[Homestead] Shotgun size for homestead
genegerue at ruralize.com
Tue Dec 5 11:34:25 EST 2006
>Thank you James, this is exactly the kind of information on ammunition
>that I need.
I agree with the assertion that a 20-gauge can kick harder than a
12-gauge shotgun. I have a 20-gauge long-barrel full choke that kicks
harder than my 12-gauge open choke with short barrel, which is
designed for short-range personal defense. The 12-gauge also has an
energy-absorption butt piece. The point is that gauges are not the
primary factor in how hard a shotgun kicks. The choke, the load, the
barrel length, the butt design, are all factors.
What has been alluded to but not fully stated is the issue of BB
numbers in a shotgun shell. The 12-gauge shell contains more BBs than
a smaller gauge, so at any given range you have a tighter pattern of
BBs, making the odds of a hit better. Number four, or larger shot,
which carries a smaller number, is usually adequate to kill or stop
most critters but if several BBs hit and especially if one hits the
head, the odds are greater of a stop. So the logic is to use the bigger gauge.
Bev, I think you also asked about slugs and that didn't get a
response. Shotgun slugs make sense if you need strong stopping power
but need to shorten the range for safety reasons. But slugs are a
single piece of metal and unless you are highly expert you will miss
more shots than not at targets the size of coons. If you need
seriously strong stopping power you can use buckshot but with only
about twenty or thirty BBs, it's easier to miss the shot than with
There is no gun or shell that is ideal for everything. What is ideal
for hawks is inadequate for coyotes. So you have to decide what your
primary target is and know that the chosen gun and load are a
compromise for other targets. For an all-around homestead weapon I
think a 12-gauge is best. The choke depends on your homestead layout.
If you will mostly shoot from the house out to the chicken area, then
measure that distance and find out which choke is appropriate, then
buy a gun with that choke. Then practice and with paper targets
determine the shot pattern. Then practice shooting safely in a hurry.
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