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Old November 15, 2013, 07:46 PM   #1
leadcounsel
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Why I love the 12 ga.

I have much love for the 12 gauge for home defense.

In a few words, "devastation, affordable, easy, reliable and versatile."

Energy is awesome. A 00 shell has 9 pellets totaling 1.25 oz, instantly on target with the pull of a trigger. With minimal training you can get over 70 pellets on target in a few seconds. That's equivalent of a submachine gun with a mag change. And they can be topped off easily so you never run dry.

Cost. A nice home defense extended mag shotgun is around $400. Ammo is common and affordable. And reliability of an 870 or 500 is rarely questioned.

Anyone can learn a shotgun due to simple controls.

It is also versatile, able to use buck, slugs, and birdshot. You can blow a hole in a car engine block with a slug, hunt a deer, hunt fowl, and use for top tier home defense with the same shotgun.

I love the 12 gauge.
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Old November 16, 2013, 08:53 AM   #2
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Can't argue with that. My old Mossy sits beside my dresser as we speak. It's the welcome gift for the unwelcome.
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Old November 16, 2013, 12:50 PM   #3
BigD_in_FL
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Anyone can learn a shotgun due to simple controls.
There is a difference between learning to do something and actually doing it successfully, especially shooting a lot of harsh recoiling, retina-detatching, shoulder-separating heavy loads.

Especially true for small-statured folks, very young and very old ones.
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Old November 16, 2013, 03:50 PM   #4
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It is also versatile, able to use buck, slugs, and birdshot. You can blow a hole in a car engine block with a slug, hunt a deer, hunt fowl, and use for top tier home defense with the same shotgun.
...and according to our very own illustrious, well spoken VP Biden, the only thing you have to do is step out on your porch with it and all the BG's will run with fear.

Sorry, just couldn't resist.
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Old November 16, 2013, 10:45 PM   #5
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One of the strong points of the 12 gauge is that it can emulate a 16, 20, or 28gauge by simply utilizing 1, 7/8, and 3/4 once wads. Something BigD taught me. Even then it may shoot better since the heavier 12 gauge soaks up a lot more recoil than many sub gauges which are usually built on lighter frames.
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Old November 16, 2013, 10:56 PM   #6
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I agree that the 12ga is the best tool for home defense, especially if you have other people living in the house or live in an apartment. I have mine loaded with #4 Buckshot, still plenty lethal to stop a threat, but will not penetrate walls as much as 00 or a handgun round.

Last edited by Dragline45; November 16, 2013 at 11:09 PM.
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Old November 17, 2013, 01:10 AM   #7
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The 12 is good tool for home defense but not necessarily the best. Some think a pistol is better, but I don't want to get into that. My point is that for home defense I am not so sure that the better shotgun may be the 20 gauge. Especially if the family has only one weapon and the little woman may be using the one shotgun.
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Old November 17, 2013, 01:28 AM   #8
340 Weatherby
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I do better with a pocket full of rocks than a pistol. But if I can just get the bad guy to try to fly.
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Old November 17, 2013, 03:49 PM   #9
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Buck shot, especially 00 will penetrate walls more easily than a 223 or 9mm. Many folks like something easier on the shoulder than a 12 with 00 buck and both the handgun and AR deliver in that regard. I can use a 33 round mag for my 9mm Glock or a 30 rounder for an AR - and the AR has so little reocil, a 9 year old can fire it.

What the 12 pump has going for it is cost - it is cheap - but it is not the best for any one thing - it is a jack-of-all-trades and a master-of-none, but merely a compromise.

An AR is a better high capacity shoulder weapon, the pistol for a hand held; the gas semi for a waterfowl gun, the O/U for targets and the SxS for upland; so while enjoy and revel in your choice, just realize you are making a compromise in every situation in order to go with one inexpensive gun. It isn't that a 12 pump can't do the job in the hands of a trained person, but it is not the best choice in any of the above situations and requires a lot of training to make it work for any of them
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Old November 17, 2013, 07:27 PM   #10
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Buck shot, especially 00 will penetrate walls more easily than a 223 or 9mm.
Every test I have seen has shown just the opposite for 9mm. I use #4 buckshot for home defense, penetrates less than 00 and especially 9mm, but still lethal. The shape of a jacketed round and the harder jacket allows the 9mm to penetrate farther than the round lead buckshot.

Last edited by Dragline45; November 17, 2013 at 07:32 PM.
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Old November 17, 2013, 07:33 PM   #11
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Every published test I have seen shows 00 going through the walls while the 223 disintegrates on impact with the drywall/studs/siding
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Old November 17, 2013, 07:38 PM   #12
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Not sure if you saw but I edited my post to say 9mm specifically. I agree, the majority of the time .223 will fragment which is what the round is expected to do. But 9mm and other handgun rounds have been shown to penetrate dry wall more than buckshot. And you are right, 00 buckshot will still penetrate dry wall pretty easily, which is why I stick to #4 buckshot for in the home.
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Old November 17, 2013, 07:52 PM   #13
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Agreed. The semi autos are even more badass.
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Old November 18, 2013, 01:11 PM   #14
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What the 12 pump has going for it is cost - it is cheap - but it is not the best for any one thing - it is a jack-of-all-trades and a master-of-none, but merely a compromise.

