Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Sorry guys, if you've answered this a million times before, but grateful if you'd indulge this newbie.

I have no prior shotgun experience but have narrowed it down to the 870 vs the 500. I'm leaning toward the 18.5" 870 pump action. But wonder whether the recoil of a 12 ga is too much to ever make a 2nd shot worthwhile for a 145 pounder like me. Is a 20 ga a poor choice for home defense? A friend tells me that 20 ga is unpopular and shells are harder to come by than 12s. True?

One visit to my local Pop gun shop and I'm told anything's hard to get right now. I live in the People's Republic of California: can I buy online and have it shipped to a local gun shop?

Thanks.
 

·
I Sleep with my Boots ON!
Joined
·
1,302 Posts
Both of your choices are good ones and comes down to preference. I'm a Mossberg fan and own a few different models, for pumps, I love my 590A1. The 870 is never a bad choice, great shotgun.

A 20GA is a very good HD shotgun with the proper round, same holds true for the 12GA but even more so with the 20. My wife weighs less than you and has shot all my shotguns with no problem. They make Low-Recoil rounds now that are very manageable to shoot for about anyone that isn't trigger shy..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
443 Posts
Well my suggestion is to get to a range and try them out, Ive shot plenty of deer with a 12ga slug barreled Ithaca 37, I wouldnt call the 20ga unpopular I think with the right load the 20ga. will be OK...............But see if you can try them both. Just my 2cents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
577 Posts
All of the Mossbergs I've picked up tend to have a 'gritty' quality to the action, like there's just a little bit of dirt or sand in them. This is from factory-new models and others I've been around felt it too. Remmies have always felt smoother. They cost a bit more, but in my opinion they are superior. The only downside is the safety at the trigger instead of at the back of the receiver. My advice is Remington. 12g shouldn't be a problem for you - recoil of the two rounds isn't too different. Good stock with some padding will take care of it.

For buying online - yes you can, however it must be shipped to a local dealer (for all of the background checking paperwork) and they charge a small fee for it. $25 is standard. Find the dealer to receive it first (and shop to see if they can match the price with what they have in stock) and then choose the online seller. Dealer sends a copy of their FFL to seller, you buy from seller, seller ships it to dealer, you pay fee to dealer and go home with a new food processor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input guys. I see a 12 ga 870 in my future. Will give my local Pop gun shop first crack at getting one for me.
 

·
Let the Debate begin
Joined
·
6,378 Posts
One thing I did not know when I bought my first shot gun (Mossburg 500)
was the different length shells you can put in it. So if you shoot it with
the shorter bird shot, its recoil will be a lot less than a 3 inch slug for
instance. The shorter the round you can reliably feed, most time the
less recoil and the more rounds you can hold.

The other thing I did not know is often, the longer barrel pump shot guns
have longer tubes that hold more rounds. There are exceptions to all
this of course.

One thing my wife did not realize is that when you shoot it you want it
tight against you or it will hurt more. So if your scared of it you will
tend to hurt yourself more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
My preference is for the 870, but the 500 is a known reliable performer too; you can't go wrong either way. Incidentally an 870 Express I picked up a few years ago seemed as "gritty" as 500 mentioned earlier, but a dozen boxes of shells at the skeet range smoothed it right out. I suspect a gritty 500 would do the same with some range time.

I'm looking for a second HD shotgun and am considering going to 20 ga for it instead of the 12 I already have, for two reasons. First, the rest of the family is hesitant to shoot a 12 gauge, and would probably do ok with a 20. Plus, if I have a hard time adding to my 12 ga ammo supply there might be boxes of 20 ga out there (or vice versa).

As for stopping power, a 20 ga with buckshot takes deer fine, so is probably good for ****-breakandenterus. Certainly more potent than most handguns by a longshot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
I agree with DaveinCT.

If a Mossy go 590 definitely! NEVER a bad choice with a Remmy 870. I prefer the older models to current production.

Good luck,
CW
 

·
aint afraid of no ghost
Joined
·
2,388 Posts
Just to throw a slightly different perspective out there I actually use a .410 for home defense and well as take a JUDGE with me when i travel. My biggest concern is always wall penetration I would hate to shoot threw a wall and hurt or kill someone on the other side. The new defense loads from winchester are also great disks and shot in one package makes for a nice way to tell some one they are not welcome in my house
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks; just learned what a Judge is. Good point about wall penetration especially here in Cali where houses are made of tortillas -or is that really stucco - and chicken wire.

Read somewhere about buckshot that's lightly coated with rubber to kill zombies but with less fear of wall penetration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,427 Posts
Don't get rubber-coated shot, or anything else weird. Some people load a round or two of birdshot, followed by buckshot. The idea is that maybe the birdshot will be effective or scare the bad guy away, and if not, you have the buckshot coming up next. Other people go straight to the buckshot.

My favorite buckshot is #1. A typical load of #1 is 16 pellets. Each pellet is .30 caliber and weighs 40 grains. That means each of the 16 pellets is roughly comparable to a .22LR round; a direct center mass hit is similar to 16 simultaneous hits with a .22LR. A lot of people like bigger buckshot rounds. They are also very effective, but have higher risk of overpenetration.

I weigh more than 145 pounds and can't predict how the recoil will feel to you. With a proper hold tight against the shoulder, the recoil is no problem for me at all.

20 gauge is a very effective HD round, and would be a very reasonable choice if you are concerned about recoil. The downside is that it's a little more expensive and harder to find than 12ga, but neither type of ammunition is really all that expensive or hard to find.

