For the past couple of years, I have been fascinated (some might say “obsessed”) with shooting handguns. I love the joy of pistol shooting and the challenge of trying to improve. I like it so much that I got a part-time job at BluCore Shooting Center so I could buy more guns and ammo, take more classes, and shoot more.
Well, I finally hit a wall. I actually started to feel a little burnt out on shooting (gasp!). It’s not that I wanted to stop shooting; I was just getting a little bored. I have another job, a family, and I was always trying to squeeze in a little bit of shooting here and there when I had a tiny bit of free time. I needed something new; it was time to mix things up a bit. That’s when I saw that BluCore was offering a Defensive Shotgun Fundamentals class.
I had previously thought about getting a shotgun for home defense but had not gotten around to it. It was ‘on the list’ along with many, many other firearms. With the shotgun class coming up, I decided it was time to bite the bullet, so to speak, and venture into shotgun territory. I am not one of those people who wants the latest and greatest firearm that everyone will “ooh” and “aah” over. My purchases are practical. I am more fascinated with shooting techniques than the firearm. If I can shoot well with the most basic pistol, shotgun, or rifle, then I should be able to shoot even better with the tricked out guns.
For my first shotgun purchase, I bought a 20-gauge Remington 870 pump action shotgun. I went with the 20-gauge because I heard about guys getting bruises when they shot a lot of rounds through their 12-gauge shotguns. I feel like a 20-gauge is more than acceptable for a home defense shot gun, especially since any shooting would take place at 7 yards or less. Some of the shotguns I handled had very long barrels and were heavy for me to hold. Because of this, the one I purchased was a “junior” size with a 21” barrel. This size put the fore-end (or pump) at the perfect distance for my arm length. Plus, I feel that a shorter barrel works for home defense because it is easier to maneuver through the house. If I want a longer barrel in the future for trap or skeet shooting, there is a multitude of options available for the Remington 870. It’s easy to swap out barrels.
So, with my new shotgun in hand, I arrived for the Defensive Shotgun Fundamentals class at BluCore. We spent part of the time in the classroom learning about the different types of shotguns, weapons awareness, fundamentals of shooting, and more. Of course, my favorite part of any BluCore class is the live fire drills. Shooting a shotgun is just plain fun! The blast, the recoil; it really wakes you up!
The good news is that adding a shotgun to my firearm repertoire got me excited about shooting again. I will definitely bring my shotgun to the range on a regular basis to mix things up and keep it fun. Next on my list, an AR!