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Best Gauge of Shotgun

REP

I am curious why some writers pick a less powerful weapon in their stories (e.g. a 20 ga shotgun) when your life is dependent on the killing power of your weapon?

For example: A standard 20 ga shell holds about 9, #1 pellets (0.030" dia) while a standard 10 ga shell holds about 18, #00 pellets (0.033" dia). The 10 ga load has twice the pellets and the pellets are heavier. The heavier pellets travel further, and at the same range they deliver a higher impact energy.

Yes a 10 gauge (or the more common 12 ga) has a higher recoil than the 20 ga, but if you avoid the magnum loads, the recoil is not that bad.

Replies:   Dominions Son
HSWilkinson

Mr, I'd go with the 16 gauge. My father used one when hunting pheasants. From what I understand, it's the choice for upland bird hunters.

Dominions Son

@REP

For example: A standard 20 ga shell holds about 9, #1 pellets (0.030" dia) while a standard 10 ga shell holds about 18, #00 pellets (0.033" dia). The 10 ga load has twice the pellets and the pellets are heavier.


True, if you are load shot cartridges. but Personally for self defense with a shot gun, I would use rifled slugs.

In my neck of the woods most people hunting dear or other large game with shot guns use rifled slugs rather than shot. Rifled slugs are only available for 12 and 20 gauge.

A 20 gauge rifled slug at 250 grains and 1800 fps muzzle velosity has plenty of stopping power unless you are being attacked by people wearing body armor, in which case you need high caliber rifles.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Dominions Son

I've never hunted with a shotgun, but spent a good bit of time at a trap range. I am acquainted with a few types of slug loads from reading, but never fired the load. I assume slug loads through a shotgun are similar to firing a rifle, but heard that the accuracy is poorer. It seems like a shot load would be better for a poor marksman than a slug load. Granted you still have to aim but 18 pellets versus one slug gives a poor shot better odds.

In many Post Apocalypse and Western stories, the central character is telling their companion to use a 20 ga instead of a 12 ga because it is better. Why is it better?

The only reason that comes to my mind is the companion is weak, too small, or too light of frame. I find that hard to picture since a 16 year old teenager is capable of handling a 12 ga.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@REP


Granted you still have to aim but 18 pellets versus one slug gives a poor shot better odds.


Not much better. At typical self defense ranges, under 50 feet to point blank, the pellets won't have spread out by much more than a couple of inches. Getting a couple of pellets in an attacker's shoulder isn't going to be much better than a clean miss. On a solid hit, the slug will have more stopping power than any shot load.

If you are going to use shot loads for self defense for the spread effect, you would want a sawed off (or otherwise extremely short barrel shot gun) to give maximum spread at short range. And that would be illegal.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
KinkyWinks

I think it would depend on how far at a time, you had to carry the shot gun and how many shells you needed, if you wanted a break barrel, pump, or gas operated. Every part of the country is different. Where I live water is rare and the range is open. You would be better off with a scoped rifle.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@KinkyWinks

A lot of this comes down to 'gun porn'. If your main character is an 'every man' figure, he'll utilize whatever's around and easily accessible. If you're writing a story about and intended for military vets, then you go with the more industrial munitions. After all, in the first case, the weapons are a minor issue in the story, while in the latter the weapons (and knowing how to use them) are a major component of the story.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

At typical self defense ranges, under 50 feet to point blank, the pellets won't have spread out by much more than a couple of inches.


This will vary with the gauge, the shot size, the barrel length, the powder charge, and if there's a choke on the end of the shotgun.

Shotguns used for skeet and bird shooting are typically longer barrels (24 inch to 36 inch) with a choke on to minimise the spread of the shot to give a good concentration at the typical distances used. The exact same shell in an 18 inch barrel without a choke will likely have a hole in the spread pattern to totally miss the target at those ranges. I've hunted with an 18 inch barrel 12 gauge shotgun loaded with no: 4 bird shot, and under ten feet a significant portion of the rabbit is nothing but red mess on the ground, and twenty feet it's a good hit, and thirty feet a few pellets will hit but it's still able to maintain high speed while leaving the area.

Most people who get a shotgun for self-defence get a short barrel weapon without a choke so they cover a wide area close to them. In this case we're talking about something you want to use to blow big holes in someone within 20 feet or so while not accurate with a hand gun. The reason people have a sawn-off shotgun is to make it easier to use in close quarters and to give them a wider spread at close quarters. Most such guns will be loaded with bird-shot to give a bigger cloud of shot, despite it lowering the per pellet impact power.

REP

All very interesting replies. I suppose I framed my question poorly.

