Effective buckshot range


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redneck2
August 26, 2009, 06:48 PM
What is the effective range of OO buckshot in terms of penetration? I'm NOT concerned about pattern density, just penetration value. Guess something like performance in ballistic gel would be a help.

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FLNT4EVR
August 26, 2009, 06:58 PM
Check out the BOX O TRUTH website .It has all kinds of penetration tests.

snooperman
August 26, 2009, 08:08 PM
Do not hold me to it , but I believe the effective range of OO buckshot is about 25 yards in a 12 ga gun. I heard people say 35 but the penetration is not there and that is important for stopping a bad guy. Also the choke of the gun counts for something too. I hope others will chime in on this as I am not completely sure about the above as my memory is not as good as it once was.

rondog
August 26, 2009, 08:15 PM
I'm sure within any legally justified self-defense distance, penetration would be just ducky. You can't just shoot bad guys at any old distance, they need to be close enough to be a valid threat to CYA. Now, hunting aminals with 00 might be another story.

wrs840
August 26, 2009, 08:25 PM
You can't just shoot bad guys at any old distance.. Now, hunting aminals with 00 might be another story.

I think we should assume he's shooting at coyotes or such.

Les

Youngster
August 26, 2009, 08:26 PM
Buckshot can cause lethal wounds as far out as you're ever likely to hit with it but the penetration tends to get erratic at around 35 yards, or closer in cases where you have small and/or badly deformed pellets.

snooperman
August 26, 2009, 08:47 PM
I just got off 2 web sites and in a home defense gun of 20" barrels and cylinder choke, for every yard you are away from the bad guy, the spread is about ! inch. 10 yards would be about 10 inch spread. In side a house, cylinder bore choke is OK but if you are outside and the diastance is 20 yards, than you will get a 20 inch spread, which is not good. A full choke gun is great for hunting deer in the brush at 35 yards with 28 inch barrel but in the house it would not be a good choice for home defense. This is of course with OO buckshot. The penetration is not good with a cylinder bore beyond about 18 yards. I hope this helps but you need to be very specific about your use , distance , barrel length, and choke because there are so many variables in determining the " EFFECTIVE RANGE" of ammunition used.

redneck2
August 26, 2009, 08:54 PM
Everyone assumes this, that, and everything else. I've got 18 pellets, and you have no idea what the choke is.

Go back and read the original question.
What is the effective range of OO buckshot in terms of penetration? I'm NOT concerned about pattern density, just penetration value. Guess something like performance in ballistic gel would be a help.

wrs840
August 26, 2009, 08:58 PM
I didn't say anything about effective range...

Sorry.

The Title of the thread and first five words of your original post must have thrown me.

Les

jfdavis58
August 26, 2009, 09:43 PM
I rather doubt you'll get or find what you are looking for: shotgun self defense penetration effectiveness. The cost effectiveness of a slab of gelatin with a 3 or 4 foot square impact face is not.

About the best one might do is extrapolate the information at Box O Truth along with some of the biased and slanted personal anecdotal information scattered throughout the web.

Penetration, roughly:
Birdshot doesn't although the surface wound ranges from bad to horrific,
Buckshot does penetrate deep enough at short distances probably less than 10 yard but on occasion further and larger pellets go deeper than smaller,
Slugs are simply awful, deep penetration, wide channel, no expansion predictable.

Let me know if you find and gelatin tests-I'd be interested...

Snowdog
August 26, 2009, 10:54 PM
The ballistic coefficient of a sphere is garbage compared to anything conical. I remember learning that a few years ago when finding that the same .454 lead RB that would BLAST throught a 2x4 at 7 paces (from a Pietta Remington 1858) would bounce off and leave a shallow dent at 80 yards or so.
I would think buckshot would be the same way but to a more pronounced degree (having started off with less mass from the muzzle).

ReloaderFred
August 26, 2009, 11:48 PM
I can only tell you that I saw a bad guy, who had just stabbed a bartender to death, shot from 39 yards with a Remington load of 00 buck (9 pellets), as he was trying to bring a gun to bear on a fellow Deputy. Seven of the pellets hit said bad guy, rendering him DOA.

