Wednesday, September 30, 2020

I'm Thinking of Buying a Shotgun ...

 ... and would welcome any recommendations for an inexpensive (but not "cheap") 12-gauge. Pump preferred, but "breakdown"-style single shot or double barrel aren't out of the question.

My reasons:

  1. The raccoons in the area seem to be getting bold lately. I hadn't even seen one in several years (since they killed off all our chickens and I gave up on that project), but I've encountered two in the last two weeks. One was actually in my front yard. I didn't see it at first. It may have been under our car. I took the dogs out at night, heard the "ettt .... ettt" sound a coon makes when it's telling you to back the f*ck off, and the dogs came running for the door. A little later I saw its eyes back in the treeline near our road frontage. The other I saw bounding across a neighbor's yard after crossing the street in front of a vehicle.

    I don't mind the rabbits, possums, armadillos, etc. that frequent our property. I've only ever seen one coyote out back, and it took off when I hit it with a flashlight beam. I've heard a fox, but I'd go out of my way to avoid killing one of them. But raccoons can be downright dangerous, and if they're getting that brave now, I expect it might not be long before until they're trying to get in the garbage dumpster, etc. And that could lead to a dog or a human getting hurt. I want something that will put a raccoon down hard, at close range, without having to worry too much about shooting out a neighbor's window (or shooting a neighbor), so a rifle or pistol aren't ideal.

  2. I don't place a lot of stock in the "civil war" talk I've been hearing, and I doubt any post-election unrest will make its way as far out of town as I live. But we've been talking about a shotgun for home defense for years.

    Without discussing the family arsenal in detail, we don't have much for up close and personal permanent knockdown use. I think I could hit a black balaclava or a MAGA hat with one of our rifles at the maximum ranges we have a clear field of fire for (and I'd aim center mass rather than at such identifying garb anyway), and there are pistol options as well, but this is a wooded area and any encounters would more likely be at very short range, or even possibly inside the house if there was a break-in (not a lot of crime out here so far as I can tell, but ...).

    I've shot a 12-gauge. Tamara's a little thing, but she says she has too and can handle one if she needs to. The 19- and 22-year-old would need a familiarization and a few practice shots. It seems like the most reasonable pick for the two prospective uses.

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