To put my question in perspective, assume you are reading a Post Apocalypse story. The writer has killed off most of the population, and the survivors have gone into 'Survival Mode'. To some of the survivors that means arm yourself and take what you want from the other guy. To others it means, stockpile the weapons and other supplies that you and your party will need to survive.

Your party breaks into a gun store and is arming itself with pistols, rifles, shotguns, and ammunition. The leader of your group tells you to grab the 20 ga (or possibly the 16 ga or 0.410) shotguns because they are better for what you will need than the 10 ga or 12 ga shotguns.

With the same type of load in both gauges of shotgun, the 10 ga load will produce about 50% more impact energy than the 20 ga load.

My question is why does the writer think the less powerful 20 ga shotgun is better for this type of a survival situation than a 10 ga shotgun? Is this a case of a writer not familiar with shotguns believing 20 is bigger than 10 so it is more powerful? Or is there another reason for selecting the less powerful weapon?

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@REP


Or is there another reason for selecting the less powerful weapon?


First, the load in a 10 ga and the load in 20 ga are never the same. Even when loaded with the same sized shot you will have a difference in the amount of pellets and the amount of powder, this has a significant change to the amount of kick you get from the weapon when fired. When they make the shells the companies usually aim to have the same per pellet energy in each pellet for the different sized shotguns, except where something is deliberately over-charged with powder. For self-defence you're better with bird-shot than buck-shot, if you want major hitting power go for the slugs. If you can hit a target at close range with 00 buck you can damn well hit with a slug and blow back several feet.

Two important things to keep in mind with any shotgun for survival purposes are the size and strength of the person who'll be using it and the length of the barrel. Typically, the smaller the barrel diameter the shorter the barrel.

With a smaller or lighter person you want something with less kick because you don't want them landing on their arse each they fire the damn thing. The shorter barrel affect the ability to get onto target faster at close range and the spread at close range. A related factor is the smaller number of pellets in the smaller sized shotgun means less spread and less chance of hitting a friendly.

Hit effect wise, under fifteen feet and using bird-shot, there will be very little difference on the damage done regardless of the shotgun gauge unless you have an overload of powder in one.

BTW check some YouTube video on smaller people firing 12 ga shotguns and watch what happens - some even have the gun being blasted out of their hands.

edit to add: context could be a guide as well. If the guy giving directions is looking at the pile of shells and sees the store is short on 12 ga but has a loads of 20 ga he'd be telling them to take the 20 ga first so they can get the guns with the bigger load of ammo.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

My brother carries a sawed-off shotgun when building duck blinds because of the large numbers of snakes (poisonous and otherwise) in the marsh grass (think everything cast in a dusky brown with little available sunlight). It packs quite a wallop, but only for shooting at something beside your feet. Even with standard small game shell, it'll shred a snake!

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Even with standard small game shell, it'll shred a snake!


What you say is exactly why people want short barrel bird-shot shotguns for close in defence, what that does to a snake is also what it does to a person.

Many people buy this little gun for close range anti-snake, or so I hear.

http://bondarms.com/bond-arms-handguns/

the .410 shotgun with bird-shot turns snakes into mush, but don't bother trying to hit anything smaller than a very large barn outside of ten feet.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

The shorter barrel affect the ability to get onto target faster at close range and the spread at close range.

A shorter barrel will also lower muzzle velocity because the propellant charge has less time to accelerate the projectile(s) This lowers the energy of the projectile(s) and their stopping power. It's all compromises.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

My brother carries a sawed-off shotgun when building duck blinds because of the large numbers of snakes (poisonous and otherwise) in the marsh grass (think everything cast in a dusky brown with little available sunlight).


Where?

Short barreled shotguns are restricted in many places. In the US any shotgun with a barrel under 18 requires special permits from the BATF and some US states outlaw short barreled shotguns completly

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

This lowers the energy of the projectile(s) and their stopping power.


with a close up short range weapon the difference in muzzle velocity isn't going to matter that much at ten feet or so. If the target is far enough away for the lower muzzle velocity to be an issue, you shouldn't be using a short barrel weapon to begin with. Anyway, with a short barrel shotgun you're after a wider close range spread as your main priority.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

My brother carries a sawed-off shotgun


I've heard of people with a carry licence using a .45 with a worn out barrel loading it with .410 shotgun shells as an anti-snake gun as well.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

Anyway, with a short barrel shotgun you're after a wider close range spread as your main priority.


there is no one combination that is optimal for all situations As I said, it's all compromises.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

there is no one combination that is optimal for all situations As I said, it's all compromises.


I think we agree that you get a different effect from different set ups. However, I don't see it as a compromise, so much, as a case of selecting a set up for what you want to achieve.

docholladay

It will also depend on the skill levels of the individuals using the guns. I have noticed in many stories where many start out with little or no experience or training in their usage.

