Defensive Ammunition 101


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Dave McCracken
August 14, 2011, 09:45 PM
The dog gave enough warning for you to get the kids into your bedroom and the shotgun out. Behind you, your spouse is calling 911 on the cell phone and holding a revolver. You're covering the top of the stairs as heavy boots clump towards the top floor.....

What your shotgun is loaded with will be of less importance than skills, training, and tactics, but ammo does count. I field a couple queries each week, so this is of great interest to a large number of people.

Here's my opinions and advice based on fact, not movies or wishful thinking....

First,some stuff to avoid.

Less lethal stuff like rubber buckshot or tear gas loads. It's regarded as Use of Deadly Force even when the police do it, and they do it when backed up by cops with real ammo in their firearms. That's in case L/L doesn't work.

There's a clue there. Use something more likely to STOP someone when that is desperately needed.

Also, avoid anything with a name like "Ultimate Deathmaster" or skulls on the box.

Don't laugh,it happens and PT Barnum was right, one IS born every minute.

Anything exotic like Dragon's Breath, bird bombs, buckshot strung together on a wire,etc.10 thin dimes would also be a bad idea. So would be reloads.

Any shooting, justified or not, will be scrutinized under a microscope by LE folks who are not necessarily your friends.

There is a case for and against using birdshot. Sometimes it works well. Usually that's at extremely close range where the wad still contains the shot,acting like a giant Glaser Safety Slug.

Sometimes it creates ghastly but shallow wounds. Since STOPPING the threat usually involves disrupting the Central Nervous System grossly, these shallow wounds do not suffice.

Bigger pellets penetrate farther. The common name for big pellets is buckshot, from its use in deer hunting. Common US sizes are 000 ( about .36 caliber), 00 (.33), 1 (.30), and so on.

4 buck(.24) is the smallest. The largest buckshot that fits in a 20 gauge is 2 buck, but 3 is more available. 1 buck is the biggest for 16 gauge.

00 is the choice for most police agencies and lots of us civilians. 8 or 9 00 pellets at a reasonable muzzle velocity has plenty of energy to transfer and a lot of frontal surface to help that happen. Even three to five 00 or 000 pellets can make the miniscule 410 into an effective close range tool.

00 also patterns tighter than the smaller stuff, all else equal. And that brings up another point.

Some folks like spread, thinking it can make up for bad aim under stressful conditions.

Others, including me, prefer a small pattern putting ALL that energy into the right place.

Forensic experts tell me that the most effective load will have all the pellets in 5-8 inches.

Of course, the biggest pellet is one bore sized chunk of lead, usually called a "Slug".

These have some use for defense but not inside. If they are designed to penetrate a deer broadside and exit, they can pose a threat of overpenetration inside a building. Few of us are that rural that an errant slug poses no threat to anyone.

Buckshot will also penetrate drywall and similar materials, but less so. It behooves us to become adept wiith our defensive tools until we can place that load where it needs to be in a very short time frame and do so without endangering innocents.

Questions, comments, rants?

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Maple_City_Woodsman
August 14, 2011, 10:08 PM
Please don't take this as an attack Dave...

But isn't the objective of "stopping the threat" simply to stop aggression?

If one makes their objective to "disrupt the CNS", then that is defacto killing. IE you are admitting pre-shoot that your default goal is specifically to kill your aggressor regardless of situation.

If you actually look at the numbers, a huge percentage of attacks are stopped by shooting the attacker with anything at all. Unless the attacker is hopped up on strong drugs, then they usually give up.

Perhaps this is me being an ignorant 'noob', but shouldn't our goal be to stop aggression, and simply choose the tool that we think best to accomplish that on an individual basis?

Yes, there will always be situations where the attacker will continue until dead, as well as cases where weaker weapons will not suffice ... but I have a hard time believing that we should all make the killing of a potential attacker the defacto reaction.

Fred Fuller
August 15, 2011, 12:08 AM
Woodsman,

The aim is to stop the attack, period. Nothing else matters. Some people insist that this distinction is mere semantics, but it certainly is not. We cannot appoint ourselves as judge, jury and executioner, nor should we seek to do so. We shoot only when fully justified in doing so, and then only in order to stop the attack, not to deliberately kill the attacker. Unfortunately stopping an attack forthwith may well lead to the death of the attacker, especially where a shotgun is concerned. Suppose we wanted to be merciful to the attacker and use, say, a tranquilizer gun. Even in that case, a dose of tranquilizer sufficient to quickly shut down a person would almost certainly be lethal.

Why is it necessary to stop an attack quickly? Because failing to do so could well result in the death or injury of innocents at the hands of the attacker. Are you familiar with the Tueller Drill? See http://www.theppsc.org/Staff_Views/Tueller/How.Close.htm if you aren't. Suppose the attacker is armed with a gun and not a knife? How long does it take to pull a trigger?

Gunfighting is not a nice subject, and that's what were talking about here. The reluctance of a normal human being to consider taking the life of another human being is understandable and natural. But there are times when the choice really is to take an action that might well result in the death of an attacker, or be killed. Anyone who is a genuine pacifist might well choose to allow themselves to be killed rather than risk taking a life by defending themselves or their loved ones with a deadly weapon, and that's their choice. But there are those of us out here who, while we are genuinely peace-loving individuals, are not pure pacifists to the degree that we would allow ourselves or our families to be abused, injured or killed rather than risk the life of an attacker.

Thus, if pushed to that extreme in order to defend ourselves and our loved ones, we will shoot to stop.

hth,

lpl

===========

http://www.corneredcat.com/Ethics/deserve.aspx

http://www.policeone.com/Officer-Safety/articles/3468112-Shooting-center-mass-Shooting-to-kill-or-to-stop/

lemaymiami
August 15, 2011, 01:47 AM
I've always considered a pistol as what you use when you can't find anything better. The basic 12ga. shotgun with an 18" barrel, simple bead sight, is that far better tool when everything (you and your family) are on the line. Load it with ordinary 2 3/4" OO Buck rounds and you're in business. Simple, brutal, and utterly reliable - it's what I was taught to use in police work and I relied on it for some years. Just remember to aim a bit low...

