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Armory, Self Defense, And EDC => Firearms (Including Long Guns, Pistols) => Firearm Self Defense => Topic started by: loyalty4eva on July 25, 2011, 03:58:04 AM

Title: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: loyalty4eva on July 25, 2011, 03:58:04 AM
Ok so my father in law said using a birdshot in a HD situation would be the best because he heard it on TV or from another source I believe. I thought about just using buckshot or a mix of buck/slugs even. But when he said birdshot I got to thinking yeah that would work in a HD situation it would be VERY close range more then likely unless it was downstairs even at that range its pretty close so the birdshot pattern would be tight and do some damage.

I need some more thoughts about this. Its not my only HD weapon but its a great one.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: RacinRob on July 25, 2011, 05:52:30 AM
Maybe some #4 turkey load? It is still bird shot right?
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: Clybrad on July 25, 2011, 07:03:48 AM
I have a single shot 410 with my wife back in the old apartment with a slug in the chamber. But nearby is a bucket with a mixture of bird and more slugs for her. So who knows what's coming down the pipe next.

Right now we are between houses so my home defense is a s&w m&p 9mm with hollow points.

I had to leave her with something so I left her with something she knows better.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: Bolomark on July 25, 2011, 06:39:20 PM
I multi load my magazine. a couple of each.#4 buck then 00 buck then slugs.then more of the same on the side saddle.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: SteveInTx on July 25, 2011, 07:17:02 PM
This is what makes a pump shotgun so great.  You can load another type of shell before you empty the magazine.

Mine starts with four #4s, two 00s and then a slug.

I have four more #4s in the side saddle and two Winchester PDX1s.  In the Speed-feed stock I have two more slugs and two more PDX1s.

I do have some copper solids around but I haven't added them to the ride-along ammo yet.

Oh, to answer the OPs actual question.  I would think that at HD ranges (10-15 feet?) 7.5 BS is going to at least make them think twice about continuing in your general direction if not put a good sized hole in them.  But I would run #4 at a minimum to be on the safer side. 

Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: technicalanarchy on July 25, 2011, 08:10:03 PM
I have bird Buck bird Buck bird Buck slug in my mossey.

No tactical reason. I was just in an odd mood the day I loaded it.

Bird shot probably wont kill even at close range but it will more than likely make them think they are dead. I had a friend get shot with bird shot.  He said he thought he was dead. Was pissing out shot for weeks. He was also a bloody mess.

It was close range like 10 feet. It was a side shot so he took it mainly in the arm. Some cheek too.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: Nate on July 25, 2011, 09:36:59 PM
My dad always kept the .410 UNLOADED under the bed with several slug shells in the night stand for HD.  Seems like a good idea to me.  Safety first my friends.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: Bradbn4 on July 25, 2011, 10:22:08 PM
Some good ideas here but I do like 000 buck if you have a 20 ga shotgun.  And I also like #4 buck for 12 ga - and 00 buck low recoil (police style) is useful for follow up shots.

If I was worried about over over penetration thru sheet rock, I think 223 has been reported to be safer than most people would think.

If I would have to think about bear in the area, I would have to do a bit of research to figure out if my loads would work and place them in the butt stock side saddle.

Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: loyalty4eva on July 26, 2011, 06:22:27 AM
almost any shot in a shotgun will go threw sheetrock it just depends on how far you are shooting and how many sheets your going to go threw and how thick of sheetrock it is some is thicker then others.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: donaldj on July 26, 2011, 10:19:47 AM
I'd strongly advise against birdshot for defensive purposes. It does not have the penetration power necessary to ensure an assailant is rendered incapacitated. Yes, it may hurt, yes it may cause a lot of tissue damage, but if that assailant is armed, you'll wish you had something that will have a greater chance of penetration to end the threat. Dont just think assailant in the summer wearing a greasy tank top. Think armed intruder in the winter with a leather jacket or other heavy dress. Yes, this will reduce the penetration of birdshot even more.

The main advantage that some people erroneously claim is the spread of the shot. This, however, is minimal at home defense distances. If you must go with a shotgun, go with buckshot or slugs. I'd suggest slugs.

As I've mentioned in other threads, home defense with a long gun is unwise unless you have training in moving through tight quarters with said long gun, know how to "slice the pie", and other concepts to ensure you have good concealment and positive control of the weapon. People can forum-armchair this all they want, but you will not get to decide when an intruder enters, or where everyone in your house is when they do (allowing you to all hole up in a safe room or have to go through the house and retrieve people).

My home defense firearm is my concealed carry firearm.



Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: Cooter Brown on July 26, 2011, 11:12:59 AM
I'm partial to #4 buck in either 12 or 20 for HD.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: JimQ on July 26, 2011, 12:11:13 PM
I'd strongly advise against birdshot for defensive purposes. It does not have the penetration power necessary to ensure an assailant is rendered incapacitated. Yes, it may hurt, yes it may cause a lot of tissue damage, but if that assailant is armed, you'll wish you had something that will have a greater chance of penetration to end the threat. Dont just think assailant in the summer wearing a greasy tank top. Think armed intruder in the winter with a leather jacket or other heavy dress. Yes, this will reduce the penetration of birdshot even more.

The main advantage that some people erroneously claim is the spread of the shot. This, however, is minimal at home defense distances. If you must go with a shotgun, go with buckshot or slugs. I'd suggest slugs.

As I've mentioned in other threads, home defense with a long gun is unwise unless you have training in moving through tight quarters with said long gun, know how to "slice the pie", and other concepts to ensure you have good concealment and positive control of the weapon. People can forum-armchair this all they want, but you will not get to decide when an intruder enters, or where everyone in your house is when they do (allowing you to all hole up in a safe room or have to go through the house and retrieve people).

My home defense firearm is my concealed carry firearm.

Very good advice.

Moving around the house with a 28" barreled shotgun isn't easy.

In regards to load, I've heard a lot of discouraging things about bird shot.

Maybe not scientific enough for some, but Box of Truth has posted some results from different shotgun loads http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot3.htm

Jim
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: inbox485 on July 26, 2011, 12:35:58 PM
Buckshot. #4 buck is the bare minimum for penetration standards and not all #4 bucks meet that standard. #1 is about as ideal as it gets, but is hard to find and often doesn't pattern well. 00 buck works and is easy to come by. Slugs are also effective, but can penetrate more walls if you miss (miss with anything that can incapacitate and it can go through a number of walls - don't miss). Birdshot actually covers a wide range from specs of lead that barely drop birds to stuff that is a baby step below #4 buck. But it is easy to generalize since none of it passes penetration standards for defensive use.

