Ballistic gelatin test results : 7 1/2 birdshot (UPDATE: #8 shot, Post 75, 7/22/09)


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Brass Fetcher
July 27, 2008, 11:21 PM
The 65 pound gelatin block rose up to about a 45-degree angle immediately after firing.

==========
Brass Fetcher Ballistic Testing

Test # Bird 1
Bare gelatin block
(Nominal 10% concentration)

Cartridge : 12 gauge Winchester Super Speed Xtra 7 1/2 shot, 2 3/4 inches, 1 ounce

Block Calibration : 3.3 0.05 inch penetration @ 597 0.5 ft/sec

Block Calibration temperature : 36.1 0.05 Degrees Fahrenheit

Block Core temperature : 37.9 0.05 Degrees Fahrenheit

Bullet Performance:

Impact Velocity : 1317 0.5 feet/second
Deepest Penetration Depth : 5.9 0.05 Inch
Maximum Crack Diameter : 4.5 0.05 Inch
Max Crack Diameter Location : 2.3 0.05 Inch
Cavitation Depth : 0.0-5.9 0.05 Inch

Notes:
Weapon - New England Firearms Pardner, with 24.0" barrel and cylinder choke.

Distance - 10.0 feet, muzzle to gelatin impact face

Test site conditions - 67 deg F, 46% relative humidity

Time out of refrigeration prior to shot impact - 6 minutes

Bullet recovered weight - All shot pellets and wadding recovered

Bullet recovered average diameter - 0.090 0.0005"

Bullet recovered length - Not applicable.

Shot pattern was 3.8" in diameter on the impact face of the gelatin block.

http://www.brassfetcher.com/Shotguns/Bird 1 Side View.JPG
http://www.brassfetcher.com/Shotguns/Bird 1 Top View.JPG
http://www.brassfetcher.com/Shotguns/Bird 1 Bullet View.JPG

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351 WINCHESTER
July 27, 2008, 11:39 PM
Thank's for sharing. I would have guessed a little more penetration, but then, that's what you're here for.

Thank's again.

Ken

mgkdrgn
July 28, 2008, 12:13 AM
With a "wound track" thats nearly 4 inches wide, who needs penetration?

Zip7
July 28, 2008, 01:29 AM
With a "wound track" thats nearly 4 inches wide, who needs penetration?

Yeah, and who says you have to use no choke? How about High brass 6's or 4's through a full choke from ten feet? Or BB's? Steel Shot?

Basically this is a low brass dove load. I wouldn't want to be shot with it... People poo poo it all the time, but I wouldn't feel too undergunned with a 12 gauge and whatever kind of shell I had lying around from 10' away.

Sergeant Sabre
July 28, 2008, 01:40 AM
With a "wound track" thats nearly 4 inches wide, who needs penetration?

Anybody who wants to reliably penetrate to and disrupt vital structures like the heart, lungs, and major blood vessels.

FFMedic
July 28, 2008, 01:45 AM
Wow, that's not far at all. Imagine a fat guy with a leather jacket on holding a crowbar above his head and 4" isn't much.

Take into account that a large portion of the shot will hit a rib or the sternum most likely if you aim COM and it's even worse.

If I find myself with only birdshot and I'm under attack, I'm going with head shots.

FFMedic

Dave Williams
July 28, 2008, 07:45 AM
Thanks for the testing.

Dave Williams

dak0ta
July 28, 2008, 10:49 AM
aim for the head...

SN13
July 28, 2008, 11:05 AM
12ga 7 1/2 birdshot to the face from across the room would certainly ruin your day.

rbernie
July 28, 2008, 12:33 PM
With a "wound track" thats nearly 4 inches wide, who needs penetration?Anyone intending to use the load for self defense and who actually wants to stop a threat rather than just create a shallow bloody wound.

12ga 7 1/2 birdshot to the face from across the room would certainly ruin your day.Yeah, but it's not like the target is gonna stand and pose for you. Hitting a bobbing moving 12" round target while in a hurry and under stress is not a trivial exercise. Aim center mass, and use something that's tested to reliably penetrate at least 12" of ballistic gel under FBI test protocols.

Thanks, Brassfetcher. This test shows exactly what needed to be shown - birdshot is for birds.

I am curious - how far did the shotcup penetrate?

fletcher
July 28, 2008, 12:35 PM
Another great test. By the way, I like your new backlighting choice for the gelatin - makes it very visible and consistent.

waterhouse
July 28, 2008, 12:49 PM
Thanks for taking the time to do this and post the results.

lions
July 28, 2008, 12:49 PM
This site has more loads tested for comparison.

http://www.tacticalshotgun.ca/ballistics_shotgun.html

mtngunr
July 28, 2008, 12:56 PM
I very much appreciate the post....it performs about the same on larger pests, too...messy, effective....whatever you wanted to stop has stopped after getting whacked with one....

rantingredneck
July 28, 2008, 01:02 PM
Thanks for posting the results. Makes me thankful for a tube full of 00 buck.

Folks, keep in mind folks that this is bare gelatin and it lacks any bone structure to stop pellets. 6" penetration here under ideal circumstances at a testing range of 10 feet. Badguys have sternums and ribs. Most of them will be wearing clothes too. These things will limit effectiveness.

In the real world you'll get less than 6" due to bone structure, clothing, distance. Longest possible shot within my house is 33 feet. Measure yours. You'll be surprised.

