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View Full Version : Home defense 870 - 5 rounds vs. 7 rounds


70extreme
December 7, 2010, 04:02 PM
For home defense, do you like the standard 870 with a 5 round capacity? Or, do you like the extended magazine version that holds 7 rounds?

I like the handling of the standard 5 round capacity gun. But, an extra two rounds never hurts.

What is your preference?

hardworker
December 7, 2010, 04:11 PM
5 shots ought to be enough for one break in

NightSleeper
December 7, 2010, 04:11 PM
Extended mag. It really doesn't add much weight and you have extra shells to unleash on a BG.

oneounceload
December 7, 2010, 04:15 PM
It can enough extra weight at the end of the barrel to affect swing dynamics - try it before you buy it to see if you like that or not

Technosavant
December 7, 2010, 04:38 PM
My 870 Tactical holds 6 2.75" shells in the magazine.

I figure that any remotely realistic home defense scenario (the most realistic home scenario is a night of nothing on TV before turning in for an uneventful night's sleep) is maybe two or three assailants. In those circumstances, no more than a couple rounds are fired before the intruders turn tail and run. If you can't get it done with five rounds, you aren't likely to do much better with seven. If you like the handling of the five round mag, stick with that- better to hit with a few than miss with many.

jmortimer
December 7, 2010, 06:37 PM
I don't believe it is critical except if you are kicking in doors for a living like door to door in Iraq or Afghanistan. Get what you like as it will most likely never matter.

Piscator
December 7, 2010, 07:42 PM
5 shells is plenty IMO.

silvercorvette
December 7, 2010, 08:48 PM
Even though I have a short barrel 870 (18 1/2 inches) the tube magazine runs the full length of the barrel so I can fit six 2 3/4 shells in the tube
My folding stock holds 3 rounds, plus the the sling holds 15, and tube holds 6 but I prefer keeping the chamber empty. I seriously doubt there will ever be a need for the 15 I carry in the sling but I never heard anyone complain they had too many rounds that they didn't need left over after the fight ended. The nice thing about pumps is you can feed more rounds into the tube if you need to and have the time, or if you are empty you can load one at a time through the ejection port

Dr MoonUnit
December 7, 2010, 11:43 PM
I like the handling of the standard 5 round capacity gun. But, an extra two rounds never hurts.

You just answered your own question. Is that intruder going to run like hell after that first round of 12 gauge? I'd be willing to bet my paycheck on it but not my life. And who's to say it's only one intruder? There is a possibility of regret for not going with the two extra rounds but I doubt you'd regret having them.

riggins_83
December 8, 2010, 12:29 AM
When it comes to HD, especially since there's a chance I could get caught in a room with just one way in and out (such as the bedroom) I'll take the highest capacity possible any day.

Bedroom's on the second floor so leaving via the window isn't a very good option.

krazykeny
December 8, 2010, 12:59 AM
Back in October I made this same choice.

I choose the Maverick Model 88 Pump with the 7 round mag.
I liked the look of the magazine,and barrel being the same length.

I am very glad that I did. What I did not know at the time.
They are only 5, or 7 shot with 2 3/4 shells.

With 3 inch magnum shotshells it is not a 7 shot magazine any more.
If you get the 5 shot magazine,and want to use a 3 " shell.
Then it becomes a 4 shot mag.
Put several in it and it becomes a 3 shot mag.



.

Bartholomew Roberts
December 8, 2010, 08:24 AM
5 shells is plenty IMO.

In considering ammo needs, you also need to consider:

1. How fast do I shoot?
2. How long will it take the target to react to my first shot?

We had a more in-depth discussion of this in Tactics in regards to handguns
in this thread (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=428114&highlight=ooda+loop); but I would say the same ideas apply to shotguns too.

Dave McC
December 8, 2010, 10:30 AM
My HD 870 has a 6 round magazine, backup has a 7. Both are loaded one round under. The extension on the shorter one adds 7 oz at the muzzle, before the 6 oz or so for two shells. That's a full pound of weight right where it counts.

Nice for recoil control(What kick?) but ti's slower.

I also use another 870 for defense, a more traditional model with a 21" turkey barrel, no extension.

While I'm a big lout, strong for my age, and well trained, the last 870 mentioned is faster than a rattlesnake in my hands.. That's something to consider. The others I can handle, from practice and training, but the 4 round shotgun is faster.

HD crises are not going to use as much ammo as the Battle for Hue. If 4 rounds will not handle the situation, more are not likely to either.

How many of us have other adults who may need to use the shotgun at a terribly crucial time and lack the upper body strength to use a 9 lb, muzzle heavy weapon?

Everyone should very carefuly evaluate whether or not the extensions are right for them.....

cerberus65
December 8, 2010, 10:49 AM
I have the mag tube extension for my 870 but it has been sitting in a box. I sometimes swap the short barrel off for a 28" VR barrel and carry it into the field. I think I must have gotten tired of messing with the extension.

