I know I know plenty are laughing about the idea of a fighting .410 and I've had plenty of folks question my knowledge as well as my sanity about using a .410 for such a task. But I will say that if the shooter knows his/her weapon and the limits of it's range that the .410 will do just as well if not better than expected. With the correct for task loads that are now on the market such as the Federal 3-inch #4 buck and the 2-1/2 inch '000' buck, the .410 can do exactly what is needed for a home defense situation. A pump action like the Remington 870 or Mossberg 500E series allow the user to put shot on target faster than a heavier recoiling shotgun, reduced weight means that a greater number of family members can put it to use, and with proper training they can place #4 or '000' buck where it's needed to stop a threat cold. The tactical .410 in general should wear a cylinder choke barrel for greater flexibility with different loads. The actual length doesn't really matter but I like an 18.5 inch barrel, that is what both of mine wear at all times for a number of reasons. Both of mine are Mossberg 500's due to the manual of arms being the same and as Clint smith is often quoted as saying "2 is one and 1 is none" because all things man made can break and at the worst of times. While home defense is the main reason I have both setup and ready to go when needed, most often they serve as pest removal devices from around the home or garden. They also help ease new shooters into using a shotgun. Don't get me wrong I like the 12's even though I can't use them anymore, I also like the 20's of which I'm in the market for as a hunting and an addition to my home defense line up. But in my book the .410 is very important as a defender and as a recreational tool. If a person is willing to give it a try and use it within it's limits, a .410 pump will prove to be a highly useful shotgun to have.