Best shot size for 20ga. defense rounds?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by emt1581, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    I need to order some shot or a mold to make my dad some defense rounds for his 20ga. pump.

    He is saying he wants 3 Buck but I can buy one of the sharpshooter molds that will give me 4 and 00.

    But again, what shot size would yall suggest?



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  3. Does he have any close neighbors? I prefer finer shot if you do, #6 at the most. If he misses...

  4. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    He'll most likely be firing down a stair well so penetration isn't an issue as it'll just land in the floor/front yard anyway.

    Again, I'm looking for the most effective at stopping a bad guy. Best combination of penetration and spread.


  5. go with the 4.

    oo will only have a few pellets.

    Spread is determined by the choke.
    #4 lethal tupperwa, Feb 2, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  6. Birdshot is for the birds.
  7. Depends on the distance.
  8. Yah ask anyone who hunts with Dick Cheney.

    It also depends on what the bad guy is wearing and the cycle of the moon.

    How do you get the bad guy to stand at the right distance ?

    I thought everybody with any experience had already decided that anything that will reliably stop an opponent will be dangerous if you miss. It seems rather obvious. Otherwise, the ammo companies would be turning out "Tactical #6 loads for Law Enforcement" since they have the same concerns about collateral damage as a civilian.
    #7 countrygun, Feb 2, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  9. shotgunred

    shotgunred reloading nut

    00 would hold 9 pellets.
    #4 would hold 24 pellets.
    Personally I would start with a slug and then transition to buck shot. (A 12 gauge slug will go through a trauma plate at close range.)
    But of your choices I would go with 00.

    If you are interested in penetration into buildings go to box of truth.
  10. Yes it depends on the distance. If you just want a shotgun for in house defense? If you have an average size house? In most cases the longest shot is going to be about 20 feet or less. What is on the other side of that inside wall you might be shooting at? What are your outside walls made of and what is on the other side of those walls?
    Yes police carry whatever. Because they don’t know if they have to use it if is going to be inside of a house or an outside 50 yard shot. You go running outside and make that 50 yard shot. At that point it’s kind of hard to prove that you were still in fear of our or your family’s life. At that point in become revenge. Unless you carry a city, county, state, or federal badge.
    One time I had a direct hit on a pheasant at about 15 to 20 feet. Using 7.5 or number 8 shoot. All that was left was feathers.

    Most of the time if you just rack the slide on a pump shotgun. Who ever is in your house is going to leave or yell out.
    #9 unclebob, Feb 2, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  11. Take a shotgun to the range and fire at targets at across the room distance . Generally less then 7 yards.
    You will find birdshot is pretty devasting at short range. It stays clumped together.
    #10 norton, Feb 2, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  12. Go to the shotgun section and do some research, or better yet post up your theory and see how it flies.

    Might also want to check box o' truth
  13. I once killed a grouse with a slingshot, doesn't make it a great home defense weapon.

    The "Ching-Chung" speech you gotta be kidding me/

  14. only an IDIOT would stand in front of a charge of birdshot at close range!
  15. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    And then, there's the #8 poor man's slug....

    [ame=""]The lost art of "Cut Shells" - YouTube[/ame]
  16. Only if all you had left was feathers.

    Read the book No Second Place Winners by Bill Jordan.
    To bad Jack doesn't post anymore. He has shot someone with a shotgun.
    A friend of mine came back early from a trip. He was in bed when he heard the door open and then heard someone coming up the stairs. He grabbed his shotgun and racked the slide. His friend didn’t know he was back and came over to check on the house. When he heard the racking of the slide he started yelling out.
    If a person hears the racking of a shotgun and still comes toward the sound he is either stupid, on drugs, or deaf.
  17. During then"depression" gangster gun fighters preferred #4's
  18. First of all I would suggest that for home defense, he and/or you should use factory ammo just to avoid any liability issues.

    That being said, I would recommend what most factories use in their loads, #3 buckshot. Depending on the load a 2 ¾” 20 Ga. will hold 20 to 24 pellets of #3 buck. Now according to Lyman’s’ Shotshell Reloading Handbook 4th Edition, (you do have a good shotshell reloading handbook don’t you??) a pellet of #3 buck is 0.25” in diameter and weighs a tad over 23 grains. One of their loads holds 20 pellets and gives a velocity of 1341 fps. Those 20 pellets are basically a 1 1/8 oz. load. Not to shabby for a 20 Ga.
  19. I have.
  20. RWBlue

    RWBlue Mr. CISSP, CISA

    There is virtually no difference in 20ga vs. 12ga when it comes to buck penetration. The only difference I have seen is in the number of pellets.

    IMHO, #4 buck is the smallest I will go.

    I will also say that there is no reason to buy buck and reload for your father's home defense. He is not going to shoot lots and lots of ammo. It is more cost effective to buy factory ammo. VS. Buy buck, buy/have hulls, buy wads, buy powder, shoot and test, shoot and test, maybe the have hulls that don't like to stay closed in long term storage.....
  21. Just my opinion here but, I'd just buy him about 10 rounds of
    low recoil buckshot. I use 00, but anything up to #4 would do.
    5 in the gun, 5 in a carrier attachment. If he needs more than
    the 10, he need's more than a shotgun.
    I am not being flippant here, but the rounds aren't that expensive and it would save you the expense of time and
    Talk to Aippi, he knows more about shotguns than I ever will.

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