He had driven his car through the front of a large sporting goods store across the street from the bar and was trying to load shotgun shells into a shotgun from a rack behind the gun counter. He refused numerous commands to drop the gun and raise his hands, and when he turned towards the Deputy with the shotgun in his hands and raised it, the Deputy fired his Remington 870 at him. Our 870's carried either 18" or 20" barrels, depending on when they were purchased, and all had cylinder bore barrels. One round of 00 buck went over the bad guy's shoulder and imbedded in the stock of another shotgun, and the other errant 00 buck went into the wall behind the gun rack.

As it turned out, and was only learned after it was all over, the bad guy was trying to load 12 gauge shells into the only 16 gauge shotgun in the rack.... This was in 1971, and before they required that all long guns be chained or locked when the business was closed.

Whether this answers your question or not, I don't know, but this is first hand knowledge, since I was there.

Hope this helps.

Fred

redneck2
August 27, 2009, 07:22 AM
Fred....that's more what I was looking for. I've got an SP-10. Shells are 3 1/2" with 18 pellets each. Modified, full, or super full turkey chokes.

I did check with Mr Google. Found one article that said effective penetrating range was 50-75 yards. Obviously, factors like clothing, etc. would change the outcome.
About the best one might do is extrapolate the information at Box O Truth along with some of the biased and slanted personal anecdotal information scattered throughout the web.
I'm a pretty big fan of the Box 'O Truth. I worked in a gun shop for two years and heard every idiot story about shooting that's ever been dreamed up. Nice to have some real world stuff.

Looking back, we used to fox hunt when I was a kid. Most guys used 2 3/4" with BB or #4 buck, full choke. Kills at 40+ yards were not uncommon. Fox is a pretty little critter but they've got a lot of fur.

I have a friend that was shooting his .25 auto. Used an old broken heavy plastic tote as a backstop. Rounds bounced off the plastic at 10 yards. None broke through.

snooperman
August 27, 2009, 08:33 AM
Your question was about "EFFECTIVE RANGE" of OO buckshot and "PENETRATION". Penetration in WHAT? You did not say. Are we suppose to be mind readers here. It makes a big difference when the penetration is in Cows, deer, or humans , gel, Etc. Tests have to be done on that only after all available data, such as barrel length, choke type and ammunition mass has been determined. There are mathematical formulas to determine what you want , but you can not in science, just pull out of thin air ,answers to technical questions, without testing it scientifically or go to some place where it has already been done . My 10 cents Retired Physics & Chemistry teacher, Snooperman

snooperman
August 27, 2009, 08:54 AM
EASY--- Go buy some gel and shoot YOUR GUN with said ammo in it at the distance you want and you will answer your question without nary a problem.

RetiredLawman
August 27, 2009, 10:10 AM
My hunting club dog hunts early in the season. We have had some of the members shoot at deer over 100 yards away and one buckshot did the trick with a lucky hit. I don't recommend it for extreme ranges but we've dug out 000 buckshot that went deep enough to kill at 100+ yards. All it takes is one shot in a vital spot. Remember, we don't like for the members to take these long shots, but buck fever numbs the mind.

Now, if we could prevent the shot from spreading so much, I think that 100 yards would be fatal. We use modified and IC chokes and they hold the pattern better than full chokes. We have over 8,000 acres we lease and it is full of deer and all other critters. To keep the deer and coyote population down, we dog hunt early and still hunt later in the season.

Steve C
August 27, 2009, 10:13 AM
Buckshot can be used effectively at over a 100 yds it can be lethal at up to 1/4 mile or more.

Most people confuse potential "effectiveness" with how far they can or have effectively hit something and confuse that effectiveness as a limit to potential lethality. Many shooters have no realistic idea how potentially dangerous their gun is.

redneck2
August 27, 2009, 05:42 PM
EASY--- Go buy some gel and shoot YOUR GUN with said ammo in it at the distance you want and you will answer your question without nary a problem.
Even easier is to find someone that's already done it.
We have had some of the members shoot at deer over 100 yards away and one buckshot did the trick with a lucky hit. I don't recommend it for extreme ranges but we've dug out 000 buckshot that went deep enough to kill at 100+ yards
See....someone has the answer, and I didn't have to mix up any jello to find out

