Picking The Perfect Shotgun: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know (But Didn’t Want To Ask)

The shotgun is one of the most capable firearms in the world. For hunting small game, to game birds, and even big game, a shotgun will do the job. For home defense, the shotgun is more than capable and intimidating. Want a survival gun? The shotgun can cover it all in the most trying conditions.

The choices of action types, gauges, barrel lengths and stock configurations are an added incentive for owning a shotgun. Choose pump action, semi-auto, single or double barrel, or even lever action. The 12 gauge is the most common today, with the 20 gauge being a close second. There are others; the ole 16 gauge seems to have lost its popularity. Another, the 28 gauge, is primarily used by upland game bird hunters. The 10 gauge is a rarity in today’s times. Then there is the 410 which is correctly designated as .410 bore (slug diameter of the .410) rather than gauge.

Of the above gauges mentioned, 10ga is the largest, then 12, 16, 20, 28 and 410 in descending order based on the amount of shot or the weight of an individual slug (projectile) the hull/shell contains. On average, shell lengths are 2 ½ to 3 inches in length.

Your choice of action type will be driven by the intended use of the shotgun, whether it’s hunting, trap or skeet competition, as a home defense tool, or your young child’s first gun. Let’s first take a look at shotgun action types found on the market today.

Single Shot

Generally this action is a hinged, break-open type that employs a lever to open the action. It is designed to load one round and then unload the spent hull before reloading another live round. Companies such as Harrington and Richardson, Iver Johnson, and Chiappa are but a few that produce a single shot break open shotgun.

Lever Action

Lever-action shotguns are mostly out of the picture today, but do have their following. They operate similar to a lever-action rifle such as the classic Winchester 30-30. Every pull of the lever down and up unloads and reloads the chamber. Henry and Chiappa are the mainstays of producing these guns.

Bolt Action

For the most part, bolt-action shotguns have become obsolete and are no longer produced. You may find one around from days gone by that was marketed by Sears, Westernfield, Stevens or Mossberg. While they may hold some nostalgic interest, there are too many other shotgun action types that are more practical.


One Reply to “Picking The Perfect Shotgun: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know (But Didn’t Want To Ask)”

  1. Yeah, weapons, I have to confess, I know little, all tho I have used MG3, AG3 and tried the FNfal (woha what crap), and 22, to shoot gun, witch I have most experience with, and I had an Spanish AYA, S By S, 12/70 cal. 2.2 Kg, you could carry it with your morning stiffy,, I regret I didnt save it, have even drawn off both barrels simultaneously, with one hand, very good balance, the recoil goes straight back, but the main fraim of it, the handle, and the stock, was made for cutting down to an half meter and you got something like an “pitate gun” size and look cannon.
    This one goes to even women, nasty little f….. and it dont matter where you hit.
    Use whatever amo, even clay shooting ones, it dont matter much, it make an hole anyway.
    That, stops everything, and the click of the safety switch, is loud, and no matter how stoned or drunk, they will hear it, in close quarter combat, I would prefer an shoot gun, and remember, its NOT leathal over 40 m. if more than that, you need an what we call an Long barreled shoot gun, and I talk over an Meter, to kill birds, over 50 m.

    Guns, well, its not easy to hit anything, and big “assaults”, the AG3 is crap, and to an sharp shooter like me, I would go for accuracy, high capacity and caliber is irrelevant you dont shoot over 200 m anyway this days, when an missile can be fired back at you, and the rule of thumb is this, gentlemen, you never shoot, unless you are dead certain you will hit, one thing is hunting, war, is something else, the moose dont shoot back, a-holes do,this goes to RPGs as well.
    I would rather go for an Cross bow, to me, thats porn, silent, and highly lethal, to ranges only you decide.
    Because, its the theater where you most lightly will have to use self defense, like your own home, and in that zone, an shoot gun is capable, even sawn off, because of the close range, and you dont have to aim, you only need to point.

    PS: beat this, 2 Patrons, 1 clip. 3 and 6 P in total, and the range is 200m, you have to change the clips and slip them under your coat, all fired under 45 second, and I got 56 pt.
    The 3 t I ever used an rifle, but I grew up with air rifles, basic kinetics, never forget them.


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