Bring enough gun.

mtngunr
July 28, 2008, 01:15 PM
I know this is probably the wrong thread to discuss this, but the ethical and legal reason for shooting a human is to DETER, not kill...a person being hit with a load of birdshot at distances best measured in feet will have lost all thought of continuing whatever behavior you wished to modify....don't under-rate birdshot or over-rate buckshot, both of which I see here constantly.

rantingredneck
July 28, 2008, 01:21 PM
Actually the reason is to STOP. Deterrence has already failed at that point if you're in an active shooting situation in your home. If you are trying to stop an attack that means the person may be (probably is) armed. So your gonna bet on stopping that attack with the most inneffective anti-personnel round you can load into a shotgun? I'm not gonna overrate buckshot or especially birdshot.

HB
July 28, 2008, 01:33 PM
Thanks for the test..... For those who think bird is as good as buck, one word: RIBS

HB

KiltedClaymore
July 28, 2008, 03:32 PM
that wound will make you bleed out REALquick!

pbearperry
July 28, 2008, 03:50 PM
Never saw birdshot in gelatin but went to a shooting where guy was shot with 71/2 birdshoot in 12 ga at a distance of 2 feet.The guy went down and never spoke another word.He was dead on arrival in 10 minutes.There was hardly any blood.The shot entered the lower stomach and intestines came out the entrance wound sealing the bleeding inside.At the hospital,the body sloshed inside while moving him to take x rays.The majority of the birdshot stayed in the stomach&chest cavity however a few of the pellets made it all the way to the neck area and also down through the legs.I saw one pellet coming through the skin by one of his ankles.The x rays showed up like many lights on a Xmas tree because the rays don't penetrate lead.I could not believe the devastation done to this guy.Yes gelatin is nice but I saw the real deal.I would not hesitate using any size birdshot for close up work.However,keeping all I have said,I would prefer #2 over 7 1/2.
Sorry for the correction.It was #9 Birdshot that was used.See it's not east getting old and forgetful.

rantingredneck
July 28, 2008, 03:55 PM
close up work

distance of 2 feet

Key words...........

rbernie
July 28, 2008, 04:03 PM
I know this is probably the wrong thread to discuss this, but the ethical and legal reason for shooting a human is to DETER, not kill...a person being hit with a load of birdshot at distances best measured in feet will have lost all thought of continuing whatever behavior you wished to modify....don't under-rate birdshot or over-rate buckshot, both of which I see here constantly.When I shoot at someone, I am not trying to deter them. I'm well past that stage. My locked doors, alarms, dogs, and verbal commands were all designed to deter them. If they're still hanging around after all that, I'm now trying to STOP them from whatever they're doing because they are clearly up to no good and are highly motivated.

Lemme reiterate that - when I finally make the decision to pull the trigger on another human being, it's after I've exhausted all of the reasonable alternative for avoidance and deterrence. All I care about at that point is that they STOP THE HECK outta whatever they were doing.

A load of birdshot across the room is less likely to make that happen than is a more potent load. Brassfetcher's test data should show you exactly why.

I, and most others, are simply not willing to play the odds.

that wound will make you bleed out REALquick! Only if you happen to hit a major blood-carrying vessel. Given that the human body tends to put the critical blood-carryin' structures behind a shielding of bone, your defensive loading ought to be capable of penetrating through those bones. Anything less is simply trusting your fate to blind luck.

waterhouse
July 28, 2008, 04:39 PM
The majority of the birdshot stayed in the stomach&chest cavity however a few of the pellets made it all the way to the neck area and also down through the legs.I saw one pellet coming through the skin by one of his ankles.

I have no medical training. Although it might sound rhetorical, I'd like a real answer to the following question, hopefully from someone with medical training.

At a distance of 2 feet, shot in the gut, how did pellets make it to the neck area and also the ankle? Were these #9 pellets somehow traveling through the blood to get where they ended up? And if so, wouldn't this imply that the guy still had blood pumping to both his head and his farthest extremities (Ok, not quite to his toes, but his ankle) for some time after being shot?

pbearperry
July 28, 2008, 04:44 PM
According to the Doctor,the pellets bounced around after hitting bones.If I didn't see the xrays I would not have believed it myself.Even the cardboard wad was inside the guy.

Okiecruffler
July 28, 2008, 05:15 PM
You'd be surprised at the paths that a bullet (or shot) will travel. Bones, even the shape of the projectile itself, can send the pellets in some strange directions. Saw one shooting with 20 ga 7 1/2 shot. Perp DOA in one room, shooter in another with 3 pellets stuck in his face. Had to have bounced off of something.
As for me, I'm tired of debating what to carry/load for SD/Hunting/Plinking. I'll base my choices on what I've seen in the real world, everyone else can base their's on what they wish.

waterhouse
July 28, 2008, 05:20 PM
According to the Doctor,the pellets bounced around after hitting bones.

The above penetration in gelatin shows a depth of about 6" with 7.5 shot.

Even without medical knowledge, and even with the Dr. saying the pellets bounced around, it seems hard to believe that #9 shot could enter in the lower stomach and have enough energy to bounce off of anything in the body to end up

a) over 12" up to the neck
and
b) over 24" down to the ankle.

The 7.5 penetrated only 6" in ballistic gelatin, in ideal conditions. How could #9 bounce off of a bone and continue to travel over 2 feet?

