This is a discussion on Home defense shotgun ammo capacity within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by 10thmtn WELL?! It's been three days since the last post... Anyone? Anyone? Any incidents of self defense inside a home that needed ...
Fortes Fortuna Juvat
Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
NRA Pistol/Rifle Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor
My Firearms Blog: Little Miami Tactical Shooter's Corner
OK, funny man!
I'm actually asking a serious question. While we know the average number of rounds fired with a handgun in a defensive situation is low, there is a very large deviation from the norm - many instances where merely showing the gun resolves the situation (0 rounds fired), and many instances where many rounds are fired.
I know the average number of shotgun shells fired (1-2) - I'm trying to find what the deviation is. So far, there does not appear to be any, at least in situations of defense inside the home.
This has implication for folks contemplating what shotgun to buy for home defense. Do you really need a tactical shotgun with a short barrel and extended mag? A double? A sporting pump or semi auto with lower mag capacity?
So far, it seems that any of them will do, with the tactical ones perhaps being a bit of overkill.
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
I don't think anyone would be in danger with a non-tactical shotgun...presumably, you have a handgun to back it up with.
And again, you hit my question exactly. Can anyone cite an "above average" case of defense inside the home with a shotgun? If there are none, then you are very well protected with a double, exceedingly well protected with a sporting shotgun, and loaded for bear with a tactical version - especially if you also have a handgun (either used by you or your partner) to back any of those choices up.
I personally keep an 870 Express with a 6-round tube in my apartment. All 6 rounds are 2-3/4 00 buck at the moment, until I can find some #4 somewhere.
WARNING: This post may contain material offensive to those who lack wit, humor, common sense and/or supporting factual or anecdotal evidence. All statements and assertions contained herein may be subject to literary devices not limited to: irony, metaphor, allusion and dripping sarcasm.
I don't have an answer to the numbers question, but IMO, it doesnt matter. A 4,6 or 8 shot tube... who cares. Somebody well versed in running a shotgun will be able to perform tactical reloads as the fan is spewing the feces. Again, its more about knowing and respecting the limits of your skill and equipment secondary. I have an 8 shot tube on my 870P right now, but have been thinking about putting the cap on because the 4 shot balances so much nicer. I'd just put a side saddle on it and call it good.
"Just blame Sixto"
PS - So far, this thread is also bolstering my decision to stay with the 4-shot tube. Does not really seem to be a need for more, especially with a handgun to back it up.
I have a 870 HD with 6+1 capacity. It currently holds five rounds of OO Buck in the tube with an empty chamber and four more rounds of OO Buck in the sidesaddle. Two more rounds of OO Buck are on the shelf in the safe to top off the tube when I chamber a round.
I figure if I run through all that I better pull out the tomahawk cuz the zombies aren't gonna stop coming!
"It is your evil that will be sought by us. With every breath we will hunt them down. Each day we will spill their blood, until it rains down from the skies. Do not kill. Do not rape. Do not steal. These are principles that every man from every faith can embrace." -McManus twins Boondock Saints
Back then, NC didn't have a Castle Doctrine( don't know about now), and I knew something was wrong, my gate was open when I got home, front door was open, and my dogs were gone.
I took my shotty from behind the seat, entered the house and cautiously made my way through to my bedroom where I heard noise. On the way I noticed the back door was standing wide open.
A grubby white guy with a ball cap came out of my bedroom carrying my Goldstar TV and VCR. I also kept my guns in the bedroom.
When he saw me he started rambling, sat the stuff down and made a gesture with his hands. I had already thumbed the safety and let go with a shot. He fell back against the washing machine, dropped to the floor squealing like a pig on all fours and was scrambling to get out the back door that was near him.
Completely pissed off at this point, I shot him in the ass as he was going down the steps, tumbling him ass over elbows.
I racked another round in and ran to the door, but he was already running around the left corner of the house. At the same time, I noticed another guy, trying to get over the fence, and decided he needed a dose of lead too, so I blasted him in the ass.
Called the police, and told them what happened. In 15 minutes my driveway was flooded with State Troopers, county and Sheriff deputies.
I honestly told them what happened. They caught the two walking on a dirt road in obvious distress, limping and holding themselves, and found stuff from my house they had taken and hid in the woods directly behind the house.
The problem was, I should have stopped shooting when they left the house. The asses full of bird shot didn't help my position.
Luckily, they were hated and despised as white trash thieves by the authorities who were tired of dealing with them, but then there was the matter of the law concerning my actions.
Between the military legal counsel, a letter from my CO, and a small town prosecuter, they decided not to press charges.
I recieved a page 11 entry in my Service Record book, which was pretty minor, and was confined to the barracks for 2 months cleaning and pulling Duty NCO.
