View Full Version : 20 gauge defensive load recommendations

March 18, 2006, 04:34 PM
OK< the point of this thread is not to discuss whether or not a 20 is adequate for HD. It's not to convert me to 12 ga. (I have 3). I t is a question about 20 gauge for my wife.

I purchased a 20 gauge for my wife because she is interested in going deer hunting this year (YES!). I am glad she is interested because it means she will be interested in shooting, which will improve technique...etc. Actually, when I came home with the gun, she was genuinely excited!! THat is definately good!

Anyway, since I have a shotgun now that she is comfortable with I want to pick up some defensive ammo for her. I believe that in a home defensive situation, a shotgun is much better then a pistol (if available). Anyway, I have lots of 00 buck in twelve, but cannot find any 00 in 20 gauge. I found some 00 and 000 in .410, but the best I can find in 20 is #3. Will this be enough? I don't want to use slugs because of overpenetration issues (my sister lives next door).

Any recommendations for brand and shell?

Dave McC
March 18, 2006, 06:01 PM
Most buck for the 20 gauge is #3. There are some #2 loads, but they're scarce.

A 20 gauge loaded with 3s is an excellent weapon in trained, capable hands.....

Death from Afar
March 18, 2006, 06:41 PM
Pattern the gun and see what it likes. YOu might have a better pattern with BB's.

March 18, 2006, 09:16 PM

March 19, 2006, 04:58 PM
I like #4 Buck in my 12ga. hpg

March 19, 2006, 06:27 PM
My wife is a big 20g fan. She shoots light loads, even for the 20g. She shoots 12g too, but it throws off her meter.

For home defense she goes with "bird shot" but I think she has or has considered #3.


gordo b.
March 19, 2006, 11:33 PM
My wife's HD gun is an Ithaca 37 ultra light Deer Slayer. I keep it 'cruiser ready' with Federal plated #2 3" buck. That load kicks in a less that 6 pound gun, but I'm sure she wouldn't notice it if she had to use it!


March 21, 2006, 01:57 AM
Someone has got to make #1, 0, or 00 buck in the 20 gauge, right?!

that would be my choice

March 21, 2006, 02:33 AM
Just for you info, I read on a post a while back that even 4 buckshot will go through a number of walls. There were some tests done, some what less than scientific but just the same, it will go through the wall and room behind that wall at least.