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Toledo
10-17-2010, 18:35
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.

Z71bill
10-17-2010, 19:02
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.

Jon_R
10-17-2010, 19:15
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.

itstime
10-17-2010, 19:20
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.

fiasconva
10-18-2010, 14:37
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.

aippi
10-18-2010, 18:13
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.

Toledo
10-18-2010, 19:58
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?

Z71bill
10-18-2010, 20:39
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?

Koala

http://www.natyu.com/images/stories/koala1/gtotem_koala.jpg

Or

Polar

http://www.ecoenquirer.com/polar-bear-heat.jpg

Austinite
10-19-2010, 22:46
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.

AK74play
10-24-2010, 18:29
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:

pmwglock19
11-15-2010, 18:31
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.

badge315
11-15-2010, 20:00
When my daughter left home, I took her Remington 870 Youth Model and set it up as a HD gun...

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o263/badge315/Guns%20-%20Shooting/Stacis870a.jpg

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.

Aceman
11-15-2010, 20:02
My boy has been wanting to try trap shooting....very interesting.

K.Kiser
11-16-2010, 20:05
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...

den888
11-22-2010, 22:57
20 gauge is fine for HD, better than a pistol

rvnvet
11-23-2010, 21:14
20 gauge is fine for HD, better than a pistol

I would think a HD 20 ga. would be a better choice than a Taurus Judge.

Jeepnik
11-23-2010, 21:42
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.

vafish
11-23-2010, 21:55
Thanks for all the input...I feel better about my Mossy 20 gauge. Is it possible to install mag extension on the 500?

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.


Also, is the 20 gauge adequate as bear protection?

With slugs it should do fine.

WiskyT
11-24-2010, 04:32
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.

vafish
11-24-2010, 19:50
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.

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.

WiskyT
11-24-2010, 20:03
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.

You must be wrong, I read it in a magazine wth my own two eyes.:supergrin:

Aceman
11-24-2010, 20:14
I would think a HD 20 ga. would be a better choice than a Taurus Judge.

I would think a spitwad from a decent sized straw would be better than a Taurus Judge. At least the Spitwad is a serious weapon...

Fanner50
11-25-2010, 23:25
I would think a spitwad from a decent sized straw would be better than a Taurus Judge. At least the Spitwad is a serious weapon...

You think? I'll take the Judge, you take the Spitwad. :supergrin:

unit1069
11-27-2010, 10:05
When my daughter left home, I took her Remington 870 Youth Model and set it up as a HD gun...

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o263/badge315/Guns%20-%20Shooting/Stacis870a.jpg

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.

My sister just bought the same shotgun and it has a choke in the barrel. Since she's going to only use it for home self-defense is it better to remove the choke or to leave it in?

I bought her a few boxes of 2 3/4" Remington #3 buckshot for her self-defense loads. She will practice with anything from #4 birdshot to lighter loads, then finally shoot one or two boxes of the buckshot to familiarize herself with that load.

PS If removing the choke is better does the barrel have to come off or can this be done without taking the gun apart?

Jon_R
11-27-2010, 10:35
If it is threaded for a choke then I would leave a choke tube in it to protect the threads. Probably does not matter if she does not plan to shoot it very often.

If I would leave the choke tube that is in it in there would depend on what it was. There is no way to know what it is without removing it. You do that with a choke tube wrench. It should have come with one. The one that I have seen come with Remingtons is black and looks like a T. You do not have to disassemble the shotgun to remove the choke. Make sure it is unloaded though. The choke tube should say what it is.

I like anything from modified through cylinder for home defense but any standard one should be fine. I would not want full or x-full with slugs.

http://www.wildfowlmag.com/tips_strategies/shotgun_062304/


My sister just bought the same shotgun and it has a choke in the barrel. Since she's going to only use it for home self-defense is it better to remove the choke or to leave it in?

I bought her a few boxes of 2 3/4" Remington #3 buckshot for her self-defense loads. She will practice with anything from #4 birdshot to lighter loads, then finally shoot one or two boxes of the buckshot to familiarize herself with that load.

