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Shotguns for home defense... need recommendations.

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by greymethod, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. mrwhite1

    mrwhite1 Loaded Pockets

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  2. roger.weathersby

    roger.weathersby Empty Pockets

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    00 Buck is sufficient, and oft preferred since it's so readily available (personally i use Federal LE Low Recoil 00bk, for that reason) however if you can readily get it, #1bk is generally better from what the experts and forensic studies say. At least for 12ga. 20ga = #4 i hear.

    For the 870 Remingtons, i hear a lot of good things, but when I held one i found the controls to be not so intuitive compared to the Mossberg 500's.

    On the light, I'm not sold on a mounted option. Sometimes in a stress situation a person will tend to point the flashlight around to see what is around them... not good with adrenaline, and itchy trigger finger, and an occasional need to light up an area to check on loved ones.

    Saiga 12 is a very neet weapon, assuming you get the bugs worked out and get a good reliable feeder. Myself I keep auto shotguns at the range and pump action in the home for defense. They both work, but if you are advising someone who doesn't know what they are getting for their first shotgun, having him get something that might need some break in and fine tuning really isn't a good call.
     
  3. wonderingson

    wonderingson Empty Pockets

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    I too have a mossberg 500 and love it!. it was my home defense weapon for a long time but after even more thought, i went back to my springfield xd 45 with a tlr3. but a pump shotgun does have sweet sound when chambering a round. although if i was armed ( and a bad dude) and heard that noise i would be ready to shoot and fight for my life.
     
  4. FreestyleAssassin

    FreestyleAssassin Empty Pockets

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    Mossberg Persuader 12 gauge hands down!

    Better after market accessories than the 870, at least in my opinion...
     
  5. dovk0802

    dovk0802 Loaded Pockets

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    Also a 20ga fan. Mine is a 870 short brl with a side saddle. I'd even go one more; Mossberg made what was I think called the "home defender" which was an 8 rd .410. Basically a 44 mag carbine. Winchester also sold their 1200 in a 20ga defense version which was pretty slick & inexpensive.
     
  6. JoeyBones

    JoeyBones Loaded Pockets

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    I have a Mossberg 500 18" barrel pistol grip. loaded with the first 2 shots as bird shot, followed by 00 buck. I plan to get a general direction of an intruder and take out everything in that direction and if need be finish the job after.
     
  7. Gryffin
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Gryffin Loaded Pockets

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    At across-the-room ranges, even birdshot is deadly. IMHO, the biggest advantage of the smaller buck is that it patterns better at mid-to long range, while still providing decent penetration; 00 can be prone to fliers and holey patterns.

    I agree. Especially since I shoot long guns southpaw, the trigger-guard safeties just don't agree with me.

    The first time I shot a friend's 870, I short-stroked it and jammed it up. Not at all impressive. I've put several hundred rounds through my Mossberg 590 Mariner without a single jam; I trust it to perform flawlessly if I ever need to defend my life with it.
     
  8. Lionheart

    Lionheart Empty Pockets

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    Not too keep beating a dead horse by saying no birdshot but I was recently watching a show where a girl took a blast of birdshot to the face by "accident" inside her home, she lost her eyes, nose and her upper front teeth. You can look at this at one of two ways the first being, yes you could potentially consider that stopping power as not to many people are going to wanna keep fighting after such a traumatic injury but they still are capable of pulling a trigger if they're armed with a firearm. The second way you can look at this is had she been hit with any form of buckshot the show wouldn't have been about reconstructing her face since she in all probability wouldn't have survived it. This worries me for the people who advocate/use birdshot for HD because if someone could survive such a wound in a vital area what if you need to make a center of mass shot, it would make a painful and nasty wound but certainly wouldn't stop the threat. To each there own I suppose but I certainly wouldn't gamble my family on it I'd simply use a smaller form of buckshot.
     
  9. mrwhite1

    mrwhite1 Loaded Pockets

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    If you shoot something with smaller shot, say 7 1/2 or 8, try shooting a piece of cardboard with it at relatively close ranges. It essentially makes one big hole, it takes a little distance before the pattern begins to open up. From a standpoint of shooting inside a house, I'd say any combination would be lethal..... just remember doesnt matter what gun and ammo you use, nothing is a replacement for shot placement.
     
  10. roger.weathersby

    roger.weathersby Empty Pockets

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    I have to agree with the anti-birdshot ideas. There's a few reasons why.

