Reduced recoil buckshot


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Balrog
November 15, 2010, 10:56 PM
I have read several threads here of people who have bought 12 gauge shotguns for home defense, loaded with buckshot, and discovered they could not handle to recoil, so they switch to reduced recoil loads.

Would the reduced recoil loads be less effective than standard 00 buckshot?

If recoil is a problem, why not buy a 20 gauge, and not download the 12 gauge?

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Zombiphobia
November 15, 2010, 11:04 PM
I've fired the federal 'low recoil 00' and it is a noticeable difference from say a federal premium shell, but the only thing I have for comparison right now is the federal low recoil, and a federal premium 3in mag 000.. so of course there will be a difference there.
I think the point of using a "downgraded" 12 instead of a 20 is the 12ga shell can hold more pellets and for a home-defense scenario, the reduced charge isn't going to make much difference. When the bad guy has a large chunk of his chest or torso missing, you can ask if he noticed it was a reduced recoil load and if he's still alive, I'm sure his honest answer would be 'no', but I could be wrong.

Balrog
November 15, 2010, 11:07 PM
So the velocity of the pellets hitting the targets does not matter?

bushmaster1313
November 15, 2010, 11:12 PM
If I am not mistaken, a fair number of law enforcement shotguns are loaded with reduced recoil 2 3/4" shells.

This provides a better follow up shot and it makes practice much more fun.

Online outfits sell Fiocchi 2 3/4" reduced recoil 00 for about $28 per 50 rounds.

Naybor
November 15, 2010, 11:36 PM
Premium 12 ga. w/00 buck are designed with the power and velocity to reach out and touch a deer at 50 or so yards.

At home defense ranges of 3 to 7 yards, low recoil shells are really as, or almost as, devastating as the full power loads. And as Zombiphobia says, 12 ga. shells hold more payload.

I've got 2 3/4 premium 00 shells in my double barrel 12 ga. and they do give uncomfortable recoil, even with a Limbsaver slip on recoil pad.

al123
November 16, 2010, 02:19 AM
JMO

Reduced recoil 00 does have noticeably less recoil than standard 2 3/4 load 00 buck. In typical home defense situations <20 feet it should be just as effective, and it is easier to have followup shots.

It may also be less of a problem for your neighbors across the street in case of a stray pellet. However, shot placement is still of primary importance.

Girodin
November 16, 2010, 02:50 AM
If one is more comfortable using the reduced recoil rounds that is likely to be more of a benefit than a few hundred FPS IMHO. I personally shoot (most often) a soft shooting gas gun that doesn't beat me up with even 3" 12 pellet 00 loads. If I were using my pumps more often (and certainly my coach gun) I would probably run the reduced recoil stuff. I'm with those that would opt for follow up speed over the x00 FPS. There is also something to being comfortable with whatever you are running.

At HD distances a reduced recoil load is still packing a whallop.

dogsoldier0513
November 16, 2010, 11:06 AM
At most home defense contact ranges (inside 21 feet) standard velocity field loads of #6 birdshot would suffice since the shot column isn't going to open up to a diameter much larger than 8-10 inches. 1-oz of #6 birdshot would mess someone's day up at those ranges just as effectively as 1-oz of 00.

Guns and more
November 16, 2010, 11:18 AM
If recoil is a problem, why not buy a 20 gauge, and not download the 12 gauge?
I found the 20 ga. to have the same recoil as the 12 ga. because the 20 ga. is lighter.
Since that time, I feel the .410 is the better choice.
So the velocity of the pellets hitting the targets does not matter?
The velocity of the pellets in .410 is the same as 12 ga. There are simply fewer.

Add to that, getting back on target faster, and having other family members willing to shoot it, and I'm in the .410 camp.
With the popularity of the Judge, .410 ammo in buckshot is readily available (online)

CTI1USNRET
November 16, 2010, 08:19 PM
I load my own 2 3/4" brass hulls with 12-ball 00 loads for my bedside coachgun. No shotcup used. Eight inch spread at 20 feet. ( I used a Blue Dot load for 1.5 oz of shot)

Strykervet
November 16, 2010, 08:23 PM
The Hornady TAP FPD loads are supposed to be light recoil but high velocity. I have some but haven't tried them yet. You get 8 pellets at 1600fps (on the box) vs. 12 pellets at 1325fps for regular buckshot. All the tests I've seen had very tight groups. Lots of people swear by it.

I'd rather have the light recoil high velocity at short range. If I were going to use full power buckshot, I'd go with the Federal 000 since it has the same number of pellets as the 00.

If recoil were not an option, then Winchester #4 buck 3" all the way... 42 pellets, but massive recoil!

dfariswheel
November 16, 2010, 08:43 PM
Manufacturers get low recoil shells in one of two methods.
One method is to put fewer shot in the shell. Less weight, less recoil.
The other method is to reduce the powder charge, but keep the same amount of shot.

At defense gun ranges these shells are just as effective as full power shells.
The reduced amount of shot loads will shoot just as far and hit just as hard, but you have one or two less pellets.
The reduced powder charge loads won't shoot as far, but the shot hits just as hard at defense ranges.
When shooting buckshot at humans at defense ranges the shotgun is somewhat over-powered anyway.