I had occasion to point a loaded pistol at many, many folks in 22 years on the job. I can't remember what percentage of those weren't impressed at all by that, but more than a few simply ignored it.... I never found anyone who didn't pay attention to the business end of an old Wingmaster when it was pointed their way. Over all those years I rarely ever had the safety off, but those downrange didn't know that.... At ranges under 25 yards, nothing beats a defensive shotgun with the proper ammo.

Bill_Shelton
August 15, 2011, 02:36 AM
The dog gave enough warning for you to get the kids into your bedroom and the shotgun out. Behind you, your spouse is calling 911 on the cell phone and holding a revolver. You're covering the top of the stairs as heavy boots clump towards the top floor.....

Dave,

This "What if" scenario sounds like you are dealing with Drug Gangsters who are exceptionally hellbent on killing you, or Cops. I mean, who the hell storms up stairs with "Boots" in an all-out rampage?

I mean...can't you avoid the Drug Gangsters while giving the Cops no reason to make a suicide run against you? This sounds like Waco!

Bill

Fred_G
August 15, 2011, 03:19 AM
Shotgun ammo for HD in my house is 00 Buckshot. No more, no less. Cause it will work if you hit the target.

2zulu1
August 15, 2011, 03:55 AM
OO Buck for me, well, and of course Desert Dawg is primary. :)

No place to run and no place to hide at in home distances.

http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o144/aztrekker/At%20the%20range/FNHSLP.jpg

Bob

Dave McCracken
August 15, 2011, 05:33 PM
Thanks for the responses.

Like Lee said,Woodsman.

Lemay, you're correct. Nothing is as effective as a shotgun in trained hands loaded with proper ammo.

Bill, I was setting the stage with one possible scenario. There are MANY more.

Fred and 2z, Amen. 00 works very well.

This thread will be stickied at the top of the forum for reference, should save us all some typing...

Al Thompson
August 15, 2011, 06:44 PM
who the hell storms up stairs with "Boots"

I know two ladies that the sound of footsteps on the stairs was their clue that bad guys were coming.

Back on topic, IMHO, the further the bad guy, the larger your shot size needs to be. I've loaded #2 birdshot for a house gun before as my max engagement range from that part of my house would be 18 feet. From the other end of the house, buckshot gets the nod as I would have a possible shot of 15 yards.

Yes, I have two HD shotguns.

I see no use for any shot size less than #2 birdshot and now that Remington has BB (.20 caliber) Tungsten-Bronze-Iron Home Defense loads available, I've switch to that in my short range applications.

Bartholomew Roberts
August 15, 2011, 07:20 PM
But isn't the objective of "stopping the threat" simply to stop aggression?

If one makes their objective to "disrupt the CNS", then that is defacto killing. IE you are admitting pre-shoot that your default goal is specifically to kill your aggressor regardless of situation.

To elaborate on what Lee already said, there are two ways to stop a threat:

1. Psychological - The attacker changes their mind and flees/surrenders. This type of response is totally dependent on the attacker's state of mind - so it can vary widely even in the same person and while it is something we can influence, there isn't much we can do to dictate someone else's state of mind.

2. Physiological - the body is physically unable to continue the assault regardless of what the attacker wants to do. Assuming our training is good, this is a factor we can control.

When it comes to forcing the body to physically shut down with a firearm, you do it by:

A. Causing such a significant drop in blood pressure that the brain shuts down and the attacker becomes unconscious

B. Directly damaging the central nervous system to shut it down.

The problem with A) is that even if you totally destroy the heart, a human being is still capable of physically acting for as long as 10-15 seconds. That can be a really long time in a gunfight at close range inside your own house.

Either A or B is likely to result in serious injury or death to your attacker, this is one of the reasons that the use of lethal force is highly regulated by law and usually limited to specific circumstances where you are seeking to prevent your own immediate serious injury or death. However, the intent is still to stop the threat as quickly as possible, not to kill the attacker. If the attacker flees/surrenders before you are forced to that level, all the better.

Creature
August 15, 2011, 07:38 PM
For general home/self-defense, what is everyone's thoughts on "Tactical" aka "SWAT" aka "Home Defense" (reduced recoil) slugs? How about reduced recoil 00 buck? Are these two effective or not effective?

Maple_City_Woodsman
August 15, 2011, 09:27 PM
Lee Lapin / Dave / Bart:

Don't make the mistake of thinking that I care one bit about the feelings of violent criminals, nor that I wish to be "merciful" to them. I don't - I would like to believe those who work evil deeds will one day be served their just deserts. If that means a burglar / home invader meets a terrible death, then justice has likely been served IMO.

Never the less, I still have many qualms with the common rote advice to stoke a shotgun with 000 Buck and aim for the brain/spine/CNS/whatever as the default method for dealing with an attacker.

This is one of those times I wish we could have a collective conversation in person. I have several things I wish to say, but feel that I can not adequately represent my thoughts on this subject in print.

Instead, let me ask an open question: Do you believe a legal justification for deadly force necessitate its use?

Walkalong
August 15, 2011, 09:33 PM
I fail to see where killing was mentioned or suggested. Stopping the attack, and what it takes, was discussed.

The idea is always to stop the threat. Sometimes times this involves killing. If one is not comfortable with the idea of possibly killing somebody in the act of defending themselves or loved ones, they should not have a gun for protection.

We are not playing hopscotch here. :)

Maple_City_Woodsman
August 15, 2011, 10:12 PM
Uhg. Did you read any of the above? :(

The idea is always to stop the threat. Sometimes times this involves killing. If one is not comfortable with the idea of possibly killing somebody in the act of defending themselves or loved ones, they should not have a gun for protection.

I wish we were playing hopscotch. It would be easier to communicate the subject matter.

I am not hugging trees here. I am not concerned with the criminals feelings. I am not gun shy. I have no qualms with shooting an attacker.

This is what I said in post #2:

Yes, there will always be situations where the attacker will continue until dead, as well as cases where weaker weapons will not suffice ...

