A shotgun is the preferred gun for many different people. The shotgun is a versatile firearm that in the right hands is devastating for both animal and bad guy. These guns excel in certain situations from hunting to home-defense.
This article is meant to shine light on the shotgun for those who are still learning about this weapon.
What is a pump shotgun?
A pump action shotgun is essentially one which requires the user to slide the pump, usually found in the support hand, in order to load, unload, and otherwise just cycle the gun.
The pump action shotgun is by far the most popular type of shotgun owned by American gun owners, as well as gun owners abroad.
What are popular pump shotguns?
The two most popular pump action shotguns are the Mossberg 500 and the Remington 870. Both are pictured above. These are the two with the best aftermarket support and are considered by many to be the standard by which all others are measured.
What is a single shot shotgun?
A single shot shotgun is one that only holds one shell at a time. After the shell is fired, the action must be manually opened, the empty shell stripped out, and a new shell inserted.
What is a semi-auto shotgun?
A semi-automatic shotgun is one which automatically loads the next shell in the magazine in order to be fired. The next shot does not fire automatically, but is ready for the next trigger pull.
What is a lever action shotgun?
Less popular in the shotgun world, though certainly making a come back, is the lever action shotgun. Henry Repeating Arms is one of the biggest manufacturers of current lever action shotguns, though to my knowledge they’re all .410 bore shotguns.
What is a double barrel shotgun?
A double barreled shotgun is essentially a shotgun with two barrels. Because there are two barrels, the gun can fire two shots independently of each other before needing to be reloaded again.
There are two different types of double barrel the over/under and the side by side. These terms just dictate the orientation of the barrels to each other.
What is a shotgun gauge?
A shotgun gauge is essentially the size of the shot in the shell being fired. Each gauge essentially has a different diameter shell associated with it that it can fire. As such, each gauge of shotgun will have a matching barrel capable of shooting that gauge’s shells.
What are the most popular shotgun gauges?
The most popular shotgun gauges as of right now are the 12 gauge and the 20 gauge. The above picture shows two single shot shotguns, the left one is a 20 gauge, and the right one is a 12 gauge.
What is a shotgun slug?
A shotgun slug is essentially a load of shotgun shell that fires a single hunk of metal downrange in the form of a slug. Sometimes these slugs are rifled, other times they’re not. Each slug is measured by gauge and the weight of the slug itself, and they are utterly devastating to the receiving target.
What is a shotshell?
A shotshell is the ammunition for shotguns. A shell will usually hold some sort of shot, also known as lead or copper BBs/pellets, or slugs
What is a shotgun choke tube?
A shotgun choke tube is a small device screwed into the muzzle of the barrel that helps to control the spread of the shot to the target. Read more about shotgun choke tube selection, by pressing that link.
What are shotguns used for?
A shotgun is an excellent dual purpose gun. They can be used for hunting animals like birds, varmints, and deer to put food on the table. Then once home they can double as an effective defense weapon.
At the end of the day, having an understanding of shotguns is a good thing, especially if you plan to deploy one in home defense or for hunting.
I’d recommend you learn even more by reading this shotgun guide, next.
Then, read our shotgun myth article next.