Attn: Gun Lobby - Home Defense Question : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Hypothetically, if I had a Remington 870 Wingmaster with a 20 in. barrel, folding stock with a pistol grip in a suburban home, and didn't want to blow big holes through my walls and blow up my furnace (or kill innocent bystanders), but I did want to stop an attacker, what 12 gauge shell would I want to use?

Hypothetically, if my shotgun had an eight round capacity, what would your suggestion be for which round to start with, and which round to finish with? Hypothetically, of course.

-- Deb (, October 17, 1999


#4 buckshot is best to use in a suburban home-defense situation. The penetration is not to great (unlike the much touted double-oh), but it is very much a manstopper.

75 days.

-- Jack (, October 17, 1999.

Not to dispute Jack, but #4 to #6 shot (not buckshot) is good for INSIDE your dwelling. Measure the longest distance inside you house. It will usually only be about 20-25 feet. At that distance, from any shotgun, the shot will only have spread to about 2 or 3 inches in diameter. The smaller shot is a lot safer from a penetration standpoint if you miss the intruder, i.e., the frame of the house will be less likely to be penetrated, accidentally hurting or killing someone in the next room, the neighbor, the dog, etc...

Here is how my shotgun is loaded. The first four shells are #4 shot. The next two are 00 buckshot, and the last two are slugs. The way I see it, if I have to shoot four times, then the scenario has gone way wrong. The next rounds will most likely be chasing the perpetrator out into the yard, and possibly out into the street. This qualifies the buckshot and the slugs, which have a much greater range, and most likely, I will have more time to aim, so the overpenetration will not matter at that point. The slugs are for last chance defense. Of course, your mileage may vary.

The #4 shot, (not buckshot) is proven to be very lethal at 20-25 feet.

But then, this is MHO...

watchin' the rain...

The Dog

-- Dog (Desert, October 17, 1999.

in 12 ga my 870 is loaded with #4 or 6( whichever is on sale) then 00 then slugs. At the short ranges within the hse the 4-6 shot will be very effective.

-- wiley (, October 17, 1999.

Deb, even #8 shot light skeet loads will go through sheetrock walls. If you really are concerned, maybe load the first one out with rock salt. If that won't stop 'em, try copper plated BB shot (if you can still find it) and just make sure you place your shot.

If you really want to knock a big hunk of bark off someone, load up about 50 cents worth of nickels and then shoot em in the leg from about ten feet away. They probably won't use that leg much anymore.

-- Roger (, October 17, 1999.


An old-timer's test to see if a 12 ga. barrel was a full choke was to put a dime on the muzzle, and it wouldn't pass through the choke, it was a full choke. If you try to shoot a column of nickels out of a choked barrel you will probably blow up your shotgun. Not a pleasant experience.

In a suburban home, I would stick with shot smaller than #4. Others will probably say that is too small, but if you get shot with and ounce and a half of *anything* at 20 feet, I'm not betting on your staying around for another dose, unless, of course you are flat on the floor, which is where an intruder would likely be.

And, in the case where neighbors would be at risk, I think I would load only the smaller shot. If you have a 3" chamber, you could get loads with 1 7/8 oz. of shot. That is mighty big whollop.

Remember, lead shot only, no legal tender. :)

be careful.


-- gene (, October 17, 1999.

You shoot to defend your life or someone elses. NEVER shoot to wound, shoot to kill or you will likely die. You must stop an attacker cold. If you are not in fear of your life you will be prosecuted or sued. If there is only one story, so much the better.

-- goldbug (, October 17, 1999.

I STAND CORRECTED, don't give 'em nickles, give em the full ten cents worth, as many times as they'll fit in the shell.

(Ain't this amazing, a year ago I wouldn't even have read this post, now I'm thinking I know more than all of you regular shotgun competetors and birders.)

-- Roger (, October 17, 1999.

hey Roger...

Thanks for the virus!


The Dog

-- Dog (Desert, October 18, 1999.

In re. using dimes instead of lead: Sheesh, talking about one expensive shell there. The 00 that I get goes for around .50 a shell and is a lot more accurate... Besides, I can see the prosecutor having a field day with you using that sort of ammo in self defense...

-- James Collins (, October 18, 1999.

Thanks alot for your responses, it certainly gives me a few things to think about.

Coins? Yow, I must be a very sheltered person, I have never heard of that before. Not a day goes by that I don't learn somthing new here. ;-)

My 357 is so much easier. lol

It looks like I have alot more research to do, & I'll try out some of your suggestions at the 'range'.

Thanks again & here's hoping none of us ever needs to level a weapon at anyone.

-- Deborah (, October 18, 1999.

This shotgun shell full of dimes thing has already been explored in an old Western. I think they milked it for all it was worth.

This bad guy is locked in jail and has the deputy explain to him how the shotgun is loaded with dimes. Later the bad guy breaks out and - of course - gets the shotgun and shoots the deputy.

As he walks away he says "Oh yeah, and keep the change."

-Greybear, wow! what script writing.

-- Buddy can you spare a dime?

-- Greybear (, October 18, 1999.

If you are TRULY devious, and want to make SURE the shot stays inside, and you are SURE that you are not working in greater than 25 feet, I have a suggestion.

This came from either ASG or SURVIVE several YEARS ago:

Select some shells,and remove the shot from them, but not the shot cup. Measure the height of the shot cup (as i forget 1", 1 1/4" or 1 1/2"), and cut several welding rods off at that length and stand as many as will fit in the shot cup. Recrimp the shell.

Out beyond 3 feet, these things are flying sideways, and out beyond 20 feet they have spread out a LOT, and tend to land 100 feet or less down range.

Or you could always buy a bag of flechettes at a gunshow,.........except they would fly a lot straighter..........

Night train

-- jes an ol footballer (nighttr@in.lane), October 20, 1999.

And when the cops investigate the scene, you'll be hauled off to jail for using illegal ammunition (at least, here in CA). And when the prosecutor gets through with you, you'll wish the perp had killed you... My take, stick with standard ammo, #1, #4, etc. Works good, less jailtime... :)

-- James Collins (, October 20, 1999.

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