This is my logic walkalong: IF the default reaction to a threat is to aim 000 buckshot at the CNS, then defacto, you are saying your default reaction to a threat should be to kill regardless of stop.

I am simply questioning the logic of using the heaviest possible load to target the CNS, and then trying to fit that in with a civilians goal to stop threatening behavior.

It is illogical to say that ALL cases where shooting is justified should have the express goal of killing the individual. There are libraries of first hand accounts right here on THR that make such clear.

lobo9er
August 15, 2011, 10:34 PM
This thread will be stickied at the top of the forum for reference, should save us all some typing...
__________________


Is that tongue in cheek? This thread is similar to alot of threads about shotguns and 00 and being trained. Entertaining and informative but not ground breaking.

Bartholomew Roberts
August 15, 2011, 10:34 PM
Instead, let me ask an open question: Do you believe a legal justification for deadly force necessitate its use?

No, I do not. In life, there will often be cases where something can be legal; but not necessarily the right thing to do or even a good, practical idea. On the flip side, our society is very restrictive on the use of lethal force. If you are in a situation where lethal force is legal, that is a very big clue about the potential danger that would be foolish to ignore.

This is my logic walkalong: IF the default reaction to a threat is to aim 000 buckshot at the CNS, then defacto, you are saying your default reaction to a threat should be to kill regardless of stop.

In a lethal force situation in your own home, you are facing an immediate threat of death or serious injury at close range. It may take less than 3 seconds to charge from 21' and plunge a knife into you. It takes less than a second to pull a trigger and every pull means that you or someone else in your household may get shot. The quickest way to end that threat is to directly damage the CNS. Is it likely to kill? Yes. That is why it is called lethal force; but the goal is not to kill. It is still to stop the threat. Nobody is saying you should kill your attacker, they are just pointing out the reality that the best way to limit damage is to stop the fight as quickly as possible.

Bigphil54
August 15, 2011, 11:41 PM
Look at it this way.
Someone is breaking into your house at night when they know you are mostlikely home. Why couldn't they wait till the day when the house is empty? They're desperate or have a set mission that not much is going to stop them from compleating. Either way they aren't going to back down easy. Its not a pleasant thought but when it comes down to it you have two choices, the possible harm of your loved ones or the probable harm of the intuder. Less lethal may take him down but he will still be able to retaliate, and chances are he won't have less lethal ammo is his gun. So I'm going to do all I can to remove my family from immediate harm and if the tool best suited for the job poses a high risk of death then that's life. I won't degrade my defence to suit his offence and save him. As stated earlier if the use of lethal force is legal then its probably one of the only things that will save you.

Bigphil54
August 15, 2011, 11:47 PM
Oh n in IMHO some form of buck is best. Decent spread with adequate stopping power and penatration with not to much over penatration. I like the concept of winchesters PDX in the 410 but in the 12gauge I don't like the slug n just three buck shot pellets. I think they could have used more buck or swapped out the slug for say smaller buck/large bird shot for a mixed pattern at all ranges?

Maple_City_Woodsman
August 16, 2011, 02:27 AM
In a lethal force situation in your own home, you are facing an immediate threat of death or serious injury at close range. It may take less than 3 seconds to charge from 21' and plunge a knife into you. It takes less than a second to pull a trigger and every pull means that you or someone else in your household may get shot. The quickest way to end that threat is to directly damage the CNS. Is it likely to kill? Yes. That is why it is called lethal force; but the goal is not to kill. It is still to stop the threat. Nobody is saying you should kill your attacker, they are just pointing out the reality that the best way to limit damage is to stop the fight as quickly as possible.

Again, I am not posting in regard to some moral dilemma, nor am I confused about generic defense scenarios.

Let me try asking this way: Why not use something like #4 Buck, and aim for center mass?

Wouldn't that result in:
A) More hits on target
B) Easier hits under stress
C) More wounds of sufficient depth
D) Greater total wound volume
E) Show less premeditation

And thus a greater chance that shooting would actually stop the attack?

I am questioning the logic of choosing to fire at a smaller target using a load with less pellets, and creating a situation that can OBVIOUSLY be construed as intent to kill rather than stop.

I am not wrestling with the morality of defensive shooting. I am questioning the ammo/target selection being proffered as rote solution.

Bartholomew Roberts
August 16, 2011, 10:02 AM
The central nervous system consists of the upper spine as well as the head area. If you'll note Dave McCracken's original point, it wasn't to target the head - it was that small shot doesn't penetrate deeply enough to reach/disrupt the CNS and you should use shot that does.

Let me try asking this way: Why not use something like #4 Buck, and aim for center mass?

Assuming #4 buck will penetrate deeply enough in the scenario you actually face (and I think that could be iffy in some scenarios given that 4 buck is already on the low end of acceptable penetration), I think that is a perfectly valid strategy. A cloud of pellets in a 5"-8" pattern centered on the upper torso (assuming a facing shot) is still likely to disrupt the CNS if it penetrates deeply enough and even if it doesn't penetrate deeply enough to reach trhe CNS, it will certainly start the timer running on the end of the fight.

E) Show less premeditation

I'm having trouble thinking of a legal scenario where a load of #4 buck to the upper torso at close range is going to be OK; but a load of #4 buck to the head at close range is going to get you in trouble. Maybe you could elaborate on why you feel this is a distinction that helps you?

lemaymiami
August 16, 2011, 02:23 PM
Most will never, repeat never, fire a shot at another person (many that do so will be under arms for their country.... a tiny percentage will be in civilian life). In a "civilized" country all are taught from an early age that doing so is bad stuff. Military and police training to some extent overcomes this (in police work, particularly, the prohibition still remains very strong in my experience). I think that's a good thing. I wouldn't want to live in a world where killing was a routine matter.

The result of this exhibits itself in every rational discussion about use of force, deadly force, and related topics. As a result many will do their best not to look squarely at the fact that in some situations, you're not only justified in shooting, but you'd better be quick about it and not miss.

In my case I'd been a cop for more than five years when I found myself in a shooting situation on the street in uniform. I had a clear shot at the armed individual and I couldn't shoot. A minute or so later, I had another clear shot and still didn't take it. The sound of gunfire finally did the trick... the third opportunity was taken, and there's nothing to be proud of there.

