What's your choice for low recoil defense? .410, 20, or 12 gauge minishells?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by TTv2, Jul 17, 2021.

?

What is your ideal low recoil shotgun defense load/gauge?

  1. 12 gauge minishells

  2. 20 gauge

  3. .410

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I've had this thought going for a while that low recoil 12 ga like the Aguila minishells has effectively made the 20 ga obsolete for self defense use because while it's a reduced load for 12 ga, it still allows someone to own and have the ability to fire full power 12 gauge if so desired while having similar ballistic effect compared to 20ga.

    I had a second thought about that tho because I recall hearing about issues with the12 ga minishells even in shotguns using the adapters that are meant to fix feeding issues with the minishells. Thus, if the pump action shotguns (and I'm focusing this discussion on pump shotguns because that's what's most commonly used) can have issues with shorter shells like the minishells, then that kind of defeats the point as something unreliable is not better than something that is.

    So, I want to make this poll and ask others what their preference is for a low recoil shotgun? I'm leaving out the "reduced recoil" 2.75 inch 12 gauge loads because while they are lower in recoil to standard 2.75" IDK how comparable they are in terms of recoil to the other options I'm focusing on. I'm including .410 because I like it and think it is a viable choice for low recoil defense use.
     
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  2. Leon tP

    Leon tP Member

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    Given the choices above...

    I have to go with the 20 guage. I've had feeding problems in the past with those mini shotshells and I gotta go with reliability. I'd probably go slugs but since we're talking about reduced recoil then maybe something like Remington's Ultimate Defense line of 20 guage managed recoil #3 Buck.
    485816.jpg
    It's a 17 pellet payload (398 grain) ~ 9/10th of an oz load of 25 caliber buckshot at a fairly sedate 1140 fps. Still, that should be good enough to get the job done.;)
    My next choice would be full house (Max 1050 BAR) 3" .410 loaded with 5 - 000 buck pellets at around 1100 fps.
    I only put the 12 last because I've had problems in the past with the mini shotshells. Problems I wouldn't want in an emergency. In reality, my go-to is a 12 guage loaded with reduced recoil 2_3/4" slugs like these.
    58576.jpg
    But that's just me. Everyone should find what works best for them.
     
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  3. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I'll stick with my 410s loaded with 3" 000 buckshot. 5 pellets of 000 buckshot works well and will hold a good pattern out to 25 yards. I find that a lot of 20 gauge pump actions kick as hard as or more than the average 12 gauge pump.
     
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  4. Ranger99

    Ranger99 Member

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    JMHO- if God forbid I have to use a
    firearm to defend myself, low recoil
    will be way way way down the list of
    prerequisites. I'll want the hardest
    hitting thing I can shoot accurately.
    There's too many true examples of
    perpetrators still in action after good
    solid hits, the Miami 1980's FBI
    shootout being the first to come to
    mind
     
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  5. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    If you look at 410, 20 gauge, and 12 gauge buckshot shells, the pellets are leaving the barrel at close to the same velocity no matter what size shell. The difference is the number of pellets. A 410 is definitely not for everyone, but it works just fine for HD/SD uses. I still get plenty of penetration at 25 yards and all the pellets stay within a 10-12 inch circle.

    In the end go with what you are comfortable with using.
     
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  6. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    So I took some time to do as much research as I could regarding .410 and 20 gauge patterning at typical home defense distances and 20 ga does fine and .410 would do fine as well, except for the issue that at 7 yards in a shotgun with any sort of choke (IC, modified, or full) and the 5 pellets of 000 Buck are clumped together and overpenetrate. Now, that's not an issue if you live alone out in rural areas, but for those who don't, that can be a big issue.

    I tried to find how something like the .410 Shockwave and it's cylinder bore choke or Circuit Judge did with .410, but couldn't find anything showing results 10 yards of less. So, it's possible those are better than standard pump .410 shotguns, but after seeing what .410 did at close range, I cannot discount 20ga as an option.
     
  7. Dale Alan

    Dale Alan member

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    12 gauge Minis for me . I have seen what they do at close range ,
     
  8. BoBo522

    BoBo522 Member

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    12 gauge minis. 100% reliable in the Mossberg Shockwave with the Opsol adapter, plus the shorter shells allow me to load 8 instead of 5 into the tube. Lower recoil, higher capacity, reliable operation, devastating effect using Federal #4 Buck Shorty Shells. No downside here.
     
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  9. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    Here are my results using the Shockwave and and Model 500, both with cylinder bore barrels.

    1 shot at 5 yards

    [​IMG]

    1 shot at 15 yards

    [​IMG]

    3 shots at 25 yards

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    Reliability is going to be the key issue.

    If there's a firearm DESIGNED to function with (or even RECOMMENDED for) mini-shells, I've never heard of it.

