The 12 Gauge | The Only Gun You Need
We all know friends and family that have a particular passion (alright, we should say obsession) with guns! They collect them like one would collect stamps or coins. Safes and gun racks run at full capacity, not to mention the ammunition and various accessories they also have. It’s virtually a mini-armory!
You are probably all for such a hobby and amassing your own collection, but this might be challenged with the following question: if you had to choose just one of them, which one would you pick? You might instantly reject the question because there’s no real reason to only own one firearm, right? But it brings up a good point. If you had to pick only one gun that you would use for hunting, target shooting, defense, etc., there are multiple considerations that would complicate your response. The answer? Might be simpler than previously thought. The 12 gauge shotgun. Why, you ask? Here are several reasons why the 12 gauge reigns as supreme.
First, shotguns are very adaptable firearms. They are just as useful hunting rabbits, upland birds, turkeys, or ducks as they are hogs, deer, or bear. Simply swap out your birdshot for some slugs, and you can easily switch from small critters to big game animals. A 12 gauge shotgun with a slug is a surprisingly powerful weapon. It has more than enough knock-down power for larger animals.
But if you’re used to centerfire rifle deer hunting with a scope, you will need to make some adjustments. First, you should practice with a bead-sighted shotgun at the shooting range until you’re confident with your shooting capabilities. You also won’t be able to take 200 yard shots with a shotgun slug, but you can still poke out to almost 100 yards fairly accurately. If long-distance accuracy is critical to your deer hunting success, seek out a shotgun with a rifled barrel.
Second, you can find a quality shotgun at very affordable price points. Whittaker Guns sells a Winchester Black Shadow 12 gauge that would be a perfect solution to the one-gun rule. It is a pump action shotgun that shoots 2 ¾” to 3 ½” loads and has a non-glare matte finish to avoid spooking game. It would work great for ducks, pheasant, turkeys, or whitetails – your choice!
Third, shotguns are very dependable and easy to maintain. Not that rifles or muzzleloaders aren’t necessarily, but shotguns are a breeze to clean. They can also take a little more abuse on deer drives or when you’re bushwhacking simply because there is no scope that you can accidentally hit against a tree. But try to avoid the trees if you can!
Fourth, hearing a home owner rack one into the chamber scares the you know what out of robbers! Shotguns, in particular pump action are a home invaders worst nightmare as they are usually a one and done gun. There are no second chances.
Finally, some states do not allow the use of high-powered rifles, meaning shotguns are your only real option. If you plan on traveling for hunts in other states, it would be a safer option to just bring along a shotgun.
For all of these reasons, the 12 gauge is one of the best firearm options for literally any scenario. Whether it is hunting, target practice, or home defense the 12 gauge shotgun needs serious consideration.