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Old December 9, 2001, 11:36 AM   #1
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Join Date: December 8, 2001
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Shotguns for Defense-My Thoughts

The 12 ga. pump shotgun is not really a very good choice for the average person if they are going to use it for home defence. As:

!. The recoil is just too much to deal with without a lot of training and practice-something most people just will not get.

2. Most women will never be able to master this weapon. This is not in any way meant to be sexest If you doubt this pick up an 870 with Federal Classic buckshot loads and fire off 10 rounds and then come back and let me know I was wrong.

3. We almost all use Semi-auto pistols and then advocate against semi-auto shotguns on the basis that pumps work better. Semi-auto shotguns work better for most shooters than do pumps. The semi-auto recoil is spread out over a longer time so it is felt to be much less than a pump. If high grade plactic shells are used the jamming between the pump and auto becomes a non- issue. The pump would not win here if you handed a pump and an auto to 100 shooters at random as some of the pump shotguns would be "short stroked".

4. Very few people can be taught to work a pump anywhere near as fast as they can an auto. A wonded defender can still shoot an auto while a pump needs much more training to work one handed.

5. In house defense one advantage to the shotgun is that if you use birdshot (not really a great idea) the walls may stop the load from passing through walls. This could also be said of HP ammo in a .223 Re

6. The last advantage to the shotgun is "The Racking of the Slide" will put the BG to flight. All the BG will hear from my 11-87 is the saftey going off. Who stores their shotgun without one in thes chamber? Why give up one whole round on the chance that a simple noise will scare off the BG?

I am new here so I hope this is not something that has been beat to death. I am not trying to start anf flames here.

P.S. I have in excess of 100,000 rounds through 12 ga. shotguns and I keep one in a V-Line case loaded at all times.
VFW Member who never saw combat.
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Old December 9, 2001, 02:07 PM   #2
Dave McC
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It's been chewed over plenty, but here goes....

1. Nobody, especially me, advocates that a shotgun is the perfect choice for everyone,every time. For those of us who choose to and can use a shotgun, it becomes an incredibly effective defense tool.The key is training, including lots of practice.

2.Women students, once they have a good fit, usually do better with shotguns than men of similar size. They've less to unlearn, better eye hand co-ordination, take instruction better, and have a higher tolerance for pain.Trained a few hundred.

3.Gas style semi auto shotguns have less recoil. They also have less reliability, tho that gap is getting to be less. Pumps are super dependable, cost less, and certainly get the job done. I'm not an "At Random" shooter, and doubt many auto shooters could outshoot me on most COFs. Some have tried, a couple have done it. And short stroking is something I haven't done in decades.

4.I can get off a second shot and hit with it faster than folks with A-5s,etc. The difference is experience.Care to cite a few examples where firing a shotgun one handed won an AS scenario?

5.At typical HD ranges all 12 ga shotgun rounds hit the target as a plastic wrapped ,WC shaped lead plug of .73 caliber.Small shot reduces(not eliminates) the chances of overpenetration. Center mass hits do also.

6. While I stopped a prison escape attempt by racking an 870, it's not something one should depend on.

You might want to check the archives, there's lots of input on this....
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Old December 9, 2001, 10:19 PM   #3
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Nothing beat a double barrel for fastest second shot - speed of follow up shots are not a real issue. Most people can't aim the gun quick enough.

Injured shooter - only if the shooter is injured in the arm. IMO not a real issue when you consider the ral odds.

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Old January 3, 2002, 09:31 PM   #4
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Going through the archives ...

Actually, a pump's action assists in bringing the shotgun back out of recoil & is faster than any other action - if one practices - other than that, all bets are off.

Anything "automatic" (semis or doubles) has a set "cyclic rate" set by the firearms' design. With a manually operated device, the person gets to set how fast it will work.

With practice, a pump can be shot faster & more accurately, than any other design.
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Old January 4, 2002, 12:27 AM   #5
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Can't add much to Dave's post............but I have known several small women, from 16 to 75, that were quite comfortable and very very good with 12 guages. Just because it is a 12 doesn't mean that one has to use max loads.

Good fit, proper tecnique, lots of practice........and any gun will serve quite well.

