Reduced Recoil Buckshot for HD?


June 26, 2005, 03:37 PM
I've read that birdshot lacks enough penetration to reliably reach the vitals. Gelatin tests produced something like 5-6" of maximum penetration with birdshot.

However, many buckshot loads produce massive recoil, and I want to be able to control the gun effectively (get reasonable time for follow-up shots).

Federal cancelled their Personal Defense (low-recoil) shotgun loads from what I can tell.

Is anyone currently making a lower-than-normal recoil buckshot load that is suitable for home defense? The gun would be a Remington 870 HD (18" barrel). What type of buckshot would be best for home defense, #4, #00, other?

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June 26, 2005, 06:05 PM
The Federal low recoil is listed on their website ,in #4 and 00. Remington has 00 buck.The low recoil rounds have been found to be very effective for HD.

The Rabbi
June 26, 2005, 06:14 PM
Law Enforcement Supply in Nashville has Remington reduced recoil buck for an unbelievably cheap price.

June 26, 2005, 11:27 PM
Another place is Ammoman. They have ample supplies of low recoil Federal Tactical in 000 buck (LE 132-000), 00 buck with FliteControl wad, for super tight patterns (LE 132-00), and 00 buck 8 pellet (LE 133-00).

Winchester makes a hunting version of their LE Ranger low recoil ammo. Remington has their 8 pellet LE low recoil load.

Northwest Loading Supplies has Hornady TAP, low recoil LE ammo (blue), and also full power (red). This stuff utilizes the same wad as Federal's FliteControl wad and also produces 9 inch (or better) patterns at 25yds! At least in the blue version. Even from my Wilson cyl. bore. :cool:

June 26, 2005, 11:40 PM
Thank you gentlemen! These answers helped out a lot.

One other qustion, I'd like an idea of what you all prefer for HD.

Should I go for #4 buckshot or #00 buckshot?

I'm a pistol/rifle shooter mostly, and do not have experience with shotguns.

My understanding is the 00 buck will throw a few (8) .32'ish caliber balls, while #4 will throw something like 27'ish .24'ish caliber balls? What is better, more balls, or a few big balls?

June 26, 2005, 11:46 PM
Don't use buck shot smaller than 1 , unless you only got a 20 gauge! 00 or 000 tends to stop under 25 yards rather well , in most cases.

June 27, 2005, 12:02 AM
^Its a 12 gauge. So, it looks like 00 is the better choice then. Thanks.

June 27, 2005, 06:49 PM
Unless you live in a BIG house with LONG hallways... #4 is plenty. 00 is easier to find.

June 27, 2005, 07:41 PM
For HD, I prefer buckshot #1.

16 pellets sized .30 cal.

Buckshot #1 is better than buckshot #00 or #000 in trauma potential.

Black Snowman
June 27, 2005, 09:05 PM
I like 1 oz sluggs. I use the S&B slugs from Cabela's. They're local and I can get a 5 round box for $2+tax. That's cheap enough that I can even practice a decent bit. I don't have any trouble with the recoil out of my Mossy 500 and I know they have very serious trama potential.

June 28, 2005, 03:13 AM
#4 buckshot is referred to as the urban load, by Police. It's the least effective of all the buckshot loads, but they use it to reduce penetration-innocent bystander concerns. It's still light years ahead of birdshot, which has no penetration once the shot starts to spread into an actual pattern.

June 28, 2005, 10:59 AM
#4 buckshot is referred to as the urban load, by Police.

Police dept.s that researched this went to 00 buck long ago and now use slugs. The reason is: since the smaller buckshot pellets are EACH leathal out to at least 100 yards cops have to account for each one! You get more stray pellets the more you put down range. Therefore that 3/4" gob of lead is easier to account for, and low and behold , it STOPS better also! :cool:

June 28, 2005, 07:15 PM
Police dept.s that researched this went to 00 buck long ago and now use slugs.

Some departments may have gone exclusively to slugs, but not many. I'll bet there are more departments that issue buckshot-- period. Makes more sense to carry one or the other, but issue both for different Tactical situations.

What you say is true, but it's a double edged sword. Slugs tend to penetrate extremely well, and that's also a consideration where innocents are concerned. Multiple projectiles that penetrate barriers poorly vs. 1 big slug that can go through a lot of things. Decisions. Slugs may not be the best choice in a lot of Urban environments.

