A homeowner near Fort Wayne, Indiana recently used a shotgun to defend his life.
According to Indiana state police, around 6 a.m. one Sunday, the homeowner woke up because his dog was barking.
When he went to see what his dog was barking at, the homeowner found three people in his living room.
The intruders had forced their way through a back door. The suspects held a gun to the homeowner’s head and threatened him.
At some point, the homeowner was able to grab a shotgun from behind the couch.
He shot one intruder twice and another intruder once. The third intruder ran out of the house with the homeowner following.
The homeowner found a fourth person waiting outside and held the last two intruders at gunpoint.
When police arrived, the homeowner told them that the group had been at his house before asking for money.
The two intruders who were not shot were charged with felony murder and felony burglary.
Even though the two didn’t pull the trigger, their two accomplices died while the four committed a felony, which in Indiana means they can be held responsible.
The homeowner was within his right to use deadly force. Not only were the intruders inside his home, but they also held a gun to his head.
The fact is that shotguns are a great choice for home defense as this story demonstrates. The homeowner was able to engage multiple threats inside his home.
And shotguns are popular for home defense because they have a wide shot pattern spread, which means you don’t have to be a sniper to defend yourself.
But you can also control the spread of pattern by adding or adjusting the shotgun choke.
What is a shotgun choke?:
Shotgun chokes constrain the shot as it leaves the barrel, and are used to make the shot pattern tighter.
The reason for this is, the tighter the choke, the greater distance the pattern will stay together.
Now, most shotguns have fixed choke barrels, but there are also multi-choke shotguns.
A multi-choke shotgun gives you more flexibility for different situations. It comes with a set of choke tubes in standard sizes and a choke wrench to change them out.
Why is a choke needed?:
Shotguns shoot many pellets at the same time. But the pellets tend to separate quickly, so the choke controls the spread of the shot.
For example, if you are shooting skeet, you want a more open choke so the shot spreads quickly.
But, if you are hunting birds, you want a more closed choke as the birds will be flying away, creating distance.
So, if the choke is too open the bird or clay could fly through the pattern. But, if it’s too closed you could miss your target altogether.
The men who created the shotgun choke did so to increase the effective distance of the shotgun, and it worked.
Now let’s look at some of the different types of shotgun chokes.
Cylinder chokes are the most open and are best for shorter distances.
Open chokes are commonly used with birdshot or buckshot at close distances. They are best at 15-25 yards.
Improved cylinder choke:
Improved cylinder chokes are best for short-range. They increase the shot pattern by about 10%. This isn’t a lot, but it can make a difference when shooting.
This is the best choke when firing slugs. It’s most effective at 20-30 yards.
This is the mid-size choke. It’s popular among hunters because it can shoot short to mid-range.
It’s most effective at 30 to 40 yards.
Additionally, a modified choke can shoot slugs if absolutely necessary, but it’s not ideal.
A full choke is best for longer distances. It makes the pellets travel farther before spreading out.
But when using this choke, the shooter needs to be more accurate to be effective.
Additionally, the full choke does not pattern well at close distances.
And here are a few more important things to remember…
Choke tubes need to be cleaned and cared for like any other part of the gun. Fouling will often build up in a choke tube.
By removing the choke and cleaning it you can maintain the performance you want from the choke tube.
Like other gun parts, keep it clean and oiled and you should get a lot of use from your choke tube.