Most cops that I've known are very hesitant to actually shoot until they've passed that first milestone. As a result there's was usually the second shot, not the first. In the real world actions have consequences. If an opponent in an armed encounter survives you can bet their account of what happened will be very different from yours. Stopping your opponent from actually doing damage after being wounded (even a killing wound may not stop a response, the FBI shootout some years ago in Miami is a textbook case, and good men died as a result). That's the reason I always relied on that 12ga. police shotgun. Discussing this sort of stuff is one thing, being there (and scared to death if you're normal) is another matter entirely. Just being able to hit the mark when in that state takes some concentration and skill. Not the sort of stuff we see every day in movies and the television...

Strykervet
August 16, 2011, 03:44 PM
Please don't take this as an attack Dave...

But isn't the objective of "stopping the threat" simply to stop aggression?

If one makes their objective to "disrupt the CNS", then that is defacto killing. IE you are admitting pre-shoot that your default goal is specifically to kill your aggressor regardless of situation.

If you actually look at the numbers, a huge percentage of attacks are stopped by shooting the attacker with anything at all. Unless the attacker is hopped up on strong drugs, then they usually give up.

Perhaps this is me being an ignorant 'noob', but shouldn't our goal be to stop aggression, and simply choose the tool that we think best to accomplish that on an individual basis?

Yes, there will always be situations where the attacker will continue until dead, as well as cases where weaker weapons will not suffice ... but I have a hard time believing that we should all make the killing of a potential attacker the defacto reaction.
Okay, you are rushing at me from 10m bringing a firearm to bear. I can shoot you and stop you by severing you femoral artery. I can deny you assistance save the 911 call, and if they don't get here fast enough, you will die. But you will still be a threat to me as you lay there bleeding out, thus the need for another shot, a finishing shot you might say, but that is how to stop the threat here.

In a second scenario, just like the first but you have a knife, I can hit the femoral artery and get satisfactory results --provided you don't reach or make sudden movements that scare me.

You do aim to kill. In fact, it is illegal in some places to aim for anything less. Lethal force is lethal force and it is protected as such here. You can use deathdealers in .75calibre semi-auto belt fed cannons (make believe) and deadly force is deadly force. It doesn't matter what you use here, but in some places it does --Arizona, I think, recently changed this because a man was convicted over using a 10mm. They cut him loose and changed the law.

The shot that stops the threat fastest is the safest for you and your family. Unfortunately, that means kill. But that shouldn't weigh on your soul. The reason you would need to do this in the first place is if someone were trying to do it to you. People don't break into houses and approach the occupants to say thank you before leaving.

I taught combat anatomy and terminal ballistics at the SDM course at Ft. Lewis. A shot to the nose with a round that will make it all the way through the head is called the ragdoll shot. You can do the same behind the ear or just above the neck (or obliquely). The subject will fall like a marrionette with the strings cut. Lights out. The next best shot is the area a bowling pin covers from the bridge of the nose to the bottom of the sternum. Secondary to that is just to the left and right, and upper abdominal shots.

An area that supposed to be a good shooting point for stopping an aggressor is the pelvic region. Especially if they are armored. There is a lot of blood there, the guts hurt BAD when aggravated (and shooting them definitely would aggravate them) and the bones there are easy to hit. If you hit the bone, and you probably will, it will anchor the target. If he is still a threat, well, you know what to do next.

Bottom line is if you aim to shoot another man, you aim to kill him. We are THE alpha predator in case anyone forgot. When an alpha predator comes for you, you don't play around. You wouldn't shoot to wound a lion if it were attacking. Why would you do differently to that lion's top predator?

I agree with the OP about buckshot. Definitely buckshot. I like the 00 Hornady TAP FPD. 8 pellets at 1600fps. But I have shoulder problems now, I wake up with it burning, so I don't know if I can manage a shotgun when I might need to. So I use an M4. At HD distances, the M4 is the ultra weapon in my mind. I am very skilled with it, I have a LOT of practice clearing buildings with it and engaging surprise targets at various distance. It will punch right through soft armor, and it is lethal enough. I like to use 55gr. M193 ball. It fragments well, doesn't penetrate too much hard material, but causes grievous wounds in flesh.

Dave McCracken
August 16, 2011, 03:57 PM
Lobo, not tongue in cheek at all. When people in the future want to find out stuff about this, we can point them to the top instead of using up more bandwidth.

MCW, 00 spreads less than smaller pellets, all else equal. And, if I need to shoot through my refrigerator,00's the better choice. Go ask your local police what they use. Chances are it's 00.

Lemay, even the military admits maybe 20% of the troops are doing 90% of the threat management.

Fred Fuller
August 16, 2011, 04:36 PM
I am simply questioning the logic of using the heaviest possible load to target the CNS, and then trying to fit that in with a civilians goal to stop threatening behavior.

Woodsman,

Thing is, a 2 3/4" load of 00 buckshot IS NOT the "heaviest possible load." There are heavier shotgun loads available, that will fit most shotguns in use these days. A 3" magnum load of 000 buck is arguably heavier (larger pellets and more of them) than most of the 9 pellet loads of 00 buck used by the military, in law enforcement and for self defense by many armed citizens. Yet few recommend using 3" magnum loads for defense.

And the target isn't the CNS necessarily. It's whatever might be intersected in the midline of the body, where anatomical features critical to continued function lie. The object is to shut down the function of the attacker as efficiently as possible. Why the emphasis on efficiency? Because the faster the attacker is stopped, the less shot he will be, for one thing. Even with a shotgun it's possible not to induce instant incapacitation with one hit, and any shotgunner who has had good training in the defensive use of a shotgun will have been drilled in following up with another shot or even more shots if necessary. Therefore the faster the attacker is stopped, the less shot he is going to be.

