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is 20 gauge adequate for home defense?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by aguywithagun, Dec 25, 2012.

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  1. aguywithagun

    aguywithagun Member

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    I want to get something that my brother and older mother can both use. will a 20 gauge get the job done in a home invasion?

    thanks
     
  2. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

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    This ? comes up from time to time . Although many will argue for the 12ga , the 20ga has more than enough energy and stopping power for HD.

    Let me put it another way. A 2&3/4" 20ga #3 buckshot delivers about twice the energy as a 357 magnum. Is that enough ? It is for me .
     
  3. Analogkid

    Analogkid Member

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    Yes....
     
  4. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Very well actually and it is a good choice for women who are usually more recoil sensitive. You throw much more lead per shot than any handgun.

    In addition, with buckshot, you reduce the problem of over penetration into neighboring buildings as well compared to a .357 for instance.

    In fact, I have two 20 ga shotguns that I got years ago to teach my kids how to shoot. They now serve me well as my bedside guns. No problem with a 20 ga at all for home defense.
     
  5. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    Yes, with buckshot or slugs.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  6. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    If a 20 gauge with buckshot doesn't stop someone you're in some serious trouble.
     
  7. Dlowe167

    Dlowe167 Member

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    I seen this show where they shot 12ga & 20ga side by side. Both did great,wasnt til target was 50+ yards away. That the 12ga really shined. The 12ga would slug shot 100yards no problem. But for sd/hd,shouldnt be a problem
     
  8. DaleCooper51

    DaleCooper51 Member

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    A 20 will do fine providing you do your part.

    Just like owning a guitar doesn't make you Hendrix, owning a shotgun doesn't make you Awerbuck.
     
  9. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    Try a 20 ga with buck-shot on a watermellon. Enough said.
     
  10. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    A .410 with proper loads in the hands of someone that knows how to use it is fine. Any shotgun loaded with proper loads will work (don't use bird shot).
     
  11. AI&P Tactical

    AI&P Tactical Member

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    Yes, more then adequate. I have been preaching the 20 for HD for years. HD distances are in feet not yards so the light loads of a 20ga take nothing away from your ability to protect yourself. I am not wrong on this one as a perp with a load of #3 buck from a 20ga in his chest is as "Shotgun Dead" as a perp with a load of 00 from a 12ga.
     
  12. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    A 20 is fine, but if you're expecting less recoil for your mom and brother you may be surprised to find that they are about the same as a 12. When fired from guns of equal weight the 20 will recoil less but most 20's are considerably lighter.

    A 12 guage 870 is one lb. heavier than the same gun in 20 guage. Run the numbers through a recoil calgulator program such as this. http://www.handloads.com/calc/recoil.asp and you will find that with common loads the 20 has slightly more recoil than the 12. Even with lighter payloads.

    I personally find the 12 to be more versatle with far more options for loads, including reduced recoil loads that will truly get recoil down to more manageable levels. You can always shoot 20 guage equivalent loads through the 12. You buy the lighter 20 guage gun for carrying miles each day while hunting in rough terrain, not for recoil reduction.
     
  13. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    One would think will all of the people who are REALLY ready for one, there would be some empirical data about any kind of home invasion and shotguns.
    In any event I would think a 20 would be fine. I risk my life daily going to bed without a pistol grip, extended magazine, breacher attachment, short barrel, rail, or light.
     
  14. aguywithagun

    aguywithagun Member

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    can all 12 gauge shotguns shoot 20 gauge loads? I've been looking at the Mossberg 500 mostly.
     
  15. DaleCooper51

    DaleCooper51 Member

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    A 12 ga cannot shoot a 20 ga shell. If you are hand loading, it is easy to load a lighter 7/8 oz shell that is equivalent to a 20ga, but they are not interchangeable.
     
  16. Isaac-1

    Isaac-1 Member

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    A couple of notes,

    first a 20 GA buckshot load is very similar in overall performace to these "low recoil" 12 GA loads.

    second, while it is true that most 20 GA shotguns are built on smaller frames than their 12 GA brothers and ar therefore lighter, there are some exceptions, such as older full size frame 20GA Remington 870's built before the mid 1970's

    Ike

    p.s. one more note for smaller framed people often a smaller frame gun will work better, particularly things like the Mossberg Bantum sized guns as they have shorter throws on the pump action which can be an issue for people with short arms.
     
  17. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Simple answer - yes it is
     
  18. natman

    natman Member

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    He said a 12 ga can shoot 20 ga equivalent loads, i.e. loads with 20 ga weights of shot, not that it can literally shoot 20 ga ammuniton, because it can't be done.
     
  19. bubba in ca

    bubba in ca Member

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    Yes and No

    Yes, the 20 has adequate stopping power. I would say it has better stopping power than any handgun likely to be used, and 2 and 3 buck are available from major manufacturers.

    No, one 20 gauge (presumably pump) shared by 2 persons will not stop a home invasion.
    If you are expecting a home invasion, you need (2) .223 carbines and the requisite skills to use them--and 2 handguns for backup, among other things.

    And a piece of gratuitous info: 20 gauges with aluminum frames do not kick! I had my Maverick HD out shooting buckshot 10 days after I had my gall bladder whacked with no discomfort at all. I would not have dared to shoot a 12 gauge.
     
  20. backbencher

    backbencher Member

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    These folks make some interesting 20 ga buckshot ammo:

    http://www.custombuckshot.com/

    The van has a Remington 870 Youth 20 ga w/ 21" bbl, full choke, an extended magazine, & a Pachmayr pistol grip cut down to fit the 20 ga frame. It recoils far less than issue 12 ga 00 buck from a 17" Mossberg 500 the Navy had me qualify on. With #3 buck, I have 140 chances to hit my target.

    If one is expecting a home invasion, go to someone else's house. A 20 ga shotgun w/ buckshot is sufficient to repel anyone not wearing body armor.
     
  21. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    It's wise to know the actual performance of your intended defensive ammunition. Properly selected .357 HPs have less penetration at close range than 00 buckshot. Same with Foster slugs: despite what most people "know", Foster slugs at close range penetrate less than 00 buck. I mean, why actually look up tests done by professionals when we can just claim to know how the loads perform! :rolleyes:

    20 is enough power, but in a lightweight gun, will still kick.

    John
     
  22. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Well, in a way, yes it can be - with a breech-loader - i.e., SxS or O/U, and using subgauge tubes, you can fire 20 gauge ammo out of a 12 gauge gun; but that is not where this thread was intending to go.

    I shoot the equal of a 28 gauge load (3/4oz) out of both my 12 and 20 gauge guns - this lets me save on reloading components and allows me to shoot a lot more with a lot less recoil
     
  23. RatDrall

    RatDrall Member

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  24. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    +1 to 12Bravo20.

    If recoil is a problem, a .410 bore shotgun with the new "Judge" .410 loads is a good alternative to either a 12 or 20 gauge.
     
  25. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    No matter what gauge you choose (12, 16, 20, 28, .410) practice shooting your shotgun with the loads you are going to use. I don't feel under gunned with my .410 one bit (reload my own 5 pellet 00 buck in 3 inch shells)

    I can out-shoot most of my friends with my .410 versus their 12's but I also practice a lot. As the saying goes: practice makes perfect.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
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