When somebody asks me about home defense shotguns, I always suggest pump actions, especially if a novice shooter will be using the weapon. The Nova Special Purpose Tactical fits the bill nicely. Short 18+ 1/2 inch barrel and a price tag around $ 325 dollars. The Tactical will fire any 12 gauge shell you can find or have on hand.
Semi-auto shotguns take special training and a lot of practise not to mention if they're not loaded and chambered correctly, they tend not to fire. With Benelli's semi-auto's, if the bolt isn't seated completely, you may not even be able to load the magazine. My S90M1 will fire all 8 rounds without any shoulder support but many semi-automatics will jam. A pump action can fire upside down or one handed (as if you just tripped and fell down or stumbled over a toy).
Before the guys on this site start to beat me to death, please remember I'm talking about a novice shooter, who just woke up and realized some really bad person is in there home.
With the Nova Tactical, just press the magazine release button, rack the gun open, drop in a shell, slam the forend forward and your ready. Even better, if there are rounds already in the magazine. Press the magazine release, rack the forend back and forward and your ready. If your scared out of your wits, screaming and crying, you can still load and operate a pump shotgun. Try that with an semi-automatic. During my police days, I've had to draw done on several people with a pump shotgun, and just hearing the slide rack back and forth defused the situation and if an intruder hears the pump and runs out of your home, that's a lot better than having to shoot a human being.
Finally, mindset is everything. If you really have to shoot, then don't second quess yourself. Pull the trigger and keep shooting until the threat doesn't exist anymore. If the intruder has a gun or takes yours away from you, they will kill you without any hesitation.
Sign up and take a course on self defense using firearms in your home. I use a Smith + Sesson 1911A1 full size .45 automatic for home defense, but I've had a little more practise than most folks.
00 or triple 000. If you have an intruder, play time is over. Point at the largest part of their body you can see and pull the trigger.
Retired Federal Law Enforcement
"I hope'n there're be Quail hunting in Heaven, or I'll be mighty disappointed."