The ordeal was totally exhausting and nerve racking.
Lesson learned; no more ass shots.
Thanks for your service and thanks for telling the story. I'm interested to know when the scumbag was on the floor squealing like pig, did he crap his pants?
I agree 5 rds good enough. I tried an 8rd extension, heavy and hard to swing on target fast. The standard 5 rd mag is optimum imho. I put an M1 carbine stock pouch on it which holds a quick reload. Problem is once you use them its moving around n stock. Need to remedy that with something.It wears a Surefire as well, mounted at 6 o clock position under muzzle. Its kept w/ 4 rds in tube, chamber empty./ Cond II. So 9 rds total. Rem 2 3/4" sluggers my choice. If for some ungodly reason thats not enough I figure ya transition to sidearm...
From the Oct 2010 Police magazine:
"Backing from the front end of a parked car, the suspect rounded a windshield and came within full view of Olszynski. Glancing over,
the suspect became aware of Olszynski and turned to face him. Only 15 feet separated the two men.
The man swung his gun in Olszynski's direction.
Olszynski opened fire with the pump-action shotgun, discharging multiple Federal 00 buck shells, each of which contained nine pellets.
The deputy had expected such firepower would have dropped the man where he stood. But the man didn't flinch, and despite their proximity, an improbable and scary thought occurred to Olszynski: Am I missing him?
With each blast, Olszynski rechambered and squeezed off another. With the fourth shot he saw a red plume come off the
suspect's body and realized that his rounds had found their target. Yet the man still advanced, half-circling toward him. By
the time Olszynski's Remington ran dry, the suspect had closed the gap between them to about seven feet.
Dropping the shotgun, Olszynski transitioned to his sidearm. As he did, the man dropped to his knees before him.
"I give up."
With those words, Kirk Knight fell to the ground and rolled onto his back. Olszynski moved his gun away and told him not to
move. Maintaining his sidearm on him, Olszynski watched as Lewellyn flipped the man over and handcuffed him. After
conducting a quick but thorough search of Knight for any additional weapons, Lewellyn tried to radio for medics.
But radio traffic of responding units was tying up the radio, delaying the request for about a minute. Seeing some movement
by a minivan a few rows away and near where the suspect had been trying to run, Olszynski walked over to investigate. On the ground huddled a mom, dad, and their child, crying.
Radio traffic or not, Knight's fate had been sealed by 36 shotgun pellets. He was transported to the hospital where he was
subsequently pronounced dead."
Likely not. I feel strongly that if all I had was my Benelli M1S90 in it's hunting mode--3+1 ("ghost loading" is cool, but not practical) and a 28" barrel w/modified or full choke, I would be able to repel boarders with aplomb...but then again, I'm not going hunting for them, either. If they want to try and get through 2 fatal funnels in order to get to where I'd likely be hunkered at night, good luck...I suspect it would take several people who were very, very VERY determined to do me harm to brave that, and I really don't think I live a lifestyle where I need to worry about that.
That being said, though...the only time you have too much ammo on board is when you're drowning or on fire.
And it's also why I choose an AR with a 30rd magazine (and a couple of spares) as my go-to long arm...I'm a pessimist.
There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH
...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper
There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm
I would add that reloading a shotgun under stress is not easy. If you do have a shotgun, practice practice practice. I have seen several guys that in a stressful situation "short stroking" a pump shotgun causes jams that I thought were impossible.
Semi auto shotguns are good, just make sure they are "good" semi auto shotguns, seem several that seem to jam at just the wrong time.
Again, get something reliable and practice as much as possible.
I debated the semi auto shotgun for HD. The reason I opt for an 870 is that in the dark it is possible to in a fairly quiet manner, open the action and insert a rd in the chamber. Instead of cycling the action.The semi is LOUD and screams HERE I am over here. Maybe I'm too concerned with noise discipline. But there may be a time where an audible racking of the slide for the first rd is not advisable. The ammo capacity debate is solved imho if your sidearm has multiple back up magazines. What sucks and I've experienced this is getting dressed in the dark quickly. Two or three spare mags for me, anymore and my pants would probably fall down...
Pardon me if I get on my soapbox again - and remember, my opinion is like something else that everyone has
How many folks here have only one gun regardless if it's a rifle, shotgun, or handgun (raise your hands for a vote)?
For those who have only one gun (regardless of what it is), do you use it for short-range bird hunting, long-range bird hunting, deer hunting, trap & skeet, iron target shooting, combat shooting, concealed carry, and home defense (raise your hands for a vote)?
Singling out only handguns for the moment, how many people here have more than one handgun (raise your hands for a vote)?
