Suggestions please (20ga home defense)

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by martin_j001, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. martin_j001

    martin_j001 Active Member

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    I'm in the market for a 20ga shotgun for home defense. My wife is not very interested in handguns (shooting or carrying them), so I would like to have an option for her as a last resort if something were to happen while I'm not home. So, it seems that either the Mossberg 500 or Rem 870 are out there and both come in multiple lengths. Planning to get either 18" or 20" at most. Anything else I should consider? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jdh31313

    jdh31313 Active Member

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    Question: Why not 12ga loaded with low recoil rounds?
     

  3. martin_j001

    martin_j001 Active Member

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    I'm definitely open to the idea of a 12ga, but I don't know that she is. How much of a difference does a low recoil round make compared to a standard 2.75"? And are these low recoil rounds readily available?
     
  4. Fallschirmjäger

    Fallschirmjäger I watch the watchers

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    BullsEye in Cumming had a small-gauge Mossberg with a youth stock on the wall not long ago. I wonder if they still have it?
     
  5. jdh31313

    jdh31313 Active Member

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    We use the Mossberg 590A1 loaded with low recoil Winchester Ranger 00 buck & slugs. We use the low recoil rounds because we have a wide variety of shooters (male & female) and in order to accommodate all, we went with this round. I'd suggest that even more important then the round is the stock of the shotgun. We had been using a regular speedfeed stock and our smaller folks had comfort issues with the guns so we put the M4 style collapsible / adjustable stock on them last year. Since putting the new stocks on, range scores have increased and we have less complaining on range days. These rounds are available online and at Ed's Public Safety in Stockbridge.
     
  6. PX

    PX New Member

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    JMOfartO:

    I use a 12ga pump shotgun for home defense... I have no worry that my wife would be able to use it in her defense if she had to because I have taught her the way to shoot a shotgun under such circumstances as a home invasion is NOT to put the stock to her shoulder, but hold it to her side with the rear of the stock sticking out behind her...

    The recoil is not an issue using this method, and I believe many people, not just the ladies, are put off, or worried about the harsh recoil to the shoulder when shooting a 12ga shotgun and therefore are basically afraid of them.

    Give it a try holding the shotgun trigger area alongside the waist, cradled between the elbow and the waist.. Index finger on the trigger, off hand holding the stock under the barrel, or with a pump shotgun, holding that area to cycle another round after the first is fired.

    In a confined area such as the interior of a home it is not necessary to get that perfect "sight picture" of the threat when using a 12ga shotgun...

    Point it at the threat and pull the trigger..

    Repeat as necessary.. :righton:

    I'm of the opinion that in the serious home defense "food chain" the 12ga shotgun is pretty much as good as it gets for most folks..

    No offense to those who disagree.

    Best Wishes,

    Jesse

    [​IMG]
     
  7. martin_j001

    martin_j001 Active Member

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    Hmmm...may have to see if the local range has a 12ga to rent and some low recoil ammo we can try out.
     
  8. SongDogSniper

    SongDogSniper New Member

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    You'll find no "magic" with selecting a 20 gauge over a 12 gauge in an attempt to reduce recoil. As long as the shot shell has the same weight charge and the same velocity (or dram equivalent for those that still use this archaic measure) it really does not matter which gauge it is. I have both in the same model shotgun (Remington 870) and I can tell you this is indeed the case from experience. I have also reloaded my own 12 gauge shotshells that recoil identically to their 20 gauge equivalent.

    P.S. "Low recoil" is a merely a marketing term for less powder = less velocity. I hate it when I see the ammo manufacturers charge a premium for "low recoil" shotshells, because they are using less powder and should in fact be charging LESS.
     
  9. EJR914

    EJR914 Cheezburger Operator

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    This...

    Rem 870 HD... accept no substitutes.
     
  10. 45_Fan

    45_Fan Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the round. Particularly in double buck they put one less pellet in there and the low-recoil buckshot patterns tighter than normal rounds.

    At least that has been my experience.
     
  11. SongDogSniper

    SongDogSniper New Member

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    My point is that is just LESS. It always translates to less velocity or as in your example, less shot payload. No big surprise with that. Less powder or less shot charge = less recoil. It bugs me when I see it priced higher than the standard velocity.
     
  12. SheriffOconee

    SheriffOconee New Member

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    the guy comes here askin' about 20 ga shotguns, and ya'll are arguing about low recoil 12 ga shotshells....

    If you want to pick up a 20 ga shotgun for your wife to have while you are away, either the Mossberg or Remington would be a good choice. However, if she isn't going to practice working the slide action very much, I would suggest a side by side or, if you can find a cheap on, over and under in 20 ga. Two quick rounds from most 20 or 12 ga shotguns are capable of solving 95% of the social situations that require firearms.
    She would be well protected, and they easy to learn the manual of arms, such as safety and reloading.
    A quick google search found this one. Most any firearms dealer can get one.
    Of course, the choice is yours
    http://www.auctionarms.com/closed/displ ... =7356754.0
     
  13. gordon11

    gordon11 New Member

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    Wish I'd seen that when I had a little extra jingle in the pocket. I've always wanted a coach gun.
     
