12 Ga or 20 Ga For home defense?

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    1. #1
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      12 Ga or 20 Ga For home defense?

      What's your opinion and why? I've read in this article that the 20 Ga makes for a good home defense round with lighter recoil than the 12.

    2. #2
      Banned fivehourfrenzy's Avatar
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      Yow. Load your 10 gauge with whatever the hell you want.
      Lol. From a ballistics standpoint, a 12-gauge has better stopping power than a 20-gauge. But, if you dislike and/or can't handle the 12-gauge blast and recoil, you won't reap the benefits it has over the 20-gauge, but still suffer the downsides. So for some people, the 20-gauge would be a better choice. It has less recoil and allows quicker follow up shots. But if well placed, a 2 3/4" load of 00 buckshot should drop anyone with one shot, maybe two if they're all cracked out or on PCP.

      I'm wondering about the birdshot versus buckshot for super close quarters. I'm not at all questioning Chuck Hawks authori-TIE, but even at ten feet, I'd still rather have buckshot. It's heavier and would still do more damage to a human body IMO. Overpenetration is a concern for me as I live in an apartment with thin walls all around. Still...rather stay loaded with buckshot. Slugs are out for sure.

    3. #3
      TOF
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      At ten feet there is not a great deal of difference between birdshot and slugs in regards to killing a man. They will both do it very effectively. 12 or 20 doesn't realy matter.


    4. #4
      Member Snowman's Avatar
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      If you hit the bad guy COM, it won't matter if it was a 12 or 20 gauge.

    5. #5
      Junior Member NAS T MAG's Avatar
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      Shotguns are just too unwieldy. that's why I bought the Taurus Judge.
      http://www.taurususa.com/products/pr...egory=Revolver

    6. #6
      Banned fivehourfrenzy's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Snowman View Post
      If you hit the bad guy COM, it won't matter if it was a 12 or 20 gauge.
      What's COM?

    7. #7
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      I believe Center of Mass.

    8. #8
      Banned fivehourfrenzy's Avatar
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      Ah, that makes sense.

    9. #9
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      model

      fivehourfrenzy: Sir; technically;
      'combat objective model'

      A lot of words to say; YOU better have a dang good BACKUP plan.

    10. #10
      Member Snowman's Avatar
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      Yeah, I meant center of mass. Somewhere between the gut and neck.

    11. #11
      Member Snowman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by NAS T MAG View Post
      Shotguns are just too unwieldy. that's why I bought the Taurus Judge.
      http://www.taurususa.com/products/pr...egory=Revolver

      I'm sorry, but a Judge is simply no replacement for a shotgun. If you're in a vehicle or something it's fine. For home defense I'd want something besides a 410.

    12. #12
      Senior Member Mike Barham's Avatar
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      A 20-gauge loaded with #3 Buck is an extremely effective weapon. "Stopping power" discussions are sort of moot when you reach this power level. The only real reasons I choose the 12 for defense are because good guns and loads are more easily available, and practice ammo is often cheaper and more common. Power doesn't even enter the equation, because 20 gauge buckshot is amply powerful to put a man down (and probably permanently).

      A short-barreled 20 gauge 1100 is an excellent, very easy gun to shoot well, offer plenty of power, and handles almost like an M1 Carbine. Some people in this thread would know this is a major advantage of the 20, if they gained any significant experience with shotguns before they posted.

      The unwieldy Judge is certainly no substitute for a real shotgun. It has no stock, which is the thing that makes a shotgun easier to hit with, especially under stress, than a pistol.
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    13. #13
      Banned fivehourfrenzy's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Snowman View Post
      For home defense I'd want something besides a 410.
      +1...big difference between a 12/20-gauge and a .410, even with a stock.

      Here's what Chuck Hawks has to say about a .410:

      None of the above really applies in this weak caliber. The .410 is only a half-way decent manstopper with slugs. Choose the Federal Classic (F412RS) or Winchester Super-X (X41RS5) 1/5 ounce (88 grain) hollowpoint slug. Never use birdshot. American Derringer Corp. has produced an odd buckshot load for the .410 (withthree 000 pellets), and I advise you to ignore it. Lose the .410 and buy a 20 gauge pump shotgun.

