Shotgun for home and hunting

Discussion in 'General Shotgun Discussion' started by 12fretter, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. 12fretter

    12fretter New Member

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    OK, my next gun for preps is a 12ga. I was thinking along the lines of THIS.

    Not thrilled with spending all that, but at the same time, I want all those features. I know I can get a stripped down version then upgrade later, but let's face it, I never will. I'd rather get what I want now, right?

    Suggestions or comments on the gun?

    Next is ammo. I know nothing of shotguns or ammo. What is good ammo for home defense? I'm not a hunter, but will be learning soon, I hope. What ammo for hunting? Deer? Small Game?

    Are there different barrels for different shells or slugs? What is choking? I think it means tightening the spray pattern of the shot, right? Does every gun have that ability? Should I look for that in a gun?

    Sorry to throw all those questions at once, but when you go to the doctors, you get it all out so you don't have to come back.

    Thanks in advance to all.
     
  2. silverado113

    silverado113 New Member

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    Here are very short answers to your questions, there is just so much information on this subject and variations it would take awhile to explain them in detail. That's a very nice 12GA for Home Defense, but you are going to have to check your state laws for hunting with that since it is a 7+1. Although I don't Hunt much anymore when I did you were only allowed to have 3 or 4 in the magazine (I can't remember what the law was) and one in the pipe. Although I did take the plug out of my 12GA if a game wardon caught me I would get fined. This was in NC a few years back. For home defense ammo I usually alternate the shell selection in the magazine with bird and buck shot, for the simple reason that bird shot is easier to take out of dry wall. On the hunting ammo part of your question that is really going to depend on the specific firearm you are using, and the game your hunting. I use slugs for deer and bird shot for Dove, some hunters like to use buck shot for deer and then there is different weights to consider etc. Also on the choke side of the house you are correct as chokes control your pattern diameters at different yards. Some shotguns have fixed chokes that cannot be changed out except by a gunsmith. So if you plan on shooting different typed of game, skeet, targets, etc you are going to want to ensure you are able to change your choke if needed. You may also want to consider some shotguns that have a barrel exchange. Personally I have one for home defense and one for hunting. There is a lot of info on shotguns that just can't be explained in a thread like this. IMO I would google things like "shotgun basics", "shotgun chokes", to get more detailed info.
     

  3. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    That is a cool shotgun! I bought a Mossberg 500 pump in 12 guage back in 1996 or so; it was well-used and not exactly the freshest face at the dance, but it has been working fine for occaisional hunting and more occaisional target practice (thrown targets) since then. It was the basic wood furnitured model that holds about 5 shells in the tube. It had a fixed choke barrel (not a removable choke tube) that is perfect for doves, "modified choke". Last year or two at a gunshow, i found a 18.5" open choke (less restricted/tight) barrel for about $75 and some plastic furniture that i like for about $45 and redressed the old gun a bit. I also picked up a "side saddle" shell holder to hold an extra half-dozen shells and some buckshot for defense.

    Now i have a firearm than can be setup for dove hunting or set up for HD with the shorter barrel. I leave the plastic furniture on; the plastic buttstock has a full stock with a pistol grip, for great control.

    There are buckshot shells available with "reduced recoil", but i have yet to try them.

    Hunting-wise, in MS you don't have to worry about magazine capacity on the shotty unless you are hunting migratory birds, i bleve.

    AlsTechnologies Hornets Nest Projectile 5Rd Box - NL124 This place has some "exotic" shotgun ammo, but i don't know how safe/useful it is.
     
  4. Dr. Marneaus

    Dr. Marneaus New Member

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    FWIW, I wouldn't drop 400+ on a mossberg 500....

    I paid $400 for my benelli supernova tactical, which has all those features, plus can handle 3.5" shells.
     
  5. fireguy

    fireguy New Member

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    OK, you asked and I am glad to give you my oppinion. The shotgun you have picked out will do nicely for self defense. I am partial to the shorter barrels, though. For movement in spaces like halls, doorways, etc. the 20" barrel won't be as nimble as an 18 or 18.5". Admittedly you can shorten the gun with the stock, and that may be enough to negate the different length overall. A pump gun is a good choice in that it is simple and becomes second nature with practice. Looks like it has ghost ring sights, that can give you precision with slugs, good choice. The 7+1 is more than I have with my sd shotgun and would be appreciated if I had that. Lots of aftermarket for this particular model if you want to change something. I would recommend a sidesaddle or similar to haul extra ammo.