The 20 gauge can be as effective as a 12 gauge, but you have to use magnum loads to do it. Recoil may or may not be noticeably lighter.

Good ways to reduce the pounding recoil of a defense gun is to use reduced recoil ammo and install one of the newer super recoil reducing butt pads as made by Limbsaver.
Remington's R3 version made by Limbsaver reduced felt recoil by as much as 30%.
Remington says their reduced recoil shells can reduce felt recoil 40%.

DougW
November 16, 2010, 09:25 PM
Reduced recoil buck will have far better penitration than any bird shot, even at point blank range. All my defensive shotguns are stoked with RR buck and RR slugs are close at hand. In a defensive situation, you are not compromising capability by using a reduced recoil load. Follow up shots (if necessary) are much easier. Hunting with buck shot may be different, depending on range and size of the target.

Skribs
November 16, 2010, 09:47 PM
I'd rather have more, slower moving pellets for close in.

Balrog
November 16, 2010, 11:00 PM
The velocity of the pellets in .410 is the same as 12 ga. There are simply fewer.


While true, that wasn't what I was comparing. I was comparing reduced recoil 12 gauge to standard 12 gauge.

roo_ster
November 16, 2010, 11:22 PM
In some lower recoil loads, the difference at the muzzle is 200-300fps, pretty significant if you wanted to use it on critters beyond 25 yards. It is less significant up close, though.

I have found that most of my social shotguns don;t pattern RR loads as well as standard loads, pretty much the opposite of most folks' reports. Also, one of my HD shotguns is a semi-auto and I want reliability and simplicity.

Given that^^^, I run standard 2 3/4" buck loads. Not RR and not magnum. I just shot some of that 9-pellet Federal 00 buck with the Flite Control wad out of my Rem 1100 (and two other shotguns). The patterns at 15 yards were VERY small. Haven't yet measured the targets, but 4-6 inches, tops. I suspect 200-300fps ain;t gonna matter if I hit COM from 0-15 yards as his heart & lungs will be a bloody mess.

arizona98tj
November 17, 2010, 12:20 AM
The Hornady TAP FPD loads are supposed to be light recoil but high velocity. I have some but haven't tried them yet. You get 8 pellets at 1600fps (on the box) vs. 12 pellets at 1325fps for regular buckshot. All the tests I've seen had very tight groups. Lots of people swear by it.

I'd rather have the light recoil high velocity at short range. If I were going to use full power buckshot, I'd go with the Federal 000 since it has the same number of pellets as the 00.


Given a pellet of 00 buckshot weighs about 53.8 grains, if one does the math using one of the online muzzle energy calculators, an 8 pellet 00 load @ 1600 FPS delivers about 2440 ft. lbs at the muzzle. A 12 pellet 00 load @ 1325 FPS delivers about 2520 ft. lbs. at the muzzle.

I'm not sure many folks can detect an 80 ft. lb. difference at the shoulder when firing a 12 gauge shotgun. I'm pretty sure I can't.

That being said, I have no doubt that reduced recoil 00 buckshot is extremely lethal at across the room/down the hallway distances. I would not want to be hit with either of the above two loads.

multigauge
November 17, 2010, 05:54 AM
Some law enforcement agencies use full velocity #4 buckshot. Reduced recoil 00 has more energy per pellet so it should still accomplish the mission without killing at both ends of the gun.

Youngster
November 17, 2010, 11:58 AM
I'd rather not use a load that gives you 30+ yard velocities at the muzzle. If you've compared RR and regular loads on something besides paper you'll probably notice a difference.

147 Grain
November 17, 2010, 01:17 PM
With self defense inside the home, recoil won't be felt, but lower recoiling buckshot puts more odds in your favor with quicker follow-up shots. Federal's LE132 and LE133 00 buckshot at 1,145 fps are the lowest recoiling loads I've tested. Remington and Ranger T are next.

If you shoot a lot like me, consider the Knoxx Special Ops stock for recoil reduction of up to 95%, enabling fast follow-up shots, and extended range time.

147 Grain
November 17, 2010, 01:20 PM
As for terminal performance at under 50' inside your home, the brand of 00 buckshot isn't as critical as the ammo reliably functioning in your weapon (i.e. sticking empty cases within the chamber). A 00 buckshot pattern inside 21' for, example, will be in the 2 1/2" - 4" +/- range and most brands of low recoil ammo will perform the same.

Note: Federal's Low Recoil Flight Control (FC) and Hornady's similar version (using the FC wad) have the tightest groups and choke doesn't matter. These loads are the exception. Results with FC will be the same with a Cylinder, Improved Cylinder, Light Modified, or Modified Choke due to the unique wad keeping the buckshot in tack after is leaves the barrel.

For a good overall choke shooting buckshot and slugs of most brands, Improved Cylinder provides good 00 buckshot and slug patterns.

Strykervet
December 1, 2010, 06:27 PM
Given a pellet of 00 buckshot weighs about 53.8 grains, if one does the math using one of the online muzzle energy calculators, an 8 pellet 00 load @ 1600 FPS delivers about 2440 ft. lbs at the muzzle. A 12 pellet 00 load @ 1325 FPS delivers about 2520 ft. lbs. at the muzzle.

