May 20th, 2009 11:32 AM
Glock 26 + Shotgun for HD
I know a lot about handguns and very little about shotguns. I have a Glock 26 and a Sig Sauer 9mm that I love and I would like to buy a tactical style shotgun (not planning to go hunting) for Home Defense and I was wondering what models that you guys would recommend? In addition, what are some of the typical laws I need to be aware of as it pertains to barrel length, capacity etc.
Also, what shotgun ammunition would you guys recommend for home defense?
Your advice is always appreciated. Thanks.
Glock 26 9mm CCW - - S&W 642 Super Tuned - - Remington 870 18.5" 12GA 6+1
May 20th, 2009 11:36 AM
Mossberg 590 is 12GA pump. Inexpensive and very reliable. Check your local dealer....some of them come with pistol grip already installed and are very well made for the price
May 20th, 2009 11:38 AM
Its been beaten to death, but its a favorite topic, so no worries.
I prefer the 870, don't waste your time or money with a pistol gripped Mossberg. The 590 is a good gun and the 500 is passable if you are on a budget. Just get the full stock, you wont be sorry. (pistol grip is fine as long as its attached to a full stock)
I like anything 00 buck made by a reputable manufacture. Just go and pattern the gun prior to buying a bunch of one brand.
18" is the minimum legal barrel length, other than that, its free reign.
May 20th, 2009 11:52 AM
I myself have a Mossberg 500 for the same purpose you are seeking. I alternate rounds with turkey shot and #4 buck with hopes that either will not shoot out my apartment walls and hit my neighbors (but I haven't tested this theory).
A shotty's perfect for HD-- mine is leaning against the corner of the room for easy access, G23's next to the bed.
Glock 23 OD
with CT laser
May 20th, 2009 12:09 PM
Originally Posted by SIXTO
I recently purchased a Remington 870 Express Tactical for HD. It comes with an 18.5" barrel and is loaded with 7 rounds of 00 Buck shot. You should be able to find one for $300 - $500 NIB.
May 20th, 2009 12:18 PM
Tactical Briefs #10, October 1998
Shotgun Home Defense Ammunition
For home defense, a shotgun is superior to a handgun in terms of being able to stop a violent intruder as quickly as possible. A reliable, well-made, pump-action shotgun can usually be purchased for less than the cost of a handgun of comparable quality. Also, inexpensive birdshot ammunition, typically used for training applications, is about three-fourths the cost, round for round, of comparable handgun ammunition.
Most people typically choose a shotgun for home defense for one of three general reasons: 1) to minimize wall penetration to reduce the danger to innocent third parties in case of a missed shot, 2) to maximize wound trauma to stop a vicious assailant as quickly as possible, or 3) because a shotgun does not require as much skill as a handgun to put lead on target.
If you're considering a shotgun for home defense or already have one, we suggest you give some serious thought to attending a one or two day "defensive shotgun" training course from a reputable shooting school. (We have a few schools listed on our Links page.) It's one thing to be armed with a well-equipped, high-tech shotgun and premium personal defense ammunition, but if you're not a skilled shotgun operator, you're the weakest link in your last-ditch home defense weapon system.
Shotgun Pellet Wound Ballistics
A shotgun pellet produces wound trauma by crushing the tissue it comes into direct contact with as it penetrates. In order to produce wound trauma that will be effective in quickly stopping an attacker, the pellets must penetrate his body deeply enough to be able to pass through a vital cardiovascular structure and cause rapid fatal hemorrhage to quickly deprive the brain of oxygenated blood needed to maintain consciousness.
Shotgun pellets are classified into two general categories: 1) birdshot, of which individual pellets are typically less than .20 caliber in diameter, and 2) buckshot, which varies in diameter from .24 caliber to .36 caliber.
Table 1 and Table 2 list nominal size and weight information about lead birdshot and buckshot, respectively.
