O/U for home defense

Jamie D Van Roekel

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My wife is very good with a bolt rifle and Glock, but has not used a shotgun. I like to keep a shotgun in the bedroom with buckshot in it for any two legged intruders or unwanted coyote or coon that come to close to the house. I always keep the chamber empty and 4 in the tube on a 870.

My question is. Is the safe on a 555 savage O/U reliable enough to leave it loaded? I think it would be easier to teach her to shoot a O/U then a pump. We aren’t bird hunters so don’t think she would use it enough to be able to really get efficient with a pump. Since she is good with a rifle I think with a little practice she could get very good with a O/U.

What say you? Thanks.
 

JimP

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You can't get much simpler than a pump, just rack the slide and you are good to go. No having to avert your eyes to see where you are placing the rounds.

Plus there is something menacing about the sound that a pump makes when you rack in a round that will make most intruders turn around and leave.
 

Velo Dog

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Mechanical devices fail often enough that we should not place much trust in them.

Since your wife is good with a Glock pistol and with a bolt action rifle, get her a Glock pistol and / or a bolt action rifle, (and / or a bolt action shotgun).
 
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shootist~

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Why not the Glock - so long as it's100% reliable in her hands?

The disadvantage of a long gun is the ability for someone to grab the barrel. And just two shots for an O/U.
 

Jamie D Van Roekel

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Why not the Glock - so long as it's100% reliable in her hands?

The disadvantage of a long gun is the ability for someone to grab the barrel. And just two shots for an O/U.

I believe in the dark when the dogs bark from 2 to 40 yards hard to beat buckshot, not likely to miss and more likely to end with one shot. In the house wouldn’t even aim, left or right hand point and pull.
 

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I believe in the dark when the dogs bark from 2 to 40 yards hard to beat buckshot, not likely to miss and more likely to end with one shot. In the house wouldn’t even aim, left or right hand point and pull.

Quite a few people have a misconception of a shotgun and figure that at distances that you see inside of a home that they shot will spread out, this isn't the case. A shotgun right off of a dealers shelf, even one designed for self defense is going to keep it's pattern within 6 inches or less at short ranges.

Start thinking about how far a shot will be inside of your home, even across a large room you are not looking at much more than 10 yards even in a larger home. Now take your shotgun out to the range and put a box up and shoot it at that 10 yards and see what the shot spread is like.

The big advantage of a shotgun is that it is a man stopper. Very few people could take a full charge from a shotgun and keep coming at you, they will be down.
 

mdwest

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Quite a few people have a misconception of a shotgun and figure that at distances that you see inside of a home that they shot will spread out, this isn't the case. A shotgun right off of a dealers shelf, even one designed for self defense is going to keep it's pattern within 6 inches or less at short ranges.

Start thinking about how far a shot will be inside of your home, even across a large room you are not looking at much more than 10 yards even in a larger home. Now take your shotgun out to the range and put a box up and shoot it at that 10 yards and see what the shot spread is like.

The big advantage of a shotgun is that it is a man stopper. Very few people could take a full charge from a shotgun and keep coming at you, they will be down.

Very accurate...

The overarching majority of self defense shooting situations, to include those that happen inside the home are encounters at bad breath distances..

Different platforms have different advantages and disadvantages.. no one platform is going to be perfect for all possible situations..

If the intention is to have the wife shelter in place and assume a defensive position, a long gun is going to be the best solution for most scenarios and most homes.. the time, energy, and cost to get her into a basic AR platform and get her competent enough to use it in that type of situation is minimal..

The O/U will work also.. but offers A LOT less flexibility and a number of disadvantages over a basic rifle.. but.. if that's the best option you have.. I'll take 2 rounds of 00 buck from a 28" bbl O/U over a sharp stick...

If you're concerned about the safety, why not leave it with 2 rounds in the chambers, but with the action open.. the time it would take to pick up the gun and close the action is only a fraction of a second longer than the time it takes to just pick up the gun..

Same would apply to the coyote and coon situation you describe in the OP.. if its a pest on the property, the additional .5 second to close the action while picking the gun up wont make any difference at all in the intended engagement that's going to take place 10-60 seconds later anyway..
 

shootist~

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I believe in the dark when the dogs bark from 2 to 40 yards hard to beat buckshot, not likely to miss and more likely to end with one shot. In the house wouldn’t even aim, left or right hand point and pull.
I strongly suggest you go to the range and pattern that buckshot at room distance - say 5 or 6 yards. At about a fist sized spread you will see the fallacy of the "I can't miss" theory.
 

igotit

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My Benelli M1 runs like a sewing machine with Defensive ammo. It does NOT cycle birdshot well at all. That's not a big deal to me since i don't use birdshot for serious use. It does make training and practice more costly.
 

Jamie D Van Roekel

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Very accurate...

The overarching majority of self defense shooting situations, to include those that happen inside the home are encounters at bad breath distances..

Different platforms have different advantages and disadvantages.. no one platform is going to be perfect for all possible situations..

If the intention is to have the wife shelter in place and assume a defensive position, a long gun is going to be the best solution for most scenarios and most homes.. the time, energy, and cost to get her into a basic AR platform and get her competent enough to use it in that type of situation is minimal..