I've been dusted with #6 shot while rabbit hunting. I was maybe 80-90 yards out and knew it was coming. I was wearing a Carhart jacket. Shot bounced off the frozen ground and bounced off me. No biggie. Obviously 00 is a different program.

snooperman
August 28, 2009, 10:01 AM
I called Remington and asked about their OO buckshot ammo for home defense , 9 pellets, and the ammo manager stated that their buffered home defense 12 guage OO buckshot was "Highly effective "at 40 yards. I also called Federal and got the same reply. When I pressed them for more information on "PENETRATION" they would not comment on it. That said, I have on many occasions shot deer on my farm in the brush with OO buckshot , using my 12 gauge modified choke Ithaca pump with 26" barrel, at distances from 35 to 44 yards and found them dead a few yards from where they were shot. This is with a 23/4" shell. I can not find any information on penetration tests yet and it is a an expensive way to do it if one has to buy the gel. One can find much info on handgun ammo for penetration tests but not much for shotguns. I will put my wife on this as she is better with the computer than me.

redneck2
August 28, 2009, 06:51 PM
There's a couple of reasons this may be important.

First is a defense situation.

Second is a downrange "unintended consequence" of any shooting situation

Third would be hunting

I have a friend that had a ND back in his youth with a Trapdoor .45-70. 500 grains at mebbe 1,300 fps. Slug went thru the bedroom wall, thru the easy chair his aunt had been sitting in just a few minutes prior, thru the big cabinet TV, thru the outside wall of the house, and lodged in the outside wall of the neighbors house.

Now, I well understand that there's a difference between 500 grains and buckshot. I'm just trying to get a grasp on how much.

snooperman
August 28, 2009, 09:33 PM
You got my interest in this penetration thing but am frustrated by the fact there isn't much on it. Well, our own David McCracken and moderator of this Shotgun web site on thehighroad, wrote "BUCKSHOT 101" on gunshotfinder.com the following and I Quote: "50 yards is the maximum distance buckshot should be used under any conditions, and 25 yards is more realistic. Patterning is crucial, so look for a spread of 15 inches or less, especially for home defense." I will agree that people can be seriously harmed at greater distances than 50 yards especially with 3 or magnum buckshot loads.

Badger Arms
August 28, 2009, 10:28 PM
There's a couple of reasons this may be important.

First is a defense situation.

No, if you point a shotgun in any direction, everything behind it is likely to be damaged/inujured/killed. That goes for any range. Don't think that because a house is half a mile away and some poster says that the range of a single 00 buckshot pellet is 300 yards that this means your neighbor is safe. This thread is about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Everyone assumes this, that, and everything else. I've got 18 pellets, and you have no idea what the choke is.

Go back and read the original question.

Please don't ask lame, incomplete, and misleading questions and then insult those who are trying to answer it.

redneck2
August 29, 2009, 08:17 AM
What is the effective range of OO buckshot in terms of penetration? I'm NOT concerned about pattern density, just penetration value. Guess something like performance in ballistic gel would be a help.
So, exactly what is lame or misleading about this question?

CajunBass
August 29, 2009, 08:40 AM
I've seen deer killed at some pretty long ranges with buckshot. Might have taken more than one shot, but they were DEAD. I'd guess my longest shot personally to be about 40 steps.

I helped drag two deer out one day that the fellow who killed them, claimed to have been shot at about 80 yards! :what: I don't know if it was that far, but they were dead on the other side of a gully from where he was on stand (20 ga No 2 buckshot BTW). It was a LONG shot. He said the first one dropped at the crack of the gun and never twitched, so he pulled down on the second one and that one dropped too. I didn't skin them, so I don't know how many shot hit.

(Yes, I know this is too far for buckshot. I'm reporting, not recomending.)

T.R.
August 29, 2009, 08:47 AM
http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/blacktail-1.jpg

My cousin is a Policeman with Rapid City Dept. He has killed 4 mule deer in past 7 years with his issue 12 gauge and 00 buck. In each case, the animal was hurt and limping or struggling from a recent auto crash.

He arranged for me to legally possess one especially large buck. He shot it 3 times. First shot at approx 50 yards. Next two shots less at approx 30 feet. When I skinned it, I found several pellets that were flat on one side which is a mystery to me. Penetration was poor from the long shot. Pellets were stopped by ribs.