Table 1. Lead Birdshot
Number Pellet Diameter
(Inches) Average Pellet
Weight (Grains) Approximate # of
Pellets per Ounce
12 .05 .18 2385
11 .06 .25 1750
9 .08 .75 585
8 1/2 .085 .88 485
8 .09 1.07 410
7 1/2 .095 1.25 350
6 .11 1.95 225
5 .12 2.58 170
4 .13 3.24 135
2 .15 4.86 90
BB .18 8.75 50
Table 2. Lead Buckshot
Number Pellet Diameter
(Inches) Average Pellet
4 .24 20.6
3 .25 23.4
2 .27 29.4
1 .30 40.0
0 .32 48.3
00 .33 53.8
000 .36 68.0
Birdshot, because of its small size, does not have the mass and sectional density to penetrate deeply enough to reliably reach and damage critical blood distribution organs. Although birdshot can destroy a great volume of tissue at close range, the permanent crush cavity is usually less than 6 inches deep, and this is not deep enough to reliably include the heart or great blood vessels of the abdomen. A gruesome, shallow wound in the torso does not guarantee a quick stop, especially if the bad guy is chemically intoxicated or psychotic. If the tissue crushed by the pellets does not include a vital cardiovascular structure there's no reason for it to be an effective wound.
Many people load their shotguns with birdshot, usually #6 shot or smaller, to minimize interior wall penetration. Number 6 lead birdshot, when propelled at 1300 fps, has a maximum penetration depth potential of about 5 inches in standard ordnance gelatin. Not all of the pellets penetrate this deeply however; most of the shot will penetrate about 4 inches.
Federal Personal Defense Shotshell
Federal Cartridge Company offers reduced recoil Personal Defense Shotshells in 12 gauge and 20 gauge. Both are loaded with #2 lead birdshot. According to Federal's 1998 catalog, the shotshells propel their pellet payloads at a velocity of 1140 fps.
(Note: We tested terminal performance of the 12 gauge Federal Personal Defense Shotshell, and published our results in Tactical Briefs, January 1999. Click here to read our product review.)
12 Gauge Shotshell Ammunition
For personal defense and law enforcement applications, the International Wound Ballistics Association advocates number 1 buckshot as being superior to all other buckshot sizes.
Number 1 buck is the smallest diameter shot that reliably and consistently penetrates more than 12 inches of standard ordnance gelatin when fired at typical shotgun engagement distances. A standard 2 ¾-inch 12 gauge shotshell contains 16 pellets of #1 buck. The total combined cross sectional area of the 16 pellets is 1.13 square inches. Compared to the total combined cross sectional area of the nine pellets in a standard #00 (double-aught) buck shotshell (0.77 square inches), the # 1 buck shotshell has the capacity to produce over 30 percent more potentially effective wound trauma.
In all shotshell loads, number 1 buckshot produces more potentially effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck. In addition, number 1 buck is less likely to over-penetrate and exit an attacker's body.
For home defense applications a standard velocity 2 ¾-inch #1 buck shotshell (16 pellet payload) from Federal, Remington or Winchester is your best choice. We feel the Federal Classic 2 ¾-inch #1 buck load (F127) is slightly better than the same loads offered by Remington and Winchester. The Federal shotshell uses both a plastic shot cup and granulated plastic shot buffer to minimize post-ignition pellet deformation, whereas the Remington and Winchester loads do not.
Second best choice is Winchester's 2 ¾-inch Magnum #1 buck shotshell, which is loaded with 20 pieces of copper-plated, buffered, hardened lead #1 buckshot. For those of you who are concerned about a tight shot pattern, this shotshell will probably give you the best patterning results in number 1 buck. This load may not be a good choice for those who are recoil sensitive.
Third choice is any standard or reduced recoil 2 ¾-inch #00 lead buckshot load from Winchester, Remington or Federal.
If you choose a reduced recoil load or any load containing hardened Magnum #00 buckshot you increase the risk of over-penetration because these innovations assist in maintaining pellet shape integrity. Round pellets have better sectional density for deeper penetration than deformed pellets.
