With the vast number of accessories available, especially for the most popular models, it can be quite easy to overindulge with useless add-ons that only serve to make your shotgun impractical for home defense due to the extra bulk and weight.
That said, there are some truly useful accessories that add benefit to your shotgun’s use as a home defense tool.
We’ve included an overview of such accessories below.
A shotgun necessity – a full length firearm shouldn’t be without one.
The sling isn’t just for carrying your weapon; it provides added stability when aiming and added security for weapon retention if you wrap a section around your wrist, making it more difficult for an attacker to gain possession of your gun.
Don’t go cheap and low-quality for a sling!
Remember: it’s providing added stability and security, so the material, swivels, and other hardware should be as high-quality as you can get.
A mounted light is vital for a home defense shotgun.
Using a shotgun for home defense especially, you will definitely want to be prepared for encounters in the dark.
After all, those with criminal intent (as well as dangerous wildlife that wander onto your property, especially in rural settings) tend to favor the night, as the low light conditions give them an advantage over their prey.
To take that advantage away from them, you should be prepared to make use of artificial lighting.
More specifically, you need a weapon mounted light – not a flashlight fastened to your gun in some impractical manner or held in your forward hand.
There’s a lot of research that’s gone into developing tactical lighting.
Use this to your advantage by becoming as knowledgeable about its benefits as possible, especially with regards to weapon mounted illumination for firearms.
Weapon mounted lights (or at least the type you want to get) have a pressure switch, or paddle switch, that are quick and easy to operate. In tense situations you want to be able to turn on and off your light with the least amount of hassle.
Although you’re able to see better in dark or poorly lit environments with your light on, you don’t want your target to know where you are all the time.
Pressure pad type switches are triggered by pressure on and off the fore end of the gun.
It may take a bit of practice to get used to the applying the right pressure, but it won’t take long to subconsciously turn on and off your tactical light with ease.
There are two (correct) ways to mount a tactical weapon light on your shotgun.
Some models have mounting brackets specifically designed for them, which you can install on the forward of the magazine.
These can typically be attached and removed with relative ease.
Other models use a picatinny rail, which we referenced earlier with regards to the Remington Versa Max® Tactical.
These are typically permanently mounted onto the magazine tube and allow you to attach and remove a light and other accessories.
The picatinny rail has the added benefit of a quick release lever that facilitates the removal of the light, which can come in handy if you find your target is no longer a threat (or maybe wasn’t a real threat to begin with), but you still need to use the light itself.
Remember: one of the most important gun safety rules is to never let your firearm point toward anything you do not intend to destroy!
Most shotguns aren’t magazine fed, so the shells usually have to be carried loose and loaded one at a time. That is, unless you have a shell holder.
Shell holders are typically made of molded plastic racks, which can be mounted to your shotgun’s stock on the opposite side to where you would mount your cheek while taking aim.
Alternatively, some shell holders are designed to be mounted on the side of the receiver, opposite to the rejection port.
Regardless of where it’s mounted, a shell holder will allow you to have another 4 to 6 shells.
Depending on the native capacity of your model, this means you can easily be stocked with a total of 12 to 16 rounds – all on or in your weapon itself.
Another invaluable advantage to using shell holders is they allow you to carry different ammunition types.
For example, in home defense you’ll usually only need buckshot for using in close quarters, but you might find yourself in a sticky situation where your target is 100 yards away.
In this case, you would want to use a slug rather than shot.
Being well prepared for the possibility of such scenarios, you can load your shotgun with shot and keep slugs in your shell holder against the unlikely event you need to take a long-distance shot.
When it comes to home defense, sights aren’t always the kind of accessory one usually thinks of.
After all, sights are for placing distant shots, which aren’t typically necessary or even possible inside a house.
However, considering it’s always better to eliminate a threat from as far away as possible, sights are an invaluable accessory to have if you ever find yourself in a situation that warrants some fine-tuning to hit your target.
For tactical shotguns, there are two sighting systems available:
- Iron Sights – A front post sight, designed for easy target acquisition, works together with a rear sight, which can usually be adjusted for elevation and windage.
- Holographic Sights – These are the “top dog” of shotgun sighting systems, and for good reason. Holographic sights are superior to iron sights thanks to their ability to provide a wide field of view, with a red ring to assist in quickly zoning in on your target.
The top-quality models can cost as much as your shotgun itself, so holographic sights might be a bit of an overindulgence for most.