I love handguns,I like shooting them and seeing how accurate I can be.I've got several handguns but when things go bump I reach for a shotgun.
There are many reasons for this :
1-the stopping power of the shotgun is greater than any pistol could ever be.
2-the lower penetration of a shotgun (with the loads I shoot)vs a handgun round
3-the intimidation factor,yes I believe there is one nearly everyone is intimidated by the appearance of a short barrelled shotgun.
The shotgun I reach for when BUMP happens is a Remington 870 12 gauge with a 20 inch barrel and a magazine extension.It is a little of a glitz gun,Folding telescoping stock with a pistol grip,barrel shroud,flashlight,pistol grip for end,and at times a laser.
For a good defensive shotgun all this is not needed, I did just for fun.My personal idea of a good defensive shotgun would be a 20 inch barrel and a magazine extension,and some way of carrying a few extra rounds and a flash lite on it.
12 gauge or 20 I don't care when you began to look at shotshell performance tables you see only a small difference in the two.My thought has always been if the BUMPER survived a good hit with a 20 gauge I probably couldn't DEBUMP it with a 12.I do insist on a full stock,I can't shoot a pistol grip only shotgun.I have never seen any one who could.
For home protection I use #6 shot.I can hear people screaming "you got to use double aught buckshot for defense".Bear with me a minute,with my shotgun at approximately 50 feet I am looking at only a 2 foot pattern with #6s.In my house 48 feet is the maximum distance I can see.That means with #6 at the maximum shot distance in my house is going to give a 2 foot pattern.Now the 48foot distance is theoretical,it is from 1 wall to another to make the shot I would have to be standing on chest,with the targets back pressed against another wall.If I move two feet horizontally in either direction the shot drops from 48 feet to only 40.
If I move from the wall at my back the longest shot in my house becomes less than 30 feet.When you look at it from this viewpoint #6 becomes more reasonable.
My final reason for #6 is penetration,my interior walls are sheetrock to shoot from one room into another you only have to penetrate 2 layers of sheetrock. #6s are somewhat stopped by this,Double aught isn't even slowed down.
This is what I have for a BUMP IN THE NIGHT GUN,it works for me.It might not for you.I hope I made you think though.