Fourth choice is any 2 ¾-inch Magnum shotshell that is loaded with hardened, plated and buffered #4 buckshot. The Magnum cartridge has the lowest velocity, and the lower velocity will help to minimize pellet deformation on impact. The hardened buckshot and buffering granules also help to minimize pellet deformation too. These three innovations help to maximize pellet penetration. Number 4 hardened buckshot is a marginal performer. Some of the hardened buckshot will penetrate at least 12 inches deep and some will not.
20 Gauge Shotshell Ammunition Recommendations
We're unaware of any ammunition company who offers a 20 gauge shotshell that is loaded with #1 buckshot. The largest shot size commercially available that we know of is number 2 buck.
From a strict wound ballistics standpoint, we feel the Federal Classic 3-inch 20 gauge Magnum number 2 buckshot cartridge is the best choice. It contains 18 pellets of number 2 buckshot in a plastic shotcup with granulated plastic shot buffer.
However, the Federal Classic load might produce too much recoil for some people. Given this consideration, Remington's Premier Buckshot 2 ¾-inch 20 gauge number 3 buckshot cartridge is the next best choice. This load contains 20 pieces of nickel-plated, hardened lead shot that is buffered to reduce pellet deformation from post ignition acceleration and terminal impact. The Remington buckshot load will probably produce the tightest shot patterns in 20 gauge shotguns.
Third place is Winchester's 3-inch 20 gauge Magnum number 3 buckshot cartridge, which contains 24 pieces of buffered, copper-plated, hardened lead shot.
Shotgun Slugs, Flechettes and Exotic Ammunition for Home Defense?
Unless you live on acreage and anticipate engaging bad guys at distances beyond 25 yards, shotgun slugs are not a good choice for home defense, because of their enormous capability to over-penetrate a human body and common building materials.
Some shotgun cartridges are loaded with flechettes. These are small, steel, pointed dart-like projectiles with aft stabilization fins, and are commonly referred to as "nails with tails." The low cross sectional area of a single flechette, combined with the small amount of flechettes that can be loaded into a shotshell, makes them an inferior choice for home defense when compared to buckshot.
Also, according to Second Chance Body Armor Company, flechettes are not effective against soft body armor, if this is a particular mission requirement for your ammunition. Steel shot also is ineffective against soft body armor.
There are other various exotic shotshells that are best classified as gimmicks. These include rubber buckshot, bean bags, steel washers, rock salt, "Dragon's Breath," bird bombs, ceramic slugs, "bolo" projectiles and so on. The efficacy of these loads is questionable at best, and we advise you to avoid them altogether for this simple reason.
With the right load, a shotgun can be very effective in quickly stopping the deadly violence being perpetrated by a criminal who's invaded your home.
If you're worried that a missed shot might penetrate through a wall and harm others, load your shotgun so that the first one or two cartridges to be fired is number 6 or smaller birdshot, followed by standard lead #1 buckshot (12 gauge) or #3 buckshot (20 gauge). If your first shot misses, the birdshot is less likely to endanger innocent lives outside the room. If your first shot fails to stop the attacker, you can immediately follow-up with more potent ammunition.
With birdshot you are wise to keep in mind that your gunfire has the potential to NOT PRODUCE an effective wound. Do not expect birdshot to have any decisive effect.
Number 1 buckshot has the potential to produce more effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck, without the accompanying risk of over-penetration. The IWBA believes, with very good reason, that number 1 buckshot is the shotshell load of choice for quickly stopping deadly criminal violence.
The term "Magnum" when applied to shotshells means "more shot." Magnum shotshells usually propel their pellets at a lower velocity than a standard shotshell.
Shotgun barrel length does not affect our shotshell recommendions.
Cotey, Gus J.: "Number 1 Buckshot, the Number 1 Choice." Wound Ballistics Review, 2(4), 10-18, 1996.
MacPherson, Duncan: "Technical Comment on Buckshot Loads." Wound Ballistics Review, 2(4), 19-21, 1996.
MacPherson, Duncan: Bullet Penetration, Ballistic Publications, El Segundo, California, 1994.
DiMaio, Vincent J.M.: Gunshot Wounds, Elsevier Science Publishing Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1985, pp. 163-208.
