Best Shotgun & Loadout For Home Defense?

Discussion in 'General Shotgun Discussion' started by DSan, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. Remington Model 870 Shotgun

  2. Mossberg & Sons 500 J.I.C. (Just In Case) Shotgun

  3. Neither. Will Explain/Suggest In Topic Reply

  1. DSan

    DSan Guest

    Recently I've been literally forced by our economic down-slide to relocate to cheaper area of town (Las Vegas, Nevada [Ghetto]) and have recently noticed a sharp spike in the local gang activities around my area. For example, a neighbor three doors down was recently forced at gun-point into her home and was subsequently robbed and raped at gun-point.

    Now I am not living alone. My girlfriend is currently living with me and I am concerned about her (our) protection. That being said, I feel it is time I embrace our Second Amendment and purchased a shotgun for home-defense purposes. However I am on the fence about which *boom-stick* I should buy. Let me be clear: If someone enters my home uninvited, I want to put the said scum-bag down as quickly as possible.

    So tonight, I've been browsing various gun-manufacturer websites and reading various reviews about the available shot-guns. I have narrowed my view to two shotguns, in particular.

    So ... which one do you think would be easier to use in an Urban environment? Which one do you think would be easier for my girl to handle during a desperate moment? I am strongly interested in the opinions of those who own or have owned, use, or have used, one or both of these rifles.

    While on the subject ... what would a good load-out be? I am thinking 00-Buckshot for the sheer stopping power. If it's a game of life or death, I am hardly concerned with the collateral damage. My own real concern would be over-penetration and killing my next-door-neighbor. So does anybody have any useful advice for me? Thanks so much, a hundred times over.

    ^^ Mossberg & Sons 500 J.I.C. (Just In Case) Cruiser Shotgun

    ^^ Remington Model 870 Shotgun
  2. bkt

    bkt New Member

    Both are excellent, inexpensive, reliable guns that can be configured similarly. I'm an 870 snob, so that's where I cast my vote. There's nothing wrong with a Mossy, though.

    If this is for home defense only, you might consider a 20ga over a 12ga. The recoil is a little less and it might be better for your girlfriend to handle.

    As for what loads to use, general consensus seems to be #2 to #4 buckshot. It should have the one-shot-stopping power you're looking for with minimal risk of over-penetration. 00 buck might be fine for your residence, or it might pose too much of a risk. Birdshot is generally not considered a good home defense load.

  3. DSan

    DSan Guest

    For the sake of argument, would you be willing to suggest a 20ga and provide a link if possible?
  4. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

    Both of the shotguns you are looking at come in a 20 ga version.
  5. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    First off, Welcome to the site DSan.

    I have some trigger time on the Remington 870, and while it's not my first choice for a shotgun, it's a very good, solid and reliable weapon. A lot of the 870's are used as platforms for police unit builds and for defense guns. It's easy to find parts for it and everyone can work on them because they are so common.

    Here's the problem, if it's for home defense, it's a little big to wield effectively in tight spaces, like a hallway, in a standard configuration. I believe you can order from Remington and get the Knoxx adjustable stock system, and while it's not the best out there, it would help with the overall length, plus it's adjustable to length of pull for you or your woman.

    There is nothing wrong with the Mossberg, they make some great weapons, but I would stay away from a pistol grip, no stock, configuration. That thing is going to jump something fierce when you touch it off, and if you don't know what you are doing, you could end up doing more harm than good.

    You might take a look at their Persuader Line if you like the Mossberg stuff. Same basic model as the Remington, you get the 18" barrel and a synthetic stock to help manage recoil.

    Now, as for a 12 or a 20. Your size, and that of your woman, should definitely come into play in your selection. A 12 guage is a big kicking round when touched off and you aren't ready for it. If either of you are smallish of frame, I would recommend the 20 as it's a bit more tame. If the recoil isn't an issue, the 12 guage would be fine, but if you had to hit someone with the 20, it's not like they are going to shrug it off. The 20 has plenty of stopping power as well.

    All of that isn't going to do you any good however if you don't get out and practice with it. That is going to be your biggest asset because the thing isn't going to do all the work for you. The spread pattern of shot in the 20 to 30 feet between you and the bad guy isn't going to be wide, it's going to be about the size of your fist. So, you can definitely still miss the target quite easily if you don't know what the weapon can do.

