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Old June 17, 2005, 03:39 PM   #1
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Need shotgun for Home Defense

I have a springfield XD40, but I need something with a lot more stopping power for HD. I would also like to use this shotgun for sporting clays and trap/skeet. Which gauge shotgun should i go with? What company would be my best buy for one? Should I go with autoloader or pump action? I have never shot a shotgun before, so what are the differances in the recoil on the differant gauges?
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Old June 17, 2005, 04:05 PM   #2
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Personally, I would get a Remington 870 Pump with a shorter barrel. That would serve the purpose as a HD shotgun (with a nice short barrel), but you could also take it to the range for skeet or trap (or even hunting).

Remington makes a 21" 870, called the Turkey model, and it comes with an extra full choke that can be replaced with any of Remington's chokes...I would replace it with an improved cylinder choke for HD and skeet, and get a full or improved modified for trap.

I am actually planning on getting this exact model sometime soon!

The model number is 25573...check it out.
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Old June 17, 2005, 04:24 PM   #3
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My friend has used a mossberg 590 with a 20" barell for skeet and he does his best with it. It is a riot shotgun and it would suit your HD needs very well. But if you dont like mossberg a 870 of 1300 would also suit your needs quite well
Mental prep for skeet
1 Look for the Bird
2 Gun speed to target speed
3 Head on the gun
4 Follow Through
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Old June 17, 2005, 05:09 PM   #4
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what are those shotguns with the pistol grips used for?
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Old June 17, 2005, 05:15 PM   #5
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The PG only versions are for the cool factor and have no real use. The PG with full length stocks are seriously useful. YMMV
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Old June 17, 2005, 06:23 PM   #6
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Find a skeet range with rentals and try them out -both gauge and action type. What works for me might not work for you. Or find a Tactical shotgun course with rentals. Try before you buy as a 12GA has a lot of recoil with heavy loads. You might like a 16 or 20 better and there is nothing wrong with that. I was all set on buying big game hunting rifle but decided against because the recoil was too much. My shotguns are Mossberg 500 and Stoeger Coachgun both in 12GA. I hope this helps.
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Old June 17, 2005, 06:32 PM   #7
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You may be interested in this review of practical autoloaders:

On the other hand, you asked about recoil - Chuck Hawks has some online recoil tables for shotguns and rifles:

The 12-gauge is about 52ft-lb
The 20-gauge is about 30 ft-lb
These figures are on par with heavy rifles used for dangerous big game.

The .223 rifle (our current military std) is about 3 ft-lb.

Personally, I think the shotgun is highly overrated for home defense. It roars, has huge recoil, and at home defense distances of 15 feet or less, the pattern doesn't even spread out appreciably.

I'd respectfully suggest at least looking at something like a Mini-14 (.223) or a Ruger Deerfield Carbine (44Magnum). They have plenty of destructive power on target, and are much easier to handle effectively. There are also lever action carbines in many calibers (.357Magnum/.44Magnum/etc), and a number of 9mm/40S&W/.45ACP semiauto carbines.
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Old June 17, 2005, 06:47 PM   #8
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hehe, true to your name, Caleb. What I find overrated is the recoil factor in shotguns, I think it's way overblown, and I'm by no means a Buford Pusser physical specimen
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Old June 17, 2005, 06:53 PM   #9
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Romulus: Yep, I am not CarbineCaleb for nothing! I have only taken a few shots with a 12 gauge pump, that was with 3-inch shells. It felt to me like someone was punching me in the shoulder... and my feeling was, ouch! I could do it, but I can't say I enjoyed it.
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Old June 17, 2005, 07:10 PM   #10
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what are those shotguns with the pistol grips used for?
Armored Cars.

I used to assist with teaching stuff. I hated having to teach PGO shotguns to the Armored Car Guards. Qualifications took care of any interest of Guards having one for HD .

Breeching and a few "special" needed applications.

I still prefer and use a full stocked shotgun. I even demonstrated and let a few of the better / more receptive students shoot from a Armored car to see the "tools for the task" differenced.

You stick me in the back of Car...gimme a full stocked SG with 12.5 LOP - please.


Gun fit to shooter-
Mounting Gun to face-
Hearing protection -

Make HUGE differences in percieved recoil.

2 3/4" shells are all one needs. Learn the correct basics with Target loads.

Wood is denser than syn , and allows a stock to be fitted in LOP, drop, heel , toe, fit shooter.

I finally own a Shotgun that will take 3" shells (other than .410) . I have not fired a 3" shell in it yet - nor do plan on it. All these years, all the hundreds of thousands of rds I've fired, all the deer, ducks, geese, rabid name it. The 2 3/4" shells worked for me.

