What's the lethal/dangerous range of a shotgun?


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iapetus
May 12, 2008, 03:07 PM
A few days ago, the police in London shot and killed a man who had been shooting at them (and before that, into neighbours' houses).
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7391858.stm
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article3894659.ece

As can be seen from the Times article and subsequent comments, quite a few people are complaining that the police overreacted, because the gunman was "only" using a shotgun.

So before I dismiss them as a bunch of bliss-ninnies uninformed about firearms, I suppose I should ask: If someone is firing a shotgun at you, how far away do you have to be to be safe?

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Ron James
May 12, 2008, 03:13 PM
There was an incident several years ago, here in Arizona ( Mesa, AZ. to be exact. ) were two high school kids, boy and girl . were killed by a shotgun blast from 50 yards away. :mad:

General Geoff
May 12, 2008, 03:15 PM
Largely depends on the type of ammo they're using, but slugs could be lethal to well past 100 yards. Buckshot, I wouldn't want to be within 100 yards of either. Birdshot and the like, you're probably safe past 60 yards or so.

3 gun
May 12, 2008, 03:21 PM
It really depends....a lot! With a rifled slug barrel on my 500 you wouldn't want to be closer than 200 yards. I may not be able to hit you every time but I'd be close enough to make you run for cover. With an 18 inch barrel and bird shot you'd be "safe" at 50 yards. Might sting like hell but shouldn't kill you. Same barrel with 00 buck and you're behind cover again. Normal slugs with the same barrel has you running out to 100 yards or more.

Basically anywhere in front of the barrel is a bad place. Any fool waving/shooting a shotgun at police is a fair target.

Diggers
May 12, 2008, 03:22 PM
Depends on what load is being shot to some degree.(buckshot or birdshot?) I've read that buckshot, 00 or 000, can be leathal up to 100 yards. Not that anyone could be sure of hitting something with buckshot at 100 yards.

I have seen tests done that show 50 yards IS in range for buckshot and a shooter can hit what he is shooting at with at least a few pellets.

Anyhow its not really relevent, the guy was shooting a shotgun into houses and then at the police!!!:what:

They are a bunch of bliss ninnies who probably believe what they see in movies about guns, and the police should have shot the gun out of his hand of some such silly thing. :rolleyes:


I just had to add this ...uh...interesting quote.
He loved her very much but could not contain his greater love of red wine and whisky, and at all times of day.

We would never have a quote like this from an American reporter. I like it.

rantingredneck
May 12, 2008, 03:24 PM
Having personally had buckshot whistle past me from 100+ yds I can say you don't want to be within that range with buckshot.

As others have mentioned, slugs are particularly nasty in that they will retain enough energy to kill or seriously wound for 200+yds. May not be able to hit you accurately, but if they do it will suck big time.

I've been peppered with birdshot from 60 yds and it didn't even break the skin.

leadcounsel
May 12, 2008, 03:29 PM
That's like asking, "How dangerous is it if someone is waving an unloaded gun at you?"

The bottom line is that if someone is shooting ANY weapon in the direction of someone esle, it's aggravated assault with a weapon with intent to commit murder, period. Caliber, load, etc. all goes out the window.

Yes, it's true that certain shotguns and ammuntion have limitations unique to "shot" load, but that is really irrelevant. Even if not deadly, for instance, pellets still blind people at great distances. If someone were shooting at me with a shotgun, even if I was 200 yards away, I would still consider it a deadly assault and retaliate appropriately (after taking cover).

A response to shoot to kill the aggressor would not be inappropriate under these circumstances.

Sergeant Sabre
May 12, 2008, 03:37 PM
If you're shooting at me from a "safe" distance, aren't you still a deadly threat to others who might not be at a "safe" distance?

Kingcreek
May 12, 2008, 04:03 PM
If someone is shooting at me with intent to do me harm, I feel threatened and I'm going to react- regardless of wether its 10 yards or 100.
How can you tell if the incoming is birdshot, buckshot, or slug?
or even if you're certain that first payload is birdshot rattling past, is it buckshot or slug up next in the tube?
sorry but just because it's a shotgunner, doesn't mean there is a safe distance.

cookekdjr
May 12, 2008, 04:45 PM
Hard to say. But an odd thing I've noticed in the shotgun shootings I've investigated:
Everybody shot with buckshot lived.
Everybody shot with birdshot died.
Admittedly, my sample size is small (fewer than a dozen?) but its kind of unexpected...

rcmodel
May 12, 2008, 04:55 PM
The thing you have to ask yourself.