A little kick versus a huge kick from shooting the guns might make a big difference in how well fast they will adapt to having to use them.

The gauge and calibers can be altered as both skill and experience levels increase. Its the same reason you wouldn't have a first time shooter start out using a 44magnum instead of say a 22.

Also man will not be the only predator in that situation, in fact man may just be considered another victim for the larger and/or pack predators.

In PA type situations you will have multiple levels of survival needs going on at the same time. Short term (immediate) and Long term (multi generation) are just the tip of the iceberg. Most stories only really show the short term and a little of the intermediate steps for the long term phase.

red61544

In Vietnam, I had a Remington Model 10 (M10). It was a 12 gauge with a shortened barrel and was very effective in close encounters. The shells were filled with .00 shot. There were 9 shot in a shell. The Vietnamese whom I was advising used to laugh at me when I carried it until the first time I had to use it. Though most states limit shotguns to three rounds, this Army issue had a capacity of five.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@red61544

Most pump shotguns have a higher capacity than the 3 rounds you mentioned. But game laws in most states require a plug to be installed which cuts the capacity to 3 rounds. I am not sure of the logic of that however since poachers among others will tend to not use those plugs. I am not sure what the actual capacity of the magazines are for pump shotguns without being plugged.

aubie56

@docholladay

Without the plug, a commercial pump shotgun holds five shells. However, it is possible to extend that to around eight shells, but that can cost you a lot of money in fines.

Dominions Son

@docholladay

I am not sure of the logic of that however since poachers among others will tend to not use those plugs. I am not sure what the actual capacity of the magazines are for pump shotguns without being plugged.


It varies slightly with the size of shells you are loading. A typical tactical shot gun with an ammo tube that is the same length as the barrel, will load either 6 or 7 rounds depending on whether you are loading 3 inch or 2.75 inch shells.

Rather than relying on using a plug, most tube magazine shot(pump action, semi-auto, and lever action)* that are made specifically for hunting are manufactured with a shorter tube.

* Bolt action shotguns typically use a box magazine rather than a tube magazine.

Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

I am not sure what the actual capacity of the magazines are for pump shotguns without being plugged.


Back in the early 1970s I bought a Remington 870 12 ga with an 18 inch barrel with Brushmaster sights (open rifle sights) for hunting here in Australia. It had a standard stock and the magazine took 7 of the 3.5 inch long shells and one in the breech. I used No:4 bird shot and slugs. I had it for 15 years and it was in new condition when my brother-in-law borrowed it for a weekend of pig hunting, it was six months before I got it back and it was so rusted it looked like he left it in a lake, except the stock was damaged from bouncing around in the back of his car. he was pissed when I made him pay me for a new shotgun because he'd screwed that one up so badly. several years later I heard he got nothing for it from the federal buy back program to remove guns from the civilian population. But it was a damned accurate shotgun within it's intended range and uses. The 7 sound 3.5 inch shell magazine was common then, and if you had a version with a breech for shorter shells you could get 8 in the mag.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

That is a major factor in what is wrong with the gun laws no matter where those laws are enforced. The only ones who will possibly obey them are the ethically acting citizen or whatever the term should be. The criminals are always well armed and more than willing to use those guns or other weapons.

I seriously believe that the true weapon is and has always been the MIND of the individual. But what do I know being as I only managed to go to the 9th grade/year of formal education.

(sorry was about to get way off the subject)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

When you carry them on the marsh during the off seasons, no one pays much attention. He keeps it covered when transferring it from his boat to his truck, but the risk of a fine is better than that of a poisonous snakebite, especially when you're the only one who can get you to the hospital in time.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


He keeps it covered when transferring it from his boat to his truck, but the risk of a fine is better than that of a poisonous snakebite, especially when you're the only one who can get you to the hospital in time.


If the barrel is under 18 inches, it's not registered and he get's caught with it, he's looking at much worse than a small fine, possibly even a federal felony conviction.

https://www.atf.gov/file/58191/download

http://www.justice.gov/usao-id/pr/idaho-falls-man-sentenced-possessing-sawed-shotgun

Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

The criminals are always well armed and more than willing to use those guns or other weapons.


Tell me about it. A lot is made about the big gun buy back program here in Australia in the late 1990s after the Port Arthur shooting. Over 90% of the guns handed in were civilian grade weapons passed in my honest citizens, who are now unarmed, while none of the criminals handed in their weapons. Mind you, at the Port Arthur shooting the guy used military grade weapons that were unlawful for anyone to have without a special license, and if anyone else had been armed he would've been taken down very early on.