PS If removing the choke is better does the barrel have to come off or can this be done without taking the gun apart?

badge315
11-27-2010, 11:19
My sister just bought the same shotgun and it has a choke in the barrel. Since she's going to only use it for home self-defense is it better to remove the choke or to leave it in?

Never, ever fire a shotgun equipped with screw-in chokes without a choke tube in place...you'll quite likely destroy the threads.

The gun probably came with a Modified tube, which is OK for home defense. Improved Cylinder is arguably slightly better, but at living room distance it won't really matter. Just remember that a shotgun must be aimed, just like a rifle.

AK74play
11-27-2010, 11:56
My sister just bought the same shotgun and it has a choke in the barrel. Since she's going to only use it for home self-defense is it better to remove the choke or to leave it in?

I bought her a few boxes of 2 3/4" Remington #3 buckshot for her self-defense loads. She will practice with anything from #4 birdshot to lighter loads, then finally shoot one or two boxes of the buckshot to familiarize herself with that load.

PS If removing the choke is better does the barrel have to come off or can this be done without taking the gun apart?
No need to remove the barrel. If you dont have a choke tube wrench try using a quarted and maybe a pair of pliers if the tube is really tight, twist the quarter with the pliers. But dont shoot it without a tube in it you will lead up the threads and possibly damage them. Swap it out for an improved cylinder tube and you'll be GTG..

David_Ely
11-27-2010, 19:44
I have both a Saiga 20 and a Rem. 870 Youth 20 gauge and I wouldn't hesitate to use either for home defense. I've recently purchased some Federal 3" #2 Buckshot rounds for home defense use.

http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/65656-5.html
http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ctd_images/lgprod/65656.jpg
20 Gauge Federal Power-Shok Magnum Buckshot 3" Shell #2 Buck 18 Pellets 1200 fps 5 Rounds Per Box

unit1069
11-28-2010, 09:51
Thanks for the info on the choke, fellas. I will remember that when it's time to shoot. My sister's husband took the gun apart on Thanksgiving, thinking a shell-limiting dowel was already installed, and believe me, he's already well on the way to messing up my sis's new shotgun. I'm a firm believer that before one begins to mess with something it's better to at least look at the instruction booklet.

But we did manage to get it back together after about an hour, after the bro-in-law reinserted the tube spring minus the stopper. The spring got hooked around an internal part inside the receiver and I didn't think bro-in-law was going to get it out. I never touched the gun so I'm off the hook as far as reliability goes.

vafish
11-30-2010, 12:55
You must be wrong, I read it in a magazine wth my own two eyes.:supergrin:

Well if you read it in a magazine it must be true. Because we all know gun writers wouldn't lie to us. :supergrin:

It's also possible that my 20 ga gun is an older model and they now are made on the same frame as the 12 ga guns. Although it is only 6 or 7 years old.

Lt Scott 14
11-30-2010, 14:00
Have both a 12ga and 20 ga HD shotgun. Both will do the job but, keep the 20ga SxS loaded for anti felon, slugs and shot. 12 ga staggered slugs and 00 buck. G19 is BUG in Duty Belt w/ spare mags. Second Chance vest hanging ready w/ surefire light attached for deployment when needed. Also keep a shell belt w/ 25 12 ga shells on the ready if needed.
Mix of Slugs, #4, 00 Buck. Wife thinks I am over cautious. I say prepared.

WiskyT
11-30-2010, 16:29
Well if you read it in a magazine it must be true. Because we all know gun writers wouldn't lie to us. :supergrin:

It's also possible that my 20 ga gun is an older model and they now are made on the same frame as the 12 ga guns. Although it is only 6 or 7 years old.

It was years ago, an article about a Remington 20G. The article wrote about how it was a true 20G receiver, scaled down, unlike the Mossberg and others that were 12G with a 20G barrel attached. It made sense, but I guess it was wrong. I have handled a Rem1100 20G youth gun and it felt like a 22LR.