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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: 3606
Location: Dallas, TX
Here's some #1b 20ga.

https://www.luckygunner.com/20-ga-2-3-4 ... -25-rounds




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 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.

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 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: 6039
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.

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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.


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 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: 871
Location: Alabama
-Yes, with a standard .615" bore the maximum usable pellet size that can stacked in two pellet layers in the twenty gauge is .30". 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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VTk_7884r8&t=272s

The hunt and post-mortem:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ie6dKLU_Bas&t=241s


Last edited by RMc on Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:25 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2020 4:09 pm
Posts: 13
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"


Exactly what I did Mossberg 88 20 ga. shortened the barrel to 18.5 reamed and re-tapped for a choke. Installed a carlsons full choke I load it with spartan 2 3/4 #1 buckshot 9 pellets.

https://i.pixxxels.cc/pLR1q04Y/20200607-194728.jpg

and the pattern without the choke
https://i.pixxxels.cc/bw38BZJT/20200604-124745.jpg

and with a full choke
https://i.pixxxels.cc/zfv5ZqH1/Spartan-Shot-Pattern.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:14 am 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:08 pm
Posts: 3176
Location: WY
Always been a fan of #4buck

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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:42 am 
Shooting Instructor
Shooting Instructor

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:35 am
Posts: 871
Location: Alabama
hollywood63 wrote:

...spartan 2 3/4 #1 buckshot 9 pellets...


Spartan brand buckshot has been discontinued.

When Spartan 20 gauge Buckshot first hit the market around 2014, the 9 pellet load was marked OOB on the box and on the shotshells. Even then the pellets only measured about .285" and that ignited a small internet firestorm on various forums. Then, after a short disappearance from the market, Spartan 20 gauge buckshot returned; labeled as #1 buckshot. Same number of pellets, same pellet diameter; just a different number printed on the box and shell.

Academy Sports now carries a similar 11/16 ounce, 9 pellet, 20 gauge load under their Monarch store brand. This at an advertised velocity of 1345 fps.

Note: 11/16 ounce = 301 grains or roughly 33 grains per pellet.


Last edited by RMc on Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:52 pm 
Shooting Instructor
Shooting Instructor

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:35 am
Posts: 871
Location: Alabama
For what it's worth:

Following published Alliant 20 gauge buckshot load data, a reloader can assemble twelve .30", (actual nominal #1B), pellets into a 2.75" ordinary target hull using a modified plastic field wad. Nothing fancy* just plain lead pellets at a listed 1275 fps. That's is, or is close to, one and one eighth ounces, (492 grains), of lead.

*Since we are just talking about "home defense" distances.
Say, under 50 feet.

Oh darn! Those are not factory loads!


Last edited by RMc on Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:45 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2020 4:09 pm
Posts: 13
RMc wrote:
hollywood63 wrote:

...spartan 2 3/4 #1 buckshot 9 pellets...


Spartan brand buckshot has been discontinued.

When Spartan 20 gauge Buckshot first hit the market around 2014, the 9 pellet load was marked OOB on the box and on the shotshells. Even then the pellets only measured about .285" and that ignited a small internet firestorm on various forums. Then, after a short disappearance from the market, Spartan 20 gauge buckshot returned; labeled as #1 buckshot. Same number of pellets, same pellet diameter; just a different number printed on the box and shell.

Academy Sports now carries a similar 11/16 ounce, 9 pellet, 20 gauge load under their Monarch store brand. This at an advertised velocity of 1345 fps.

Note: 11/16 ounce = 301 grains or roughly 33 grains per pellet.



I had a couple Spartan's that I took down and the pellets are still .285-.290 with 9 pellets it came out to a tick under 3/4 of a once.


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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:35 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 4:35 am
Posts: 393
Location: Orlando, FL
For my 20 gauge I simply went with what was available at Walmart. Federal #3 buckshot. The 12 gauge with 00 is my choice and the 20 gauge youth model is an option for friends and family.

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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:23 pm 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*

Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 12799
FotoTomas wrote:
For my 20 gauge I simply went with what was available at Walmart.


Walmart definitely knows what is best for commoners like you.

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You can vote yourself into socialism, but you have to shoot your way out of it.


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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:23 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 4:35 am
Posts: 393
Location: Orlando, FL
Ezra Smack wrote:
FotoTomas wrote:
For my 20 gauge I simply went with what was available at Walmart.


Walmart definitely knows what is best for commoners like you.


My apologies if my commonality offends you.



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