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20 gauge home defense shotgun?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by pricee, Mar 30, 2008.

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  1. pricee

    pricee Member

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    Folks-

    Looking to purchase a 20 gauge shotgun (3" chamber) with the shortest barrel possible (18 inch ??) for home defense. Most of the guns I've seen so far are 12 gauge.

    Can you point me in the right direction?

    Many thanks
     
  2. MASTEROFMALICE

    MASTEROFMALICE member

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    I use a Mossberg 500 for my wife. You can get it for next to nothing. Chech model 50450 or 50452. If you want to go more tacticool model 50145 will suit you.

    Mossberg also makes model number 75770 which is a semi-auto 20.

    Remington does their 870 in a 20 as well I'm sure.
     
  3. Snarlingiron

    Snarlingiron Member

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    I can't think of anything that will fit the bill any better than this. and the 20 ga is perfect for most family type multiple user scenarios. I am an 870 fan, but the Mossberg will work too.
     
  4. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Member

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    Get the 12 and get reduced recoil 2 3/4" shells.

    The recoil is less than bulk 12 gauge birshot. And certainly less than any 20 gauge 3" load! :what:
     
  5. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    H&R single shot 20 gauge, 3" inch chamber, very short. You can keep it loaded indefintely, just tape over the muzzle or a condom. I would put a butt cuff on it so you have a means of reloading the weapon.
     
  6. Abner

    Abner Member

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    I recommend the 870 that was linked above by snarlingiron, that's what I use. I have had a 12 gauge 870 setup with Wilson extended tube and surefire forend and it was over >10 lbs with sidesaddle. I'm not a muscleman so it was tiring to hold up for extended periods and for sure I couldn't do it one handed with the standard stock.
    The 20 gauge 870 loaded with 5 +4 on a butt-cuff and surefire light in a tac-star mount I can easily hold up with one hand if I have to do something with the other (just for a description of how light it is). It patterned the best with Federal classic #3 2 3/4" buckshot. I have added a vang comp safety and rifle sighted wingmaster barrel with Trijicon sights.
     
  7. md7

    md7 Member

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    hello pricee,

    as has been suggested above, both remington 870's and mossberg 500's are available in 20 guage. pick em both up and see what YOU like the best. they are both good shotguns.
     
  8. btg3

    btg3 Member

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    My choice as the best HD gun for all users in my family including wife and teen daughter is a 20ga 870 or 500. A shorter barrel is fine, but nothing else is needed.

    Keep it light-weight and simple:
    >> 12ga is a heavier gun.
    >> Even with reduced recoil loads 12ga has more recoil than 2-3/4 20ga loads.
    >> A mag extension is heavy and puts the weight where it's hardest to manage.
    >> Street lights put enough light in my house without a light on the gun.

    http://www.internetarmory.com/shotgun_ammo.htm
    "When compared to a 12 gauge, the 20 gauge delivers 75% of the lead with a recoil that is 40-50% less. This is equivalent to the ballistic force of being hit with two .44 Magnum rounds simultaneously. Reduced recoil of the 20 gauge is conducive to accurate, rapid shots."

    If it's just you, you may select a 12ga, but if you feel that a 20ga is inadequate... well, I'd wonder about the reasons.
     
  9. esq_stu

    esq_stu Member

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    For HD I have a 20 ga. 870 Youth model with 20" cylinder bore deer barrel w/rifle sights and a Wilson Combat extended mag. It is loaded with #3 buckshot.
     
  10. xjchief

    xjchief Member

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    I've been considering a Saiga 20 ga to replace my Moss. 500 12 ga. which serves as my primary HD.

    Semi-auto and lower recoil might be a good combination- more shots quicker?
     
  11. BBroadside

    BBroadside Member

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    I'll second the point that 20-gauge has a lot of power. My information puts the 20-gauge between .223 Rem and .243 Win in terms of muzzle energy. (Using muzzle momentum would make it look even better.) Granted, this isn't going to apply at extended ranges, and a lot of 223s have much greater ammo capacity, but for home defense 20-gauge seems perfectly adequate. (As to the wound ballistics of 1 Buck versus a Foster slug, versus a rifle bullet ... I know nothing of this.)
     
  12. pricee

    pricee Member

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    Folks-

    Many thanks for the information. It looks what I need is readily available. I've been a handgunner for years but my shotgun knowledge is pretty weak.

    Thanks again.
     
