Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Dave McCracken, Apr 12, 2008.
I recently had a winchester in my hands , I forgot the model but it had a remarkebly smooth action.
Two fast questions about home defense shotguns.
1. Has anyone done any sort of testing on birdshot? I know the penetration is not the same as buck shot or slugs, and bird would not be my first choice, but up close (less than 10 yards, or across the typical living room) it's nothing to sneeze at. I tested it just out of curiosity, and found that at about 5 yards, it'll blow a 2x4 into several pieces. At the same range, penetration in 1-gallon milk jugs filled with water was comparable to several HP pistol rounds I tested (9mm, 10mm), plus of course the payload is several times heavier. Before you torch me, notice please that I've said it's not as good as buck/slug loads, and that I'm talking about under 10 yards. Has anyone else performed similar tests?
2. How do you guys practice reloads? Do you use snap caps? Do they weigh the same as regular ammo? Do you use something else? I'm thinking of doing a 3-gun match this spring, and am not sure how do practice shotgun reloads.
Exactly what you wanted to see: http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=109958&start=0
You can use snap-caps, but I don't know of any that have the weight to be exactly the same. But that really shouldn't matter much.
Or, when you're out practicing shooting, you're always practicing reloads as well.
Thanks for the link to the fascinating post on shotgun load testing. I've not seen anything like it before. Just spent several minutes perusing it, and I know I'll be coming back to it in the future.
Can bird shot create terrible wounds, of course. So can the 22LR. But neither is a reliable stopping round.
The part of home defense weapons that most folks, that have never fired a shot in anger, do not understand, is that at cross room ranges (read that as, "CLOSE RANGE" OR CQB), the assurance of an effective hit, if and when you hit the VCA, is critically MORE IMPORTANT, not less. That is why with notable exception, using a handgun in HD as a primary defense weapon, makes no valid sense at all. The closer you will be when you can start shooting in self defense, the MORE long arms are required, not less, regardless of the space available.
If you believe avoiding over penetration is the primary mission, I strongly recommend a baseball bat or something of that ilk. I am serious. The Baseball bat makes for a very effective HD weapon. Very effective when aimed well, doesn't run out of ammunition, and doesn't threaten the neighbors (Remember to use in a hostile gun environment or when protecting the Neighbors from over penetration is the primary mission). Practice with it in one of the many effective Martial arts systems.
If stopping the VCA before you or your loved ones are injured, is your primary purpose, use buckshot or Slugs in the shotgun. I choose to use #1 buck or heavier for my HD shotty's per FBI recommendations. AS for Slugs, my own opinion is that there is nothing a slug can do that a rifle cannot do better, faster, and more effectively up to 30+ times in a row. It is also usually, with notable exception, lighter and shorter too.
My personal application of shotguns is only in the Home Defense mode, inside/indoors. If I cross that threshold and go outside, I want a properly set up rifle/carbine of which I have many.
Remember only you have to answer for your choices, not the rest of us.
Good luck, and may you never have to find out if your gear and plans work.
Practice reloads with live ammo only on the range where it's safe to shoot. Elsewhere use action proving dummies, available by the box of 5 or 25 from Brownells, or if you or a friend reloads, make up some dummy shells of your own clearly marked as such with dead primers, sawdust, grits etc, substituted for powder, a normal wad and load of shot, and a hot glued crimp. NEVER have any live ammo in the same room with you when you are practicing with dummy rounds.
There are several methods of combat reloading a shotgun, find one that works for you and stick with it.
Thanks to Lee for the info on the dummies from Brownells. Appreciate your advice.
My new home defense gun is....
a recently acquired JC Higgins Model 20, 12 gauge. I actually bought two because the price was too good to pass up.
Both came with a PowerPac choke system and one was damaged and wasn't worth trying to repair so I recently took it to my gunsmith to cut the barrel.
My go to gun was a Remington Model 11 Riot dated 1912. It's a solid amalgamation of steel and walnut...
We focus on hardware, but it's the software that wins or loses.....
I should have posted my reply in the topic "first shotgun"...
About fighting, finer words have never been spoken.
Doesn't matter gun fighting, aircraft dog fights, naval encounters, tank battle, or warfare in general..... The above statement is it.
Or as Col John Boyd put it:
Good luck, and Happy New Year to all.
They generally go for a few thousand as they're rare oddballs, and classified as NFA Title II Destructive Devices. If you practice well to run that strange gun, you may do as well with it as with a normal shotgun, though its bulk would be a drawback.
Some folks feel that using Title II firearms in self-defense roles opens you up to legal risks. Others are concerned about losing a valuable and rare gun to the police evidence locker in the case that it is actually used in a defensive shooting.
Most folks would say that you would be just as well defended with a $300 Remington 870 or 11-87, but if you can run your Striker 12 faster and more accurately than a more common Title I pump or autoloader, then it may serve you well.