Based upon this experience, I would not consider 00 buckshot for shots much farther than 60 feet or so. About same distance as my older 45 lb recurve bow.

TR

Fred Fuller
August 29, 2009, 09:08 AM
There used to be a handful of folks out there in shotgun land who were interested in experimenting with the maximum range they could get buckshot to pattern effectively. What they were doing was trying to push the "A Zone" as far out as they could, to avoid having to go to slugs to achieve needed precision with shotguns at only 15 yards or so, as was then the case. Most experimenters found that buckshot penetration fell off a good distance before patterning did.

I was using target frames made from pressure treated 2x4s at that time (late 1990s). At 100 yards, 000 buckshot pellets from 3" Magnum Federal Premium loads (which would generally put 40-50% of their pellets into an E type (GI) silhouette at that range) would fully penetrate the 2X4s. This was using a Patternmaster choke tube in an 18" 870 barrel, which had had the forcing cone lengthened as well. The internal barrel work was done at Patternmaster, and a GR sight installation was done at Scattergun Technology well before Wilson bought them out. Yes, I am telling my age again.

If I were planning to use buckshot at extended ranges, I would use the best patterning 000 loads I could find. Buckshot = round ball as far as sectional density is concerned, and round balls shed velocity faster than any other projectile shape. While single buckshot pellets can be lethal at extended ranges, counting on the effectiveness of buckshot 'way out there' is wishful thinking IMHO.

I would push buckshot use to 40 yards with the good 00 loads I use now, in a pinch, if I had to, as long as I had no concerns about where stray pellets went or what collateral damage might be caused by pellets that landed off the intended target. As a rule I do not anticipate using 00 buckshot past 25 yards at this point. And the issue is penetration, NOT patterns- I get 4" patterns at 25 yards with Federal LE 127-00, and there is enough of it on hand not to have to buy buckshot for a while yet.

JMHO, YMMV, etc.

lpl

snooperman
August 29, 2009, 09:56 AM
My older brother is retired with 30 years with the highway patrol and 7 years with the FBI. He told me a few years ago not to use OO buckshot for home defense, even though I live on a farm, because the penetration of the shot would go through the walls of the house and could kill someone outside . He said the FBI uses number 4 buck, 20,6grains per pellet and found it to be very effective without the over-penetration of the OO buckshot. I think that Redneck 2 is concerned and rightly so about this.I think I am now going to use #4 buck for home defense in my 12 gauge coach gun and my 20 guage pump short youth gun I use the standard # 3 buckshot load 23.3 g per pellet. For hunting deer and wild boar on my farm and near-by farm land I use a rifle, for the most part, but also use my Ithaca 12 guage modified choke gun with OO buckshot in the brush in the back of my farm with great effect between 30 to 40 yards on deer, and have had good success for more than 40 years here. That said, I have passed up many shots at deer in brush at greater distances because of the concern of not wanting to wound it.

gunnie
August 29, 2009, 12:09 PM
i can't recall the mfgr of the 00 buckshot used, as it has been some 20 years. i also do not feel the target medium is an accurate material for relating to shooting living things.

but for just testing, the 18" cyl bore pump i had at that time would not consistently put 2 3/4" double ought through a plain vanilla pine 2x4 @ 15yds--turned the thin way.

i have no idea about what kind of superior loads might be available for this chambering at present. still, this caused much rethinking of the distances i felt like could count on a shotgun loaded with "00" for SD on my part.

i see where Lee Lapin has had much better luck with 000 from a three inch chamber, but this is about 1/4" more than pertains to me. does anyone have 2 3/4" 000 experience on 2x4 wood to compare this too? just curious if the additional mass would make a considerable difference.

gunnie

redneck2
August 29, 2009, 02:10 PM
I have every confidence both these statements are true. Just wondering what the difference is. I know it is comparing 00 vs 000, but the distance should well make up for the size difference.

but for just testing, the 18" cyl bore pump i had at that time would not consistently put 2 3/4" double ought through a plain vanilla pine 2x4 @ 15yds--turned the thin way
At 100 yards, 000 buckshot pellets from 3" Magnum Federal Premium loads (which would generally put 40-50% of their pellets into an E type (GI) silhouette at that range) would fully penetrate the 2X4s.

