Self Defense: 00 vs. #4


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cbrgator
September 2, 2009, 12:29 AM
What's better for self-defense/home defense.

00: 12 pellets
#4: 27 pellets

Pros/Cons? Significant difference in recoil? Give me the details!

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doc2rn
September 2, 2009, 02:25 AM
Quite a bit of difference actually. I found #3 works best for my shotgun, close enough to #4 to not split hairs. Lighter recoil, better spread pattern, and not a single hiccup yet though the buck is gettin outrageous at $6 / 5 shot box, when I can get a 25 shot box of #3 or 4 for the same price at Dicks, just bought Rem Nitro's last week in 4s.
Definately right weapon but if you reload might I recommend the military's answer? Broken glass, its very lethal and when it hits a wall rather than destroy it the glass turns to powder and can easily be swept up.

THE DARK KNIGHT
September 2, 2009, 02:27 AM
Where did you read the military uses broken glass? From what I've seen they use 00.

Grunt
September 2, 2009, 07:17 AM
Wow, two branches of service under my belt and I have yet to see this "military load" of using broken glass. Only thing I have ever seen in inventory is 00 Buck in both the Marines and Air Force, slugs in the Marines, and birdshot in the Air Force used only to shoot birds in the birdstrike mitigation programs. I kind of think Winchester has the military shotshell market cornered here since every shell I've come across since 1988 has been manufactured by Winchester.
As far as this broken glass shell, do you have an NSN or DODIC for these "military load" shells? I can check the LOGDET but what is the nomenclature I'd have to search for, "Cartridge, 12 gauge, military load, broken glass, 1 each"? :rolleyes: All joking aside, I don't know where you heard that we use "broken glass" rounds but I think somebody was pulling your leg when they gave you that information.

A man with a gun!
September 2, 2009, 07:58 AM
8 or 9 pellet 00B would be more my speed.

snooperman
September 2, 2009, 08:02 AM
WHY? Because within the confines of your home the penetration of OO buckshot may be too much- 18-22 inches. With # 4 buck it is generally 12-15 inches. Over penetration at such close ranges can be problematic for the home owner and his love ones. Also, more shots on target with the smaller pellets has a bigger bonus effect in stopping the intruder than a few bigger ones. That said, the military and law enforcement have a different task before them ,whereby their use scenarios requires the use of heavier pellets for longer range shots they may encounter. Heavier pellets have more staying power and penetration at the longer distances. I used to use OO buck for home defense , but after doing more research on this topic , I have changed to 12 ga #4 buckshot.

Floppy_D
September 2, 2009, 08:20 AM
if you reload might I recommend the military's answer? Broken glass
Odd, I only remember 00 buck in our armory. Got a cite on that?

PX15
September 2, 2009, 08:52 AM
FWIW:

I have #4 buck in both of my shotguns, but that's only because years ago when I bought my first shotgun the local Sheriff's Dept was using #4 (my buddy was a deputy) and I figured whoever made the decision for them knew what he/she was talking about..

In hindsight, that Sheriff's dept probably used #4 because that's what was available and cheapest to obtain at he time. (early '70's).:)

Since then I buy 00 or #4 and figure either will suffice for my needs. I'm strictly a protect my home kinda guy, and I'm sure from any reasonable distance either would suffice.

I'm of the opinion that if you are talking strictly, STOP 'EM, either round would do the job..

Just personal opinion, no offense to those who disagree.

Jesse

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a73/Laserlips/100_0895.jpg

Snowdog
September 2, 2009, 09:38 AM
I suppose for me it would boil down to range and location. In my case, the intended range would be quite close with the location being my home, so I chose #4 Buck.

If I were patrolling my spread outdoors, I would choose 00 Buck.

freakshow10mm
September 2, 2009, 10:01 AM
I prefer #1 buckshot in defense loads.

huntsman
September 2, 2009, 11:44 AM
my ranking would be

1. 12 pellet 00
2. 27 pellet #4
3. 09 pellet 00

All in 2-3/4" for all uses.

clem
September 2, 2009, 12:09 PM
In the house, #4.
Outside the house, #00.

mljdeckard
September 2, 2009, 12:18 PM
I use #4, and I also use it for coyotes.