I agree with donaldj that long guns can be difficult in tight spaces and that training is needed to "do it right", but I'd add that it is a trade off where long guns are far easier to aim and are almost hard to compare to in terms of stopping ability. IMO, it is also easier to tech a new shooter how to be effective with a shotgun. OTOH, it is also much easier to teach somebody who has handgun marksmanship down to apply that to HD than to teach shotgun from scratch. In the end my solid vote between the two is both and use what makes sense for the situation.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: endurance on July 26, 2011, 01:10:43 PM
Jack was just talking about this topic a little while back and was partial to #3 and #4 Buckshot.  I like 00 buck, but I'm not a shotgunning guy (not a bird hunter and prefer my AR since my mostly likely need for a gun is taking care of coyotes going after the dogs or horses).  I agree with not going with birdshot, it loses its energy too fast to ensure adequate penetration for a quick stop.  Remember that every second the gunfight continues is a second that you're still in danger.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: CR Williams on July 27, 2011, 03:42:40 PM
#4 buckshot at minimum. No birdshot. Preferred is #1 buckshot when you can get it. #00 or #000, why not? How long do you want an intruder to have to kill you before a wide shallow wound caused by small shot makes him bleed out?

You deal with penetration concerns by patterning your shotgun with the chosen defensive load or loads and making sure of your sight line and line of fire.

Bad guys have survived being hit with 12ga shot and slugs. Given that, do you want to deliberately reduce your probability of stopping them right there and right then?
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: joeinwv on July 27, 2011, 05:51:15 PM
I see this question a lot and always have the same answer - 00 buck shot.

If you are shooting someone with a shotgun, you are probably having a very bad day. To that end, you need the maximum amount of knock down you can get.

My main HD shotgun is a Mossie 500. I bought it at a pawn shop and replaced the safety, installed a Wolf mag spring and hi viz poly follower, Hogue over mold stocks and a 18"bbl with oversized silver bead and a sling. I have about $300 in a dead reliable, simple gun. I keep it loaded with one in the chamber. The bad guy is not going to have the luxury of me giving away my position and alerting him I am armed by racking the slide.

Every floor of my house has a shotgun. I am also partial to H&R singles - with a butt cuff, you can keep a decent rate of fire with some practice. Again, 00 buck loads.

You just have to practice with what you have - I have 410, 20 and 12 ga guns in semi, single and pump. I feel well armed with all of them, but my go to is always going to be a 12ga pump with 00.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: donaldj on July 28, 2011, 10:50:44 AM
The bad guy is not going to have the luxury of me giving away my position and alerting him I am armed by racking the slide.

Oh man this reminds me of a story...

at my old workplace, I worked in the electronics lab. Next to me sat a technician who was a major butt kisser with management. As such, the company VP would occasionally come down and talk to us tech's, and would make a point to hang out with Rich (the posterior smoocher).

The VP came down one day to discuss the news of the day, a home invasion near the building had occurred the previous night and the homeowner was badly injured. The VP exclaimed that he kept a 12g under the bed and some shells in the drawer.

"It's all the bad guy can do not to piss himself when he hears that slide racking and you lowering the barrel at him.", he said proudly.

"Excuse me sir", I replied. I was a little nervous about correcting his defense plans. "Can I suggest you keep it loaded and chambered, possibly in a lockable wall mount.", I reply. He looks at me with a 'who the hell are you look'.

"It's just that racking the slide serves only to make an intruder aware of you more. He knows to either run, which is preferable, or dig in and draw his own gun. Furthermore, why are you clearing a house with the barrel up? Why are you clearing the house with an unchambered firearm?"

The scowl he gave me was replaced with a more contemplative tone. Rich, the affection-for-rump, technician was aghast that I would talk to the Veep in such a way.

"You have a good point.", he says. "I'd be in a lot of danger moving around in the dark without a chambered gun. Thanks."

The conversation moved along to other topics, but in the future, the Veep's visits to the lab usually included me.  =)
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: loyalty4eva on July 28, 2011, 12:29:54 PM
Right now my HDS is lowed with slugs but I thought I would ask if anyone has heard of the slugs with 00 buckshot with it in the same shell. I saw some youtube I think it might have been fps russia or something not sure that was shooting alot of diffrent types of shells. This would be a very awsome HD round in my opinion.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: RacinRob on July 28, 2011, 03:08:20 PM
Winchester makes them:
http://www.winchester.com/Products/shotshell-ammunition/supreme-elite/pdx112/Pages/S12PDX1.aspx
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: SteveInTx on July 31, 2011, 01:02:38 PM
Right now my HDS is lowed with slugs but I thought I would ask if anyone has heard of the slugs with 00 buckshot with it in the same shell. I saw some youtube I think it might have been fps russia or something not sure that was shooting alot of diffrent types of shells. This would be a very awsome HD round in my opinion.

Yes, that was what I mentioned in my first post in this thread.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: inbox485 on August 02, 2011, 11:38:37 AM
Right now my HDS is lowed with slugs but I thought I would ask if anyone has heard of the slugs with 00 buckshot with it in the same shell. I saw some youtube I think it might have been fps russia or something not sure that was shooting alot of diffrent types of shells. This would be a very awsome HD round in my opinion.

IMO PDX is nonsense. Not useless, or really bad or anything, just nonsense. First it is expensive. If you have cash for premium buckshot, stick with federal flight control buckshot. That will extend the functional use for buckshot far beyond that of normal buckshot and virtually eliminate the role of slugs for HD use.

As for the components, the PDX slug is accurate enough and works fine. The three buck pellets form a triangle about the spacing you'd expect from economy grade buckshot if not slightly wider (will depend on your shotgun). IOW, they form a doughnut pattern which maximizes risk of a flier missing and minimizes effectiveness, and you are still shooting a slug along with the potential downsides that entails. Finally this is not a reduced recoil round. It is on par with pretty much any other full power 2.75" slug.

I like slugs for what they are meant for, and I like buck shot for what it is meant for, and I don't hate PDX, but I don't think the roles of buck and slugs overlap so much that mixing them in the same shell is warranted nor do I think paying a premium for the stuff is justified.

There is also centurion brand which uses buck and ball and puts the buck behind the ball which may yield tighter patterns over PDX. That would reduce the doughnut aspect a little, but the rest of my opinion would still stand. I haven't felt any interest in trying that stuff out.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: SteveInTx on August 02, 2011, 11:58:50 AM
IMO PDX is nonsense. Not useless, or really bad or anything, just nonsense. First it is expensive. If you have cash for premium buckshot, stick with federal flight control buckshot. That will extend the functional use for buckshot far beyond that of normal buckshot and virtually eliminate the role of slugs for HD use.


