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Best HD Type?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Rustynuts, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts Well-Known Member

    Probably hashed to death, but a search didn't really answer. Whats the best caliber and load for HD. 20g or 12g? I've read slug can over penetrate and no. 4 is better? Shotgun newb! I know a short barrel is preferred (18") but do many go shorter even with the tax stamp for close quarters? What about the pistol grip vs stock? Get both for the option?
  2. Fast Frank

    Fast Frank Well-Known Member

    After about a hundred years of testing, innovating, and debating, the traditional 18" 12 gauge and 00 buckshot are still the best there is.

    If somebody found something that worked even a little bit better, we would be talking about it here every day...

    And that's not happening.
  3. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    Second the 18" (but a 20" is fine too)12 ga., 2 3/4" chamber is plenty. A good short stock, about 1" shorter than a bird gun stock, makes for fast handling indoors ect. with a good (LimbSaver or Kick EZE or Decellerator) pad so you can train. A bead sight works fine, but rifle sights lets you have a swell deer slug gun if that is an option. Mossberg , Winchester and Remington pump action are top choices.The pump allows you to have it 'Cruiser ready' , which is an ideal situation for HD with the chamber empty but an ample supply immeadiately ready and easy to top off. See that was simple!
    What is complex is argument over whether a 20ga is viable (it IS, but slightly limited) or what ninja junk to hang on.Also whether a semi auto is also OK (yes but not quite as 'cruiser ready' freindly and takes a little more training and hand strength IMHO) or a double is as good (sure for Doc Holliday) ect. ad nauseum on pistol grips ect. If you get into it the first thing to add is a good light, like a Surefire forearm. Its pretty hard to hold a light and shoot a shoulder weapon, let alone a pump gun and most stuff goes down at night! I reccomend a 18" barreled Remington 870, get an allready configured one in your price range.
  4. jad0110

    jad0110 Well-Known Member

    I'm with Fast Frank. 18 to 20" should be fine. Depending on the layout of your home, anything longer than 20" may get clumsy. For my future HD 12 ga, I'll load it with either 2 3/4" #1 or 00 buckshot.

    Have you fired a 12 ga recently? For me, it had been a while since I last fired one, and it was a 28 incher, whose extra bulk soaked up more recoil. So I rented a 12 ga 18.5" Mossberg Maverick just to make sure I could handle it okay. BTW, I prefer 12 ga, given the greater variety of loads for it. Not to mention 12 ga shot is cheaper, at least where I live. With 2 3/4" 00, the recoil was certainly stout, but not brutal IMO. That said, I would NOT want a 12 ga shottie with a pistol grip, PERIOD. A friend has a pistol grip 12 ga Mossie 500. I've never fired it, especially after he said it felt like getting pounded in the wrist with a Louisville Slugger. Ouch :eek: . Needless to say, he never practices with it because it is so unpleasant. Not a good thing; practice is essential. I'll stick with a good old fashioned stock, but that's just my prefence.
  5. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts Well-Known Member

    I wasn't thinking of a shorty with just the pistol, but one with a stock AND pistol (or thumb hole) for the option. I'm a lefty so I was thinking of the Mossy as it seems lefties prefer the top safety. Also considering the Saiga 12 for a semi.
  6. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    The best HD shotgun is the one you jsut ran 1K rounds through.


    Good HD shotguns abound. Good shotgunners do not.
  7. Regolith

    Regolith Well-Known Member

    Who's using it, and what are their recoil tolerances?

    20 gauge will work fine for HD, and is an excellent choice if there are smaller shooters in the house who may need to use it and can't stand the full recoil of the 12 gauge.

    If its just you, then you really can't beat a 12 gauge.

    2 3/4" buckshot or slugs are your best bet. You don't want to go magnum, because the force of the recoil is likely to hurt your ability to make a fast follow up shot. In fact, reduced recoil loads are often best because of this.

    Don't put a pistol grip on your shotgun unless it also has a butt stock. Pistol Grip Only shotguns are difficult to aim and control, and are only useful under very certain circumstances.

    Mossberg's work fine. They don't last quite as long as an 870, but we're talking about the difference of it lasting 100 years or a 150 years. Though you may want to opt for the 590, as it has a metal safety and trigger group and is already set up for HD, where as the 500 has a plastic safety/trigger group and would need to be converted, even if you got a combo kit.

    Most important thing, once you buy your new shotgun: Buy ammo. Use up. Repeat.
  8. mugs79

    mugs79 Well-Known Member

    I once read something on this forum. I have no idea who said it, but it was something along the lines of the handgun in your nightstand is there to get you to the shotgun in your closet.

    I fully stand behind the idea that if you're going to own only one HD gun, that handgun in your nightstand is the one it should be. After all, a shotgun in the closet doesn't do you a bit of good if it isn't accessible.

    That said, I keep a box of 00 buckshot in the closet next to my bird gun (in the closet). Sure the 28" barrel is horrible clumsy through doorways. And sure, the action lock on it inside of the case it's in will slow me down. As will the empty mag.

    But, anything is better than nothing.

    I'd say if you have to own a HD shotgun, it should be short enough to fit sideways through doors (with you holding it), you should be practiced enough with it to do the job when you're scared enough to soil yourself, and it should be powerful enough to get the job done.

    But I still maintain that, for HD, a .22 in the nightstand is going to end up being more powerful than a 12ga in the closet.

    I also maintain that the sound of a pump is the single most intimidating sound in the world.

    Really, the only important thing is that you can hit what you want to hit. It doesn't matter if an invader gets hit with 10ga buckshot or .410 birdshot. Either is going to make him seriously reconsider whatever he was doing.

    Practice, practice, practice. When push comes to shove, that's what's important.
  9. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Well-Known Member

  10. Fast Frank

    Fast Frank Well-Known Member

    I don't know why everybody seems to think pumps sound different than autos.

    Click on the pic to watch the video. A Remington pump sounds the same as a Remington auto.

  11. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    Coach gun for me, thanks. Most intimidating SIGHT in the world. And, with 20" tubes, it's shorter than an 18" pump. And, heck, it did a good job for the Doc at the OK corral. :D
  12. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Well-Known Member

    I would say ideally a 12ga with 2 3/4" of #00 buckshot is best. I live in an apartment though so I use #4 buckshot. Technically, you could take down a man at 3 feet with bird shot, but make it 20 feet and the odds grow thin. Even 20ga works fine with #3-#4 buckshot in there.
  13. rantingredneck

    rantingredneck Well-Known Member

    Very true.

    As to buckshot loads, there was an article at firearmstactical.com that indicated #1 buck was the ideal load as it had more total surface area than standard 00 loads and would reliably penetrate 12" of gelatin. #4's penetration can be borderline depending on the range of your particular social engagement.

    Whichever load you choose, should be chosen based on the results of rigorous pattern testing from your gun. Each gun has their preferences. I use Rem Reduced recoil or standard 2 3/4" buckshot. Both pattern very well from my 870's and my 500.

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