Owen Sparks
September 2, 2009, 01:29 PM
#1 Buck throws 16 pellets of .30" diameter. This is the right combination of high pellet count with enough individual pellet mass to ensure deep penetration.

Steve C
September 2, 2009, 01:55 PM
I didn't vote because it really doesn't matter which you use. At the distance you'll be shooting in the house you need to aim to hit the BG. Hit 'em center mass and you'll put every piece of shot along with the wad into them. With either load the chances of the BG surviving is extremely low.

There's been plenty of intruders killed with bird shot at close range despite its supposed lack of penetration and buckshot of any size is much more effective.

kdstrick
September 2, 2009, 02:02 PM
OK... I'll be the wrench in the gears here. I use high brass Remington #2 shot! :neener:

Everything I've shot so far couldn't tell the difference between the 00, #2, or #4. ;)

In my house, my longest shot is about 20 yards. Even bird shot is extremely lethal at that range.

Vibe
September 2, 2009, 02:12 PM
I'm guessing that it is #4 Buck that is being discussed and not #4 Shot - there's a fairly large difference. I found some #2 Buck that I decided to go with. Though there are some low recoil #1B/#4B duplex loads I might try. 00 Buck just has more penetration that I really figure I need to deal with avoiding.

Rshooter
September 2, 2009, 02:15 PM
Before I was disabled I was looking at the San Diego Sheriff's Department. They use a combination of 00 and Slugs. You have to figure in that they might have to use their shotguns outdoors at more than a HD range though. Still I prefer slugs, you just have to hit what you aim at.

cbrgator
September 2, 2009, 02:26 PM
So there would be no noticeable difference in recoil?

Vern Humphrey
September 2, 2009, 02:34 PM
Still I prefer slugs, you just have to hit what you aim at.
The same is true with buckshot. At the ranges you might find within a normal home, buck won't spread much. For example, figure a 20-foot hallway (pretty long for the average home.) Subtract a few feet since the shooter won't be pressed flat against one wall and the intruder against the other. At the resulting range, you won't get a foot-wide pattern, even with a cylinder bore.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 2, 2009, 02:47 PM
Split the difference - the answer for urban/suburban is neither of those - it's #1 buckshot. Enough deep penetration, without too MUCH penetration, and many many separate wound channels. Having said that, if I have no neighbors, I'll take 00 or 000 buck please.

NoleMan
September 2, 2009, 03:39 PM
00 buck is the way to go. Check out "the box o truth". He tests shotguns...not surprising results, but they're definitely interesting.

Youngster
September 2, 2009, 03:42 PM
In the house, #4.
Outside the house, #00.

+1

I wouldn't trust the penetration of #4 buck past a couple of yards on an attacker but OTOH it doesn't go through much in the way of building materials, especially at range. I've seen #4 buck pellets fail to exit an empty plastic milk jug at less than 20 yards.

Snowdog
September 2, 2009, 03:42 PM
So there would be no noticeable difference in recoil?

Not usually. Typically there's the same amount of lead (just different shot diameter) at the same velocity.

Youngster
September 2, 2009, 03:51 PM
Not usually. Typically there's the same amount of lead (just different shot diameter) at the same velocity.

12 pellet 00 throws over 100 grains more lead than 27 pellet #4 buck, it definately kicks harder. In fact I personally find that 12 pellet 00 is more abusive than even some more powerful loads for some reason.