The PDX rounds are not really that much more expensive than regular Remington slug rounds.  Can get them for just over $1/round at Academy and the Remington slugs (when you can find them anymore) are pushing $1/round.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: inbox485 on August 02, 2011, 12:40:37 PM
The PDX rounds are not really that much more expensive than regular Remington slug rounds.  Can get them for just over $1/round at Academy and the Remington slugs (when you can find them anymore) are pushing $1/round.

At wally world, slugs are in consistent supply and seem to trend closer to $10 per 15 while the PDX rounds were something like 7.50 for 5. You can get flight control by the case online for around $1 per round if you look for it.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: endurance on August 02, 2011, 12:51:44 PM
I know I'm drifting off topic, but do they still make sabot slugs and are they really better for longer range shooting than standard slugs?  Seems like they'd fly better in theory, if you knew they'd spin.  If they don't really spin, then they'd be even more likely to tumble than a standard slug.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: joeinwv on August 02, 2011, 06:25:16 PM
I know I'm drifting off topic, but do they still make sabot slugs and are they really better for longer range shooting than standard slugs?  Seems like they'd fly better in theory, if you knew they'd spin.  If they don't really spin, then they'd be even more likely to tumble than a standard slug.
The question is do you have a rifled barrel or a smooth barrel.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: tween on August 06, 2011, 05:42:51 AM
since u probablly won't HAVE any longarm when one is needed for defense the only realistic answer is to ccw your pistol at all times.  Having "only" a pistol beats the hell out of that super powerful rifle or shotgun that you aint GOT in hand.

***edited to remove insult***
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: SteveInTx on August 11, 2011, 09:08:45 AM
At wally world, slugs are in consistent supply and seem to trend closer to $10 per 15 while the PDX rounds were something like 7.50 for 5. You can get flight control by the case online for around $1 per round if you look for it.

I don't buy ammo at Wal-Mart anymore.  Never anyone there to serve you and Academy is cheaper.

Either way, PDX is not really that much expensive than just regular slugs.  You are already paying nearly a $1/round, $1.15/round isn't that big of a deal.  If you are watching your money that tightly you probably shouldn't be buying ammo anyway.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: inbox485 on August 11, 2011, 10:31:13 AM
I don't buy ammo at Wal-Mart anymore.  Never anyone there to serve you and Academy is cheaper.

Either way, PDX is not really that much expensive than just regular slugs.  You are already paying nearly a $1/round, $1.15/round isn't that big of a deal.  If you are watching your money that tightly you probably shouldn't be buying ammo anyway.

The price isn't my main sticking point. Side by side, I consider PDX inferior to plain buckshot or slugs. If I thought they were the best thing out there, I'd be fine having a small stock of them. Thing is they have the combined downsides of buckshot and slugs, with no real upside compared to either one individually. The doughnut pattern of the pellets make them somewhere between "of minimal value" and negligent. One of the issues with buckshot is that you are personally responsible for each individual one of them. That is why tight patterns are a good thing. Having three pellets in a wide doughnut pattern "to compensate for aim" (as the PDX labeling promotes) is negligent since the only way any one of the three will hit center of mass is if the pattern is so far off that another pellet or slug will miss. Any hit that keeps the pellets contained on the bad guy will have the slug in the middle making the pellets an after thought at best. Finally if you have three all but worthless pellets, you could have a reduced recoil slug for the same effect without the flier risk.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: jasonthomas on January 04, 2012, 11:41:57 PM
Slugs. Seriously, if you are firing at someone in your own home, you are about to die if you don't eliminate the threat. A slug puts people down like a sledgehammer.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: florida boy on February 04, 2012, 03:54:51 PM
Slugs. Seriously, if you are firing at someone in your own home, you are about to die if you don't eliminate the threat. A slug puts people down like a sledgehammer.

They also don't stop where you'd prefer them to.  I would say slugs inside a building is foolish at best and potentially dangerous.  Where do you live?  Apartment? House? How close are your neighbors?  Is it just you or are you married or have children?  A slug will go straight through a person and then keep going through walls.  If you shoot someone with a slug coming though a window where is it going to stop?  In your neighbors house?  These are all things that MUST be considered when picking a weapon and ammo to use for self defense.

Slugs do have their place, and that is extended range or when you need to shoot through something like a car door for example.  Interesting fact: the bill of a baseball cap can deflect a slug... 

If you choose a shotgun for home defense make sure you pattern it for the specific load you are shooting.  It is very important to know what the shot is going to do at any given distance.   Most shotguns inside 15' are not going to have much of a pattern but you still need to know.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: FreeLancer on February 04, 2012, 06:52:07 PM
I've decided on 00 buckshot for my 12g HD shotguns.  It's easy to find and buy in bulk for around $0.50/rd.

I need a load that can stretch to 25yds, the longest clear shot in my house, and even 00 may be marginal at that range.  With a stucco exterior wall and a concrete block fence to penetrate before it reaches my neighbors, I think the chances of any pellets retaining much effective energy is pretty slim. 
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: Zeroth on February 05, 2012, 05:17:42 AM
 I have Moss. 500, 1st shot is rubber buckshot, just in case, all 4 followup shots are 3" "000" Winchester
buckshot. 3- 3" "000" and 3 -3"  slugs in sidesaddle. 5- 3" "000" buck on stock. In any case, I keep my Taurus
Judge in close reach loaded with 3-PDX1 and 2 -.45 Winchester Hollow point w/quick reload strips of same.
  If that doesn't do it and I have to bring out the artillery, GOD bless this house!!!
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: Mars24 on February 05, 2012, 10:42:05 AM
I run a 12ga with 2 3/4" 00 for HD, with 3" 00 and 3" slug on the side saddle.  I have a small house and the bedrooms are accessed off of a central hallway.  My bedroom anchors one end, kids rooms are off the centerline down the hall.  No neighbors in close proximity.  Over penetration is not a concern, but stopping power is.  An event in the middle of the night would require a page out from home for our LEOs due to our rural location.

The hallway makes the ultimate "fatal funnel" for the bad guy.  To get to anything of consequence they have to step into my line of fire with no cover, and no maneuver room.  If, God forbid, they got into the kids room before we could respond (unlikely due to the hyper-aggressive Australian Shepard) I would probably aim low from near contact range (small rooms), and follow through with enough butt strokes to ensure submission. Of course, the wife is surgical with her 9mm...

