Author Topic: Best shell for shotgun HD!  (Read 9374 times)

Offline loyalty4eva

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Best shell for shotgun HD!
« on: July 25, 2011, 04:58:04 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.

Offline RacinRob

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2011, 06:52:30 AM »
Maybe some #4 turkey load? It is still bird shot right?

Offline Clybrad

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 08:03:48 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.
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Offline Bolomark

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2011, 07:39:20 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.
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Offline SteveInTx

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2011, 08:17:02 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. 

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Offline technicalanarchy

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2011, 09:10:03 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.
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Offline Nate

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2011, 10:36:59 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.
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Offline Bradbn4

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2011, 11:22:08 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.

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Offline loyalty4eva

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2011, 07:22:27 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.

Offline donaldj

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2011, 11:19:47 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.



Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move."     -Captain America

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Offline Cooter Brown

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2011, 12:12:59 PM »
I'm partial to #4 buck in either 12 or 20 for HD.
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Offline JimQ

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2011, 01:11:13 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

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2011, 01:35:58 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.

Offline endurance

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2011, 02:10:43 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.
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Offline CR Williams

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2011, 04:42:40 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?
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Offline joeinwv

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2011, 06:51:15 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.

Offline donaldj

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2011, 11:50:44 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.  =)
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move."     -Captain America

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Offline loyalty4eva

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2011, 01:29:54 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.

Offline RacinRob

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Offline SteveInTx

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2011, 02:02:38 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.
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inbox485

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2011, 12:38:37 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.

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.

Offline SteveInTx

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2011, 12:58:50 PM »
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.
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inbox485

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2011, 01:40:37 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.

Offline endurance

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2011, 01:51:44 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.
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Offline joeinwv

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2011, 07:25:16 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.
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Offline tween

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2011, 06:42:51 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***
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 12:09:21 PM by TexDaddy »

Offline SteveInTx

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2011, 10:08:45 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.
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inbox485

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2011, 11:31:13 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.

Offline jasonthomas

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2012, 12:41:57 AM »
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.
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Offline florida boy

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2012, 04:54:51 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.