View Full Version : #3 buck 20 gauge spread pattern ?

April 5, 2006, 07:29 AM
I have minimal experience with shotguns. Having inhereted a 20 gauge pump, I have loaded it with #3 buckshot for home defense. At home defense ranges, what pattern of spread am I looking at for a 28" full choke barrel? Should I cut the barrel down to open the choke? Does it matter?

April 8, 2006, 02:43 PM
Good question, so I thought I should go out and check. With a full choke barrel, your pattern should be about 12-15" at 20 yards. Different shells will produce different patterns.
For all intents and purposes, at home defense ranges, you should aim it like a rifle because the pattern will be about 1" across.

April 8, 2006, 11:07 PM
Considering the nature of a home-defense situation, I would recommend getting a handgun over using a full-length shotgun or cutting it down make it more "close-quarters friendly". As scorch said, you really aren't going to get spread in that kind of situation (unless of course you live in a really BIG house), and a full-length shotgun is not going to be the most maneuverable thing to be carrying if you find yourself in a room-to-room sweep for an intruder. I WILL say though--there are very few things that will pucker the south end of a BG faster than the sound of a shotgun shucking.

April 9, 2006, 05:01 PM
28" barrel, full choke. Remington #3 Buckshot at 8 paces. Spread was about a 5" circle.

April 10, 2006, 01:49 PM
You might want to have a good gunsmith cut the barrel to 19.5" thats what I use for hd. You can still use it for most hunting at that length.

April 10, 2006, 06:55 PM
Depending on the brand, your best action might be to just replace the 28 inch, unwieldy barrel with a factory short barrel. For my Mossberg 500C Cruiser 20GA, I have a 26 vent rib barrel with choke tubes for hunting, and an 18 inch barrel for HD. My Cruiser patterns #3 Buck into a 6 inch circle at 7 yards.

Death from Afar
April 11, 2006, 06:18 PM
Always, always, always pattern your buckshot and learn what it does. Try a variety of brands of ammo, and see what it does and relate that to the ranges you are using. If you have no clue as to how the shot will perform, you do so at your peril. It is quite astounding the diefference between guns, and brands of ammo. My 870 P shoots shockingly tight pattersn with Fiochii law enforcement ammo, but the patterns open right out with the Winchester stuff.

As far as barrel length goes, I think you should get another. Try a Van comp barrel, they are superb.