I figure the 00/slug loading will allow it function for predator (cougar, bear) control if the goats are threatened as well.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: inbox485 on February 17, 2012, 04:35:42 PM
They also don't stop where you'd prefer them to.  I would say slugs inside a building is foolish at best and potentially dangerous.  Where do you live?  Apartment? House? How close are your neighbors?  Is it just you or are you married or have children?  A slug will go straight through a person and then keep going through walls.  If you shoot someone with a slug coming though a window where is it going to stop?  In your neighbors house?  These are all things that MUST be considered when picking a weapon and ammo to use for self defense.

Penetration is a concern with any ammo suitable for defensive use, but lead slugs DO NOT over penetrate. In fact, a number of the magnum lead slugs UNDER penetrate due to the extra fragmentation from the extra speed. Federal has a really cool set of photos for calibrated penetration testing here: http://le.atk.com/pdf/Shotshell_Data_Book.pdf. The issue with slugs is that under worse case conditions (90 degrees against drywall directly in between the studs), slugs can penetrate 6 walls, while buckshot will penetrate 3-4. (defensive handgun rounds 9mm - .45ACP all sail through 6 walls under those conditions by the way - just for those that think a shotgun is too much indoors). The site is a bit convoluted IMO (I love it anyway), but go to Box of Truth for a series of drywall and pine board penetration articles.

Quote
Slugs do have their place, and that is extended range or when you need to shoot through something like a car door for example.  Interesting fact: the bill of a baseball cap can deflect a slug... 

Buckshot is one mean mudder thanks to the multiple wound tracks that happen simultaneously. A single buckshot hit is like getting several handgun hits all at once. But it is range limited, and slugs stay on target a lot further. My personal opinion is that buckshot trumps slugs at appropriate ranges, but a slug is close second out to a much further range. On the baseball cap - I won't call BS in the sense that it could have never happened, but I'd put it in the realm of crazy ammo crap that if it has ever happened, I doubt you could repeat it. Heavy projectiles tend to not deflect.

Quote
If you choose a shotgun for home defense make sure you pattern it for the specific load you are shooting.  It is very important to know what the shot is going to do at any given distance.   Most shotguns inside 15' are not going to have much of a pattern but you still need to know.

You'd be surprised at what types of spread you can get even at 15'. But otherwise, yup - thou shalt pattern thy shotgun or don't use buckshot.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: Orionblade on March 20, 2012, 06:01:01 PM
I was about to ask this question:

"Do they have slugs made from that sintered tin/copper powder composition like I've seen in .223 and 9mm loadings?"

And then I did a google search:

http://frangiblebullets.com/xcart/12-Gauge-Shotgun-Slug-325gr.-Case-of-250.html

http://frangiblebullets.com/xcart/12-Gauge-Shotgun-Buck-9-Pellet-270gr.-Box-of-5.html

and these are off-topic, but if they are what I think they are, then they'd be epic...

http://frangiblebullets.com/xcart/12-Gauge-Shotgun-Breaching-325gr.-Box-of-5.html
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: inbox485 on March 20, 2012, 06:26:57 PM
I was about to ask this question:

"Do they have slugs made from that sintered tin/copper powder composition like I've seen in .223 and 9mm loadings?"

And then I did a google search:

http://frangiblebullets.com/xcart/12-Gauge-Shotgun-Slug-325gr.-Case-of-250.html

http://frangiblebullets.com/xcart/12-Gauge-Shotgun-Buck-9-Pellet-270gr.-Box-of-5.html

and these are off-topic, but if they are what I think they are, then they'd be epic...

http://frangiblebullets.com/xcart/12-Gauge-Shotgun-Breaching-325gr.-Box-of-5.html

I've never seen a frangible round that could penetrate enough to be effective. They exist for range safety reasons and are not in any way shape or form appropriate for defensive use. You don't want a round that packs a bunch of dust 1-2" into a guy's chest. You want the ones that go the distance and turn vital organs into useless goo.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: will3117 on March 29, 2012, 12:48:15 AM
 Seems like a lot of people here mix there loads,  every site ive read says that's a mistake since you lose track of whats next...that being said I run  bird shot from ten feet head or chest your done and if I miss I dont blow holes in my walls...
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: inbox485 on March 29, 2012, 01:43:17 AM
Seems like a lot of people here mix there loads,  every site ive read says that's a mistake since you lose track of whats next...that being said I run  bird shot from ten feet head or chest your done and if I miss I dont blow holes in my walls...

Birdshot will blow through walls, it can be fatal (generally infections days later), tends to cause sever disfigurement, but it doesn't penetrate enough to immediately stop an assailant. IOW, it will do everything you don't want it to, and nothing you do want it to. It is the biggest FAIL train in home defense mythology.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: trekker111 on March 29, 2012, 02:41:28 AM
I regularly hunt squirrel and rabbits with birdshot. Over the years I have noticed that when cleaning the animals, I find a lot of pellets that are just under the hide.

The FBI tested shotgun loads extensively and found that the smallest shot size that reliably penetrated deep enough to reach the central nervous system (which it what is required of any projectile to immediately stop an attacker) from all angles at typical shotgun ranges was #1 buck. And since the standard load of #1 buck is 16 pellets vs. 00 bucks 9 pellets, you have almost double the probability that a pellet will disrupt the cns and end the incident.

Have you ever seen what makes up a less-lethal bean bag type shotgun round? A Kevlar sock filled with birdshot. Never would have believed it if I hadn't examined one we fired during training. We shot it at a target mounted to 1/2 inch plywood. It penetrated, but tore open and out came birdshot, roughly 7 1/2 size shot.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: IceDeep on April 04, 2012, 04:04:11 PM
Birdshot will blow through walls, it can be fatal (generally infections days later), tends to cause sever disfigurement, but it doesn't penetrate enough to immediately stop an assailant. IOW, it will do everything you don't want it to, and nothing you do want it to. It is the biggest FAIL train in home defense mythology.

Birdshot will leave a nice whole in your wall (about first size with one shot, about dinner plate sized with 3-4) along with a nice spray pattern of little holes. I know this for a fact at least with #8 birdshot and my shotgun (Rem 870 - 28' smooth bore)

I thought the same (Birdshot doesn't penetrate) and shot at a target a few times quick fire (about 4 rounds in less than 4 seconds) and it destroyed the plywood the target was on. I actually felt bad as it was my friends range and I didn't know it would do that. One thing I did learn at least for me a pump is about 5x better than a automatic. A automatic to me seems to kick more, is heavier and followup shots are slower. With a pump I seem to be able to get back on target almost instantly by racking the pump.