    Which brings us to ammo. At close range bird shot can be effective. It can also NOT be effective. Various rounds are sold as self or home defense. They typically have more energy, larger projectiles, and are loaded with wads that will help to control the pattern. Do not waste any money on the surplus US buckshot, it won't pattern well. Same goes for Wolf, neither are well suited for accuracy. You want a tight shot pattern that is consistent with bird shot or buck. It will spread, but it needs to do so uniformly and repeatedly so you can be sure of where your lead is going to end up when you squeeze the trigger.

    Slugs are a good choice for a more offensive type round. You can reach out and touch the target at over 100 yards reliably with good cartridges. The important thing is to pattern the shotgun at 5, 10, and 20 yards with your shot shells so you are familiar with the point of impact. I would shoot at a target with slugs at 40, 60, and 100 yards. Actual impact can possibly be a little high at 100 from a zero shot at 40 yards.
    My ammo selection:
    Game load #8 bird shot first round
    Pheasant load #4 bird shot second round
    Multi-defense Centurion for the rest of the magazine
    Side Saddle has 00 buck and 1oz. slugs for reloads
    I really like the Centurion multi defense, it has been a reliable performer at the range. It is affordable, to boot.
    Winchester ranger 00 buck and slugs have been good, even the lo recoil stuff.
    Take a defensive shotgun class, it will help you immensely. I took one and learned a lot that I can put to use at home.
    Federal buck and slugs, Brenneke slugs, Hornady TAP slugs, have all been good for me.

    Hopes this helps you.
    Federal
     
  6. silverado113

    silverado113 New Member

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    Just wondering on how far you would say is the maximum effective range (to kill someone) with 12GA bird shot is?
     
  7. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

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    Remington 870 w/ both barrels is pretty hard to beat with what your asking for , on sale at Dicks sporting good right now for $399 w/ both barrels
    They also have the Mossberg 500 both barrels for $299.
    Personally I would rather spend the extra $100 on the Remington but thats just me, I have shot both of them
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  8. silverado113

    silverado113 New Member

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  9. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    I would say 2 good choices are you Mossberg 500 or Remington 870,now while the Mossberg is probably a little better home gun,the Remington is really the better hunting gun with it's parkerized finish to protect from weather and loading latch to keep debris out of the chamber,the Remington is really meant to be in the woods.You really don't need anything more than an unchoked barrel for HD buckshot and up to 100 yards on deer with rifled slugs,you could go with the improved fixed cyl also and get away with shooting rifled slugs great too.I also reccommend rifle sights on your barrel.
     
  10. 12fretter

    12fretter New Member

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    What is meant by "both barrels"?
     
  11. Werminator

    Werminator Member

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    Both barrels is terminology used to indicate the gun actually includes a barrel designed for use with shot shells and a dedicated slug barrel. The slug barrels are generally shorter and in my experience also tend to have rifle style sights on them while the shot barrels use only a bead or fiber optic front sight used to put you "mostly" on target. My understanding (and current practice) is that for HD I am using the slug barrel (manueverable) and loaded with bird shot. This means a wider spread which isn't ideal but I can swing the weapon much more readily than with my shot barrel that is 8" longer. You can not fire a slug through your shot barrel, at least, not more than once...;) You really need to spend some time googling for information and maybe watching some youtube videos that showcase a few shotguns to get an idea what considerations there are when purchasing a shotgun. I personally wouldn't buy an adjustable stocked model for fear of quicker wearing down of vital parts if used regularly... There are a ton of features and characteristics when you are shopping for a shottie and you will do yourself an enormous favor to take your time and really gather information before committing to one gun... (Though if I could only own one gun for the rest of my life it would be my Remington 870 with both barrels...)
     
  12. 12fretter

    12fretter New Member

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    What is the length of a shot barrel vs. a slug barrel? Is that 18-20 and 28 respectively?
     
  13. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    That varies. The main difference is that a slug barrel is usually rifled to make the slug spin for accuracy, while a shot barrel is not rifled. Rifling is said to cause shot to spin into a donut pattern with very little shot in the center. Most slug barrels i've seen are in the 24" range, while shot barrels are available in lengths from 18.5" to 28" or even 30".

    There are also different kinds of slugs, most of which would be less accurate without the rifling of a designated slug barrel, though some can be shot through a shot barrel, if it is an "open choke" or "cylinder bore" shot barrel (not restricted/choked down).