For those who have more than one handgun, are they all pretty much the same type, size, caliber, ammo capacity and barrel-length - or are most of them very different in all of the previously-mentioned physical characterists because each one has a different purpose like CC, target shooting, hunting, and home defense (raise your hands for a vote)?
After asking the same questions about having more than one rifle of very different sizes, types, and calibers for very different applications, then my big question is why is anyone using a bird-gun (fowling piece) or any other type of long, shoulder-fired, hunting or clay-pigeon shotgun for home defense???
If you're using a shoulder-stock shotgun for home defense, then you would be just as well off holed up in your back room (waiting for them to come to you) with your 30.06 deer rifle with optics because you'll be able to swing it back and forth to aim just as easily as a bird gun. If those are your only options, then you're much better off in your defensive position with a large caliber handgun that can be swung, pointed and fired much faster without worry of banging the long barrel of a rifle or bird gun on everything around you or having to shoulder it to reasonably aim and fire.
Like my various rifles and handguns for very different purposes and/or conditions, I have a nice Remington 1100 SA with a couple of interchangeable barrels that make it an excellent all-purpose bird-gun. I have an equally nice Remington 870 pump with 20" barrel and rifle sights for the best heavy-brush gun there is for deer when loaded with rifled slugs. For home defense, it's a different story altogether with an 870 clone (New England Firearms) that was specifically built for home defense with an 18" barrel, dual pistol grips, and 28" in overall length (just to keep it fully legal). With a magazine extender I had to custom modify (others are too long for an 18" barrel), it holds 7+1 with standard 2-3/4" 9-pellet 00-Buckshot and 6+1 with 3" 12-pellet 00-Buckshot (which I alternate with rifled slugs in the magazine).
Dual pistol grips make it extremely fast to swing, point and shoot (either raised and sighted like a handgun or from the "breeched" position), and it's very short length makes it easy to maneuver without bumping into everything around you in your defensive area. Many people are under a terribly false impression when they think that even a short-barreled shottie with no choke at all at the muzzle (full open bore) is a "scatter gun" that doesn't have to be reasonably aimed at very close range like one will be dealing with inside a house (much less inside a room). Pardon me if I'm a little off because I didn't check the chart before writing this; but whether using bird-shot or 00-buckshot even in an open-bore 12ga with an 18" barrel, the shot pattern at a distance of 20 feet (average large room width) won't quite cover a 50-cent piece. Yes, at 40 yards you'll see a nice wide pattern; but at room-size range, you'll have to aim it as well as a rifle or handgun to hit your target.
Unfortunately, there are no "dual" pistol grips on the market that won't give your hands a sound pounding when using 00-buckshot since removing a heavy wooden stock and forearm piece on an already short-barreled shottie makes it light as a feather and kick like two mules. Blackhawk makes a spring-loaded rear pistol grip that's more dangerous to the shooter than it is to the shootee, and I'll explain why in another post if anyone is interested enough to ask. So, I ended up with the best ergonomic grips there are (Tac Star) which are very light (hollow) ABS plastic that needed much modification to be absolute perfection without beating up your hands and arms when "dragon's breath" speaks (I'll mention the mods done in another post as well if anyone is interested enough to ask).
End result is a fast swinging, easy to aim, stripped-down, lean & mean home-defense shotgun that is in no way a "tactical shottie" that's encumbered with lighting (that makes you a target), slings, straps, heat-shields, clip-on ammo bandoliers, cords, cables, GPS navagation, bayonet, cell-phone holder, satellite communications, and all the other crap that makes it look like a "movie gun" but only increases weight and will immediately hang up on door knobs, furniture, clothing, or whatever else "Murphy's Law" will place nearby. Granted, once finished like I wanted it, this short flame-thrower weighs 9 pounds with a full magazine; but it's a home defense weapon that I'm not going to be packing all day along a 10-mile hunting hike.
Before counting on your bird gun for home defense (and at the risk of hurting yourself or busting up something your wife will kick your butt over), try jumping out of bed and picking up a 4.5' 2x4 and start swinging it around in a small room (shouldered or un-shouldered). While carrying it in any ready-to-shoot manner, try quickly moving through a doorway or scurrying into your defensive safe room or corner while moving it around to seek a potential target. Simply try carrying the board with you while physically acting out what you will probably be doing if suddenly being surprised by an intruder(s) and quickly grabbing your defensive weapon while running to your defensive position - or moving through the house in "clearing mode" if that's your choice. Either way, you'll quickly discover you're much better off and far more defensively-maneuverable holed up with your .40 or .45 handgun than you are with your long bird gun or deer rifle.
It looks long in the picture below, but (for realistic comparison) the barrel length from muzzle to frame is 18".