View Full Version : Newbie to shotguns in home-defense and the forums

February 13, 2011, 06:54 PM
Forgive my ignorance. I am relatively new to guns, minus I took and passed the course to carry a concealed handgun. I grew up in the city and have no other hand-gun or shotgun experience. I came to the conclusion since I am not a marksman, a shotgun might be better for home defense.

I inherited a very old full-barrel-length JC Higgins/Sears 12 gauge pump shotgun.

I purchased a newer-model 12_gauge pump, short 20-inch-barrel Remington 870 Shotgun.
No accessories like: pistol grips, slings, laser sights, and or flashlights are attached to it.
I however bought two buttstock sleeves to hold five shells on each shotgun.

I also inherited several old boxes of 12 gauge hi-power federal 2 3/4 inches 6 shot, Winchester ammo. Is this ammo of any use, and should I even practice with it, in my two shotguns?

What ammo should I use for home and or apartment defense?

Can I effectively use the JC Higgins for home defense or should I just use it for knock-around practice?

February 13, 2011, 08:24 PM
Greetings tesla, and welcome aboard.

Your new 870 is fine for home defense just as it is. Most shooters select the typical law enforcement round of 00(double naught)-Buckshot for HD; however, you may wish to select something else depending on your environment.

The old shells are fine for PRACTICE. Be advised, you may get some that go pop instead of bang. If this should happen make sure a wad has not lodged in the barrel. If one has, remove it before firing again. Also, if they are very old, paper hulled and exposed to moisture they may have swelled and won't fit in your chamber. This is one of the reasons they went to plastic shells decades ago.

February 13, 2011, 08:37 PM
Your two shotguns are fine as is. You don't need to hang a bunch of "tacticool" gear on your shotgun to have it work for home protection.

Factory new buckshot of whatever type you choose will be fine. "OO" buck is the most popular and #4 buck is also a popular choice.

If the older ammo is in the original box and all the ammo matches the factory labeling it could be collectible. check COMPLETED auctions on gunbroker.com to see if anyone is purchasing your older ammo. If it's not worth much blast away.

February 13, 2011, 08:42 PM
12 gauge hi-power federal 2 3/4 inches 6 shot, Winchester ammo

Federal and Winchester are two different companies

I have both that I have had since the 1980's - just shoot them and get some other target loads for practice to get used to your gun; then some defensive loads in whatever flavor of shot size you like

February 13, 2011, 09:04 PM
Also note, if the ammo is very old it may be worth more as a collectors item than as ammunition. Especially if it is original and unopened. Perhaps you could post a picture so someone could give you some better info.

February 14, 2011, 12:09 AM
My grandfather gave me one of those JC Higgens shotguns when I was about 13. If you pump it too fast the shells in the magazine tube will drop out of the bottom of the shotgun.

The 870 was a good choice, try and get some range time with it to learn its ins and outs.