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This is a discussion on Chokes within the Ruger Shotguns forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; Hi, I recently bought some #4 buckshot for my 20ga Mossberg on sale for some home defense in my apartment as I do better with ...


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Old December 27th, 2016, 04:48 PM   #1
 
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Chokes

Hi,

I recently bought some #4 buckshot for my 20ga Mossberg on sale for some home defense in my apartment as I do better with a shotgun than handgun right now. My question is what choke do you recommend for this load?



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Old December 27th, 2016, 06:27 PM   #2
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BassTrombone , For close encounters .... a "cylinder" choke is the best, especially with large shot. You will be surprised when you pattern your Mossberg .... hardly bigger than a fist at "indoors" distances. People tend to think the ol' scatter gun will produce a big pattern but only at hunting distances. I guess what I'm saying is .... the shotgun pattern is not much different than a handgun at 10 yards or less.
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Old December 27th, 2016, 06:39 PM   #3
 
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I use improved cylinder on my 12 guage and I live in a town house. I also use number 4 buck.
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Old December 27th, 2016, 08:16 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassTrombone View Post
Hi,

I recently bought some #4 buckshot for my 20ga Mossberg on sale for some home defense in my apartment as I do better with a shotgun than handgun right now. My question is what choke do you recommend for this load?
Cylinder choke or improved cylinder. At room distance even a cylinder choke will make one ragged hole.
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Old December 27th, 2016, 08:23 PM   #5
 
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My biggest suggestion would be to lose the buck shot in an apartment and switch to a light, 8-shot game load. A face-full of small shot should still dissuade a ne'er-do-well, but might be less likely to end up killing your neighbors.
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Old December 28th, 2016, 12:09 PM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by FeralCatKillr View Post
My biggest suggestion would be to lose the buck shot in an apartment and switch to a light, 8-shot game load. A face-full of small shot should still dissuade a ne'er-do-well, but might be less likely to end up killing your neighbors.
I was wondering about switching to a light load for apartments. I don't want any shot flying into other people's homes.
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Old December 28th, 2016, 12:59 PM   #7
 
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As open a choke as you can find would be best. It's likely that the longest shot from one side of your house to another might be 40 feet or so? That is a fist sized wad of lead.
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Old December 28th, 2016, 05:18 PM   #8
 
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I think the most important point is to know your shot gun. The point of aim and point of impact can vary quite a bit on production shotguns. You don't have to have an expensive shotgun you just need to know how it patterns.
For example: When I was growing up we never bought a turkey for Thanksgiving. My father would take his old J C Higgins single shot full choke 12 ga and win a turkey at the VFD turkey shoot. He would lay his gun on the table and offer its use to all participants in the shoot and most of the time it would only take one shooting round for him to win. He knew where to aim to put the most pellets on an 8 in paper plate at 30yds.

Then there's ballistics. I'm sure there are folks here that know a lot more than me about shotgun loads. But for what it's worth here is my retired engineers analytical view and some information to consider. I don't think choke size is that important for close range (10yds) self defense and here's why.

Full Choked Shotgun roughly places 70% of its shot within a 30 inch circle at 40 yards.
Modified Choked Shotgun roughly places 70% of its shot within a 30 inch circle at 35 yards.
Improved Cylinder Choked Shotgun roughly places 70% of its shot within a 30 inch circle at 30 yards.
Cylinder Bore Shotgun roughly places 70% of its shot within a 30 inch circle at 25 yards.

So you are roughly increasing your circle approximately 1 in per yd. If the furthest point in your home is 30ft then 10in is the largest circle you are dealing with. Assuming a 20 ga 2 3/4 in. shell with 7/8 oz of shot. These numbers are approximate.

#3 buckshot has 16 pellets .25in dia traveling approx 1220fps at 3ft.
#4 buckshot has 20 pellets .24in dia traveling approx 1220fps at 3ft.
#4 lead game load has 118 pellets .13in dia traveling approx 1220fps at 3ft
#6 lead game load has 197 pellets .11in dia traveling approx 1220fps at 3ft
#8 lead game load has 359 pellets .09in dia traveling approx 1220fps at 3ft

Based on the above with #3 or #4 buckshot you are slinging approx 16-20 25 cal projectiles in a max 10 in dia circle. A miss in an apartment or other occupied space with just one or two pellets could be bad. Need to spend some time at the range if you go this route.

I 'm not an expert but I would not depend on the penetration of #8 shot. I was shot in the leg while rabbit hunting as a teenager with #6 shot and 5 pellets barely penetrated my calf after going through my jeans from about 50ft. We dug out the pellets with a hunting knife to keep from telling my parents. But #6 or #4 in the face or upper body at close range is definitely a deterrent.

Just my 2 cents.

Last edited by MitchSC; December 29th, 2016 at 06:26 AM.
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Old December 28th, 2016, 06:42 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassTrombone View Post
I was wondering about switching to a light load for apartments. I don't want any shot flying into other people's homes.
Apartments are a no-win situation. You possibly have neighbors in every direction in all three dimensions. At least in a single family home you have some ideas of where people are, what rooms kids are sleeping in, etc. but that's not the case with an apartment complex.

Google the "box 'o truth" guy's website and he tests how many layers of drywall stuff penetrates. Smaller buck like #4 goes through about seven in his tests. Double ought went through a few more. Both equate to shooting through your apartment and into your neighbor's. Bird shot only penetrated two I believe which means just one wall, and he then goes on to say that it would be foolish to trust your life to small bird shot.

I agree with that but when you live in an apartment your first duty is to not jeopardize the innocent lives around you. Your right to self preservation comes second after that.
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Old December 29th, 2016, 06:15 AM   #10
 
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I am afraid, that this is a no win situation....very difficult at best. Not only do you have to be concerned about the other people around you, but you also have to worry about wounding a robber or an attacker, and then, they take you to court.
I agree, buckshot would most likely injure or kill the neighbors.....a trip to court right there.
The criminal, if he survives.....his family, if he doesn't...will take you to court.
Buckshot would more than likely lead to multiple law suits...the criminal...and the neighbors.
Low powered bird shot would likely be a one law suit situation at best.
Sadly, the laws that are on the books, seem to protect the criminals, and their families more than the victims.
Any type of shooting, even a self defense situation, will more than likely bring on a very costly court case.
I remember a show, that came on t.v. years ago...called Life Line.....a store owner was defending his store from a robbery, when he was shot with no. 8 bird shot....he later died at the hospital, with doctors working on him in surgery.
The doctor said, that if he had been shot with buckshot, that he probably would have survived, because there would have been less holes in him.
Since he was shot with bird shot, the doctor said, that they could not repair all of the damage due to the number of little holes in his body.
In this case, bird shot seems to be a capable self defense choice... I would not be afraid to use bird shot in your situation. I would still protect my family at any cost though.
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