Exception - the .410.
Use Enough Gun
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Old June 17, 2005, 07:29 PM   #11
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Buy two shotties. A nice O/U for sporting clays and trap/skeet, and a pump Remington for HD.
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Old June 17, 2005, 08:03 PM   #12
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How are you at sporting clays/skeet with a carbine? 8^)


Try several shotguns before you buy. Lots of clubs rent shotguns for people shooting skeet/trap. Or talk to friends and see if they will let you shoot their guns. It's a lot better to make up your mind after you've had some experience.

Go ahead with a 12 ga. as long as you have no physical problems that would limit your ability to handle the gun. Make sure the gun fits you properly- generally stock length is the biggest problem. Also determine your master eye if you haven't done so already. (Circle forefinger and thumb, stretch your arm out as far as you can, look through the circle at a small distant object with both eyes open, bring the circle toward your face while concentrating on the object. The eye your hand comes to is your master eye.)

If you haven't ever shot a shotgun before, think about taking lessons at a nearby club. A lot of them have instruction, either formal or informal. Learning proper stance and mount right off the bat will help a lot down the road.

Start with light loads at first, and use a heavier gun if you have a choice (don't let some so-called friend talk you into shooting a 5-pound single shot with a 3" magnum goose load in it). There are 12 ga. loads with one ounce of shot widely available, even lighter ones in some cases. Look for something like that to start.

As a rule a good semiauto will cost more than a good pump. A good gas operated semiauto will offer a bit less felt recoil than a pumpgun. Reliability is about par given good maintenance and a first line manufacturer's product. But if I were getting the gun primarily for HD, it would be a pump. And not just any pump but a Remington 870 if I had my druthers. That's just me, YMMV.

Fuhgeddabout pistol grips and other bling right now, worry about getting good with whatever you choose to shoot first.

Stay safe,

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Old June 17, 2005, 08:05 PM   #13
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what are those shotguns with the pistol grips used for?
They're useful for SWAT cops so that they can hold on to the shotgun while using the other hand for something else (I'm talking about a standard stock with PG). The pistol grip is also excellent for giving an attacker the advantage when he disarms you. You won't be able to hold on to it, and he can break your thumb if you try. You could trick him,of course,-- just let go of the gun, draw your pistol, shoot him, and retrieve your shotgun. Then immediately get rid of the pistol grip you got 'cause they look so neat and everybody has 'em. Replace with a straight stock that's more practicale (for most people). Stay away from folding stocks, and pistol grip only.
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Old June 17, 2005, 08:31 PM   #14
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The problem with rifles indoors is they overpenetrate and put others at risk. While most people talk about blowing the bad guy to smithereens this does not look good in the courtroom. Sure you might avoid criminal aspects but any survivors or family members can sue you in a civil lawsuit. A good attorney backed by a firearms expert will argue that your evil folding stock, hi capacity, hi powered, all black assault weapon was used to hunt down and brutally kill the poor trespasser looking for directions in your livingroom at 3AM. The same holds true for the combat shotgun. However plainjane guns like grandpa's pump with conventional stock and forearm offer a better image as you the poor homeowner defending himself from a maniac. Longuns are bulky for selfdefense but the idea is not to hunt them down in the home. The drill is a safe room with your weapon, cell phone or phone, and flashlight. Intruder comes in you retreat to your saferoom, call the police and give them your discription and location in the house, and sit tight and wait for them. If BG trys to enter your zone then shoot. And don't run outside and greet the police with your gun in your hands.
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Old June 18, 2005, 09:39 AM   #15
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I now have two defense shotguns at home - a Winchester 1300 Defender and a Remington 870 Police Magnum - both with 18 in barrels. The Police Magnum is what I plan to shoot the crap out of but frankly, the lighter weight of the Winchester, its smooth as silk action, makes it a top notch, home weapon. It's not built to the same standards at the 870 Police and I don't plan to fire it a whole lot but I love its handling qualities - especially with the Hogue stock and forend. It's the one that now stays in the bedroom, tactical flashlight and ghost ring installed. The Remington 870 Police on the other hand, is built to withstand an atomic bomb and it's my practice weapon of choice.

By the way, I also have a SA XD 40 in OD green and love it. Just ordered an EFK aftermarket barrel for it.
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Old June 18, 2005, 11:03 AM   #16
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A shotty for HD....No brainer

Mossy 590 w/light<~~what I use

Remmy 870 w/light

sm has it dead on about the 2 3/4 shells...They are all I use and I in no way feel undergunned

once they are reimported I am gonna get me one of those Saiga 12's or 20's...
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Old June 20, 2005, 06:27 PM   #17
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Get an 870 (four shot) Home Defense Model and then buy a skeet Barrel

Extra barrels can be had for about a $100, and then you've got the complete package: home defense short barrel and a sporting gun.
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