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I don't want to shoot through my house and into my neighbors' so which shotgun ammo?

Discussion in 'Ammunition' started by OrangeCountyGreg, Apr 5, 2020.

  1. OrangeCountyGreg

    OrangeCountyGreg .22LR

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    I am completely new to all types of firearms. I purchased a Mossberg 12-gauge semi-auto 930 SPX "Tactical" for home defense and I expect to pick it up this week. The homes in my Southern California neighborhood are wood frame stucco and built close together. On one side of my house my neighbor is only 15' away.

    I know not to use slugs and/or probably buckshot, but how far down to I need to go to stop a bad guy in my home without risking my neighbors? #6, #7, #8? The furthest distance I would need to shoot inside my home is about 30'

    Appreciate any feed back as this is all new to me.
    meanstreak likes this.
  2. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    14,838
    15 feet to your neighbor?

    Just about any shotgun pellet can penetrate that far. Even birdshot.
    meanstreak likes this.
  3. OrangeCountyGreg

    OrangeCountyGreg .22LR

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    On one side, yes, 15'. Land is expensive and some homes in Orange County CA, especially near the beach, are built very close together. That is not good news what you're telling me, but thank you!
    meanstreak likes this.
  4. OrangeCountyGreg

    OrangeCountyGreg .22LR

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    John A.,

    Can I clarify what you're saying......If I use birdshot it can penetrate through the walls of my house and pass through the walls and into my neighbor's house.....? If that's true, I guess I'll have to ask the bad guy(s) to move a bit so I can shoot them.
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  5. hombre243

    hombre243 20g Elite Member

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    991
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  6. OrangeCountyGreg

    OrangeCountyGreg .22LR

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    11
    OMG. That guy is hilarious! Great video and very helpful. Thank you, Hombre
    meanstreak and hombre243 like this.
  7. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    14,838
    I have done pattern testing at 20 yards before using scrap sheetrock. Even the bare empty wad will make a big hole through 1/2" sheetrock.

    The thing with a shotgun, it takes about 15 yards for the shot to separate from the wad, so you essentially have a big slug moving out of the barrel.
  8. hombre243

    hombre243 20g Elite Member

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    991
    He does love to shoot holes in stuff.
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  9. Ernst

    Ernst .270 WIN Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    256
    Probably better to first focus on the layout of your house and determine the most likely avenues of approach by an intruder. Look at front and back doors and certain windows which might be used to gain entry. This is likely the 90 percent situation you will face. Also if your house is two story and you might be engaging from an elevated position which totally changes the situation. Once you've done a complete assessment you will know the likelihood of all potential shot lines going through a side wall and hitting your neighbors house.

    As John pointed out a shotgun shell pattern expands about one inch per yard from the muzzle when fired. While birdshot reduces the wall penetration potential it also decreases your ability to effectively engage a bad guy depending on the thickness of clothing he's wearing. After considering all the above I'd probably look at number 4 buckshot and maintain awareness of your most likely engagement shot lines. Determine any no shoot lines.

    If you have access I'd also consider the layout of your neighbors house. Big difference if the nearest room is a garage vice a bedroom plus single story vice two story.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards
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  10. OrangeCountyGreg

    OrangeCountyGreg .22LR

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    Hey Ernst. It does help! I do live in a two-story house and I do know the layout of my neighbors house. I will re-look at my home with the consideration of potential shot lines. I appreciate your input.
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  11. Ernst

    Ernst .270 WIN Supporter "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    256
    Orange, one other thing I might suggest for your consideration.

    If during your assessment you find a critical, but potential shot line for wall penetration you might consider relocation a piece of furniture along that outside wall. A book case or a chest of drawers fully loaded with clothes will stop most any shotshell.

    During your assessment it's also good to look at internal walls where critical shot lines might endanger over penetration. Especially children's bedroom (if you have kids).

    Best to do a walk through with your unloaded weapon both in daylight and at night to determine usable shot lines.

