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I think you are right about inciting discussion. Home defense against two legged varmints and/or four legged critters. Not sure you will find a dual purpose round to do both. So, unlike our elected officials you will have to compromise. I would rule slugs out. The advantage of the shotgun is lots of hole for the bad guy to bleed from. If you are only going to fire one projectile at a time a light recoiling rifle with a high round count would be much better.
I would suggest testing. Pattern your shotgun using different loads at different ranges. Compare those results to the maximum ranges that are in your house (for the two legged varmints). In my house it’s about forty feet or about a ten inch pattern. Be sure to factor in the weather and season by testing penetration against commonly worn clothing and the items around the house; i.e. the Lazy Boy or anything that could be used to hide behind. Think about over penetration because the love ones still might be asleep in the next room.
I have conducted a lot of testing with a shotgun and I found that #4 Buck has proven to be the most effective in tests. I haven’t shot anyone with a shotgun so I’m short on experience there. The surface area of a charge of #4 buck is larger than 00. So if all the shot hits the bad guy the total wound channel is larger and it is more likely that more vital organs will get perforated. All a good thing; I do have experience with that.
I have also thought that a similar size steel shot might be the answer but I haven’t tested it. Steel normally has a higher initial velocity but because pellet for pellet it is lighter than lead the velocity drops much faster. That could reduction penetration if a pellet goes through the wall and travels down the street.
As for the four legged critters I haven’t used a shotgun much at all. But, if what I had worked; I would continue to use it right up to the point it stopped working.