What should I look for in a home defense only shotgun. I want to spend the least amount of money since it would never be used for anything, unless god forbid the day comes I need it, but with that said I want something that is going to work when I pick it up.
Any suggestions? Action? Gauge? Brands to look at? Brands to stay away from?
I have a Remington 870 with a Knoxx SpecOps adjustable stock on it (my arms are a little bit short for comfort with the factory stocks). An adjustable stock will telescope back and forth to reach the correct length for each user, and, when fully collapsed, can also allow for storage in smaller areas. This is important, since having a shotgun fit the user properly is vital for accurate aiming, and so that the user can handle the recoil generated when the shotgun is fired. I would not recommend however, a foldable stock, just the recoil-absorbing version of the Knoxx SpecOps.
Of course, nothing can substittute for the need to practice. Even if you don't plan to use the shotgun for anything but HD, don't wait until dangers happens (and I hope it never never does!) to develop the required expertise. Take it to the range several times, preferably with a buddy or instructor who is well-versed in the handling and firing of a shotgun. This will also be the way to go when you do receive your handgun. Be completely familiar with the way each of them cycles and functions, and be safe. IMO, the shotgun will need more practice for optimum effect than the handgun will, depending in part on the loads used. (Mine is a 12ga and I shoot #4 buck out of it.)