    Regards
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
  12. hombre243

    hombre243 20g Elite Member

    Messages:
    991
    And this may not be significant, but tell your neighbors to duck if they hear shooting.:cheers:
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  13. cmcdonald

    cmcdonald Forum Moderator Staff Member Moderator Supporter "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    1,457
    Lots of good advice here!

    One other thing to consider as you make your assessment as @Ernst recommended is to consider whether you will have any early warning of an intruder, like a dog or an elevated window overlooking the entry to your home or an alarm system with outdoor motion sensors? Your own level of alertness at the time, are you sound asleep? These things will make a big difference in where you may have to engage someone and either puts you at an advantage or disadvantage. If you aren't alerted to the presence of an intruder until after they're through the door or window you could invariably have to engage anywhere in your home at just about any angle.

    That said, knowing where you absolutely must not shoot is critical.
    meanstreak likes this.
  14. meanstreak

    meanstreak .30-06 Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    3,235
    Orange, I wear glasses. When I go to an indoor range I always practice a few rounds without them. Also at night we have plugin night lights strategically placed. Since the bedroom is dark hopefully I will see a silhouette and all they will see are flashes.

    An intruder or more would certainly be an intense situation. The advice offered here is excellent. Also, we have 2 people in the house. Someone enters the house uninvited she has a job to do, and I have another.If other family members are present a family plan should be included. You don't want family members running around the house in a panic mode.

    You can't over prepare.
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  15. OrangeCountyGreg

    OrangeCountyGreg .22LR

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    Ha Ha. That was funny. I wear glasses also and will take your advice on shooting a few rounds without them at the range. The advice from mean streak about a family plan is excellent too. We have one for earthquakes, but not home intruders. That will be corrected.

    Really appreciate all you guys taking time to respond.
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  16. Bobster

    Bobster .30-06 Supporter

    Messages:
    2,042
    What they all said above is good stuff! And a shotty is probably the least penetrating of HD arms.

    Being a 930 (semi-auto), you should probably go to a range and test function with the load you end up with as some rounds may not cycle properly in that gun. And if it was new, there may be a "break-in" period to "loosen" it up so it WILL fire certain rounds. A little late now, but a pump shotgun may have been a better choice as you can use "mini" rounds in it which have less power (ie: penetration) but still pack a punch.

    The best way to avoid over-penetration is to not miss your target... ;)

    BTW, Welcome Aboard! :)
  17. Oddcaliber

    Oddcaliber .410

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    57
    Me being an appartment dweller my Maverick88 is loaded with #4 birdshot. I actually like my neighbors.
  18. hombre243

    hombre243 20g Elite Member

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    991
    I also live in an apartment community. I don't like any of the people who are in my building but I am aware of the layouts in all 3 on my floor. I have my Maverick 88 12 ga loaded with #4 bird shot; my 20 gauge Daly also loaded with 4 shot and my 410 loaded with 6. I have several guns all strategically placed in case of a break in, but no one in the complex knows what I have here for guns or equipment so I don't really worry much about a break in whether I am here or not. My ARs are not loaded but loaded mags are hidden close by the guns they are for. I am confident in my ability to protect myself and my neighbors from enemy or friendly fire...whether I like it or not.
  19. Shadowdog

    Shadowdog .22LR

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    16
    I've been thinking about how loud a shotshell would be inside a house and what it would do to your hearing, even for a few moments. Our house is cinder block with 1/2" concrete finish on both sides so the blast wouldn't go through a wall (no neighbors anyway) so the report would stay indoors. I've put earplugs in the nightstand but 'is there time'??
    I'm betting our dogs would give us a heads up in advance.
  20. Ernst

    Ernst .270 WIN Supporter "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    256
    Shadowdog, it's much quicker to slip on an electronic headset than inserting ear plugs plus you can clearly hear any sound made by intruder. If married, don't forget a set for your wife. These headsets allow you to hear clearly but muffle the gunshot instantaneously.

    Regards
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