Author Topic: Best shell for shotgun HD!  (Read 9455 times)

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #30 on: February 04, 2012, 07:52:07 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. 
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Offline Zeroth

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2012, 06:17:42 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!!!
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Offline Mars24

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2012, 11:42:05 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.
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inbox485

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2012, 05:35:42 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.

Offline Orionblade

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2012, 07:01:01 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
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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2012, 07:26:57 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.

Offline will3117

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #36 on: March 29, 2012, 01:48:15 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...

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #37 on: March 29, 2012, 02:43:17 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.

Offline trekker111

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #38 on: March 29, 2012, 03:41:28 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.

Offline IceDeep

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #39 on: April 04, 2012, 05:04:11 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.

Offline 16onRockandRoll

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #40 on: April 11, 2012, 12:11:40 AM »
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!
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Offline DDJ

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #41 on: December 16, 2013, 12:05:11 PM »
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.

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2013, 12:01:36 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.

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #43 on: December 20, 2013, 01:06:44 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.

Offline Clybrad

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2014, 02:21:15 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.
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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #45 on: January 09, 2014, 03:38:21 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.

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2014, 03:42:36 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.

Offline PrepperJim

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2014, 04:08:36 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.

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2014, 05:38:24 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).

Offline trekker111

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #49 on: January 09, 2014, 06:42:09 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.

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #50 on: January 09, 2014, 08:28:52 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.

Offline trekker111

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #51 on: January 09, 2014, 08:54:30 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.

Offline PrepperJim

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #52 on: January 11, 2014, 04:36:21 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.
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Offline 16onRockandRoll

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #53 on: January 12, 2014, 10:38:52 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.
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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #54 on: January 12, 2014, 11:55:20 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.

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  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.

Offline MississippiJarhead

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #55 on: January 13, 2014, 01:07:36 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.
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Offline trekker111

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #56 on: January 13, 2014, 09:34:22 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.

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #57 on: January 13, 2014, 10:51:27 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.
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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #58 on: January 13, 2014, 11:04:05 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.

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Best shell for shotgun HD!
« Reply #59 on: January 13, 2014, 12:52:10 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.