While I've used guns all my life (handguns all the way up to howitzers!) my use of shotguns has been limited to sporting use. I live in an apartment, and while I feel safe enough there with my Sig P229 and Ruger SP101 I worry about my girlfriend. I often have to work nights and leave her alone, plus apartment doors tend to be even less strong than most house doors. Her knowledge of firearms is about nil (something I hope to cure with time) but in the meantime I worry about her safety when I'm gone.
For these reasons I'm thinking about buying a shotgun for additional defense. It should be a lot easier to teach her to be proficient with a shotgun in a short amount of time compared to getting her up to speed with a handgun.
She's not a big girl, so I'm thinking recoil is likely going to be an issue. I was thinking of getting a 20 gauge to lesson the recoil but after a quick search of the web I found there isn't much available as far as buckshot rounds are concerned for the 20 gauge.
Are the "low recoil" 12 gauge buckshot rounds much lower than the non "reduced recoil" load? Do they still maintain a high level of effectiveness? Any thoughts on high quality recoil pads? Or should I go with a 20 gauge and just put up with having a low selection of defensive rounds?