Grunt
August 29, 2009, 03:04 PM
We just taught a shotgun class here last week. Our lesson plan states that "maximum effective range is that range that the average shooter can place 50% of his shots on target" and again, the lesson plan for the shotgun states that the 00 Buck load we use has a max effective range of 68 meters. Now how accurate that is I can't say but that's what the USAF teaches.

MCgunner
August 29, 2009, 04:01 PM
I can hunt hogs on a local WMA in the spring, only got out one day last season as I got busy. Hope to do a lot better this year. It's buckshot only, so I bought some 00 in 10 gauge. I patterned 'em and at 50 yards, I'd get a couple on a hogs head sized area every shot. Pattern is important if you're shooting out there a ways. I was shooting through a modified choke tube from a 24" barreled H&R 10 gauge. I KNOW buckshot ain't gonna penetrate good enough on a hog past 25 yards, but I have no choice out there, but to use it by regulation, so I figure putting pellets in the brain is preferable. The 10 patterns tight even though there's only 18 in the pattern. If I cripple one, well, it's only a hog, I guess. :rolleyes: They're kinda like big rats down here. I do wish they'd let you at least use a slug or a BP rifle, though. I'd LOVE it if I could use my Hawken 50 down there with a 385 grain Hornady great plains minie. :D

Badger Arms
August 29, 2009, 08:12 PM
What is the effective range of OO buckshot in terms of penetration? I'm NOT concerned about pattern density, just penetration value. Guess something like performance in ballistic gel would be a help.

So, exactly what is lame or misleading about this question?


Effectiveness of Buckshot is intrinsically tied to pattern density and pellet hit probability and has little to do with individual pellet penetration. Look at the ballistics of a .32 caliber cap and ball musket... smooth bore... if you want to know the effectiveness of individual buckshot pellets. Last I checked, it was really hard to hit an animal with one pellet out of a load of buckshot... at least repeatably.

redneck2
August 29, 2009, 08:23 PM
Actually, it's got everything to do with individual pellet penetration. Shoot someone at 20 yards with 8's. You've got a great pattern but little penetration.

I can change the pattern. Just swap chokes. I can't change physics of the load.
the lesson plan for the shotgun states that the 00 Buck load we use has a max effective range of 68 meters. Now how accurate that is I can't say but that's what the USAF teaches.
I would hope that the military has done enough testing to figure it out. From what actual users have posted here, that looks viable.

nathan
August 29, 2009, 08:29 PM
If a bad guy has a gun and takes aim at you even at 25 - 30 yds, I d shoot him as quciky as i can and move for cover. If he gets hit and died, the better.

Badger Arms
August 30, 2009, 09:31 AM
Actually, it's got everything to do with individual pellet penetration. Shoot someone at 20 yards with 8's. You've got a great pattern but little penetration.

No, it has LITTLE to do with individual pellet performance. Since you do not aim the pellets, you cannot tell where they are going to go. You have to delve into the world of probability to figure if you'll get enough hits. You chose the shot size based on the type of game you are hunting, and you select the pattern based on the range at which you intend to shoot. Buckshot does not pattern like birdshot.

You keep trying to make this science, but it's probability. You look for multiple pellet hits and you run into percentages and the probability that your load of buckshot will effectively take the game. A 00 Buck pellet is lethal at FAR BEYOND any range at which a buckshot load is effective... THEREFORE PELLET EFFECTIVENESS HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH THIS. Arguing the point, insulting those you argue with, then editing your insults out does not change the basics of this.

RMc
September 5, 2009, 03:13 AM
Buckshot penetration in wet newspaper @ 5 yards.
---------------------------------------------------------
#4 Buckshot (.24 / 21 grains): 3.5 inches

#1 Buckshot (.30 / 40 grains): 5 inches

#00 Buckshot (.33 / 54 grains): 7 inches

Dixie Tri-Ball (.60 / 315 grains): 26 inches

lobo9er
September 5, 2009, 04:18 AM
redneck
really you havent seen this stuff on video on the internet? google it. look it up on youtube. box'o'truth guy did it.

if its a HD question "00" will work just fine. if its a hunting question use slugs past 30 yards to kill big game.