So my 870 has 4 shells in it. I don't keep one in the chamber. If I happen to run out I've got a couple of 1911s right there too. In fact I'm probably more likely to grab a 1911 first and use the 870 in case lots more firepower is required.

mavracer
December 8, 2010, 12:33 PM
I used to have a 21" 870 turkey gun with a 3 round extention for duel purpose HD/hunting I always felt it was real heavy so when I got another shotgun for hunting I got a much lighter better handeling gun. Since my 870 got regulated to HD only, I decided to trade it off for a different kind of duel purpose gun. Now my cowboy action shotgun (TTN 1897) does the double duty I lost 2 rounds and got a much lighter better handeling gun and couldn't be happier.
BTW in the time between getting rid of my 870 and testing the 1897 winchester copy I had my 1887 Colt copy SBS do home defense duty 2 rounds in the gun and 4 on the butt cuff. good lord it's a wonder I got any sleep like that.LOL

madmag
December 9, 2010, 10:57 AM
I also use another 870 for defense, a more traditional model with a 21" turkey barrel, no extension.

Good to see others that like the 21" turkey barrel on the 870. I also use the turkey 870 for HD. I use an improved cylinder choke and reduced recoil 00 buck loaded.

Dave, I am curious what choke you use on your turkey 870?

markj
December 9, 2010, 05:21 PM
I just use my Winchester 1300 with a deer barrel. It is short, has a good site and will shoot straight as it has killed a lot of deer. 5 shots is good, never felt undergunned while deer hunting. I would really hate to shoot someone with it tho. Last deer bled all over the place, made a huge mess, I could only imagine the mess a human would make at 10 feet or so.

Better him than I :)

madmag
December 9, 2010, 09:18 PM
I just use my Winchester 1300 with a deer barrel.

Is it smooth bore or rifled??

I also have a 1300 (20ga.)....great gun.

markj
December 10, 2010, 05:28 PM
rifled they also make them smooth bore. I like sabots for deer so I got this. Sure handles nice, is light and shoots to aim at 50 to 100 yards. No worries in the home, it will plain work and thats all I need. Nothing fancy, or a kewl paint job....

madmag
December 10, 2010, 07:44 PM
OK, I can put a rifled choke on my 870 smooth bore and shoot sabots, but I admit I have never tested, so not sure how well it works.

Dave McC
December 11, 2010, 04:53 PM
Modified, Madmag.

With the 4 buck loads in it,20 yard patterns run about 13-15".

That barrel was 28" I had it cut and threaded for the old Truchoke thinwalls about a year before Remington brought out that 21" turkey barrel. It's also had a good forcing cone job and has a full set of Colonial tubes from Skeet to Too Much( .690").

FYI, setting off goose loads in that while sharing a pit blind can strain friendships. I use a longer barrel now for waterfowl.

madmag
December 11, 2010, 11:51 PM
Modified, Madmag.

Thanks, mine was purchased as a turkey model with 21" barrel and originally full choke..I changed to improved cylinder.

I own other shotguns, but it seems that the turkey 21" is a great fit. It is short yet has different choke capabilities. Good all around shotgun.

Dave McC
December 12, 2010, 09:09 AM
That barrel has never been pointed at a turkey, but it has brought home dove, ducks,pheasant, quail, geese (Snows and Canadas), preserve chukar, etc.

And with the IC tube in, it groups KOs in about 2.5" at 50 yards.

Quite useful.

I tend to abjure terms like "All Around" nowadays but this barrel and the parts 870 it's on cover lots of bases.

markj
December 13, 2010, 05:12 PM
OK, I can put a rifled choke on my 870 smooth bore and shoot sabots, but I admit I have never tested, so not sure how well it works.

They make slugs for smooth bore too. I was given the barrel for Christmas one year, sabots cost more but they do reach out farther. For HD you dont need the distance a rifled barrel will give you. Unless you also hunt deer like I do :)

madmag
December 13, 2010, 09:09 PM
For HD you dont need the distance a rifled barrel will give you. Unless you also hunt deer like I do

I agree. I was mixing messages. I would just use the rifled choke for hunting.

KevininPa
December 24, 2010, 06:49 PM
....I live rural and not in a home invading, gangbanging area. I only need a .22 for walking out and about with the dog for snakeshot and possibly a rabid critter.

mwar410
December 24, 2010, 07:11 PM
I recently shortened a 870 express, with the help of a few beers. I like the way it handles with the stock mag, I cut it to 18 3/4" just in case I messed up. 4 in the tube and one on the elevator. But, I also noticed that I have a 1911 ready for back-up.

TacticalDefense1911
December 25, 2010, 09:45 PM
The more rounds you can get in your defense shotgun the better. It is already a low-round carrying platform so the more the better in my opinion. Those two rounds may just save your life. I would also suggest installing a shotshell side saddle on the gun to carry extra rounds if a reload is neccessary.

Sarge
December 25, 2010, 10:00 PM
I also use another 870 for defense, a more traditional model with a 21" turkey barrel, no extension.

While I'm a big lout, strong for my age, and well trained, the last 870 mentioned is faster than a rattlesnake in my hands.. That's something to consider. The others I can handle, from practice and training, but the 4 round shotgun is faster.

Great minds... (http://sargesrollcall.blogspot.com/2009/02/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-x-none.html#links)

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x187/SargeMO/870SPM1.jpg

I can't seem to bring myself to hang a tube on this old Special Purpose, either. I do kill a few birds with it when it ain't working, too ;)

Dave McC
December 26, 2010, 10:49 AM
Nice shotgun, Sarge, and nice read. Good luck with yours......