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Old January 4, 2002, 08:09 PM   #6
David Wile
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Hey AKA,

I have a number of shotguns, rifles, and pistols. Some of each are semi auto and others are pump, bolt, double action, single action etc. Some of each are nice and pretty. For personal protection, however, my first choice is my cheap and ugly Mossberg 12 ga pump with 20 inch cylinder choke barrel and eight round tubular magazine.

I keep the magazine and chamber loaded with No.1 buck. I also keep a 100 round ammo box nearby with a lot more No.1 buck, some pumpkin balls, and regular No. 4 shot. Forget that No.9 shot. I tend to place more emphasis on knocking down what is in front of me than worrying about what may be behind someone who is shooting at me. That should not be interpreted to be a flippant statement on my part. It is meant to be realistic. While one must be careful about where one's bullets are flying, one should not take a BB gun to a gunfight with the idea that one does not want to do too much damage.

I think my ugly Mossberg with its short barrel can be a very good defensive weapon as well as a survival weapon if you have a variety of ammunition.

One other thing, I would not want to be the chap breaking into my house and knowing that my wife was home alone. She would use the same ugly Mossberg 12 ga just as well as I. She normally uses her 20 ga Ithaca to shoot claybirds, but she can also hit the clays with the ugly Mossberg 12 ga.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile
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Old January 4, 2002, 08:28 PM   #7
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Interesting, Davis.

I always thought, even with the "be sure of your target & what's behind it" safety rule, that "over penetration" is more of a "what if" than a real scenario.

Please don't misconstrue here. It is something to consider & just part of (everyone's) your own home defense lay-out & what's acceptable for you, in your environment. In our home, "what's beyond it" really does not come in to play.

I've yet to go to the range & pattern some "bird shot" to see what it does. I believe those who have re the "<20 foot - 20 yard single cup"/solid slud" theme .... merely haven't done it yet & plan to next week to see for myself. I'm for a decent range session "playing" for results.

Still, & for the time being, my preferred SD 12 ga load is a 3", 41 pellet #4 buck - I may change my mind ....

I've a lot of work to do with my shotguns over the next week/s or so & hope to find out some things based on my own "testing" & what ever that brings out ....

Till then, I'd still agree (& that with no personally tested info at hand) that any shotgun load (perhaps leaving out the .410) at normal "inside-the-house" range will not matter one whit.
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Old January 4, 2002, 11:06 PM   #8
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"I've yet to go to the range & pattern some "bird shot" to see what it does. I believe those who have re the "<20 foot - 20 yard single cup"/solid slug" theme .... merely haven't done it yet & plan to next week to see for myself. I'm for a decent range session "playing" for results. "

Funny you mention that - I just took five 18" x 18" targets to the range to pattern #8 shot out of my 18.5" cylinder choked 12 ga. at 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 yds. I only took the 18" x 18" targets because of all the hub-bub I'd heard about shot not expanding very much in short distances.

At five yards it stayed mostly on the paper, but it was evident that not all the shot hit. At any longer range there's no telling - the paper was covered with shot holes, but so was everything around it.

I guess an (at least) 18" spread at 5 yds doesn't quite qualify as a "single cup/solid slug"..........

Maybe they were talking about buckshot - gotta try that next!
"The way is in training" - Miyamoto Musashi
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Old January 4, 2002, 11:33 PM   #9
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Funny in a way that the intial posit of this thread is, "The 12 ga. pump shotgun is not really a very good choice for the average person if they are going to use it for home defence[/I] ... "

Well, there ya go. ,

but the "" don't apply, depending on circumstances ....

I would say the same thing for a .308, or "insert any other" gun here - depends on the situation .... (I could easily argue that a 9MM, or .308 semi isn't a "good eough gun" either ... it is, depending - & that hugely on the living/dwelling circumstances ....

Point is, any firearm can be [I[THE[/I] best defense firearm (& platform, at that) depending upon your circumstance/s - it matters hugely.

What would work best for me, will not necessarily, work for you. It does matter hugely regards your own abode, lay-out/construction, etc

I would counter that a 12 ga pump shotgun could & may be
the best ever, but wouldn't be so conceited to say that it is - your mileage may vary.

Hmmm ? What about a 20 ga ... ? or a ... ? there are other onsiderations that will work as well ....
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