    As for a round - #2 or #4 Buck is always a good choice as stated above. I like the #2 personally.

    Probably the best advice I could give you would be to get to a range with someone that has one of the weapons and try it for yourself.

  6. Quasi

    Quasi New Member

    I am not nearly as knowledgeable as most here about firearms, which is why I usually restrict myself to the threads I (think) I know something about.

    That being said, I have the Mossberg 500 JIC under my bed for home defense. I added a shoulder stock and a light and currently have it loaded with #6 birdshot. I am in a suburban neighborhood with fairly close neighbors and am concerned about penetration and stray shot. I don't have a lot of experience shooting it, but my understanding is that at the ranges expected in a home defense scenario that 12 gauge #6 should put someone down.
  7. MAX100

    MAX100 New Member

    DSan The picture you posted is not a 500 JIC shotgun. It is a 500 breacher cruiser shotgun. It is a nicer shotgun than the JIC. It has a heavy profile bbl and mag tube setup like the 18.5" BBL 590A1 and the 835. It is able to accept a tube ext. It is nice shotgun and cost around $340.

  8. DSan

    DSan Guest

    Thank you for pointing that out and for the replies. Further discussion is welcomed.
  9. slowryde45

    slowryde45 New Member

    Either will do just fine. But as stated, you may want to consider going to a 20Ga, to ease the recoil. Another option would be to add an after-market stock like the following:

    If you watch their videos, they show how even a 12Ga is easily handled by smaller shooters/women. It also offers the advantage of an adjustable stock, again to fit the smaller shooter. The pistol grip on this stock aids in control of the gun, while shooting/handling.

    Note - the model for the Mossberg 500 will fit either the 12Ga or the 20Ga.

    Keep an eye open in your area for sporting goods stores that carry the Mossberg line, as they do offer a variety of packages, some with pistol grips, some with the 18" barrel and a longer field barrel.

    My .02.

  10. glockfire

    glockfire New Member

    My 870:

    Its a reliable platform and you will be able to kill whatever tries victimize you or her. Load her with 00 Buck (or #4 to be safe) and say bye bye to Johnny Home Intruder. The most important thing is to familiarize both you and your GF with your shotgun, and practice your butts off. Then and only then will you be able to defend your household properly.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  11. janikphoto

    janikphoto New Member

    have you thought about buying TWO norinco 87's for the price of one remington 870? You could keep one in the bedroom, and one on the opposite side of the house. Getting to your protection is just as important, and this will allow you a chance to do so.

    The norinco is a chinese version of the remington, and there are many posts on the internet about it's build quality. I think classic arms has them for $150 right now.

    Anyway, just a thought. And as everyone has said already: A BIG key to your safety is knowing how to use your firearm. Go out and practice a bunch...
  12. Northwoods

    Northwoods New Member

    Another opinion, since I voted "Neither" and am now obligated to explain my vote.

    I would suggest either a Winchester Mod 1897 or an Ithaca Model 37. Both of these should be in the 18" to 20" riot configuation (with shield and bayo lug, if possible).

    The reasons for my suggestions are as follows:

    The Winch 1897 is ugly and heavy (the heavy helps reduce recoil and the adrenaline rush will make it seem light if you ever really need to use it). The ugly helps (maybe) on intimidation with the bad guy(s). Also the '97 has an external hammer. That is always a nice feature.

    The Ithaca is a very light, very fast action and ejects and feeds from the bottom. This helps with the right handed / left handed thing.

    These are both military shotguns and will take a lot of abuse and neglect. Both will "slamfire" which may or may not be of use to you (this is only true of pre-1976 (?) Ithacas, I believe). Both have provisions for slings.

    As to ammo, #4 buck is the FBI load. 00 & 000 are about .38 cal, so they are comparable to emptying (sp?) a six shot revolver all at once. Slugs are also an option unless you need to worry about over-penetration. They work great on car bodies however! There are lots of other speciality rounds (fletchettes, "wired" shot, etc). Check the web.

    So, another opinion. Just remember, opinions are worth what you pay for them!
  13. Defender

    Defender Guest


    I'd recommend that you start off with a handgun. It gives you greater flexibility than a shotgun. If you live in a bad area, you'll need to defend yourself in places other than your home. A handgun can be easily carried in your car and on your person, once you get a concealed carry permit.

    If you can afford both, buy both. If you can only afford one gun, go with a handgun.

