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single shot 12 ga for home defense?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by PT1911, Apr 16, 2009.

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  1. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    I see no problem using a single shot shotgun for home defense. Obviously you have more options with more ammo, but all you really need to know how to do is fight with what you have. It may not be the best choice out there, but it will do if it is what you have. Never let anyone tell you that you are helpless; you could work with a lot less than that if you had to!

    Many of us fall into the severe "overkill" factor as far as home defense options are concerned. I certainly don't mind if someone wants to have 10,000 rounds of "home defense" ammo, and five semi-auto rifles by their bedside. To each their own.

    But, let us be honest here for a moment:

    1) You don't need all of that stuff under 99.99% of situations.

    2) A single load of well placed buckshot (or a slug) will end most gunfights.

    3) You aren't expecting an invasion by a foreign army, you are trying to ward off Joe-crackhead, the junky who is burglarizing you (or someone of equal charm). These idiots often work alone. In my experiences, even the ones who bring friends are often unarmed, or have one weapon to share.

    4) Once you go beyond a box or so of ammo, you are really crossing into the "Zombie Zone". Sure, 150,000 rounds of centerfire ammo would be great to have around when the undead take over the world, but it isn't necessarily a practical requirement. I have a lot of ammo, mostly because I shoot a lot. I don't really need a lot of ammo for defensive purposes!
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009
  2. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Member

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    When I think that a single shot is "enough," I'm actually asking the question: "Will a single shot work in a forted-up defensive situation in my home?"

    I think the answer's yes, but to tip the scales further in my favor, I've chosen a pump.

    If I could not have a handgun, the single shot would be a better choice -- for me -- than the pump for answering the door, investigating a problem, etc. My pump has a 28" barrel and has an overall length of four feet! By contrast, the 22" barrel on the single shot makes it quite handy. I can stand with it in my right hand, hanging straight down. The muzzle is well clear of the floor, and the slim little gun can be hidden if I turn sideways to an observer.

    I wrote last year of being surprised in the shower by the sight of a guy prowling around my back yard. The 870 was down with the broken firing pin, so the gun I grabbed -- naked and dripping soapy water -- was a youth single shot. I had a few shells between the fingers of my support hand, and the gun open with a round in the chamber: pretty darned safe from accidental firing, yet ready to go in a moment. I determined by a careful look that he was from the dreaded PHONE COMPANY and didn't confront him.

    Regards,
    Dirty Bob
     
  3. Leaky Waders

    Leaky Waders Member

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    ok look at it this way...

    You suspect an intruder is in your house...you have an 870 in one corner of your bedroom and grandpa's single shot leaning against it.

    Which one are you going to grab?

    If you really read these threads, most people who approve of the single shot for home defense qualify their statments based upon budget - and that's ok.

    "Afterall, if you're going to be in a gunfight...bring a gun."

    Is the single shot the paragon for home defense? I think the consensus is 'No'.


    Arguments such as -

    "But, let us be honest here for a moment:

    1) You don't need all of that stuff under 99.99% of situations.

    2) A single load of well placed buckshot (or a slug) will end most gunfights.

    3) You aren't expecting an invasion by a foreign army, you are trying to ward off Joe-crackhead, the junky who is burglarizing you (or someone of equal charm). These idiots often work alone. In my experiences, even the ones who bring friends are often unarmed, or have one weapon to share.

    4) Once you go beyond a box or so of ammo, you are really crossing into the "Zombie Zone"."

    Are the same arguments that the legislators will use to replace all of your guns with single shots, or sling shots, or a pager to a local police department.
     
  4. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

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    I think you are going a bit far with that statement... That is tantamount to saying that you have to use an AK for home defense or they will get banned even if you prefer something else.

    plumberroy:

    +1 to your comments...
     
  5. PT1911

    PT1911 Member

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    Great responses so far everyone.. does anyone know where I could find a shell holder to mount to the stock of one of my singles? Other than one of those flimsy cloth ones that are so terrible?
     
  6. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    Sir,

    With all due respect, lets try not take my comment out of context here! While I believe that my statements are true, I don't believe that it is ever a justification for banning other firearms. Whether you choose to defend your home with an AR-15, an AK-47, or a 20 gauge single shot is really none of my concern. But, I do feel that a person probably doesn't need more than your average shotgun to defend their home! That in no way means that I don't think that they should be able to have what they choose, even if they are planning for situations that will likely never materialize in our lifetimes.

    For many many years my only gun was a Mossberg 500 12 ga with a choice between a 28 inch field barrel and a 24 inch rifled slug barrel. I never felt undergunned with that firearm, even when I compare it to the collection of more "serious" hardware I own these days. Similarly, I doubt I'd feel entirely undergunned with a single shot shotgun, knowing what it can do in the hands of a capable shooter.

    For the record, my nightstand setup currently consists of an AR-15 with a twenty round magazine. I don't need that much gun to defend my home, but I choose that weapon because it is convinient for me.