    This is my limited understanding.
     
  14. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

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    The barrels are really very simple to change out so dont let that be a factor its a few turns on the choke cap and off comes the barrel ,same for putting it on . I prefer a smooth bore barrel and use a rifled slug , the rifled slugs have more lead and more knockdown than a plastic jacketed slug , I do just fine out to 100 yards with a smooth bore barrel and rifled slugs with open sights . This barrel will also let you shoot shot shells or 00 buckshot without any issues , however if your going to be game hunting birds I highly suggest putting on the shot barrel , Some of these will come with removable chokes to help with wider or more narrow shot patterns
     
  15. Werminator

    Werminator Member

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    As an extension of my thought, my Remington 870 Express Magnum came with a 20" smooth bored slug barrel and a 28" shot barrel with thread in chokes. I did not know the rule and smooth bore rifled slug.... rifled bored smooth slug... I have been shooting sabotted slugs from my smooth bore and still hitting a 4" target sticker at just over 90 yards fairly consistently... Might not be 1/2 MOA but it is certainly within 1 minute of deer!
     
  16. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Rifled slugs are designed to go through a choke but there will be a pressure increase. Still not recommended for tighter chokes but it will go through. This is from the days before screw in chokes and hunters had only 1 shotgun. A screw in choke can be changed to an open or cylinder bore. The rifling on the slug is not to spin the slug. It is to allow it to go safely through a choke by compressing the rifling. Never shoot a sabot slug through a choke. The rifled slug is heavily weight forward which gives it enough accuracy for hunting use. The newer rifled barrels are designed to be used with sabot slugs and rifled slugs dont work very well in them.
    I dont hunt anymore so all I have is an SD 12 gauge shotgun. I am currently rethinking the 12 gauge. They are extremely loud in a closed area and could cause hearing damage. I am looking at a 410 for HD. They are less loud, lighter, easier to shoot, pretty nasty with a 3" load of 5-000 (.36") buckshot and less intimidating for the wife to use. A shotgun still has to be aimed. The shot pattern does not open up very much in 20' and it is pretty easy to miss. I have a flashlight and laser on mine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  17. fireguy

    fireguy New Member

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    I think more in terms of effectiveness in the small confines of my house. My home was built in the 1920's and has small rooms and too many doorways like a lot of older houses do. Even if I was cowering behind my wife leaning against the headboard of our bed while she held the shotgun pointed at the door it would be less than the 12 feet used in the box o' truth tests.
    All of the "proof" he uses against birdshot is anecdotal, i.e. "I heard of a guy who...." type stories. I have personal experience with a cousin who was shot with bird shot, in the leg no less, and was airlifted to a trauma center. They were unsure if he would keep his leg. Amazingly he survived and thrives.

    I have shot thousands of rounds of shotgun shells, sometimes just messing around to see what happens with a round at a particular distance. I am positive that if I hit an intruder with birdshot from the maximum distance possible in my house that he will be adversely affected. Possibly fatally, if the attack continues I have several more ready to go downrange in a very short time.

    I don't give any credance to comparing sheetrock to soft tissue. No comparison at all. That kind of test is only marginal for judging penetration of walls in that it does not take into consideration furnishings or other obstructions that the shot may have to pass through. You couldn't realistically shoot through three or four walls (6 or 8 thicknesses of sheetrock) without a chair, bookcase, wall decoration, etc. being involved.

    Michael Bane featured the use of the .380 pocket pistols on "The Best Defense" tv show once. I don't remember the exact words, but in essence it was that a faceful of those little bullets would ruin anybody's day. The same I am sure is true with birdshot moving at 1200fps.
     
  18. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    A long barrel & a short barrel, takes about 1&1/2 min. to change barrel on one of those.
     
  19. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    This is my suggestion, a Mossberg 500 with combination barrels. One 28" barrel for hunting and an 18.5" for defense. This is the Mossberg I had for years except mine had a synthetic stock & forearm. Big 5 and other sporting goods outlets sell them for around $300. It's a great deal and super practical for not a lot of money.

    [​IMG]

    Go here: http://www.mossberg.com/products/default.asp?id=3 and scroll through and you'll find it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  20. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    My suggestion would be a Winchester 1300 Turkey. It's a 22" barrel so it's shorting for HD purposes but long enough to hunt with. I've taken, deer, dove and turkey with mine. It's a fast cycling, reliable as a rock pump gun.