An AR is a better high capacity shoulder weapon, the pistol for a hand held; the gas semi for a waterfowl gun, the O/U for targets and the SxS for upland; so while enjoy and revel in your choice, just realize you are making a compromise in every situation in order to go with one inexpensive gun. It isn't that a 12 pump can't do the job in the hands of a trained person, but it is not the best choice in any of the above situations and requires a lot of training to make it work for any of them
I would argue that the an AR chambered in .223 isn't best for one thing except varmint hunting, and I would never think of a 12g as a compromise for a short range defense weapon. The .223 is an inadequate round that only fell into favor because of the ability to carry more rounds on person and in a magazine specifically for the military, anything the .223 does, a .308 round can do a whole lot better. The AR has also proven in the military to be an awful short range weapon for clearing houses. As far as a 12g for home defense, I still say a short barreled 12g is a better home defense weapon than an AR, and I don't buy that you need an excessive amount of training to use a 12g where you wouldn't with an AR. If small, light, fast, fragmenting ammunition is your thing, go with an AR in .223, but I will stick to a 12g for short range home defense applications and .308 for mid to long rage.
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Old November 18, 2013, 04:54 PM   #15
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Don't get me wrong - I am not saying the 12 is a bad choice, only that the use of the pump over other platforms is a compromise for absolute premium performance. many folks can run the pump very effectively after a lot of practice but most practice does not involve life and death scenarios with real stress and that is when Mr. Murphy typically shows up at the party. Add in that many times someone other than the main user needs to use it under those less than ideal conditions, and short-shucking and other maladies can arise. #4 - 0 buck can be just as effective and in a semi or even a SxS can be used very well by folks with less training
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Old November 18, 2013, 09:30 PM   #16
Dreaming100Straight
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I do better with a pocket full of rocks than a pistol. But if I can just get the bad guy to try to fly.
That is really convenient when you have a head full of rocks.
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Old November 18, 2013, 09:54 PM   #17
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I think BigD has some very valid points. There is no perfect one size fits all home defense weapon. I think the 12 is a good HD weapon and have a pump, but thing the semi is a better weapon for the family. Perhaps for me as I only have been subjected to the stress of close quarter combat on a couple of occasions long ago and with age do not know how I will react. Were I to get an HD weapon knowing what I have learned in the past couple of years, and if it was going to be the only household gun, it would be a 12 gauge semi and I would stoke it with 7/8 ounce loads of #4 BS.
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Old November 19, 2013, 12:55 AM   #18
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20's do not kick less

20 gauge does not "kick less" than a 12. In fact they often "kick more"

It's all about the payload. A one ounce load in a 20 gauge will have more kick than a 12 gauge with a one ounce load.

I am speaking of felt or perceived recoil. The 20 gauge is usually a lighter weight gun. Thus pushing the same weight projectile, at the same velocity the 20 will "kick harder" than the 12.

The most effective and least expensive way to tame recoil is the weight of the gun. A 12 gauge for trap might weigh 9.5 or even 10 Lbs. Trap shooters will often shoot 200 rounds a day or more. The heavy gun really helps manage the recoil.
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Old November 19, 2013, 04:51 AM   #19
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lots of different recoil pads that will take the double edge lethality of a shotgun. I fitted my mossbergs with limbsaver pads no more bruises. just wish I never fired my ati collapsible stock from the stock pistol grip screwing up my right hand for rest of my life. took a power sander to that grip and fixed it.

12ga is nice jack of all trades be it slug,buckshot and birdshot or homemade rocksalt loads.
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Old November 19, 2013, 05:11 AM   #20
Dreaming100Straight
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You are likely right, Ricklin. I was thinking that a 20 standard payload isn't an ounce gut 7/8 and while I have a reloader and can load 12 gauge shotshells with 1-1/8, 1, 7/8, or 3/4 ounces of shot so as to mimic a 12, 16, 20, or 28 gauge, many one gun families don't have reloading equipment. In that case, they may be better off with a 20 - depending on the 20 and I should have clarified that first post of mine.

While a 20 gauge manufactured on a lighter frame than a 12 may have more felt recoil, I understand that some 20 gauges have 12 gauge frames. There are also ways to add weight to a gun.

Another factor is fit. A better fitting gun will lessen perceived recoil. There are some lady's guns out there as well as youth or bantam's that may only come in 20 gauge.

I should also have added that if the budget allows, it may be best if the family's single gun is a semi-automatic in which recoil is pretty well tamed.

But I agree that given the ability to reload ammo the 112 would generally be preferred.

Mr.Apathy, So true. I have my clays gun at the smith's for a Limbsaver even now and a SuperCell sure helped to tame my 870. Good night.
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Old November 19, 2013, 07:33 AM   #21
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A shotgun is one tool in the toolbox. Used within its limitations it is an acceptable defensive weapon. It is also the most over rated weapon with many, many negatives. It's advantages are overblown and people are way too much influenced by what they have seen on TV and movies.