  14. martin_j001

    martin_j001 Active Member

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    First off, thanks everyone for the responses, its greatly appreciated!

    Makes sense that the only way to get less recoil is to use less of everything else. And I agree, it is kind of crappy to market it as somehow "more" or different enough to require additional cost.

    In that same line of thought though, a 20ga round should be loaded with less powder and less shot than a 12ga, therefore making recoil "less" as well though, no? I'm going to continue research on this, and see if my local range has a 20ga I can rent at all--if I can compare side by side that will answer it for me without a doubt...

    Something I'll have to give a little though to as well, although I'm leaning towards "more is better" in terms of ammo...especially in a situation where I'm not around. She has told me that she will learn how to use the weapon, and that means to me not only being able to work the pump/safety/trigger, but also learning how to reload from a side saddle or a stock mounted ammo holder...just in case (I figure its better for her, anyone really, to have more than they need instead of too little).
     
  15. GaTechCCW

    GaTechCCW New Member

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    I would Not write off a 20ga completely. My wife was too intimidated by a 12ga that I know she won't practice with it enough. With 50% of the recoil but 75% of the stopping power, it is a pretty decent option for a small framed person (like my wife).

    Craig
     
  16. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    My one and only shotgun is a 20 gauge. (I sold all my 12 gauges years ago, except the Street Sweeper, but that's a different animal entirely).

    A 20 gauge does offer noticeably less recoil than the 12, IF both are loaded hot with buckshot, slugs, or heavy turkey or waterfowl loads.

    If you shoot them only with low-brass birdshot used for skeet or squirrels or doves, both are light-recoiling. The only difference is the 12-bore will hold 1/8 of an ounce more shot.

    I think that a home defense pump shotgun for a woman should be a "youth model" or what Mossberg calls the "Bantam 500". That's what I have. I've got short arms, and I like the shorter stock and slimmer fore-end wood.

    But a youth-model 12 gauge would be OK with me too, and I'll bet your wife could handle the recoil if you bought the right ammo.

    Will your wife practice enough with the shotgun (at least a couple times per year) to stay familiar with how it works? A pump shotgun is not idiot-proof. I've seen people forget to pump it, or try to pump it twice (or just try to pump it when the bolt is closed on an empty chamber) and it's locked up and they can't figure out how to make it work. They forgot about the little release button down near the trigger guard. If you short-stroke a pump shotgun you can get malfunctions or failure-to-feeds.

    If you and your wife want to meet me in Lawrenceville some time and try out my Mossberg 500 Bantam in 20 gauge at the range, I'd be glad to let y'all give it a work out and see how it fits her. (I'd like to try that Ruger SR9 Compact you carry, too!) :)


    P.S. When I keep my 20 gauge shotgun loaded for home defense, my ammo of choice was a 3" load of #2 shot (made for ducks or geese) for the first 3 rounds, and the last two shots in the tube were slugs (7/8 ounce, full bore diameter).
     
  17. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    By the way, another good home defense option for a woman who doesn't like pistols might be a light, compact, carbine chambered in a popular pistol round.

    Maybe something like the Kel-Tec sub2000 in 9mm or .40, which can use common Glock magazines in any common size, from 17 rounds to 32 rounds?
     
  18. corey541

    corey541 New Member

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    Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 is the way to go. Gunsmokers right with the youth model idea too. And don't worry, a youth model wont be so small that you can't shoot it too. I'm 6'1 and still shoot my youth model 870 Express magnum my dad bought me when I was 12 every once in a while and would have no problem trusting it in a life or death situation.

    Also of note, when looking at the Remington 870 or the Mossberg 500 keep in mind that they are practically the same gun.
     
  19. RevolverDan

    RevolverDan Active Member

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    Just picked this up on Sunday in 12g for my HD gun. My wife, 5'2" 130lbs, has handled it full of ammo and has no issues with the weight. I haven't taken her out to shoot it yet, but I'm sure she will have no issue with it.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. martin_j001

    martin_j001 Active Member

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    ^^Congrats on the new toy! Yeah, the weight of it wouldn't so much be the issue, but more the ability to handle it and fire it in the direction of the threat, etc. I want her to be scared because of the threat, not because of the idea she might have to use the gun itself.

    gunsmoker--on the carbine idea, its one I've considered too, but I like the idea that a shotgun does more damage to a larger amount of space. Not only in terms of wounding a person, but if she blows a 4-5" hole in the door, if a BG sees/hears that happen, chances are they're going the other way. If a single 9mm round comes through the door, its much less intimidating.

    Definitely leaning towards a 20ga at this point, and looks like I've got several choices even if I stick with youth models. Bass Pro apperas to carry the following (all pump action 20ga):
    Mossberg 510 Mini Super Bantam 18.5" 3+1
    Remington 870 exp compact 21" 4+1
    Remington 870 exp compact jr 18" 4+1