What Ammo should I use?

Tactical, combat, military, law enforcement and home defense use of a Remington 870 shotgun.
Post Reply
jirovec
Shotgunner
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:54 am

What Ammo should I use?

Post by jirovec » Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:46 am

OK just ordered my Remington 870 Express Tactical w/ XS Ghost Ring sights and going to hit the range late this week and over the weekend. Can't wait!! Besides cleaning the gun, upgrading the follower and getting a non-MIM extractor is there anything else I should do before I shoot this bad boy?

Now the ammo questions:
1) Does cheap ammo damage your shotgun in any way?

2) What should I use for target practice at the range?

3) What should I keep on supply at the house for HD?

Also, can anyone tell me about recoil reducing ammo? Do these really work? Would it be worth using during target practice at the range for the wife?

Any advice/comments are appreciated and if you have pictures of the ammo you use with the box that would be a huge help as I am a complete newbie to shotgun ammo!!!

User avatar
MStarmer
Super Shotgunner
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:36 am

Re: What Ammo should I use?

Post by MStarmer » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:35 am

Polish the chamber, shoot anything but the cheap Winchester stuff and you should be fine.

User avatar
Automag
Senior Shotgunner
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu May 09, 2013 2:53 am
Location: Michigan

Re: What Ammo should I use?

Post by Automag » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:38 pm

I'd suggest using Federal, or what i keep on hand at home; Remington 00 buckshot. Yes recoil reducing is good for training at the range (especially for your wife), it still has some kick to it though. I'd also shoot some rifled 2 3/4 slugs at the range. That way you can practice at a distance and work on accuracy, and get a feel for different types of ammo. I'd stick with 2 3/4 00 buckshot for home defense, and avoid the magnum ammo (it kicks like a mule, and is overkill for HD). These are just what i use, most reputable ammo is just fine.

This is what i use for HD ammo. I've never had any problems whatsoever with this ammo.
Remington Express Ammunition 12 Gauge 2-3/4" 00 Buckshot

Image
I use these slugs at the range.
Image
I keep 15 rds of the Remington 2 3/4' 00 Buck in my shotgun sling
Image
Last edited by Automag on Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image Gun Control Means Using Both Hands.

DaveC
Addict Shotgunner
Posts: 306
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:53 pm

Re: What Ammo should I use?

Post by DaveC » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:19 pm

Hello, and welcome.

1. No, but it might cause reliability issues. Buy it cheap and stack it deep. Lookout for specials in your area.
2. Use anything for inexpensive practice at the range, but be sure and get some butcher paper and a marker pen and pattern your shotgun at different ranges with the kinds of ammunition you intend to use for defensive purposes. Also pattern your shotgun with the loads you'll use for hunting. For defensive patterning, I use the Texas CHL target, which is a quasi-human shaped giant bowling pin, with butcher paper behind it. I take down my patterns, mark the load, range, etc. roll the targets up, tie them with a piece of wire, and use them at home to study from. Periodically, my wife will find them and throw them away. :cry:
3. You'll have to decide what you want to use for defensive use... Most folks, myself included, will advocate using buckshot.
I used to use the Winchester "Win-Lite" 00 buck shot shell. It was really low-recoil, and while also less powerful, at house distance ranges it was still really, really "bad medicine." My wife is a tiny little gal, and so she has problems with recovery from harsh recoil, but also had to have the shotgun adapted to fit her with a youth-sized stock. Shortening the stock to fit the intended user is about the biggest modification to make to a defense gun IMO.

These days, I'm living in a fairly dense urban neighborhood, so I have sacrificed some of the penetration, power, and well-proven "street record" of 00 buck in favor of No.4 buckshot, essentially for use within my household and immediate environs. There are those who advocate No. 1 buckshot, and I have my "other riot gun" loaded with that, but you may have difficulty finding No. 1 buck since 00 and 000 are much more common.

Enjoy shooting sports with your shotgun!
Alle Kunst ist umsonst, wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst.

jirovec
Shotgunner
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:54 am

Re: What Ammo should I use?

Post by jirovec » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:16 am

Thanks for the responses ... got another question.

If I was to use the recoil reducing rounds for the wife to practice with at the range does it make sense to keep the HD shotgun loaded with the same at home in case she has to use it in an emergency? Or is the recoil loads just a practice tool?

User avatar
Automag
Senior Shotgunner
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu May 09, 2013 2:53 am
Location: Michigan

Re: What Ammo should I use?

