I had the same issue? I eventually decided to go this route but dont advocate it for everyone.
I leave my pump half loaded. Reason? I carry 4 on the side saddle and 4 in the mag tube. My own opinion is that the shells are mostly plastic vs metal so being stored under full spring pressure can cause the shells to deform and bind up in the tube. I dont have proof of this its just my opinion.
I figure if I leave it half full the spring pressure will not deform the shells and I will still have 4 shots ready for action if I get that home invasion knock at the door. I also leave the chamber empty with the bolt closed and safety off. The safety is off so all I have to do is grab, rack and go when I am crusty eyed at O dark 30. It is stored in a safe for safety so there is some lag time but not much, with practice.
The auto is also stored the same exact way for commonality in fire controls. If I was not home and my wife needed the guns...she has already done dry run scenarios with me on where to go and what to do and what condition the shotguns are in. Grab gun, rack in some ammo, and go.
Half loaded mag tube, chamber empty, bolt closed, safety off.
This may not be the gold standard in the NRA or the gun world in general but its my setup and it works for us and its how we train. My Glocks dont have a button safety and my defensive shotguns dont either. All the fun guns are kept empty with safety on. Defensive guns are ready to work.
I believe almost any setup you choose is sufficient as long as you "train" to safely and effectively use your tools that way every time. Fumbling through a life and death situation is the last thing you want to do. Especially if you have a wife who is you primary back up. She needs to know what is expected to a certain degree. Not just be a damsel in distress.
Last edited by mixflip; 01-12-2010 at 11:18..