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Old May 18, 2013, 07:12 AM   #1
psyfly
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Home Defense in 20ga.: SxS vs Pump?

So, I spend quite a bit of time in an apartment (due to job being away from primary home) and concern about penetration leads me to the 20ga. for defense.

Would like a discussion on pros and cons of my SxS Rossi 20 gauge Coach gun vs. my newly-acquired 20 gauge Mossberg 510 pump purely for defensive use.

I'm curious if the pump (total 4-round capacity) is significantly superior to the SxS in reloading speed. Counter to that is that is, in most cases, I suspect, reloading will not be necessary anyway. In addition, I can reload the Rossi pretty quickly already and with a little practice...

I like them both, but would like to include the issue, in addition to pure utility, of intimidation factor. I would be absolutely prepared to shoot if necessary but would be happy as could be to have an intruder turn and run away.

And, for intimidation factor, do not consider the racking of the 510; it will be already conditon 1.

Thanks,

Will
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Old May 18, 2013, 07:24 AM   #2
Alabama Shooter
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Given those two choices the pump is better. You can also get a magazine extension for the 510 and increase the capacity to whatever your barrel length is making reloading less an issue. If you are still worried about reloading at that point you can make easier on board storage with the pump than with the SXS.
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Old May 18, 2013, 07:45 AM   #3
Newton24b
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in the end, neither is going to be ultimately superior.

yes, the pump can be faster but, it requires proper usage skills. cant short stroke it at all, its more prone to mechanical linkage failure and jams. ive never seen a sxs jam when you have to "MAKE" the shot on game, but im always running into people whos pump failed at the one second it shouldnt be able to.

and 20 guage isnt any better then a 12 guage. it all comes down to what your using. iv had GOOD brands of 12 guage 00 that couldnt penetrate a maytag box at 20 yards. but at the same range i had bird shot rounds from a 22lr go through
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Old May 18, 2013, 08:03 AM   #4
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The SXS is going to be shorter overall assuming both have equal barrel lengths which could be a factor in confined spaces. With a lot of practice reloading, and if you happen to have extra shells in you hand, the SXS is going to be faster for more than 4. At least in theory.

In actual practice you will probably only get a chance to use the ammo in your gun. I'd prefer a short barreled semi, or pump in that order of preference.
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Old May 18, 2013, 10:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
iv had GOOD brands of 12 gauge 00 that couldn't penetrate a maytag box at 20 yards. but at the same range i had bird shot rounds from a 22lr go through


Quote:
In actual practice you will probably only get a chance to use the ammo in your gun.
This most likely.
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Old May 18, 2013, 11:19 AM   #6
Doug S
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Having recently gone through the same decision making process, I went with the pump...

more rounds, faster (after the first two), will hold up better to heavy usage and practice. Still I like a nice double, and wouldn't feel badly armed with one for HD.
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Old May 18, 2013, 11:33 AM   #7
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I like SxS. They both have pro's and cons. I think one of the bigger pros of the SxS is that you don't need to pump it. You can effectively do a "double tap" with a SxS assuming you can handle the shotgun. The pump has the edge on ammo capacity but both can probably be loaded equally as fast. The SxS could theoretically be faster if you can grab two shells at once and load both barrels simultaneously, it probably ends up slightly faster than individually feeding shells to a pump.

You can also have different choke settings on each barrel of a SxS. You can have your first shot with a full choke and have it group tight, while the second shot can have a much wider spread. It's up to the owner, and having the ability to customize each barrel can be an advantage.
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Old May 18, 2013, 12:55 PM   #8
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A lightweight semi-auto such as a Remingtron 11-87 or 1100 wirth an 18 inch barreli is an order of magnutude superior to either.

My personal preference is the Benelli M-4 but it's quirte expensive.
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Old May 18, 2013, 01:09 PM   #9
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Pump is better. I have Browning BSS in 20 ga. and would use it for HD but it has 28" barrels and I'm not about to go cutting on it! Still a pump will have more capacity and for all practical purposes just as much reliability with more ammo capacity.
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Old May 18, 2013, 07:27 PM   #10
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Not a fan of long barreled anything for inside the home defense. Much prefer a handgun that can be kept close and out of sight. In the OP's case, to me it's either or.
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Old May 18, 2013, 08:19 PM   #11
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This hasn't gone in the direction of tactics, so it's making a trip to the shotgun forum...
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Old May 19, 2013, 09:42 AM   #12
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I use 20 gauge exclusively at this time for HD duty...

And I have a SXS and a 500 Mossberg...

I load the Mossberg for HD and for light duty perimeter defense (dang feral cats) the double gun has a pair of birdshot rounds and is in the closet corner action open with shells resting on the action...

Brent
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Old May 19, 2013, 10:06 AM   #13
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Buck shot in a shotgun, regardless of bore size, WILL penetrate walls - since that was a concern, you might be better off with a different gun, or using different ammo
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Old May 19, 2013, 12:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Buck shot in a shotgun, regardless of bore size, WILL penetrate walls - since that was a concern, you might be better off with a different gun, or using different ammo
This is true. If you want minimal penetration you want lighter shot. Personally I don't worry about "over penetration" A miss could just as easily hurt a bystander. When shooting one of the rules is muzzle awareness and knowing what's behind your target.
a .177 pellet with less than 20ft/lbs of energy can easily penetrate a "wall." (Drywall, internal doors.)
I've shot a pellet through a wood door and it had enough energy to hit a wood cabinet, make a nice dent, and then ricochet 3 more times around the room. It's not hard to punch through the inside of house. I've even shot .68 caliber paintballs through drywall.
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Old May 19, 2013, 02:23 PM   #15
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maytag box, the cardboard box that your brand new maytag washer/dryer comes in form the factory. leaned it up against the woodpile and unloaded a few rounds of 00 buck on it, 20 guage 870. 00 buck just dimpled it, when it hit against a piece of log it would dent the cardboard and the log underneath.

