Using a 10 Gauge for Home Defense?

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This gun started its life as a hunting gun.  The Harrington & Richardson Model 176 is a long 10 gauge shotgun chambered for 3 1/2-inch shells.  It is a beast.  This would be a great gun for knocking high flying geese from the sky.

But more and more, these old 10 gauge behemoths are seeing new life as defensive guns.  I remember three chapter headings from an old Time Life book on mining I used to read when I was a kid.  The first was “How to make a Hole.”  Chapter two was “How to make a Hole Bigger.”  And the last was “How to make a Bigger Hole.”  The 10 gauge makes a bigger hole.

The H&R Model 176

H&R still make a 10 gauge turkey gun that is very similar to the old 176.  But if you’re looking for something to monkey with, the used market is flush with them.  A good 10 gauge single-shot will sell from $100 on up, depending on scarcity and condition.

The old 176 was a handsome gun for what it was.  Someone had tried to refinish the stock on this one earlier, so it had a washed out look that wasn’t so flattering.  But the case hardening was nice for such an inexpensive shotgun.

These guns had barrels that were 3-feet long.  This helped shoot tight patterns at ridiculous distances.

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