I'm certainly open to learning, and I'm not questioning what you saw or what you repeated from the doctor, but I find the Dr.'s explanation lacking.

Perhaps some of the shot missed the stomach, and hit an odd angle on a wall, and some of it bounced up to the neck and some bounced down to the ankle, but it seems like the shot wouldn't be able to spread enough to miss from 2 feet.

I guess what I'm getting at, is, if your heart is still pumping blood, is it it medically possible to have #9 pellets traveling through your bloodstream to other parts of your body?

ArmedBear
July 28, 2008, 05:32 PM
Sorry for the correction.It was #9 Birdshot that was used.

Yes, but I know a guy who tried to commit suicide with a skeet gun, and he's still alive AFAIK, after a contact shot. REALLY badly messed up by hundreds of little pellets, but certainly not DOA by any stretch of the imagination.

Nobody who has shot pigeons with smaller birdshot and watched them spin in the air, turn and fly away no worse for the experience, would consider using the same stuff for HD. You never know: a burglar might be wearing a down jacket, which apparently stops birdshot at least some of the time, as bird hunters know from experience:D.

pbearperry
July 28, 2008, 05:57 PM
How they got there I don't know for sure,except the 1 pellet I saw breaking thru the skin on the ankle had nothing to do with blood pumping.Only velocity would do that.As far as all the rest in the torso,it was full of blood when the Doc opened him up.It looked like a bomb went off.The hole in the stomach was no bigger than the size of a quarter,so all the spreading of pellets took place inside.

Odd Job
July 28, 2008, 06:03 PM
Even without medical knowledge, and even with the Dr. saying the pellets bounced around, it seems hard to believe that #9 shot could enter in the lower stomach and have enough energy to bounce off of anything in the body to end up

a) over 12" up to the neck
and
b) over 24" down to the ankle.

The most likely explanation for the ankle pellet is that it arrived at its destination via the arterial system. The most likely route is via the aorta, down an iliac artery and then down a popliteal towards the ankle.

I have one case of a fatality from birdshot in my research file, but I don't know what size the pellet is, according to the nomenclature being used on this board. Here is a picture of one of the pellets, next to a ruler in millimetres:

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g154/Odd_Job/DSC00113.jpg

It is between 2mm and 3mm in diameter.
In the case I am discussing, there were a few pellets that travelled quite far in the tissues: certainly in the range of 10 to 12" from entry point.
The problem I have with this, is that there may be movement of the tissues and migration of the pellets in tissue planes and vessels, such that you can't get proper penetration distances unless you can explore the wound track of each of the wandering pellets in turn. In the case I am talking about, it was a close range shot in the left flank and most of the abdominal organs were damaged. The guy made it to hospital alive, he survived theatre, but died shortly afterwards.
Close range birdshot is very dangerous, but it wouldn't be my first choice in shotgun ammo for self defense.

Odd Job
July 28, 2008, 06:07 PM
Hmmm, just saw you said the pellet was breaking out of the skin at the ankle...well I can't explain that one. It would be useful to examine the clothing (shoes and socks) to exclude entry into the ankle from the exterior.

Fred Fuller
July 28, 2008, 06:37 PM
JE223,

Thanks for sharing the results of another of your tests. It's appreciated.


All,

I've posted the link to this forensic review previously when discussions of using birdshot in self defense have come up here. It's still useful, I think.

But keep in mind that one anecdote- even one calibrated gelatin test, or one forensic review of a suicide- are not really data. One case does not a rule make, in other words, and as my wife the professor frequently says- "It is dangerous to extrapolate beyond your data." Know what? She's right again.

That said, here's the link: http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/173_11_041200/herdson/herdson.html .

In my checkered past, I spent some time as an EMT. I have zipped up a body bag on someone shot at close range with a shotgun loaded with birdshot. It certainly can kill- especially when several rounds are fired into the torso at close range. It certainly did in this case.

I know of other cases where birdshot at close range has proved lethal. I know of one case where a load of buckshot at point blank range was not lethal.

But those are anecdotes, not data.

What anyone who uses any firearm for self defense MUST understand clearly is that there are two components involved in the effectiveness of a firearm in stopping an attack- PLACEMENT and PENETRATION. Both are equally necessary. Shortcomings in either will result in less than optimal results in stopping an attack. Placement of the projectile or projectiles such that they strike a vital area is the shooter's responsibility- penetration is a function of the load the shooter selects.

IMHO- and that's my opinion only- birdshot does not offer sufficiently reliable penetration for use in a defensive shotgun, where more suitable loads are available. I won't use it as a defensive load, given any more suitable alternative. Of course, YMMV.

Stay Safe,

lpl/nc

Zip7
July 28, 2008, 06:55 PM
Ernest Hemingway apparently thought birdshot out of a model 12 might keep a wounded leopard from eating him...

rbernie
July 28, 2008, 10:22 PM
I asked tonight, and my local Domino's pizza delivery guy has an opinion, too. Sadly, just like Papa Hemingway he has no real-life experience shooting DG with birdshot.

Pete409
July 28, 2008, 10:50 PM
Odd Job,

If the pellet in the pictue is about 2.5 mm (approx 0.10") in diameter, that would be about size #7 birdshot. This is a little bigger than #9 birdshot which is about 0.08" (about 2 mm) in diameter.

ArmedBear
July 29, 2008, 12:34 AM
Ernest Hemingway apparently thought birdshot out of a model 12 might keep a wounded leopard from eating him...

