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HD 20GA

Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior MemberPosts: 6,083 Senior Member
I am trying to help my MIL pick out a good quality HD shotgun. If I get my way it will be either a Mossberg or a Remington. My question concerns ammo. I have been recommending a 20ga because it will be lighter. I am concerned about recoil with a lighter 20ga being a problem. Does anyone know of a company producing a low recoil 20GA buckshot load?
If not would a 20ga even be a problem with buckshot? Would my MIL be better off with a 12ga and reduced recoil loads?
I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
Dad 5-31-13
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Replies

  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    A quality recoil pad will help a lot with the recoil. I have a Rem. 870 that gets a little frisky with the 3" mag. slug loads, but I have a good quality recoil pad on it that tames it down a good bit. If you stick to 2 3/4" high brass loads the recoil will be a lot more manageable with the buckshot.

    I'd recommend these:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/971353/federal-vital-shok-ammunition-20-gauge-2-3-4-buffered-3-copper-plated-buckshot-20-pellets-box-of-5?cm_vc=ProductFinding
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    For home defense if I used buck shot at all, I think I'd use one ought or smaller. More shot in the pattern. As for recoil, Like was said, get a good pad. A well padded 20 gauge shouldn't be a problem. And for home defense, it need NOT be a 3 inch round. At HD distances regular high brass will give you all the performance you need.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    A quality recoil pad will help a lot with the recoil. I have a Rem. 870 that gets a little frisky with the 3" mag. slug loads, but I have a good quality recoil pad on it that tames it down a good bit. If you stick to 2 3/4" high brass loads the recoil will be a lot more manageable with the buckshot.

    I'd recommend these:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/971353/federal-vital-shok-ammunition-20-gauge-2-3-4-buffered-3-copper-plated-buckshot-20-pellets-box-of-5?cm_vc=ProductFinding

    I'll string along with this. I think a 20 is entirely adequate for HD. Might need to do some LOP whittling though depending on which butt pad you upgrade with.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    I will have to trim the stock down some for sure. A youth stock would be too short. Unless Bigslug says im an idiot for even considering this I will be helping her find a 20ga. I will get her several types of buck to try then we will decide.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    This Remington looks like a winner.
    http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/mobile/product/57583/remington_870_express_jr_20ga_18_rc-mod_black

    This Mossberg is a close second. I am a Mossberg guy but I will recommend the Remington for its utility.
    http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/mobile/product/46499/mossberg_50452_500sp_20_18_cb__6sh_syn_pgk
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • waipapa13waipapa13 Senior Member Posts: 895 Senior Member
    I bought the better half a Mossberg bantam in 20 gauge and recoil is an issue for her with it, my Miroku trap gun, set up for a 6 foot 6 me with long arms, as opposed to 5"6 her, doesn't worry her at all, I'd agree with Wambli about the same payload through a smaller gauge, try a 12 gauge first with reduced recoil loads, you may find she can handle it better then a 20 gauge pushing the envelope.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,656 Senior Member
    FWIW, we have a Mossberg 20 that we keep loaded with #3 Buck for HD. Exchanged the stock stock for an adjustable ATI tacticool version so the LOP would fit my wife. She loves shooting it. I used a paint pen to mark her LOP setting for quick reset if I've been shooting it.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 7,016 Senior Member
    Just a thought. Get the lightest load you can find, have her get comfortable with it. Safety, action release ect ect. Once she is ok with that loading shooting loading call it good and hand her he HD ammo have her set her gun up how she wants. If she ever needs to fire it in a real situation she will never know what the recoil felt like, or that it even happened. In a fight for my life I Do Not what reduced anything. I won't remember the recoil.
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,385 Senior Member
    I don't know about 20 ga reduced recoil loads, but the 00 buck 12 ga reduced recoil rounds pattern better than the full-house loads. At least I read this.

    Saturday, my bud shot his 12 ga. slugs, which are 1 oz at an advertised 1600 fps. That's a helluva load. I guess a 20 ga. is about 3/4 oz, at a similar velocity. Quite a bit of impact. I don't know how many 00 pellets in a 20 ga, but it should be sufficient.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    I'll string along with this. I think a 20 is entirely adequate for HD. Might need to do some LOP whittling though depending on which butt pad you upgrade with.

    LOP adjustment is part of fitting a pad. I had one Remington Model 31 (forerunner of the 870, Model 31 equates to the year 1931 Model) that I had to
    whack off about 2" to get it to fit me.

    However I recommend taking it to a reputable gun smith and having a professional job done, Unless your name is Jerry (Teach) or Jaywapity or Calebib or your Kin to them. Actually there are several on here that are more than capable to do this kind of basic gun smith work. But there's a lot of us that aren't. I've done it on a few guns, but I'd just as soon get a gunsmith to do anymore.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,792 Senior Member
    A Mossberg will be a little lighter due to the alloy receiver.