    A> If you load your first two with birdshot and the rest with 00bk, you are sending a message that you did not feel lethal force might have been warranted for the first two shots. If you are using a lethal weapon you should not be using it for less than lethal purposes. Birdshot CAN kill but you have just reduced your odds tremendously.

    B> spread doesnt kill people, traumatic wounds to tissue would be the secret.

    C> If you are relying on shot placement you fail. Shot placement IS important but not a mutually exclusive item. Stressful situations dont always lend themselves to the luxury of calm steady hands and cool thinking.

    D> A .22 can be lethal... just that personally I like to increase my odds of stopping the attacker.
     
  11. JoeyBones

    JoeyBones Loaded Pockets

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    I understand the no bird shot arguement, but with 7 rounds available in my 500, I can guarantee they wont get off a shot as quickly as I'll finish the job. I'd certainly like to see the hoss that could take a blast of shot of any kind from <20 yards and react fast enough, be able to aim, and get off a shot before my follow up shots come. Trust me, if there is an intruder in my house, I do not plan to let him need any kind of reconstruction surgery, the only construction will need to be a pine box to put the remains in. I will NEVER shoot to wound someone.
     
  12. JoeyBones

    JoeyBones Loaded Pockets

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    Your point C is exactly the reason to put a round or 2 of bird shot in place. its a stressful situation. Cover your bases and follow up. I dare someone to question me as to why i pulled the trigger multiple times on an intruder to my house. Be it my shotgun or my pistol, there is a pretty good chance there will be multiple trigger pulls, and multiple wounds.

    Your point A... Totally disagree, again going back to the stressful situation. I hope that the first 2 rounds DO kill, and I feel any use of a gun is me proving that I felt that lethal force is warranted. If I didnt want to use lethal force, I'll bring out a Louisville Slugger.
     
  13. roger.weathersby

    roger.weathersby Empty Pockets

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    I wouldnt question multiple trigger pulls, only would question why you want to bet on the ranges you are engaging your target at. Birdshot doesnt "cover" any real bases. Sure anything coming out of a shotgun is going to do some damage at point blank. Not always are all encounters at the range in the the location in your home you want them to be. Nor is it always one person. Your argument of multiple trigger pulls makes no sense when I too expect to not rely on one shot, and every shot I make will be more lethal. I think Massad Ayoob says it best "Anything that will go deep enough into a man to stop him will go through sheetrock and lath walls".

    Point A is not a question of what YOU hope will happen, but what happens afterwards on justifying yourself to the powers that be. Also this of course depends on your local law enforcement and judicial system.

    In the end it's to each their own, but to me it simply does not make sense to fire a possibly less than lethal load for the first two shots.
     
  14. mrwhite1

    mrwhite1 Loaded Pockets

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    In a defensive encounter, the goal is to neutralize the threat to you and others as quickly as possible. (Granted this may be more tactics than an actual recommendation.) You can not forget about situational awareness. I realize this situation will probably be the most stressful encounter a person may ever experience; however, you can not blindly fire a shotgun in your house at 'what you believe' is an intruder. Similar rule to hunting - you do not shoot at anything that you are not completely sure what it is. You have to be aware of other family members potentially in the house or what is behind the target. My statement of shot placement merely means that shots to non-lethal areas / extremedies may not subdue an attacker regardless of how big your gun is.

    Also, whatever you decide to use - practice with it! You want to be proficient with any weapon used for defensive purposes.
     
  15. JoeyBones

    JoeyBones Loaded Pockets

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    I guess I can explain a few other things about my situation. I don't CARRY my shotgun. It is in my house. I live in a town home, and at no point is there a shot that will be >20yds (perfectly lethal for birdshot). Also, regarding what happens after the fact... I live in South Carolina, as long as I dont shoot someone outside my home when they are "fleeing" I am perfectly within my rights to shoot to kill and defend myself to the fullest extent of my ability. If I were to unload 7 12ga rounds into a person, yes they may question me, but 2-3 I dont believe will be questioned as it is a reaction in the heat of the moment, and I wanted to make sure myself and my family were safe.

    And you are right, you will have your thoughts on the topic and I will have mine. I have never been in an intense situation as to where to have to defend myself and I certainly don't want to have to count on any kind of precision aiming if I do get into it.
     