Self, can I identify that gun firing at me just by looking at it from the muzzle end?

And further, even if I can ID it as a shotgun:
Self, can I identify what kind of ammo the perp is firing at me from that shotgun across the way?

Probably not in a lot of cases.

rcmodel

Diggers
May 12, 2008, 05:00 PM
Cookekdjr

Thats really strange. What were the ranges?

(Why is it in the real world bullets and ammo always do things they should not?)

Gordon
May 12, 2008, 05:04 PM
Maximum range of #9 birdshot is about 300 yards.#6 is about 100 yards further, #bbs can go 600 yards and larger buck shot is said to travel "more than 1/2mile". Slugs can do a mile. Buck shot penetrates skin to 300-400 yards.A slug can prolly hurt you good if the mortar lands on you at 600 yards or more.:)

Kingcreek
May 12, 2008, 06:59 PM
I can't make #9 birdshot go 300 yards in any of my shotguns.

Sergeant Sabre
May 12, 2008, 07:23 PM
If you shot it at a 45 deg. angle, it might get there.

oneounceload
May 12, 2008, 08:23 PM
Maximum range of #9 birdshot is about 300 yards.#6 is about 100 yards further, #bbs can go 600 yards and larger buck shot is said to travel "more than 1/2mile". Slugs can do a mile. Buck shot penetrates skin to 300-400 yards.A slug can prolly hurt you good if the mortar lands on you at 600 yards or more.

please cite where you are getting these figures from.....thanks

Templar223
May 12, 2008, 08:38 PM
Birdshot didn't break skin at 60 yards?

Don't people shoot ducks and geese dead at 50-60 yards with birdshot?

I don't want to be hit with any .32 caliber balls, even if they are only sailing at 500fps. And a one ounce chunk of lead? Sounds like a world of hurt at any speed.

I think some here are underestimating the dangerous range of a shotgun.

John

sgist
May 12, 2008, 09:00 PM
I've had plenty of ducks laugh at me from 40 yards away.

esheato
May 12, 2008, 09:23 PM
See the attachment for max ranges...scanned directly out of a book titled "Understanding Firearm Ballistics".

As far as lethal range? That's much to hard to calculate considering shotgun payload, target composition and demeanor...but the largest point of contention is shot placement which you really have no control over when you're talking 00 buck. Slug is marginally better. A better way to answer this is to say, the further away you are, the better chance you have of survival.

Ed

Wildfire
May 12, 2008, 09:35 PM
Hey There:
To bad about the guy getting wacked . but. That was probabely the only way they could get him to stop. Who knows. You will never really hear the truth anyway.
I always figured 600 yards to be a max distance for a 12 ga, slug. 1/2 mile is really strecthing it. I don't know of any buck shot that will make it that far. And I'am pretty sure #9 aint gonna either.
As posted earlier, Ducks at 40 yards can be darn hard to hurt let alone kill.
At 60 yards ya better have a supper dupper magnum.

Wildfire
May 12, 2008, 09:37 PM
Hey again :
RC has a very good point . Maybe the guy saved out the slugs for any resistance to his spree.
The Cops were justified.

Dave McCracken
May 12, 2008, 10:29 PM
8 shot will break human skin at 100 yards. Slugs remain lethal out past 200 yards.

The cops were justified....

rantingredneck
May 12, 2008, 10:31 PM
Birdshot didn't break skin at 60 yards?

Nope. Was across a dove field and somebody's kid shot at a low bird. Peppered me and my father in law with it. My father in law had a bloody spot on his arm where a pellet barely broke his skin. I had some welts and a broken watch crystal.

Of course this was 7.5 or 8 shot, not duck or goose loads.

Wildfire
May 12, 2008, 10:38 PM
Hey There;
Thanks for the charts. Looks about right to me. #9 shot 170 yards.
I got hit once with #5 or 6 shot in the back at about 50 yards. One (1) madit in the back of my leg. The rest hurt like heck , but did not go in. Had some good welts though.

Zoogster
May 12, 2008, 11:09 PM
Depends on the size of the shot. The larger the shot or slug the higher BC it has and the slower it bleeds energy traveling through the air.