As far as best rounds it's pretty simple that it goes about in the following order...

#1 Buck
000 Buck
00 Buck
Slugs

After that your really out of the Home Defense rounds and into stuff like #4 bird which might be ok, but I wouldn't trust it.

I keep 3 rounds of 00 Buck follower by 1 slug in my gun, after reading on here i'm considering keeping the gun loaded with 1 00 buck, with 4 00 bucks to follow. I would use 000 buck or #1 but it's hard to find and I know the pattern of 00 buck well in my gun which is my #2 concern only behind my safety.

Also I can confirm even a 380 will penetrate at least 1 wall with enough momentum to put about a 3/4 inch dent in steel. So even with a handgun you must think about shot placement and everything behind the target. For me that means I would have to aim low, or aim high which means it's even more important to know the pattern of your shotgun with the rounds you use.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: 16onRockandRoll on April 10, 2012, 11:11:40 PM
Most police that I know of use 00.  That's what I use.  I figure it's more defensible.  The wifes 20 is loaded with #3 buck.  there isn't much option for 20 ga.  That said, if I had to, I would use whatever I could get my hands on.  I don't put much stock into anything smaller than #4 buck, but I sure as heck wouldn't want to take a 2oz load of #5s from a 3-1/2" turkey shell!  Especially with the turkey choke tube in. But I don't consider it a good HD round.  It is not going to look good in court, you can't drive to or from turkey hunting with a loaded gun, so it's obvious you loaded a 3-1/2"er in as HD, and i doubt even hitting a stud would stop all of the pellets.  That is a lot of lead to hit all at once!
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: DDJ on December 16, 2013, 11:05:11 AM
The Sportsman's club I belong to has a monthly "Lucky-X" shoot.  As targets we use 1/4in ply behind the cardboard backed paper targets.  Often we bring in targets and can rattle the shot out of the cardboard.  Not that most people have a HD range of 25yards but if there is not enough energy at 25 yards to pass through card board all the time I question it as a n HD load.  In all fairness I also watch the plywood backers come apart by the end of 24 rounds.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: Mortblanc on December 20, 2013, 11:01:36 AM
If your loads will not pass through cardboard at 25 yards you have a batch of defective shells on your hands!

The Walmart cheapo #8 shot I used last week to pattern a new barrel was tearing heavy box board to shreds at 40 yards.

All in all I read mostly perpetuated myth, "cops use", and a "friend of my cousin said..." in this thread.

In the meantime there are some of us out there shooting critters of various sizes at ranges you fellows seem to consider freakish for the shotgun and we are killing things very dead on a daily basis.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: inbox485 on December 20, 2013, 12:06:44 PM
If your loads will not pass through cardboard at 25 yards you have a batch of defective shells on your hands!

The Walmart cheapo #8 shot I used last week to pattern a new barrel was tearing heavy box board to shreds at 40 yards.

All in all I read mostly perpetuated myth, "cops use", and a "friend of my cousin said..." in this thread.

In the meantime there are some of us out there shooting critters of various sizes at ranges you fellows seem to consider freakish for the shotgun and we are killing things very dead on a daily basis.

Not sure if you would consider it more perpetuated myth, but the FBI gets to study killing human things very dead rather extensively, and their best minds say #4 Buck is a bare minimum, and #1 Buck is the lowest pellet size they will recommend. For common gauge shotguns, that makes load selection pretty simple. Anything in the #1 to 000 buck range that patterns well in your shotgun with the option of #4 buck to #2 buck with the risk of sub par penetration.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: Clybrad on January 09, 2014, 01:21:15 PM
I have started mixing my magazine in my 12 gauge.  I have 3 bird and then 2 buck.  The idea behind it is that I live in an apartment with people all around me.  When I consider shooting someone that is coming down the hallway at me I start to think about the homes that are around me.  I am literally surrounded by apartments that the walls are so thin I can hear my neighbors toy poodle running up and down the hall.  I understand the need for high penetration power when the assailant is wearing a thick leather jacket, however I am worried that if for some reason I miss or my wife misses the traveling load will enter the next apartment, and then the next.  I do however have a plan that if the assailant is coming down the hallway at me and I cant stop him with 3 bird then the next two will finish the job.  As for everywhere else in the house, I am armed with my concealed carry weapon.

Now when we move to our home in the country I am planning on upgrading my load to include slugs and buck, but until then I have to think about what is behind my target, not just my target itself.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: inbox485 on January 09, 2014, 02:38:21 PM
I have started mixing my magazine in my 12 gauge.  I have 3 bird and then 2 buck.  The idea behind it is that I live in an apartment with people all around me.  When I consider shooting someone that is coming down the hallway at me I start to think about the homes that are around me.  I am literally surrounded by apartments that the walls are so thin I can hear my neighbors toy poodle running up and down the hall.  I understand the need for high penetration power when the assailant is wearing a thick leather jacket, however I am worried that if for some reason I miss or my wife misses the traveling load will enter the next apartment, and then the next.  I do however have a plan that if the assailant is coming down the hallway at me and I cant stop him with 3 bird then the next two will finish the job.  As for everywhere else in the house, I am armed with my concealed carry weapon.

Now when we move to our home in the country I am planning on upgrading my load to include slugs and buck, but until then I have to think about what is behind my target, not just my target itself.


I get that. Consider taking a solid 4 day course, get a feel for your skill level, and you might reconsider. Personally I use buck shot, buck shot, and more buck shot. If I ever add a shell holder, I'd put a couple slugs in it, but even within the slim odds of needing the shotgun to begin with, the odds are slim I'd ever need slugs around home. But if I ever felt the need to go lower than buck, I personally would use rubber shot not bird shot.

I generally don't advocate this, but for those dead set on not using front to back buck shot for whatever reason, rubber ball loads are far better options than bird shot. Bird shot causes some nasty injuries, and can kill eventually or if you get super lucky, but in the moment that you are shooting to stop, birdshot relies on pain compliance and the mental impact of being shot. Bird shot will go through walls with enough energy to severly maim anybody on the other side. Rubber ball loads give the exact same pain compliance and mental impact of being shot, only they generally won't penetrate even one wall, they don't expose you to extremely high litigation exposure for maiming somebody, they have the bonus of if you were to shoot somebody you were 100% certain deserved to be shot then found out it was the neighbors kid being an idiot, the lesson can be less life altering, and finally, they have pretty much zero kick so follow up shots can be much faster than with bird shot. The only upside to bird shot is it is dirt cheap. In every other category, there are better things for dealing with two legged critters.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: inbox485 on January 09, 2014, 02:42:36 PM

I get that. Consider taking a solid 4 day course, get a feel for your skill level, and you might reconsider. Personally I use buck shot, buck shot, and more buck shot. If I ever add a shell holder, I'd put a couple slugs in it, but even within the slim odds of needing the shotgun to begin with, the odds are slim I'd ever need slugs around home. But if I ever felt the need to go lower than buck, I personally would use rubber shot not bird shot.

