The Gear You Need for Defensive Shotgun

Last updated on February 15th, 2024

Congratulations on registering for the Alpha Koncepts Defensive Shotgun class, it is important you bring the proper gear to a defensive shotgun class.  Some gear such as your shotgun and personal protection equipment may seem obvious. And while some gear will vary from class to class, let’s talk about the most common gear you should bring to this shotgun class.

If you haven’t already signed up for the Defensive Shotgun class, learn more about the Defensive Shotgun class here.

One of the best learning experiences in any defensive shooting class is being able to “prove your gear”. Therefore it is always best to bring what your likely to use for self or home defense. This applies to your gun and accessories. Let’s find out if it actually works!  The most important thing you can do, before attending any class, is read the confirmation emails and make sure to bring every item on the list. This gear list is just a reference and may be incomplete when compared to the confirmation email.

A rack of defensive shotguns and shotgun cases.

Essential Gear for a Defensive Shotgun Class

  • Defensive shotgun – Sure you could bring your trap-gun or 3-gun shotgun setup, but are these the shotguns you use for home defense? You’ll get more benefit from this class with a tactical or home defense style shotgun. But if you don’t have a tactical shotgun, any shotgun will work!
  • Read your email for exact ammo counts. Shotgun ammunition is mission specific and there are a variety of types. The different drills we run in the different classes will determine the exact ammo quantity. Again read your email.
    • A note about shotgun ammo: There isn’t a need to bring more than a box or two of your defensive ammunition. Defensive ammunition costs roughly triple that of training ammunition. While it is important we test and pattern your defensive ammunition, feel free to opt for for the cheaper ammo.
    • When referring to “bird shot”, we generically mean any trap skeet or target shells. Projectiles may be lead or steel, which ever you prefer.
    • You may check Brownells for both defensive and target ammunition.
  • Eye and ear protection is a must. For ear protection, we recommend electronic hearing so you may better hear the commands of the instructor. Don’t forget spare batteries!
  • A sling is a very very good idea. The day will be much more enjoyable for you if you have a decent sling. A sling isn’t necessary but is recommended.
  • A side saddle is also recommended. Again, it isn’t necessary but shotguns have very limited ammo and having a side saddle on most defensive shotguns is a good thing. Elastic “shotgun cards” will also work.
  • Unless the class is a “2-gun” class, bringing your sidearm isn’t necessary. However, you can bring it if you prefer. If you do bring your pistol and holster, the holster must be a safe quality holster. Please do not bring soft floppy leather holsters or generic one size fits all nylon holsters, as many of these holsters are unsafe. Kydex and molded plastic holsters are HIGHLY recommended.
  • Pen and notebook – bring some method for taking notes.
  • A state-issued ID card – that is if you want the instructor to sign your certificate.

Remember, the shotgun is the MOST violent long gun we’re likely to use for personal protection. With every single shot, the shotgun is trying to shake itself to pieces. For that reason quality shotgun gear is important.

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  • Closed-toe shoes – you don’t want hot brass falling between your toes. Have you ever done the “brass dance” if not, you don’t shoot often enough!
  • A baseball cap or hat with a brim – you don’t want hot brass falling into your glasses.
  • A high neck shirt similar to a crew neck. V neck shirts tend to allow hot brass to burn your chest.
  • Water – Usually water shall be provided in Alpha Koncepts training classes. However, we always recommend students bring their own hydration.
  • Lunch – Sometimes lunch is provided. But sometimes not. Be sure to check your confirmation email(s).
  • Snacks – Even if lunch is provided, you might want a little extra.  Training can be hard work!
  • Chair – Sometimes you just want to sit when and where you want to sit.
  • Umbrella – Not only can this keep the rain off your back, but the sun too.
  • Weather appropriate gear – a rain jacket if it might rain. An extra sweater if it is cooler weather. Just use common sense.
  • Sunscreen and bug spray – for outdoor classes.
  • Lubrication – A CLP type lube can’t hurt if your firearm starts to foul-up. This is especially true with some cheaper semi-automatic shotguns.
  • A shooting mat, knee pads, and elbow pads if the class includes ground work.
Students shooting shotguns during a defensive shotgun class

The rule, one is none and two is one, applies here. Wouldn’t it suck if your defensive shotgun broke halfway through class and you had to sit out the rest of class? It’d be equally as bad if that happened with your holster, or shooting glasses, or whatever. It’s always an excellent idea to bring backup gear to any training class!

Always remember the old saying, one is none and two is one. If you think you might need a backup, you probably do.

Some Brands & Products We Trust

Below is a list of some of the brands and products that we trust. If you’re unsure what to purchase, it may be worth checking out.

Blue Force Gear Vickers Sling [Check on Brownells] [Available on Amazon]

Walker Razor Electronic Hearing Protection. [Gear Review] [Available on Amazon]

GGG Side Saddle [Available on Amazon]

Esstac hook ‘n loop Side Saddle aka “shotgun cards” [Available on Amazon]

Alpha Koncepts Defensive Shotgun Training 

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