Prior to the citizen disarmament program and the changes in the law there was a significant difference in the sentencing between using a civilian grade weapon and a military grade weapon, thus most of the criminal carried and used civilian grade weapons. Today, most criminals carry and use military grade weapons. That means they can now kill more people quicker. The gun removal program made the cost difference between a civilian semi-automatic and a military full-automatic negligible and the sentence was the same, so the criminals go with the higher fire-power in hopes of shooting their way out of a police confrontation.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

When you carry them on the marsh during the off seasons, no one pays much attention.


He'd be better off applying for a concealed carry weapon license and get an old .45 loaded with .410 shot or buy one of those Bonds Arms pistols, or similar. Easier to carry and use, legal, and also able for use elsewhere.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


He'd be better off applying for a concealed carry weapon license and get an old .45 loaded with .410 shot or buy one of those Bonds Arms pistols, or similar. Easier to carry and use, legal, and also able for use elsewhere.


The only real problem is in CW's referenced case its still labeled as a shotgun. As you mentioned and its nicely illustrated by the Bond Arms pistols its not based on the actual caliber or the gauge of the shell. You could optionally have almost any sized gun utilize the preferred load as long as its not labeled a "Shotgun" that label carries legal limitations which could be bypassed by calling it a "Pistol". I have also read of regular cartridges which use buckshot loads in a 44. I am not sure how that was done but it would be a possibility worth checking out maybe.

edited to add: I did a search for "snake shot" on google but probably any major search engine will work. Darn its a wonder how many standard handgun cartridges are available as a snake shot load.

Replies:   ustourist  Dominions Son
ustourist

@docholladay

Doc
I am a gun user, but not that interested in detail - I have what I need and that is it - but I am open to a bit more information.

Is rat shot the same as snake shot? I use rat shot for both critters in a .357 revolver. If so, that is easy to carry and has always been adequate for the snakes I meet.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son

@docholladay

which could be bypassed by calling it a "Pistol".


No, you can't just get away with calling it a pistol. NFA includes rules that cover this. If you take a shotgun that was manufactured with a shoulder stock. and remove the shoulder stock add at pistol grip and shorten the barrel to under 18 inches, it is still legally a shot gun and must be registered.

Smooth bore pistols with barrels under 18 inches designed to fire shotgun cartridges are legal, but to qualify as a pistol, it has to have been manufactured as a pistol in the first place.

Ernest Bywater

@ustourist

Is rat shot the same as snake shot?


Yes, both are the same sized shot No: 12 - wiki article link below with link on all shot sizes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat-shot

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shot_%28pellet%29#Sizes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shotgun#Gauge

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

A couple points, Ernest. As for 'without honest citizens with guns', in virtually ALL our recent shootings (so far, more than a single mass shooting every single day of the year), only a couple were stopped by gunfire, and those cases were either active duty military figures (1) or off-duty police (2). There has not been a single case of a citizen with a gun stopping ANY crime, despite the constant barrage of such claims by the NRA.

The other point which keeps being made over and over, is that criminals use overly powerful, automatic weapons because very, very few ever practice aimsmanship. They just point, shoot off dozens/hundreds of rounds, and run off. A single shooter doesn't stand much of a chance against that.

As I've always said, criminals are lazy. They're too damn lazy to get a job, and their too lazy to work at being a criminal. They don't carry large capacity magazines in order to increase potential criminal charges, but because they can't hit the broad side of a barn!

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

As I've always said, criminals are lazy. They're too damn lazy to get a job, and their too lazy to work at being a criminal.


That's true of most of our criminals too. But pre-gun-buy-back even the organised criminal groups like the outlaw bikie gangs were usually armed with civilian grade weapons because the sentence for possession was a tenth of possession with a military grade and the black market purchase price was about one twentieth of a military grade weapon. Since the buy back the sentence for possession is the same, and more severe, and the price is with a few percentage points. Thus there's no incentive to use a lower grade weapon and a great incentive to go with a military grade weapon. Thus where they used to fire a few shots they now fire a few dozen or a few hundred shots. The issue for me is the bigger risk to innocent bystanders due to the wider spread of the bigger spray of bullets.

richardshagrin

I suppose somebody has to say "guns don't kill people, people kill people." Actually that is not entirely correct, unless hand to hand combat is involved. Guns don't kill people, the ammunition they fire kills people. I suggest all the argument about guns could be ignored if society controlled access to ammunition. In the USA that might save appeals to the Constitutional right to short sleeve shirts. (The right to bare arms.) Or to give firearms to bears. (Arm Bears.)

