View Full Version : New Home Defense Shotgun. Help a newbie out?

April 16, 2009, 08:54 PM
Im looking into purchasing a home defense shotgun, probably a Remington 870 or a Mossberg 500/590. I have always been a handgun shooter and I am not very familiar with shotguns at all. The only thing I really know about shotguns is how to unload them and make them safe. I know that for self defense I would probably want buckshot but I was looking at slugs today and I wanted to the know what kind of slugs I would use in one of these shotguns. What is the difference between sabot and rifled slugs? I dont think I would use rifled slugs in these shotguns correct? Any advice would be appreciated.

April 16, 2009, 09:21 PM
Rifled slugs are for smoothbore. The "rifle" grooves are there to give a tight enuff fit but swage down enuff in any choke to not be excessive pressure.
Sabot slugs are for rifled deer barrel and get the spin and then shuck the 2 piece sabot. Basically a .50 cal bullet or so. For HD/SD buckshot usually gets the nod. A rifled slug is an ominous mule kick in the chest out to 70 yards or better easy. 00 Buck is pretty heavy hitting out to 50 with spread being the limiting factor but at HD in home range it is great.
Either the Mossberg or Remington are good. I highly prefer the Mossberg as it is set up great with the action release button at the rear left of trigger guard and safety above tang both can be operated with gun in full shoulder mount and any other position.

April 16, 2009, 09:30 PM
Hogdogs' overview is right on the mark.

For more info on shotgun slugs check out wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shotgun_slug).

April 16, 2009, 10:39 PM
+1 on Hogdogs explanation of slugs. But the selection of what to load up with goes a bit deeper. At least if you live in a heavily populated area. Overall 00 buck (8-12 33cal 54gr pellets moving at 1100-1350fps) is a great choice as a stopper but it can also ruin a close by neighbor's day. I keep mine loaded so that the first two out the pipe are #4 buck ( 27 24cal 21gr pellets). At hallway distances it's not going to have time to open up and at 3yds will act almost like a solid mass - a really big bullet. Yup shotguns have to be aimed just like a rifle. As far as neighbors go, it's going to penetrate a wall or two but after that they run out of energy pretty quickly. Still a risk to neighbors but not the risk that 00 buck is.

Behind the two #4 buck are five 00 buck. I operate under the theory that if 2 shots of #4 haven't solved the problem or sent the BG running then it's more than a burglary. At that point I want the penetration of the 00 buck. That buckshot is going act like a sold mass at 3yds and slowly spread to make a roughly 42" pattern at 25yds out of an 18" barrel. It's when you have to reach out 25yds that a slug comes in handy. Federal's Truball slug is claimed to hold 2" at 50yds and be accurate out past 100yds.

Recapping the last 2rds (1st out the barrel) that I load are #4 buck, the other 5rds are 00 buck, and I have 5 slugs in a stock cuff. A bandoleer of 00 buck just in case isn't a bad idea either.

Oh and one more thing. 00 buck and slugs are available in ~1300fps full power loads and ~1100fs reduced recoil loads. Pump shotguns kick like a mule so you'll have to decide for yourself on the trade-off between penetration and recoil. Whatever you do if you're not familiar with defensive shotguns then I'd take a 1 day basic defensive shotgun course. They usually run $100-150 plus ammo.

hot sauce
April 16, 2009, 11:16 PM
Hey bro, I prefer the 500 pump with ghost rings, low recoil 00 buck, and a standard stock.

April 17, 2009, 08:43 AM
These guys are right on target, especially if you in a heavyly populated area the chance of over pentration cannot be ignored. Nothing worse than to protect your family and then killing the neighbor in the process. In a home self defense situation say 10 yds or under #5 shot or even smaller will stop any threat, and won't kill the kids in the back room. At that close a distance any meat will be hamburger. There would not be more intimidating that the sound of a pump shotgun action in the dark.

Para Bellum
April 17, 2009, 10:08 AM
I love Shotguns for Sports and Hunting, but:

Get a home defense .223 rifle (pump or semi):
- more precision,
- more capacity,
- way less recoil,
- same damage with good ammo,
- no risk of overpenetration with good ammo,
- way longer range.

How about the Remington 7615P: http://www.remingtonle.com/rifles/7615.htm

April 17, 2009, 10:23 AM
Another +1 to hotdogs. Don't listen to the crowd that tells you to use birdshot because of the over-penetration issues.

April 17, 2009, 10:47 AM
Let me add one more thing. When waking to the sound of somebody in your home (simple burglary) it's a bad idea to try to clear your home yourself. It simply cannot be done safely or effectively solo. It takes a minimum of three people. One to watch your six while you clear closets, and another in the hall to make sure that the BG isn't sneaking into already cleared rooms. That's what the cops get paid for - let them deal with it. It's a doubly bad idea to use a long gun to clear rooms. The barrel gets to the corner well before you do and provides excellent leverage to take it away from you. LE rely on a backup officer to provide cover while they lower the muzzle to take the corner. A luxury you're unlikely to have.

My point is that your shotgun will not be a magic wand for clearing the house. In general the best home defense employment is to use it to it from cover to control a fixed location like the bedroom hallway while you wait for the cops. That's a job it does better than anything else.

April 17, 2009, 12:30 PM
I chose a Mossy 590, put a Limb-Saver on it, and I use Low Recoil 00 Buck for Home Defense.

Good luck.

April 17, 2009, 12:32 PM
The nice thing about a shotgun is that "close" counts. With a rifle or carbine, you need to hit something much dead on. A shot grazing the side is not likely to stop the attacker.

A shotgun, because it its scattershot nature, means that if the center of the column grazes someone's side, they still take 3 to 5 hits, some of which in a more damaging area.

A shotgun is also easier to handle in a panic. If you at least aim down the bore, you should be close to your target. A rifle, you'll have to find the sights and make sure you're close to center-of-mass on your target. If you've ever shot in a stressful situation (and by that I mean anything that gets your heart up, something as simple as shooting with a shot timer or at an IDPA match), you know how quickly your training can go out the window.

A lot of folks talk about bird shot. It will leave one nasty looking, but you'd better be CLOSE to your target, and I mean "smell his breath" kind of close, for that to really stop him. The birdshot scatters pretty quickly, losing a lot of its stopping power.

Personally, I have a Saiga 12 ga semiauto with #1 buck loaded in it (I live in an apartment and wanted to cut down the "missed target" penetration risk), and additional magazines with 00 buck ready to go.

April 17, 2009, 12:48 PM
Mossberg 500A with front and back pistol grip. Use buckshot and keep slugs handy.

April 17, 2009, 01:18 PM
Waterdog, why would you suggest a very limited mobility setup like PGO with PG forestock? Very limited in not only mobility but defensibility. With less than severe professional training that setup is for fun only...

And for the risk of over penetration due to a miss there is finer weapon than the PGO...

For a brand new shotgun owner seeking a defense weapon a regular, conventional setup is superior. This is something verifiable...

April 17, 2009, 02:06 PM
why would you suggest a very limited mobility setup like PGO with PG forestock? Very limited in not only mobility but defensibility. With less than severe professional training that setup is for fun only...

And for the risk of over penetration due to a miss there is finer weapon than the PGO...

For a brand new shotgun owner seeking a defense weapon a regular, conventional setup is superior. This is something verifiable...
+1 Dead on accurate! A pistol grip only stock is a severe limitation - not an advantage. It also makes practice with full power loads an act of masochism. Save it for looking cool in youtube videos.

April 17, 2009, 02:56 PM
Thanks for all the info and advice everybody.

April 17, 2009, 03:03 PM
Just my opinion. I've never had problems with control or mobility, unless your trying to clear a house solo. I dont know what your plan is for HD but mine is to set up in one spot where my family and valuables are and wait while someone else calls the cops. I admit it is not for mobility, and if I needed it for that I would use a mossberg 500 12 with tac. stock. As far as accuracy, no problem there.

April 17, 2009, 03:37 PM
We can beat this horse all day long, now don't get me wrong it's alot of fun, but whatever you use " It beats throwing rocks"

April 17, 2009, 03:44 PM
Waterdog... Come down and shoot some low and slow dirt birds along side junior and I... We ain't pro shooters and haven't slung a clay in about 2 years. I will even go so far as to put my PGO on for a few rounds:rolleyes:. In the same time I will demonstrate the weaknesses of these guns. I don't know about you but I have been shooting mostly shotguns of all forms for 32 of my 40 years. I can't tell you how much fun shootin' my dad's .410/.22 U&O with 8 inch barrel was!:D I am not the hoity toity high class snob either. I am the guy who posted the pics of my redneck tree service!:eek: For the person who prefers to hole up rather than go out after an intruder, a kneeling position with a standard set up and left elbow on left knee with a full shoulder mount looking down the barrel is as accurate as you can get!
Accurate "enuff" at best isn't usually the choice of a determined survival mindset. No one can pee down my leg and tell me it is raining trying to convince me they are nearly as accurate with their PGO as they would be with a stock. JUST NOT PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE!

April 17, 2009, 03:51 PM
Someone told the best Shotgun on the market is the one your holding when you need it.

I did purchase a Mossberg 590A, i'm happy with it.

April 17, 2009, 03:55 PM
Have used both in the line of duty. Bought a Mossberg 590A1 for my personal shotgun. Remington 870's are rugged....but the Mossy's ergonomics are FAR superior and they are just as rugged. Mossberg gets my vote.

...ready to roll with low-recoil 00buck.

April 17, 2009, 04:25 PM
Now you guys are preaching to the choir!!!

Para Bellum
April 17, 2009, 04:36 PM
...i'd take a saiga or a benelli.

April 17, 2009, 04:48 PM
...i'd take a saiga or a benelli.
Benelli M1 S90 :D but that's off topic.

April 17, 2009, 07:46 PM
Well hotdogs as far as accuracy is concrned, I'll use my Rock River. You dont have a penetration problem with it either;) however this is about a HD shotgun. What distance we talkin, 10-20 feet? I could hit a man with a shotgun in my left hand and eyes closed at 10 feet. But you are right, a stock is more accurate for those who want precision, especially with slugs, but I can still hit a coffee can with my PG at 15 yds with a slug, and it doubles as a club:D. I'd be glad to shoot downthar sometime, I'm not at all uppitty myself, just a good ol boy:cool:

Para Bellum
April 18, 2009, 04:05 AM
Well hotdogs as far as accuracy is concrned
...I'd use a .223 for HD anyway...

April 18, 2009, 08:16 AM
PoorSoulInJersey: close does count but remember that from short barreled shot gun at close range, the shot column does not really spread.

With my Mossberg 500 (20inch barrel) I have seen that till about 12 feet, there is no spread, ie the shot stays within an inch or so. As you go to about 20 feet the maximum spread is about 2.5 inches, with the 000 buck.

Needless to say I was pretty taken aback when I did this test. I always thought that there was some sort of spread especially with a 18/20inch barrel.

While researching further I came across this: http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot20.htm

they have pretty similar results.

SO!!! Do not point and shoot with your shot gun in a HD situation. You WILL need to aim properly.

April 18, 2009, 10:09 AM
Mossberg 500A with front and back pistol grip.:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Must we go through this with every single newbie?

April 18, 2009, 10:11 AM
Must we go through this with every single newbie?


Everyone is a newbie at one time or another....you included.

April 18, 2009, 10:28 AM
Creature, I think he means, as I do, A person suggesting the best HD gun is a double PGO set up. I am completely mesmerized by any person that replies to an admitted new shot gun shooter, that the PGO is the way to go! First off it is extremely likely that the person professing such B.S. is not qualified to shoot their own PGO accurately enuff to hit the broadside of a barn from inside while under pressure... Secondly, any one at all proficient with a PGO would have enuff common sense to realize how many years and/or pounds of shells it took to get the skill set to be decent (that is about all you can expect) with the PGO, to go suggesting it as a first time shot gun to a guy who says they have never shot a shotgun EVER!!!

April 18, 2009, 10:49 AM
And what I meant was he should explain why/why not instead of the condescending one-liner that "veterans" always shoot down the pipe when the annoying "newbie" shows up....

April 18, 2009, 10:59 AM
For me, given any opportunity at all, I will be sighting down the barrel. I would do this to...
1)prevent missing my target which could endanger my loved ones with errant projectiles.
2)prevent giving the intruder any additional odds of success
3)avoid wasting ammo I bought with hard earned money...
That said, I would shoot from the hip if that is all I have available for options...

April 18, 2009, 11:11 AM
And what I meant was he should explain why/why not instead of the condescending one-liner that "veterans" always shoot down the pipe when the annoying "newbie" shows up....Man, there is a PGO thread and a birdshot thread basically every day. At least once a week for sure.

It gets old and I don't feel the desire to post it again every single day.

April 18, 2009, 11:13 AM
Man, there is a PGO thread and a birdshot thread basically every day. At least once a week for sure.

It gets old and I don't feel the desire to post it again every single day.

But you don't mind posting "Must we go through this with every single newbie?" do you?

April 18, 2009, 11:15 AM

April 18, 2009, 11:16 AM
And that is a perfect example of elitist condescension in all its ugliness. Thats a great idea...let's alienate the new guy/gals instead of welcoming them into the fold.

April 18, 2009, 11:19 AM
I"ll edit it to say, SCROLL DOWN and use the SEARCH function. How's that? Still too elite?

April 18, 2009, 11:22 AM
How about you say nothing?...and let those whole have the willingness to spend their time to 'educate' the newbies ...thereby keeping the noise to signal ratio down? See my signature line...

April 18, 2009, 11:32 AM
How about you read my signature line?


April 18, 2009, 11:35 AM
And with that uber-clever reply, you've been reported...

April 18, 2009, 12:12 PM
Oh, not that. Please, not that.

Wait, I decide to tell mommy because you called me an elitist and a condescending!

And you are also breaking the rules of grammar by not knowing what a sentence is and how to punctuate it. Flagrant ellipses everyhere! That's clearly against the forum rules.

April 18, 2009, 12:35 PM
Well, since ya'll are gonna go that route... my dad can beat up yer dad! And I am gonna take my marbles and go home!

April 18, 2009, 03:37 PM
Kmar40 wrote: And you are also breaking the rules of grammar by not knowing what a sentence is and how to punctuate it. Flagrant ellipses everyhere! That's clearly against the forum rules.

The ellipsis is a legitimate punctuation used in writing everyday. In fact, the ellipsis is listed in The Chicago Manual of Style and is accepted by the MLA as well.

So . . . not only do you have nothing constructive to add to the discussion at hand, but you also need to study up on the proper use of the English language in formal and informal writing. You also need to learn how to spell.

btw: care to show us where in the forum rules the use of the ellipsis is forbidden?


April 18, 2009, 03:56 PM
Well if yall dont want my views, you dont have to take them. I joined this forum to get questions answered and to help some people out. Its apparent I joined the wrong forum, so bye; especialy you kmar40:mad:, and I'm not a newbie I apparently am just more skilled with a shotgun than you:D

April 18, 2009, 04:15 PM
Kamr40's views do not represent the views of the general population of this forum. Don't judge this forum on one bad apple.

April 18, 2009, 04:20 PM
Nor do I intend to run off anyone either... I simply would like for folks to realize the implications of suggesting a brand new shotgun owner/shooter start off with a double PGO set up... That is like suggesting the right car for a new driver is a 500 horse power corvette 6 speed stick or a 190 mph capable Suzuki Hayabusa that will power wheelie over with just a little jolt of the throttle for a guys first motorcycle ride...

April 18, 2009, 04:26 PM
Just joined and ran across this whole mess, hope I'm not labeled as a newbie because of this fact. Thought I'd give my thoughts, I own 2 mossberg 500's, one PGO and the other with a tac. stock. The PG is a hoss to handle. I bought it as my first HD gun when I was younger and didnt know anything about them, its still a fun gun. My tac. stock one I bought about a year after and use it instead now. I do have more control with it

April 18, 2009, 04:30 PM
Deerslyer, Hey young folks make mistakes when left to their own discretion:D And as you said the PGO gun is "fun" albeit a "hoss to handle" they are fun as heck! Moreso if you slip some 3 inch nitro turkey loads or 3 inch slugs in the tube before handing it to the local "been there done that" guy who we know hasn't left the county unless he was with his mommy...;)

April 18, 2009, 04:36 PM
I've never used anything over a 2 3/4 inch slug and it still packed a punch. I took it squirrel hunting, ONCE, wow! that was an experience I dont intend to repeat.

Dave McC
April 18, 2009, 05:03 PM
Waterdog, any chance you can stop by here and show me just how good and deadly you and your double PGO are at typical Home Defence ranges?

sarcasm mode off, momentarily.

I shan't hold my breath waiting....

Katrina Guy
April 18, 2009, 05:48 PM
if you take this advise, by all means acquire some dental insurance also, as you may need it! (few youtubes on rambo looking shotguns recoiling in the face, i.e. the mouth!)
Otherwise, get a shotgun with a regular stock, like the rest of us have/use.
Regarding different brands, I prefer the Mossberg layout of controls, especially the slide release lever which I find very easy to access/acquire with no fiddling and without taking my eye off the subject (target) AND without switching hands. I personally find the Mossberg design superior and worth whatever difficiencies in the Mossberg line up, putting up with. You mentioned you are a handgun person, could you imagine having a handgun that you had to switch hands and fiddle with a decock or a safety or slide release? OF course NOT.
The Mossberg "Persauder" (home defense model) comes with a pistol grip so you can put it on and go out to the woods and play with it, again, watch you don't loose some teeth!

April 18, 2009, 06:03 PM
[QUOTE]Kamr40's views do not represent the views of the general population of this forum. Don't judge this forum on one bad apple./QUOTE]

looks like the staff agrees with kmar40

[QUOTE]Waterdog, any chance you can stop by here and show me just how good and deadly you and your double PGO are at typical Home Defence ranges?

sarcasm mode off, momentarily.

huh, odd. Its easy to type just about anything on your mind, I'd like to see one of yall say that to him while he has a loaded gun in his hand. Seems to me that all yall have a problem, its called ego. Fact of the matter, I bet none of you are as good as you brag about.

April 18, 2009, 06:05 PM
looks like the staff agrees with kmar40


April 18, 2009, 06:06 PM
Fact of the matter, I bet none of you are as good as you brag about.

Really? How much do you want to bet? Because thats a bet you will loose.

Katrina Guy
April 18, 2009, 06:13 PM
opt for a pistol grip only shotgun is insane, poor advise, period. You may be the best shooter in a pgo arrangement of all time, still, to advise a new shotgunner to obtain one is in my humble opinion, poor judgement and poor advise,....reckless.
Hey new guy, 12 gauge shotguns do kick alright, better to kick your shoulder then your face, not counting the pointing aspects, ok.
Poor guy comes in here, in a respectable forum for ligitimate home safety/defense advise and he gets, get yourself a Rambo outfit you can't go wrong. Reckless.

April 18, 2009, 06:29 PM
Deer slayer, I tried to send this to you via PM but it wouldn't go...

I have a runnin' offer for a week here in the boondocks that would involve mass quantities of field loads and gobs of 00 buck and slugs. From shooting clays hand slung at low and slow to going for precise shots at stationary targets with some tactical use of the shotgun. Not to show anyone up or to brag but to share what I have gleened over the years from others and my own extensive practice. I am no super hot shooter but I am an intentional survivor.
Some folks here that are always replying to these threads saying to keep it normal keep it simple and practice often are either active or retired professionals that have or had to qualify routinely to keep their jobs.
And if you wanna bet that I am not as good as "I brag about"... Just decide how much you want to lose and come on... And if waterdog were to have a loaded gun in his hand I would still make the same offer...

April 18, 2009, 07:40 PM
Thanks you gentleman, ladies included of there are any here. I have been trying to do research on internet chat forums/discussion boards. I am a gun owner and decided to pick an enviroment that I feel comfortable in and enjoy. I decided to see what would happen if one person said one thing that many disagreed with, look what happened. You all proved my point, better than expected even. Many people feel that a well staffed forum is a safe one, I intended to prove that many staff members let their own personal feelings get in the way of their job. This was a prime example. Dont worry, no personal information will be given out, this was just to prove a point.

April 18, 2009, 07:49 PM
An admitted instigator...

April 18, 2009, 08:00 PM
Nodody even mentioned a nice short barrelled Coach Gun


Being a lefty I prefer the Mossberg 500 because of where the safety is located compared to the 870 (I had one of these too and it was my 1st gun).

Stay away from the pistol grip. Learn to shoot from the hip. Inside a dwelling is close enough for instintive point shooting with any weapon. When coming around corners take them wide and make sure your muzzle does'nt project around the corner or somebody will grab it from you. Therefore hold it close to your hip and as far back as comfortable. Shoulder it for longer shots then 5 foot.

As far as ammo, see this thread on why I prefer Slugs:

Do Not use birdshot. Use 00Buck or slug 2 3/4 or 3inch magnum if your shotgun will take it.

Katrina Guy
April 18, 2009, 08:21 PM
More interesting advise.

Katrina Guy
April 18, 2009, 08:39 PM
I do know what not to do. A 12 gauge shotgun loaded with whatever ain't something to monkey around with, this is a very lethal arm with the possibility of horrific collateral damage. A newbie, or any of us perhaps, without tactical training or extensive shotgun shooting (I' have had neither) does not hip point a 12 gauge in a house nor do you grab as your weapon of choice a Pistol Grip Only shotgun.
Possibly for those with either the knack or the training this may prove to be of tactical advantage, for the rest of us and the newbie who posted this tread in hopes of obtaining USEFUL information, this wild west way of shotgunning is not the way to go, you'd be better off using a handgun.
Want to play Matt Dillion with a shotgun great, go to the woods and fire off the hip and pistol grip and have some good ole boy fun, when comes to indoors lacking tactical training or extensive shooting, use it as it was intended.
Stay safe!

April 18, 2009, 11:34 PM
Actually only one staff member participated in this thread.
And he was pretty sedate compared to posts by some here...

April 19, 2009, 07:42 AM
do not get a .223 for home defense like parabellum says, unless you want to shoot through walls and maybe hit your family

Katrina Guy
April 19, 2009, 07:54 AM
I didn't see that post...this thread is getting scary. So a high powered rifle for interior distances of what, 20' max typically, humm, interesting (bad) advice. If you could put that .223 on full auto (know it's against the rules) and shoot from the hip as an earlier advice was given, guess one could eventually get the B.G. , some fire fighting skills maybe in order if one is going to "hose" down the area *LOL*

April 19, 2009, 04:03 PM
What did I start here? Looks like everyone is having fun. Just so you guys know I was never planning on getting a pistol grip, just the regular old stock that comes on it will be just fine. I already have plenty of pistol grips......on pistols. Thanks for all the useful advice though and keep it coming.

April 19, 2009, 05:07 PM
Remington 870 w/00 Buckshot.

Dave McC
April 19, 2009, 08:48 PM
DKA, nice gun. I like those wear marks....

Katrina Guy
May 1, 2009, 09:06 AM
Clint Eastwood, inside his garage chasing the bad guy around with what looked like a Garand, at any rate a rifle, I thought that was about as stupid as it gets!

Willie Lowman
May 1, 2009, 10:09 AM
What's stupid about using a Garand? My father's HD gun was an 03-A3.

The first rule of gun fighting is; have a gun.

May 8, 2009, 09:50 PM
Well.... I've got my 500 with 00 and slugs, my Glock 22 and for flushing out the bad guys - the Ultimate weapon: Boston Terriers!

They may not bite like a Pit but you can bet there's nothing more annoying than little ankle biters!

I'll have no problem knowing where the bad guys are & none of the Home-owners Insurance headaches...

Katrina Guy
May 31, 2009, 09:32 AM
And the choice of weapons is a rifle, you really don't think that is stupid???
Then I reckon, the reasoning would be only use a handgun if you think a bad guy is in your closet.