FLORIDA KEVIN
September 2, 2009, 03:59 PM
If you take the time to pattern a few different loads at reasonable inside the house distances , you will find that even cylinder bore 12 ga. guns with short 18 inch barrells throw very tight patterns at close range ! I use 12ga 2 3/4 inch high brass turkey loads #4 birdshot 1 3/4 oz. ! It will make hamburger out of anybody it hits and wont be lethal after it goes through a couple sheets of drywall ! I dont worry about overpenetrating the target ! You only have to worry about the bullets or shot that misses the target !! Test it yourself at close range ! If you want a shot pattern to spread , use a rifled barrel ! then you just need to keep some slugs on hand if the distance is great than about 50 ft ! try it !! Kevin

Snowdog
September 2, 2009, 04:08 PM
Youngster, I ran the numbers and found that you're right. Interesting stuff. It looks like there could be some differences between 00b and #4 buck in recoil, especially since there are 8, 9 and 12 pellet 00b and 21,27 and 34 pellet #4 buck shells (all in 2 3/4").

cleardiddion
September 2, 2009, 04:17 PM
I use both.
First three shots are #4 and the last three are 00.
#4 for is for convincing someone who's broken into my apartment that it's a bad idea.
00 is for further convincing.

nathan
September 2, 2009, 04:31 PM
I only have slugs and 00 bcks in my shotgun right now. In case of breakin i still rely on my hangun glock 19 withnight sights. The SA .45 acp is also loaded. Shotgun is my last to grab . Spreading inside the house is not gonna be nice.

Ben86
September 2, 2009, 04:52 PM
To me #4 is just too small. I draw the line at .30 (#1). I am considering switching to #1 from 00 for home defense. Reason's being less penetration and the fact that 16 .30s sound more effective than 9 .33s.

16x.30"= 4.8" of possible wound area per shot

9x.33"= 2.97" of possible wound area per shot

That's the way I see it.

kimberfan
September 2, 2009, 07:00 PM
my 930spx is loaded with Rem. 3'' mag 00B 15 pellet right now.

i do have some old Winchester 2 3/4'' 12 pellet 00B that's copper plated that i picked up that would be option number 2.

Youngster
September 2, 2009, 08:57 PM
To me #4 is just too small. I draw the line at .30 (#1). I am considering switching to #1 from 00 for home defense. Reason's being less penetration and the fact that 16 .30s sound more effective than 9 .33s.

16x.30"= 4.8" of possible wound area per shot

9x.33"= 2.97" of possible wound area per shot

That's the way I see it.

27 pellet #4 potentially gives you 6.48" wound area, but it is awefully small. I think it's alright at across the room distances but I wouldn't trust it otherwise defensively unless maybe someone offered it with super hard pellets.

inSight-NEO
September 2, 2009, 09:19 PM
My vote is for the 00 Buck x 12. But, for HD, I actually prefer the 9 pellet (Federal LE Low-Recoil) version. In comparing the two, Im assuming more mass on the part of the 9 pellet variety. Of course, Im coming from the .45 ACP camp, so....I tend to prefer mass. ;)

content
September 2, 2009, 10:32 PM
Hello friends and neighbors // I vote 00 . /// If BG behind chair/ couch wearing heavy coat its all the same to 00. // I can fix the house.

wrs840
September 2, 2009, 10:51 PM
12 pellet 00 throws over 100 grains more lead than 27 pellet #4 buck, it definately kicks harder. In fact I personally find that 12 pellet 00 is more abusive than even some more powerful loads for some reason.

I disagree with you, Youngster... I find standard loads of 00, 0, 1, and 4 buck to have pretty-much the same felt-recoil.

FWIW,
Les

Shotgun Shooter
September 3, 2009, 12:07 PM
I picked #4 because it's cheaper than a 12 pellet 00bk. Not to mention, there are more chances of hitting your target. I use a 00bk with 9 pellets, myself.

S.S.

cbrgator
September 3, 2009, 01:01 PM
As the OP, let me clarify what my needs would be so you can help me address those...

I live in an adequately sized 2 story single family home in a suburban/urban area. I don't have much need for distance shooting, but I do worry about overpenetration.

