the muzzle of a shotgun, so the pattern with buckshot is 1-3" wide. That's not much,if any help at hitting anything,and the pistol is faster to hit with(inside 10 ft, on fully exposed torsos), and far handier to use while phoning the cops, comforting a kid, using a light, opening doors, looking under a bed, behind clothes hanging in a closet, etc. Outdoors, the rifle takes over from the shotgun at about 20m, especially against cover-users. So the shotgun is mostly just a toy, for use at hitting birds on the wing, or bringing new shooters into the game,by hitting claybirds in the air. For the latter job, a gas op 20 ga, with a good recoil pad, and 3/4 oz skeet loads is superior. They can enjoy the shooting, without getting beaten up in the process.