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Old April 5, 2018, 12:28 PM   #1
stonewall50
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Semi Auto Shotguns for Home Defense

So I am just wondering why we don’t see more semi auto home defense guns? Is it a reliability thing? What limitations exist? Price? I’m just wondering why we don’t see more used. I’d be curious to see the performance of a 12 and 20 in the role.


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Old April 5, 2018, 03:09 PM   #2
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I think a lot of it comes down to two issues. 1. Reliability (Perceived and Real). While historically maybe not true, a quality current SA that releases the shell from the magazine on the trigger pull is just (if not more) as reliable as a pump shotgun. Changing the magazine spring annually and keeping a lube that does not run is a part of that. 2. Most of the 18.5, 20 and 21 inch barreled shotguns are pumps. I think that comes from the historical part of 1. as much as anything else.

Up until the 1980s, there were no SA shotguns in the US that could get around the shell surge issue with more than 4 or 5 shells in the tube. Enter the M1s, then the M2s and now about 6 or 7 shotguns (all of the Inertia Operated as well as the VM and 1301) that release the shell from the magazine on the trigger pull and the shell surge issue goes away. Why the 930 and 1100 (and many others) enjoy success in sporting dress (2 or 3 in the tube) but not in "higher capacity" configurations with 5+ in the tube. Some of the best "Sporting" shotguns (Brownings, Berettas, 1100s, etc.) make the worst high cap defense shotguns, but people have this brand loyalty thing.
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Old April 5, 2018, 03:09 PM   #3
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I think that reliability is a factor in why less semi's are chosen for home defense, but perhaps I should say the perception of reliability. I believe that modern semiautomatics are very reliable and many forget how easy it is to short shuck a pump. Especially if the pump isn't used that frequently and you have to grab it under the stress of a real live situation.

As for gauge, use either a 12 or a 20. Should felt recoil be an issue you may prefer a 20.

If cost is a factor, some will opt for the pump. Most pumps will work, but don't risk it on an inexpensive semi.

I have a 12 gauge 870 for home defense. If you prefer a Mossberg suit yourself. Were I buying an HD shotgun today, I might just go with a 20 gauge semi so that the wife could better manage it.

One last thing. After reading what MarkCo wrote I am adding this by edit. If you want a higher capacity magazine be very careful about magazine tube extensions and/or how the attach if you use a weapons light. I have found with my Remington that shells can hang up where the extension interfaces with the magazine tube. Yes, I know about all the little things to do so as to prevent the spring from creating a problem when attaching the extension. The newer security models have a single piece extended capacity tube. If it will fit mine I may get one

BTW, my primary self defense weapon is no longer my pump, but a 9 mm. Still, it is nice to know that the pump is there if needed.

Last edited by dreaming; April 5, 2018 at 03:20 PM.
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Old April 5, 2018, 04:06 PM   #4
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Some of the best "Sporting" shotguns (Brownings, Berettas, 1100s, etc.) make the worst high cap defense shotguns, but people have this brand loyalty thing.
Please cite your source for this "factoid"
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Old April 5, 2018, 04:29 PM   #5
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Please cite your source for this "factoid"
I am really starting to think some people need to go back and take an English course. There are three things you quoted, so not sure which one you are calling a factoid (which is singular). And, for reference, a "factoid" does not have a "source" which is why it is referred to as a factoid as opposed to a "fact".
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Old April 5, 2018, 05:40 PM   #6
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Like most things it is mostly all based on expert opinions, however in this scenario there are no "experienced" experts. I am not talking tactical or police work, I am talking home defence. I have used a semi and will again. I also do not feel the need for more than 3 rounds in a shotgun.
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Old April 5, 2018, 06:37 PM   #7
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Well, I was hoping CZ's 712 "Utility" model might be the reasonably-priced and reliable semi 12ga for home defense, but a number of the user reviews I read were luke-warm at best.

Here's a link to what it looks like:

https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/...ic_stk_blk_rec

Maybe someone can chime in with a different experience (?)

Last edited by agtman; April 5, 2018 at 06:45 PM.
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Old April 5, 2018, 06:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by FITASC View Post
Please cite your source for this "factoid"
I am really starting to think some people need to go back and take an English course. There are three things you quoted, so not sure which one you are calling a factoid (which is singular). And, for reference, a "factoid" does not have a "source" which is why it is referred to as a factoid as opposed to a "fact".
SO, you have no source for your spouting????

No biggie.............really................but then again credibility...........

have a nice day with your "facts"
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Old April 5, 2018, 08:53 PM   #9
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You have no idea of my credibility or experience. If you have a question, feel free to ask FITASC. Otherwise, I don't feed trolls.
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Old April 5, 2018, 11:35 PM   #10
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I'm not sure I'd want a semi auto for home defense. I'm old school, I try to keep things as simple and as reliable as possible so I opt for pump shotgun for home defense (12 gauge Mossberg 500 with Magpul stock). Another concern is barrel length, I like to keep my home defense shotgun barrel length down to 18-20 inches and most semi auto's I've seen are much longer. I'm sure it comes down to personal preference but...doesn't seem like an ideal choice. But, that's just my opinion, I'm sure many will disagree.
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Old April 6, 2018, 06:43 AM   #11
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I'd say the biggest thing is price.