I'm not sure many folks can detect an 80 ft. lb. difference at the shoulder when firing a 12 gauge shotgun. I'm pretty sure I can't.

That being said, I have no doubt that reduced recoil 00 buckshot is extremely lethal at across the room/down the hallway distances. I would not want to be hit with either of the above two loads.
Yeah, I know the math, I love it in fact (I also think that metric calculations are not only easier, but in terms of energy, they make more sense). I majored in it in college, and one thing I learned is that theoretical data is not the same as perceived experience. For that reason, I collected a lot of different types of 12ga. buck, from #4 to 000, reduced recoil, full power, and magnum loads. I haven't tried them all yet as the military range I use won't allow shot --only slugs. But I can say that the Win. XX #4 3" mag with 41 pellets has had more recoil than anything else I've tried, including the Fed. 3" rifled slugs, the Fed. sabot slugs, and the Fed. 00 3" mag.

I know that, mathematically, different burn rates will translate into different recoil (ie, a slow burning powder produces less recoil, but for an extended period). Also, the muzzle energy of a load is a function of distance. For recoil, I would think that impulse, a function of time, would give a better comparison of actual forces at the shoulder. A slower burn rate resulting in longer, weaker recoil would intuitively seem weaker than a faster burn rate resulting in shorter, stronger recoil. I don't know. In earthquakes the opposite is true. But there are much more variables at play here than just distance, time, and rate.

The math can get quite complicated if one were to introduce multiple variables (for instance, your own shoulder, weight, etc.). This would give a better analysis, but by what degree? If enough variables are introduced, one can get multiple solutions, or solutions that don't have satisfactory results (like terms that cannot be resolved) --which, in physics, leads to experiments. If I have to experiment anyway, then I will use the simpler equations, like energy and such (the ones we all use and quote) and stay away from diff. eq. Also, some things cannot be quantified satisfactorily, such as one's own sensitivity (in regards to nerves, pain threshold, etc.). Plus, the experiments are more fun...

I don't know if I can tell the difference between the Fed. 00 12 pellet and the Hornady 8 pellet at the shoulder. I have 'em both, but haven't compared the two yet. Unless the Hornady has a marked reduction in recoil, I would agree that the 12 pellet Fed. would be more desirable. The Hornady has to have that going for it or it won't be worth the price, or worth losing the extra pellets. All the Fed. stuff being equal, if the recoil is similar, I would probably go with the 000. If 8-12 pellets of 00 is enough at various velocities, then 9 pellets of 000 at 1325 will be more than enough.

So, the reduced recoil loads seem to come down to this: high velocity, lower pellet is only worth it if perceived recoil is significantly lower. Nevertheless, higher pellet and lower velocity is not so easily resolved, since here the same pellet number moving slower may still have advantages at close range.

BP Hunter
December 1, 2010, 06:45 PM
With 8-12 .38 cal. pellets hitting the assailant at a single time, why would a follow up shot be necessary?:neener:

147 Grain
December 1, 2010, 07:36 PM
I agree with the prudent advice on low-recoil self-defense loads. One aspect that hasn't been mentioned is that premium RR buckshot loads are copper plated to help with deformation and INCREASED PENETRATION over standard loads.

Federal RR LE132-00 (9 pellets) is an outstanding choice for SD and 1,145 fps with copper plated buckshot is enough for short distances. For those preferring a full-power 9 pellet version, then select LE127-00 at 1,325 fps.

rbernie
December 1, 2010, 08:20 PM
I have read several threads here of people who have bought 12 gauge shotguns for home defense, loaded with buckshot, and discovered they could not handle to recoil, so they switch to reduced recoil loads.The switch to low-recoil buckshot is not because folk could not 'handle the recoil', but because the lower recoil rounds gave measurably faster follow-up shot times while still preserving adequate penetration.

If recoil is a problem, why not buy a 20 gauge, and not download the 12 gauge? Due to the physical stacking of buckshot in the hull/wad, 00 buck does not work in 20ga and most HD 20ga loads use #3 or #4 buck. For folk that want buckshot in which the pellets are larger than #3, moving from 20ga to 12ga is the only answer.

147 Grain
December 1, 2010, 08:35 PM
Well said!

In addition, some folks go for the 20 gauge due to its shorter overall Length of Pull (LOP) versus the longer version in the 12. Conversely, instead of buying a 20 gauge due to its 3/4" +/- shorter rear stock, consider a 12 gauge and purchase a 12" LOP stock from Hogue or Remington's 13" LE version that comes with the R3 Limbsaver Pad.

With the variety of ammo available in both gauges, recoil should not be your main objective (to avoid). Shot placement with a well-fitting weapon that shoots to YOUR natural point of aim, IS the #1 goal here. Practice, practice, and practice some more; you don't always have to use buckshot to practice with - #8 target loads are fine and easier on the shoulder.

Quicker follow-up shots with controllable recoil is still important, but is secondary to a naturally fitting shotgun that enhances the all important first shot.

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