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Old August 11, 2012, 04:38 PM   #1
jok3r_65
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Best type of home defense shells?

I'm buying a 12 gauge Mossberg 500 next week for home defense. I've been looking around but can't seem to decide what type of ammunition would be best to use. I live in an apartment complex so I was looking for something that wouldn't penetrate the walls (birdshot?). I also read around that 00 buckshot was good but might be too much in an apartment. This will be my first gun and not really sure what would be best. Thanks!
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Old August 11, 2012, 04:53 PM   #2
TimW77
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#4 Buck...

Since you "own" each and every pellet, over penetration and what happens to any pellets that miss is especially critical in an apartment.

You should easily be able to justify shooting an intruder in your residence but you can never justify hitting a bystander an apartment or two from you.

Under penetration is also a concern any time bird shot is used.

Many years ago a friend and I did our own testing... Various sizes of pellets and buckshot and slugs into 4'X4' sheets of thin wallboard on a 2"x4" frame. From that testing we both went to #4 Buckshot instead of "0", "00" or "000" buckshot or slugs of "combo" loads.

T.

Last edited by TimW77; August 12, 2012 at 07:51 PM.
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Old August 11, 2012, 09:18 PM   #3
output
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I have read that in all shotshell loads, #1 buckshot produces more potentially effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck.

Also, #1 buck is less likely to over-penetrate and exit an attacker's body. For home defense applications a standard velocity 2¾-inch #1 buck shotshell (16 pellet payload) from Federal, Remington or Winchester is most likely your best choice.
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Old August 12, 2012, 12:12 AM   #4
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If you need more info on your Mossberg 500, the guys over at the Mossberg Owners forum can help you along.
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Old August 12, 2012, 08:01 AM   #5
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I recently acquired a 500 Slugster. Bought 3 inch Remington magnum hollow point 1 ounce Sabot slugs for hunting. And bought 3 inch 1 1/4 ounce Federal rifled slugs for home defense. My gun has a rifled barrel and a wood stock. Yesterday I got a 6 shell side saddle and I have a 5 shell holder on the stock. I know I'll have to trim a little to make the forarm clear the side saddle, but it's worth it.
My other home defense shotgun is a Stoeger Condor. I have a shell holder on the stock and I keep Federal 000 2 3/4 for it.
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Old August 12, 2012, 08:46 AM   #6
ClydeFrog
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12ga defense loads, tactical rounds...

If it were me, I'd load a home defense or protection 12ga with a "tactical" brand from Federal, Winchester, Remington, etc.
Most of the major ammunition factories sell LE grade 12ga ammunition to the private sector.
These 12ga loads have low flash, low recoil and enough power to aid you in a violent attack(home defense event).

I'm not a huge fan in general of 12ga shotguns as defense weapons but if I owned a 12ga, I'd load it with some SWAT/LE type ammunition.

CF
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Old August 12, 2012, 09:09 AM   #7
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If you live in an apartment you best hit your target as you have few, if any, good lines of fire. I might consider "birdshot" as it probably won't kill anybody, including the bad guy, but will probably stop the fight. If you move, the #4 buckshot would be the minimum and #1 buckshot (harder to find) would be perfect. Low recoil 00 buckshot is always a good choice.
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Old August 12, 2012, 02:45 PM   #8
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I was just engaged in one of these discussions a few days ago. I use(d) a common light/medium load of birdshot since the shotgun is kept handy for other varmints besides a home invader. At across the room ranges, the load of shot is a loose lump about the size of your fist traveling at 1100+fps. Unless your badguy is wearing body armor, he's going to be injured seriously if not fatally.
I've seen a light load of #6 blow a hole right through an injured cow's skull @ 10' and #4 HV "duck loads" fully penetrate a deer's ribcage and stop under the skin on the far side @ 10 yards.
I don't follow the logic of using heavy recoiling shotgun ammo for confined spaces. All it does is slow down repeat/follow up shots.
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Old August 17, 2012, 09:07 AM   #9
Colonel Custer
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Most apartment walls are drywall so...

number 8 buck shot or light fowl buck shot is more than sufficient for home defence in an appartment. Honestly if you're buying a pump the racking sound will send most burglars away in a panic. As a non-lethal option you can buy bean bag rounds which hurt alot, or go to a gun smith and have a few rocksalt rounds made. Most people pause after a deafening boom and a feeling of impact.
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Well I guess I will sleep with a chainsaw next to my bed. Not the same as a gun but I figure the sound of it revving up will be as effective as a pump shot gun being cycled.
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Old August 17, 2012, 10:32 AM   #10
NickySantoro
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Some interesting information here...

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot56.htm

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot14.htm
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Old August 17, 2012, 05:58 PM   #11
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If you need to fire a gun to defend yourself, using nonlethal force is questionable.
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Old August 17, 2012, 06:30 PM   #12
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Always a never ending conversation with same varied opinions.

Truth is that as pellet size decreases along with the danger to innocent bystanders, so does the effectiveness of the load (except very close range).

You can increase safety all the way to using bean bag, if you want. In the end, we make our choice and sit down.
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Old August 17, 2012, 08:31 PM   #13
jok3r_65
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Thank you for all your replies. I decided that since I live in a small apartment with a neighbor across the hall (and a very short hallway leading to the front door) I will go with birdshot. If it weren't for my neighbor or the shortness of my hallway, I would definitely go with 00 buck (which I bought anyway, just in case).

