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Old January 21, 2012, 12:01 PM   #1
1Hobie
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Following the 12 g. HD thread

I've been following the thread about the best 12 guage HD load because I'm going to add a shotgun to my collection with the intent of using it for home defense. It's been interesting to say the least.

I'm going to buy a pump gun and would I be able to cycle the gun fast enough to make the following approach feasible? I would practice with it as much as time and money would allow.

I was wondering if using a stepped approach to loading the gun would be wise. By this, I mean starting with birdshot for the first round or two and escalating the loads such as #4 buck next, and finally 00 buck if the BG hasn't got the hint yet. There is only my wife and I here and our house was built in 1901 so the walls are sturdier(plaster and lath) than drywall. Our bedroom is situated on the second floor so that my wife would be behind me so over-penetration would be less of a problem.


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Old January 21, 2012, 12:25 PM   #2
Willie Lowman
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When I lived further out, I kept my shotgun loaded with birdshot first followed by buckshot. This wasn't to "give a bad guy a hint." It was because I was commonly dealing with raccoons, opossums, and stray dogs. I could fire birdshot at something on or near my porch with little worry of property damage. If the birdshot didn't work I had plenty of 00 buck behind it.

As for home defense, I'd stick with just buck. I'll bet most folks here will tell you the same thing.
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Old January 21, 2012, 12:29 PM   #3
1Hobie
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Thanks. I figured I'd throw the question out here. All of my experience is with handguns and rifles. Zippo with shotguns. BTW, I'm going to get some professional training in HD before I gear up for real.

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Old January 21, 2012, 12:37 PM   #4
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Skip the bird shot all together. 00 buck and slugs on stand by are the probably your best choice for versatility. I don't know where the idea of using bird shot came from, but it's a bit ridiculous. Mass is more important to penetration than speed and bird shot pellets are very small and do not penetrate well. Bird shot is unlikely to cause a determined attacker to be incapacitated as quickly as the heavier shot from 00 buck.

If you do not need to worry about over penetration, then just load up with 00 buck and keep a side saddle loaded with slugs and a speed reload if needed.

There are a lot of people that automatically suggest a shotgun for home defense based on some misconceptions. Watch the magpul dynamics shotgun dvd for a very good tutorial on how to use a shotgun in a defensive role and the ups and downs of it as a home defense weapon.
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Old January 21, 2012, 12:56 PM   #5
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I'm scared of the BG shooting me. I fear shooting him once and then he gets off a shot and maybe puts a round into my chest or femoral artery.

I definately don't believe in a shoot & wait & see approach.


Using a step up approach is like saying "I'm going to hurt the intruder a little, and then if he shoots me I'll hurt him a little more, if he shoots me a second time, then I'm get serious and put him down with buck shot"

I think the quality auto-loaders are as reliable as pumps now, and they are have a higher rate of fire for the average person using them.

If you can practice doing double taps with your SG then by all means do it.

BLAM BLAM - a single event, quickly with no decision making in between.

And I would use #1 Buck if possible, #0 would be my second choice.
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Old January 21, 2012, 02:40 PM   #6
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This is the kind of input I'm looking to obtain. Thanks for your time folks!
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Old January 21, 2012, 06:22 PM   #7
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I don't think having your first shot, or two being birdshot is wise.

Your first shot may be the only one you get.

Common sense dictates that the worst should be planned for. Its true that an HD shotgun will most likely never be needed. Its also true that most home intruders would flee at the sight of a firearm. Furthermore, most would likely quit or try to flee after being shot with any firearm.

Now we come to the worst case. There is hardly a day, or certainly a week that goes by that we don't here of home invasions by a gang of multiple intruders, or someone mentally ill, or high on drugs assaulting someone. These statistically rare, yet at the same time common types of criminals may require more than just intimidation, or a sever flesh wound to stop them.

Look at it this way, would you want a fire extinguisher filled with chemicals that didn't work as well as another type? Or in the event of a fire would you want the best available?

Now while a shotgun actually isn't as reliable at stopping aggressors as a fire extinguishers are at putting out fires. I think that most people agree that having it loaded with the most effective ammunition is the wise thing to do.
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Old January 21, 2012, 06:54 PM   #8
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All right! My defensive load out will be buck shot. No playing around. I'm going to get a shotgun in the near future. Just what yet I've not decided.

I'm going to get some training and work with the gun at the range to get a feel for it with the ammo that'll be in it at home.

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Old January 21, 2012, 07:59 PM   #9
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I think the Mossberg 930 SPX has to be one of the best - if not the best value for a home defense shotgun.

Almost everyone who has one says that they are reliable and they run like champs.

Depending on how you feel about ghost loading a round - they are either 8 or 9 rounds in a fairly compact package - 39" OAL.
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Old January 21, 2012, 08:37 PM   #10
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I have to agree, the 930 spx is a great deal on an semi auto defensive shotgun. I've handled the 590A1 SPX which is a pump and it's very nice. I especially like the ghost ring fiber optic sights, nicer than just a bead front.