My cousin is a Policeman with Rapid City Dept. He has killed 4 mule deer in past 7 years with his issue 12 gauge and 00 buck. In each case, the animal was hurt and limping or struggling from a recent auto crash.
this doesn't help at all. shooting an animal point blank while its wounded doesn't help answer the question.

HB
September 6, 2009, 06:32 PM
this doesn't help at all. shooting an animal point blank while its wounded doesn't help answer the question.

Umm, well yes it does. Penetration in live tissue is penetration in live tissue regardless of the health of the animal. And he said it was a 50 yard shot on one of the deer. I can't see how wounded makes a difference as far as penetration goes. If it breaks ribs and perforates organs, it doesn't matter.

DRYHUMOR
September 6, 2009, 07:42 PM
I've shot deer from 10 feet to 50-60 yds with buckshot, but, you've got to have some very rapid follow up shots. I will generally shoot as many as 3-4 times, moving closer as I shoot, until I'm reasonably certain the deer won't get back up. I play for keeps. :D

At the longer ranges I've had decent penetration, couple of inches in just muscle. Deeper through the cavity. At closer ranges up to 20 yds, I've broken shoulders, ribs, necks. 12 ga 2 3/4" and 3" magnum.

inSight-NEO
September 6, 2009, 08:40 PM
My older brother is retired with 30 years with the highway patrol and 7 years with the FBI. He told me a few years ago not to use OO buckshot for home defense, even though I live on a farm, because the penetration of the shot would go through the walls of the house and could kill someone outside . He said the FBI uses number 4 buck, 20,6grains per pellet and found it to be very effective without the over-penetration of the OO buckshot. I think that Redneck 2 is concerned and rightly so about this.I think I am now going to use #4 buck for home defense in my 12 gauge coach gun and my 20 guage pump short youth gun I use the standard # 3 buckshot load 23.3 g per pellet.

Ive always been curious about this argument when one is using, say Low Recoil 00 Buck, for HD vs. the often chosen #4 or even #1. Now, I use Federal loads almost exclusively, so I cant say much about other brands. Based on the info I have gathered, the numbers are as follows (comparing my preferred HD load to others within the same Federal brand):

#4 Buckshot (41 pellets) @ 1100 muzzle velocity (the lowest)
#4 Buckshot (27 pellets) @ 1325 muzzle velocity (the highest)
00 Buckshot (9 pellets) @ 1140 muzzle velocity (my preferred HD load)

Given the relatively low velocity of the Low Recoil load, can this honestly be seen a far to penetrative as compared to the other two #4 loads? Particularly when compared to the 1325 MV of the 27 pellet #4 Federal load?

Now sure, the 9 pellet Low Recoil 00 Buck will probably have more mass on its side, but still...

It seems like not many people consider or even mention the Low Recoil 00 Buck when arguing against or for such a load. To me at least, this load bridges a gap and allows for max stopping power and control while minimizing penetration (within the 00 Buck family).

And lets face it, I (along with others) am far less likely to miss with the shotgun (within typical HD ranges) as compared to my .45 ACP...which Im sure is quite penetrative itself, even when using standard pressure JHP. After all, a good round of buckshot probably wont spread all that much within 10 to 30 feet or so.

Besides, my SG is not a "seek and destroy" weapon...it is a "standby," "standoff" or "barricade" weapon.

Frankly, I get somewhat tired of this debate at times. I say use what you have...but with caution. After all, no bullet/round (and I mean NONE), has a mind of its own. Its up to training and a cool mind as to whether or not a shot hits its mark. All else is speculation and frivolous argument.

Stay safe and go with what you know...

Youngster
September 6, 2009, 08:43 PM
At the longer ranges I've had decent penetration, couple of inches in just muscle. Deeper through the cavity. At closer ranges up to 20 yds, I've broken shoulders, ribs, necks. 12 ga 2 3/4" and 3" magnum.

And that's why I prefer full power buck over the reduced stuff for defence, no need to handicap yourself with 25 yard equivalent velocity, and wounding effects, right out of the muzzle.

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