I cannot think of a situation where shots would be taken at greater than 10 yds, and even that is probably on the high end. But, the construction is a little shoddy and the walls are thin.

bpl
September 3, 2009, 01:39 PM
Personally, given your situation, I'd go with #4B or maybe 1-2 shells of #4B followed by #1B. At the distances you are describing, I'd think #4B would be devastatingly effective though. Do you have children that you need to worry about in other rooms? What is the exterior of your house made of? How close to you are the neighbors and what are their houses made of? If the answers to these questions make you nervous, you should stay away from 00B.

bpl
September 3, 2009, 01:44 PM
Oh, I also noticed you live in Florida. This means you don't have to worry about the effectiveness of smaller pellets (or bullets) when confronted with heavy winter clothing like we do up north. So, the smaller #4B or maybe #1B would be the way to go.

doc2rn
September 3, 2009, 01:58 PM
I was issued a Mossberg 12g for prisoner transport from the USS Saipan LHA#2 to Rosie Roads Naval Base. Marine Crpl tried to shoot his Lt. with a SAW. The weapon was loaded with "Glass rounds 12g" according to the box. When I asked the OOD he said that is what they use on ship, "It hits the hull and turns to powder." I also was later told by the MD onboard that the stuff doesnt show up really well on x-ray either. Let me see if I can dig up a DoD logistics # for you guys.

moe1942
September 3, 2009, 02:00 PM
I use 00B. As close as I'll use it won't make much difference. Same mess.

This is for in home, up close. Mossberg 500 with 18 1/2 " barrel. Pistol grips fore and aft.

mbt2001
September 3, 2009, 02:14 PM
#4 Buck is the best thing to use. 27 pellets at .27 caliber...

SeekHer
September 3, 2009, 02:30 PM
Who makes a 12 pellet 00 2" shell? 3" yes!

A load of #4 buck in a 3" shell is around 41 pellets not 27...

I prefer #2 buck .270 at 12.5 pellets/ounce to #4 .240 at 20.3 P/oz

#00 .330 is 8.13 P/oz. But Id rather use #000 .360 at 6 p/oz or even #0000 .380 at 4.5 P/oz

My HD load is a reload of #2 buck with the spaces filled with #2 bird .150, 130 P/oz...I also have #F .220, 28.1 P/oz filled with #4 bird .130, 202 P/oz, in the second chamber of my coach gun...

I also use straight #TT .210, 29.5 P/oz for feral dog control...

nathan
September 3, 2009, 02:38 PM
I would stay with 00 bck and slugs . An intruder usually wears heavy clothing or could have some bullet proof vests . THese people arent stupid . There may be two or three of them. A slug is the way to go for accurate fire.Adenaline will take over in the heat of combat ! Shoot shoot and shoot then take cover and reload ASAP. Or transition to handgun if you d prefer. The main thing is to survive and overwhelm the BG s before they can hurt u back. Chances if you blast them hard, they get hit , if still alive they better egress out. These dont wanna stay and have a shootout with you knowing the cops will shortly come over.

Eric F
September 3, 2009, 02:47 PM
well folks what we have here is a forever long arguement where every one looks at pellet size and number of pellets. A few have commented on patterns. #4 buck should be the minimum in any pellet configuration. Why? Individual pellet weight. At close ranges a #4 pellet has enough speed and energy to make enough penetration to kill. Bird shot is not good enough at all. If you have no concerns about shoot throughs then 00 and larger will be fine. If range is an issue, say greater than 30 yards then #4 buck will fall short as the pellets loose energy speed and momentum over range faster than larger pellets.

So to answer the question properly I would need to know at what ranges you might be needing to shoot.

huntsman
September 3, 2009, 03:17 PM
Who makes a 12 pellet 00 2" shell?

Remington

HoosierQ
September 3, 2009, 03:38 PM
I see a post or two confusing #4 Bird and #4 Buck...I think. The OP is referring to #4 Buck.

#4 Buck is .24 diameter while #4 Bird is .13. Actually #4 Bird is not a bad HD load for close quarters HD in apartments or crowded urban settings...like where I am at. I keep #4 Bird handy for my shotgun as well as 00 and 0 Buck.