    I use one of my AR-15's as a patrol rifle at work, and I don't like leaving it in the back of my car when I'm at home. As such, I place it by my nightstand each night, and it serves as a viable home defense gun. Plus, I have a light on this weapon, and my department requires the use of Federal TRU ammunition, which isn't known for ridiculous penetration. Couple that with the fact that I live in a brick single-family home, and I don't feel like my choice is excessive. I also only bother with a twenty round magazine because the case I carry the weapon in will hold a 20-rounder in the mag well, but not a thirty. So, the twenty rounder moves with the weapon, and the thirty rounders stay in the mag pouches on the weapon's case.

    Like I said, to each their own, but this is the system that works most easily for my current lifestyle. Your mileage may vary, but I'm certainly not on the same page as the anti-gun crowd!
     
  7. RandKL

    RandKL member

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    PT, I've used these before. I have them on three guns at the moment.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120406152413

    The base can be screwed into place on any stock, or you can fix it into place with a section of rubber innertube (heat and stretch) and then screw the holder to it. It's a solid holder.

    rich
     
  8. Leaky Waders

    Leaky Waders Member

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    "But, I do feel that a person probably doesn't need more than your average shotgun to defend their home!"

    Do you realize that in trying to prove your point on the virtues of the single shot...you've resorted to many of the arguments used by people who don't believe in the second amendment at all?

    Do you realize that you have a loaded assault rifle by your night stand - yet are recommending a single shot shotgun over all other forms of hd weapons for people who will come along and read these threads for real information for their families?

    These boards have really changed alot over the years...they used to be...umm...more practical.

    The practical consensus is sure, a single shot will work in a variety of situations - but with a little savings you could get a reliable pump shotgun.

    Isn't it in Arizona where gangs are kidnapping people for ransom? Wasn't recently in Phoenix that 3 or 4 men armed with assault rifles were repelled - on film - from a home invasion? Aren't pirates targetting US flagged ships? Sure, the Arizona drug thing is a drug related activity...but what if you live in the same neighborhood...and the gang's get the wrong address.

    In these real life scenarios, if the intended victim read this thread, I'd hope that they wouldn't consider the single shot as their only need in those situations.

    Also, the single shot of buckshot will stop most firefights...is that true?

    Does a deer fall over dead > 90% of the time when shot once with buck shot...or do they run...50...100...200 + yards and have to be shot with the single shot - again?

    One poster talked about killing crippled geese with a 10 gauge. I duck hunt - I know what he's talking about. So the first shot didn't kill the goose...it's swimming, snorkelling, far from dead and must be shot at least one more time - by the single shot again.

    So once again - the consensus is If you really read these threads, most people who approve of the single shot for home defense qualify their statments based upon budget - is the single shot the paragon for home defense? I think the consensus is 'No'.
     
  9. vicdotcom

    vicdotcom Member

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    Again, if that's what you have, that's what you use. But the second quote is DEFINATELY the more important point here.

    The frame of mind that "what I have isn't enough" will sometimes make it happen. It will give you less confidence in your skill and place it more into your equiptment. The frame of mind should always be, "This is what I have and this is what I am going to do with it!"

    Once you start double guessing yourself, your in trouble already.

    I don't think anyone when you tell them that a clear head and good training is better than a big gun.
     
  10. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    You've once again taken my statements completely out of context. I never recommended a single shot shotgun as the ideal home defense setup. I merely pointed out that I think it would work fine if it is what you have to work with.

    Stop trying to morph my comments into anti-gun rhetoric. I'm not anti-gun, and my argument in no attempts to justify any firearms laws. Again, I'm only speaking from a practical perspective here... More firepower would be beneficial if you were to face the less likely scenario of multiple armed attackers. But, that doesn't mean that the average household couldn't protect itself with less weapon if that is what they had available.

    Let me reiterate a couple of points here:

    1) I never once said that the single shot shotgun was the ideal choice, just a viable choice.

    2) I am not anti-gun, and nothing I've said is anti-gun. The fact that my opinion on the viability of a single shot shotgun may slightly overlap with a few anti-gunners in no way makes my comment anti-gun.

    3) If you choose to keep quoting me, try not to take my comments completely out of context.

    4) Realize that you yourself used the term "assault rifle", which is often used by the anti-gun crowd to demonize many semi-automatic rifles. But, I doubt that you are anti-gun.

    Just because I believe that something less than the latest and greatest high-speed, low-drag, uber tactical rifle can work for most people in most situations does not mean that I'm using the same argument as the anti-gun crowd. I use this way of thinking as a means of reminding people to trust in themselves and their equipment; I don't use it to justify why we shouldn't be able to have the tools on the other end of the spectrum.

    Here is a short youtube clip from Clint Smith on this same topic. Again, he isn't saying that it is ideal, just viable:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhgwHQCJwWw
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  11. Nicky Santoro

    Nicky Santoro Member

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    single shot 12 ga for home defense?

    More capacity is better. That being said, if I was a gremlin and had a single shot 12 gauge pointed at my chest, my mindset would be on surrendering or [depart]ing the area with alacrity. How many rounds of 00 buck in the airbags does it take to ruin your day?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2009
  12. JImbothefiveth

    JImbothefiveth Member

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    Well, there are plenty of news storys about people being attacked by more than one person. Criminals will often work in teams. I would at least want a double barrel if I was attacked by 2 people.
     