Post by Automag » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:34 pm

In my opinion, you should keep normal 2 3/4 00 Buckshot in you shotgun for HD. I'd have you're wife do some training with that ammo, it does'nt really kick too bad. One thing you could do is buy a recoil reducing buttpad, like a Remington Supercell, they're only like $20 bucks and very much do reduce recoil. Recoil reducing shells are good for paractice and breaking you're gun in, but for HD i'd recommend regular 2 3/4 Buckshot, especially when your lives may depend on it.
Thats just my opinion, the ammo choices are ultimately up to you. Good luck, stay safe.
Oh yeah, Welcome to the Forum!
Image Gun Control Means Using Both Hands.

DaveC
Addict Shotgunner
Posts: 306
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:53 pm

Re: What Ammo should I use?

Post by DaveC » Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:12 am

For HD, I'd think the reduced recoil 2-3/4-in. rounds would be just fine. You can get reduced recoil "tactical" buckshot loads designed for LE use, such as the Federal version. I think the Federal has 8 pellets instead of the normal 9, and it patterns very tightly. The Federal "tactical" low-recoil and conventional 9 pellet 00 buck 2-3/4-in. shells pattern phenomenally from my 18.5" Mossberg-mfr. cylinder bore barrel on my 870. Personally, I would rather not have defense ammo labeled as "tactical" so I used Winchester "Win-Lite" 00 buck. This cartridge really does have low recoil.

I've recently switched to Federal No.4 buckshot.

Key to obviating recoil would be to ensure that the shotgun properly fits the intended user. Recoil pads are a good idea. For the recoil averse, they help, and the rubber will help keep it to your shoulder, which is a good thing. These days there are all kinds of recoil reducing stocks, which I've not tried, but might be worth consideration.

You could always think about adapting a 20-gauge for defensive use too. The largest buckshot for a 20-gauge tends to be No.3 buckshot, but it is adequate for most close-range defensive use. If I had to do my HD shotgun "over again" I'd probably opt for a 7-shot 870 in 20-gauge. As it happened, I was gifted an 870 Express Synthetic with a 26" barrel, so I decided to use that as the basis for HD through modification. Curiously, some 20-gauge shotguns are so lightweight, that they actually recoil about as much as a 12-gauge! 12-gauge is fairly ubiquitous, and so for that reason, far more load development and variety of ammunition is available than for the 20-gauge. So fairly easy-shooting ammo allowing rapid shot recover and increased rate of fire may actually be easier with a typical 12-gauge. Be sure to pattern your firearm with the intended ammo at realistic ranges.
Alle Kunst ist umsonst, wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst.

User avatar
MStarmer
Super Shotgunner
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:36 am

Re: What Ammo should I use?

Post by MStarmer » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:05 pm

Plenty of reduced recoil 12ga to select from, just get an idea how they shoot from your personal gun. Fiocchi is usually a good price, but the flite-control federal is going to be just about as tight as you will find.

As far as 20ga goes I tried that path building a gun for the wife in the past. It was a fail... First off ammo selection compared to 12ga is pathetic and overpriced. I ended up having to order online just to find slugs and buck for her to take a class. By the time the gun was fit to her it cheek slapped and was so uncomfortable to shoot (for everyone who tried it) I ended up trading it off. She has no problem with a full size 12ga 870, SuperNova or her 930SPX. I think 20ga in a full size gun probably is easier to handle but the lightweight / youth models aren't much fun...

jirovec
Shotgunner
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:54 am

Re: What Ammo should I use?

Post by jirovec » Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:17 am

Thanks for the info guys. I am hitting the range tomorrow and going to try a couple of the recommendations you made so will let you know what I figure out.

Also, thanks for the advice about patterning my shotgun. Would not have thought of that right off the bat.

This is a great site with some great resources!! Can't wait to get some rounds through my new shotgun and once I make some upgrades will post some pics.

DaveC
Addict Shotgunner
Posts: 306
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:53 pm

Re: What Ammo should I use?

Post by DaveC » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:57 pm

Oh, one more thing about shooting targets. You may have problems finding a range that will let you pattern your shotgun at defensive ranges, so calling ahead of time might be a good idea... I've had range operators balk at letting me shoot CHL targets in the pistol bays before. Also, if you want to save, economize on targets, just keep shooting at the "center of mass" or upper "torso" portion of the target... After shot two or three, you'll just keep hitting the empty space in the center of the target--hopefully... You'll spend less time stapling targets and more trigger time that way... ;)

If you still have a 26-inch barrel or something like that for your 870, you can always find a shotgun sports place and shoot clay pigeons and whatnot... That is lots and lots of fun.
Alle Kunst ist umsonst, wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bourget117 and 1 guest