12 Gauge Ammo - Advice Needed

This is a discussion on 12 Gauge Ammo - Advice Needed within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I just bought a Mossberg 590A1 SPX 12 gauge shotgun and I need to buy self-defense ammo for my home. This is my first shotgun ...

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Thread: 12 Gauge Ammo - Advice Needed

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    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    12 Gauge Ammo - Advice Needed

    I just bought a Mossberg 590A1 SPX 12 gauge shotgun and I need to buy self-defense ammo for my home. This is my first shotgun so I have absolutely no idea what are the best brands. All I know for sure is that I will load it up with 00 Buckshot in case SHTF.

    I would appreciate it greatly if you could all give me your advice as to what brand of 12 gauge ammo is "the bee's knees".
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

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    I doubt that there is a single brand or load that trumps them all.

    For defensive purposes, a "tactical" or "reduced recoil" buckshot load is about the best you can do. Avoid the 3-inch magnums; the increased recoil is n't matched by any increase in downrange effectiveness. Stick with a major brand like Winchester, Federal or Remington and you'll be fine.
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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    I've had good results with Federal LE reduced recoil for both the 00 and slugs

    Look for the flight control cup.

    LE - Shotgun

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    Quote Originally Posted by alachner View Post
    I just bought a Mossberg 590A1 SPX 12 gauge shotgun and I need to buy self-defense ammo for my home. This is my first shotgun so I have absolutely no idea what are the best brands. All I know for sure is that I will load it up with 00 Buckshot in case SHTF.

    I would appreciate it greatly if you could all give me your advice as to what brand of 12 gauge ammo is "the bee's knees".
    Personally I like Fiocchi. I would recommend you get a sampling of all the different brands you can find and test them to find out how they pattern w/ your gun.

    You may find 00 buck unpleasant. There are reduced recoil loads by Federal and I think Winchester. Aguila makes a 00 / #4 mix (which incidentally has less recoil than standard 12 gauge loads) but the rounds are much shorter than average and do not cycle reliably in many shotguns. Sellier & Bellot is also a quality brand. I do not know the ammo availability in Germany.

    Remember that shot typically spreads 1 linear inch per yard (2.5 cm / meter). In layman's terms at 25 yards you are essentially shooting a 25 inch wide pattern of shot. Conversely, at 1 yard you are shooting a 1 inch spread. So contrary to a lot of shotgun myths, you still have to aim at your target to get hits. I don't know your home layout or child situation, but you might want to look into #1 or #4 buckshot as well.

    Some people swear by birdshot for indoor home encounters because of the lesser likelihood of killing or injuring someone on the other side of a wall; while the detractors will say that if birdshot isn't effective after encountering drywall, how effective is it against a person?. These are just the things I've noticed over the years YMMV.

    Good luck.
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    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Thank you very much for all of your kind advice!!! I will look into the "reduced recoil loads" and then buy a box of each brand (Federal, Remington, Winchester, Fiocchi and Sellier & Bellot) to determine which one cycles and patterns best with my shotgun.

    By the way, is there any reason to keep a few shotgun slug shells on hand in case SHTF? What would be a good particular use for them? I'm just curious.
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

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    00 buck is good, your going to have to aim like a rifle in a house with average sized rooms, 00 will go through the interior walls and enter opposing rooms. but id say once hit with a load of that any intruder is either going to die or will have no fight left in them. Remember that with 00 buck you want the biggest screw in choke you can put in the barrel, no full choke on them. If you want to use bird shot, its less likely to go through the wall, but at close range may still do so, go for 3" magnum #4 or #5 TURKEY loads through a full choke, i often kill coyotes with those loads out to 25 yards when hunting with Extra full choke, drops them like a rock so im pretty sure in my mind i would not like to get hit with a load of #4s in a 10-15 ft range inside a home.
    Im the opposite when it comes to recoil, i am of a mind that 3" magnums are best, when you are awoken in the middle of the night and your defending your life and that of your family, your not going to feel any recoil, your heart will be pounding in your ears and i kinda doubt you would even hear the report.
    This is all simply my own personal opinion though and is not based on any experience in self defense, talk to a Veteran who has been in battle in Iraq or Afghanistan, they can real quickly tell you about shotguns and close quarters.