It's only real advantage is that it is the least expensive tool that provides an acceptable level of protection And with AR prices dropping like they are that gap is shrinking rapidly. The shotgun is all but obsolete in LE and military now and losing ground rapidly among the general population for good reason.
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Old November 19, 2013, 10:05 AM   #22
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I'm kinda surprised by how many people would prefer an AR over a 12 gauge. I think people may be thinking as an overall defensive weapon, in which I may agree an AR is better. For home defense (I.E. Within the walls of my house) I could not see anything being better than a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with 00 Buck.

First, penetration. People always go to this but let's face it. If it won't penetrate a wall, it won't penetrate a bad guy.

Second, reliability. This is unlikely but if Murphy shows up, I'd trust a pump shotgun over ANY semiauto, be it AR, AK, etc. Pumps are just dead nuts reliable.

Finally, let's think about what is most likely to happen during a "home invasion". Most likely it's dark, the bad guy is unfamiliar with his surroundings and you know them well. He's most likely trying to stay hidden. When you do see him, it's most likely to be at a distance of 25 feet or less. At this range, even with just a knife, he is very dangerous. You have a short amount of time to STOP him. I don't care if it kills him, I want to STOP him. If I shoot him and he still has time to stab me, mission failed. So let's say I have time to make one clean shot. No contest as to which is more deadly at this range. I know, I know, follow up shots, blah blah blah. Try firing a weapon as loud and with as much flash as an AR in a dark house and see how many follow up shots you can get WITHOUT spraying bullets. Probably none I suspect.

Long rant, here's a summary: I want to make my first shot count the most. A 12 gauge simply delivers more per shot than a rifle.

All the other factors, such as lower cost, are just a bonus of the shotgun.
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Old November 19, 2013, 11:10 AM   #23
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I want to make my first shot count the most. A 12 gauge simply delivers more per shot than a rifle
I agree with this statement.

Shotguns also have an inherently higher hit probability per round fired.
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Old November 19, 2013, 11:12 AM   #24
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And with AR prices dropping like they are that gap is shrinking rapidly.
Quote:
The shotgun is all but obsolete in LE and military now and losing ground rapidly among the general population for good reason

jmr40,

With respect...Do you have any facts supporting these claims?

Not saying there are not people opting for the AR over the shotgun for HD, cause there is, just like people that have always preferred a pistol over an AR or a shotgun, but I'd have to see some data to support the claim that the 'gap' of the AR being chosen over the shotgun for HD is currently shrinking compared to what it has always been.


Too, as in Vietnam, when a recon unit was moving through the jungle, especially at night, and the 'point man' was usually carrying a shotgun, aren't many of the military units currently clearing houses in various countries have at least one member of the unit carrying a shotgun?

I ask this cause a nephew of my ex carried a shotgun while making these sweeps through houses in Iraq and Afghanistan and claims most of the units had one or two members armed with shotguns as well.

Far as LE goes, knowing a few LEO's on special units, I would miss my guess if I were to say the shotgun(in many situation such as raids on homes) has lost its popularity.

For those claiming the pump shotgun 'never breaks' and is always more reliable then the semi...well, some research may be needed. Pumps DO break!

And, more then not, failure due to short shucking and not an actual breakage will leave you standing there with a nice club.

As far as speed when comparing the pump-v-semi. No question about it, the semi is faster. That only means something when we can hit the target for as fast as we can pull the trigger under life threatening conditions.
The very reason our old friend, the very wise, late Dave McCracken's fav. response when asked "what can I put on my HD shotgun to make it more effective ?"... response from Dave "wear marks".

Last edited by shortwave; November 19, 2013 at 12:20 PM.
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Old November 19, 2013, 01:35 PM   #25
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A shotgun is one tool in the toolbox. Used within its limitations it is an acceptable defensive weapon. It is also the most over rated weapon with many, many negatives. It's advantages are overblown and people are way too much influenced by what they have seen on TV and movies.
Are you sure your not confusing your statement with the AR? If anything, the AR is the most overrated weapon, with many negatives, with its advantages overblown and influenced by what people see on TV. The .223 is a mediocre round that fell into favor due to the ability to carry more ammunition on person, it's a varmint round in my opinion. The AR-15 has proven in military use to be awful for clearing houses, it's awful at long ranges, and it lacks penetration and barrier penetration when needed. Rounds that fragment when they hit there target is not something I am interested in. Like I said before, for close range home defense use give me a 12g, for mid to long range self defense use, give me a rifle in .308 like the M14/M1A. Overall, I think the .223 round sucks, and saying that military and LE use it is a bad argument. The people who are in charge of selecting weapons and ammunition for agencies usually aren't qualified to be making those decisions.

Quote:
The shotgun is all but obsolete in LE and military now and losing ground rapidly among the general population for good reason.
This is a false statement.
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