He also spent a good part of WW II cruising around in his sportfisher, believing he could sink a German U-boat.

Then again, a shotgun blast is what killed him.

Comme Ci, Comme a

Girodin
July 29, 2008, 01:05 AM
a person being hit with a load of birdshot at distances best measured in feet will have lost all thought of continuing whatever behavior you wished to modify

That simply cannot be taken as an absolute.

Zip7
July 29, 2008, 01:44 AM
He also spent a good part of WW II cruising around in his sportfisher, believing he could sink a German U-boat.

Hey, confidence is a virtue, isn't it?

mtngunr
July 29, 2008, 02:13 AM
Actually the reason is to STOP. Deterrence has already failed at that point if you're in an active shooting situation in your home. If you are trying to stop an attack that means the person may be (probably is) armed.

This is splitting frog-hairs....and is also a continuation of the tiresome caliber/gauge/mousegun wars....to STOP someone means to stop them from doing whatever it is you want stopped, which is the exact same thing as DETER....it is NOT a the same as DROP, even though they rhyme....

I personally don't doubt I could run someone out of my house with a .410 pump loaded with birdshot, with them never thinking of, or being able to, return fire....I know I couldn't....and no naysayer has ever, and I mean EVER, volunteered to stand out there while I plugged them with my dinky (fill-in-the-blank, be it .22, .25, .32, .410, birdshot, slingshot, pellet rifle) ineffective little toy.....why?....because they know it would stop/deter them, too.....

I know drastical tactical cool toys are what is hot right now along with premium boutique loads for them, and they sell lots of ammo and toys due to wonderful marketing.....but shotguns typically single shots firing birdshot loads have been defending homesteads and running off intruders since before cartridges were invented, and quite successfully, too....much more successfully than buckshot loads have been at harvesting bucks....sure, the buckshot load is better in many respects, mostly theoretical respects, when it comes down to getting uninvited guests out of your house.

KiltedClaymore
July 29, 2008, 03:17 AM
and no naysayer has ever, and I mean EVER, volunteered to stand out there while I plugged them with my dinky (fill-in-the-blank, be it .22, .25, .32, .410, birdshot, slingshot, pellet rifle) ineffective little toy.....why?....because they know it would stop/deter them, too.....


..how far we talking? i'd take a .22 in the rear for the right price.

Odd Job
July 29, 2008, 03:49 AM
If the pellet in the pictue is about 2.5 mm (approx 0.10") in diameter, that would be about size #7 birdshot. This is a little bigger than #9 birdshot which is about 0.08" (about 2 mm) in diameter.

Thanks, Pete!

Dan Forrester
July 29, 2008, 05:03 AM
One ounce of #9 shot should have about 585 little pellets. I think Its probably just a numbers game. Maybe a couple pellets hit a metallic zipper or coins in a jacket pocket and bounced up into his neck or one or two imbedded just under the skin in his leg or foot. When you have this many pellets traveling this fast and hitting so many different structures all simultaneously a couple are bound to go somewhere odd. Also during transportation or as he bled externally some of the pellets (extremely small) could have traveled downwards and stuck to his skin and clothing as the blood dried. I really doubt that they could have traveled through the blood stream. These pellets as the original poster said light up like Christmas lights on a x-ray.

Thanks for the real world experience pbearperry. I would take a Remington 870 loaded up with 5 12ga skeet loads over my 16 shot Glock 10mm with win silvertips any day. Having said that I would prefer it to be loaded up with #2 or 4 shot or better yet buckshot. I am rather impressed with the damage. Especially when you take into account that this was low brass skeet loads. Im sure #6 high brass would be much more destructive and still dirt cheap to practice with.

Dan

rantingredneck
July 29, 2008, 07:49 AM
....to STOP someone means to stop them from doing whatever it is you want stopped, which is the exact same thing as DETER....

Thread veer warning...........

Actually it's not. Deter means to prevent it from starting in the first place. Stop means to stop it once deterrence fails.

When someone is shooting at you, you really don't want them to have to consider their actions and then stop. You want them to stop because biologically speaking they have no choice in the matter. It's faster that way and results in less continuing risk to you and yours.

.........end of thread veer.

Also, I still don't understand why it's "tactical" to use the same loads I deer hunt with to defend my homestead..........:confused:

Anyway, to each his own. You feel confident in your birdshot of whichever size you choose, I'll place my faith in 00 buck (with slugs as a backup).

itgoesboom
July 29, 2008, 06:30 PM
Using a firearm in self defense is legally considered using lethal force, whether or not you are using birdshot, buckshot, or rubber "less lethal" options.

By using lethal force (firearm) in defense, you are essentially stating that you feel that your very life is in imminent danger, and if you don't use the lethal force, you are likely going to die.

In that context, the intent to wound, or "run off" an intruder insinuates that you aren't 100% in a situation where you are in imminent danger of losing your life. After all, if you were in imminent danger of death, you would use the most effective manner available to end the situation, and preserve your own life, right?

The intent with lethal force is to immediately incapacitate the aggressor, to force him to stop, by using a weapon.

There are of course, multiple ways of stopping a person, some more effective than others.

A CNS hit is the most effective, but can be hard to achieve.

A structural stop can stop the aggressor, but if he has a firearm, could still get a shot off, so it may not stop 100% of the threat.

