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20ga vs. 12ga for home defense

Old 03-13-2019, 06:50 PM
  #41  
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You should really pattern your shotgun at typical "inside" distances before you believe you are "spraying" bird shot.
At 15-20' your pattern is not a lot bigger than your hand from a sawed off barrel (18" no choke)
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Shag View Post
Mossberg 590 shockwave. Not sure why this isn't a NFA gun but they figured it out somehow.

https://www.range365.com/mossberg-sh...un-test#page-4

There is a member here who just bought one. Hope he chimes in.
I have shot the Remington version. I will NEVER buy one. That thing is a hoss to hold onto, actually hurt my hands and wrists... No Thank You
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:58 PM
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Assuming you’re taking about the same model 12g vs 20g, the 20g will be lighter to handle, maybe a bit shorter. Also, you tend to see less shot in a 20g than a 12g. But, the powder load is usually the same. So, you have the same 00 buck in both rounds, traveling at the same speed, which means the same energy per pellet. But, you have a couple fewer pellets (when talking about larger sized pellets, there’s quite a difference in The # of size 8 pellets).

If you’re using the proper loads, a 20g will put plenty of hurt on an intruder at close range. If your girl is more comfortable with that gun, that’s the right gun. But, like most of us who hunt, we never fee the shot on the animal, but we fee it at the range- she wont feel any recoil shooting the gun at an intruder.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:17 PM
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Imo get a 28g take it to the sporting clay range and have a blast woth it. You’ll become super comfortable with it and have a lot of fun
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:29 PM
  #45  
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My opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

If I am pulling the trigger in a self defense situation, I’m not trying to scare them. I’m not trying to wound them. I want them on the ground unconscious or dead immediately after the shot. I wouldn’t be inclined to “scare” them by working the action on a pump. He might try to shoot me through the wall. I have never had cause to pick up, much less use a gun in self defense. Once the guy is in my house, the first indication I want him to have that I’m armed is muzzle flash. BB sized shot in lead, bismuth or tungsten might do it, but I wouldn’t consider anything smaller. I wouldn’t do steel BB. I have no doubt a #4 turkey load at 20 ft will incapacitate someone. I have doubts it will do it as quickly and completely as I want. My vote is buckshot. If you are likely to have family members “downrange” i’d go with #4 buckshot (much larger than #4 turkey load) due to reduced drywall and hollow door penetration. If you and your wife live alone and are likely to be in the same room or only one of you is home when trouble occurs, I would go 00 buckshot. I wouldn’t feel the least bit under gunned using reduced recoil 00 buck. At less than 30ft your pattern is going to be very tight. It takes a little while for the pellets to clear the shot cup. I’d take reduced recoil 12ga 00 over full power 20. Total surface area of projectiles matters more than velocity (until you get to rifle speeds).
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:08 AM
  #46  
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I'm with the 20ga is plenty crowd.
I can still remember when I was 10 years old, first time hunting with a real gun, a .410 bolt action that dad bought mom when they were dating... Of course being me, I was disappointed I wasn't carrying one of his many 12ga guns... So he gives me his pocketknife (always razor sharp) tells me to cut piece of bark off the base of this little tree, I did. He says now I want you to shoot about a foot below where you cut the tree.. For the rest of my life, I knew without reservation, you don't want to be standing 20' in front of a .410 and get hit with a load of #6 shot... BTW, that same old .410 is our snake gun in SD..
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:18 AM
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20 ga auto will kick less and shoot from the hip with 00buck, you and wife should practice, your shot will be 30 ft or less
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by sugarloaf View Post
20 ga auto will kick less and shoot from the hip with 00buck, you and wife should practice, your shot will be 30 ft or less
Shooting from the hip is gonna waste your precious shells. This isn't the movies. Shoulder and aim!! You won't have much spread at typical interior situations.
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
I'd think it's the sound..someone putting a shell in the chamber with a pump anything in the dark is gonna scare the poo out of an intruder....the louder the better!
Bill, do a little googling This has been proven false over and over. Only works in the movies. If nothing else, it will alert the intruder to your location.
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:47 PM
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I agree, pumping that gun may scare an unarmed intruder but it is as likely to draw fire as anything if the guy is packing.
I am with the "Bang ... I have a gun" crowd.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:09 AM
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I don't want to live with killing some scumbag unless I absolutely have to so IMO it should be a 12 gauge pump for the sound and if kick is too high use a lighter first load.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:25 PM
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Hmmm... if you have pulled a gun in defense you better be shooting to kill. No other option.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
Hmmm... if you have pulled a gun in defense you better be shooting to kill. No other option.
This is 100% correct, the business of pulling a gun then having some sort of dialogue with the person is for the movies only.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:36 PM
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I didn't notice it mentioned but you can order a factory 18" barrel for an 870 for about $120. Swaps out in less than a minute and makes it easier to handle. I don't duck hunt anymore and thus have dedicated it to home defense now, so that is what I have on mine now. 2 3/4" #4 also since the wife may be using it.

All the break-ins I'm personally aware of were during the day time, not the scenario people tend to envision of being awakened while lying in bed in the middle of the night. My personal belief is your wife is more likely to be a victim while she is elsewhere in the house while you're at work than from someone trying to sneak in at 2:00am when they know everyone (to include the man of the house) is home.

The best thing to avoid this kind of situation is to minimize the chances of it occurring in the 1st place; don't be a soft or easily accessible target. Living in a low crime area, with security, clear sight lines from the neighbors, panic alarms, and an intimidating looking / sounding dog or two will provide you more safety than anything. When that fails, firearms placed accessibly throughout the home (kitchen, living room, bathroom, laundry room, etc) is great idea if you don't have kids.

To answer your question... whatever you and her she feel confident with... get her confident with a 12 gauge. Confidence also means being very comfortable with the your legal right to shoot and what to expect afterwards. You don't want to be second guessing yourself in the moment.

Last edited by On the Half Shell; 03-15-2019 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:44 PM
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Forget the gun, too messy. Get a German Shepard and you won't even have to get out of bed!
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by joe.giuliano View Post
I have an 870 in 12ga and it is big and heavy and I don't think my wife could pump it easily. I also have a pacemaker and not supposed to hammer that part of my body.

And I am vertically challenged. Anyhow I was thinking about adding a youth size 20 semi-auto. I have a youth (compact) 10/22 and really like the way it handles.

Is 20 OK for defense. I know it is better to have something usable vs. something hard to use but ....
Thats a perfect choice. Saw the barrel as short as your local or federal laws allow and it will make it easier to handle and stow in your home. You can saw the stock for that purpose also. Hope you never need it, but will make you feel better if you do.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:07 PM
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There's nothing wrong with a 20-gauge 870, but have you considered something lighter and more compact, such as the Mossberg Shockwave or the Remington TAC-14? In my humble opinion either one of those would be a far superior choice for home defense than a full size 870.

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Old 03-15-2019, 04:48 PM
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Mossberg or Rem pump gun with pistol grip in the post above and mini shells. They are about 1.75" long, have no recoil, less noise and you can fill a mag tube with about 10 or 12 of them.


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Old 03-15-2019, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidsDusky View Post
Mossberg or Rem pump gun with pistol grip in the post above and mini shells. They are about 1.75" long, have no recoil, less noise and you can fill a mag tube with about 10 or 12 of them.


MikeeB must check this out, he is intrigued by the possibilities.
Wondering if it will cycle an auto shotgun?
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:21 PM
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Probably not...
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