View Full Version : Choices other than 12ga?

March 3, 1999, 02:23 AM
In choosing a shotgun (pump) for home defense where shots will almost certainly be 10yds or less, what gauges other than the 12 will be enough gun? The .410? 16ga? 20ga? What loads?


...... bk40

[This message has been edited by bk40 (edited March 03, 1999).]

March 3, 1999, 11:20 AM
I would think that just about any of the gauges/caliber mentioned would suffice. More depends on the shooter than the weapon (to a certain extent), in my opinion. Mossberg even marketed a .410 variation of their 500 with a vertical foregrip and extended tube magazine as the Home Security model 500 (HS-410) in the late 1980s. This model included a specially designed barrel that was inteded only for close range confrontations with a combination spreader choke and recoil reducer. This barrel is not interchangeable with other 500 .410 barrels. Another option was an integral laser. They also marketed a pistol-gripped .410 in the 1980s as the .410 Camper.

Rob Pincus
March 3, 1999, 12:35 PM
I have a Saiga .410 on eternal order, If it is as reliable as I hear, it will be my new "house gun". I have long been a fan of the idea of .410 and 20 gauge at close ranges, but I have never had a weapon platform for either calibre that I trusted in a defensive role.

March 3, 1999, 01:04 PM
Rob: How much does the Saiga cost? I'm not familiar with this product - where can I find some info on it?
I am thinking of the .410 also. Are any of the major players making .410 pumps?
What load for the .410 would be a good choice for s/d in home?


...... bk40

March 3, 1999, 03:22 PM
Frangible .223 would make an AR a good house gun.
Hornady Urban TAP rounds would be great. But as of late - I cant get any. Speaking of ammo shortages - Here in Utah it is almost imposible to find .40 Triton Quik-shoks. Cant find them ANYPLACE!


Resistance is Futile

Rob Pincus
March 3, 1999, 03:26 PM
The Saiga is the Semi- built on an AK style reciever. It uses 10 round detachable mags.

Dealer cost is just under $200.

March 5, 1999, 09:20 AM
I do not think that the .410 is enough gun for defense against anything bigger than rats or snakes. The largest shot size available in .410 is #4 birdshot, which only penetrates approximately 4" in ballistic gelatin--insufficient for reliable stopping power. I personally would not use any shot size smaller than #4 BUCK.

Theoretically, the 16 gauge should work fine for home defense; 16 gauge buckshot is loaded with #1 buck, which is probably the ideal shot size for defensive applications. However, I am not aware of any currently produced 16 gauge pump shotguns (or any other kind for that matter); I do not believe any home defense-oriented shotgun has ever been made in 16 gauge. Sixteen gauge shells are getting a little hard to find, especially buckshot. Bottom line--the 16 would work, but why go through the trouble of getting a shotgun in an obsolete chambering and having to hunt for the shells?

The 20 gauge has some appeal due to its lower recoil. However, with the new reduced recoil buckshot loads (sometimes marketed as "Tactical buckshot"), the 12 gauge is entirely managable. Tactical accessories such as the Sure-Fire flashlight forend, the sidesaddle shell holder, and ghost ring sights are all made only for 12 gauge shotguns (the only combat-type accessories for the 20 gauge are the Choate magazine extensions for the Remington 870 and 1100). Again, the 20 would work, but why bother?

The 12 gauge is by far the best choice for a home defense shotgun.

Harry Humphries
March 5, 1999, 11:36 AM
Hi bk40,

Your question is a good one. I assume your interest in sub- 12 gauge is based on reluctance to deal with recoil or economics. Recoil in 12 gage can be dealt with in ammunition selection. I'm not sure you see great savings with ammunition or weapon costs as the home defense gun can be any used pump action brand. The shotgun is a club, a shovel, a tool that really doesn't need a lot of care and can be purchased for less than $100.00 if you shop. The ammunition? That's a factor of frequency of use.

The real issue in selection should be based on wound ballistics. If your selection is capable of penetrating 10 to 12 inches of ballistic gelatin, the round is considered acceptably lethal against a human threat. The magic BB theory says a BB can theoretically debilitate an intruder, but I wouldn't recommend testing that one. Remember the balance of speed accuracy and power? Balancing power means selection of caliber as large as can be effectively discharged by the shooter.

[This message has been edited by Harry Humphries (edited March 05, 1999).]

Axel Yup
March 6, 1999, 05:08 PM
In Massad Ayoob's Video "Shoot To Live!," Mas states that the 20ga is as good a manstopper as the 12ga and is much more controllable. That is the caliber he recommends for a home defense shotgun.