A psychological stop is a great solution, but that involves aggressor having some rational thought and fear of what happens to them, either prior to, or after being shot, so because of that, it's not a reliable stopper. The psychological aspect is just one of the many reasons why Marshall and Sanow's "One stop shot" data can't be relied upon. There is no control, no indicator for when a psychological stop will occur, since there is no method of really knowing what's in an aggressor's head.

So what that leaves us with is the need to damage vital structures within the aggressor's body, to force him to stop through physical incapacitation. We don't want to rely on him "wanting" to stop, we want to force it.

In order to hit those vital structures, we need to be able to penetrate through to them, and create damage within them. That involves penetrating their clothes, skin, muscle, fat and bones prior to even reaching the vital organs.

Add in that an attacker may not be standing straight on towards you, and may have his arms in a position where they can block the path to their vital organs. Which means that now you need to penetrate through the aggressor's arms (skin, fat, muscle, bone, skin) prior to even hitting the body in front of his vital organs.

Add in the possibility of the aggressor being turned diagonally, and it's now easy to see why the experts in the wound ballistics field (who aren't trying to sell you anything) recommend a minimum of 12" in calibrated gelatin.

I used to think like many others currently do, and used to keep my shotgun loaded with birdshot. I even once on this forum defended the practice of keeping "less lethal" options (rubber buck/slug), though it wasn't something I would do.

Through a significant amount of research, my views have evolved, and are now more inline with those of the experts in the field, and I will continue to follow their recommendations.

As such, my shotgun is loaded with 00 Buckshot, and is being replaced with Federal 00 Buckshot with flight control.

Use what you will, it's your life, and the life of your loved ones on the line.

For anyone that really wants an education in regards to wound ballistics, here are some links:

http://www.firearmstactical.com/
http://www.tacticalforums.com/ (requires registration, but is worth it. Look for posts by DocGKR (Doctor Gary Roberts) )
http://www.tacticalshotgun.ca/ballistics_shotgun.html

Scoutsout2645
July 29, 2008, 11:39 PM
"the ethical and legal reason for shooting a human is to DETER, not kill"

What happened to rule #1 of firearms: "Never point a weapon at anything you don't intend to kill."

Before debating the effectiveness of one load over another you have to remember that we're not talking about skeet or hunting quail--we're talking about home defense and this means shooting people with the intention of killing them. itgoesboom just covered the legal points and if you are unfamiliar with the rules regarding use of deadly force in your state, educate yourself before you even think about purchasing that HD gun.

If you are morally/ethically unable or unwilling to take the life of another person, that's your decision and I respect it. You have a great variety of non- or less-lethal options at you disposal, but you SHOULD NOT pull out a gun. Period. The odds of a weapon being used against you increase exponentially in a confrontation where you are unwilling to use it and the BG calls your bluff. If someone forces a situation where you have to shoot them and they happen to survive, great. But, if you can't bear the most probable outcome of shooting someone, stick with a cell phone, a sturdy locked door and a Louisville Slugger.

If you are willing to take that step, then the next step is to consider your total HD strategy. If your battle plan depends on unprotected gut-shots at practically contact-shot ranges, then load with salt if you want(the gas expansion should do the job by itself). Personally I'd like a better battle plan and a heavier load.

While one or more rounds of birdshot may kill a person from blood loss--eventually--bear in mind that the gelatin tests are done at 3 yds which equates to 3-4 paces for a 6' male. A dedicated attacker can easily close that distance, strike you with his knife/crowbar/fill in the blank and continue to attack for quite a while before blood loss alone will incapacitate him. For CQB or HD considerations you want a round that will penetrate that heavy leather jacket, ribs/sternum, other limbs and will still have the power to destroy the heart/lungs/aorta. Ideally, a round that will also dump enough of it's kinetic energy into your target to knock him down--there's something about having to get up after getting shot like that that takes the fight out of people.

IMHO the best CQB round is Federal's 00 Tactical loads. I can easily put multiple groups C.O.M. with no overspray at the longest interior distances for my house, and have put full groups into headshots at 10-15 yds with confidence with an 18" bbl. I wouldn't use it for a hostage scenario, but anyone who chooses not to retreat when they hear my 12ga pump rack a round in the dark is going to have a nasty--and short--surprise.

Mossberg535
July 30, 2008, 04:07 PM
Wow, that's not far at all. Imagine a fat guy with a leather jacket on holding a crowbar above his head and 4" isn't much.
Skinny guy like me 4" would be 90% through to my spine :D
I read a story a bunch of years ago where a pretty heavy guy was shot about 20ft with a 12g and still managed to kill the shooter before he collapsed and died.
Shot placement is still pretty critical regardless of the ammo.

Personally Im giving one warning shot to give an intruder the chance to leave. If I have to shoot its going to be the face and neck area. Little chance of just ignoring that, in my opinion, regardless of the shot size.

rantingredneck
July 30, 2008, 04:09 PM
Personally Im giving one warning shot to give an intruder the chance to leave.

Not to veer the thread in that direction, but you may want to do some additional reading on that particular subject. Lots of reasons not to give warning shots. No good reasons to give them.

Mossberg535
July 30, 2008, 04:09 PM
In that context, the intent to wound, or "run off" an intruder insinuates that you aren't 100% in a situation where you are in imminent danger of losing your life. After all, if you were in imminent danger of death, you would use the most effective manner available to end the situation, and preserve your own life, right?
You give the guy a warning shot IF you arent IN imminent danger because possibly youve come across him in your home and hes now just standing there and are giving him a change to leave or surrender....just like a LEO would do it.