    The youth model Mossberg 20 gauge at least at one time took the clever step of moving the forend farther to the rear. Good for the short-armed

    As much as I like the Remingtons for my personal use, I firmly believe the Mossberg is harder for the less-than-serious shooter to fumble the operation of.

    I think for most gals, weight of the gun is going to be more of a problem than recoil - ESPECIALLY if that weight is farther forward or not well distributed to their geometry. If they can't physically hold the gun properly, managing recoil gets even harder.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,656 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    I think for most gals, weight of the gun is going to be more of a problem than recoil - ESPECIALLY if that weight is farther forward or not well distributed to their geometry. If they can't physically hold the gun properly, managing recoil gets even harder.
    That's a good point - our Mossy has two barrels, an 18.5" for HD, and a 26" for "sporting". My wife cannot handle the 26" barrel, its too front heavy for her.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Mary shoots a Mossberg 500 12 gauge that I built for turkey hunting, with 2-OZ max-load 3" shells and an Undertaker X-Full ported choke tube. She has 3 fused vertebrae and fibromyalgia, and patterning the gun every season leaves her bruised and sore, but she says she never feels the recoil when a big tom is in the sights. It's got a 20" Hastings barrel, a Dead Mule mercury recoil reducer in the stock, and a Kick-Eze sorbothane recoil pad.

    Substitute a skeet choke tube for the Undertaker and load low-recoil buck in the magazine and the sidesaddle shellholder on the stock, and the same gun is an excellent choice for HD purposes.
    Jerry
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,890 Senior Member
    I have a friend who is a police officer in a rougher area of Houston TX, and testifies first hand that he's seen multiple people survive hits from birdshot, but is yet to see someone walk away from buckshot. His personal recommendation is #4 buck, and as such I went to that for my HD load.

    As has been mentioned already, I feel a reduced recoil 12g load could be just as soft as many 20g loads, and the added weight of the gun will further help in recoil reduction.

    As far as the gun itself, my personal HD shotgun is a Maverick 88 (think economy Mossberg 500) with an 18.5" barrel, nothing too fancy but it is reliable and I don't feel bad about leaving it in a closet for months on end neglected. I personally leave the chamber empty, because in the "someone walks into your room scenario" the shotgun is too awkward anyway IMO, it's more for "I heard a noise and am barricading myself in a secure room" scenarios.
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,628 Senior Member
    Let her shoot a 20 gauge and see if she if she's comfortable with it. If not, a Mossberg Cruiser in .410 can put out a real metalstorm in a very quick hurry - it is actually quite a formidable SD/HD weapon. I recommend #4 buckshot, or BB shot, whichever is on sale.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    I have a friend who is a police officer in a rougher area of Houston TX, and testifies first hand that he's seen multiple people survive hits from birdshot, but is yet to see someone walk away from buckshot. His personal recommendation is #4 buck, and as such I went to that for my HD load.

    As has been mentioned already, I feel a reduced recoil 12g load could be just as soft as many 20g loads, and the added weight of the gun will further help in recoil reduction.

    As far as the gun itself, my personal HD shotgun is a Maverick 88 (think economy Mossberg 500) with an 18.500" barrel, nothing too fancy but it is reliable and I don't feel bad about leaving it in a closet for months on end neglected. I personally leave the chamber empty, because in the "someone walks into your room scenario" the shotgun is too awkward anyway IMO, it's more for "I heard a noise and am barricading myself in a secure room" scenarios.

    I would agree that a person would have a better chance surviving a hit with bird shot, but I bet it still will take the BG out of commission if he's hit solid. However I strongly agree with using something like Number 4 Buck or even BB Buck more so than either
    00 Buck OR bird shot, because of more shot in the pattern and large enough to make a larger hole and bigger wound channel.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,664 Senior Member
    horselips wrote: »
    .410 can put out a real metalstorm in a very quick hurry - it is actually quite a formidable SD/HD weapon.

    ....and Jesus wept.....here we go again....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    horselips wrote: »
    Let her shoot a 20 gauge and see if she if she's comfortable with it. If not, a Mossberg Cruiser in .410 can put out a real metalstorm in a very quick hurry - it is actually quite a formidable SD/HD weapon. I recommend #4 buckshot, or BB shot, whichever is on sale.

    Yeah, a .410 I see me recommending that for self defense the Tuesday after never. A Cruiser about the same time.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Yeah, a .410 I see me recommending that for self defense the Tuesday after never. A Cruiser about the same time.

    A .410 is an iffy proposition shooting at birds on the wing at 20-30 yards out in the hands of someone who is inexperienced or hasn't practiced shooting it. But in the hands of an experienced shooter with lead no. 2s or 4s it will stop about any human in his tracks. Is it my choice? No. but if it's all you have, it will work, IF the shooter has any ability. If the shooter is too nervous to make a good shot, or too inexperienced, then a double barrel 8 ga. won't make any difference. Remember shot placement is the key to success whether shooting deer, ducks, or Bad Guys.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • KENFU1911KENFU1911 Senior Member Posts: 1,052 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    ....and Jesus wept.....here we go again....