I generally don't advocate this, but for those dead set on not using front to back buck shot for whatever reason, rubber ball loads are far better options than bird shot. Bird shot causes some nasty injuries, and can kill eventually or if you get super lucky, but in the moment that you are shooting to stop, birdshot relies on pain compliance and the mental impact of being shot. Bird shot will go through walls with enough energy to severly maim anybody on the other side. Rubber ball loads give the exact same pain compliance and mental impact of being shot, only they generally won't penetrate even one wall, they don't expose you to extremely high litigation exposure for maiming somebody, they have the bonus of if you were to shoot somebody you were 100% certain deserved to be shot then found out it was the neighbors kid being an idiot, the lesson can be less life altering, and finally, they have pretty much zero kick so follow up shots can be much faster than with bird shot. The only upside to bird shot is it is dirt cheap. In every other category, there are better things for dealing with two legged critters.


Also I should mention that the dirt cheap version of rubber shot is rock salt. You can make your own by dumping out the birdshot and adding rock salt, but I would save that tip for the end of the world mob control. I wouldn't use it so long as DA's are employed.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: PrepperJim on January 09, 2014, 03:08:36 PM
I am a pretty good sized guy (5'11 and 220+), but 00 was just too much recoil for me. The first time I shot it, I had bruise on my shoulder. Yes, my technique sucked, but even after I corrected my errors, the recoil was prohibitive for followup accuracy and also comfort.  I read a book about tactical shotguns by a police officer and he recommended training and using reduced recoil 00. I bought a couple of boxes, tried it and loved it. I don't think it gave up too much stopping power to drop the powder load down a little. So I bought more and actually enjoy shooting the 870 instead of dreading it.

Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: inbox485 on January 09, 2014, 04:38:24 PM
I am a pretty good sized guy (5'11 and 220+), but 00 was just too much recoil for me. The first time I shot it, I had bruise on my shoulder. Yes, my technique sucked, but even after I corrected my errors, the recoil was prohibitive for followup accuracy and also comfort.  I read a book about tactical shotguns by a police officer and he recommended training and using reduced recoil 00. I bought a couple of boxes, tried it and loved it. I don't think it gave up too much stopping power to drop the powder load down a little. So I bought more and actually enjoy shooting the 870 instead of dreading it.



Training with full power buckshot takes a real masochist. I've done it and had the plum shoulder to show for it. I'll go through a couple dozen shells here and there (skeet with water jugs is a favorite of mine), but that is about all I'd want to take in a day. Most people train with bird shot since it is cheap and similar in recoil to reduced recoil buck shot and it is easier on targets.

As far as difference in stopping capability, Reduced recoil would theoretically reduce the range, and it reduces the pellet deformation, but I've looked at gel comparisons, and I don't recall there being much of a difference. The penetration of reduced, full, and magnum buckshot is generally the same due to deformation that happens in the shell and on the target, and at indoor range, I don't think the person getting hit will be able to tell the difference.

If you want the cheat sheet for the round without equal it is Federal Reduced Recoil Flight Control in either 00 Buck and #1 Buck (darn near impossible to find, but has a higher pellet count/surface area with consistent penetration depth and the FC wad fixes the pattern issues that other 12 ga #1 buck loads have).
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: trekker111 on January 09, 2014, 05:42:09 PM
We did a test during our last shotgun qual, because we had several officers that were whining about shooting buckshot. We use a lot of birdshot for training, just to save money.

During the night fire we ran a shotgun drill with all of our officers, which ran the gambit from dedicated waterfowl and dove hunters, and sporting clays shooters who shoot thousands, if not tens of thousands, of shells a year, to officers that only pull their shotguns out of the rack for mandated training. Basically, the officers were instructed that when the drill began, they would be handed 5 shells, which would be a mix of birdshot and buckshot in an unknown ratio. They would take their rounds and load their shotgun while moving to the firing line, then fire the rounds as fast as possible into the target. The target was painted white and illuminated by chem lights, otherwise the entire drill occured in complete darkness. After the drill, the officers were asked how many of each type shot they had, even though everyone was given 2 buck and 3 bird. Noboby guessed right, and some accused us of either all birdshot, or all buckshot.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: inbox485 on January 09, 2014, 07:28:52 PM
We did a test during our last shotgun qual, because we had several officers that were whining about shooting buckshot. We use a lot of birdshot for training, just to save money.

During the night fire we ran a shotgun drill with all of our officers, which ran the gambit from dedicated waterfowl and dove hunters, and sporting clays shooters who shoot thousands, if not tens of thousands, of shells a year, to officers that only pull their shotguns out of the rack for mandated training. Basically, the officers were instructed that when the drill began, they would be handed 5 shells, which would be a mix of birdshot and buckshot in an unknown ratio. They would take their rounds and load their shotgun while moving to the firing line, then fire the rounds as fast as possible into the target. The target was painted white and illuminated by chem lights, otherwise the entire drill occured in complete darkness. After the drill, the officers were asked how many of each type shot they had, even though everyone was given 2 buck and 3 bird. Noboby guessed right, and some accused us of either all birdshot, or all buckshot.

Was that your typical Walmart buck shot or was that reduced recoil? Either way I believe it. Back to back I can tell that one kicked harder than the other, and I know my shoulder feels better after a day of clay shooting than ripping through buck shot and slugs, but if you handed me a random shell, I probably wouldn't guess right very often.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: trekker111 on January 09, 2014, 07:54:30 PM
It was our issued ammo remington express 2 ¾" #1 buck, 16 pellet, loaded at 1250fps, fired from mainly remington 870 police magnums, with a mix of 18 and 20 inch barrels, and a couple benelli m1 super 90's.

One of the other things I found interesting was the duck hunters, especially the one who burns up all his vacation time traveling across the south to hunt ducks, had his 870 running so fast it made an AA12 seem slow, but with people yelling trying to produce stress, he only loaded 3 rounds, yet his total time was still significantly faster than many, even after loading 3, shooting, and loading the last 2 and shooting them.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: PrepperJim on January 11, 2014, 03:36:21 PM
Training with full power buckshot takes a real masochist. I've done it and had the plum shoulder to show for it.