*IF* he refuses to leave and makes a move towards you NOW you are in imminent danger.

Just opening fire to kill first thing without giving him the opportunity to surrender might just get someone some jail time.
Judges and Juries might be a bit smarter than we give them credit for.

Mossberg535
July 30, 2008, 04:16 PM
Not to veer the thread in that direction, but you may want to do some additional reading on that particular subject. Lots of reasons not to give warning shots. No good reasons to give them.
Ive had intruders in my home...and you?
MOST of the time when they see a gun on them that Ive ever seen or read about they will either flee or surrender ((except where they are armed and they open fire)
Shooting to kill without offering a chance for a surrender might well end up in Jail or prison time if it can be determined that you ran in guns a blazing.

Ive read just enough of law and situations in Ohio and in NYS where I live now to know that no judge is going to fault anyone here in these two states at least for finding a way NOT to kill another human being.

That said *IF* I find myself having to actually shoot the intruder, its going to be in a manner to make sure he is entirely incapacitated. Few men would just shake off a shot to the face/neck area.

rantingredneck
July 30, 2008, 04:18 PM
Do as you will..........

Scoutsout2645
July 30, 2008, 05:08 PM
Both Mossberg535 and rantingredneck are correct.

Firing a warning shot is not a good technique because you need to be accountable for where every one of your projectiles go--shots into the air come down eventually and shooting blindly at ground level is not responsible shooting. While this may not be an issue on a 100 acre farmstead in Iowa its a BIG issue for most people in urban/suburban areas (a large percentage of the population). Tactics can be debated, safety can't.

HOWEVER, the term is home DEFENSE, not home OFFENSE. While certain states south of the Mason/Dixon might allow a "shoot first, ask questions later" attitude, playing that game in the Northeast or West Coast is likely to end up with you getting detailed first-hand knowledge of the Criminal Justice system. Just as someone who is unwilling to take a life should not have a gun for HD, someone who is TOO eager to take a life should not have a gun for HD. I already know my home's layout, avenues of approach to my bedroom/s, backlighting, and lanes of fire. An intruder only knows where he came in and darkness. Giving him the opportunity to flee saves you the moral and legal trauma/hassle of dealing with the fact that you just ended someone's life (and it saves you the carpet-cleaning bill. Have you ever seen how much blood comes out of a human body? Pretty gruesome.) If the intruder chooses to make this a fight, you (should) still have the advantage of planning, terrain, firepower and training to end it quickly. A verbal or audio warning prior to blasting away is a sound and legally advisable technique --with the standard disclaimer "as the situation dicates".

In my professional experience 90% of opportunistic residential burglars are non-confrontational--they pick times that they think you are gone or asleep because they want your stuff without a fight and will flee unless cornered. The next 9% (the "home invasion" crew) are more aggressive and might even be armed, but are still looking for soft targets. When they realize they're facing someone w/ teeth they are also likely to flee rather than engage in a gun battle. The last 1% you're probably going to have to kill. As prior military and current LEO, my battle plan involves me w/ a pump and my wife w/ her .357 and a cell phone bunkered down in our bedroom with clear lines of fire on the back of anyone coming up our stairs and them facing a 12 yard dash down a straight, dark, backlit hallway attacking a barricaded shotgun. A rack of the slide with an announcement that the police have been called will take care of 95% of intruders. The other 5% face something that, professionally, I would want grenades or a SWAT team for. Should I wake up to him already in that kill zone, however, it is now a shoot-first situation and my gunshots can be the warning to any buddies he might have. Some days are just bad days.

Mossberg535
July 30, 2008, 05:47 PM
Good post Scout.
when the gent basically was forcing his way into my home I had my 357 snubby readily available and probably could have justified shooting him because I had already ejected him once and he came charging back in.
I dont think a LEO or judge alive would have not accepted that I honestly would believe that my life was in danger...at the time there was a good reason to believe that this guy was going to do whatever he needed to to get in and hurt someone.

But it was easy enough to assess that he was not carrying a weapon and that a good *** kicking might be called for instead.
So I dealt with him physically, put him outside my home and called the police.

If my wife had been in the home at the time, things may have been handled differently because her safety would have been at the forefront of my mind, but in this particular instance, I didnt feel the need to play Rambo and start firing at the first possible opportunity.

I think part of HD is being ABLE to discern a THREAT and when to take someones life, and when lesser measures are called for and a good whipping might be in order.

rantingredneck
July 30, 2008, 05:57 PM
I didn't advocate to "shoot first ask questions later". I said warning shots aren't a terribly good idea. There is a difference. Think about it for a bit. It'll come to you.

Edited to add: If you want to continue this discussion, start a new thread about warning shots and I'll gladly participate. As it is this thread is more about number 7.5 birdshot's effectiveness.

I apologize for the thread veer.........:D.

itgoesboom
July 30, 2008, 07:20 PM
I didn't advocate to "shoot first ask questions later". I said warning shots aren't a terribly good idea. There is a difference. Think about it for a bit. It'll come to you.

Bingo.

Either you are in a situation where you are legally allowed to use lethal force, or you aren't. There is not really a middle ground there.