Also, there is no guarantee there will only be one assailant. I read of a home invasion in the news a couple of days ago where five thugs were involved. It's not always one on one... http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/08/15/connecticut-family-tied-up-during-home-invasion/ , see http://www.homeinvasionnews.com/ for more news stories.

fwiw,

lpl

Kiln
August 16, 2011, 05:43 PM
I've got a question, the article condemns using "exotic" types of ammunition. For those of you that are more experienced than me, would you recommend using Winchester PDX-1 .410 shells (link below) for personal defense? It is not my primary defensive firearm but I do have a .410 derringer that accepts 2 1/2 inch shells, what I'm wondering is if this is a decent loading for the gun in question or not?

http://www.winchester.com/Products/shotshell-ammunition/supreme-elite/pdx1410/Pages/S410PDX1.aspx

Maple_City_Woodsman
August 16, 2011, 09:13 PM
I have no desire to argue semantics.

My thanks to those of you who managed to support the arguments you made while answering my questions, especially Lee Lapin who has been most helpful.

I did not intend to step on toes, but it has happened anyway. My apologies to those who got their feelings hurt. I'm bowing out of this discussion, to keep it 'High Road'.

Fred Fuller
August 16, 2011, 09:22 PM
Winchester PDX-1 .410 shells ... .410 derringer

If it holds any kind of pattern with all the stuff the Winchester shell is loaded with (shot plus "defense discs"), it should probably do about as well as anything else. I'd guess you only have about 1/2" to 1" of barrel in front of the shotgun shell in a derringer, and that's not going to help matters much with either velocity or patterning. I've never shot one to pattern with anything at all, but it's my guess the short barrel will prove to be your biggest disadvantage with that particular gun. But only experimentation can answer those questions - shoot various loads and test both penetration and patterning to see what you can expect out of it.

hth,

lpl

Walkalong
August 16, 2011, 09:24 PM
I have no sympathy for thugs who rob, (delted a word for forcible, non-consensual sexual relations), maim, kill, etc, and if in stopping them I kill them, so be it. They put themselves in harms way.

The idea is to stop the attack. Sometimes killing is required to do so. It is completely up to the thug who is committing the crime. If when they are told to freeze, drop any weapon, and lay face down, they choose to do so, their lives are not in jeopardy. If instead they choose to attack, they take their health and well being into their own hands.

What reason do I need to believe that? It speaks for its self. If you believe differently, OK.

If you truly believe what you say, debate it, don't bow out. AC

lobo9er
August 17, 2011, 12:14 AM
MCW, 00 spreads less than smaller pellets, all else equal. And, if I need to shoot through my refrigerator,00's the better choice. Go ask your local police what they use. Chances are it's 00.


its not that I disagree with you its just that 00 buck gets discussed alot here and this thread isnt bringing anything new to the table other than another conversation about 00 buck and possible a scenerio.

Rail Driver
August 17, 2011, 01:08 AM
The aim is to stop the attack, period.

Lee, this is tremendously good advice. Do you mind if I save your post for future reference?

Apple a Day
August 17, 2011, 11:34 PM
If you're asking about a derringer then I think that's a whole different animal (as compared to an 18"+ bbl longarm).
I won't attempt to put words om MB's mouth but I believe he's addressing the larger guns.
If I'm in a self defense situation I'm sticking with A)simple and B)most effective. Simple 00 fits both those criteria. Woodsman, I understand what you are saying but I agree with MB's point:
00 also patterns tighter than the smaller stuff, all else equal. ..
Some folks like spread, thinking it can make up for bad aim under stressful conditions.
Others, including me, prefer a small pattern putting ALL that energy into the right place.
Forensic experts tell me that the most effective load will have all the pellets in 5-8 inches.

I was recently trying out some different rounds and remarked the huge difference in spread between some 00 and some birdshot at the same range from the same barrel.
I'm no expert and I'm not sure how comfortable I am trying to work with a less-than-most-effective tool especially when my life is at stake. It's not that I want to kill anyone, it's just that I really, really, really don't want to get killed myself. I think I can get that idea across to a jury.
Everybody has their own opinions/methods. Good luck whichever you choose. Stay safe.

bushmaster1313
August 19, 2011, 12:24 AM
Do the pellets in 8 pellet LE reduced recoil 00 travel about as fast as the full power 9 pellet 00?

Fred Fuller
August 19, 2011, 01:18 AM
Factory websites should provide muzzle velocity of pretty much any load the company offers. I've only used one 8 00 pellet load, and that was red hull Hornady TAP (full velocity, 1600 FPS, http://www.hornadyle.com/products/more_detailde6c.html?id=36&sID=82&pID=1). The blue hull version is the RR 8 pellet 00 load, listed at 1100 FPS ( http://www.hornadyle.com/products/more_detaila310.html?id=36&sID=81&pID=1 ).

fwiw,

lpl

Jesse 8
August 31, 2011, 02:12 PM
What are opinions on #1 buck? I think 12-15 pellets of .30 caliber would be quite convincing and possibly penetrate dry wall slightly less than straight 00 buck

Dave McCracken
August 31, 2011, 03:39 PM
On paper, 1 looks very good. But, some of us who have been doing this for a long time have yet to find a load of 1 buck that patterns tightly without flyers.

Inside, that may not be a problem due to proximity. But, we can never be completely sure we will not need a shotgun outside during crisis points.

In the scenarios we may have to deal with, collateral damage is unacceptable.

bratch
August 31, 2011, 06:50 PM
Federal is/has came out with a FliteControl #1B LE132-1B. DocGKR has tested it and is getting one hole groups at 7 yards. I'll be really interested to get my hands on some when I see it in the wild.

Strykervet
August 31, 2011, 06:55 PM
Do the pellets in 8 pellet LE reduced recoil 00 travel about as fast as the full power 9 pellet 00?
The Winchester LE reduced recoil is much slower, but I think it has 9 pellets. Around 1090fps? The Hornady TAP FPD (my favorite) has 8 pellets and chugs along at about 1600fps. Oh yeah! I'll trade that one pellet in exchange for the rest going 500fps. faster. More recoil than the Winchester, but much less than Federal magnums.

