Is magnum necessary for a home defense shotgun?

Is magnum necessary for a home defense shotgun?

This is a discussion on Is magnum necessary for a home defense shotgun? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm pretty new to shotguns. The only one I have is an heirloom Model 11 that I wouldn't dare shoot anyway. I know the Remington ...

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Thread: Is magnum necessary for a home defense shotgun?

  1. #1
    Member Array BeefyG's Avatar
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    Is magnum necessary for a home defense shotgun?

    I'm pretty new to shotguns. The only one I have is an heirloom Model 11 that I wouldn't dare shoot anyway. I know the Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 are the HD standards. Should I be looking for one that takes magnum shells or is that not necessary? I noticed the Winchester PDX1 shells don't say magnum on them so maybe not?

    Thanks


  2. #2
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    I've taken three combat shotgun courses. Never used magnum loads and none of the intstructors ever advocated a need for magnum loads.

    I have a Mossberg 590 A1 shotgun which is chambered for 3 inch magnum loads. However, I always use regular 2 3/4 inch loads in 00 buck, No. 1 buck or regular 2 3/4 inch slugs loads.
    BeefyG, TX expat, OD* and 4 others like this.
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  3. #3
    Member Array BeefyG's Avatar
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    OK thanks!

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    Senior Member Array Cold Shot's Avatar
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    No. I didn't really read all of Tangle's thread about the energy individual pellets, but a 2 3/4" load or even reduced recoil load is good to go. I've shot stuff with a 12 gauge; they results were impressive.

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    Senior Member Array DocT65's Avatar
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    Magnum shells not needed for any defensive shotgun. A good shell is the 2 3/4" Federal or Winchester LE load; most LEO's use these in their guns. These can be bought with copper shot which adds a bit to penetration.
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    OP, just so we are clear. The 870 and Mossberg 500 can and will shoot magnum loads just fine. So you can buy either one of those guns with confidence.

    Then you can run any ammo you want that is 3 inches or less. 3 1/2 inch ammo takes a special chamber and will not function in standard shotgun chambers.

    Cheers!
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

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    Distinguished Member Array phreddy's Avatar
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    The only time I have heard a magnum being needed is late springtime turkey hunting when the leaves have started to come out.
    pacman likes this.

  8. #8
    Member Array BeefyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    OP, just so we are clear. The 870 and Mossberg 500 can and will shoot magnum loads just fine. So you can buy either one of those guns with confidence.

    Then you can run any ammo you want that is 3 inches or less. 3 1/2 inch ammo takes a special chamber and will not function in standard shotgun chambers.

    Cheers!
    It has to have a magnum receiver doesn't it? I will confess I haven't looked into it much. The markings on shotguns I've seen on GB have had "only use magnum shells in a magnum receiver" stamped on them.

    I'm not sure what the magnum is all about but I was just under the impression magnum is better and may be needed for stopping power. I looked up some stuff on HD shotguns but since there wasn't any mention of magnum shells I wanted to ask.

    Right now I have enough gun money set aside to either get my CHL or a shotgun. I've already got a pistol for HD so I'm leaning towards my CHL. Still deciding...
    Last edited by BeefyG; January 7th, 2013 at 01:57 PM. Reason: sentance didn't make sense

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    My view is: no, a magnum shotgun round isn't necessary to provide an effective defensive platform.

    IMO, bore/caliber is part of the issue, insofar as it relates to on-target ballistic performance (penetration, wound channel). But there's also my ability to effectively control the weapon, regarding my ability to quickly and effectively place more rounds on target. Assuming the shotgun's well-tuned to function reliably well with 2-3/4" 'standard' shells, then I don't feel under-gunned with it. My shotgun of choice: Rem 870P 12ga pump, 2-3/4" with #1 buck. It has torn up sides of beef well enough for me to feel that the third-party testing I've seen from time to time is a fair representation of on-target (body) performance of the 12ga 2-3/4" #1 buck.

    One factor I don't worry nearly so much about is that of over-penetration. Depending on your home's walls and surrounding risk areas (ie, neighbors close by), a lighter gauge and/or lighter load might be something to consider as part of the criteria. YMMV, depending on your circumstances.
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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    No offense to the .357 mag fans around here, but I can't think of very many SD/HD situations that require a magnum of ANY sort, shotgun, rifle or pistol. Believe it or not, human beings are NOT the toughest animal (per pound) around.
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeefyG View Post
    It has to have a magnum receiver doesn't it? I will confess I haven't looked into it much. The markings on shotguns I've seen on GB have had "only use magnum shells in a magnum receiver" stamped on them.

    I'm not sure what the magnum is all about but I was just under the impression magnum is better and may be needed for stopping power. I looked up some stuff on HD shotguns but since there wasn't any mention of magnum shells I wanted to ask.

    Right now I have enough gun money set aside to either get my CHL or a shotgun. I've already got a pistol for HD so I'm leaning towards my CHL. Still deciding...
    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    OP, just so we are clear. The 870 and Mossberg 500 can and will shoot magnum loads just fine. So you can buy either one of those guns with confidence.

    Then you can run any ammo you want that is 3 inches or less. 3 1/2 inch ammo takes a special chamber and will not function in standard shotgun chambers.

    Cheers!
    Nope. Any modern shotgun with a 3 inch chamber (almost all new guns have 3 in chambers) will be fine.
    gasmitty, BeefyG and wsquared like this.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

  12. #12
    Member Array BeefyG's Avatar
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    Thanks for confirming!

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    In the house a 2 3/4 with #6 rabbit shot will get the job done

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    Save the magnums for geese and deer.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    Member Array ritepath's Avatar
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    Unless I'm turkey hunting I don't have much use for magnum loads....of course I feel the same way about magnum rifles and shooting +p.

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