Got yourself a home defense shotgun? Awesome. A street howitzer, loaded with buckshot or Foster slugs, is a formidable weapon at close range.
Oh…but you cheaped out and just bought a Remington 870 like everyone else?
You bring shame on the game. Hit yourself with a tactical belt until you’re forgiven.
Just kidding. Anyway, what are some accessories you should add? Here are 6 add-ons that you should add to your home defense shotgun.
Extended Magazine Tube
Unless you bought a make/model that’s fed by a box magazine, one of the best upgrades is an extended magazine tube.
The good news is that they’re easy to come by, cheap, and usually pretty easy to install as they don’t require a whole lot, so you can add a few extra shells’ worth of capacity with minimal investment of time, money, or hassle.
Top Tip: don’t install one on a hunting shotgun. Leave your Wingmaster, SBE, or 1100 alone; that way you don’t have to worry about the plug. You don’t know what kind of mood a game warden is going to be in when you run into one and some of them are looking for ANY reason to give you a ticket.
Get A Sling
Just as with a rifle or carbine, a home defense shotgun needs a sling. A sling helps anchor the weapon to the shooter, just as a holster does with a pistol, and just like a holster, is therefore a piece of safety equipment.
Even a cheap one works, but a good tactical sling is definitely a worthy addition to a home defense shotgun.
Let There Be Light
Let there be sound…drums…let there be ro…never mind.
Sorry. Anyway, adding a weapon light is a critical accessory to a home defense gun of any sort, as it’s needed for target identification. The good news is that there are a lot of ways to skin this particular cat, so to speak.
There are aftermarket forends that either incorporate a flashlight or include rail space for doing so, there are barrel couplings that include a rail for attaching a light, so it’s fairly easily done.
Top tip: don’t cheap out on the light. You need to get a weapon-rated flashlight that can stand up to the concussion of 12- or whatever the bore size is of your shotgun, and the ones from Wish.com are usually fibbing about it.
Receiver-Mounted Ammunition Caddy
An ammunition caddy is a great accessory, but it needs to be as close to the loading port as necessary. Shell loops on the sling or buttstock are next to worthless as reloading is made ergonomically less efficient when using them.
Not to mention that they don’t do you any good anywhere else.
When I was a younger person, I noticed the rifle cartridges that I’d stored in the cartridge loops on my (cheap) rifle sling had discolored after a hunting trip and therefore had to be thrown away. That hurt, since – even back then – Federal Premium Nosler Partition went for about $1.50 per.
I also noted that I never fired my rifle enough to need reloading anyway.
Point being, the cheap buttstock sleeves and cheap slings with cartridge loops? Avoid them. If you want to carry more ammunition, add a receiver-mounted magazine caddy.
Upgrade The Sights Or Add A Red Dot
Another good idea is to upgrade the sights or – if possible – add a red dot sight.
Like any other type of gun, if you see better, you shoot better. Fiber optic sights aren’t bad so long as there’s plenty of light, but tritium is better. Consider either a clip-on front sight or find aftermarket night sights for your shotgun.
Just replacing the front sight or getting a ghost ring rear sight added is up to you.
A red dot sight is also a very worthy addition, and is a favorite among turkey hunters for fast target acquisition.
Head shots are how hunting that bird is done, so precision and fast handling is at a premium; precise shooting is also needed for self-defense. Therefore, make sure you can shoot your shotgun precisely. Upgrading the sighting system can help with that.
Full Choke, If Applicable
If applicable, another good accessory is to add a full or extra-full choke. The reason why is you want the tightest pattern for the furthest possible distance.
Don’t listen to idiots; spread is only desirable for clay pigeons, pheasants, doves and such. For home defense, you want that buckshot in the tightest cluster possible as the best backstop is the body of your attacker. And incidentally, you DO need to aim a shotgun. Aimed fire, at home defense distances, from a shotgun loaded with 00 or 000 buck, is absolutely devastating.
However, it’s also the case that buckshot doesn’t always respond to chokes. Some loads will group tighter, other loads seem to be basically unaffected, so it depends a lot on your gun. Therefore, make sure you pattern your home howitzer and see if your home defense load responds to a choke. If so, get the tightest you can.