Good pumps are just so much cheaper than good semiautomatics, and especially these days with cheap Hawk shotguns and such.
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Old April 6, 2018, 11:37 AM   #12
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The lack of reliability is mostly perceived. Mind you, semi's can be unreliable due to the ammo used.
There are lots of slug barrels made for semi's. Barrel length isn't an issue. However, if you have an 1100/11-87, Remington thinks their 21" barrel is a seasonal thing. They're not cheap either. Beretta makes an 18.5" barrel for their M1301 though.
"...shells can hang up..." Your extension isn't installed correctly. Or its spring isn't right.
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Old April 6, 2018, 11:53 AM   #13
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semi-auto [shotguns] are considered unreliable by many because those same folks don't know how to properly maintain one.

get a Mossberg 930 tactical of sorts, field strip it (with help of youtube if necessary) clean it, lube it, re-assemble it (again with youtube if necessary), load it with 2 3/4" high brass buckshot and see for yourself.
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Old April 6, 2018, 11:55 AM   #14
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My Benelli M1 runs like a sewing maching with Defensive ammo. It does NOT cycle birdshot well at all. Thats not a big deal to me since i dont use birdshot for serious use. It does make training and practice more costly.
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Old April 7, 2018, 12:01 AM   #15
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I have a Benelli M1014 that I use for home defense. For the first six months, it would not run with birdshot. With 00, it ran fine. It was a manual with birdshot. After about six months of heavy shooting, it finally runs birdshot. Now it runs like a machine, very reliably and very smoothly with anything, from 00 to birdshot.

It does make me wonder, at some point, will it break completely? Or is it more reliable? I find it a little disturbing that after a few months of heavy shooting, the performance profile of the gun changed.
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Old April 7, 2018, 08:06 AM   #16
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I think they're a great option, I think you just see more pumps being used for HD because of the cost.

Mossberg and CZ have some relatively affordable options for what most would consider to be appropriate HD barrel lengths but sti a few hundred more than the popular pump action options.

The real fun begins when you start talking about the cheaper Turkish guns and whether or not you trust them.
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Old April 7, 2018, 09:05 AM   #17
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It’s the same old revolver vs. semi game, different players
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Old April 7, 2018, 10:01 AM   #18
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Single action revolver versus semi auto pistol maybe.

Traditional semi auto shotguns have historically been not as reliable as the old pump action. Also, when a semi jams up, what are you gonna do about the BG?

What's surprising is that no one has yet to mention magazine fed semi auto shotguns using the AK gas system. Those guns are dead nuts reliable and easier to clear in a malfunction.
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Old April 8, 2018, 02:10 AM   #19
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I've put close to 10k rounds through my Beretta A400 without a hiccup. My 1971 870 Wingmaster broke its firing pin well shy of that type of round count. My 20 gauge 870 Express had extraction problems initially. I haven't had any issues with my 870 LW express, BUT I haven't had a chance to shoot it.
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Old April 8, 2018, 05:53 AM   #20
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I had a CZ 712 - worked perfectly.
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Old April 8, 2018, 07:34 AM   #21
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I had a CZ 712 - worked perfectly.
Okay good to know, ... but you put that in the past tense. Did you end up getting rid of it?
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Old April 9, 2018, 01:08 AM   #22
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Yes, I traded it - had no real use for a shotgun at that time and I had a buddy who really needed one. So we came to an accord.
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Old April 9, 2018, 07:47 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by stonewall50 View Post
So I am just wondering why we don’t see more semi auto home defense guns? Is it a reliability thing? What limitations exist? Price? I’m just wondering why we don’t see more used. I’d be curious to see the performance of a 12 and 20 in the role.


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Probably the first reason you might see more pump shotguns than semi-autos for home defense is price. Pumps are a lot cheaper than semi-autos, all else being equal. Also just in my experience, the malfunctions I get in a pump shotgun usually are cleared easier than my semi-auto shotgun. YMMV. I'd pick a 12 Gauge for home defense as there are a far better selection of rounds for that weapon for home defense than a 20 Gauge. Round selection is very important and with something that has a flitecontrol wad like Federal, you can effectively use 00 buckshot out to around 30-35 yards out of a 18-20 inch cylinder bore barrel. This should be plenty for most home defense ranges and you might get a little further than that under ideal conditions but most home defense conditions are less than ideal.
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Old April 9, 2018, 12:54 PM   #24
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I shot trap with an old Remington 870 Wingmaster, almost every Thursday night, 200 shells a week, for over 5 years, plus hunting and Turkey shoots, and sporting clays, put almost 50,000 shells thru that gun without a breakdown. I'm sure modern semi autos are just freaking star spangled awesome, but I'll stick to the simplicity and reliability of a pump.
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Old April 9, 2018, 02:56 PM   #25
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If If If

For clay targets a pump is likely the best choice on a price vs. performance ratio vs. a semi or an O/U.
Down side is doubles are more challenging.

It's always easy to spend someone else's money. Thus for clays you will hear lots of good recommendations to buy a "B" gun. IE: Browning or Beretta buy once, cry once.
That's accurate, very accurate. Unfortunately you may not have the price of entry for a B gun.

Some hard shopping might find you a good used B gun for 1,500.00.

For the budget challenged it's hard to beat a quality pump gun for clays. Just make sure it fits.
For the handy types buy a good 30-32" Win Model 12 and restock it to your dimensions. 500 - 700 bucks and you could have a gun you can't wear out easily.

Lots of good choices, I am a Winchester fan, but lots of choices both old and brand new.
The popular old guns like the Model 12 have some aftermarket support. The stock I bought from High Plains for my Model 12 trap is excellent. Was practically a drop in fit 98% inletted. I did very little fitting. The checkering matches decently, a little creative staining and it's a decent match to the trap grade forend wood.

Wingmasters, Ithaca 37, Model 12. All great guns that deserve a second life. And no worries about steel shot with clay targets....YET.

Mine is a Winchester Model 12 trap grade. I stole it for 350 bucks. The store guy thought it a fake, it's not. It did have a field butt stock on it.
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