12ga specialty rounds.....any good?


April 27, 2008, 05:48 PM
does anyone have an opinion on these "specialty" 12ga rounds?



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April 27, 2008, 06:10 PM

I have an opinion, but I can't post it on The High Road!

Lets just say P.T. Barnum was right.
There is one born every minute!


April 27, 2008, 06:20 PM

I have an opinion, but I can't post it on The High Road!

Lets just say P.T. Barnum was right.
There is one born every minute!

What he said.

Carl N. Brown
April 27, 2008, 07:31 PM
Fletchette round.
Fletchettes were intro'd for military use in the VietNam War.
What does the military use in 12ga today? 00 buck.
Fletchettes are like Dardick Trounds and Gyrojet rocket rounds, an idea whose day has gone.

As for buck and BBs, I can load my own for a lot less than that but don't simply because mixed size loads are less effective than single size loads.

If I had to defend myself with my shotgun, what would I want an over zealous prosecutor flaunting before a jury:
a) a shell box with a picture of a pheasant;
b) a shell box with a picture of a deer;
c) a shell box with a picture of a pit bull;
d) a shell box with a picture of a Grim Reaper?

Those specialty rounds are the whoopee cushions of the gun world.

But the bird bombs are cool for scaring off starlings, which always seem to flock on New Years, Cinco de Mayo and 4th of July.

April 27, 2008, 10:45 PM
"Specialty rounds"?
My first shot would be number 9 birdshot to blind the bad guy; then followed up with a Dragon's Breath flame thrower load to blind him even more; then a 3" magnum bolo slug for when he ducks behind cover; then a 3-1/2" magnum flechette load to finish him off (we all know that a home invasion scenario will play out exactly as planned) :p

My favorite 'specialty rounds' are the Aguila mini-slugs that spit out a .72 dia, 385gr wadcutter-shaped slug at 1250 FPS. They function well in my 1300 Defender and Baikal SxS coach gun.
They are about the only specialty round i give any merit to

April 27, 2008, 10:51 PM
Ninety percent of fishing equipment is designed to catch fisherperson's wallets - not fish. - anon

April 27, 2008, 11:37 PM
seriously, the only uses for these exotic rounds of ammo is not for killing things.

dragons breath for starting houses/forest on fire.
bolo rounds for playing cowboy and funky ties.
bird bombs for easy to understand signals in a situation.
fletchets for well, sewing machines and hat pins for aunt gertrudge and holding up cloth baby diapers

and dont forget they arent really the smartest thing to use. i really dont see how that big fire ball is safe for your shotgun barrel. and as for fletchettes, they only seem to be effective when fired from a 100mm isreali tank cannon at point blank range on palestinian school children.

April 27, 2008, 11:50 PM
The dragon's breath rounds are expensive fireworks. They are fun though.

April 28, 2008, 12:22 AM
I dunno... I've been wanting some of those door busters for a while...no real reason. Who said I need to have a reason?

April 28, 2008, 12:37 AM
I've always thought most the specialty rounds were for the most part a joke(thumbtacks,pepper spray,confetti or whatever they shot). But I've been wanting to get some of those pitbull rounds. I know its usually best to go with standard 00 buck or slugs for nhome defense but i can see that as being able to throw more lead at a target and increase your chances of hitting something while still ensuring the best knockdown power. I know 00 buck enough knockdown power on it's own but one pellet of 00 buck wouldnt have the same effect on your target as hitting it with nine pellets. Has anybody here had experience with them and if so what did you think

April 28, 2008, 12:47 AM
The only speciality round (if you even want to call it that) I buy is this...

April 28, 2008, 02:06 AM
yea thats something i havent seen yet. so does the largest pellet consistely land in the center of the pattern with the smaller pellets scattered around it or is a tossup as to where the larger pellet will land on a given target

April 28, 2008, 04:33 AM
most of the time the slug will hit in the center with the buckshot hitting around it. Most of the time.....

April 28, 2008, 08:57 AM
for fun, maybe, but for real life defense i stick with buckshot...