Both makes and models you named are good choices.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Just to throw a slightly different perspective out there I actually use a .410 for home defense and well as take a JUDGE with me when i travel. My biggest concern is always wall penetration I would hate to shoot threw a wall and hurt or kill someone on the other side. The new defense loads from winchester are also great disks and shot in one package makes for a nice way to tell some one they are not welcome in my house
Thanks; just learned what a Judge is. Good point about wall penetration especially here in Cali where houses are made of tortillas -or is that really stucco - and chicken wire.

Read somewhere about buckshot that's lightly coated with rubber to kill zombies but with less fear of wall penetration.
Pardon me but the penetration issue is a pet peeve of mine...ammo manufacturers and talking heads have convinced people there's such a thing as a magic bullet when there really is not.

If you're worried about killing someone on the other side of a wall you shouldn't be shooting in that direction, period. Most homes and apartments have sheetrock walls which you should consider as nothing more than a few sheets of paper for all the stopping effect they have against bullets or shot. Cheapie southwest art deco stucco is no better.

Let's be very clear on this... any round that is physically capable of stopping a bad guy will punch right through a sheetrock wall if that's what it hits first. Combine this reality with the knowledge that statistically more rounds fired at bad guys are misses than hits, and it quickly becomes obvious that if you shoot at a bad guy in front of a sheetrock wall you will likely have a couple of misses that hit the wall directly, and go through it, without first going through the bad guy and slowing down. Rounds that can penetrate a human deep enough to reach the critical CNS to stop someone will typically go through 4 or more layers of sheetrock if that's what they hit first. Thus, any round fired that could stop the bad guy, if (when) he's missed, can punch through a wall and injure or kill on the other side.

There are ways around this if you plan ahead. In a typical family home you will know where everyone's beds are at, and should be able to pre-determine safe vs dangerous lines of fire in a home at night when everyone is sleeping. You can also set up a family plan where a shout of "COVER" gets everyone to predetermined positions in all rooms of a house where you will know where to not shoot at. In apartments you can also figure out where neighbors will be through the day and be able to make a guess whether it's safe or not to fire in a given direction. The guess may be off, but the call will need to be made on the fly to shoot or not shoot. Plan ahead accordingly. Take advantage of being on home turf when invaded (even while traveling in a hotel room, you're there first and can scope it out). Plan lines of safe fire, and know what are dangerous lines of fire, and position yourself during an event, if you can, to maximize your ability to safely fire, and don't shoot if you likely have an innocent person behind the attacker, or likely behind a wall behind the attacker. If you let a bullet loose you own the consequences of what it does.

Attempting to get ammo that won't penetrate a sheetrock wall, but will incapacitate an attacker, is like asking for a shoe that fits a size 14 foot on the inside but looks like a size 7 on the outside.

Sorry for the rant, but I hate to see guys snookered into buying snake oil only to find out later they were misled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,427 Posts
I would absolutely not ignore overpenetration.

There is no way you're going to remember all of those "do not fire" locations from every direction, even if your adrenaline-soaked brain is able to process that level of thought at all.

There is risk in anything, particularly anything to do with firing a gun inside your home. Treepotater is right about that. However, the simplest way to reduce the risk is to try to find rounds that will penetrate "enough" and not much more than that. The FBI demands a minimum penetration of 12 inches and who am I to argue. So what I would ideally like would be 12-15 inches of penetration.

Can such a projectile overpenetrate and hurt a bystander - of course
Is it as likely to as something that penetrates 30 inches - obviously not

Don't think only about the sheetrock wall right behind the bad guy. Think about the sheetrock wall after that one, or the exterior wall or even the house across the street.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,202 Posts
i prefer the 20ga. i have not found ammo for it to be more expensive nor limited in loading options. as a matter of fact, in my last ammo foray a couple of weeks ago, the selection of 20ga was considerably more comprehensive than the 12ga i saw. seems the panic ammo buying has expanded to include 12ga in buckshot and slugs. i got all i wanted of both for my 20ga. and the price was less than the shelf labels for the 12ga, that they were sold out of.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,737 Posts
In another lifetime when I was in Law Enforcement, the Ithica 37 was the standard police issued shotgun, after enough of them got dropped with a round in the chamber and discharged we got the 870's instead.
IMHO: The Mossberg 500 is the best cheapest shotgun on the market, if you buy the combo with the 18" cylinder bore and the 28" vented rib Modified choak barrels you get a defensive weapon as well as a a hunting shotgun, Cabella's also has a black powder .50 cal barrel which uses the 209 primer system.
I like the Mossberg 500 mostly cause it's the only shotgun out there which I can work the action, the slide release, the safety while still having the control of the trigger. 12 Ga is (IMHO) the best if for no other reason that you are most likely to find shell cases, wads and loaders then any other gauge.

But the gun you have will always be better then the one you want but don't have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
A Shot in The Dark

I'm not doubting that I could get off the first shot with any gauge. My original question of 12 vs 20 was whether I could accurately get in a second shot with the 12 due to its strong recoil. I'm liking both the 12 and 20 combo 870s I see on Remington's site so I might get both if I can. Any negatives about combos?

Stupid question I guess, but how can anyone armed with a shotgun be expected to accurately aim the darn thing when some zombie enters your bedroom in the dark of night. Just shoot in the general direction of the noise and listen to hear if it drops to the floor?
 

·
Heading for my BOL
Joined
·
279 Posts
and load without your thumb getting stuck/gouged by the carrier
Can you explain this further please? Is this an issue with the 870?

I am too looking to get a pump shotgun (only semi Berretas and Bennellis so far), so I am interested in this thread.

I am thinking Moss 500, Rem 870 and the Browning BPS...
 

·
Whiskey Militia
Joined
·
132 Posts
I own both. I use the Remington 870 12g and my girl who is 5'2" and like 100 lbs. shoots the Mossberg 500 12g. both have 18.5" Barrels etc. Since my girl is short she has an adjustable but stock on hers.

Either would be a great choice IMO.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top