If you can own whatever weapon you want, but need difficult to get permission to actually buy ammo for it, and very high taxes applied to the less sensible types like 50 caliber for machine guns, there might be fewer casualties. Making the manufacturer of ammunition responsible for results of its use, like explosive manufacturers need to have colored pellets in their product so it can be identified, could make ammunition control a non-governmental responsibility. Governments could do their bit, making possession of more than a certain amount or type of ammunition illegal or highly taxed.

Don't control guns, Control Ammunition!

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

Guns don't kill people, the ammunition they fire kills people.


Over the years I've fired many thousands of rounds of ammunition from various guns and never hurt a single person at all. I've been to scenes where people have been shot by a gun, and in each case the gun was held by someone who was intentional trying to hurt the person shot, or held by someone who was too damn stupid to to be able to put socks on without someone helping them.

Education is a wonderful tool, sadly, the political climate for the last 30 or 40 years is to not use it for anything useful. Every case I know of where someone was shot by accident it was because one of the parties involved was ignorant of the correct way to handle a gun or so damn stupid they ignored the safety rules.

BTW: People can get just as dead with a knife as with a gun. And don't rule out how many people are killed an maimed by cars each year.

docholladay
Updated:

The surprising thing for me when I looked up that snake shot load, was the fact that many of those rounds were intended to be used in guns similar to the glocks or other similar guns.

The only reason I looked it up was I had read of its use in home defense by inexperienced shooters in at least one western novel. I am not sure how effective that would be considering the size of the pellets. But the limited effective range would definitely fit for home usage. And with a mix of loads in the magazine the snake shot or rat shot depending might be highly effective. But I am just guessing and most of the characters in a PA story start out with little or no experience or training in gun usage. Lack of experience and training would make a shotgun shell more effective at first for short range.

edited to add: Of course the major weapon available to anyone is their "MIND". Its the only weapon or tool which is always with us. Main thing is to learn to use it and keep it open to new ideas or information.

Replies:   ustourist  Dominions Son
ustourist

@docholladay

I was warned by the gun shop that rat shot screws up the barrel pretty fast, and that there is a lot more residue if it is used, but I load alternating rat shot with hollow point and since it is a revolver I can skip a chamber if needed for home defense.
The only real drawback is that since I am Texas, even the rats carry guns. I understand the rule round here is that honest people carry one - plus a spare - and the criminals and cops carry two and a spare.
I totally agree about the mind, but fortunately a lot of those who enter homes appear to have a single shot one of limited caliber, which gives me a slight advantage.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@ustourist

Very true about those rats, that holds true everywhere I have ever lived. Of course anyone who manages to make black market level contacts can also obtain those oh-so illegal weapons. At one time I had a matched pair of ultra short 12 gauge single shot shotguns with hair triggers. I got rid of them soon enough however that I never was caught with them.

Dominions Son

@docholladay

I had read of its use in home defense by inexperienced shooters in at least one western novel.


It probably wouldn't be lethal against a human target, but it will still be extremely painful. If an attacker isn't hyped up on drugs, that can be enough.

There are also urban legends of people in the depression era using shot guns with shells loaded with rock salt to run off bums and beggars. The idea being that the rock salt wouldn't be lethal, but any salt crystals that penetrate the skin would be extremely painful.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Dominions Son

I was warned by the gun shop that rat shot screws up the barrel pretty fast


using any kind of shot with a rifled barrel will ruin the rifling pretty quick.

bondsman

@Crumbly Writer

Crumbly, how do you define "stopping a crime"? Serious question. I can find many examples of citizens with guns thwarting attempted robberies, assaults, break-ins and other criminal activities.

There has not been a single case of a citizen with a gun stopping ANY crime, despite the constant barrage of such claims by the NRA.


You will likely find reason to disregard the incidents (296 in total) listed at the link below, but I don't think any of them are made up. Most have attribution to some form of public media.

http://www.americanrifleman.org/the-armed-citizen/

docholladay

Funny part is you don't have to have a gun to be considered armed and dangerous. But if you don't have any weapons at all, you make it easy to become a victim for all the punks and bullies around. I have been considered as Armed and Dangerous by cops even when I didn't have any weapons as such on me. I almost went to jail when a man pulled a butcher knife (chef's knife) on me over 30 years ago and I only had my belt as a potential weapon. The cops even had the nerve to tell me that if anything happened to the man I was going to be arrested.

A few weeks later he was badly injured in a mugging when he was robbed after cashing a large insurance check. I had an unbreakable alibi and evidence I wasn't involved. So the cops couldn't arrest me. LOL

imsly1

For your storyline I'd use 12 gauge as shells are more readily available..not all stores stock 410, or 16 or 28 gauge shells...and there's way more variety of 12 gauge loads than 20 or 10 gauge loads.....most places that sell ammo will have 20 or 12 gauge shells..
I reload 20 and 12 gauge shells...for target and upland game uses..