...if i got a good deal on some though, sure i might play around with them somewhere safe and non-flammable...:)

April 28, 2008, 11:50 AM
they can be pleasant money-wasters I guess. I bought a few fletchettes just out of curiousity. I'd never trust them to anything other than seeing what it looks like when you blast a fiberboard or plywood sheet with them. pretty cool concept on paper, but a proven failure in all aspects

As for a bolo slug, that almost seems like the most horrible thing you can do with a shotgun to somebody, really. Buckshot at close range is gruesome enough--no need to make a round that will sever a good upper portion of their body or take of an arm or head regadless of range. They also seem just as dangerous to the user as they do the intended target (like the cable could break while it wraps around and against someone and send a slug back in your direction)

April 28, 2008, 06:56 PM
....they only seem to be effective when fired from a 100mm isreali tank cannon at point blank range on palestinian school children....

That is just WRONG, WRONG WRONG!!!!!:cuss:

April 28, 2008, 07:03 PM

intresting stuff... the flechette round looks like it does alot of damage... until you look at the buck shot

May 17, 2008, 08:33 AM
The 12ga flechette rounds I bought were pathetic. Barely went "pop"!

Interesting use of a Ballistic Products shot cup, but the ribs on the cup take up valuable space inside the hull, thus drastically reducing the payload.

So if you want to shoot a dozen small flechettes at barely enough velocity to pierce paper at 10 yards, then it's money well-spent. :p

Like others, I've played around with loading my own 12ga flechette rounds. Best results were reasonable velocity (went through a heavy *solid* wood commercial door at 10 yards), but terrible dispersion (six foot circle pattern at that distance!). And very scary internal ballistics.

There's five problems with flechettes from 12ga:

1. Packing them into the hull. If you load half of them point-forward and half point-back, they fill much more efficiently. But the point-back ones are inherently unstable out of the muzzle.

2. Pattern size. Even the point-forward ones will "weathervane" out of the muzzle, where the powder gasses blow past them making the fins work *against* stability.

3. Correct powder load. Even at full capacity, steel flechettes only get you up to 1/2 oz, which is uncharted territory. I ended up with huge amounts of Bullseye trying to get a decent velocity. I still have the LAST hull I fired in this line of experimentation. One side of the hull forward of the powder line was completely vaporized. Scary, scary!

4. Pushing the flechettes down the bore. The flechettes will pierce the bottom of the shot cup as their momentum fights the gas pressure. I put a thin steel disk in the bottom of the shotcup to cure this.

5. Preventing damage to the hull, cup, and barrel. The flechette fins are sharp, and will slice through the hull and cup to scar the barrel. I did it more than once, and recovered sliced hulls. I wrapped a thin steel sleeve inside the shot cup to prevent this.

I've also got some of the flechette rounds Destiny makes for the 40mm grenade launchers. I haven't tried them yet, but they do carry a much heavier payload than a mere 12ga, and could be handy in a home-defense scenario. Of course you'd probably have an attached rifle as a primary weapon...

For the automatic grenade launchers, the M1001 40mm Cannister Cartridge shows what it takes to get the concept working properly.

I've seen the Dragon's Breath rounds in action, and they certainly seem to work. I don't know if I'd shoot one inside a building I cared about, tho... :eek:

May 17, 2008, 10:31 PM
dude you load your own flachettes?

true they are novelty shells, but a bought a few at knob creek a few years back, never fired any of em...

flachesstes were origionally used for anti-sniper roles, as pointed steel darts would tear through brush that would stop buckshot pellets.
flachettes and napalm, ah it reminds me of 'nam... even though i was born in 1990:D

duplex loads would be an efficient way to use buck, 9 .32 caliber pellets atacked into a .729 cylinder leaves a large ammount of empty space between pellets, fill in that space with BB size shot pellets or something larger if it will work...

May 17, 2008, 10:39 PM
Iam a fan of Pit Bull rounds,

6 00 buckshot rounds followed by a slug. Ultimate home defense.

May 17, 2008, 10:44 PM
I dunno - I think some of those rounds would serve a purpose (door busters, for example).

HERE is an interesting page that has more specialty rounds:


Read the description for the WAD CUTTER! Holy poop!