    14. #14
      Member Snowman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by fivehourfrenzy View Post
      +1...big difference between a 12/20-gauge and a .410, even with a stock.

      Here's what Chuck Hawks has to say about a .410:
      Haha. I recognized the 10 gauge quote from before, and this one too. I spent a long time one night and read the whole thing on chuckhawks.com. It's really interesting.

      Chuck Hawks didn't actually write it, but it's a good read anyway.


      Mike is spot on about the 20 gauge being easy to handle. I still have my 870 youth model that I got many years ago for this reason.

    15. #15
      Banned fivehourfrenzy's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Snowman View Post
      Haha. I recognized the 10 gauge quote from before, and this one too. I spent a long time one night and read the whole thing on chuckhawks.com. It's really interesting.

      Chuck Hawks didn't actually write it, but it's a good read anyway.
      Oh yeah, I remember reading the disclaimer at the top. Still a great article, and interesting nonetheless. I found the part about not using any 9mm rounds over 125-grain to be interesting. Also, the author had reason to believe a 155-grain or 165-grain .40S&W is more street-proven than a 180-grain. I personally keep mine loaded with 180-grain Gold Dots, but I can notice a slight difference in muzzle flip between 180-grain and 165-grain. I wouldn't have a problem with loading it up with 155-grain Gold Dots if they're A) proven to be just as effective or more so as 180-grain, and B) produce significantly less muzzle flip. As Mike and the rest say, the ballistic performance differences between the different brands/weights of bullets are minimal, but less muzzle flip is enough reason to drop down to 155-grain.

    16. #16
      Junior Member NAS T MAG's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post

      The unwieldy Judge is certainly no substitute for a real shotgun. It has no stock, which is the thing that makes a shotgun easier to hit with, especially under stress, than a pistol.
      Well, I certainly agree. Kinda like a Volkswagen is no substitute for a Porsche! But, with two shots of .410 buckshot and 3 backups of .45 HP's, I feel I can make someone say more than ouch.

      All my range time with the Judge is at about 10 feet. It's a point and shoot gun not aim and shoot. Really doest even need sights for the distance it would be used. Plus, it fits nicely on the end table.

      Out of curiosity, have you fired one?

    17. #17
      Senior Member JeffWard's Avatar
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      Remember, that at the 10' range, buckshot IS a slug.

      At 1 inch of pattern spread per yard out of a cylinder choke gun, the load of buck is a gaping 3 inches across. Brutal to get hit with, but easy to miss with. The Hollywood concept of a point and shoot "alley sweeper" of a shotgun, is just as wrong as the "endless cylinder".

      I agree that a Rem 870 Youth-sized 20 Ga would be one heck of a self defense gun, for size, pointability, and power. In fact there are a few places (like behind the seat in a truck, that the Youth 20 would work VERY well).

      Damn it... now I want one. Betcha they are CHEAP used too...

    18. #18
      TOF
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      Jeff, what you need to round out your arsenal are a few Shotgrenades as seen on future weapons. I believe you need to have a 12 guage to use them however so you better rethink that 20.


    19. #19
      Senior Member Mike Barham's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by NAS T MAG View Post
      Out of curiosity, have you fired one?
      Nah, just handled one at SHOT Show, or maybe it was NRA Show. I don't really have any interest in the gun, since it's really clunky (in my hands, anyway) and seems a poor substitute for a handgun that can be shot really fast and well. Anyway, I don't use any revolvers for defense because they're weak in so many areas compared to autos.

      I don't need to fire a Judge to know that a shotgun with a stock is easier to shoot well under stress than any handgun - even a huge revolver chambered for shotgun shells.
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    20. #20
      Senior Member Mike Barham's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by JeffWard View Post
      Damn it... now I want one. Betcha they are CHEAP used too...
      If you come across any that are cheaper than the (much more common) 12 gauge, let me know. I'll take two.
      Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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