  16. roger.weathersby

    roger.weathersby Empty Pockets

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    We all can definitely agree on a lot of points, South Carolina law enforcement is I hope not so out to get you with firearms as they were when I've got traffic tickets there :) But I am willing to bet in most parts of SC they are probably not going to care about which loads. My state, Pennsylvania I'm also betting wont mind. Many others might not be so lucky. I can only imagine someone in chicago using a varied loadout and the lawyers there picking it apart.

    I pray to god noone uses a shotgun for EDC without a very very good lifetyle fit for that, although I'd love to see a documentary of that life!

    On birdshot being lethal 20 yards, do an experiment. It's coming around to autumn time in north america, so it's good times to get pumpkins. Granted, like anyone would say, it's not a human head, but these will really illustrate a lot of differences. Get a bunch of good sized pumpkins and take them to a place you can fill them full of holes. Start off at a good distance, say 20 yards (measure it out, almost always have we found people eyeballing this will undercall the distances) since this is the distance you use. Start off with birdshot, take a shot and look at the results, repeat approaching 2-3 yards each subsequent shot. Next repeat the same exercise with 00 buck. There's a lot of holes in the pumpkin no matter what, but I've also seen a huge difference even just with 00 buck at those ranges. Personally I'm not betting on optimum ranges involved with birdshot after having performed this experiment myself. The reality of this one is, a real target is moving, sometimes at high speeds towards you. Your shot might not happen at point blank nor at max range (considering target identification, situations, timing, etc), but mid range, and they might just be smart (or stupid) enough to grapple with you and your firearm before you get the 2nd or 3rd shots off.

    On aimed shots and shot placement, that's for sure, I cant count the number of people who have told me they have a .22 rifle and plan on shooting people in the legs and arms to disable them. I think any of us who've chosen a shotgun realize the insanity of that idea. Shot placement is a good emphasis in that many people dont realize you still need good aim with a shotgun. Just fearing that many take the wrong direction that shot placement would override other areas where good choices matter.
     
  17. mrwhite1

    mrwhite1 Loaded Pockets

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  18. roger.weathersby

    roger.weathersby Empty Pockets

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    Excellent video to show realities of spread and such. Not much actual useful / factual about birdshot there except that it can knock down metal targets but doesnt go through a lot of gypsum board. And that it doesnt pattern really wide at close ranges. They did speak some speculation, but not much in real fact beyond that on the damage capabilities of both.

    If you read in breadth and depth on the subject, you'll find that there are people out there who have continued to attack while their heart was mass of mangled tissue on the floor from buckshot, there are people out there who have taken many rounds of many sizes, only to die minutes later. There are also tales of single shot kills with .22's and many other insane tales of underpowered rounds. While there is no magic bullet that always works, there IS the idea of minimizing risk by maximizing damage capacity. Birdshot CAN kill a person, but there's not very many justifications i can see for using it when there's more powerful options out there except perhaps living in the dense urban jungle of apartment compartments or other known tactical situations. HD wise, the object of things is to put the opponent(s) down as fast as possible. Birdshot when buckshot is available and usable in the environment just makes no sense to me based on those factors.
     
  19. 3fgburner

    3fgburner Loaded Pockets

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    This may have all been covered in the past 16 pages. If so, chalk me up as a "ditto" to the foregoing posts.
    Mossberg 500 vs Remington 870 is Coke vs Pepsi. I have a couple of Mossbergs, buddy has an 870, either will do the job.
    If you want to see results of various types of shot, check out The Box O' Truth.

    My house load (Mossy 500 with 18.5" bbl) is #1 buck. I live in a townhouse, so overpenetration is an issue. The car ammo for my trap gun (Mossy Maverick, 26" bbl full choke) is #4 buck.

    As Ol' Painless says over on the Box, "Birdshot is for birds.".

    If you REALLY want to cause loss of sphincter control in a perp, use the Remington 1740:
    [​IMG]
     
  20. FreestyleAssassin

    FreestyleAssassin Empty Pockets

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    I see that the topic has "turned" ;)

    Hmmmmmm, what to say that has not already been said. I will say that I don't believe that anyone "thinks" in the classical sense on the business end of a shotgun.

    The last conscious thought that might go through a home intruders head is when he HEARS the "clack, clack" of a shotgun pump. Once a round a gone off they are more than likely operating on pure reptilian brain impulse and not contemplating the resolve of the shot gun operator.

    In my home I could deliver an entire load of bird shot (wad included) from almost the furthest rage. Benefits being that the shot might not go entirely through a wall a kill someone in the next room...

    That being said, I choose 00 buck shot :p