There are so many gun myths that are repeated over and over again at gun store counters, deer camps, locker rooms, and range trips. These myths are repeated so many times that eventually people accept them as fact without applying even the smallest amount of critical thought.
Few firearms, if any, seem to be surrounded by more of these myths than the shotgun. A coworker, while discussing their home defense plans at work, started talking about the “shotty” that he keeps under the bed “just in case”. It always amazes me that people are willing to discuss such things so loudly at work. I wasn’t part of the conversation but it was plainly audible throughout the whole office. It wasn’t long before that oft repeated tidbit of shotgun wisdom reared its ugly head.
“You don’t even have to shoot it, the sound of the action being pumped will send robbers running!”
What a ridiculous statement! If your plan is to scare people off with noises, buy a stereo system not a shotgun. Better yet, install a whole house entertainment system so that you can surround your midnight visitor with the sounds of shotgun actions cycling in every room! Scaring evil doers away with a sound seems like a nice tidy plan, until it doesn’t work. Shotguns are not a magic talisman that, in the stressful moment when you hear someone crashing through your window, transform you into a Spartan.
The shotgun is a viable home defense weapon (though I believe there may be better choices). As with any other piece of equipment and skill, its effective use must be learned. It is only through training and repetition that someone can learn to effectively use the shotgun (or any other gun) with an appropriate level of efficiency and violence. This level of training cannot be reached by asking the gentleman at the gun counter how to work the shotgun when you purchase it. It cannot be reached by running a box of shells through it once in a while at the range.
The sound of a shotgun’s action being cycled may or may not deter someone intent on doing harm, but it would be foolish to count on that happening. Quick and violent action by a trained individual is a far better response. Seek professional training from a respected trainer and stop repeating the silly things you heard at the gun counter!