    In a self-defense situation, I'd ONLY use them in a single or double barrel shotgun, where feeding isn't an issue. I wouldn't even use them in a repeating bolt gun.
     
  11. Dale Alan

    Dale Alan member

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    They feed fine in my gun . Experience is the best teacher .
     
  12. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I'd rather momentarily wonder why my shoulder hurt the day AFTER a shooting, than IMMEDIATELY know that I had a bullet or knife wound in that shoulder because my firearm not only failed to feed, but got tied up to the point where it couldn't be cleared in time to ward off an attack.

    This is especially so for people who don't keep a round chambered. If that gun ties up feeding the FIRST round, you've got a very clumsy club, probably sans bayonet.
     
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  13. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I'd have to run a LOT of them through a gun before trusting them. Unfortunately, a lot of people aren't going to do that.
     
  14. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I didn't even think about the possibility of there being nothing in the chamber. Even more of an issue.
     
  15. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I'd want to run at least 100 thru and that would be close to $100 just to test reliability and yeah, most aren't going to bother doing that. Heck, most don't even buy more than one ammo to see which patterns better in their shotgun.

    Sure the Opsol adapter improves reliability when using the minishells, but I don't think it completely eliminates issues and the Opsol only works with Mossberg shotguns. Given how much of a run there was on shotguns last year, I don't think I'd recommend to someone looking for a super low recoil option to go with 12 and minishells because they may not be able to get a Mossberg when a panic hits.

    I'd say until someone makes a shotgun built to run minishells, every shotgun will be suspect with them, even Mossberg.
     
  16. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    It took me WEEKS just to find ANY buckshot to function test my Ithaca Model 37DSPS. And it HAD to be buckshot because my local range doesn't permit anything BUT buckshot because of claimed bounce back of birdshot. If you could FIND the mini-shells, you might run out of them and not be able to replace them just function testing them in the gun.
     
  17. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    I have turkey loads 3 inch in my 12ga. home defense gun.
     
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  18. George P

    George P member

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    Recoil will be dependent on payload, velocity and weight of the gun. If your 410 is on a heavier 20 or even a 12 gauge frame, the recoil will be negligible. There are simple recoil calculators on the web where you enter the velocity, payload and weight of the gun and it calculates the recoil
     
  19. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I had the idea years back to start reloading my own by cutting down high brass shotshells. Bought the Lee Classic Loader, was going to modify it, but I never got into doing it.

    Reloading 20 and .410 is much easier and straightforward.
     
  20. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Gee whiz, I wonder if handicapped people, 90 pound women, or first time gun owners who don't have time or money to practice can shoot those comfortably and effectively?

    Not everyone can shoot 12ga turkey loads and those that can probably don't want to. Let's stay on topic of low recoil preferences for shotguns, not 3 inch turkey loads.
     
  21. derek45

    derek45 Member

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    5.56 or 6.8SPC rifle

    Low recoil, much lower than a shotgun.

    with the right load, fragments, and penetrates less than a pistol or shotgun.

    There is a reason why just about every CQB / SWAT team has dumped the 9mm MP5 and shotty for a .223 / 5.56mm carbine

    1QqKhaN.jpg
     
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  22. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Yeah, I get this, I was watching Lucky Gunner's video on 20 gauge last night and Chris was stressing that while 20 gauge would have less recoil if it were in the same weight shotgun, most 20's are lighter and the supposed reduced recoil is negated by that loss in weight.

    Naturally the next step down is .410, but unless you've got the right .410 or are willing to use #4 Buck with its 9 pellets, you're possibly going to be dealing with overpenetration with the 000 Buck loads.

    It's like no matter what you do to get the information for what's the best answer to a problem it invariables turns into a you have to buy a 20 gauge or .410 and try it to get your answer.

    Not an inexpensive proposition these days.
     
  23. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Personally, I agree, I think a rifle is a better option, be it in .223 or 9mm. I think a semi auto rifle/PCC that holds 20 or 30 rds is superior to a pump shotgun with 6+1.

    But, I'd like to keep this discussion strictly to shotguns.
     
  24. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    My only use for a shotgun is home defense. For twenty years I lived in an apartment so cramped that any non-NFA long gun was as useless as a naginata. Now that I live in a much better place, I shot more shotshells in a range trip to function test my Ithaca during riot season last year than I'd shot in the previous twenty five years. For that reason, I've never acquired the means to load shotshells. I bought about 300 rounds of 0 and 00 buck and I'll sit on that in case I need to use it for serious business.
     
  25. George P

    George P member

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    Actually, from a 20, the next step down is a 28 and Brennke makes a 5/8oz slug for a 28 bore gun...................and a 28 is a joy for birds too;):thumbup:
     
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