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@imsly1

28 gauge shells


I've never even heard of 28 gauge, but looking at several sporting goods stores web sites, I see that it is a thing.

I looked at Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas, and Gander Mountain. None of them have any new shotguns available in a 10 gauge. 12 is the most popular, followed by 20 based on the number of models available in each gauge.

Replies:   imsly1
imsly1
Updated:

@Dominions Son

28 gauge is a great quail and Dove gun..but it's really hard to find shells for...
10 gauge is most popular with goose hunters..and then some duck hunters...I prefer the 12 gauge with 3 1/2 shells for duck...

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@imsly1

10 gauge is most popular with goose hunters..and then some duck hunters...


10 gauge is dead The top three sporting goods stores don't have 1 new 10 gauge shotgun for sale between them.

Replies:   imsly1
imsly1

@Dominions Son

I wouldn't say it's dead...in my part of the world...in the central flyway it's pretty popular...but most guys order them from the Sporting goods stores.. I.e. cabelas gander...our local stores carry steel loads ...for both 10 and 12
But 10 gauge lead shot loads are probably extremely tough to get....since steel is required for ducks geese and crane

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@imsly1

I wouldn't say it's dead.


The availability of 10 gauge ammo isn't really relevant to my point.

I live in Wisconsin, where do you live?

If no one is selling new 10 gauges, the existing guns will eventually wear out unless they get put up on collector's shelves.

Can you point to anyone in your area selling new (not used) 10 gauge shotguns.

Replies:   imsly1
imsly1
Updated:

@Dominions Son

Sure ...sportsman paradise Russell ks,shooters supply Hutchinson ks,

Heartland outdoor Hutchinson ks, smokey valley shooting sports McPherson KS I looked at new 10 gauges in these stores this fall..

They all had 3 or 4 in stock to choose from
But we are in A Major Goose hunting area

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@imsly1


But we are in A Major Goose hunting area


Please, oh please, be located near Washington, D.C., and they allow open season on all types of geese, especially the elected political silly goose.

edit to correct typo. 2nd edit to make the last name better.

docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

Please, oh please, be located near Washington, D.C., and they allow open season on all types of geese, especially the elected political silly goose.


Those darn political geese will definitely have made that illegal. Although its one heck of a good idea. That particular game is available world wide as well (darn it).

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

Please, oh please, be located near Washington, D.C., and they allow open season on all types of geese, especially the elected political silly goose.


I have a more effective, if more expensive solution.

Dig under DC, build a giant rocket underneath it and launch the whole city into the sun.

Capt Zapp

@docholladay

Those darn political geese


I thought they were lame ducks?

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Capt Zapp

Lame ducks are elected officials who did not get re-elected and are just serving out the remainder of the term they were elected for.

There are 435 representatives in the House of Representative. It is a very unusual election in which less than 90% gain re-election, if they chose to. To most their real job is to get re-elected and they campaign almost continuously. An important part of that effort is to raise funds to use in the re-election campaign. I read that a normal, average campaign requires the congress-critter to raise more than $500 a day, every day, between elections. No wonder the average Congress person is wealthy, no-one who has to work for a living can afford to run. Senators have to raise even more money and have to be even richer. No wonder Trump is running for President, he has the money to afford to do so. No one "normal" has enough money to run for political office.

Replies:   tppm
tppm

@richardshagrin

Lame ducks are elected officials who did not get re-elected and are just serving out the remainder of the term they were elected for.


In places with term limits elected officials in their the last term they're allowed to run for, e.g. a U.S. president in his second term, are de facto lame ducks from the day the take office.

fool42

@Crumbly Writer

If you check FBI records you will find that the number of crimes stopped by civilians using firearms is over 2500 per year. Just because the media doesn't talk about such incidents (likely because they don't fit the desired narrative), they occur virtually every day. For example, you hear about Columbine all the time, but you never hear about the copycat incident a few days later that was thwarted by a teacher who retrieved a hunting rifle from his car and captured the shooter before anyone was hurt. One incident that made the news a couple of years ago was the retired marine who stopped in a Florida sandwich shop for lunch and ended up taking out two armed robbers who were gathering up the witnesses to execute them (an MO popular in that area at that time). OTOH, it doesn't always end well; a citizen in TX who tried to help police in a running gun battle a few years ago failed in his attempt to take out the perp, but the perp did kill the citizen.

