I was recently asked about handguns for home defense and in a nutshell, here is my short answer…….
Although I carry concealed and typically carry a BUG (back up gun) as well, my primary home defense weapons are not handguns. Yes, they are accessible and trigger ready in my home at all times, however, they are not the first thing I would grab for should something go bump in the night. My primary home defense gun is an AR-15. The collapsible stock and short barrel make it easy to maneuver in tight quarters. Follow-up shots are fast and can be accomplished with extreme accuracy. Recoil is minimal, and magazines can be quickly swapped. Maintenance and parts replacement are a piece of cake (even for chicks) with a minimal assortment of tools. A properly set up AR-15 is easier to shoot accurately and delivers more firepower than a handgun, is more accurate than a shotgun, more controllable than a subgun, and can be easily configured with lights, lasers and other accessories providing a great advantage over an uninvited intruder. And best of all, you don’t need a permit to buy one.
With that being said, I am still a fan of the shotgun for home defense. Although my AR-15 is my primary HD weapon, I always have my Remington and Mossberg shotguns staged as well. I stage mine with Buck in the tube and slugs on the saddle. With the 00 Buck the pellets spread about one inch for every yard of range traveled. So across a large room … say 18 feet or so … the spread will only be about 6 inches, a circle as big as a coffee cup saucer. At 50 feet, the spread will only be about the size of a large pizza. The slugs I run are Brenneke KO. I stage my shotguns with full tubes and an empty chamber so that, if necessary, I can do a tactical load of a slug off my saddle. If not needed, then I can just rack the pump to go hot with 00 Buck.
Whatever your preference is, have a plan and practice it often! It is imperative that you know ahead of time what you will do should something go bump in the night!