I think I figured out where Joe Biden got the idea that a double barrel shotgun is better than an "assault weapon" for defense, watching Matt Damon in "The Borne Identity." Evidently when you are a specially programmed CIA assassin and all you have available is some French dudes fowling piece you are fully capable of taking on another specially programmed CIA assassin armed with a machine gun. Only in Hollywood I guess. Then again, in opening scenes of "The American" George Clooney was able to defeat camo'd and concealed assassins with a rifle by using his handgun, after noticing their footprints in the snow over the ice of a frozen lake (if you leave footprints in the snow for your intended victim to find, and even though you have a rifle that can take them from several football fields away, and you probably deserve to get shot by a pistol).
Here is a tip from reality, don't get your firearms tactics from Hollywood. What looks good on screen really doesn't translate too well into reality unless the director spends a lot of money to hire really good consultants (Mark Wahlberg trained at Front Sight to prep for his role in "Shooter" despite having a domestic violence conviction), or uses active duty Navy SEALs to act out the storyline.
I'm not a shotgun man. If you are looking for advice on shotguns, there are literally thousands of experts out there who can help you find the right scattergun for you, from trigger pull to getting a gun fitted to your particular body. Recoil sucks. People who claim to like recoil are weird. A properly fitted
shotgun with recoil pad goes a long way to helping tame recoil, as does
What I do know about shotguns is what I have been trained, using shotguns for "ballistic breaching" of door hinges and locks followed by battle drill 6.
I own one shotgun, a Norinco M372 which is just a clone of the old Ithaca M37. It is a 5 shot bottom eject pump action 12 gauge that handles 2 3/4 or 3" shells. I got it for less than the cost of an 870, and since it is a clone getting replacement parts has been easy when needed. I chose it because I can use it to switch shoulders and never worry about getting a spent hull to the face, which is a consideration with the M500 shotguns used by the Army.
I've been thinking about the Vice President's advice that a double barrel shotgun being "better" than an "assault weapon" for personal defense, no matter the training level of the user. I think this advice was a deliberate choice by the VP to begin the demonization of ALL semi-auto firearms, and start planting the idea that you only need two shots (to get rid of those nasty pump action murder machines).
First off if I were going to pick a shotgun for home defense, I would likely pick a Saiga 12. Note that the Saiga 12 is on the list of "banned" weapons as proposed by Senator Feinstein. Why would I do that? Because it is a semi-auto and has MUCH less recoil than a break action, pump action, or bolt action shotgun. The Army figured out that in war, the more rounds you fire the more likely you are to stay alive (using fire to pin the enemy down while you maneuver). This is why three Joes with Garands can out shoot four Jerry's with Mausers. More ammo + less recoil = much more controllable firearm.
Alternative semi-auto shotguns acceptable would be Stoeger, Benelli, Winchester, Remington, and Browning. I'm not picky. As long as it can handle buckshot and slugs reliably it would be fine, and bottom eject is a nice feature but not a deal breaker.
However, if I were limited to a double barrel shotgun (which seems to be the goal for the anti-rights cultists), I would feel much better with 5 of them to use in a "New York Reload" fashion. And I'd make sure my break action fowling pieces had auto ejectors.