Lousy HD ammo


September 18, 2006, 07:04 AM
but there's nothing else! I'm serious. :( Buckshot/slugs are only for LEOs/military in my country and the best that I could get from the only gunshop in town is 12ga 2 3/4" shells with a 32g loading of #4 birdshot.

I've heard dismal things about #8 and #7 1/2 birdshot but does #4 offer any penetrative improvement? If my target is less than 25 yards away, does a 28" barrel with a full choke give decent HD performance?

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September 18, 2006, 08:55 AM
Some of the most deadly shooting I have covered have been bird shot at room distance. 25 yards is a long way for personal defense. To long for bird shot I would believe if someone is wearing heavy winter clothing. But I have no direct experience with it at 25 yards.

hk lover
September 18, 2006, 08:58 AM
go to the box of truth.com it will give all pertinant info

September 18, 2006, 09:09 AM
Well, here is a test/analysis of #2 bird shot for self-defense use:


Quoting from the above: "While the [#2 shot shell] does not meet the IWBA’s 12- to 18-inch penetration depth guidelines,
it is nonetheless adequate to use as the first one or two shots to be fired at an aggressor,
as long as deeper penetrating buckshot is available for subsequent shots, if needed.”

You are going to get a lot of different opinions and antidotes on how effective bird shot is or is not for self-defense,
most of it not backed up by any facts. One theory you will hear is all shot stays together in the shot cup at
across the room distances, before it starts to separate. This theory states all shots hits as a solid mass at these ranges,
and 1 oz. of #8 bird shot hits the same as 1 oz. 00 buck shot or an 1 oz. slug. In fact the pellets from
standard shot shells start to separate almost immediately after leaving the muzzle:



Animated version of the above:


Edited to add more info on the “birdshot-hitting-as-a-single-mass” theory. Notes from a medical
school lecture on how to perform an autopsy:


From page 11 of the above:

“(4) distant range: birdshot from any gauge weapon except .410 produces a 3/4 to 1 in. round entrance
at ranges from contact to 2ft.; a 7/8 to 1 1/4 in. entrance with scalloped margins by 3 ft.; a 1 to 1
3/4 in. entrance with scalloped margins and satellite pellet holes by 4 ft.; a definite cuff of satellite pellets by 6 to 7 ft.;
beyond 10 ft. there is great variations in pellet pattern size depending upon ammunition type choke,
the actual weapon and range (published formulae are unreliable); measurements of the pellet pattern should ignore "fliers".”

(Warning, the above link has gruesome descriptions of gunshot wounds, but no pictures.)

September 18, 2006, 11:21 AM
I wonder what would happen if you squirted some super glue in with that shot load? Would it fuse it together into heavier chunks?

September 18, 2006, 03:13 PM
No doubt about it, Oldnam is a true vet. Talk about a field expedient!

bad LT
September 18, 2006, 04:55 PM
I believe there was a trick in a African Prohunters guide for producing "solids" with birdshot loaded shotgun shells...

It involved pouring Paraffin wax into the shot to produce a solid projectile.

Fred Fuller
September 18, 2006, 05:02 PM

At close range, #4s are better than nothing. And if that's all you can get, that's what you use.

If you decide to try any one of several field expedient approaches to enhancing birdshot performance, please remember to be careful above all. Adding anything to a shotgun shell's payload increases its weight and will therefore increase pressure accordingly. Weakening the hull at the wad line ("ringing" the shell) may weaken the hull too much for it to function reliably through a repeater and may cause damage to the barrel or choke if it is fired. Replacing existing shot with anything else and recrimping the shell may damage the bore or choke, and replacement payloads should weigh the same as what was removed and not have any higher level of friction in the bore. Remember, improvisation and field expediency where shotgun shells are concerned can be dangerous, you are working with significant pressure levels. Be very careful if you decide to experiment.


November 4, 2006, 01:11 AM
As per this reply's title, will waterfowl loads prove effective against:

1) Feral dogs?
2) Home invaders?

Specifically, I'm talking about the Ranger shotshells from Winchester Australia.


The ones I've managed to acquire are 12ga 2 3/4" shells with 1 1/8oz of BB shot. They are listed as being high velocity shells with a muzzle velocity of at least 1350ft/s.

November 4, 2006, 01:30 AM
I'm not a lawyer, this is not legal advice. If you do something illegal, and get sued, I am not liable.

BPI makes a hull that needs to be sliced before loading. If you fail to do so, it doesn't expand, and you have what amounts to a slug. I don't know which one it is, but they slap the notice all over it.

November 4, 2006, 01:43 AM
You should be able to buy some buckshot/slugs from a handloading supply company. You can empty out the bird shot and put the appropiate amount of buck in its place. If anything your could buy some lead and mold your own. I'm not advocating you break any laws. Laws that prevent self defense are not laws in my book.
Stay safe

November 4, 2006, 03:01 AM
Good info. Does anyone have any info on Sellior & Bellot 00 Buckshot? Their clear hulls are quite menacing looking, revealing the lead buckshot contained within. Just wondered if their performance matched. Thanks.

November 4, 2006, 07:40 AM
I've taken a number of feral dogs with #4 shot and it works very well. It's a buffered short [2 3/4"] magnum which givews a very uniform pattern. Barrel length will have no effect but choke will .Always pattern your loads. The bigger the shot the more penetration .

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