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Thread: Suggestions for 20 Ga. Self Defense Shells

  1. #1
    Senior Member BobL's Avatar
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    Suggestions for 20 Ga. Self Defense Shells

    After debating lots of options, we went to Bass Pro Shops in Orlando today and walked out with a Mossberg 500 "youth model" 20 ga. gun. For you Mossberg experts it's a Bantam 500, with fiber optic sights. My wife handles it easily, it's light and maneuverable. I may be naive, but I really think getting hit by a 20 ga. shotgun load will a pretty bad day for any BG. I think she could have managed a 12 ga with an adjustable or shorter stock, but those are pretty much on backorder everywhere.

    We bought a hundred birdshot shells to take down to the range next weekend, but I'm looking to find some better SD shells. The one disadvantage of 20 over 12 ga is that 12 has many more choices, since it has been adopted for tactical use by so many agencies.

    Any recommendations?

    (and slightly more off-topic - it never ceases to amaze me that I need to put up with a 3 day waiting period for a 22 cal pistol - until I get my permit, but I can go buy and walk out with a short barrel 12 ga shotgun with no wait. Plus, there doesn't seem to be any ammo shortage in the shotgun world. )



    Thanks,
    BobL
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  2. #2
    I think #2 buck is the largest shot size commercially available in 20-gauge, so either 18-pellet #2 buck or 20-pellet #3 buck is what I'd look for. Both are available from Federal, Remington and Winchester. The 3" Federal Classic #2 buck is recommended frequently.
    John
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  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Red Dawg's Avatar
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    If not buckshot, get some Remington rifled Slugs. You may be able to even find some in reduced recoil.
    Shoot to stop.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member BobL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J T View Post
    I think #2 buck is the largest shot size commercially available in 20-gauge, so either 18-pellet #2 buck or 20-pellet #3 buck is what I'd look for. Both are available from Federal, Remington and Winchester. The 3" Federal Classic #2 buck is recommended frequently.
    Thanks for the quick answer.

    What a surprise - they seem to be out of stock, or not carried by big places like Bass Pro, Cabelas, Cheaper Than Dirt...

    Any opinion on the "Hevi-Shot" stuff? I don't even know if it's ok to use in my gun, but Natchez Shooter's Supply has "Hevi Shot 20GA 3 1-1/4 #2".

    http://www.natchezss.com/Ammo.cfm?co...1-1%2F4%20%232 if you're interested.


    Thanks again,
    BobL
    NRA Member
    Springfield XDm-40
    "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys" - P.J. O'Rourke, "Parliament of Whores", 1991
    I am Simon Jester - and so are you. http://simon-jester.org/

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by BobL View Post
    ...
    Any opinion on the "Hevi-Shot" stuff? I don't even know if it's ok to use in my gun, but Natchez Shooter's Supply has "Hevi Shot 20GA 3 1-1/4 #2".

    http://www.natchezss.com/Ammo.cfm?co...1-1%2F4%20%232 if you're interested.


    Thanks again,
    BobL
    That ammo is #2 birdshot (.15" diameter pellets), not #2 buckshot (.27" diameter pellets).

    Not too surprised that it's out of stock, given the current ammo situation.
    I'd check any local gunstores in your area. You won't need to buy so much that it'll break you if you have to pay a little more.
    John
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  6. #6
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    Keep us posted on what you find out regarding this. I'm curious myself. I keep a 12ga around the house and I've always thought that the lighter rounds are supposed to have more "knockdown" power in close quarters since they actually scatter less over a short distance than heavy buck shot.

    I have no idea if that is correct or not and I don't remember where I've seen or heard it or even how long ago, but, it's stuck with me over the years and I've never taken the time to research it's correctness. Now that you bring it up, I'd like to know as well.

    Like you, I've just kind of always figured that getting plowed by a 12 ga, or even a 20 would make to a pretty bad day for the BG regardless of shot size.

    Now that I'm taking the thought of protecting my family far more serious than in the past, I'm very intrested in this kind of thing.

  7. #7
    I've never dealt with this place, but they say it's in stock:
    http://www.ammobank.com/cgi-bin/csho...ctx=%3AF207-2B
    John
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  8. #8
    Member Al Lipscomb's Avatar
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    I have a 20 and it is hard to find shells for it at time. It is a good choice as it is much easier for some to handle than the 12 and just a few less pellets. Any of the buckshot offerings mentioned will be a good choice.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member BobL's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info.

    I found the Remington Express 20 Ga buckshot at Bass Pro Shops Online. I didn't see it last night, but I may have been only looking at a sales flyer.

    http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/st...rtNumber=28629 for the interested.

    Ordered enough to defend against a small zombie hoard...

    I need to find a "Shotguns for Dummies" site to read up on things like that difference in shot sizes. I was wondering why #2 wasn't #2.



    BobL
    NRA Member
    Springfield XDm-40
    "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys" - P.J. O'Rourke, "Parliament of Whores", 1991
    I am Simon Jester - and so are you. http://simon-jester.org/

  10. #10
    But what if a large zombie horde attacks?

    Here's a link for shot sizes:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shotgun_shell

    Also, there's some Winchester 20 ga. #3 buck on GunsAmerica:
    http://www.gunsamerica.com/937317403..._Buck_2_3_.htm
    John
    NRA Endowment Member

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