A couple of years ago when I bought my Mossy 500 for home defense, I asked the guy at the gunshop what he recommended for a home defense load. He told me that a #8 shot was a good option. 2 3/4 length in a all-purpose sport load was what he used. His reasoning was the it had a lower recoil, and was comfortable for a woman to shoot, and quicker back on target. He also liked the #8 as it was less likely to penetrate through walls behind the target (or numerous walls in the case of buckshot) and endanger others in the house. Having two girls this is a priority for me. I have also seen this same logic used in a gun magazine, and a med. Dr. said that he had seen the effects of smaller shot and at close ranges they made the perp's just as dead and incapacitated. I was just wondering what y'all keep in that shotgun by the bed.