The O/U will work also.. but offers A LOT less flexibility and a number of disadvantages over a basic rifle.. but.. if that's the best option you have.. I'll take 2 rounds of 00 buck from a 28" bbl O/U over a sharp stick...

If you're concerned about the safety, why not leave it with 2 rounds in the chambers, but with the action open.. the time it would take to pick up the gun and close the action is only a fraction of a second longer than the time it takes to just pick up the gun..

Same would apply to the coyote and coon situation you describe in the OP.. if its a pest on the property, the additional .5 second to close the action while picking the gun up wont make any difference at all in the intended engagement that's going to take place 10-60 seconds later anyway..

I hadn’t thought about leaving it open. I like that idea. Just have to come up with a way to have it that the shells don’t fall out. Lol if it is setting upright you can shut the action in the same motion as picking it up.
 

shootist~

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Or you could turn it into a tactical two-shooter with a stock mounted ammo carrier.

Better yet, get a Benelli M2 S-90, add the factory or aftermarket extention tube and a side saddle. (Or any proven reliable semi-auto.) FWIW, Federal reduced velocity 9 pellet 00 buck runs my M1 S90 very well. Used to buy it by the case in my 3-Gun days.

Mine holds 8+2 plus 6 in the side saddle, not that I leave it loaded. It stays in the safe. The closet gun is a 14.5" AR with 30 round mag.

BTW, we used to see more shooter induced malfunctions with pumps than semi-autos. Stress and lack of training often equals a short stroke.

My $.02.
 

Rare Breed

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My wife is very good with a bolt rifle and Glock, but has not used a shotgun. I like to keep a shotgun in the bedroom with buckshot in it for any two legged intruders or unwanted coyote or coon that come to close to the house. I always keep the chamber empty and 4 in the tube on a 870.

My question is. Is the safe on a 555 savage O/U reliable enough to leave it loaded? I think it would be easier to teach her to shoot a O/U then a pump. We aren’t bird hunters so don’t think she would use it enough to be able to really get efficient with a pump. Since she is good with a rifle I think with a little practice she could get very good with a O/U.

What say you? Thanks.
Any shot gun is without question the best home defense gun. Never listen to people who say a hand gun. When adrinalin is upon you don’t aim just point and your perpetrator will be stopped dead in their tracks no matter how much she is shaking. For my wife I bought a 20 gauge single shot youth model. Just cock and squeeze and presto a dead perpertrator
 

Inline6

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Like other have mentioned, take the shotgun to the range and pattern it. 7 yards which is the distance most encountered happen, if will look like rifle slugs more than a pie plate. If you want to keep it simple. Put a rail on your 870 with a RDS, atleast her eye will be drawn to it even in low light.

You also need to walk her through over penetration if you have little ones in the house or plans for company. No one would want that on their conscience. Plan it out, what if it happened? Walk her through some scenarios, fortune favors the prepared.
 

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First...get an alarm system on your house. The time between the alarm going off and you being in REAL danger is critical. Being prepared is the other. Having open lines of sight and clear firing lanes can not be stressed enough. Know where others are in the house and plan accordingly.

I have a Browning Cynergy O/U loaded with 00 Buckshot on my side of the bed with a stock mounted 6 shell holder. Wife has a 9mm Springfield Armory XDm-9 with defensive rounds and a spare magazine. My job is to cover the hallway (defensive position) with the shotgun while she works the 911 phone call one handed with the pistol in the other. BTW - we are the only two people in the house so the complication of children isn't a problem we have.

Yes, we practice this with dry-fire drills. Yes, I've patterned the shotgun. Backup is important. Two is one, one is none.

My recommendation is that if you have a Savage 555 O/U and that's what you want to use...practice. Then practice more. It's a reliable shotgun, but muscle memory is real...don't believe me? Try brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand. The other good thing about this gun is that it has mechanical triggers, not inertia driven...this makes it more reliable in a defensive situation. You both should be well versed in all firearms to be used in a defensive situation, whatever they are.

If I had my way, I'd have a Beretta 1301 Tactical (OD Green of course) with a mag tube extension instead of the O/U...but for now the Browning will do just fine. Did I mention that you need to practice...just wanted to remind you one more time.
 

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I think the sound of a shotgun being pumped may not be too ones advantage. It telegraphs too an intruder where you are and what weapon you have. The sound may run him off but it will allow him to go to plan B depending on how determined he is. Same with a flashlight. Also, make sure the spring in a pump magazine does not weaken over time so check and replace as needed. This is not a problem with a o/u. Don’t worry about the pattern or shot size: the big advantage of a long gun is it can be pointed more accurately especially from a low gun position. Besides a lady having to defend herself with her pheasant gun with birdshot might be viewed more favorably by a judge should it come before the law. My opinion is that an intruder should not hear nothing nor feel nothing if you get my drift.
 

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I have this old and ugly 12ga as a home defense shotgun. Cut it down to 18.5” with a Ridgid steel pipe pipe cutter and reamed the end. Might consider cutting down the 555 if you’re going to use it for self defense.

5BA26169-2512-4798-9681-2B5B812AE028.jpeg
 

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How about a Stoeger Double Defense? They come in over/ under and side by models with pic rails for mounting accessories if you want.
 

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