I mentioned very briefly last week that I bought a Mossberg 500A ‘Persuader’ 12 gauge shotgun (here is a stock photo of the particular model I got). This is my first long gun; all my firearms experience to date had been with handguns. Shotguns are generally regarded as the ideal home defense weapon and, since we’re buying a home, it made sense to get one. As an added bonus, shotgun ammunition seems to be unaffected by the severe ammo shortage we gun owners have been suffering under since the beginning of the year. I haven’t been able to find any ammo at all for my little .380 Auto since January, and both 9mm and .38 Special ammo has only been sporadically available since then too. Various kinds of 12 gauge shotgun rounds, however, can be found in volume everywhere—sporting goods stores, Wal Marts, gun stores, etc.

So I finally made it out to the NRA Headquarters Range yesterday to try it out (and put a few rounds through my other weapons too). The range only allows the use of slugs (something more like a traditional bullet, as opposed to pellets, comes flying out the end), and I shot twenty of them. At relatively short target distance of 7 yards, a reasonably defensive range, I did pretty good and hit near to the middle of the target. Boy, those things kick when you shoot ‘em though. My shoulder is a bit sore but, luckily, I read up on the proper way to hold it and am only slightly bruised.

All-in-all, it’s a pretty solid weapon, especially given its low price. The Mossberg 500 is also very, very common and popular (second only to the Remington 870), so there are plenty of options for tweaking and accessorizing. I’m considering getting a longer hunting-style barrel (they are very, very easy to switch) and maybe learning to hunt ;-). Maybe.