

Shockwave raptor grip

With the enhanced texture and ergonomic design of the Raptor™ Grip, you’ve never held onto your firearm with as much confidence and control for both safety and comfort. Its unique angle minimizes felt recoil, allowing for maximum control shot after shot. It’s also constructed with a glass-filled polymer, making it virtually indestructible. 

 

With less recoil, mini shells work great with the ergonomic design of the Raptor™ Grip. This is especially important for those who may be more recoil sensitive.

 

There are also new Raptor™ Grip colors available: black, FDE, OD green, and gray. 

 

Learn more about the Raptor™ Grip R870 and Raptor™ Grip M500/590.

 

OPSol Mini Clip

shockwave opsol mini clip

The OPSol Mini Clip only goes on Mossberg firearms and is specifically designed so that you can use short shells without jams. It allows you to easily install and uninstall in seconds to allow use of 1.75?, 2.75?, or 3? shells (as desired) with lower recoil for safe, easy, and comfortable aiming and discharging.





Flashlight Mount

shockwave flashlight mount

A GG&G flashlight mount for your Mossberg allows you to install a bright flashlight that will not only allow you to easily see where you’re going during the night and see your target, but the strong light can also stun your intruder, making it difficult for them to see you. Being in the bright spotlight will also make them feel exposed and more likely to run than to continue with their intrusion, knowing that they are a clear target of your shotgun. 

 

GG&G developed the Shockwave Flashlight Mount specifically for the Mossberg 590 Shockwave because its forend is a reconfigured version of Mossberg’s 590 foregrip. Our 590 flashlight mount which is similar, is a hair too close to the foregrip, so if you own one of the new Mossberg’s and need a flashlight mount, this is the one to get.

 

The GG&G Flashlight Mount for Mossberg 590 Shockwave:

 

  • Installs easily and is perfect for mounting a tactical flashlight to your Mossberg 590 Shockwave shotgun.
  • Manufactured specifically for the 12-gauge Shockwave (will not fit the 20-gauge Shockwave).
  • Designed, tested, and manufactured to withstand the rigors associated with professional use. It’s also been manufactured from bullet proof AS-35 Geneva steel and 6061-T6 billet aluminum.
  • Features an ambidextrous design that can be mounted on either side of the Mossberg Shockwave to accommodate both right- handed or left- handed shooters.
  • Offers dehorned edges (rounded, smoothed, and beveled) to protect the shooter.
  • Includes a Lifetime Warranty
  • Made in America by men and women proud to be Americans! 



Forend Strap

shockwave forend strapEnsuring you have a secure forend strap is an important safety feature that will protect yourself when in the heat of the moment of a surprise home invasion. A forend strap will keep a nervous, sweaty hand from slipping in front of your Mossberg 590 Shockwave shotgun and give you better control of your firearm to protect your loved ones. 

The Raptor Strap kit for the Mossberg 500 and 590 forends is designed for the tactical forearm image shown here, but will also fit the standard handguard. It will also fit other shotgun models from other manufacturers.

 

The Raptor Strap kit includes the strap, attachment hardware, and detailed instructions with full-size template. You can easily install this within 10 minutes using a drill, an 1/8” drill bit, and a Phillips-head screwdriver for installation.