I like the Saiga shotguns but can't afford one.
My wife's HD shotgun is a Mossberg Home Security .410 pump loaded with 3" 000 buck loads.
Mine are an IGA 12 gauge deluxe coach gun (nicer wood finish, recoil pad, and choke tubes), and a Mossberg 9200A1 Jungle Gun.
What was that line about a handgun only being good for getting you back to the longarm you never should have set down in the first place?
I have to respectfully disagree about shotgun slugs not doing anything a rifle won't do.
If you've ever shot deer or hogs with .223, 7.62x39, and 12/20 gauge Brenneke slugs you know what I mean.
Within 100 yards, the slug does a LOT more damage. BIG holes in and out.
I love rifles and pistols, but the shotgun is the king of home defense. And for good reason. It is extremely effective.
ARs and AKs look cool and are lots of fun to shoot, but they are one of the last guns I would grab for indoor self protection.
Depends entirely on which bullets you use in the rifles. There is a reason that Police and agency SWAT teams no longer use the shotgun for much other than breaching anymore.
The Rifle is MORE effective at neutralizing the target, much faster rate of fire in semi auto (I am NOT talking about full Auto or three shot bursts either), more firepower, lighter, and vastly superior to handle particularly indoors. Less penetration of walls too, yup.
Both rifles you mention, with proper bullets will do much more damage INSIDE the target than any shotgun with slugs would dream of. The down side of the slug is that same as the pistol bullet, the temporary wound IS not very effective for wounding purposes, and only the permanent wound channel is the effective wounding mechanism. Think velocity here, or rather lack of.
Doctor Gary Roberts, the leading Terminal ballistics researcher in the United States today, disagrees with you. Doc has a lot more science and research to make his decisions and recommendations, my own edge is actual combat experience, 58 years of hunting, competition (both rifle and pistol/revolver), and of course grins and giggles
By the way, I do not consider the shotgun slug a bad choice in self defense, much better than ANY fighting handgun caliber. I just know it ain’t magic, and why folks who do this for a living, when in side a house, choose rifles and carbines, not shotguns to fight with. And those that do use shotguns are almost exclusively loaded with heavy Buck shot.
Remember my family, friends and I are the only one’s who must live or die with my selections, no one else.
Good luck and Happy New Year.
Possible choices for HD shotgun - advice on which way to go please
I've read this thread with interest. I'd like to put together an inexpensive, functional HD shotgun, something along the lines of what this blog post recommends...http://carteach0.blogspot.com/2009/02/remington-870-built-for-home-defense.html - just a short barrel with a Uncle Mike's neoprene shell holder on the stock. To this I might also add a tube-mounted flashlight.
My HD philsophy is fairly simple - I'm not going around looking for the BG inside the house. All the bedrooms are upstairs; in the event of something going bump or crash downstairs, after a headcount (wife, kids) while making the 911 call I'd take up a low position at the top of the stairs behind the short wall there and wait for the cavalry (hopefully) or the BG to attempt to come upstairs (the point where things in my mind have moved from stealing stuff which can be replaced to endangering my family which can't).
I currently own Remington 870s (one 12 and one 20 gauge) which have seen very light use (breaking in, shooting at clays some, etc.). I keep #3 buck for the 20 and 00 buck for the 12. I'd probably set the 12 up for the HD. Both are fairly new and therefore reliable.
At first I thought I'd just buy an 18" barrel for the 12 and swap barrels back and forth depending on present need - to shoot clays, the 30"; otherwise the HD barrel. However, the lowest price I have found for the HD barrel is at CTD for roughly $110 plus shipping, which gets very close to that which one might pay for a used WesternField (apparently a Mossberg 500 clone), a used Mossberg 500 or perhaps a new NEF Pardner already set up as a HD shotgun that even has an extended tube and 18" barrel. Obviously the used ones would need the barrel cut and a sight put on - I can do the former but might outsource the whole thing to a smith. Both used or new dedicated firearms would eliminate the need to swap barrels often, a convenience that is worth a something.
So - which way would you all advise? All opinions welcome; some will be acted upon. Thanks.
Buy the extra barrel, not a different shotgun, even for almost the same money. It's far better IMHO to have a familiar shotgun in hand in an emergency, than a different gun with different control locations. Your "chops" are already set for the 870, don't mess with success.
I've found good used 18 - 20" 870 barrels at good prices in gun stores, the Accessories For Sale/Trade forum here or at similar forums, from discounters like CDNN or the Remington Country Store, etc. Last barrel I bought was a 20" 20 gauge rifled barrel with factory rifle sights for $100 to experiment with (use only smoothbore barrels for HD, though), the one before that was an 18" CYL bore bead sight 12 gauge barrel with the epoxy-on BigDot tritium sight in place for only $60 (about what the sight itself costs) over at TFL about a year ago.
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