  13. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    My wife decided to try an 870 Youth Express in 20 gauge as a 3-gun shotgun, looking for lower recoil. The only buck and slug loads available for the 20 ga. were magnum loads.

    She tried it one time and went back to her 12 gauge with reduced recoil loads. She's never shot the 20 ga. again.

    YMMV of course, but it is likely that reduced recoil loads fired out of a heavier 12 ga. gun will yield less felt recoil than heavy 20 ga. loads in a lighter weight gun.

    lpl/nc
     
  14. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    I will second Lee's point. I am a big, big 20 gauge fan, but in general recoil levels do not go down with the 20s because the guns weigh anywhere from half a pound to a full pound or more less than a comparable 12 gauge.

    Another thing to think about is the range (much greater) of selection available in 12 gauge ammo. Three inch mag, 2.75" reduced recoil...special defensive buck loads (hardened and plated), not available to my knowledge in 20...and you can't get buck loads larger than #3, IIRC. Not an issue perhaps indoors but at anything more than down-the-hall range penetration is going to suffer with possible adverse results.

    I'd go with a 5-shot 870 or 500, skip all the ninja add-ons that make the gun harder hold, and use reduced recoil loads. (And make sure folks practice with 'em.)
     
  15. jackdanson

    jackdanson Member

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    I wouldn't use a saiga for home defense. I've got the 12 gauge version and wouldn't trust it for HD duty. If you keep the mags loaded the top shell gets deformed and sometimes has trouble loading. If you are going to use it pop the top shell out before loading the mag in. Keep the pump imho.
     
  16. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    It not so much strength as it is conditioning. When I was single, and had the money to go through four to six hundred rounds in a weekend (sometime more), one of my favorite range toys was my semi-auto Thompson. Right around 15lbs loaded. Granted, I'm almost all muscle, but I'm 6ft tall and only weigh around 155lbs.

    One thing I have noticed is that holding it one handed is easier with a PG stock, which I bought and didnt like because of the long reach to the trigger and the 2x4 feeling grip (speedfeed with no shell storage).
     
  17. Harvster

    Harvster Member

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    I have a 20ga Mossberg and its a fine gun but, as has been mentioned, ammo selection is pitiful.
     
  18. chibajoe

    chibajoe Member

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    How about a Saiga 20 bullpup?

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Jack2427

    Jack2427 Member

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    I have been toting military/tactical shotguns around for 40+ years. I would never use a Saiga, not that the AK design is not good, it is, in a medium cartridge rifle! The SG variation is just that, a variation, and mostly unproven. For each trouble free Saiga out there, there is one that gives grief. There is not much out there that will beat a good old American Remington 870 or a Mossberg 590A1, or a Winchester 1897 or a Winchester 1912 for that matter. For serious use, I would (and do) stick with proven designs. There are also many foreign designs that work well, the Saiga is just not one of them.
     
  20. scalper

    scalper Member

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    Consider a Taurus Judge .410 / .45 LC Pistol

    If you want something small, why not look at the Taurus Judge revolver. It has the reliability of a revolver with 6 shots. You can load it up with .410 shot shells or .45 Long Colts or a mix of both.

    A buddy of mine loads his with 3 of each. His plan is the bad guy will get 3 quick shotgun blast of .410 to the head and torso and if that don't stop his he will follow up with 3 large diameter holes about the size of .45 caliber Long Colts. He even thought about putting a .410 slug in.

    Sure a .410 is not ideal, but if you want something small, this is about as small as you get. And combined with the .45LC plus the fact you will be up close and personal, I think the Judge would be more than adequate.
     
  21. callo685

    callo685 Member

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  22. xjchief

    xjchief Member

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    Thanks for the heads up. I like my mossy anyway. :)
     
  23. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member

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    The best reason to go with a 20 over a 12 is weight. My bedroom 12ga 870 is right at 8lbs loaded. One of my wifes 20ga 870's is less than 6.5lbs loaded. Recoil is similar, but my wife handles the 20 easier.

    David
     
  24. SuperNaut

    SuperNaut Member

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    I wonder how many times you'd hook your thumb in your mouth changing mags on that conversion?
     
  25. guntotinguy

    guntotinguy Member

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    Thats a really sweet shotgun you converted there,my wife is looking over my shoulder and 'drooling' over it (she loves bullpup designs)...I love Saiga's,as an AK variant,most useful in a CQB situation.I also suggest a Mossberg pump,quite reliable and with tactical furnature..easy to 'move about 'close quarters'.

    Just my .02.
     
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