Oh yeah, the Hornady also patterns better than anything else I've tried. Very tight, all of them go evenly in a saucer or desert plate at close to moderate range. The wad is the secret. I think Federal uses something similar. With proper shot placement, this is devastating. The wost patterns I've seen come from Fiocchi and other cheaper loads that use cardboard wads. Uneven, erratic, and wide. Some people like this though?

Strykervet
August 31, 2011, 07:12 PM
What are opinions on #1 buck? I think 12-15 pellets of .30 caliber would be quite convincing and possibly penetrate dry wall slightly less than straight 00 buck
#1 buck is very good. Just between #4 and 00... Some think 00 is overkill and some think #4 is underkill, so #1 should be just right. Ayoob I think is a big proponent of #1. I don't use it because of availability, but I think he may just be right. I like all three, plus 000, my favorite. I just wish it came in different flavors like the 00 does. A low recoil 3" would be awesome.

Seals used #4 to break ambushes in Vietnam with full auto shotguns. 200+ pellets in the air in a second or two. The Winchester XX load, 3" mag, has 41 or 42 pellets! It also has the most recoil of any shotgun shell I've fired since I was 8.

Strykervet
August 31, 2011, 07:22 PM
I really like buck and ball, the concept anyway. But there isn't a really well designed one out there. There is the Centurion, one ball and six buck (00? I think there are ones with #4 and #1 too). Not the best pattern. Then there is the Winchester buck and slug. Very promising looking, it has a rifled slug UNDER three 00 buck. It patterns like you'd expect: one slug in the middle with a triad of buck around the slug. The catch? Probably because the slug is under the buck, it tends to spread very rapidly. You will have a flier in distances over a few yards. The slug also gets a little deformed through firing. But a little over 1000fps, this load would be a fight ender. I really would like to see one done with the buck under the slug and engineered to pattern tight.

beatledog7
August 31, 2011, 07:46 PM
In a self defense / home defense scenario, there is a subtle but critical difference between "stop the attack" and the end game I believe is the right one: "neutralize the aggressor."

"Stop the attack," which can be accomplished in many ways including simply scaring the bad guy away, and you might do nothing more than set the attacker on your less well protected neighbor. "Neutralize the aggressor" means render him unable to continue his agressive activity. Not unwilling, not somewhere else. Unable. That is the desired outcome of the encounter.

To the original question, as I recall it, that's 00 buck in as large a dose as it takes.

worldtraveler119
September 6, 2011, 06:43 AM
Would one expect to have penetration problems using #1 if the attacker was wearing a lot of clothing or light jacket/hoodie?

Pfletch83
September 8, 2011, 10:46 PM
I'm thinking about '0000' buck loaded in a 3-inch shell for defenisive use.

I know there is a company that offers a three pellet load but I wonder if four can be placed inside the 3-inch shell.

Could make the .410 even better for SD use and should be able to put a lot of wallop on four legged ner do wells.

farscott
September 9, 2011, 07:33 PM
My thought is that part of choosing the proper ammo for an HD shotgun is considering what happens to those pellets that miss the target. In other words, the choice for a rural homeowner who knows his "misses" are going to hit nothing but his own brick home may be different from the urban apartment dweller with neighbors (much) less than a foot of drywall away. When I am in urban homes, I choose #4 buck due to its lesser penetration. At my rural home, I choose #00 or #01 buck.

Strykervet
September 9, 2011, 07:53 PM
I'm thinking about '0000' buck loaded in a 3-inch shell for defenisive use.

I know there is a company that offers a three pellet load but I wonder if four can be placed inside the 3-inch shell.

Could make the .410 even better for SD use and should be able to put a lot of wallop on four legged ner do wells.
Dixie Tri-Ball? That is way overkill. Anything over 00 will almost certainly over penetrate. 000 is good if you don't mind a mess and some patch work. 00, #1, and #4 are probably the best 12ga. defense loads, they are certainly the most popular.

I also seem to recall that the tri-ball is designed to punch one deep hole. They almost go in a line. They don't deform much either. A slug would probably do the same thing a tri-ball would at defensive distances.

I can't imagine anyone going with anything short of the Hornady TAP FPD 00. That stuff is just amazing. Saucer size groups, 8 holes, high velocity, reduced recoil. All in one package. Wow.

RhinoDefense
October 9, 2011, 01:02 AM
20ga can use #1 buckshot as I load a lot of it in the 20ga.

#1 buckshot is recommended over all other shot sizes by the IWBA, even 00 buck.

SEE IT LIKE A NATIVE
January 29, 2012, 11:48 AM
I keep my shotgun loaded with #4 buck for a couple reasons . 1st it patterned better in my gun than the 0 and 00 buck at ranges from 7 to 25 yards . 2nd I have seen hogs shot broadside with #4 from 25 yards with several pellets passing through . Also have any of you ever fired shot through a rifled shotgun barrel ? If you really want spread that is what you use ! Unfortunatly the effective range is radically reduced ! Pattern your guns at the intended distances ,then check at your estimated maximum range ! Kevin

RET50
February 29, 2012, 12:55 AM
a
Amen to that! I had 29 years "on the job" and can well remember the calming effect that sound made by racking the slide on one of those 870 Wingmasters had on folks standing around with bad intentions on their mind.

RET50
February 29, 2012, 01:07 AM
Kevin, There's a guy named Vang that does a heck of a business boring and reshaping the bore to internally choke 12 gauge barrels. They shoot unbelievably tight shot groups with buckshot even out at 25 yards. He has a website under his name and does a lot of work for police agencies. When I looked into it, you send him your shotgun barrel and turn over time was about a week. I don't remember his exact prices other than to say it was probably around $200 or slightly less.

beeb173
May 8, 2012, 07:31 PM
I'm in favor of bird shot unless you live on a farm. In close quarters bird shot equals massive blood loss and maximum wound area.

gamestalker
May 11, 2012, 06:27 PM
Stopping the attack for me means, if, the threat is such I have no time to offer them an opportunity to surrender, I am going to take a shot that is amied at center mass using the shotgun or pistol most available, and loaded with ammunition that is certain to do it's job, even if it should result in the death of an armed criminal.