I use 00 or 000 buck in 2.75 or 3 inch for home defense.
My prefered type & brand is "The cheapest I can get from Federal, Remington, Winchester or Hornady"
It's buckshot at less than 10 yards.
Hair on the wall...
May 20th, 2009 12:21 PM
Federal Personal Defense Shotshell Performance Data
With clear weather descending upon us for the first time in several weeks here in the Seattle/Puget Sound region, we finally made it out to the shooting range to test Federal Cartridge Company's new 12 gauge Personal Defense Shotshell (product number PD12-2). We fired 6 shotshells: 3 rounds to examine shot penetration performance and 3 rounds to observe shot patterning performance. We also disassembled a live shotshell to examine its internal components.
Federal introduced its Personal Defense Shotshell last year. It’s marketed as a "low recoil, optimized pattern" 2 3/4-inch shotshell. The 1998 catalog states the 1 1/4-ounce #2 shot charge is propelled at a muzzle velocity of 1140 fps.
(A 20 gauge Personal Defense Shotshell is also available, product number PS20-2, which contains 1-ounce of #2 shot propelled at 1140 fps. We expect the 20 gauge load to perform very similar to the 12 gauge load we tested.)
The Personal Defense Shotshell is packaged in cartons of ten shotshells, and costs about $10.00/carton. The packaging contains the following marketing claims:
"Premium Personal Defense Shotshell Ammunition features a specially engineered payload that opens rapidly and offers optimized penetration. The amount of recoil has been reduced to improve firearms control."
The bottom of the carton has an illustration of a cutaway shotshell showing the internal components, and lists four benefits of the Personal Defense Shotshell design:
Federal’s own extruded plastic hull made for quality performance.
Specially tailored shot load optimizes penetration.
Optimized patterns provide greater effectiveness at close range.
Loaded for low recoil.
We used the water-filled half-gallon cardboard milk carton method to test pellet penetration. This procedure is described in Tactical Briefs #3. Briefly, several water-filled milk cartons were lined-up in a row and a single shotshell was fired into the row of cartons. The number of cartons penetrated by the pellets was counted, and the pellets remaining in each carton were recovered and counted. Pellet penetration depths were determined by counting the number of cartons penetrated and multiplying by 2.5.
An Oehler model 35P proof chronograph was positioned in front of the row of milk cartons to measure the velocity of the shot cluster as it exited the muzzle of the shotgun and before it impacted the first carton. The shotgun used was a pump-action Remington model 870 fitted with a Remington factory 18-inch modified-cylinder choke smoothbore barrel with bead sight. The barrel has been modified by Vang Comp Systems to tighten shot patterns and reduce recoil. The distance from the muzzle to the first milk carton in the row was approximately 12-15 feet.
Partly due to the wide dispersal of the shot pattern, not all the shot was recovered from the cartons. Some pellets exited out the sides of the cartons and continued downrange, while others were washed out of the cartons and off the test stand by the sudden wash of water escaping out the damaged milk cartons.
The shot penetrated a maximum of 4 water-filled milk cartons. In all three tests the most shot was recovered from carton #3.
The penetration test results are as follows:
Shot #1. Velocity 1000 fps:
Carton # # Pellets Recovered
1 3 pellets
2 15 pellets
3 55 pellets
4 2 pellets
Remarks: Shotcup recovered from carton #2. Plastic and cardboard wads were recovered from benchtop.
Shot #2. Velocity 1089 fps:
Carton # # Pellets Recovered
1 0 pellets
2 0 pellets
3 36 pellets
4 8 pellets
Remarks: Shotcup and wads recovered from carton #3.
Shot #3. Velocity 1047 fps:
Carton # # Pellets Recovered
1 0 pellets
2 0 pellets
3 35 pellets
4 7 pellets
Remarks: Shotcup and wads recovered from carton #2.
The majority of the shot was consistently recovered from carton #3, and this indicates that most of the shot penetrates approximately 5- to 7 1/2- inches. A few pellets penetrated to carton #4 to achieve a maximum penetration depth of between 7 1/2- to 10-inches.