Not to mention, warning shots are bad tactics, since it leaves you down one in regards to ammo.

oneounceload
July 30, 2008, 09:31 PM
Not to mention, warning shots are bad tactics, since it leaves you down one in regards to ammo.

and if you're inside, it leaves a hole in your ceiling that you have to patch..:D

itgoesboom
July 30, 2008, 11:47 PM
and if you're inside, it leaves a hole in your ceiling that you have to patch..


Probably not, because anyone who actually believes in using warning shots, also probably believes in using frangible ammo. :p

Scoutsout2645
July 31, 2008, 12:53 AM
And we're back to how many walls birdshot will penetrate vs. buckshot... I love when a thread veer goes full circle!

Zip7
July 31, 2008, 01:55 AM
Has anyone tested rock salt? I know Granny Clampett swore by it.

mtngunr
July 31, 2008, 02:41 AM
..how far we talking? i'd take a .22 in the rear for the right price.


hahahahhahhhahhahaa!!!....help, I can't stop!!!.....ok, how does $1/ft grab you? The easiest $100 you'd ever regret....and you'd better hope I'm a REALLY good shot!

Seriously, even Marshall's tests of mousegun loads, penetration, and shooting results showed 50% one-shot-stops with .22LR, .25ACP, and .22Short with basically 10" penetration with any of them....the one-shot-stops being, of course, spine hits from THE FRONT.

mtngunr
July 31, 2008, 02:58 AM
also probably believes in using frangible ammo.

That fairly describes shotshells....of whatever shot size.

itgoesboom
July 31, 2008, 04:29 PM
1. There is a big difference between frangible ammo that is designed to not penetrate, and shot, especially large shot like 00 Buck that is very good at penetrating.

2. Any use of Marshall and Sanow's "statistics" immediately raises the red flag. As mentioned earlier, including a shot that stops a person because of a psychological reaction and calling it a "one shot stop" but not including a shoot that requires 10 shots as a "one shot failure" invalidates their data.

Doesn't mean I want to be hit by a .22lr, but I don't want to be hit by a .177 pellet either.

Feanaro
July 31, 2008, 06:13 PM
and no naysayer has ever, and I mean EVER, volunteered to stand out there while I plugged them with my dinky (fill-in-the-blank, be it .22, .25, .32, .410, birdshot, slingshot, pellet rifle) ineffective little toy

I won't let you throw rocks at me either, does that make them effective self defense weapons?

Scoutsout2645
July 31, 2008, 07:29 PM
If that's all you have at hand, then yes. If all you have is a .22LR, then use it and make sure you can put your rounds into his brain housing group fast and accurate. BUT, if you have time to plan ahead (and obviously that's why we're all throwing our opinions around here) get the right tools for the job. You COULD run a marathon in work boots, or race a 1/4 mile with a Yugo, but why would you choose to do so?

Zip7
July 31, 2008, 07:33 PM
I don't want to be hit by a .177 pellet either

After seeing what it does to a squirrel, I don't want to be hit with a Hornady V-Max out of a 17HMR either

mavracer
August 2, 2008, 01:20 PM
I won't let you throw rocks at me either, does that make them effective self defense weapons?
yes it does

moooose102
August 2, 2008, 02:07 PM
i wouldnt want to be shot with ANY shotgun load. period!

Geronimo45
August 2, 2008, 04:37 PM
I won't let you throw rocks at me either, does that make them effective self defense weapons?
Absolutely. Effective != lethal. You don't want to be pelted with rocks, so you could be convinced to alter any innate desires you have to club me like a baby seal by me pelting you with said rocks.

Feanaro
August 2, 2008, 05:20 PM
You don't want to be pelted with rocks, so you could be convinced to alter any innate desires you have to club me like a baby seal by me pelting you with said rocks.

You've extrapolated something not stated. In the context of the quote, I said I wasn't going to volunteer to be hit with a rock. Because that is stupid. I'm not going to jump in front of a bicycle or a Mack truck, that doesn't mean the bicycle is a good choice for vehicular homocide. I have been hit by rocks and it didn't do the pelter a darn bit 'o good. ;)

If that's all you have at hand, then yes.

A lack of alternatives doesn't make something good or effective... it's just what's left.

max199
December 21, 2008, 01:58 PM
Thanks for this cool and precise test, JE223. Well done! :cool:
I must say that I have been searching for precisely this test for a while on the net.
I guess the bottom line is:
1.- shotguns are a very good choice for hd.
2.- you should use the max. pellet size that is legal, and that will not penetrate the walls of your home, but
3.- keep in mind that you still want a reasonable shot pattern - there should be IMO at least six pellets, so the max size is somewhere between #000 and #0000 (9,1-9,4mm)
4.- ! the amount of training on your part is much, MUCH more important than pellet size! i have put more than 12.000 rounds through my shotgun, and i assure you that i can stop a *hostile without a ballistic helmet* even with #7 or #9 shot by hitting the "sweet spot"... the pellets will enter his frontal lobe through the eye sockets, which should always be a one-shot stop. and it works even with bogeys wearing bodyarmour.

woodfiend
December 21, 2008, 02:07 PM
Nice post! I have always wondered what getting shot with bird shot would be like. I say any hole is one that shouldn't be there.

max199
December 21, 2008, 02:09 PM
:what:

OK! I am offering you 1000$ for a single headshot from behind with a full metal jacket with high velocity, from 3 yards distance. :cool:
Is " aide to suicide" punishible in the US? ;) Ever heard of the darvin awards?
-
Seriously, i don't want to offend you... but some professional killers, like those of mossad, always use .22lr pistols. remember that, if the number of rounds through a gun until gunsmithing is low, like 100, you can crank up the pressure. Those pro-killers always shoot at the head, and believe me, most of their victims are dead at the scene.