But I also live in a state that puts the burden of proof on LE, not the potential victim. Prior to our changes in SD laws in my state, if was an iffy situation in which LE did put the burden of proof upon the victim. Stand your ground comes to mind, and castle doctrin. I am by no means an expert, but since the changes have been made to our SD laws in my state, I have inquired, and been fully advised by an attorney that represents both the state and defense entities regarding where we stand as potential victims and lethal force. Now with these changes in place, it is not even necessary that a threat be armed with any weapon, but that if they refuse to back off or other wise retreat we are within our legal right to utilize lethal deadly force. Expert legal advice trumps a general opinion that may likely be based on old SD laws, or those of a less conservative entity. Bottom line, when my life, or that of a loved one is in danger of being physically harmed, I am not going to have any consideration for the degree of physical damage my firearm or ammunition may inflict, other than to say it will be of such degree to stop the threat with confidence.
GS

RhinoDefense
May 12, 2012, 10:59 PM
I'm in favor of bird shot unless you live on a farm. In close quarters bird shot equals massive blood loss and maximum wound area.
In close quarters, the shot will not spread very much, so the wound area will be very small. Also the mass of each pellet is small so it won't penetrate as much as you think it will. All in all, bird shot is a poor choice for defense.

Rail Driver
May 12, 2012, 11:05 PM
In close quarters, the shot will not spread very much, so the wound area will be very small. Also the mass of each pellet is small so it won't penetrate as much as you think it will. All in all, bird shot is a poor choice for defense.
This. Bird shot is for birds. Go ahead and take some #8 shot out to the range, along with a couple pig carcasses either unskinned and not gutted (fresh kills would be ideal) and shoot one carcass with bird shot, then shoot the other one with buck or slug - Pigs are about as close to people as you can get as far as anatomy goes. Hang the carcasses up like they're standing on their hind legs so you get an upright "mannish" target, and fire one round each center mass at about 5 feet closer than you expect to have to use the shotgun - I promise you'll change your mind about using birdshot defensively against anything but a bird.

Havok7416
May 14, 2012, 07:39 AM
a
Amen to that! I had 29 years "on the job" and can well remember the calming effect that sound made by racking the slide on one of those 870 Wingmasters had on folks standing around with bad intentions on their mind.

I once stopped an intended home invasion by jacking a round into my Mossberg after listening to the guys talk outside my door. They were actually making sure I was there before picking the lock.:eek: The exact words that came out of their mouthes after hearing my shotgun behind the door was a simultaneous "OH SH%!":what: They may still be running to this day!:D

beeb173
May 14, 2012, 11:30 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EA250yz2DR4&feature=related

i think bird shot would work.

451 Detonics
May 14, 2012, 11:55 AM
Racking that shotgun also gives the bad guys warning that you are A) armed, and B) tells them what direction to dump a full magazine in.

As for the video...if I see sticks breaking into my house I will consider birdshot. And I don't really consider pine to be a "hard wood"...and the "face tenderizer" comment...what a poser...

Rail Driver
May 14, 2012, 12:09 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EA250yz2DR4&feature=related

i think bird shot would work.
People aren't sticks of wood, for starters.

Nobody said birdshot wouldn't do damage to an intruder, and nobody said it wouldn't make a person decide they don't want any part of remaining in your house, and nobody said it can't kill, especially at close ranges

HOWEVER -

An inventive lawyer of that intruder that you shoot and don't kill with birdshot inside your home may very well decide to attempt to cause you a great deal of financial trouble for something like purposefully injuring, maiming or doing great bodily harm LESS THAN DEATH on his client - Intentionally damaging someone to the degree that they will have permanent injury or disability, or a long, slow, painful death is cruel regardless of whether he's breaking into your home, or that's what the lawyers will try to make the jury believe. Many of them probably will believe that - Most people have a hard time where violence, death and other "bad juju" is involved, and while most everyone here would probably vote "not guilty" in a home invasion scenario, you don't get to pick the jury - the lawyers on BOTH sides do.

You wouldn't use birdshot on a hog, or a deer would you? No - you'd go to jail for awhile for violating game laws, lose your right to hunt or own guns, and likely lose your job, home, and everything else you hold dear - Let's face it, when you're fighting for your LIFE against an intruder intent on taking all those things away from you and more, do you REALLY want to use birdshot that will only penetrate an inch or three into the bad guy?

Sure the wound will be big and nasty, you might even take half his face off and destroy his eyesight, ability to taste and smell, even his hearing - but head shots on a rapidly moving target are difficult, so you're probably going to try for center mass - not one of those itty bitty tiny pellets has enough mass to pass through the breast bone, much less the entire body - it could definitely be argued that by using birdshot on an intruder, you weren't fighting for your life, you were intending to make the intruder pay for breaking into your home for the rest of his life. (I know I know - captain obvious)

My point here isn't that birdshot at close range from a 12ga shotgun can't be fatal or that it won't do the job sometimes - my point is that if you're going to do something when your LIFE is on the line, use what has been proven effective. Use what has the highest chance to stop the attack. If you're using a 12ga, use something designed for a 125lb or larger beast - because that's what you're facing - not a 3-12lb bird.

CharlieDeltaJuliet
May 14, 2012, 12:21 PM
I am sorry but I agree that someone who will break into my house trying to rob, (deleted word that referenced non-consensual sexual acts), or kill my family, they will face a 12 guage with 00 buck and a P220 with Hornady Critical Defense. While I know the name on the Hornady rounds are not ideal, the handgun is my carry pistol. I will not risk my family on the premise of saving someone that does not care for my family's rights or lives. If it were so I would take my "licks" for defending my family. I have seen men fall from the bullets that protect our freedom, the ones that protect my family are as justified as those. I have nightmares from the first person that I ever watched die, but know that between the choice of my country or my family, there are no second chances to to make the right decision on either's protection.

Rail Driver
May 14, 2012, 12:29 PM
I have seen men fall from the bullets that protect our freedom, the ones that protect my family are MORE justified than those.

