Reid Henrichs of Valor Ridge has produced an excellent “home defense on a budget” video that I hope people take the time to watch.
A lot of people get caught up in the “tacticool” arms race of expensive, high-end gear, and I’m certainly no exception. The fact of the matter remains that not everyone who wants to purchase a firearm for home defense is a “gun nut” who thoroughly enjoys firearms and shooting. Some folks want a “just in case” gun.
I’m fairly decent with a pump shotgun, though I’m a bit out of practice in using them.
Most of the killing I’ve done in my life has been with a pump shotgun, either my father’s Savage 12 gauge, or various Remington 870s or Mossberg 500s, like the 500 you didn’t see me kill a deer with on the Sportsman’s Channel recently on Destination Whitetail, where my Townhall colleague Katie Pavlich was the featured hunter.
A pump shotgun is an excellent tool… if you learn to use it properly. It’s also easy to induce a malfunction in one under stress.
Several times I’ve seen people “short stroke” a shotgun and jam it when “buck fever” takes over while hunting. I’ve also seen people hit the bolt release at an inopportune time, unloking the bolt and causing the gun to go “click” instead of “bang.” These things are embarrassing while hunting. The stakes are much higher in a self-defense scenario.
I know I’m probably stating what is obvious to some, but I’m going to say it again: Whatever firearm you get for self-defense, get professional training from a professional instructor in its use.
Professional training on your weapon is sometimes more expensive than the cost of your firearm, but if you have the choice between a $700 shotgun and “training” with your friends, or spending $300 and 400 on a weekend’s training class with a professional, take the lower-priced weapon in conjunction with professional training every time.
Buying expensive tools doesn’t make you a competent shooter anymore than buying an expensive sports car makes you a competent race car driver.
Training makes the shooter.
Mr. Henrichs consistently shows in his other videos that premium training matters more than premium equipment and he does serious work with common firearms.
We live in a wonderful time for shooters where reliable (if not flashy) firearms can be had at very reasonable prices, and where their is a renaissance in firearms training, and world-class instructors are available within driving distance for almost everyone.
Take advantage of it all.