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Old 02-29-2012, 15:01   #1
Cream Soda Kid
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Home Defense / Home Invasion

Mr. Ayoob,

I have a question regarding a Remington 870 pump 12 gauge shotgun and / or Ruger mini-30 rifle 7.62X 39 for home defense.

I bought the shotgun intending its primary use to be for home defense (burglary and home invasion) I donít hunt. I bought the Ruger rifle mostly for a SHTF event.

The thought of a home invasion scares the bejebbers out of me.

In case of a home invasion,ideally, I would retreat to my bedroom with my wife and hunker down there as I wait for police to arrive. (I think of a long gun as artillery to fend off the barbarian hordes)

When I bought the shotgun many years ago the guy in the gun store recommended a 12 gauge loaded with 00 buckshot, so that is what I bought and what I now have.

Recently, someone told me that that load might be a bit much in an urban environment. I live n a standard suburban neighborhood where my next door neighborís wall is about 20-25 feet away in either direction.

My questions are: Do you think 00 buck is a little too much? And is the 7.62X39 round too powerful for home defense?

If the 00 buck is too much, could you recommend a more appropriate load? The rifle is what it is, I canít afford to replace it.

Thanks again for all you do and your patience,

Lee Martinez
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Old 02-29-2012, 21:07   #2
Mas Ayoob
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Don't feel bad, Lee, the thought of a home invasion scares the heck out of most of us.

While 00 Buck is the traditional default choice for the 12 gauge, I'm a little more inclined toward #1 buck. You've got about 100 grains more lead in the air for every pull of the trigger (the .30 caliber #1 pellets just fit more optimally in the 12-gauge shell's space, more lead and less air), with no really noticeable recoil difference. On a frontal shot, you'll often find 4 or so 00 pellets going through and through, but #1 buck seems to just about always stay in the offender's body. Better saturation pattern, too.

7.62X39 tends to be over-penetrative in most loadings. I would suggest swapping the Mini-30 you're already familiar with for the otherwise identical Ruger Mini-14 in .223, and loading it with 55 grain .223 hollow points. Lots of testing shows that most .223 rounds are less likely to exit a home structure than the .30 calibers,and no more likely to do so than most pistol bullets, and expanding bullet .223 loads have long been proven to be dynamic "stoppers" on unprotected targets.

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