I don't know if you have ever heard the Charlie Daniel's song "Simple Man"? My favorite line is where he sings, "I'm the kinda man who wouldn't hurt a mouse, but if I catch somebody breaking in my house, I gotta 12 gauge shotgun waitin' on the other side". What a beautiful statement. I am about as peaceful a person as you would ever find as long as someone doesn't cross that line. If my families lives are ever in danger, there's probably going to be some trouble. I have owned firearms for 40 years. They are my tools for food, recreation and personal defense if I ever had to. Every once in a while, I am asked by someone new to firearms, "What is the best home defense gun?' You could ask that same question to a half dozen law enforcement people and get a half dozen different answers. My personal choice is your standard 12 gauge shotgun. If someone is breaking into my home, I am going to reach for my 12 gauge first before anything. Now the last thing I ever want to do is to have to shoot an intruder. I don't need the headache, legal trouble and I don't want to be responsible for someone's death. But if someone is breaking into my home to do harm to me and my family, then I have to do what I have to do. I believe most honest Americans feel the same way as I do.

What I love most about the 12 gauge is the power factor at close range. From a 12 gauge shell, a homeowner can put nine 00-buck (.33 caliber) pellets into an assailant with each pull of the trigger. While this is not guaranteed to stop a determined attacker, it is certainly an attention getter. By comparison, a 9mm bullet (.355 caliber) comes out of a hand gun at typically slower velocities than a 12 gauge. I would have to fire my 9mm pistol nine times to put the same type of stopping power into an assailant as compared to a single 12 gauge round of double odd buck. But the 12 gauge is not for everyone. Some folks can be uncomfortable with the sometimes harsh recoil of the 12 gauge (compared to the 20 gauge). If you do decide to go with the 12 gauge, a shorter barrel is much easier to manuver inside closed quarters. My choice of barrel length would be 18 to 20 inches for your home defense weapon. Here's a link which will give you a few more ideas about your choice for a home defense weapon.