I'm also a fan of #1 buck, but it isn't available in the low recoil Tactical ammo I prefer--I like fast follow up shots and tighter patterns. The standard velocity stuff is heavy on recoil and produces large patterns with little range. LE has found that 00 buck is very effective on the street and apparently isn't interested in researching the issue. #1 buck would appear to be the best of both worlds---30 caliber pellets with adequate penetration and good target saturation.

Or how about 000 buck? A standard load is 8 pellets, vs 8 or 9 pellets for 00. The 36 cal. pellets weigh 60 gr. each compared to 50 gr. for 00. Some LE agencies have tested it and have penetration concerns. Also, it typically doesn't deliver as even patterns as 00.

Let's not forget where we started--individual pellets that can be lethal to bystanders. Maybe LE has the right idea with fewer pellets in 00 buck, afterall. :cool:

P. Plainsman
June 28, 2005, 07:41 PM
I took my Rem 870 home defense gun to the range last week and fired off a few boxes of Remington's 12 ga "Managed Recoil" 00 Buck load. The recoil was indeed very manageable. I had previously been shooting the Federal Vital-Shok 12ga #4 Buck "magnum" load. The difference was immediately apparent.

That Federal #4 Buck load sure puts a lot of pellets on the target, though, even from an open-choked gun at medium range.

June 28, 2005, 08:03 PM
Plainsman: I try to remember the basic principle of shotgun hunting. That is, a pattern density that will provide an adequate number of hits, and a shot size that will have adequate penetration. If you balance those two factors, you have an efficient load. I have no doubt that the same principle applies to a hostile two legged assailant--the likes of which, neither of us ever wants to face. ;)

June 28, 2005, 08:58 PM
If you want zero-recoil shot loads, or something that your wife and kids (if applicable) could handle easily, you might want to look into a .410 pump and some S&B .410 buckshot.

5 pellets of 00 buck at 1190 fps doesn't sound too bad to me. 2 shots would be just as effective as 1 shot of reduced-recoil 12 gauge. Not bad for a little .410.

June 28, 2005, 09:17 PM
5 pellets of 00 buck at 1190 fps doesn't sound too bad to me.

I'll see your 5 pellets of OO buck, and raise you 5 pellets of OOO buck! :D

June 28, 2005, 10:13 PM
I'll see your 5 pellets of OO buck, and raise you 5 pellets of OOO buck!

I'll see your 5 pellets of 000 buck and raise you 5 lead slugs! :evil:

From contact to out yonder a bit - slugs work.

'Sides I ain't got to get a sheet of paper, measure with a ruler, count pellets or nothing. I figure if I can hit a 4" clay target - I'm good to go. ;)

Gyno Rhino
June 17, 2006, 03:48 PM
See if you can find out what your local PD uses, and if reasonable and obtainable (it most likely will be both), match it to the letter.

It always seems to get brought up, but for good reason. Defense for your side will be much easier this way if you do get in the unfortunate situation where you are forced to defend yourself or others with your shotgun.

Those using a semi may want to stay away from the reduced-recoil loads - if you use a semi, be sure you wield it firmly and with the more powerful powder charges; a miscycle could mean an innocent life.


EDIT: Garrr, committed the "new user bump dead thread" sin. My apologies. Please use low-recoil ammo when you blast me for doing so.

June 17, 2006, 05:35 PM
The Wolf 00 buckshot was lower recoil than the standard Remington and Federal stuff I tried. It's cheap enough to try a box or two.

June 17, 2006, 11:38 PM
I use Winchester Reduced Recoil 00. I am not so worried about how many pellets go down range and how fast. I am concerned with controlability and acuracy. The reduced recoil allows double taps quite easily if necessary. The ammo will be devistating out to 40 yards, especially 2 quick shots. Beyond 40 to 150 yards, I use the Ranger Reduced Recoil Slugs, or an AR15 or L1A1.:D

June 18, 2006, 12:17 AM
I currently use some #1 followed up with a 00 shell. I read somewhere (Leathal Force Institute or someplace like that) that #1 has good penetration and the best ratio of shot to shot size. I think if you are using #4 or better you will be fine. I wouldn't trust birdshot at all after seeing the box o truth tests.
I doubt a BG will take a load of #4 buck to the chest and be stopped any less than being hit with 00, 000, etc. at home defense ranges.
And don't use 3" slugs on a gun with dual pistol grips (personal experience...ouch)! :eek:

June 18, 2006, 12:56 AM
I use Remington Managed Recoil 00 in an 870 with a Knoxx SpecOp stock. I highly recommend the Knoxx stock for recoil management in HD. It allows for very fast, accurate follow-up shots.

