The effectiveness of the 12-gauge shotgun is beyond dispute. Sure, it is limited in range, but the majority of law enforcement and even armed citizen shootings occur within room-sized distances. As appealing as the AR-15 carbine may be, it does not hold a candle to the 12-gauge shotgun when it comes to target power. It is true that the shotgun is more punishing to the shooter, but the harsher it is to shoot, the harsher it will be for those on the business end of the muzzle. No, eight to nine .33-caliber pellets will not stay together for any great distance and .72-caliber slugs are only accurate to 75 or maybe 100 yards. But then, considering your real world of work, it is very unlikely you’ll have confrontations at such great distances.
The pump-action shotgun is also as simple as a weapon system can be. Load the magazine, pump the action, press the trigger—it doesn’t get much simpler than that! If the gun malfunctions, just cycle the action and shoot again. If a round gets stuck, it can usually be cleared by striking the butt sharply on the ground while holding the action release button. Indeed, a well-built pump-action shotgun will last a long time and will require very little maintenance. Just clean it, wipe a bit of oil over the exposed metal and it will take a large amount of abuse and rough treatment.
But the key here is “well-built,” and not all pump-action guns are made the same. I tested a few that would have made reasonable baseball bats, but I would not have trusted my life on them. My most recent evaluation does not fall into that category, however. The Stevens 320 Pump Security 12 gauge has everything essential to hit the street.