For generations, the 12-gauge pump-action shotgun has been a staple in the close-quarter arsenal of military personnel, law enforcement officers, and self-defense minded citizens. The universal appeal of the shotgun is no mystery when you consider its versatility: What other weapons system can be loaded with 00 buck, slug, gas, breaching and even less-lethal munitions to accomplish the task at hand?

12ga.jpgThe pump-action shotgun is as simple to operate as it is practical. Proficiency can be attained in relatively short order. While the popularity of the shotgun in some LE and military arenas has declined in recent years due to the widespread implementation of the patrol rifle as well as 37mm and 40mm less-lethal launchers, the shotgun is an even more formidable weapon today than in years past. The availability of accessories such as weapon-mounted lights, tactical slings, and recoil reducing stocks make the shotgun more “user friendly” than ever. When combined with proper training and sound tactics, the shotgun is hard to beat.

The Aftermarket Game
A quality weapon-mounted light is so critical to the shotgun that it’s hardly an option. Whether you carry a shotgun as a tool of the trade or keep one on hand for home defense, there is a good chance that lighting conditions will be less than ideal when you have to deploy it. This can make threat identification and target acquisition difficult, as you might detect only the silhouette of a body. Is that shadowy figure my  friend or foe? Are they holding a handgun or a cell phone? These are questions you’ve got to answer when seconds are few but they truly count!

A quick burst of bright light can tell you all you need to know. The light can momentarily disorient a potential adversary, buying you precious time to respond. But remember, the light works both ways and can compromise your position if you illuminate too often or too long while searching. A good rule of thumb is to use illumination as little as possible and to move after you illuminate. This tactic will help keep you from absorbing rounds from an adversary who shoots where they last saw your light.

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