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Old March 1, 2011, 01:05 PM   #1
Balog
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Why did you choose a 20 for HD work?

Been pondering getting a shotgun to keep around the house, as I don't currently have a suitable long gun. I'm seriously thinking about getting a 20ga this time, for a few reasons. It would be lighter (and thus hopefully quicker to manuever) than an equivalent 12, theoretically cheaper to reload as there is less shot and powder (although I don't know if the higher volume sales of 12ga hulls/wads etc would drive down the price of those components), and lighter recoiling for quicker followup shots.

Obviously it may not have the same terminal ballistics as a 12, but a .61 slug moving at a good clip is still pretty darn effective to my mind.

So why did you choose to make a 20ga your primary choice for home defense?
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Old March 1, 2011, 01:15 PM   #2
oneounceload
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Quote:
It would be lighter
Quote:
and lighter recoiling
not necessarily true

A lighter gun can have more recoil than a heavier gun

For HD, the selection is much less in 20 than 12 - something to think about
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Old March 1, 2011, 01:37 PM   #3
Balog
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Hi 1oz, I always enjoy your posts, thanks for commenting.

I've experienced first hand that a poorly fitted lighter 20 can be far worse to shoot than a 12. And the smaller selection of suitable loads certainly is a concern. Lots to think about.
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Old March 1, 2011, 05:41 PM   #4
Tupac Chopra
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How many different loads do you need for a shotgun you already know you're going to be using mainly for HD? Buckshot or slugs or er.. buckshot. You're going to end up with buckshot or a slug and those aren't hard to find in 20ga.

I'd choose a gas operated 20ga semi. What would you gain by using a 12ga at normal HD distances (21 feet and under)? If you shoot someone with a 20ga at that distance - they're dead. They can't be made MORE dead by blasting them with a 12ga.
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Old March 1, 2011, 05:44 PM   #5
oneounceload
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The payload and choice of pellet size, as well as low-recoil versions, etc. are more prevalent in 12 than 20, and generally more available
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Old March 1, 2011, 05:57 PM   #6
Tupac Chopra
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We know. Everything 12ga is more common than the other gauges. That goes without saying.
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Old March 1, 2011, 06:52 PM   #7
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If you are getting a pump gun, I don't think the 20 ga will offer much in the way of followup shot speed improvement. You should be able to be on target as quick as you can pump the gun, either gun (we are still talking home defense uses and not longer range shooting, right?).
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Old March 3, 2011, 08:48 AM   #8
Dave McC
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I use 12 gauge 870s, but the 20 gauge 870 YE here does a nice job with 3 buck. It's NOT a light kicker though. Weighing 6 lbs, 2 oz means a fair amount of kick.

It does handle like an M1 carbine, quick and nimble.

IMO, 20 gauge is adequate for home defense, and may be close to ideal for some folks. As always, expertise is the key.....
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Old March 3, 2011, 11:39 AM   #9
zippy13
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Quote:
theoretically cheaper to reload as there is less shot and powder
Duhh… This argument favors using a .410-bore for HD.

All silliness aside, IMHO, don't even consider using reloads for HD. It doesn't matter what kind of gun or loads you are using. Should you ever have to use them in an HD situation you might become entangled in a costly legal web. I can easily envision some contingency-fee civil litigation lawyer telling a jury of non-shooters that you must be some sort of blood thirsty vigilante because you used special killer handloads, and seeing twelve heads nodding in agreement.

Last edited by zippy13; March 3, 2011 at 12:22 PM. Reason: the usual, typo(s)
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Old March 3, 2011, 11:50 AM   #10
k511
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cannot really beat a 12ga model 870 for HD, you can find everything under the sun for them and they are a tried and true shotgun... i would opt for a wingmaster or sportsman model, the newer expresses have some finish problems from what i hear.


Zippy makes a good point of not using the hand loads for HD.... I highly reccomend Winchester PDX1 Personal Defense shotshells, they make an awful mess of anything in their path.

