Episode-446- The Shotgun from Home Defense to Upland Game

Today we take a look at the weapon I consider to be the most versatile of all modern fire arms, the shot gun.  To day we will examine the common gauges, the shotguns versatility, defensive vs. sporting use and more.  The shotgun is mysterious to some and misleading to others, in the end it is simply a tool and the more you know about it the more you can get from it.

Join me today as we discuss…

  • The shot-shell itself
    • Shot size – what it means and common use
    • The charge – the creator of velocity (black powder?)
    • Shot weight – exactly how many pellets are on the way
    • Shot types – lead, steel and tungsten
    • Buck shot – Reality vs. myth
    • Magnums – Is longer better?
    • The cost of “heavy”
  • A quick review of the 10, 12, 16, 20 and 410 shotguns
  • Actions
    • The single shot
    • The double (side by side and O/U)
    • The pump
    • The semi auto
    • The bolt action (a surprisingly fun weapon)
  • All about chokes
  • Barrel lengths – myth vs. reality
  • Stock length – proper fit for the proper function
  • Sporting clays – like golf with a bang
  • Thoughts on home defense applications
  • Thoughts on “combat” applications
  • The beauty of the shot gun

Additional Resources for Today’s Show

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13 Responses to Episode-446- The Shotgun from Home Defense to Upland Game

  1. A question about choice of shotgun for dove and squirrel hunting. I have both an NEF single shot in 20 guage and a Mossberg 500 with a 24″ barrel in 12 guage. I shoot both equally wellWhich would be the better choice for here in Texas? I have never been dove hunting before. So, I will be wanting to concentrate my practice in the coming months on one of the two.

  2. On birdshot for home defense:

    http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot3_2.htm
    There is some commentary on results of close range shots, but it is hearsay.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,519033,00.html
    This is a famous case where a guy shot his wife at point blank and turned the gun on him self. He used birdshot and they are both alive today.

    So you very well may get pain compliance with birdshot at close range, and you might disfigure somebody for life at point blank, but at any range I can\’t see you having good odds of getting true incapacitation (i.e. the person is physically not capable of further harm).

    BTW: I love shooting clay with my 20\" 590. My only regret with the 590 is that the after market barrels longer than 20\" and/or chokes tighter than CB disapeared right after I got it.

  3. Great timing! Just joined the forum and became a member. I also just picked up my first shotgun on Monday. A Mossberg 500 combo from Big 5. Great sale this week for $279. I put the 18″ barrel on and will be mounting it in the master bedroom. Just a howdya do and shake hands for unexpected visitors. I’ll be heading to Eastern Oregon this month for some practice with a variety of shells.

  4. Modern Survival

    @Tim for dove I would go with the Mossy simply due to the high volume of shooting in the dove field over the single shot. Going through 50 rounds to nail 12 doves is more common than most of us are willing to admit to, ;>)

    Even when I practice a lot I average about 2.5 shots per dove killed. I think the state average is about 5! Doves can easily do 60 MPH and there are often 20 MPH tail winds in September so you do the math, 80 MPH, the size of a baseball, 35 yards away and moving out away and up. After the first day they wise up and kick on the afterburners.

  5. New listener. Great information about the all purpose shotgun. Found it incredibly informative, and I loved the advice about getting the wife to the range with a coach and learning to shoot clays. Can’t wait.

    Thanks.

  6. Modern Survival

    @Inbox485

    Read the BOT stuff before and well done I must say but that said I still consider 6 shot or 4 shot to be good medicine for bad guys at short range. I also know of a case where a guy put a 45 in his mouth and survived, it isn’t what usually happens though is it?

    The neck is full of blood vessels that need very little damage to bleed out incredibly quick. The skull requires very little pressure to fracture. Do you remember the guy (can’t remember his name but he was in the 80′s show with the kid and they time traveled) who put a blank gun to his head on a movie set and pulled the trigger and died almost instantly from a fractured skull?

    If you doubt #6 at close range go get a pumpkin, put it 10 feet away, shoot it with #6 shot and than tell me what he odds of a head wound being survived at such ranges is.

    Even when not lethal it will be a hell of a lot more than “pain compliance”.

  7. Modern Survival

    Oh there was also a confirmed story of a guy that took a shot from a 357 to the chest, punched the guy in the face and knocked him out. Dialed 911, waited for the ambulance and refused to get in until the cops showed up and got the shooter handcuffed. He lived and had very little deep tissue injury.

    Things happen sometimes that make no sense. I shot a Sika buck with a 165 grain bullet from a 7MM Magnum at 100 Yards, this is a known elk killer. The sika was about 170 lbs but the bullet hit the shoulder and turned strait up and exited the spine. The deer required a killing shot, no real blood loss was evident and I am convinced had the bullet not caught the spine on the way out he would have gotten away crippled.

    So is the 7MM Mag not enough gun for Sika deer?

    The big rule I didn’t mention today is shoot twice! Shame on me for that ;>)

  8. @Modern Survival:

    I’d agree with you that weird stuff happens. That isn’t what I was pointing out. I’m talking about what seems to be typical damage done and if that damage would physically prevent somebody from continuing to attack. The pumpkin example only makes sense if their is no skeleton. Plywood tends to stop birdshot cold. I might give some of the low # birdshots a try and I’ve also heard that flight control wads keep the pellets together like a slug at indoor ranges, but it just seems that using birdshot in general relies on a loud boom and a nasty, painful, shallow wound to scare somebody into either running off or falling over because they think that is what you’re suppose to do when you get shot. Between that and something that shreds through bone and vital organs actually making them stop, I have a hard time not choosing a shot size ending with Buck just to save face if I happen to get a DA with chip on his shoulder.

    +1 on the shoot twice. IIRC that is rule #2 of zombieland ;^)

    One last thought. I don’t recall hearing you say it, so apologies in advance if you did. Ammo selection (brand/type) seems to have a much greater effect on patterning than choke size, and from what I hear it is not consistent even with two identical models of shotguns. For example, my 590 patterns a 10″ doughnut at 15 feet with Remington Express 00B but produces a nice 3-5″ group at 15 feet with Winchester Super X.

  9. Rob McDonough

    Jack,

    Your show today was not boring – it was a great show! I\’m not a gun owner by the way but support the 2nd amendment or gun rights. Learned a lot from you on guns – I was going to buy my first gun – a handgun – but since listening to your show – I want to buy a shotgun. It was interesting on what you said about the 16 gauge shotgun – will check it out. Looking to buy a gun for self defense. By the way – as soon as I buy my shotgun – will check out the sport clay thing. Thanks again for what you do!

  10. Foxy Huntress

    another great show with plenty of info, thanks Jack.

  11. I’ve been thinking about a NEF. If I’m not mistaken can you not shoot .38/.357 and other calibers? Seems like a great survival gun to compliment my revolver collection.

  12. Bob,
    You will need to buy a rifle framed Handi-rifle in order to shoot other calibers. The good news is, you can obtain shotgun barrels for the rifle frames.

  13. Modern Survival

    @Bob, Timothy is correct, you can fit shot gun barrels to the NEF Handi Rifle frames but not rifle barrels to the NEF Pardner Frames. That said as cheap as the Pardners are I bought one for my shotgun barrels because they just look nicer to me with the case hardened steel frames.

    See what I mean

    NEF Pardner http://willsworkbench.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/20081014-010.jpg?w=470&h=626

    NEF Handi Rifle http://www.gunreports.com/media/newspics/pix279804062.jpg