I've been into recreation shooting for about 6 months now, and I want to look into buying a gun for home defense/recreation. The primary use would be as a home defense gun, and very little for hunting. From reading around the forum, I've learned that people who hunt favor variable chokes, longer barrels, and 3 inch magnum capability. The shotgun I'm looking int is a Remington 870 Express Synthetic in 12GA, and it's 18 inches, Fixed Cylinder choke. A lot of questions: 1, What advantages does a shotgun have over a rifle for home defense, if any? 2, What type of ammunition should I look into for home defense/recreation? 3, What does the choke affect? I know it's something with the exit pattern and spread of the shot, and little else. 4, What type of length should I look for, is 18 good for utility? 5, I know about changing barrels for this shotgun, and that seems fairly common among the owners here, should I invest in another barrel if I don't hunt? 6, What kind of capabilities does this gun carry? Max size cartridge, and projectile capabilities specifically. 7, What goes into owning a gun? Responsibilities, permits, storage, etc. I know some of these will vary by location, but any information is welcomed. I'll be reading up on laws after I post this. Any help will greatly appreciated, Thanks. For the record, I'm 6'4", and 220, so recoil is not a problem.