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    I use winchester ranger reduced recoil 00 buck,I have mossberg 930 semi and it cycles the action just fine out of an 18.5" bbl and at SD ranges will do the job
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    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff W View Post
    00 buck is good, your going to have to aim like a rifle in a house with average sized rooms, 00 will go through the interior walls and enter opposing rooms. but id say once hit with a load of that any intruder is either going to die or will have no fight left in them. Remember that with 00 buck you want the biggest screw in choke you can put in the barrel, no full choke on them. If you want to use bird shot, its less likely to go through the wall, but at close range may still do so, go for 3" magnum #4 or #5 TURKEY loads through a full choke, i often kill coyotes with those loads out to 25 yards when hunting with Extra full choke, drops them like a rock so im pretty sure in my mind i would not like to get hit with a load of #4s in a 10-15 ft range inside a home.
    Im the opposite when it comes to recoil, i am of a mind that 3" magnums are best, when you are awoken in the middle of the night and your defending your life and that of your family, your not going to feel any recoil, your heart will be pounding in your ears and i kinda doubt you would even hear the report.
    This is all simply my own personal opinion though and is not based on any experience in self defense, talk to a Veteran who has been in battle in Iraq or Afghanistan, they can real quickly tell you about shotguns and close quarters.
    Thanks for your great advice! My house walls are all concrete so thankfully I don't have to worry about over penetration with 00 Buckshot. Also, I bought my shotgun with Ghost Ring sights and an M16 style front sight specifically to improve aiming and avoid any possible collateral damage. I plan on using my shotgun for home defense only when in the need to barricade myself and my family in our room and wait for police assistance. Otherwise, I prefer to use my Heckler & Koch USP Compact pistol with a Streamlight TLR-1 mounted light to clear the house if necessary. I am just creating different levels of home defense and scenarios to protect my family but without going all "mall ninja" and spending tons of money on useless gear and weapons.
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

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    My house walls are all concrete so thankfully I don't have to worry about over penetration with 00 Buckshot.
    Be very careful with that. Buckshot fired into concrete will richochet all over the place. At certain angles, as in facing a corner with a standard 90 angle will see the shot bouncing off of one wall, to the other and right back at you. Shot bouncing off of the hard floor and off of the walls can bounce back and hit you.

    Be very aware of that fact.
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    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    Be very careful with that. Buckshot fired into concrete will richochet all over the place. At certain angles, as in facing a corner with a standard 90 angle will see the shot bouncing off of one wall, to the other and right back at you. Shot bouncing off of the hard floor and off of the walls can bounce back and hit you.

    Be very aware of that fact.
    Thanks...I'll keep that in mind!
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

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    Quote Originally Posted by alachner View Post
    Thank you very much for all of your kind advice!!! I will look into the "reduced recoil loads" and then buy a box of each brand (Federal, Remington, Winchester, Fiocchi and Sellier & Bellot) to determine which one cycles and patterns best with my shotgun.

    By the way, is there any reason to keep a few shotgun slug shells on hand in case SHTF? What would be a good particular use for them? I'm just curious.
    Slugs are good for accuracy at farther ranges, 25 + yards. At 25 yards you will have a LARGE shot pattern and the further out you go the more pellets are going to miss the target altogether. If you do your part, you can expect reasonable accuracy out to 100 yards.

    Slugs have their place, you just need to define what you are using the shotgun for. We used slugs very effectively as anti-vehicular rounds.

    Be advised, slugs do recoil more than your non-magnum buck loads. It is perfectly manageable, you just need to practice a bit to know where the slugs impact and how you react to the increased recoil, flash, and blast.
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    Distinguished Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    Based on my research, I opted for Remington #1 Buck. At the range I've tested lots of 00 Buck and found the Fiocchi to be quite lively - and very effective. But do some online research and see what you think about the benefits of #1.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

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    Quote Originally Posted by NC Bullseye View Post
    I've had good results with Federal LE reduced recoil for both the 00 and slugs

    Look for the flight control cup.

    LE - Shotgun

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    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammunition

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Take a look at the S&B 2-3/4", 00, 12 pellet load. That's what I use.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    I keep a full tube of Remington 00 with #4 & reduced recoil slugs on side saddle.
    Mossberg 590 Mariner.
    The situation will NEVER BE THE WAY YOU WANT, it WILL BE THE WAY IT IS. You must be FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO ADAPT and just "DEAL WITH IT".

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