The objective of this course is to cover the topics most relevant to the use of the shotgun as a tool of home defense including:
- Selection/configuration of the defensive shotgun
- Proper ammunition selection
- Reliable loading and operation of the shotgun
- Shooting technique and recoil management
By the end of the course students will demonstrate competence in the handling, loading, and rapid, accurate use of the shotgun at common home defense distances. At the end of the day students will shoot a shotgun qualification course.
Students will require 250 round of birdshot and 50 rounds of buckshot, 10 of which should be premium such as Federal Flight Control. (Plus all the usual stuff you'd take for a day on the range.)
(NO STEEL SHOT ALLOWED!)
We do a lot of work with birdshot to learn manipulations, loading, etc. We use buckshot, including some premium defensive grade buckshot, so we get an idea of how your gun patterns, to emphasize recoil control, and to shoot the qualification course.
For birdshot any lead shot that will function reliably in your gun will be fine. I personally tend to buy heavier #4 or #6 shot as it patterns tighter and hits a little harder on steel plates. Winchester makes some 200 round packages of those loads which you can obtain relatively inexpensively from big box retailers like Wal-Mart, Dick’s (at least before they went stupid on gun control), etc. It can also be found online. I would recommend staying away from Field and Stream branded shotgun ammunition as I’ve seen it cause function issues due to how sloppily made it is.
For defensive buckshot I use Federal Flight Control Law Enforcement low recoil loads or Remington’s low recoil law enforcement loads. These loads are still abundantly powerful for our purposes of personal defense, but they don’t beat you up when you shoot them.
For bulk buckshot, I use Sellier and Bellot 00 or #1 buckshot because it’s cheap and shoots pretty well out of most of my shotguns. Any bulk buckshot will be sufficient for most of the shooting we do in the class...but when it comes time to shoot the qual most bulk buckshot patterns too wide to score 100% in most guns. That’s why I recommend Flight Control buckshot from Federal as at least part of your loadout. That tends to pattern nicely in most guns.
I buy a lot of my ammo from: