View Full Version : Home Defense 20 Gauge Automatic

December 31, 2010, 04:54 AM
I'm hoping to get some advice on what 20 Gauge shotgun to consider for Home Defense.

I live and work in high threat environment. Primary design threat is Home Invasion, multiple intruders. Ancillary equipment includes comprehensive alarm system, and interior/exterior CCTV with monitors in every room, and safe room with redundant communications.

The criteria I have include:
- 20 Gauge so that my 5'-0" 100 pound wife can handle it as easily as can I
- Short stock (same reason as above)
- Automatic so the pump won't slow down rate of fire on multiple intruders
- Large capacity magazine

Thank you for your insight and kind help.

Bernie Lomax
December 31, 2010, 05:52 AM

December 31, 2010, 06:12 AM
My wife is about same stature. We bought her a 20 gauge Mossberg 500 pump. Should work well for all intended purposes. I've already hunted deer with it. :D

December 31, 2010, 08:52 AM
I have a mossberg 500 20 ga pump with an 18" barrel and a hogue 12" LOP stock. It's great for a shorter person, i'm only 5'4" and my wife is 5'0 and we can both shoot it very comfortably. Another option to consider is a knoxx specops recoil reducing stock, it adjust from 11" to 15" LOP and really takes the edge of the recoil. The knoxx and hogue stocks are both listed for the mossberg 12 ga only, but they mount right up to the 20 ga without any problems. I have and use both regularly and switch back and forth.

December 31, 2010, 09:54 AM
When it comes to semi-auto shotguns, I have only used Remington and Brownings.

I have a Mossberg 500 pump that I like a lot and I can cycle it almost as fast as my sem-autos but it takes practice....

The Remington 870 pump series is also excellent.

December 31, 2010, 10:07 AM
For my wife (about the same size as yours) I put her on a Remongton 870 20ga youth pump. It has a shorter youth stock and is easy to shoulder and my 14yo can use it as well. As for rate of fire, a fast miss is still a miss VS a aimed hit. Not to undermine your first post but, Secguru from Beirut, Lebanon asking for advice about a 20ga shot gun for your wife,,,,is your real screen name gecko45?

December 31, 2010, 01:48 PM
^ gecko45 is too busy guarding one of our nations largest shopping centers to go to Beirut

December 31, 2010, 01:53 PM
Thanks for this info.

I primarily work in the Middle-East. My wife is stateside. Due to the nature of my work, she especially is concerned that the threat could follow me home, thus the measures already taken, plus others not mentioned. No, I am not gecko45.

The Saiga 20 is interesting but unwieldy. I am concerned that she may not gain adequate proficiency on a pump action. A semi-auto eliminates that concern and lets her focus on the target, not the weapon.

Bernie Lomax
December 31, 2010, 02:53 PM
The Saiga 20 is interesting but unwieldy

What is it about the Saiga that you consider unwieldy?

December 31, 2010, 03:10 PM
What if the auto jams? Then what? Get a pump and train your wife how to use it...After the first BG falls the others will head for the high country like the cowards they are...Even a DB would do the job...Who is going to stick around and argue with a frightened trigger happy woman pointing a shotgun at them?

December 31, 2010, 04:19 PM
Then how about a 1187 with a mag tube ext and adj stock?

December 31, 2010, 05:10 PM
I think that a 20 gauge Remington 11-87 would fit the bill perfectly. If you can't find a short barrel for it, you might get a gunsmith to cut one down.

December 31, 2010, 08:33 PM
I would go with a pump over an auto. A good way to go is the 870 youth. It has a short stock and short barrel. I bought one for my son when he was younger and traded it for full size 870 with 28" barrel. I wish I would have kept it for a home defense gun.

January 1, 2011, 02:16 AM
Thanks for all the great comments.

The next time I'm stateside, we will look at the Remington Youth Model or the 1187 or their equivalent Mossberg models.

I've asked her to get into a training course before I get back.

The Saiga seems unwieldy due to its clip vs. a standard shotgun magazine.

Thanks again to everyone.

January 1, 2011, 03:11 AM
As you can probably tell by the responses, there aren't a lot of compact semi-autos out there. Someone already mentioned the Remington 11-87 which is a semi-auto that can be had in compact (youth) size.

Another one is the Mossberg SA-20 Bantam. I myself have a pump for defense, but I can see the logic of a semi-auto for someone who doesn't normally use guns. A person is probably as or more likely to shortshuck a pump than have a semi-auto jam. The semi-auto will also take a little kick out of the gun.

Either way, she should practice enough that she doesn't have to think about how to operate the gun should she need it in a dangerous situation.

January 1, 2011, 07:53 AM
My thoughts exactly. You hit all the points I was thinking about.

