For those who do not know, UTKM is also a tactical shooting academy. We specialize in shotgun, rifle and pistol training and I am in charge of the Tactical Shotgun Training here at the academy. I have a love for the pump action shotgun because it is simple to shoot ( I was never a great shot ) and has a complex loading method. I love the challenge of loading a shotgun under pressure. It is also a close range weapon which is similar to what we do as Krav Maga fighters. Close and dirty as the way violence is.

My experience with the shotgun started with my work as an armor truck guard. During my service as a guard, I had to carry my shotgun every night in and out of the vehicle and then inside the bank. I have to say that operating in a two men team in very remote region at 3 AM  is a scary feeling. If something happens, it will take at least 15 – 30 minutes or an hour for the police to reach us. Armed with only a pistol is simply not enough. A shotgun is a great friend if we ever run into a bad situation.

I believe the shotgun is a great self defense weapon for civilians in any situation because:

1.Easy to Shoot

I was never a good shot during my service with the Canadian Army Reserve. Having served as an Artillery Gunner and Armor Reccee trooper meant that I did not have sufficient practice time with my personal service rifle because our mandate is to be on a crew served weapon like a howitzer or a C6 machine gun. Most civilians do not have the practice hours and training budgets as soldiers or law enforcement officers. Civilians need a firearm that can shoot relatively easily and effectively.



Ammo used for law enforcement or home defense is usually OO buckshot. A OO buckshot shell generally contains 8 rounds of pellets, although this varies. Each pellet is about the same size as a 9mm bullet. In essence, firing one shot of 00 buckshot is like having 8 people shooting at a target with a 9mm bullet at the same time. The effectiveness of 00 buckshot is indisputable.

3.Easy of Use:

Other than the slug, generally a shotgun fires multiple projectiles at once and creates a zone of impact of a 19 inch spread over 10 yards. It means that a shotgun is more forgiving than other single projectile firearms like a rifle or pistol when it comes to accuracy. Whatever you choose to shoot will be neutralized as long they are within 19 inches of the impact zone.

In addition, a shotgun is also a very instinctual firearm. Because of that 19 inch impact zone, you can pretty much point and aim and you will achieve the effect you desire. It is excellent in close range. In close range the one who spends less time on aiming is the one who will generally walk out of the situation alive.

4.Easy to Learn

I have run numerous shotgun courses here at UTKM and because a shotgun is easy to shoot and forgivable when comes to accuracy, most of my students manage to become proficient with the shotgun within 8 – 16 hours. I have eliminated most fine motor movements and use gross movements when comes to its operating and handling. The idea of UTKM is not to build few elite shooters but to train the majority of people who can be confident and proficient in firearms in a time of crisis.


The shotgun is one of the few types of firearm out there that actually allows you to change different types of ammos; buckshot, birdshot, slug, you name it. This makes the shotgun more versatile than other firearms because it is more versatile and instead of changing firearms for different purposes, you simply only have to change its ammo. It is said that in an SHTF situation if you have only one choice of a firearm you should pick either a .22 ( maximum ammo you can carry ) or a shotgun ( you can change ammo for different purposes ).



A shotgun is a much easier firearm to shoot but a much harder firearm to load and operate. Other than a few types of shotgun that use magazines; most shotguns use a non-detachable tubular magazine for its ammo. It is not an easy task to load shells one by one under pressure. When people are under extreme pressure their fine motor skills and dexterity usually diminish. Hence, the number one skill set that needs to be mastered with a shotgun is actually loading under extreme pressure.


My mother always said “One’s greatest strength is also one’s greatest weakness and vice versa. “ Because a shotgun is a firearm that fires multiple projectiles it is highly effective and forgivable when comes to accuracy, but it can also cause potential collateral damage. There is a chance that one of the rounds will go somewhere you do not know and possibly hit bystanders or your loved ones. We have to be aware of the spread and the size of spread with each distance.

Written by: Borki Yony

Edited by: Warren C