Everyone who knows how to shoot knows a shotgun may not be the best all-purpose weapon it has always declared itself to be, but it sure is fun to shoot.
The shotgun isn’t the “best” weapon for any specific purpose, that is, it can’t do what a rifle can, do nor can it do what a pistol will. With that said, a shotgun is capable of performing as a be-all when no other gun is quite perfect for the situation at hand. With a shotgun, you can harvest a deer for food, you just can’t do it from 200 meters away. You can protect your home, but have to understand tactically how to position because a shotgun won’t corner in quarters as a pistol can do.
Whether you prefer a double-barrel, pump, or semi-automatic, the shotgun can do anything you might need a weapon for and a few things you may not expect.
Traps and Clays
Sport shooting, traps and clays, is a game which was designed specifically as a training exercise for shotguns. Traditionally a nice over/ under double barrel shotgun is used because of the ability to have different chokes for the first and second target. Other than having such specific chokes for each target, a pump shotgun works well for the sake of maintaining a sight line while chambering the next shot, and the semi-automatic style of shotgun allows for simply shooting both clays quickly without the need for changing barrels.
Whether quail or turkey, hunting birds in most states is limited to shotguns. Small birds are simply too small and fast to hunt with a rifle, and are likely to leave little harvest of meat after the force of a direct rifle shot. Ducks and geese are also hunted as they fly, and thus require a bit of “scatter” to make a clean shot rather than firing a single bullet, which may graze and injure without being a kill. Turkey are large enough to use a rifle in practicality, but they continue to move through muscle spasms afterwards, and can be difficult to find and harvest after a long range shot. Again, the double barrel is great because of the different chokes, but the pump or semi-auto work well for their ability to take the second shot quickly and have a third shell available if needed.
General Purpose Use
For general purpose use, the shotgun always wins the argument. When you don’t know whether you may need a gun to remove a possum from the barn, a raccoon from the chicken pen, a rat from under the house, or a fox or skunk harassing the pets, a shotgun will do it. For that matter, whether a critter or a human, a shotgun will remove an intruder from your house and land, and often works better in the heat of the moment than trying to use the tighter aim required by a pistol or rifle.
Shotguns are easy to learn and use, and even the avid enthusiast of rifles can enjoy an afternoon with a shotgun.
~ Ready to Fire News