Now reliably hitting something and still lethal can be very different variables. There is ranges where 000 buck can still be lethal but the pattern is so large it is just totaly random where the pellets hit, and so you wouldn't consider it an effective range.
Slugs have thier range, and then sub bore projectiles in sabots can achieve rifle velocities and ballistic coeffecient retaining energy and velocity for long distances.


Generaly speaking the smaller the shot the more surface area for drag to weight ratio the pellet has. The ballistic coeffecient being very poor for a sphere, the smaller the sphere the quicker it is reduced to safe velocities.
So birdshot will become "safe" at ranges buckshot is still dangerous.

However the body is very different in its ability to withstand damage in various areas. So what is non lethal in one spot is lethal in another.

So there is no set distance for non lethal as a shotgun is one of the most versatile platforms with the widest range of projectiles.
When most people speak of ranges they are talking about effective ranges, meaning you can hit a decent size target at that range. Lethal ranges can be totaly different. A firearm with an effective range of 200 yards can be lethal at 1,000 if someone simply aims at a higher trajectory and the projectile finds its mark.
If someone fired sabots at a mortar trajectory they could be lethal thousands of yards away.

RP88
May 13, 2008, 12:32 AM
I've read that buckshot has comparable ranges to pistol rounds in terms of effective range. With that said, I wouldnt trust buckshot at all past the 60 yard mark.

But then again, I'm a home defender, not a hunter. With longer barrels and differing chokes, I'm sure some of you may trust it farther than I do.

Wildfire
May 13, 2008, 01:14 AM
Hey There:
I wacked my last Turkey at 59 paces with 3" #6 turkey loads. Flatened him right there.

But at 100 yards Plus . that bird shot would fall to the ground. Any one shooting anything at another person at any distance means harm. If the other person shoots back , Oh well.

throdgrain
May 13, 2008, 05:47 AM
You have to remember things are quite different over here folks :)

Slugs arn't allowed for shotgun licence holders, hell I've used a few but not many. Buckshot, well I've never even seen any buckshot here! The biggest I've seen are what we call AAA (I believe that's different in the states, but just to confirm, over here thats .20 of an inch), I keep a few around for, err, emergencys :p

Anyway, my point is this, this guy was a regular shotgun owner, not a criminal (until he started firing his gun in the wrong place anyway!), so it was unlikely he had any big stuff. You'd probably find he was shooting #8 clay pigeon cartridges. I've read, dont know if it's true, that he was looking to get shot by the police.

Were they right to do it by the way? Well quite probably yeah, but as someone else said on this thread, you'll never really know the truth of it.

wolf_from_wv
May 13, 2008, 10:34 AM
If someone is walking down the street shooting at houses, and then points the shotgun at you, chances are, he's not going to ask if the barrel is plugged...

I'd rather not get shot with anything...

Wildfire
May 13, 2008, 05:35 PM
Hey there;
A few years ago we had this happen in our town. The guy got drunk a lot. Every one knew him and knew he would not hurt any one. But, One night when drunk. He took his .410 out for a walk. (Small town)....
Anyway ! He was shooting something no one really knows what. Just touching off a few rounds in the air. He ha ddone this before so it was nothing new. When he ran out of shells he went home and passed out.
Several times the local sherrifs dep. talked him down and locked him up for the night. Always got his gun back. Or had more not sure. But on this night two (2) newbe state troopers from a different city were there and ended up shooting him 19 times. We all know what was right and wrong. But those cops did not. Only because of some wittnesses did the cops get hammered.
They didn't do much talking just shooting. Well, I have had a hard time passing judgement on the cops, even though I know they were wrong. They did not know the guy. Funny the other cops always talked him down.
There is sometimes a very fine line between right and wrong. All of us need to keep that fact in mind. Had the guy pointed his gun at me , I would have shot him also. But would have shed a tear or two because I knew him.
Yes I believe he needed to be stopped. Just a very sad thing.
Again, that fine line may effect you and me some day.

possum
May 13, 2008, 06:03 PM
in training i have engaged targets out to 100yds with slugs. with the right ammo and training the shotguns role can be used many more ways than the old fashioned "point and shoot" method that folks like to practice so often.

oneounceload
May 13, 2008, 06:16 PM
IMO, if you're really going to engage 100 yd targets, get a rifle......AR, M1A, whatever; hell a 22 mag..........much better accuracy

iapetus
May 14, 2008, 03:39 PM
Thanks guys.