IT is true that criminals aren't generally gun savvy. But we do know from academic studies that most criminals try to avoid confronting an armed citizen because the outcome isn't predictable. However, if you factor in booze, drugs, social conditioning, or mental illness, all of the standard assumptions go out the window... anything could happen.

silverhawk552000

@REP

At the risk of generating another optimum gauge/caliber discussion, in a post-apocalyptic situation, the prime concern regarding caliber and gauge would be a continuing supply of ammunition.

The "best" shotgun will vary depending upon its intended use, but the "best" is only a club if you have no ammunition. For this reason, I would pick both 12 and 20 Gauges. These are popular gauges and ammunition would probably be more readily available.

That said, if other gauges were available and I could transport them, I'd take every gauge I could find. Although the amount of damage would differ, at self defense ranges a .410 is just as deadly as the 10 gauge regardless of the energy difference.

REP

I've been running all the replies through my sieve separating the chaff from the wheat. I did get a partial answer as to why a less powerful shotgun might be preferable to a more powerful shotgun. Namely, recoil combined with the shooter's experience and body mass affecting accuracy seems to be the answer I got out of the replies.

For an experienced shooter with adequate body mass, the recoil of a 10- or 12-ga shotgun firing a #00 buckshot load is not that big of a deterrent to accuracy.

For an inexperienced shooter or someone with inadequate body mass to withstand the recoil, they may not be able to control the weapon. Thus accuracy may suffer.

I have been curious about the larger gauge shotguns that are commonly called punt guns (i.e., 2, 4, and 6 ga. I even found a video of a 4 or 6-ga being fired from a boat. The shotgun (i.e., small cannon) was attached to what appeared to be an 8-foot skiff using a pin and socket arrangement. When it was fired, the recoil pushed the boat and its occupant back about 2 feet.

Dominions Son

@REP

I have been curious about the larger gauge shotguns that are commonly called punt guns (i.e., 2, 4, and 6 ga. I even found a video of a 4 or 6-ga being fired from a boat. The shotgun (i.e., small cannon) was attached to what appeared to be an 8-foot skiff using a pin and socket arrangement.


At the time such guns were created those boats were called punts. Hence the gun mounted on them is called a punt gun. They were used for near industrial scale waterfowl hunting. Find a flock resting on the water, point the boat in the general direction of the flock and pull the trigger. I'd have to look it up again to be sure, but if I remember correctly the punt guns went all the way up to 1 gauge.

Now they are just show pieces (if there are even any left). No state is going to let you go duck/goose hunting with one of those things. You'd blow 6 hunters limits in one shot. What else would you do with one? You'd just about need a tank to mount it on.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

I have been curious about the larger gauge shotguns that are commonly called punt guns


wikipedia has some very interesting information and photos on punt guns.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punt_gun

this link on shotgun gauge sizes is good, too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauge_%28bore_diameter%29#Conversion_guide

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

this link on shotgun gauge sizes is good, too.


Okay, so I was wrong. Punt guns got way bigger than 1 gauge.

Numeric gauge on a smooth bore is the number of pure lead round balls of bore diameter that can be made from one pound of lead.

The largest gauge listed at that link (AA)could fire a 13.725 pound round ball. Numerically that would be 0.07 gauge.

For comparison, the most common field artillery piece in the US Civil War was the M1857 12-pounder "Napoleon".

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Punt guns got way bigger than 1 gauge.


regardless of the actual size I do not want to be standing in front of one when it goes off. On that regards I watched a video on YouTube the other day where I guy shot himself in the arse with his shotgun from about 25 feet. He shot at something, pumped a new round into the breach, leaned the gun up against a sign stuck in the sand, and walked over to where he had his targets. The sign slowly fell over due to the weight of the shotgun, gun hits the ground, gun fires, he swears and grabs his arse. The idiot was making a YouTube video of his shooting prowess and showed everyone his stupidity.

docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

He shot at something, pumped a new round into the breach, leaned the gun up against a sign stuck in the sand, and walked over to where he had his targets


With it ready to fire that was stupid as hell. I wonder if the trigger had been modified as well. As far as I know its possible to modify and gun's trigger to what is called a hair-trigger.

Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

With it ready to fire that was stupid as hell.


It sure was stupid, and I laughed real hard at the idiot shooting himself by his stupidity.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

I do not want to be standing in front of one when it goes off.


I wouldn't want to be standing next to one when it goes off.

Dominions Son

@docholladay

With it ready to fire that was stupid as hell.


Displays of stupid are what YouTube is for.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@Dominions Son

Displays of stupid are what YouTube is for.


and Darwin Awards

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@sejintenej

Unfortunately the guy Ernest mentioned didn't shoot himself in the right spot for a Darwin Award.

Ernest Bywater

Tried to find the damn video, but couldn't, but found these.