Last edited by k511; March 3, 2011 at 12:05 PM.
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Old March 3, 2011, 02:51 PM   #11
Balog
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Hand loads would be for practice, although frankly if I shoot someone inside my own house I doubt it'd matter what I used. "Sure he kicked in Balog's door at 2am, but look at what kind of shell he was shot with!" This isn't Britain (yet) and WA has excellent laws regarding self defense.
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Old March 3, 2011, 03:24 PM   #12
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I pity the prosecuter that would make zippys argument against handloads used in the home...So you loaded the extra deadly shells, hoping that someone would break in so you could shoot them with them...

Thats rich. That would make handloaders Psychic too maybe.
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Old March 3, 2011, 04:59 PM   #13
oneounceload
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It wouldn't be the prosecutor - it would be the lawyer for the criminal in the subsequent wrongful death lawsuit that would follow
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Old March 3, 2011, 05:32 PM   #14
Don H
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Quote:
It wouldn't be the prosecutor - it would be the lawyer for the criminal in the subsequent wrongful death lawsuit that would follow
In some states there wouldn't be a lawsuit because of 'Castle Doctrine" laws.
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Old March 3, 2011, 06:59 PM   #15
zippy13
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1-oz, I'm happy to see someone else appreciates the gravity of the situation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don H
In some states there wouldn't be a lawsuit because of 'Castle Doctrine" laws.
Where did you get that idea? Don, from the link you provided, I found this from the Utah Code:
76-2-405. Force in defense of habitation.
1. A person is justified in using force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent or terminate the other's unlawful entry into or attack upon his habitation; however, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury only if:
a. the entry is made or attempted in a violent and tumultuous manner, surreptitiously, or by stealth, and he reasonably believes that the entry is attempted or made for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person, dwelling, or being in the habitation and he reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent the assault or offer of personal violence; or

b. he reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony in the habitation and that the force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony.
2. The person using force or deadly force in defense of habitation is presumed for the purpose of both civil and criminal cases to have acted reasonably and had a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury if the entry or attempted entry is unlawful and is made or attempted by use of force, or in a violent and tumultuous manner, or surreptitiously or by stealth, or for the purpose of committing a felony.
You may assert the Utah Castle Doctrine as your defense in criminal and civil cases; but, rest assured, it won't keep you out of the courthouse. There's an attorney who'd would love to show that your actions weren't protected. After-all, the home invader you shot was just some innocent kid who'd been invited to sneak into a girl's bedroom; but, they were a little drunk and the address got mixed up.

Courtesy of your custom hand loads, the boy's medical bills are now in the millions. His parents, and insurance company, are looking to be made whole, and they are looking at you. Their lawyers figure your Castle Doctrine defense will quickly evaporate.
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Old March 3, 2011, 07:36 PM   #16
joegator
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I had a 870 20 ga youth that I traded. I probably should have hung on to it. It would have been a good HD shotgun loaded with buckshot.
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Old March 3, 2011, 07:43 PM   #17
Don H
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Zippy,

The link "I provided" is part of my signature and is on all my posts.

IIRC, in *some* states, if a shooting is ruled as justified, then there is no civil recourse available.

As far as the Utah law cited goes, if the homeowner's/resident's/guest's defensive actions are ruled as justified, that ruling would have the effect of derailing a civil suit before it got to the trial stage - at least according to the attorney at the seminar I attended. I, however, have no intention of being a test case in the matter although I wouldn't let that stand in my way if I felt I was in imminent danger of death or grave bodily injury.
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Old March 3, 2011, 08:05 PM   #18
oneounceload
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Where I live, FL, CD was basically introduced, or so it seems........and it has been extended to your car, boat, motel room, etc.

However, that does not ALWAYS mean a civil suit won't be in the offing from some hungry ambulance chaser.;

Point is, use factory ammo for HD, no matter what choice of gun you use. For cost-savings, load your own to the same specs for practice, but put the factory stuff for duty use.....in today's society, it becomes mandatory to CYA where guns is concerned
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Old March 3, 2011, 08:07 PM   #19
zippy13
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I, however, have no intention of being a test case in the matter although I wouldn't let that stand in my way if I felt I was in imminent danger of death or grave bodily injury.
Good thinking!
And, yes, generalizations frequently fail since laws and their application vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
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Old March 5, 2011, 05:24 PM   #20
jrothWA
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Simple ...

it maybe the one that hits the hands first.

I'm not going to be picky of what I use, when I open a secured cabinet, first out is used.

Placement is what its about not what you use.
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