I am citing this. http://www.ammobank.com/shotsize.html

cbrgator
September 3, 2009, 03:41 PM
Yes, both loads I am considering are buck.

earlthegoat2
September 3, 2009, 06:05 PM
Wont matter as long as you hit them with a good hit.

If not they will both still do equal damage.

Eric F
September 3, 2009, 06:30 PM
I saw some one suggest birdshot early on in this thread.
Read this it convinced me.

http://www.shadonet.com/2008/01/choosing-between-birdshot-buckshot-or-slugs-for-shotgun-home-defense/

Marlin 45 carbine
September 3, 2009, 06:44 PM
I have a SXS 12ga Mag 'Coach shotty I keep loaded for back-up to my Makarov bed-post gun.
right bbl hi-brass #6
left bbl magnum #1 buck.

Daniel1120
September 3, 2009, 06:54 PM
Why has no one mentioned the federal 34 pellet #4 buck?

Ive got a stash of 00, 1, and 4 buck. Every couple months I change my mind and switch loads. 34 pelet #4 in there right now. Might not throw as tight of a pattern as 00 or 27 pellet but with my intended ranges it won't matter anyways.

leadcounsel
September 3, 2009, 07:57 PM
Broken glass is an unlawful weapon to use in warfare. It is an unusual weapon that causes unnecessary pain and is invisible to Xrays for medical treatment purposes.

rbernie
September 3, 2009, 08:22 PM
9 pellet (low recoil) 00 for me, thanks.

41 magnum fan
September 3, 2009, 09:22 PM
9 pellet (low recoil) 00 for me, thanks.

Same here.

cbrgator
September 4, 2009, 06:50 PM
There are better deals going on the 00 right now so I think I'm just going to go ahead with that. If I find a good deal on #4, I'll pick that up too. It seems like they are both good and I'm not really missing out going with either one. Thanks for all the help.

Gunfighter123
September 4, 2009, 11:33 PM
Another vote for OO !!!

n5odj
September 10, 2009, 09:13 PM
#1 for my HD shotgun, but it's not always so easy to find to buy.

#4 for my stray cat shotgun. Best darn cat load there is.

Robert

inSight-NEO
September 10, 2009, 10:53 PM
9 pellet (low recoil) 00 for me, thanks.

Thank you rbernie (mod). Its nice to know that some of the "higher-ups" around here actually think the same way I do...on occasion anyway. ;)

AKElroy
September 10, 2009, 11:50 PM
The same is true with buckshot. At the ranges you might find within a normal home, buck won't spread much.

Across an average room of 10' to 12', 4 buck, 2 buck, or bird shot for that matter, will not spread much. Aiming is still very much required. I am paranoid, and apparently somewhat self abusive in that I have endured enough 3" 2oz 00 buck loads to feel comfortable with the load for defense, even though most would suggest 2 3/4" loads.

sqrlsnestx4
September 11, 2009, 11:45 PM
I have yet to test this theory but I have heard that the lighter shot like 4,5,and 6 shot won't penatrate 2 layers of sheet rock. I would say that is important on 2 levels 1.) your loved in the house don't get hurt and 2.) bad guy will be close enough it won't matter dead bad guy. And you can buy a box of 25 for 5-7$ and the recoil is a lot less.

MaxV
September 12, 2009, 12:20 AM
Agree...for in house defense, birdshot will work fine at normal home defense ranges(8-15ft) and will be less likely to go through walls. Go out and practice with ordinary trap/target loads at those ranges and see what happens to the pumpkin......

billw_willy
September 12, 2009, 12:44 AM
I cast 00 buck, slowly in a Lee SC 0.33" mould, just bought a #4 buck mould, 6 cavities in each side of the mould, no sprue cutter and hope to buy another in 00 buck, 32 cal later when the mould has a sprue cutter. I reload my 12 ga shells and can load a low velocity low recoil load if I want rather than the abusive recoiling heavy loads. I also have 4 slug moulds and find them all accurate enough at 25 yds in a smooth bore unless I use a rifled barrel for longer ranges and I haven't tested any slugs beyond 50 yds. I see no reason to load whatever buck sizes suits your needs. All of them are deadly dangerous at any velocity, range limiting as usual.