I really think a semi-auto is better in a defensive role as most people can fire it more quickly than a pump. The extra little bit of recoil that a semi auto eats up cycling the action can make long training days much nicer as well. Put 100 rounds through your shotgun in a short time frame and it can get uncomfortable.
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Old January 21, 2012, 09:03 PM   #11
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Training means a lot, you will be more aware of the plus and minuses of using a shotgun in close quarters, and learn some really vital information for use in HD.
I still think one of the scariest sounds on earth is the slide of a 870 in the dark! It reminds me of the commercial where he say's "tell them you mean business"
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Old January 22, 2012, 07:57 PM   #12
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What's a warning shot?

My 12ga is a side by side double barrel. I use 00 buck in both chambers.
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Old January 22, 2012, 08:07 PM   #13
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I think a great defense shotgun would be one of the slam fires. Now thats a home defense shotgun!!
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Old January 22, 2012, 09:15 PM   #14
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Remington 870 with the extended magazine (or another brand with a similar design, e.g., Mossberg), loaded with #1 buckshot. IMHO the home defense shotgun must be loaded for any situation rather than a pattern of different loads implicitly (or explicitly) assuming a particular pattern of events in the use of the shotgun. I will not know, nor will I assume, the impact on the bad guy of his use of drugs or alcohol; his prior arrests, convictions, or incarcerations; the number of his cohorts in the current situation; etc.
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Old January 22, 2012, 09:50 PM   #15
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My 870 has 3 00 Buckshot Hornady TAP followed by 3 1oz slugs. No warnings if I legitimately fear for my life.
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Old January 23, 2012, 01:06 AM   #16
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I wouldn't use #6 bird shot.
But that's your call, if you buy the argument that pheasant shot is ok for home defense, then use it.

I don't see the point in moving to larger shot sizes if you think #6 is adequate.
And if you have buck shot as a back up to #6 because you think #6 might not be adequate then it's kinda silly using a suspect load in the first place.
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Old January 23, 2012, 01:55 AM   #17
1Hobie
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Buzzcook wrote: "I wouldn't use #6 bird shot.
But that's your call, if you buy the argument that pheasant shot is ok for home defense, then use it.

I don't see the point in moving to larger shot sizes if you think #6 is adequate.
And if you have buck shot as a back up to #6 because you think #6 might not be adequate then it's kinda silly using a suspect load in the first place."

I decided you're right about 8 posts ago.


"All right! My defensive load out will be buck shot. No playing around. I'm going to get a shotgun in the near future. Just what yet I've not decided.

I'm going to get some training and work with the gun at the range to get a feel for it with the ammo that'll be in it at home."


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Old January 23, 2012, 12:39 PM   #18
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The ICBM of shotshells: http://www.hornady.com/store/Slugs/
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Old January 23, 2012, 12:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
The ICBM of shotshells: http://www.hornady.com/store/Slugs/
Note that a rifled barrel is recommended. Probably wouldn't make much difference for HD. I use 00 buck in my 870.
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Old January 23, 2012, 01:26 PM   #20
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Yup it's a sabot slug meant for rifled barrels--I'm no expert but have used and immensely enjoyed my 870 for several years now--the folks at Remington told me the occasional rifled slug probably wouldn't hurt the smooth bore--just don't make a habit of it. I may be wrong--but the "use rifled barrel only" has more to do with accuracy/stability of the slug in flight than a potential catastrophic failure of the barrel itself. Interestingly, from what I've read it, sounds like it's actually worse to send conventional shot through a twist barrel than it is a slug through smooth bore. interesting reading http://theboxotruth.com/docs/bot46.htm

PS I put the ATI scorpion stock/buttpad on my 870--and I found it's great for reducing the shock loads--something to think about when firing loads with the force of an elephant gun or more.

Last edited by hangglider; January 23, 2012 at 03:55 PM.
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Old January 23, 2012, 01:52 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hangglider View Post
The ICBM of shotshells: http://www.hornady.com/store/Slugs/
That sucker is mean looking. I wish I didn't have a smooth bore,
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Old January 23, 2012, 02:05 PM   #22
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The Hornady SST is not a rifled slug; it is a sabot bullet similar to the Remington and is designed to be shot with a rifled barrel. As shown in the article, the sabot & bullet spin in the rifled barrel and the sabot separates from the bullet after exiting the muzzle. The spin stabilizes the bullet just like rifling in a center fire rifle stabilizes the bullet, thus making the bullet more accurate.
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Old January 23, 2012, 03:05 PM   #23
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Yup--my bad--it is a slug meant for rifled barrels--but not a rifled slug.
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Old January 23, 2012, 03:41 PM   #24
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1Hobie, glad you made a decision. Now go to the shotgun forum and get advise on a good shotgun.

My only input would be that shotgun shooting sports are real fun, so getting a shotgun that you can use in the field as well as at home is a good idea.
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Old January 23, 2012, 07:51 PM   #25
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If you decide on an auto, I can personally recommend the Mossberg 930 SPX as has been mentioned. It's my personal HD shotgun, when I'm at the north house. I keep it loaded with 00 buck, as I can't seem to find #1 buck anywhere. 00 buck in Rem/Win flavor is everywhere for 5 bucks or less, and they're great accurate loads in the SPX. It's action tames the recoil quite a bit, so quick follow-up shots are the norm. The stock is also adjustable for fit. You can also get longer 930 barrels for it, in case you want to play, and they are cheaper than other makes. It's quite a bargain.

In pumps, I would recommend the Remington 870 or the Mossberg 500. I don't have either, but their reputation is stellar.
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