Hornet 6
May 14, 2008, 06:10 PM
Largest shot available to the shotgun licence holder in the UK is SG.
Not sure what that is equivalent to in the US but an SG is 8.4 mm or 0.3307" inch.
The ones I have are made by Gamebore, and called 'Buffalo' special load.
There are 9 in a load, hard'ish lead and they kick fairly hard, and are only really any use for fox.

Neil. :)

rantingredneck
May 14, 2008, 06:54 PM
Sounds like a pretty close approximation of 00 buckshot there Hornet.

BBroadside
May 14, 2008, 10:37 PM
Looks like SG is the British equivalent of American 00 Buck (http://www.recguns.com/Sources/IIIE1a.html), as rrr said.

Stateside we don't quite have an equivalent for AAA (0.20"), but BBB (http://www.chuckhawks.com/shot_info.htm) is pretty close (0.19").

I don't know what (BB and BBB, etc.) stand for. I kind of think they mean "bird buck" since they're right in between. I suppose they are turkey loads? Which raises the question of what use they would be on an island completely lacking in turkeys! Not that they would be too bad for close-range self-defense, though. Or I suppose they would be good for foxes and voles and the like, at maybe 40 meters or so? (Edit: Duh ... I read the bottom of the latter link above, and it says BB is good for goose-hunting in both steel and tungsten.)

I'm interested in the UK gun scene ... I know there are some guns and some hunting in the wake of laws restricting both. Saw a very interesting lever-action rifle styled (and chambered) like an AR-15 for sale to civilians ... can't remember if it was Britain or Australia though (I get Anglophones mixed up).

What are the police using these days? I'm not talking about truncheons, I mean the things that go BLAM that they break out when something really awful happens. I gather that at one point most police stations had AR-180s, but I have no idea what they use for pistols. (It would be cool if they were all patriotic and picked one of the John Slough "Spitfire" copies of the CZ-75 / Jericho 941, but I doubt it.) (Edit: a little websurfing indicates that different police departments carry different weapons in the UK, just like everywhere else. I had thought that having a national Home Office would have meant more centralization....)

throdgrain
May 15, 2008, 06:18 AM
Armed police use mostly H&K MP5 and Glock handguns afaik, as the poor Brazillian chap found out when he ran away from the Police on the underground shortly after the terrorist bombings. read about that stuff here . (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Charles_de_Menezes)

coloradokevin
May 15, 2008, 07:18 AM
With sabot slugs out of my Mossberg 500's rifled slug barrel, 100 yards is easily doable.

It isn't going to print 1 MOA, but it will put slugs on a human at that distance without any trouble.

I imagine the lethal range is a good bit beyond that, but I've never fired my shotgun at anything over 100 yards, personally.

Calliope
May 15, 2008, 08:37 AM
That's like saying, "Oh you shouldn't arrest him for stealing that car, it was an old car."

What idiots. I don't want anyone brandishing so much as a pellet or BB gun at me in agression or not much less a shotgun. It all still hurts and I have seen what a shotgun can do to a trap house!

Too bad the police are being bashed. Hopefully they will stick to their justification.

Calli

Hornet 6
May 15, 2008, 10:09 AM
The UK gun scene, well it's a bit limited, depending on where you live, and how much money you want to spend.
Basically a shotgun licence is yours for the asking, provided you have not been a naughty boy in the past.
There is no need to prove a need for it, clay shooting, pigeons, and wildfowl is fine.
A rifle is a little different, you need to prove a need for it, i.e. you are a member of a target shooting club, or you have permission to shoot game or vermin on an area of lend that has been inspected an found to be suitable for the calibre you have asked for.
At the moment I am applying for a licence for a couple of rim-fires, .22lr and .17hmr.
I know the land I have available is ok as there are a couple of others with a licence for the same land.
The licence is generally only valid for that land, and no other, although it is sometime possible to get a licence that is called an 'open licence' so you can use the gun at any location that has already been deemed suitable for that calibre.
You have to apply for each calibre separately, and each gun separately if you want more than one of a calibre you also need to have permission for a moderator if needed, and for expanding ammunition.
The amount of ammunition is also controlled, usually no more than 750 rounds at any time (per calibre), and no more than 500 to be purchased at any one time.
I have applied for 2 x .22lr and 1 x .17hmr + a moderator for each, I have asked or a total of 1200 round of .22 with no more than 1000 to be bough at any one time, 500 for the hmr and no more than 300 to be bought at a time.
We will see what happens, it is also never a quick process, I made the original phone call to obtain the application forms about 3 weeks ago, I have filled them all in and returned them, I called to make sure it was all going ok yesterday and was told it will still take another 3 weeks, at least.
For any of you who fancy a laugh, I will post a link that lets you download the forms, you can fill them in, on your PC and print them out, this will give you the forms that you have to get your sponsors to fill in as well.
And before you can get the licence you also need a gun-safe, which lets you lock the guns up separately to the ammunition, and bolts to any bolt action rifle.