Robert Hairless
May 17, 2008, 11:27 PM
I remember my first wild pig hunt. That was back in the old days when men were men and pigs were pigs. It was in the wilds of Scranton, PA, long afore wild pigs were a protected species and even afore some slick promoter thought of making a series of videos called Pigs Gone Wild. That was long ago.

At any rate our guide was a local mountain man who knew those hills like the palm of his bumpy hand. He had a few tricks up his sleeve that are lost in time. Probably no one but me knows them nowadays and all I know are what I learned from watching Jeb on that first boar hunt and listening real hard.

As we trekked through the brush Jeb told us that wild boars grew big, very big, and the ones we were tracking might weigh 800 lbs. or more.

I was stunned. "Jeb," I said, "if we get one of them there big pigs how can we lug him back to camp?"

"We don't lug the whole pig, you tenderfoot," said Jeb kindly. "What we do is we tote back the prepared barbeque we make from it. You just wait and see. Now hush, because we don't want to scare away the pigs."

After a few miles Jeb motioned us to stop. He raised his side by side shotgun to his shoulder and quickly snapshot somewhere ahead of us. I heard a loud squeal and the biggest pig I'd ever seen was thrown into the air.

"That was a slug," said Jeb. "The slug is what dispatches that pig." The shotgun never left his shoulder.

"Now I shoot him with a flechette," Jeb grunted, "and watch what happens now." As the pig reached the apex of its flight, Jeb pulled the second trigger.

I've never seen anything like it. That pig was butchered in mid air. You could see the hams drop off, the bacon, and every other edible part each in its place.

Meanwhile Jeb was reloading, fast. The hulls were replaced by two new shells, each different and each obviously loaded by Jeb himself.

"Now the Rock Salt load," Jeb said and pulled the first trigger. Blam! The parts of that pig were salted in mid air!

Just as they began to fall to earth again, Jeb pulled the second trigger. Blam! "Pepper Blast load," said Jeb. "It gives that pork some flavor."

The multiple impacts had kept those pig parts bouncing in the sky, air curing them a little more with each shot.

"Now for the Dragons Breath, one in each barrel," said Jeb while reloading with a couple of strange shells I'd never seen before in my life. Blam! Blam!

In quick succession Jeb had actually barbecued that sliced pig before it fell to earth. It came down in neat stacks, ready to be packaged and labelled.

The sheer artistry of shotgunnery is now nearly a lost art, preserved only in the memories of those who saw giants walk the land when we were very young. Now we are old, people of an earlier time, and try to fulfill our duty to transmit the precious lore of the past but the young know us not.

Dave McCracken
May 18, 2008, 09:07 AM
Wiping coffee off keyboard....

Thanks, Robert, for that....

May 18, 2008, 01:58 PM
Those specialty rounds are the whoopee cushions of the gun world.

I agree with Carl.

May 18, 2008, 02:42 PM
The only speciality round (if you even want to call it that) I buy is this...

Now thats just plain COOL

May 18, 2008, 03:19 PM
I doubt an overzealous prosecutor is going to show those Italian Centurion rounds to a jury...after all, a picture of the Colosseum isn't quite as shocking as a reaper.

Great joke, Robert.

May 18, 2008, 09:34 PM
One thing I haven't figure out is, why are there so many distributors for this stuff when I can't for the life of me figure out who the manufacturer is. I'm not thinking of the Centurion, I'm thinking of the same mix of Rhodesian, Flechette, Flamethrower, etc., I've seen on several websites. I'm betting it's not Federal or Remington. :neener:
(Edit: Ack, as usual, I answered my question right after I wrote it. The manufacturers are A.L.S. Technologies and N.A.M. Exploding ammo, per the Ammunition to Go website.)

Also, I understand that the Pepper Blast is short (and low-pressure) enough to be fired from flare guns, but I still think it's odd that they never specify the length. How often do you see a magnum load specified as "Three inches or a little more, maybe even three and a half"?? I'm sure there is a spec for 12-gauge flare gun loads ... maybe 1.5" or something? ... but it never gets specified. :scrutiny: Probably because it's being sold to people who don't care about such things, and who just kind of stick whatever ammo they have in whatever gun they have and see what will work.

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