I have no problem taking an intruder's life (he decided to put it on the line the second he enters that door). I definitely wouldn't use any kind of nonlethal force. But I definitely don't want to risk the lives of anyone else. Thanks again to everyone.
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Old August 17, 2012, 08:58 PM   #14
Scott429
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go to your local store purchace the inexpensive shells, 7 1/2 or 8 shot take a piece of 1/2" plywood 7 paces you will see at room distances it is for the most part still a slug. center mass an intruder will end his or her life of crime rather swiftly. it will penetrate a wall if you miss, but not three. 00 will penetrate many walls befor it runs out of steam. if you do the test wear safety glasses some will bounce back. (words of experience)
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Old August 18, 2012, 06:37 PM   #15
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"Honestly if you're buying a pump the racking sound will send most burglars away in a panic."

Walk into a gunfight with an EMPTY gun? Ridiculous...

T.
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Old August 18, 2012, 07:50 PM   #16
lefteye
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This link has been posted several times; it should be required reading for all of us who rely on a shotgun for home defense:

http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs10.htm
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Old August 18, 2012, 09:09 PM   #17
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Search previous posts for interesting perspectives on birdshot, buckshot & slugs for home defense. Lots of good points are brought up from both sides of the fence. I use #6 birdshot myself.
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Old August 19, 2012, 06:34 AM   #18
Nnobby45
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Quote:
"Honestly if you're buying a pump the racking sound will send most burglars away in a panic."
Right, they'll probably pee their pants on their way out. No worries at all that your racking the slide could be met with instant gunfire. We should remember that all criminals are wimps, none have ever been in gunfights, none know what it's like to be shot, the concept of fighting back is foreign to them, and none could bring themselves to kill another human being.

So, rack the slide, let them know where you are, and watch the fun as they bump into each other as they skedaddle. It's a complete myth that prison is a tough place full of tough men, and that most of whom will be back on the street at some point, and lots of them already are.

Last edited by Nnobby45; August 19, 2012 at 06:42 AM.
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Old August 19, 2012, 07:06 AM   #19
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I'm considering using Polywad Quik-Shok slugs. They are 2 3/4 inch, 1 1/8 oz, .68 caliber Sabot slugs. And they are made to expand to where they fragment into 3 pieces. Although they are for hunting, they are designed to reduce over penetration. They come at a pretty reasonable price too.
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Old August 19, 2012, 07:29 AM   #20
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00 Buckshot in your choice of manufacturer is my suggestion.
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Old August 19, 2012, 07:38 AM   #21
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12ga defense/skill training...

As I've posted before in other forum topics, I'm not a huge fan of shotguns or patrol rifles as defense weapons-home protection.
If you choose to load a pump 12ga or use a shotgun for protection, be ready to deal with the constraints or conditions that come with it.
Learn how to move & fire or operate in a CQB(close quarters battle) event.
There are a few useful DVDs & printed manuals that are open source; www.gunvideo.com www.paladin-press.com .
Weapon retention & speed reloading may help too. Some courses are available from top instructors if you have the time-$ for it.

Be ready to quickly deal with a violent attack, home defense incident. Know your LE patrol zone or area to relay to the 911 call center if needed. Have a alarm system or security alert if possible to grant you the time to respond or face a house-breaker. To have first-aid supplies, handcuffs-restraints, etc ready is smart too. If the subject is wounded & you can safely provide aid, you won't look like a blood-thristy nutcase who showed no concern.
This may seem extreme but I've seen many media & legal cases where property owners-apt rentors were unfairly critized.

CF
ps; Don't fire warning shots! That is Hollywood BS. Be ready to use lethal force in a prudent manner or don't use a firearm at all.
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Old August 19, 2012, 08:38 PM   #22
Nnobby45
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Quote:
As I've posted before in other forum topics, I'm not a huge fan of shotguns or patrol rifles as defense weapons-home protection.
Why do some speak as though it's a choice between pistol, rifle, or shotgun?

The pistol for most situations, because it's readily accessible. But the shotgun or rifle when time permits, and/or in situations where, for example, one is barricaded in the safe room guarding the door. Or upstairs, guarding the stairs, or.........well, a number of other situations as well.

Ayoob referred to the pistol as infantry, and the shotgun as artillery. There's a tactical advantage for using the proper one at the appropriate time.

And yes, the first weapon I'd obtain for home defense would be the pistol.
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Old August 19, 2012, 08:47 PM   #23
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I keep an 870 with a forend light next to my bedstand, the first round is Federal #4 buck, the next 6 rounds are Hornady TAP 00. While there are several arguments against mixed loads, my reasoning is this: I live in a townhouse so I do not want any over penetration. If the #4 Buck for whatever reason fails to stop the threat, I will have at least been able to maneuver myself into a position with good enough geometry to be able to engage with the 00 and not have to worry about penetrating walls.
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Old August 19, 2012, 11:38 PM   #24
TimW77
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"Ayoob referred to the pistol as...
And yes, the first weapon I'd obtain for home defense would be the pistol."

And as many others have said, the handgun is what you use until you can get to something BETTER!!!

Why not just start with "better?

T.
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Old August 20, 2012, 09:41 AM   #25
ClydeFrog
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CQB, ranges, shotguns-rifles...

I'm not against 12ga shotguns per se, I just think they have a limited use in some home defense environments.
An apt, townhouse or condo will be a "close quarters" area. In the stress & chaos of a break-in(mostly during low light hours/early AM), could you safely handle a full size pump shotgun, a white light, a cell phone, etc.
Also consider you may need to open doors, hold rails, pull drapes-blinds.
A rifle or shotgun is a useful defense tool but to me, it's not always the "best" choice.
A tactics-defense instructor online also displayed several simple ways a home owner/apt dweller could be quickly disarm of a long gun(rifle-12ga).
A shotgun is also loud, has recoil & blast. A smaller handgun does too but not at the same level.

CF
ps; if you do plan to buy a new model 500 pump 12ga, I'd get a Knoxx recoil reducer stock. Many US police & security agencies issue Knoxx stocks for duty shotguns. See; www.Blackhawk.com .
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