Opinions vary greatly but I would go shotgun all the way. There's nothing more intimidating, & for good reason, they're very, very powerful. Also cheap & easy to shoot. I suggest either a Remington 870 (very reliable) or a Mossberg. Also It's always a good idea to get one with a shorter barrel for home defense. The way I do it is keep it loaded but with a snap cap in the chamber, that way if you need it you just pull the trigger & rack the slide. Ready to go.