And thanks for the advice on models.

January 1, 2011, 12:04 PM
Rather than a shotgun, I'd move.

the blur
January 1, 2011, 12:32 PM
would you consider a pistol grip SG for HD ?

like a mossy 500 18" barrel

January 1, 2011, 12:54 PM
I dont know what for price your looking at but this would be a great choice, id leave it fully loaded at all time (That is if you have no kids in the house) so that way its always ready to just grab and shoot. You will never have to worry about a jam up in this if its already loaded. As fast as you pull the trigger its going to be blowing lead.


January 1, 2011, 01:11 PM
I have a Turkish 20 guage auto made by "Huglo" for CZ called the 720. After an initial break in, I've found the gun to be very reliable with low brass field loads to 3 inch magnums. Might be worth a look since they are made in your region of the world. I am not that impressed with the way the trigger group fits or the feel of the trigger, but the gun is light and has worked well on several hunts. Would work well for a closet gun in case of self defense once you are very familiar with the gun. It was also half the cost of a Remington or Browning.

Reminton 1100s are wonderful guns and there are some aftermarket extended magazines available for 20 guage. Remington has a home defense version of the pump action 870 in production, and the mossberg 500 is a great gun. 20 guage hunting shotguns are very popular in the U.S. and there are a ton of good choices. I've handled some Franchii guns that appeared well built as are Browning Gold, Beretta Urika, Benelli etc.

If you can find a Remington 1100 Youth 20 guage auto with 21 inch barrel you will get a vent rib, screw in chokes and short stock which will fit your wife. Buy an extended magazine tube with support clamp and go out and shoot the gun several hundred times to make sure it functions reliably. rc

January 1, 2011, 01:20 PM
Rather than a shotgun, I'd move.

Did you read his post? He's working in a high risk job and his wife is concerned that trouble could follow him home. How does moving (unless you are going into the witness protection program) solve this issue?

BTW, this is a much more common scenario than most think. Basically, any detective, especially narcotics, and prison wardens, etc, have to deal with this.

January 2, 2011, 11:57 AM

January 2, 2011, 03:52 PM
You said you were trying to get your wife to take a shotgun course. Do that before buying a gun. Look around for a course that will loan/rent guns for you to try. Then buy what fills the bill.

As for a semi automatic shotgun, my understanding is they need to be kept cleaner than a pump to avoid jamming. On the other hand, broken in pumps rarely jamb unless they are short shucked. If your wife is comfortable with a pump after using one, I would go with it.

I believe there is a more expensive semi automatic out there that can be pumped if it jambs.

Gary L. Griffiths
January 3, 2011, 01:27 AM
If a pump is not beyond the realm of possibility for you, I would take a good look at an Ithaca 37 HD shotgun. Lightweight, and you can "slam fire" it by holding the trigger back as you pump it. If necessary, cut the stock down to where it's comfortable for your wife, or get a Choate folding stock. :cool:

Smitty in CT
January 3, 2011, 01:56 PM
What if the auto jams? Then what? Then you operate it the same way that you operate a PUMP shotgun....... MANUALLY..

If you have an autoloader fail to eject, pull the bolt handle and let it go... Autoloaders are easier to use and have a simpler "Manual of Arms", this is especially helpful for someone without a lot of training.

I heve never had an autoloader fail to the point of disassembly to get it working again... I have short shucked a 20GA Remington 870 and had the shell get jammed in between the lifter and the bolt, this essentially made the shotgun a $300 club, luckily, it was on a skeet range and all that happened was I missed on a double, if it happened when there was more at stake it would not have been good....

Take a look at the Mossberg SA-20 youth model (has a shorter barrel and a short stock), using a typical buckshot round you'll never have a cycling issue and you and your wife can use the gun for other things, too, like hunting or clay games with other rounds...

January 4, 2011, 10:00 AM
Thanks everyone for your comments.

I have asked my wife to get into a local shotgun training course where she can try several weapons before selecting her preference. Our next door neighbor is UC narcotics and he is guiding her to a good training course.

The Remington Nighthawk Tactical Semi-Auto is interesting, so is the Turkish model. Most of all, I want her to be comfortable with whatever she gets, so its best for her to learn and practice on what suits her best. Then we'll buy that one, whatever it is.

I've introduced her to reading up on weapons safety and home defense law so that she understands what are her obligations and duties. She seems eager to learn.

January 4, 2011, 04:34 PM
Another vote for 1187, but the 870 or mossberg 500 would be my second choice. If money was an issue the 500 would be #1. I've had the 500 and 870 both are good guns. I'm partial to Remingtons, but the 500 I had was bulletproof.