Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Welcome to Glock Forum at

Why should YOU join our forums?

  • Reason #1
  • Reason #2
  • Reason #3

Site Description

Mossberg 20 gauge for HD

Discussion in 'Tactical Shotguns' started by Toledo, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. Toledo


    Feb 15, 2005
    Ober Der
    Anyone here own a Mossberg 500 in 20 gauge & use primarily for HD? I have one with 2 barrels (an 18 & 26 inch) but I am thinking of selling or trading it for a 12 gauge. Any opinions on the 500 20 gauge in general would be appreciated. I am more into handguns and own several.
  2. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    A 20 gauge is a fine HD weapon - just load it up with some buckshot and you will be good to go.

    About the only readily available buckshot is #3 / which is 20 pellets of .25 caliber traveling at about 1,200 FPS.

    Each pellet of #3 buck shot is = to 24 grains, so 20 pellets = 480 grains

    I am pretty sure this is NOT the "correct" way to look at it - but a .357 magnum with a 158 grain bullet travels at about 1,250 FPS

    So a puny little 20 gauge :upeyes: is throwing 3 times the "bullet weight" at about the same speed as a .357 magnum.

    If you have doubts you could always have a few slugs on hand -
    Remington Slugger Ammunition 20 Gauge 2-3/4" 5/8 oz Rifled Slug generates

    Muzzle Velocity: 1580 fps
    Muzzle Energy: 1513 ft. lbs.

    Compared to a 180 grain 10MM handgun load from Double Tap

    Muzzle Velocity: 1350 fps
    Muzzle Energy: 728 ft. lbs.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010

  3. Jon_R


    May 3, 2009
    Central Florida
    I am thinking about getting a 20 gauge pump and I would not feel under powered with a 20 gauge for self defense with some buck or slug ammo. I would still feel it would be superior to a pistol for stopping power. I have a 11/87 youth 20 gauge and it is a fine weapon but prefer pump for self defense. The 20 gauge is mostly for Kid's 3-Gun Match use.

    I might do an APPI 20 gauge 870.
  4. itstime


    Apr 9, 2006
    I wouldn't feel underpowered at all with a 20 gauge. Specs above were already given. Also you have better recoil for follow up shots.
  5. fiasconva


    May 4, 2008
    York County, VA
    You want to get really impressed on the power of that 20 ga? Get you a gallon jug of water, a couple of slugs and shoot that jug of water with the slugs. That will answer any question you have about whether or not it will be enough gun. Then get you another jug and do the same thing with some #3 buck. Be sure to shoot it at self defense distance and not 30 or 40 yards away. BTW, you're gonna get wet.
  6. aippi


    Jun 12, 2009
    A threat is just as dead on the floor of your home with a load of #3 buck from a 20ga in his chest as he is with a load of 00 from a 12ga. That is why they call it shotgun dead.

    The 20ga and HD is catching on as people are starting to get it. I have built and sold my 20ga tacticals to many clients and they continue to refer people to me for the exact same weapon. It is not just for ladies, youths and seniors either. The 20ga is as much a man stopped as any other.
  7. Toledo


    Feb 15, 2005
    Ober Der
    Thanks for all the input...I feel better about my Mossy 20 gauge. Is it possible to install mag extension on the 500? Also, is the 20 gauge adequate as bear protection?
  8. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  9. Austinite


    May 27, 2007
    I use an 870 20 gauge youth as my HD weapon. It's loaded with #3 buck. I "upgraded" from a super heavy, short barrel, 870 12 gauge with a 7 shot capacity. The weight difference between these two shotgauns is probably only 1.5 pounds, but it feels like 5 pounds.

    The 20 gauge handles like a dream.

    As a bonus, I can also use it for dove (using the plug and appropriate chokes).

    Count me as a huge fan of 20 gauges for HD.
  10. AK74play


    Jun 26, 2010
    The last one I built is an 870 20ga and with 20inch barrel with rifle sights with fiber optic inserts with 4 shot side saddle and mag extension with black synthetic stock and Choate black LE forend keep it loaded with Federal Premium 3in #4 I must say I am just as comfortable with it as I am with any of my 12's. Great HD gun..:supergrin:
  11. pmwglock19


    Oct 10, 2008
    I read an article by Massad Ayoob on the 20 ga for HD. His comment is that it is a very good hd gun because you can get back on target quicker and the difference in shot between the 12 and 20 ga is not a show stopper. The magazine was Backwoods Home magazine.
  12. badge315


    Aug 14, 2008
    Middleburg, FL
    When my daughter left home, I took her Remington 870 Youth Model and set it up as a HD gun...


    A load of 20 ga. #3 buck will stop an intruder just as well as a load of 12 ga. 00 at living room distance.
  13. Aceman


    Nov 30, 2008
    My boy has been wanting to try trap shooting....very interesting.
  14. K.Kiser


    Jan 23, 2010
    Shreveport, La.
    In the case of an encountered intruder, it would make no difference to me whether I put my hands on a 28 ga, 20, 16, or a 12 ga... One well placed shot at in-home distances, and it's all over but the smoke and police report...
  15. den888


    Sep 4, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    20 gauge is fine for HD, better than a pistol
  16. rvnvet


    Nov 14, 2004
    I would think a HD 20 ga. would be a better choice than a Taurus Judge.
  17. Jeepnik


    Mar 5, 2008
    Since '77, my home defense shotgun has been a 20 ga Franchi 48L. With cut down barrel. Times were lean, and it was all I had. It was my upland game gun. A bit unwieldy with the original length of the barrel, I took it to a smith to have it shortened.

    The smith didn't even ask why. He cut it back to 18.5" and recrowned it. When I went to pick it up, he ask what size shot I was going to use. I told him I had some shells I'd used on birds. He placed two five round boxes of #4 buck on the counter along with the barrel. He wouldn't take any money. He'd been there.

    Money eventually got better, and I used Chris for all my smithing, and bought all my guns from him till he retired. There are some darned fine people in this world.
  18. No it is not possible on the 500, the way the barrel attaches would block any shells in a mag extension. The 12 ga guns have different mag tubes and barrels for the 5 and 8 shot versions. I'm about 99% sure that Mossberg does not make a 8 shot 20 ga version. I can't find one listed on their web site and I have never seen one.

    With slugs it should do fine.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  19. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    I wouldn't buy a 20 over a 12. With the Mossberg, the 20 uses the same reciever as the 12, so there is no real weight savings. Youth stocks are available for both. There is no recoil advantage with the 20 as the low recoil 12G ammo has the same ballistics and is very available.

    Years ago reduced recoil 12G buck/slugs didn't exist. Then it was LE only. Now you can buy Winchester 12G low brass 00 buck in a 25 count box cheap and it's running about 1200fps.

    So you can shoot the equivalent of 20G loads out of a 12G now.

    BUT, if I already had a 20G, I wouldn't have any problem using it.
  20. I have 2 Mossberg 500 12 ga guns and a 20 ga Mossberg 500.

    I just dug out the calipers and the 20 ga frame is over 1/10" thinner, it is also shorter top to bottom.

    I don't think it makes much of a weight difference on their alloy frame, but there most definitely is a difference in the frame size.

    The stock on the 20 ga is also thinner in the wrist area.

    I do agree with the rest of your post. However the OP already has a 20 ga gun with a 18.5" barrel. I really don't see any need for him to take a hit selling his used gun and buying a new 12 ga. His 20 ga will work just fine.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010