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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:13 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:47 am
Posts: 3593
Location: Dallas, TX
Here's some #1b 20ga. ... -25-rounds

 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:04 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:24 am
Posts: 4
Location: Arkansas
RMc wrote:
Frankly all readily available 20 gauge buckshot cartridges are sorely in need of technical performance upgrades.

Indeed all 20 bore buck loads are simply gas seal and filler wad designs. Although some have coarse buffer added.

Even with the current crop of near obsolescent commercial 20 gauge buckshot offerings, pattern performance can still be substantially improved by using choke fitted 20 gauge youth length barrels.*

Something to consider.

*18.5" to 22"

I would be curious to know why all of the technological improvements seem to be applied to 12ga loads. If it is just a market demand thing, or if the stuff they use in 12ga loads don't quite translate to 20ga very well.

I actually picked up a cheap 20ga youth model to test out the idea of running a 20ga as a home defense firearm and document the process. Based my conversations with some other guys who have been down this path, they were able to get best results with Federal's 20ga #4 buck Personal Defense load. It has buffered and plated shot, but for some reason they left the Flite Control wad at home.

Just a dude with a blog.

 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:05 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:01 am
Posts: 5944
Location: Newton Kansas
As has been noted, buckshot have to stack, they don't just "make a pile" in the hull.

The smaller diameter of the hull (let alone the bore) does not allow the same size and same numbers of components to stack the same way as in the bigger hull.

00 and 000 Buck can be stacked in a 12-gauge.
000 is impossible in a 20, 00 CAN be stacked, but not by 3's, so you wind up with 6 pellets in pairs unlike 9 in triples.
The only way to get a decent pellet count is to go smaller, and neat stacking is not found in the 20 gauge until #1 or #4 Buck, and the smaller the pellets, the lower the penetration at the same velocity.

Also, yes, the "major player" in the market of "assault shotgun" is 12-gauge.
12-gauge is The Hammer, 20-gauge is not making any major inroads against it in the market on it's best day.

10-gauge is simply too powerful, 3-1/2" hulls just too long (capacity stinks).

20-gauge has significant capacity losses compared to 12-gauge, typically the guns are smaller and lighter, so recoil is NOT less.

"The Market" deals not in purity of fact, it deals in emotional attachments and opinions.
Ford Chevy or Dodge?
"Better" is based 99% in your FEELINGS on the matter, not hard cold facts.

I don't always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.

 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:02 pm 
Shooting Instructor
Shooting Instructor

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:35 am
Posts: 850
Location: Alabama
-Yes, with a standard .620" bore the maximum usable pellet size that can stacked in two pellet layers in the twenty gauge is .310". On the other hand, the smallest of buckshot pellets are indeed randomly poured in.

-It appears Federal's 20ga #4 buck Personal Defense load has been discontinued.

-It seems there is some remaining controversy on the adequate penetration potential of #4 buckshot pellets at "home defense" ranges. Perhaps a look at a well calibrated set of 5, 20 and 40 yard gelatin tests and a follow on short range mule deer kill will quell these concerns.

These tests also illustrate the continuing problem of soft lead pellet use in factory buckshot cartridges. Also note, the #4B pellets used actually measure .23" in diameter and weigh in at 19 grains.

The gelatin tests:

The hunt and post-mortem:

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