    A 9mm would be a good caliber to start with. Your girlfriend could handle it without any problem, and 9mm is probably the least expensive centerfire ammo you can buy.

    Shop around at a number of gun shops, preferably one that has a range where you can rent and shoot various brands and models of handguns. Take your girlfriend with you and check out a variety of different ones.

    Since both you and your girlfriend are inexperienced with firearms, I'd recommend you both take the NRA Basic Pistol course. Then take a concealed carry course and apply for your concealed permits. You can inquire about both courses at the gun shops you go to.
  14. docholiday

    docholiday New Member

    I Love my old Mossberg 500 in 12 ga. with an 18 inch barrel.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2008
  15. FCross7

    FCross7 New Member

    I have shot both the 870 and the Mossy 500. My friend has a Remington 870 Express, 8 shot, top folding stock. I have somewhat the same setup on my Mossy 500. 18.5" barrel, top folding stock, flashlight mount on the barrel, and I use 00 buck cause I don't need to worry about over-penetration. But to tell you the truth, you really can't go wrong with either one. I would go to some of the gun shops or sporting goods stores in your area and see what you can get a good deal on. And if it's a gun store never pay what the marked price is, Ive never seen a gun store that wouldn't drop the price to make the sale.
  16. matt g

    matt g Guest

    This is really the only good info that I've seen in this thread. Your girlfriend, and possibly yourself will be intimidated by the kick of a 12 ga and therefore, won't practice with it. A 9mm pistol can be handled by both of you and ammo is cheap and plentiful. Frangible ammo or personal defense hollow points can be kept in the pistol when at home as well.

    Trust me, I know of what I speak. The first time you spend a weekend of firing a couple of cases of shells through the 12 ga (or even a 20 ga. for a newbie), neither of you will ever want to shoot it ever again. A 9mm, however, will not tear your shoulder apart like a shotgun will.
  17. Northwoods

    Northwoods New Member

    Excellent point, matt g.!

    I frequently forget that I am recoil insensitive. I honestly don't notice a difference in recoil between an M1 Carbine and an Enfield "Jungle" Carbine.

    Pistols are a much better place to start.

    Probably much easier to find a place to practice also.
  18. sgtdeath66

    sgtdeath66 New Member

    great advise however i will add that i am a male wt is 135 im not a big built guy but i can shoot my mossy 500 pistol grip with one hand and hit my target with ease. so in terms of his lady friend she just needs to practice a bit just to get the feel of the gun an to condition herself to the report of the gun. with time size of load has nothing to do with the little lady

    the knoxx grips can be pricey if your concerned about money, a good alternative is cabelas. the have a collapsable stock that is very nice and is half the price, plus you can take the butt stock off and make it a pistol grip if u need to and then pop it on ina literally a second
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2008
  19. Jefe'

    Jefe' New Member

    I voted for the 870. The one you have pictured is the Marine Magnum, and that finish bumps the price up a fair amount. You can get the same gun, set up the same way, in a less expensive finish.

    The 870 is a gun I've shot all my life and I've found it to be very reliable. As noted, you both need to condition yourselves to the recoil. And you don't do that by going out and shooting a case or two of shells at one time, no more than you would go out on a 10 hour horseback trail ride if you weren't used to time in the saddle.

    Your lady can handle a 12 with practice and getting used to it. The key is getting her to learn to properly shoulder the gun and then fire it. If she fires before the gun is fully set to her shoulder, she's going to hurt herself. And I would not get a pistol grip. You can get an adjustable stock as noted to make the gun comfortable for both of you. If you look around, you can find dealers that already have an adjustable stock mounted.

    You definitely should put a light mount/light on the gun. You can spend $40 doing this, or $300 if you get crazy with it. I'd just stay at the low end of the price range. You can get a good light with momentary/constant on and a decent mount for not a lot of money that will work just fine for you.

    My $0.02
  20. Rshooter

    Rshooter New Member

    I would go with either a mossberg or Remington 870. If pull (length of the stock) and recoil are a consideration I would go with a recoil reducing and adjusting stock. They are expensive but kill both birds.

    As far as ammunition I would stick with #4 buck or #00 buck. Anything else may not stop an intruder. As for exotic ammunition stay away, especially non lethal. It might sound good but never point your weapon unless your life is in danger and never pull the trigger unless you need to terminate the situation.