PGO Shotguns for Home Defense

There are a few things you should seriously consider before choosing a shorty stockless shotgun to defend yourself and your home.

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et me start by saying I’m one of the few gun people who actually likes shooting pistol grip only (PGO) shotguns. I liked it before the Shockwave grip, with reduced recoil shells, and I really like it now that guns like the Remington 870 TAC-14 and Mossberg 590 Shockwave shotguns are on the market. But I’ve been wrestling with the idea of keeping one at the ready for home defense. No matter how much I practice with it, I just don’t feel as confident with the stockless pump gun as I do with a stocked shotgun. A laser sight helps immensely, but I don’t like being completely reliant on that little green dot. I’ve practice actually aiming the Shockwave in an odd kind of high stance that I’ve found comfortable, and I’ve gotten pretty good, but I can never quite get my position to both feel stable and like I can use the small bead sight. A red dot on a small riser makes it a bit easier, but that’s another thing to turn on, and the idea of a home defense shotguns is supposed to be simplicity and devastating effects on target. Plus, there's all the PGO shotgun haters out there and they have some compelling arguments. A full year ago, InRange did a pretty solid comparison of a traditionally stocked pump gun, a PGO shotgun, and an old-school double-barrel exposed hammer coach gun.

The Mossberg 590 Shockwave (top) and the Remington 870 TAC-14.
The Mossberg 590 Shockwave (top) and the Remington 870 TAC-14.mfg photos

When it comes down to it, according to their tests, having a stock significantly increases accuracy and speed over a PGO shotgun (theirs had a traditional pistol grip, not the Shockwave Raptor grip)—so really, the only reason a PGO gun would be better suited to home defense would be if your home involves some incredibly close quarters (and some do) where you have to be concerned with manipulating exposing a longer firearm around corners, or you have storage concerns of some kind (like when in a vehicle or similar situation).

Oddly enough, the old school coach gun had better times than the other two shotguns, but of course, when it came to firing more than two shells, the necessary reload slowed everything down a bunch.

Just something to think about if you’ve considered moving your PGO shotgun from the range rack to the defense rack.

However...there are products out there that allow you to attach a pistol grip and a brace to a TAC-14 or 590 Shockwave, keeping the overall package really short while adding stability and retaining the "firearm" legal status. Additionally, but shotguns are available in variants that use detachable box magazines offering additional capacity and fast reloads.