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Originally posted by Rosco Benson:
The most important thing one can do with one's shotgun is to spend the money and time to PATTERN it at typical self-defense ranges with the load(s) of one's choice.

This will show one just how small the pattern is at "across the room" ranges and thus how carefully the shotgun must be aimed. This may lead one to choose to upgrade the sighting hardware to something more than the simple bead. Ghost-ring aperture sights are all the rage, but good work can be done with the open, barrel-mounted "rifle" sights too.

An extended magazine is convenient too. One may keep the piece slightly downloaded (to ease stress on the magazine spring, make it less likely that the shells therein will "swell", and to leave a "dead space" to receive a slug in the event of a threat presenting itself at greater distance than may be handled with shot).

A weapon-mounted light can be a worthwhile addition. There are ways to use the shotgun along with a separate flashlight, but they are neither easy nor convenient. The weapon-mounted flashlight is no panacea either, as it obliges the user to "muzzle" whatever he wishes to illuminate. Give this choice some thought.

On-board ammo storage can be useful. Quality butt-cuffs and the clever Sidesaddle can be useful additions. I prefer the Sidesaddle, as it dusrupts the weapon's balance less.

A shotgun kept for home defense should not have a sling attached. The snag potential is just too high. Slings can be useful for some roles and are mandatory for range "class" use. A simple carry strap seems to work as well as any.

The issue stocks are fine. Folders should be avoided unless they are to address a specific storage need. I don't care for pistol-grip stocks, but YMMV. Leave the pistol-grip-ONLY setups, barrel heat shields, and other such junk to those that deserve them.

Simple doesn't mean "plain", but it does mean only adding things that offer an advantage.

Rosco
Excellent advice! Patterning your shotgun is important. It would be a good idea to pattern with both shot and buckshot. Also practice recoil control for follow up shots. Another thing to think about is getting a short buttstock. I think the Speedfeed short stock is about 12 3/4 inch length of pull. A factory length stock can catch on coats, shirts or skin.
 
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