Click here to view photographs of our test results.
In our October 1998 Tactical Briefs, we mentioned a photograph on page 19 of the 1998 Federal catalog that shows a block of ordnance gelatin into which the Personal Defense Shotshell was fired. We complained about a lack of a measuring scale in the photograph that would allow viewers to determine penetration depth of the shot in the gelatin. Based on our test results, we feel our original interpretation of the penetration depth of the pellets is wrong.
Upon re-examination of the photograph it appears the gelatin block is approximately 8-inches deep. We originally believed the block to be 6-inches deep (the shotshell being fired into the the side of a standard FBI test protocol gelatin block with a dimension of 6x6x16-inches), and showed most of the pellets penetrating between 4- and 5-inches, with a few pellets penetrating beyond 5-inches.
Whereas, if the block of gelatin is 8-inches deep, the results pictured in the Federal catalog more closely correlates with our test results. Most of the pellets in the Federal catalog photograph appear to penetrate between 5- and 7-inches with a few penetrating just slightly beyond 7-inches.
This penetration performance more closely matches the data in Figure 10-8, Lead Alloy Sphere Penetration Depth, in Duncan MacPherson's book Bullet Penetration. MacPherson's figure shows a maximum penetration depth potential approximately 7-inches for #2 lead birdshot propelled at 1140 fps.
However, the velocity of our pellets was approximately 100 fps slower than Federal’s 1140 fps design velocity. We’re going to speculate that the temporary cavity produced by the pellets in front of the shot cluster cleared the way, so to speak, by churning-up and propelling water out of the initial path of following pellets. This would give the appearance that the pellets are capable of penetrating deeper than their maximum potential. The pellets near the back of the shot cluster apparently did not make direct penetrating contact with the water for the first one to two inches after passing through the front wall of the first milk carton. This is purely conjecture on our part, but it seems to be a reasonable explanation for the penetration performance observed.
The recovered shot was badly deformed. Several pellets showed signs of contact with the bore, causing flattening of the pellets and abrasive removal of the copper-plating to expose underlying lead. Until we destructively disassembled an unfired shotshell to see for ourselves, the extent of pellet deformation appeared similar to a compressed shot charge.
An X-acto knife was used to cut open the hull of an unfired shotshell. We counted 104 pieces of undeformed spherical copper-plated #2 lead shot. Using an RCBS model 10-10 powder scale, the shot charge measured 533-grains, just slightly less than 1 1/4 ounces (547-grains).
The 1 1/8-inch long plastic shotcup is a unique design. It has a 1/4-inch wide hollow post protruding out the center. It has no petals to protect the shot from contact with the bore. The base of the shotcup, which makes bore contact, measures 7/16-inch long. The design appears intended to maximize shot dispersal upon exit from the muzzle. The shotcup sits atop a disk-like cardboard wad. Underneath the cardboard wad is a plastic wad of similar thickness. The plastic wad sits atop the powder charge.
We fired three test patterns. The distance from the muzzle to each target was 10-feet. All three shot patterns measured approximately 5-inches in diameter, with even radial dispersion of the shot. The shot pattern is accurately centered around the point of aim.
For comparison purposes, we fired a Dove and Quail load, consisting of 1-ounce of #8 lead shot. The pattern of this load was approximately 2 1/2-inches in diameter at 10-feet.
It appears the Personal Defense Shotshell has a pellet spread rate of approximately 2-inches for every yard of travel from the muzzle, which is twice the spread rate for conventional shotshell loads when fired from an 18-inch modified cylinder choke barrel.
Recoil of the Personal Defense Shotshell was similar to the Dove and Quail load, which has a lighter shot charge.
While the Federal Personal Defense Shotshell does not meet the IWBA’s 12- to 18-inch penetration depth guidelines, it is nonetheless adequate to use as the first one or two shots to be fired at an aggressor, as long as deeper penetrating buckshot is available for subsequent shots, if needed. The extreme spread of the shot pattern makes it unacceptable for anything other than room-distance, close-quarters, in-home personal defense use.