June 19, 2006, 11:48 AM
if you have to use your shotgun in a home defense situation, you will not even feel the recoil or muzzle blast.............You are concerned about bird shot only penatrating 6 inches in gelatin, well, measure 6 inches into your body at the navel and let me know where that want to leave as many pellets in the body as possible.........Doctors charge by the pellet to remove them..........chris3

June 20, 2006, 12:50 AM
Gaaarrrr. Be it Talk like a Pirate Day again already?

Shiver me timbers, and welcome aboard Rhino. ;)

June 21, 2006, 03:40 AM
00 RR.

That load is
8 9mm-sized pellets propelled faster than
I can throw a rock, thrust a pointed knife,
drive my vehicle, or spit.

Given f(orce) = m(ass) x a(cceleration),
plus the fact that one can offer up
a 2nd, 3rd & 4th rnd
faster than one can say,
"Remington 870 pumps rock",
then, I'm OK with

00 RR.


June 26, 2006, 01:28 AM
My .02
Considering buckshot on average spreads out 1" per yard, effective range for a human target is about 15 yards.

There is a reason it is called birdshot. Birdshot is a crappy defense choice. Yes it may penetrate 6 inches but that does not take into consideration any limbs, heavy clothing, or weapons that might be in the way.

June 26, 2006, 08:52 AM there's good info here on
various birdshot/buckshot/slugs loadsThey
also have gel tests for all 3,it's worth checking

June 27, 2006, 11:18 PM
I'd never use birdshot for anything as important as self defense (for busting clays and little birds it's fine). It's a double edged sword. You aren't going to get something that will penetrate deep enough and hit hard enough to put down someone on drugs yet not penetrate walls. I feel for people living in apartments though, I did that for a long time.

Axel Roarings
June 28, 2006, 12:44 PM
Dunno if anyone mentioned this, but fiocchi has a 12 gauge 00 reduced recoil I keep in my 870.

June 28, 2006, 02:34 PM
Get a Knoxx stock for your shotgun, and use all the full power shells you want!

June 29, 2006, 01:19 AM
The best patterning buckshot out of my A500 is Winchester Super-X Magnum 3 inch in #4 Buck

At my longest shot, it was a four inch circle of devatation. I have zero doubts about its ability to stop someone in their tracks.

Trouble is that it kicks like all get out, so I tend to go with the reduced recoild stuff instead.

January 7, 2010, 03:59 PM
I multiplied the surface area of each ball by the number of balls:

000 .61 square inches
00 .68
1 .71
2 .86
4 1.22

So #4 has much more opportunity for crushing. But, #4 does not reliably go 12+ inches deep. And also that has to be factored in to the trauma that is done.

I rule out #4 because it cannot make FBI depth.

I would like to multiply the areas by the depth to come up with the cylinders of damage but I don't have good depth data.

I would use low-recoil 00 or 1. I like to practice with what I keep for defense and one can probably not get #1 for the price of the more common 00, so most likely 00.

000 seems to tend to go a little too deep.

Guns and more
January 7, 2010, 06:56 PM
After much head scratching, I buy 2 3/4", #4 reduced recoil, buckshot.

I'm also considering a .410, although ammo is twice the cost of 12 ga. and selection is sparse.

January 7, 2010, 07:15 PM
Due to the Judge being out, a lot of companies are making new .410 HD loads.

There is still with two pellets and some shot. Whatever it is, it should follow the same rules as any other caliber and go at least 12 inches deep.

I wonder if #4 reduced recoil, being reduced, will have more penetration than previously tested full power #4?

Guns and more
January 7, 2010, 10:56 PM
I wonder if #4 reduced recoil, being reduced, will have more penetration than previously tested full power #4?
I suspect that reduced recoil has a powder that burns slower than regular. However, the pressure still builds up in the barrel. I'd like to see the velocity of the pellets. I think it is the same.

January 7, 2010, 11:05 PM
There are two ways to reduce recoil:

1. Reduce velocity
2. Reduce shot weight.

(or do both).

So if the velocity were the same, it would have to have fewer pellets in order to have reduced recoil. If you know it has the normal number of pellets, then the velocity could not be the same.

Normally you would just use less of the same powder to lower the velocity.

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