22lr ratshot loads cci and federal, same range same day, same wether, same chandler wobble, i could actually get them to embed in the cardboard and some actually went through

thats why i use 30-30 instead
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Old May 19, 2013, 03:47 PM   #16
CurlyQ.Howard
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Newton24b, What was the distance for this dimpling (I'm surprised/amazed at your results- not that I ever intend to use a shotgun for HD)? Thanks.
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Old May 19, 2013, 05:37 PM   #17
BigD_in_FL
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.22 ratshot is made form #12 shot, aka "dust" - it might penetrate a piece of paper at 9 feet
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Old May 19, 2013, 06:03 PM   #18
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Personally I do not recommend a shotgun for home defense and neither do many of the modern gun experts. With the availability of high capacity handguns with rails to mount lights and lasers, a shotgun's drawbacks sometimes outweighs its benefits. Try to open a door, dial a phone, turn on a light switch, hold someone at gun point, etc. with a weapon that requires two hand to hold.

If you load it properly for defense you will be dealing with not just one errant bullet that will penetrate walls but up to 9 .36 caliber ones that also penetrate wallboard. A shotgun in the hands of a trained individual can be a good thing but most will never be trained and learn how not to enter a room barrel first and lots of other stuff that you cannot learn just by reading about it. Try quickly spinning around to face the other direction when near a wall and find out that you hit it. I walked my last house with a shotgun and found many places where I could not maneuver well with a shotgun. However, it is your life to do with as you please.

As to your question of which one. I am partial to a side by side or over and under. I used to be a range/safety officer who checked out new guys looking to compete in shotgun action shooting. Saw too many forget to rack the slide after the first shot when under pressure. You can do it a hundred times at home or at the range but it is always different when you do it under stress, especially after the loud bang startles you like you never have been startled before. Heck it happens at skeet and sporting clay events often enough to know that it is something to be aware of. Of course there is always the chance that a pump can jam. I had that happen to me a few times during some shooting events. There is also short stroking a pump which those not used to shooting under stress do sometimes. A sxs or o/u is more foolproof. The drawback of course is only two shots so we are back to why a handgun is better.
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Old May 20, 2013, 01:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
maytag box, the cardboard box that your brand new maytag washer/dryer comes in form the factory. leaned it up against the woodpile and unloaded a few rounds of 00 buck on it, 20 guage 870. 00 buck just dimpled it, when it hit against a piece of log it would dent the cardboard and the log underneath.

22lr ratshot loads cci and federal, same range same day, same wether, same chandler wobble, i could actually get them to embed in the cardboard and some actually went through

thats why i use 30-30 instead
Considering that nobody loads 20 ga 00 buckshot, I'm going to remain skeptical on this one.

That chandler wobble is a bear to deal with.
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Old May 21, 2013, 02:05 AM   #20
psyfly
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Thanks for the responses, all.

I was hoping for a tactical slant on responses and was trying to get some opinions on difference in deployability and deterrence effect, if any, between the two platforms.

FWIW, the pump is (a little bit) lighter and the SxS is (a little bit) shorter.

I'm not the least bit interested in holding someone at gunpoint for any appreciable length of time. Home invasion acceptable outcomes for me are, pretty much in order of acceptability: 1) Invader departed, 2) Invader shot and departed, 3) Invader shot and awaiting police and EMS. IMO, holding someone "at gunpoint" involves more risk than I want to assume for all kinds of bad outcome.

A little clarification:

The apartment in question is, literally, two rooms and a bath: A living-dining-kitchen area/room with the only door to the outside and a bedroom with attached bath. Therefore:
a.) If I'm anywhere in the living area, then penetration isn't much issue: The BG is coming through the front door and a .44 caliber handgun is the likely response choice.
b.) If I'm in the bedroom, then I'm concerned about the nice lady whose bedroom is through the flimsy apartment wall of my living area. No way am I using Buckshot of any size (and I'm not soliciting advice about my load of choice, thanks).

The question is one of immediate and rapid response; if I have need for longer term resistance, there's a Mossberg 12 gauge in the closet, among other things. I must admit, as well, that I'm interested in hearing how to deal with chandler wobble.

Thanks, again.

Will
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Last edited by psyfly; May 21, 2013 at 02:17 AM.
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Old May 22, 2013, 12:35 AM   #21
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I like a Mossberg 500, with proper training and the correct for task loads either a Pump or Double barrel will do the job if the shooter holds up their end of the deal.
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Old May 22, 2013, 11:10 PM   #22
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This would work!

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Old May 22, 2013, 11:24 PM   #23
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I have a Rossi Coach Gun, 12 gauge, handles nicely-just remember to cock the hammers.
I think we have gotten so obsessed with power and magnum loads that we forget that at close range-say 12 feet-bird and skeet shot can be pretty effective and minimizes penetration.
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Old June 23, 2013, 04:42 PM   #24
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At the young and tender ages of 64 & 63 respectively, the wife & I have two dedicated 20ga shotguns for home defense. Her's is a Remington® SPR220 (baikal® IZH-43) SxS. She keeps it loaded with Remington® 2¾" #3 Buckshot (#SP 20 3BK). On my side is a Mossberg® Mdl 500c loaded w/Federal® Power-Shok® 3" Mag #2 Buckshot (#F207 2B). We fear no man or beast while so armed.
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Old June 26, 2013, 11:33 AM   #25
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What you have in the closet has little to do with a "rapid and immediate response" imo.
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