    You dont understand shotguns.......see..........10 ga.12....16....20..28......and 410........see..... bigger numbers mo betta...........:bang:
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,792 Senior Member
    KENFU1911 wrote: »
    You dont understand shotguns.......see..........10 ga.12....16....20..28......and 410........see..... bigger numbers mo betta...........:bang:

    YES! YES! I invented my very own shotshell firing handgun once - THE 103 GAUGE! I was gonna make a fortune on it too. . .until some troll stole my idea and called it the .38 Special! There is no justice! OH THE HUMANITY!!!
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • KENFU1911KENFU1911 Senior Member Posts: 1,052 Senior Member
    I used to think the 410 was a huge heffalump killer.........a mighty killer of beast.......of course I was about 6 years old at the time......................
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    KENFU1911 wrote: »
    I used to think the 410 was a huge heffalump killer.........a mighty killer of beast.......of course I was about 6 years old at the time......................

    Slow learner huh?
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • HvyMaxHvyMax Senior Member Posts: 1,826 Senior Member
    Have you considered a pistol caliber carbine? Recoil is very manageable and performance more than adequate. The Hi Point as ugly as it is is a good value. If money is less of an object the Beretta is a handy carbine. The Kel Tek is a neat little rifle as well if you can find one.
    Wal Mart where the discriminating white trash shop.
    Paddle faster!!! I hear banjos.
    Reason for editing: correcting my auto correct
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,021 Senior Member
    Yeah, a .410 I see me recommending that for self defense the Tuesday after never. A Cruiser about the same time.

    This........this made me chuckle.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,021 Senior Member
    I have a friend who is a police officer in a rougher area of Houston TX, and testifies first hand that he's seen multiple people survive hits from birdshot, but is yet to see someone walk away from buckshot. His personal recommendation is #4 buck, and as such I went to that for my HD load.

    Oh, I've seen my fare share of folks walk away from a load of buckshot. Too many as a matter of fact. Seems to all be related to distance. Inside the magic zone and one more white shirt'll do'em. Step just outside that zone...........and they're flipping you off.

    Now slugs...............I have yet to see someone shrug off one of those.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,812 Senior Member
    I bought a 20 gauge Remington 870 Express with ~18" barrel and extended mag a few years ago, thinking it would be my wife's home defense gun. I have yet to ever get her interested in even test firing it, so I bought a 20" rifled barrel for it, and call it a 'hog gun,' though I've never fired it at one. I was unimpressed with the #3 buckshot or #7-1/2 birdshot pattern, when fired beyond 15 yards (with the smooth barrel), so I just leave the rifled barrel on it. Yes, it does have a hole in the pattern, but at close range, it's not all that much worse than the 18" barrel (for a human sized target). So, I load it with slugs and keep #3 Buck in the shell holder. The slugs are pretty impressive, easily grouping 4" or less at a hundred yards, and they punch a half-inch hole in 3/4" plywood that is cleaner than a drilled hole. It's pretty much a stomper with slugs, though.

    If I had it to do over, I'd probably buy a 12 gauge and use the reduced recoil buckshot for home defense. I may still do it if I run into a good deal on a 18" barrel and extended mag model. I slightly prefer the 870, but would go for Mossberg if I handled one I like.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,664 Senior Member
    I have a friend who is a police officer in a rougher area of Houston TX, and testifies first hand that he's seen multiple people survive hits from birdshot, but is yet to see someone walk away from buckshot.

    On the other hand...I've seen people absolutely gutted with a load of 6s....bird shot, buckshot...it's all relative...in the end it's all about distance...theoretically, if you absolutely, positively need to end a threat right this minute...use a slug...but I've seen people live through a hit with those as well....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • rallykidrallykid Senior Member Posts: 657 Senior Member
    Just don't do what I did and say "Sure, I will take a 12ga with an 18" barrel and AR15 style collapsible stock. What could be wrong with that?" 6 rounds later I was surfing the web for a new stock. Stupid boney shoulders.....
    No, I do not have a pink fuzzy bunny fetish but apparently my Facebook hacking wife does.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,374 Senior Member
    Gotta go with JH on this one, in my 30+ year career, I've seen more people DRT from birdshot @ close range than I have buckshot at any range. (Also seen more folks shot with it)

    The first person I ever pronounced dead in the field caught a 1oz load of Federal 7.5 shot from a couple of feet away from a Win 97. The base of the wad was protruding from her cricoid region (right below her adam's apple) because she broke up with her baby daddy, and he decided if he couldn't have her, no one could. I don't know if he's still on death row, or if he's assumed ambient temperature yet.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


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