Brass Fetcher
December 21, 2008, 04:15 PM
Max199,

Thanks for this cool and precise test, JE223. Well done!
I must say that I have been searching for precisely this test for a while on the net.
I guess the bottom line is:
1.- shotguns are a very good choice for hd.
2.- you should use the max. pellet size that is legal, and that will not penetrate the walls of your home, but
3.- keep in mind that you still want a reasonable shot pattern - there should be IMO at least six pellets, so the max size is somewhere between #000 and #0000 (9,1-9,4mm)
4.- ! the amount of training on your part is much, MUCH more important than pellet size! i have put more than 12.000 rounds through my shotgun, and i assure you that i can stop a *hostile without a ballistic helmet* even with #7 or #9 shot by hitting the "sweet spot"... the pellets will enter his frontal lobe through the eye sockets, which should always be a one-shot stop. and it works even with bogeys wearing bodyarmour.

I agree very strongly with point #1. #2, appears to be a very difficult balance to reach. I am planning on more detailed wall penetration tests with shotguns in the near future, but what I have seen so far is that wall board is only a small deterrent to pellet penetration. Take a look at the #1 buckshot tests on my old website for some of where I am coming from on this issue : http://www.brassfetcher.com/12%20gauge.html . Totally agree on #4 as well.

Best regards,
John

TAB
December 21, 2008, 04:28 PM
I find it very intresting that the block lifted up to a 45 degree angle. To lift a 65 lb of anything like that takes alot of work( engineering context)

max199
December 21, 2008, 05:14 PM
@ all,
- i urge you to read JE223 old site at http://www.brassfetcher.com/12%20gauge.html and to compare the results to the picture starting this thread!!! This is extremely interesting.

- @ JE223 : maybe You should compile this info into a book on terminal ballistics.... this is great stuff!

- That site also shows the only terminal ballistic test of shotgun flechettes that i am aware of. Highly interesting!

oneounceload
December 21, 2008, 06:20 PM
If all I had at the moment of attack was 7-1/2's, then I'm going for the head or the knee

you take the patella out and the guy isn't chasing after you...:eek:

hit the face and have a few penetrate the eyes and into the brain........

well, it wouldn't be very pretty

Brass Fetcher
July 22, 2009, 09:12 PM
Just to follow up on the original test, a 3-shot series with #8 birdshot can be found here (PDF reader required) :

http://www.brassfetcher.com/12 gauge birdshot.pdf

Tim the student
July 22, 2009, 09:36 PM
Cool test. Thanks for posting the update. Have you done tests with larger shot?

Fred Fuller
July 22, 2009, 10:45 PM
Updated the thread title for you... many thanks for sharing your work here.

lpl

DaleCooper51
July 22, 2009, 10:50 PM
Interesting read.

Thanks for posting.

basko
July 23, 2009, 10:06 PM
Great testing I'd be interested in seeing some testing on #4 buck since there seems to be such a fascination with using it for HD.

I have to agree with itgoesboom though. I wouldn't carry anything that doesn't reach the 12" penetration minimum. This is an interesting read from the FBI if you care to hear more about it.

http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf

hardluk1
July 26, 2009, 09:06 PM
Small pellets will also move through the viens and arteries in your body atleast before you die. Theres bird shoot and bird shoot. No 71/2 low brass at some distance my or my not kill . but if a person is a hunter or takes time to understand the ballistics of a shell ,different loads and chocks. You would amazed at what number 4 or 2 or bb in a high brass max powder load will do in a room size area or even 40 yards out with the right chock tube. Research turkey hunters pet loads at 40 yards. Bad,bad news. There was at least one man killed in my home town out right when he ran from a home where he was try'n to steal outboard motors . Home owner shot him in the back with a light coat over tshirt at 40 yards with his pet duck load ,number 4 3" mag max load. He was died.The pattern stay in his back, not in his arms or legs. The average joe with his cyclinder bore shot gun has to shot something heavy to get results but at a loss of distance and control of load. Some one with a adjustable chock and some range time just to educate your self could come up with a new understanding of what a heavy bird shot load can do. If you have to shoot a shotgun you also need two hands on the gun to control your patern right?? And if loaded with buck shot you have a round that can and will go through several walls. Might as well use a pistol with many times the shots that can be placed with better control and can be done with one hand . There are control wade hunting loads out for ducks and turkey that will place an entire load in a pie plate at 40 yards with the right chock so control is there for the shotgunners that wish to use something that will still stay in side of a more confined area ,like walls if time is just taken to understand. I hunted with buck shot for around 15 years and have killed deer out to a 100 yards with well patterned shootguns and pet loads. But in my house in will be a handgun with powerball and dpx loads. My wife can not shot my shot gun well enought to leave it out and she can flat shoot several handguns i have with one hand. Not many woman will shoot buckshot well enought to be comfortable doing so. Those that still say but what if the bad guy dressed heavy!!! You still have to aim that shotgun inside your house right, shot his leg OFF or put that round in what use to be his head. If you do shot and he's wearing a vest then before he can breath or wake up from the blast shoot him with it matter most. Buck will not go through a vest ether so don't use clothing type as a excuss for shooting a heavy bird load.

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