I agree. The reduced recoil 00 is tolerable. I highly recommend it.

I don't shoot a lot of shotgun, but like to take it out 2-3 times a year just to keep familiar with running it.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: 16onRockandRoll on January 12, 2014, 09:38:52 PM
One thing I look for in reduced recoil buck is 8 pellet loads at full velocity. I would rather give up one possible wound channel, than give up what can be a substantial amount of penetration. Though I prefer the sub-00 loads in most cases. 
  And please please please go shoot a couple pieces of drywall with birdshot a couple times before you give up an effective round for a much less effective one that will still blow through multiple walls like they weren't there! I do this demonstration in my long gun class and 8 shot from a 20 gauge regularly penetrates 6 layers of drywall spaced out like an interior wall.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: inbox485 on January 12, 2014, 10:55:20 PM
One thing I look for in reduced recoil buck is 8 pellet loads at full velocity. I would rather give up one possible wound channel, than give up what can be a substantial amount of penetration. Though I prefer the sub-00 loads in most cases. 

I'm sure it is load dependent, but on the federal line, the penetration is the same. 8 vs 9 vs 12 vs 15, reduced vs full vs magnum all penetrated the same distances give or take. The difference in velocity translates to a difference in deformation, and the penetration comes out the same. I'm thoroughly unconvinced that it makes any measurable difference either way, but the broad range of buck shot velocities that penetrate the exact same distance was interesting when I came across it. To me 8 vs 9 should be compared for pellet pattern and rule out either if pattern issues are seen. I've been meaning to order a case of the #1 buck federal started making not too long ago.

Quote
  And please please please go shoot a couple pieces of drywall with birdshot a couple times before you give up an effective round for a much less effective one that will still blow through multiple walls like they weren't there! I do this demonstration in my long gun class and 8 shot from a 20 gauge regularly penetrates 6 layers of drywall spaced out like an interior wall.

That is exactly why I say that bird shot is the worst of all possible loads in all possible combinations. There is literally no upside to it except cost and even that is only if you don't load.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: MississippiJarhead on January 13, 2014, 12:07:36 AM
I have ten #4s in my 1100 12 gauge but on the shelf next to it is a shorty AR with 30 rounds of hollow point varmint loads. I'd most likely grab the AR if I were responding to something in the home.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: trekker111 on January 13, 2014, 08:34:22 AM
I have ten #4s in my 1100 12 gauge but on the shelf next to it is a shorty AR with 30 rounds of hollow point varmint loads. I'd most likely grab the AR if I were responding to something in the home.

Exactly, I keep my personal 12ga loaded with 8 rounds of winchester supreme, 3" magnum 15 pellet 00, but usually grab my AR if I think something is amiss. I patterned both my personal, and my issued shotguns with a variety of buckshot loads and found that they will keep all the pellets in a silhouette target out to 65 yards. It is interesting to see the trajectory of a load of buckshot, and it was quite noticable. At 65 yards I was holding the bead at the upper chest, where your collar bones would come together.

I went the other way though on the load, I keep it loaded with a 30 rnd p-mag of 75gr TAP.

I have shot enough squirrels with 7½ shot, at what would be home defense ranges, to know not to try birdshot on a person. It is rare when cleaning a squirrel to find more than a couple of pellets that penetrate more than about ¼", and most are just under the hide. Yet my teenage self learned that 3 or 4 loads of that same 7½ will cut down a sapling in short order.

Hard targets are completely different than flesh. I've shot 223 rounds at mild steel plate which penetrated, yet the same load fired into a deer at about the same range doesn't pass through completely.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: MississippiJarhead on January 13, 2014, 09:51:27 AM
I've blown the head clean off a rabbit at what many would consider, at about ten yards, with #6s. The wadding was next to the rabbit. Granted we always used high brass duck and pheasant loads. I just think #4s are the minimum I'd probably use for home defense. There is a strong case for using 00, like law enforcement, if you are in one of the more litigious states.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: inbox485 on January 13, 2014, 10:04:05 AM
I've blown the head clean off a rabbit at what many would consider, at about ten yards, with #6s. The wadding was next to the rabbit. Granted we always used high brass duck and pheasant loads. I just think #4s are the minimum I'd probably use for home defense. There is a strong case for using 00, like law enforcement, if you are in one of the more litigious states.

Not sure if you mean #4 bird or #4 buck, but any time somebody is willing to go to metalic shot in a shotgun, I can't think of a single valid reason to use anything less than #4 buck, and #1 buck makes a lot more sense. #8 will go through walls and cause life altering injuries if you miss so it isn't like you are any safer by using something that won't penetrate to human effective standards.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: Mortblanc on January 13, 2014, 11:52:10 AM
OK so lets look at that last little thing, which seems quite typical of the entire thread.

#8 shot will go trough walls and cause life threatening injury, but is in no way usable due to its ineffective penetration?

Does that mean that it is not useful in open field of fire but IS deadly if it goes through a wall first?

And why do I need 8" of penetration to hit organs that are only 3 inches from the body surface?

And how are you killing game if the shot is bouncing off the skin?

This entire thread has turned into a tangle of impossible contradictions.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: inbox485 on January 13, 2014, 03:38:30 PM
OK so lets look at that last little thing, which seems quite typical of the entire thread.

#8 shot will go trough walls and cause life threatening injury, but is in no way usable due to its ineffective penetration?

Does that mean that it is not useful in open field of fire but IS deadly if it goes through a wall first?

And why do I need 8" of penetration to hit organs that are only 3 inches from the body surface?

And how are you killing game if the shot is bouncing off the skin?

This entire thread has turned into a tangle of impossible contradictions.


I get the confusion, so I'll explain a bit.

The standard for penetration on human targets is 12" or more in calibrated gel. This isn't the same jello you see a lot on youtube, but gel that has been formulated and maintained at a controlled temperature and a calibration BB is shot through a chronograph to validate the penetration depth of a steel BB at a controlled velocity range. That gel more or less correlates to average tissue penetration (an example is there is a demo video of a pork hind half with gel behind it, and a block of plain gel, and the demo shows equal penetration depth). Not all tissue is equal so 4" of gel penetration does not mean you will get 4" into a chest even on an unobstructed frontal shot. 12" comes from a worst case path to the heart from the rear right, but it also relates to various obstructions that routinely happen in defensive shooting, and the FBI group that came up with it continues to back it as being the benchmark of a round that will consistently penetrate to the vital organs.

