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possumbarnes 12-21-2009 04:51 AM

Home defense weapons
First off, let me say that I just found this forum. Stumbled across it while looking for information on shotguns and thought I might as well join. Looks like a lot of good information here.

Next, I'm a pistol guy. I've carried handguns for years and thoroughly enjoy my 2nd amendment rights. I've never owned a long gun of any type, even though I fired them as a child while squirrel hunting with my father. Thus, my ignorance of shotguns in general, that will probably become apparent with my questions.

I'm looking for a shotgun for home defense only. I'm sure I may some day take it hunting if we ever move a little farther out of the urban areas, but for now, it is strictly to allow me to better protect my family.

Specifically, I want a shorter barreled gun, pump action, with both a pistol grip and a shoulder stock. 12 gauge seems to be the most recommended size for my purposes.

Questions: (and thus showing my ignorance. I'm sure I could find this all out with a little searching of my own, but since I came upon this treasure trove of fellow 2nd amendment defenders, I thought maybe I could save myself some self educating)

1. What make/model of shotgun will meet my needs (and wants)?

2. Are there different types of shotgun ammo besides shot and slugs (these are the only 2 types I remember my dad using when I was little)?

3. What type of ammo would be best suited for my purposes?

4. I seem to remember coming across something about 3 inch and 3.5 inch shotgun ammo. What's the difference (besides length) and which would I want to use?

5. I would probably want to attach a tactical light to it. Any recommendations as to pros or cons of this, and will just any small (Surefire like) tac light work?

Thanks for any help and information I receive on this. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!! Remember, He is the reason for the season!!

JonM 12-21-2009 03:28 PM

my personal pref is the mossbergs. forget pistol grips use a full stock. pistol grips leads to sloppy shooting are difficult to control and its more of a gangster/tacticool thing that has little real world value in my opinion. 2 and 3/4 shells vs magnum means you have a longer shell with a bit more powder in order to propel a larger amount of shot the same speed as the 2 3/4 shells. 3inch magnums are primarily for long range hunting purposes as found in duck and goose hunting.

i have a mossberg 590 and an 835. the 590 is a sole purpose home defense type of shotgun i bought many years ago for that purpose. i recently bought a 835 for hunting and skeet shooting. i like both and they are nice cheap guns. i use 00buckshot for home defense in 2 3/4 shells. in the stock shellholders 2 on each side are 2 3/4 slugs.

my opinions are what they are others may have other opinions.

skullcrusher 12-21-2009 03:48 PM

First, welcome to the forum. You might want to take the time to stop in the introduction thread and say hello.

Second, I agree with the above. HD barrel lenghs are usually 18-1/2" inches. Min length by law is 18" so mfrs usually stay above that a bit to be sure.

Buck shot is preferable for most people for defense. Still, there are shot shells out there that will do the job without overpenetration into other rooms, etc. I know some people prefer to use #4 shot. Myself, a 3" turkey load is good even out to 30+ yards.

There are used pump shotguns out there in the $150 area, especially with the Mossbergs. You can get replacement stocks and forends many places.

You can also get a tacticool set up.

Look at Mossbergs and Remingtions. They are mass produced and affordable and good. Plus there are plenty of barrels, stocks and other goodies for the Mossys and Remmies because there are so many out there.

stalkingbear 12-21-2009 04:01 PM

I'd recommend a Remington model 870 or a Mossberg 500 with an 18" barrel. I have a folding stock on mine and the 1st 2 loads are 2 3/4" #4 "turkey magnums", followed by 2 3/4" 00 buckshot for the remainder of the magazine. I do have an extended magazine on it, as well as front and rear pistol grips (top folding stock). Other than that it's plain.

orangello 12-21-2009 04:48 PM

I use my old mossberg 500. It is a bit ugly, but functions very smoothly. I picked it up for about $100 at a pawn shop years ago with a 28" barrel for hunting. I have modified it for home defense with a 18.5" barrel (~$80) and a "side saddle" shell rack that holds 6 shells on the left side of the receiver (~$25 i think). I also replaced the aging & cracked wood furniture with some plastic stuff i picked up fairly cheap at a gunshow. The buttstock i chose has a full-length buttstock with a pistol grip for options on the handling (or smackin). If i want to go hunting, i can change out the barrel in a minute or so.

Here's a fuzzy pic:

I ditched the sling as cumbersome & limited in usefulness. Mine is loaded with a target load, a couple of buckshot rounds, and a slug.

ta1588 12-21-2009 07:04 PM

I had a remington 870 and a pardner protector which is an 870 clone and My sister had a 500 until that terrible flood. ;) They're all great guns with great price tags. You can set them up however you want and with a pump you rarely have to worry about any kind of malfunctions. I think remington makes some HD ammo that comes with BB shot or 2x4. I think they would be good short range loads that would get the job done and not hurt anyone or damage too much property by over-penetration.

dsmith84 12-21-2009 10:26 PM

give this here a look id like to get this myself Mossberg Just In Case Package, 'SANDSTORM' Desert Camo, 12 Ga w/18.5" Barrel/Survival Kit

stalkingbear 12-21-2009 10:29 PM

It looks ok but you sure are paying a lot of money for the paint-unless Mossbergs have went up when I wasn't looking.


Originally Posted by dsmith84 (Post 202782)

tsweep 12-21-2009 11:07 PM

A Mossberg 500 is a good choice. I keep one around with some 00 shot and hollow point slugs nearby.

UnderFire 12-22-2009 01:17 AM


1st Welcome!! :D
You're probably seeing a trend here.
Really can't go wrong with a Remington or Mossberg.
Both are great guns that will allow you to change out barrels for home defense or hunting. HD = 18" or 18.5" barrel, Hunting = 28" barrel or longer.
I keep 00 Buckshot in mine (Remington 870P), but that's just me.
As far as mounting a light, it has it's advantages & disadvantages.
The advantages are a given, but the disadvantages, to name a couple...
1. With a light lit a BG will know where you are at and will shoot at the general direction of the light. 2. When you're pointing your shotgun w/ a mounted light at noise or a shadow and find out it's a family member or family pet you have a loaded weapon pointed at a loved one.

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