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  1. #1
    DTrain is offline Junior Member
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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.

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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.

  4. #3
    TOF's Avatar
    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.


  5. #4
    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.

  6. #5
    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

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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?

  8. #7
    DTrain is offline Junior Member
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    I believe Center of Mass.

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    Ah, that makes sense.

  10. #9
    neophyte is offline Member
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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.

  11. #10
    Snowman's Avatar
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    Yeah, I meant center of mass. Somewhere between the gut and neck.

  12. #11
    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.

  13. #12
    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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  14. #13
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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.

  15. #14
    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.

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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.

  17. #16
    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?

  18. #17
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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...

  19. #18
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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.


  20. #19
    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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  21. #20
    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.
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  22. #21
    DTrain is offline Junior Member
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    Remington has an 870 Express Synthetic that has 7 round capacity, 18" barrel and is available in 20ga (order no 81100). Would this make a decent home defense shotgun?

    Or maybe better yet...
    http://www.remington.com/products/fi...shot_20-ga.asp

  23. #22
    NAS T MAG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    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.
    While I respect your opinions, you might be the only person I've read that says an auto is better than a revolver for SD. I just don't see any reports of FTF on revolvers, but I sure see a lot on autos.

    To each his own, I guess. That's one of the reasons I buy different styles, realizing that I will probably never have to use one for SD, I just get the ones that interest me. But, if it doesn't fit in a holster, I don't want it.

    Tom

  24. #23
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NAS T MAG View Post
    you might be the only person I've read that says an auto is better than a revolver for SD. I just don't see any reports of FTF on revolvers, but I sure see a lot on autos.
    Wow. You must not have delved too deeply into the defensive aspects of handguns, which is okay with me. But the overwhelming majority of upper-level defense instructors since at least Jeff Cooper have recommended autos for defense. As well, essentially all cops and all soldiers carry autos, which they wouldn't do if the myth about autos being "jammamatics" was true. I have a pair of Glock pistols that have never malfunctioned, in thousands of rounds, and many other shooters can say the same about their XDs, SIGs, Berettas, HKs, etc.

    To each his own, I guess. That's one of the reasons I buy different styles, realizing that I will probably never have to use one for SD, I just get the ones that interest me. But, if it doesn't fit in a holster, I don't want it.
    That's cool, and I'm not saying everyone requires a stocked shotgun for defense. I'm just saying it's a far more effective fighting tool than any handgun. I don't think any serious, experienced person would dispute that.
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  25. #24
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DTrain View Post
    Remington has an 870 Express Synthetic that has 7 round capacity, 18" barrel and is available in 20ga (order no 81100). Would this make a decent home defense shotgun?

    Or maybe better yet...
    http://www.remington.com/products/fi...shot_20-ga.asp
    That shotgun, along with some training and a few cases of practice ammo, would make an outstanding - not just decent - home defense gun.
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  26. #25
    TerryP Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by DTrain View Post
    Remington has an 870 Express Synthetic that has 7 round capacity, 18" barrel and is available in 20ga (order no 81100). Would this make a decent home defense shotgun?

    Don't see why it wouldn't be a good home defense weapon. I like guns that can serve multiple purposes like bird hunting or clay pigeon shooting so I personally wouldn't select that model. If you buy it be sure and shoot it so you can adjust the stock and get used to it. I agree with Mike that #3 buck would be the way to go but you can practice with less expensive (none of them are cheap anymore) bird shot and use enough #3 buck to see where the pattern is hitting and how it feels.

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