Penetration to vital organs is critical in forcing an assailant to stop rather than hoping the mental impact and pain compliance are sufficient. Penetration to vital organs is NOT critical to inflicting horrible gruesome wounds that could eventually result in death or permanent disfigurement.  Birdshot does not bounce off skin at defensive ranges. It tends to tear it to hell and stop at the first bone or cartilage layer. It also tend to rip out teeth, destroy eyes, perforate major joints, rupture intestines, so on and so forth, but none of those are consistent results or reliable for ceasing a dedicated assailant. Look up the first two face transplant recipients. Both took bird shot point blank to the face and were able to call 911 afterward.

If you shoot an assailant, they have a fair chance of dying, or they might be disfigured for life, but right then and there the only thing that matters is that it is their choice if they will continue fighting or not. So long as they continue to be a threat, you should be doing everything you can to take that choice away from them in as short of time as possible. If you shoot your kid in the next room over, he has a fair chance of dying, or he might be permanently disfigured, and the only thing that will matter at that moment is the fact that your kid just got shot and his life will never be the same.

Bird shot doesn't make shooting indoors any safer for bystanders. It just means your assailant gets to choose when to quit rather than you choosing for him.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: livinitup0 on January 13, 2014, 04:02:25 PM
was thinking the same... every thread on this topic on any forum ive seen ends the same way (agreeing to disagree)

Im really trying to figure out a safe and reliable HD option for my apartment but every shotgun option I have thought of has either been called extremely dangerous either because of over penetration (00 buck) or not having enough stopping power (birdshot).

basically if I go through a wall im extremely likely to harm someone no matter what...one of the biggest reasons I haven't decided on a HD firearm yet. Highly frustrating.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: inbox485 on January 13, 2014, 04:12:58 PM
was thinking the same... every thread on this topic on any forum ive seen ends the same way (agreeing to disagree)

Im really trying to figure out a safe and reliable HD option for my apartment but every shotgun option I have thought of has either been called extremely dangerous either because of over penetration (00 buck) or not having enough stopping power (birdshot).

basically if I go through a wall im extremely likely to harm someone no matter what...one of the biggest reasons I haven't decided on a HD firearm yet. Highly frustrating.

If it can forcibly stop a human being, a couple layers of drywall aren't going to make much difference, but humans make great bullet stops. Maybe take a class or two and see where your comfort level is. If you want to compromise and go for pain compliance, rubber ball, and bear foggers are better options than birdshot. Point is, birdshot isn't a happy medium, it is the worst of both worlds.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: trekker111 on January 13, 2014, 09:42:50 PM
OK so lets look at that last little thing, which seems quite typical of the entire thread.

#8 shot will go trough walls and cause life threatening injury, but is in no way usable due to its ineffective penetration? Penetrating a person (flesh), and penetrating a wall (hard) is 2 different things. Same as the 223 round i referenced, which will penetrate a ?" mild steel plate, yet doesn't pass through a deer completely, usually ending up in the off side ribs.

Does that mean that it is not useful in open field of fire but IS deadly if it goes through a wall first?
It's not anymore "deadly" after passing through a wall, but is still quite capable of causing permanent disfigurement, and maybe a slow agonizing death. Many people who choose to use birdshot for defense do so based on the false assumption that it won't penetrate a wall, combined with the false assumption that it will disable the attacker. It may dissable them, may not. 

And why do I need 8" of penetration to hit organs that are only 3 inches from the body surface?hitting organs does not stop a threat, damaging the central nervous system does, and birdshot can not penetrate that deep unless you shoot them in the back. Organ damage kills eventually, it may take a few seconds, it could take a few weeks.

And how are you killing game if the shot is bouncing off the skin?

This entire thread has turned into a tangle of impossible contradictions.


The most common result of birdshot wounds on people is permanent disfigurement and scarring. The sort of injury that juries love to award money for. Getting hit by a load of birdshot would hurt like hell, which might stop an attacker, or make them attack harder. They may turn and run, or they may shoot you.

We had a burglary a few years ago where the homeowner shot the burglar with a load of 7½birdshot from a distance of roughly 25 ft, from the bedroom door to the front door. We tracked the burglar for about a mile with a bloodhound, caught him, arrested him, and took him by the hospital on the way to jail. The majority of the shot load either missed, or failed to penetrate the guys clothing. The couple hundred pellets that did injure him, many of which were visible from the outside. Most of the pellets were removed by the ER Dr by simply squeezing them out, similar to popping a pimple, after that the Dr switched to tweezers, then a scalpel and tweezers. The guy still has a few pellets, about 12, that were in the rib cage wall. None of the pellets caused organ damage. He went to jail a few hours later with a prescription for penicillin. Our castle doctirine law protects a homeowner from civil liability, yet this burglar was able to get a law suit started on the basis that a reasonable person would know that birdshot would not cause death or incapacitation, therefore, the homeowner purposefully caused pain and disfigurement and was acting in malice, not self defense. A judge called BS and dismissed the case, but it still ended up costing the homeowner a couple thousand dollars in attorney fees.

Not what I'm going to trust my life, or the lives of my family to.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: MississippiJarhead on January 14, 2014, 12:28:09 AM
Our castle doctirine law protects a homeowner from civil liability, yet this burglar was able to get a law suit started on the basis that a reasonable person would know that birdshot would not cause death or incapacitation, therefore, the homeowner purposefully caused pain and disfigurement and was acting in malice, not self defense. A judge called BS and dismissed the case, but it still ended up costing the homeowner a couple thousand dollars in attorney fees.

Not what I'm going to trust my life, or the lives of my family to.
Hmmm, being rabbit hunting was all I ever used a shotgun for there were years #6s were the only shotgun shells I had on hand. One could argue that effectively in most any jurisdiction, I would imagine. The same argument could likely be effectively made for shooting an intruder with any hunting weapon/ammo. "Was the .45-70 with 500 grain buffalo bore hollow points overkill for self defense? Sure, but I'm a hunter and they were all I had."
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: Gulo gulo on January 14, 2014, 04:45:02 AM
My father in law is a doctor. When he was with the bureau of Indian affairs in Nome, Alaska he treated an inebriate who had been shot with birdshot (I don't remember why he was shot, banging on the wrong door, insisting it was his house maybe). He said it only penetrated under the skin, hanging out on top or barely imbedded in the abdominal muscle. The guy was awake most of the time, repeating "you shot me! You shot me!" Til he was put on the airplane to anchorage. Don't use birdshot for home defense.
Title: Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
Post by: Clybrad on January 16, 2014, 05:31:13 PM
Thank you inbox for your suggestion.  I will do some research on rubber rounds.  I never thought of that... I love this forum.