Going back to the early discussion on what to load, and smaller rounds. here's a couple of videos to give you an idea.

No: 8 birdshot - personally, I prefer no: 4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gGCedWUkk8

ratshot in .22LR
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ho-YEToMo60

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

Going back to the early discussion on what to load, and smaller rounds. here's a couple of videos to give you an idea.


As to the #8 bird shot, if you watch the video closely, at the 5 yard range used, the pellets are hitting as almost a solid mass. In other words, at that range using shot isn't giving you any significant compensation for poor shooting which is the usual justification for using a shotgun for home defense.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  bondsman
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

at that range using shot isn't giving you any significant compensation for poor shooting


a significant hit over a 6 inch spread area is a damn site wider hit area than .38 of an inch of a pistol round. However, a shorter barrel and no choke will give a wider spread.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

a significant hit over a 6 inch spread area is a damn site wider hit area than .38 of an inch of a pistol round.


Watch the video more closely. I have no idea what kind of choke he had in that shotgun, but at 5 yards the initial impact area wasn't anywhere near 6 inches. Might be a few pellets out that far, but I'd say that 80-90% of the pellets were within no more than 2 inches.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

but at 5 yards the initial impact area wasn't anywhere near 6 inches.


He tells us the meat is 14 inches wide, at the 40 second mark you can see the meat has no damage on the side he fires the first round at. Around the 55 second mark you can see a large section on the left, from almost the middle to the edge, is damaged by the pellets. At the 59 second mark he's holding the meat still and you can see the whole left half for over half the height is cut up by the pellets and there's a big deep hole right in the middle of that area where he tells us the wad tore a deep hole into the middle of an area about 3 inches deep into the meat - that's at 1.15. You have a clear view of the whole left side for most of its height is damaged with the pellets.

There's no obvious choke on the gun, but it looks to be a 28 inch or 30 inch barrel on it.

Replies:   Dominions Son
bondsman

@Dominions Son

which is the usual justification for using a shotgun for home defense.

There is another perhaps stronger justification for using a shotgun with shot shells loaded with small shot for home defense. That is the issue of penetration. Not penetration of your target but of walls. If there are others in the house, or even other houses in close proximity, pistol or rifle rounds are much more likely to penetrate walls and potentially injure innocent bystanders.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

If you watch closely the moment of impact, it seems to have an initial hit 1.5 maybe two inches across and then a shock wave radiates out from that.

A blast from a shot gun at close range where the shot hasn't spread out much yet will act much like an exploding projectile. The front pellets will slow down and the later pellets with hit the early pellets causing them to scatter.

Later in the video when he is firing the full magazine at it there is a section with high speed video of one of the impacts (it's not clear which one. That shows that effect, a relatively tight cluster of shot that kind of explodes at or just after impact, much cleaner.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

If you watch closely the moment of impact, it seems to have an initial hit 1.5 maybe two inches across and then a shock wave radiates out from that.


The shock wave wouldn't have ripped up the meat as bad as it did. However, even if it's as low as 1.5 to 2.5 inches of actual hit, that's still a damn sight more than .38 of an inch. And if you go with a shorter barrel it's a wider spread at that range too.

I used to hunt rabbits with an 18 inch 12 gauge loaded with no: 4 bird-shot. If I hit the rabbit closer than around ten feet I cut the bugger in two and wasn't worth skinning. Out around twenty-five feet I kicked up a lot of dust around the rabbit and pellets all over it. best was around the fifteen feet to twenty feet. But that was a much shorter barrel than he's using in the video, so it had a wider spread. However, until you fire a 12 gauge with bird-shot you don't really understand how much it stays together at very close range then seems to quickly spread apart at the longer ranges.

BTW Hit a rabbit up the arse with a solid slug from a 12 gauge at twenty feet and all you have left is some skin and ribs. I didn't know I had a slug load in the bag of shells until I fired it and saw the results.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

BTW Hit a rabbit up the arse with a solid slug from a 12 gauge at twenty feet and all you have left is some skin and ribs. I didn't know I had a slug load in the bag of shells until I fired it and saw the results.


I once saw video on line of someone shooting prairie dogs with a high power rifle. It was interesting because they used a high speed camera that was good enough to see the shock wave created by the bullet moving through the air. The prairie dogs basically exploded on impact.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

The shock wave wouldn't have ripped up the meat as bad as it did.


I don't think the shock wave did the damage. But once the pellets in the front of the mass slow down enough for the pellets in the back of the mass to catch up, pellets are going to get scattered in every direction and the pellet mass basically explodes. The meat is ripped up by pellets deflected into paths perpendicular to the path of the original pellet mass.

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