I got sort of turned off by the snotty guys at the range with the high end Italian shotguns. I showed up with an absolutely pristine 1930’s vintage LC Smith and an equally pristine 1940’s vintage Ithaca 37 and they looked at me like you would look at the bottom of your shoe after stepping in dog shyte… I don’t even remember what I shot, only that I missed once and how those guys looked at me. First and last time I went.

Since then, all my experience with shotguns has been… well, people-shooters. The old LC Smith and the Ithaca still sit in the safe, still pristine, clean and oiled. My go-to defensive shotgun is a Winchester M12 trench gun (with optional bayonet) stoked with #1 buckshot. For critters, we have a little Mossburg in .410, but it doesn’t have the authority of the 12 gauge. Even running #4’s, it takes two shots to dispatch some critters, where #4’s or #5’s out of a 12 gauge will drop them DRT. I only use the Mossburg at night, since the report of the big 12 tends to wake up the neighbors, even though they’re hundreds of yards away… the little 410 just makes a “pop”.

I got a SxS coach gun I usually use for critters. Rabbit eared hammer gun. Keep the left barrel with #5’s, the other with buckshot. Sort of accidentally mixed them up once dispatching a possum… oops.

The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1