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12 gauge vs 20 gauge for home defense?

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  • 12 gauge vs 20 gauge for home defense?

    This question has probably been asked ad nauseum, and i hope im not out of line asking it here, but i figure if theres one place i can get a real world answer, it's probably here.

    After a little bit of research,
    http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot22.htm
    (what's your take on that by the way?)

    i purchased this shotgun in a 20 gauge,
    http://www.remington.com/products/fi...ound_specs.asp


    My reasons were two fold.

    1.) I didn't want a pistol grip and folding stock, but a standard stock in case i have to use the butt end of it, and for i think, better recoil control, and this was all that was available in town.

    2.) I reasoned that a 20 gauge would be more manageable for my wife.

    Now all things ive looked up online would seem to indicate that a 20 gauge will be just fine. I've even heard some officers would use a 20 over 12 for the better control. (that true?!)

    But all said, i can't ditch this nagging feeling of being undergunned in some way should i be forced to use it. So what's your take on a 12 vs a 20? Did i make a good purchase, or just waste my money on it?

  • #2
    Dont think the bad guy wants to be looking down a barrel of a shotty anyway. He wont know the difference.
    Dont know a thing about shotgun except they go BAAAAAAAAANG very loudly.

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    • #3
      12 gauge.

      With premium 00 buck.

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      • #4
        It being "manageable" doesn't go into it for a home defense weapon. If the time comes and you have to defend your house, you'll be so full of adrenaline that you could probably handle a double barrel 10 gauge.

        Anyways, go here and look at this experiment in 12 vs. 20 gauge. I wouldn't call it scientific but you'll see the effect of each using different loads.

        http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot22.htm
        "You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall... I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it."

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        • #5
          At home defense ranges, it doesnt make that much of a difference; except for the size of the mess it leaves.....
          The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

          "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

          "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

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          • #6
            I just wouldn't use birdshot.

            Apparently it leaves nasty wounds, but shallow ones, even at home-defense ranges.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Till View Post
              I just wouldn't use birdshot.

              Apparently it leaves nasty wounds, but shallow ones, even at home-defense ranges.
              yup....high base #6 is the smallest I would go......Number 4 Buck or 00 Buck would be better.
              The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

              "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

              "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

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              • #8
                And whatever you do, don't buy any of that gimmicky 'less-than-lethal' ammo for HD.

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                • #9
                  The very first shooting I went to as a LEO involved a guy shooting another with a single shot 20 ga using #6 low brass. Distance was across a small bedroom about 15 ft. Hit the guy right in the xyphoid. Cut a ragged hole about the size of a golf ball. Dropped him where he was hit. It couldn't have killed him deader if it had been a 10 ga. At autopsy we dug pellets out of his spine so it definitely wasn't a shallow wound.
                  Don't underestimate a 20 ga. It's shooting about 1/8 oz less shot but at the same velocity as a 12 ga. When you look at some of the reduced recoil 12 ga loadings the weights are pretty close the same.
                  183 FBINA

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                  • #10
                    I love guys who will poo poo anything less than 12ga. A .410 has more muzzle energy than a .357 magnum, yet nobody says they are under gunned with a .357 magnum do they?

                    Always use the biggest gun you can shoot well. In this case, the biggest you and your wife can shoot well. A 20ga is more than adequate.

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                    • #11
                      Either one is good. 12ga is just better for me.

                      I prefer 12ga. I am sure bad guy would prefer neither, so good for you to consider and purchase this HD shotgun. Now get some rounds through it!

                      I LOVE shotguns.

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                      • #12
                        Whatever you and your wife can manage. If you think you can handle more then buy two one for you and one for her (just don't paint it pink)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by deputynok View Post
                          Whatever you and your wife can manage. If you think you can handle more then buy two one for you and one for her (just don't paint it pink)


                          This.



                          If your wife can't manage a 12 gauge, then it's not a wise choice.



                          I've always said, Use the biggest gun you can shoot comfortably and accurately.

                          .

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                          • #14
                            The 20 is plenty for social work. I'm not sure anyone but the medical examiner would be able to tell the difference between a #4 load from a 12 and a #3 load from a 20. Use what you're more comfortable with. My initial thought was along the same lines as yours -- lower recoil with the 20, so why not? But the shotgun was one of my first weapon purchases, and I had a hankering to hang all sorts of silly things off mine. There are more accessories for the 12ga. So now I have a 'cool' 12ga, which is probably no better than any off the rack 20 for keeping the pests out of my home.
                            **Not a LEO**

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                            • #15
                              Let me give you a different angle to consider.......Why would you want a shotgun for in-home defense, rather than a handgun? The long barrel is cumbersome around corners, and the 5 to 8 shot capacity is a consideration also. A semi-auto with 15 to 20 rounds per magazine is a better choice in my opinion, with extra mags scattered around the house.

                              502
                              Retired Lawdawg & Proud IMPD Papa!




                              "Justice is the one thing you should always find"
                              Toby Keith

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