Neil. :)

Local Police Firearms Licensing Section, here. (http://www.essex.police.uk/services/s_fa_02.php)
Forms from here. (http://www.essex.police.uk/cms/global/documents/a_fl101.pdf)

OMGWTFBBQ
May 15, 2008, 10:27 AM
The UK gun scene, well it's a bit limited, depending on where you live, and how much money you want to spend.
Basically a shotgun licence is yours for the asking, provided you have not been a naughty boy in the past.
There is no need to prove a need for it, clay shooting, pigeons, and wildfowl is fine.
A rifle is a little different, you need to prove a need for it, i.e. you are a member of a target shooting club, or you have permission to shoot game or vermin on an area of lend that has been inspected an found to be suitable for the calibre you have asked for.
At the moment I am applying for a licence for a couple of rim-fires, .22lr and .17hmr.
I know the land I have available is ok as there are a couple of others with a licence for the same land.
The licence is generally only valid for that land, and no other, although it is sometime possible to get a licence that is called an 'open licence' so you can use the gun at any location that has already been deemed suitable for that calibre.
You have to apply for each calibre separately, and each gun separately if you want more than one of a calibre you also need to have permission for a moderator if needed, and for expanding ammunition.
The amount of ammunition is also controlled, usually no more than 750 rounds at any time (per calibre), and no more than 500 to be purchased at any one time.
I have applied for 2 x .22lr and 1 x .17hmr + a moderator for each, I have asked or a total of 1200 round of .22 with no more than 1000 to be bough at any one time, 500 for the hmr and no more than 300 to be bought at a time.
We will see what happens, it is also never a quick process, I made the original phone call to obtain the application forms about 3 weeks ago, I have filled them all in and returned them, I called to make sure it was all going ok yesterday and was told it will still take another 3 weeks, at least.
For any of you who fancy a laugh, I will post a link that lets you download the forms, you can fill them in, on your PC and print them out, this will give you the forms that you have to get your sponsors to fill in as well.
And before you can get the licence you also need a gun-safe, which lets you lock the guns up separately to the ammunition, and bolts to any bolt action rifle.

Neil.
LOL, for a rimfire? Man, you guys have it BAD.

Hornet 6
May 15, 2008, 02:48 PM
LOL, for a rimfire? Man, you guys have it BAD.

Thanks for the vote of confidence :banghead:

Neil.

iapetus
May 15, 2008, 06:56 PM
The amount of ammunition is also controlled, usually no more than 750 rounds at any time (per calibre), and no more than 500 to be purchased at any one time.

I think you can get permission for substantially more than that, if its .22 rimfire.

Also, sometimes ignorance on the part of those granting the license can work in your favour. One member of my rifle club got permission to possess x hundred rounds of 7.62x51mm, and the same quantity of .308 Winchester :neener:

wdlsguy
May 15, 2008, 07:19 PM
Stateside we don't quite have an equivalent for AAA (0.20")
#T "buckshot" is .20" in diameter.

http://shop2.mailordercentral.com/bpicart/products.asp?dept=65

32 Magnum
May 15, 2008, 07:27 PM
Actual case: My nephew was shot with #4 shot from a 3" Magnum 12 gauge. State police determined distance to be 47 feet and about a 60 degree upward angle (he was in a tree stand, bow hunting for deer, and the shooter was on the ground hunting turkeys). He absorbed over 80 pellets which penetrated a Marine Corps field jacket, flannel shirt, long johns and a cotton tee-shirt. He drove himself to a hospital over a 45 minute span - and almost bled to death. Doctors opened him up and examined internal organs for shot penetration, including pulling out his entire intestinal tract and checking for perferations. Several pellets penetrated his liver and a few penetrated his right lung - he was turning to his left when he saw the turkey hunter pointing at him and pulling the trigger. This was a year and a half ago and he's still shedding some of the pellets that didn't penetrate all the way through his back muscles.

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