Cotey, Gus Jr.: "Number 1 Buckshot, the Number 1 Choice." Wound Ballistics Review, 2(4); 10-18, 1996.
MacPherson, Duncan: Bullet Penetration - Modeling the Dynamics and Incapacitation Resulting from Wound Trauma. Ballistic Publications, El Segundo, CA; 1994.
May 20th, 2009 01:04 PM
WOW, some very GOOD advice posted above, nothing I can improve upon. Just be sure to practice with whatever shotgun you buy. Mine is an Remington 870 with a Sure Fire forend with light.
May 20th, 2009 04:52 PM
Long with my CDP's Ultra and Compact, the HD includes this 12 ga...
Stoeger Coach Gun Supreme in 12-Gauge Chamberx
Short, deadly with 00-buck, and very intimidating...
Many will prefer a pump, but the real men go with a coach gun!
The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member[/B]
May 20th, 2009 06:31 PM
+1 !!! My 8 shot Remington 870 riot is set up with a Speed Feed pistol grip stock that I shortened 1.5"s for a better length of pull.
Originally Posted by SIXTO
Mossbergs are great guns but there's a reason 98% of LEO's have an 870 on them with 00 buck. THEY get the job done with great reliability!
If you go with the Mossberg with a pistol grip take it off and slap a Knoxx recoil reducing stock for it. They are amazing! Wish I would have known about em before the Speed Feed.
Knoxx Recoil Solutions
Sportsterguy-NRA Life Member
Join the NRA today, or don't complain when your guns are taken away!
May 20th, 2009 07:05 PM
I like my Mossberg 590 pump. It is a rock solid combat shotgun.
Remington 870's have been a law enforcement staple for heck, I don't know... 4 or 5 decades.
I don't think you can go wrong with either of those.
The only additions I have made to my Mossberg 590 was to add a Tritium bead front site, a six round Side Saddle mounted on the receiver and an Eagle Industries six round buttstock pouch.
I have 8 rounds of 00 Buck in the magazine tube. I have 6 slugs in the side saddle, and 6 additional buckshot in the butt stock pouch.
That's 20 rounds of 12 ga. man stoppers either in or mounted on the gun. Enough to handle any fight or home invasion.
If Zombies attack, I also keep a 56 round bandoleer loaded with slugs and buckshot hanging right next to my shotgun.
My only upgrade in the near future will be to mount a tac-light on the shotty.
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
May 20th, 2009 07:05 PM
The Mossberg is a fine HD shotgun...But IMHO, the 870 is the benchmark in pump shotguns out there. Get you whichever one you like preferrably with the 18" barrel and some decent 00 buck and you will be GTG. There is also an endless supply of aftermarket tacticool stuff for the 870.
Friends don't let friends be MALL NINJAS.
I am just as nice as anyone lets me be and can be just as mean as anyone makes me. - Quoted from Terryger, New member to our forum.
May 20th, 2009 09:46 PM
+1 on the 870. That is my HD shotty. I use Federal slugs in mine. I have a Knoxx pistol grip w/ a 4 position stock. The Knoxx recoil reducing stock and a light are next on the "must get" list.
I agree w/ Sixto....no pistol grip unless it has a stock too. They look cool in the movies, but having a stock will make you more effective.
Police Defensive Tactics, Firearms, Carbine Rifle and Taser Instructor
NRA Life Member
It is better to have your gun and not need it, than to need it and not have it!
You cannot choose the conditions for a gunfight, so train in all conditions!
May 20th, 2009 10:01 PM
I'll give another +1 for the 870. I like it best. I've had the Mossberg 500, and the Ithaca 37. Those Ithacas are out of reach for the most part nowadays, so I figure the next best thing is the 870.
May 20th, 2009 10:21 PM
I'm impressed with the advice, me personally? If I'm not home, I bought a 1100 12ga for the wife... I told her to point and click... that simple. Maybe a 12ga is over kill, but I use it for pheasant hunting as well. A nice 20ga, pointed down a hallway will take care of just about anything that is coming your way
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