| The shotgun will become the gun of choice in the 21st century simply because of ranging qualities that are inherit to it and its versatility. The shotgun can be configured in a number of ways for many hunting applications and various uses other than hunting.|
1. Home Defense Shotgun:
With a short barrel length of 18-1/2 inches the federal minimum legal length for shotgun barrels and a load of buckshot the shotgun by far will convince any intruder that has broken into your home that he just made a very big mistake. Proper selection of a home defense shotgun and effective ammunition, combined with training, give the defensive shooter one of the most devastating firearms possible. The best choice by a wide margin is the 12 gauge, which has many different buckshot choices. Even #8 birdshot will pattern into a six to eight inch circle at short distances. And it will do plenty of damage.
2. Wing Shooting Shotgun:
Add a barrel with a length of 26"-30" some choke tubes of various constriction and your ready for a day of wing shooting in the hunting fields. Rule of thumb is that most upland bird shots fall within 30 yards of the gun. So a modified choke would be a good all around choice for upland bird hunting, with improved cylinder for tight holding birds.
3. Deer Hunting Shotgun:
Add a slug barrel to your shotgun and a scope if desired and your ready for deer hunting action out to around 125 yards. The first step in choosing a slug gun barrel is picking a barrel, smoothbore or rifled. The accuracy of rifled barrels and saboted ammunition is phenomenal, but many smoothbores still prove very effective in many circumstances especially when using rifled slugs.
A. Smoothbore slug barrels are capable of 3 to 4 inch groups at 50 yards with almost any ammo off the shelf, which puts their effective range at about 75 yards. That is good enough for the majority of whitetail hunting situations. Most field grade shotguns used for small game can be fitted with a smoothbore slug barrel, complete with adjustable sights, for under $150.
B. Rifled shotgun barrels offer better performance. Modern saboted ammunition designed for rifled shotgun barrels generally include 1-ounce lead (or copper) slugs inside a plastic sabot. These easily deliver 3 to 4 inch groups at 100 yards, with an effective range stretching out to about 125 yards.
C. A few ammunition manufacturers offer saboted ammunition with .45 or .50 caliber bullets set in thicker sabots. The ballistics on these loads could yield an effective range of the shotgun up to 200 yards.
4. Turkey Hunting Shotgun:
Add a tight bored barrel of about 22" to 26" in length, screw in a choke tube with super tight constriction and if using a scope, a load of #4 shot and you have the ultimate 40 to 45 yard Turkey shotgun for Turkey hunting.
5. Competition Shotgun:
Add a back bored barrel of 28" to 30" length, 1-1/2" forcing cone length, polished and burnished bore and your ready for some serious clay target shooting in the shotgun shooting sports.
6. Law Enforcement, Tactical Shotgun:
Remove the wood stock and add a tactical stock with pistol grip, extended magazine tube, flashlight extension for magazine tube, night vision scope, loaded with 000 buckshot or slugs and you have the ultimate law enforcement weapon equaled by no other firearm.
The Most Adaptable Shotguns:
In all the above applications pump shotguns and some semi-autos lend themselves best to these altered versions the most popular would be the remington 870 pump shotgun, the mossberg 500 pump shotgun and the winchester 1200 pump shotgun.