billw_willy
September 12, 2009, 01:07 AM
I have loaded 12 "00" pellets in 2 3/4" shells with 22.0 gr Unique, about 1150 fps, slower than factory loads, and also 9 pellets with 18.0 gr Red Dot, still slow muzzle velocity compared with hotter factory loads. A load was recommended by NRA, 1 1/2 oz load of bird shot with 23.0 gr Unique and any shell or wad in an old issue of AR I used for many years with #5 shot on all small game, deadly load and few misses or wounded squirrels, rabbits or birds. I assume the same weight of buck shot and slugs is safe to load and have done it for many years. I can load 3" shells for my 870 but really don't need 3" shells, load 2 3/4" in my Win M97 smooth bore.

Vern Humphrey
September 12, 2009, 11:54 AM
I have yet to test this theory but I have heard that the lighter shot like 4,5,and 6 shot won't penatrate 2 layers of sheet rock.
I have tested it. In my Ithaca Model 37, #8 shot will not penetrate when fired from my 20" smoothbore barrel. From my 26" barrel with full choke, it leaves a rathole on both sides of a 2X4 and sheet rock mockup.

Hansli
September 13, 2009, 12:54 PM
Any kind of birdshot for HD will do fine. Not to be macabre, but it is also a surgeon's nightmare. This reminds me of caliber arguments. I always ask myself "What would I like to be shot with at close range?"

Vern Humphrey
September 13, 2009, 02:59 PM
"Any kind of birdshot for HD will do fine. Not to be macabre, but it is also a surgeon's nightmare. This reminds me of caliber arguments. I always ask myself "What would I like to be shot with at close range?" "

No offense meant, but this is an example of what students of decision-making science call "The mother of all foul-ups." This consists of making two mistakes; first, selecting an inappropriate decision-making criterion; and second, applying that criterion to only one course of action.

The goal in self-defense is to stop an attacker, not to do something the attacker likes or doesn't like. No one in his right mind wants to be shot -- even with an air rifle. But that doesn't make an air rifle the ideal self-defense weapon.

A shotgun loaded with birdshot may or may not be effective. In my own tests, my Ithaca Model 37 with the cylinder-bore slug barrel will pepper a backstop at 15 feet with number 8 shot, showing patterning and penetration that is clearly not capable of stopping a determined attacker. With the full choke barrel, it will go through two sheets of wall board, and might (I say might) do the job.

After testing, I decided to use buckshot or slugs exclusively for self-defense.

augustino
September 13, 2009, 03:29 PM
I'm no expert when it comes to self defense loads. I've been broken in on once and fortunately my weilding a handgun was enough to scare the intruder away. Best I can guess is that he was wacked out on crack or something similar. The damn fool nearley soiled his pants when I stepped out of total darkness, from behind a door, and stuck my pistol barrel up into his nostril. I wispered to him that I could take the entire back of his head off with the squeeze of a trigger. Well enough of the Dirty Harry crap, I was more scared than he was!
Anyhow... I let him go and he ran like noone I've ever seen run before or after. But a friend who is into security and moonlights for a bail bond company told me that he loads his 12 SG with nothing but 00 Buck in winter time. During the summer months pretty much anything works well enough. But during winter people often dress heavier. At times with an under shirt, shirt, sweat shirt or hoodie and a coat on top of all that. If they have a leather jacket on it's eeven more difficult for the smaller pellets to penetrate. Whereas with 00Buck, even fully dressed with leather, the pellets will find their mark.
But like I said I'm no expert and hope I never am faced with having to fire on a human being. I don't want to meet my maker with that on me. But what he says kind of makes sense.
Any thoughts on this? I would appreciate more input because I just don't know for sure.

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