  13. Kayback

    Kayback Member

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    I got taught to run all my shotguns on the shoot one load one principal. If you thump one out, work the slide, assess, top up the mag.

    The idea being you will always have a full mag if something requires it, otherwise all you are doing is using a heavy single shot. Kinda like how the Lee Enfields were meant to be shot. You had 10 round mags, sure, but the cutoff was in place and you loaded them individually until you NEEDED those 10 shots right now.

    Yes a single shot can be run well and fast, but it does take practice. Given the choice between a single and my mag fed, I'll take the mag fed one thanks because in a pinch I get 8 shots as fast as I can move my hands, and once empty it can be run like a single.

    You don't need to stop and stick 7 rounds in a tube when empty. Slide back, one into the breach, slide forwards. Not that much slower than a single. But it does take practice.

    This isn't saying the single isn't an effective weapon, or that if it was all I had I'd feel undergunned, but given then choice, like the OP, I'd take one of my pumps.

    KBK
     
  14. RandKL

    RandKL member

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    Any of y'all ever heard the saying "weapons dictate tactics"?
     
  15. Davionmaximus

    Davionmaximus Member

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    I would rather have a reliable single than an unreliable semi auto. I have shot skeet for years. Of all the failures 98% of them were semis. No matter the cost.
     
  16. Kayback

    Kayback Member

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    Weapons dictate the tactics, sure, but you should select the right tool for the job.

    You CAN cut down a Redwood with a Leatherman, but you'd use a rela saw for it wouldn't you?

    Personally I think that if there are better tools at your disposal, use them. The single shot 12 guage can kill, and it can be used for HD. It wouldn't be my first choice though.

    KBK
     
  17. Kentucky Kernel

    Kentucky Kernel Member

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    Don't forget that the shot size is important - I use a side by side 20 ga for home defense (although I have many other firearms). I practice rapid reloading and have five additional shells on the butt. Its loaded with #2 buck, copper plated, 3" magnums. The same gun with #8 birdshot is "for the birds", but with #2 buck, effective enough. I suspect that even a 12 ga with small bird shot will not be as effective as a 20 ga with 2 buck.


    KK
     
  18. xbox360

    xbox360 member

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    Do I need one? No. Do I want one? Oh yeah!
    single shot for HD?:confused::confused: the Bad guy is going have a pistol with a bunch of rounds, you got 1 shot..... get a pump with 5 shots.:D
     
  19. RandKL

    RandKL member

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    'Cept the bad guy is going to be running the second after the *first* shot gets fired. It's like an alarm. It's bad guy code for "let's git, the cops are on their way". Bad guys don't come into homes to have extended shoot outs with the owners. Bad guys are like cockroaches. They run the second the lights go on.

    rich
     
  20. JImbothefiveth

    JImbothefiveth Member

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    Even if a semi-auto jams every other shot, it's still faster than a single shot. Moving the bolt to clear a jam is probably faster than loading anohter round.

    Unless they see the gun break open, or don't run after the first shot. I've heard at least one news story where people have had to shoot multiple times, and in at least one the guy who won still got shot.

    And if you are really on a $100 budget how can you afford enough ammo to get the skill required to shoot very fast? If I had a $100 budget, I'd be buying a handgun anyway, because you can't carry a shotgun.
     
  21. Kayback

    Kayback Member

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    I wouldn't put money on the badguy running at the first gunshot.

    You should only be shooting when you *HAVE* to. That'll generally mean you are in a fight. You must have some reason to be shooting at the badguy. If he has a gun, he'll more than likely try "defend" himself by shooting back at you.

    I have family friends who had a full on gunfight with carjackers trying to get them in the driveway. There were the occupants of the car, and the family from the house they arrived at shooting it out with 5 badguys.

    Little more than "one shot and they all ran away".

    KBK
     
  22. hatchetbearer

    hatchetbearer Member

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    i beg to differ, practice keeping shells in between your fingers of your off hand, and keep your thumb on the release. as soon as you fire, flick your wrist as you use the release (i guess it would be "hollywood" style. and as soon as the ejector does its job insert new shell while you are bringing it back up to your shoulder, close the breech and fire again. ive seen guys do this faster than people on pump guns, and even a few on semi autos. sure the weapon may cycle faster in actuality, but its all up to the user whether (s)he can put rounds down range effectively, quicker.

    know your weapon like the back of your hand. and shoot it often, a cold barrel is an unhappy barrel.
     
  23. JImbothefiveth

    JImbothefiveth Member

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    Can someone who can only afford a single-shot really afford to get that level of skill?

    Besides, if it jammed every other shot, that would still mean I could fire 2 shots before it jammed.
     
  24. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    There is a $70 difference between a NEF/H&R and a used 870 Express. One could make the argument that the $70 difference can be spent on ammo, but in all reality it's not likely. More to the point - the ammo needed to get reasonably proficient will cost well in excess of $70...
     
  25. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Emeritus

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    OK, quick question. You break into a house and the home owner points (A) a High Point or (B) a NEF shotgun at you. Your call as to which one will work better.

    :neener:
     
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