Fixed that for you

CharlieDeltaJuliet
May 14, 2012, 12:33 PM
Thank you Rail Driver

RhinoDefense
May 14, 2012, 01:36 PM
Racking that shotgun also gives the bad guys warning that you are A) armed, and B) tells them what direction to dump a full magazine in.
Yup, you grab a shotgun to shoot someone, not to scare someone.

beeb173
May 14, 2012, 01:42 PM
rail driver, bird shot has its advantages. just expressing what i would use IF i used a shotgun for home defense. use a 3.5 inch magnum shell if you like.

451 Detonics
May 14, 2012, 02:47 PM
What advantage does birdshot have? I don't consider low penetration to be a plus btw.

I understand the concern about projectiles penetrating into other rooms, your job as the home's defender includes keeping yourself between the threat and the innocents. Does this mean you can't always clear the house? It can if that means allowing a path between you and the folks you are suppose to be protecting to be open.

Your first duty is not to protect your big screen TV, your first duty is to get everyone you mean to protect into a single room you can control. Once that is done your second duty is to make damn sure no one can get to that room. If they people you want to protect are behind you then overpenetration isn't nearly the issue.

If you live in an apartment I would think about moving however I know that isn't always possible so plan so the attack will have to come from an outside wall if at all possible. this is also a good argument for dumping the shotgun and going with a gun that uses a frangible projectile.

beeb173
May 14, 2012, 04:21 PM
You're making a lot of assumptions. I never said underpenitration was an advantage. I don't live in an apartment. I don't care about damaging my big screen. Where are you getting any of this?
Birdshot does more than enough damage and has less recoil. I've seen what it does to humans at close range. There aren't enough narcodics in the world to allow a person to keep coming at you if they were shot in the chest, abdomen or face.
Finally, if you would rather shoot buck shot, I won't stop you.

Wargarden
May 16, 2012, 04:41 PM
From http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot3_2.htm

When To Use Birdshot
A friend of AR15.com sends this:

"I saw a gunshot victim, about 5' 10" and 200 lbs, taken to the operating room with a shotgun wound to the chest. He was shot at a range of six feet at a distance of just over the pectoralis muscle. He was sitting on his front porch and walked to the ambulance. We explored the chest after x-rays were taken. The ER doc had said 'buckshot' wound, but this was obviously not accurate.

It was # 6 shot. There was a crater in the skin over an inch in diameter. When the shot hit the level of the ribs, it spread out about five inches. There was ONE pellet that had passed between the ribs and entered the pericardium, but not damaged the heart at all. As you say, 'use birdshot for little birds.'"

pps
May 16, 2012, 04:55 PM
Since we are going on some anecdotal evidence, here is my birdshot experience that has swayed me over to the buckshot/slugs only for self defense. 2 years ago on a turkey hunt. A 20# tom started to fly off as I dropped the hammer on a 3 1/2" Magnum #4 federal turkey load....at 20 FEET. The shot hit him in the chest and he flew up into the tree above me...a second shot to the neck settled accounts.

If a 3 1/2" magnum to the chest of a 20# bird didn't stop him...what makes me think I can rely on birdshot to stop a human with any degree of regularity? Shoot what you want...for me, it's buck only for SD

Rail Driver
May 16, 2012, 05:26 PM
This is what I use for HD in my shotguns... I don't care for their marketing schtick, but the premise behind the load is solid.

http://www.winchester.com/SiteCollectionImages/new-products/detail/NPD_PDX1_12.jpg

http://www.winchester.com/Products/New-Products/Pages/pdx1-12.aspx

beeb173
May 17, 2012, 11:03 AM
that winchester round is definatly a solid premise. i especially like the lower velocity. indoors its still more than enough.

GunnerShotz
May 18, 2012, 11:46 PM
....and the topic goes round and round (really no pun intended). I DO live in an apartment right now, so I Have to consider the neighbors (if I Do miss). I like the premise of that Winchester though too. Never tried it.

What's the recoil like out of an 18.5 inch barrel?

NYShooter
May 20, 2012, 10:43 AM
Any load that will reliably stop an assailant in his tracks will penetrate multiple layers of sheet-rock (not including birdshot, which may or may not penetrate multiple walls, but will definitely NOT penetrate humans sufficiently to reach the vital organs). Under this premise, might as we use 1B or 00, which are the most effective loads. It is also interesting that bullets from pistols or rifles, which some use for HD, will penetrate further than any shot-shell load.

beeb173
May 20, 2012, 05:28 PM
Ny shooter, i disagree that a pistol bullet to the lung or abdomen would be as effective as bird shot when we're talking 'indoor distanses'.

NYShooter
May 20, 2012, 05:59 PM
Ny shooter, i disagree that a pistol bullet to the lung or abdomen would be as effective as bird shot when we're talking 'indoor distanses'.
First off, I never made that comparison in my post, so perhaps you should go back a re-read what I did say. However, since you are determined to use birdshot for HD, I say go right ahead and I wish you luck. IMO, birdshot has only two uses - practice at the range, and on birds. As I have said, for HD I use only 00, 1B and slugs.

beeb173
May 20, 2012, 06:40 PM
No need to get upset. I did read your post. It said bird shot isn't effective due to lack of penatration and pistol bullets penetrate better.
For the record, a .380 fmj penetrates better than buck shot. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone that believes that makes .380 more effective than buck shot.
Again, I don't mean any disrespect. I was disagreeing.

NYShooter
May 20, 2012, 08:26 PM
No need to get upset. I did read your post. It said bird shot isn't effective due to lack of penatration and pistol bullets penetrate better.
For the record, a .380 fmj penetrates better than buck shot. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone that believes that makes .380 more effective than buck shot.
Again, I don't mean any disrespect. I was disagreeing.
One more time, dude. I said that birdshot may, or may not, penetrate walls, but will not penetrate humans deeply enough to reach the vital organs, as is thus ineffective. I said that pistol and rifle bullets will penetrate further than any shot shell load. So why are you telling me, "For the record, a .380 fmj penetrates better than buck shot"? I thought I already said that. I made that comparison simply to suggest that over-penetration of walls is less of a concern with shotgun loads than with pistol or rifle rounds. However, I never said that "a .380 round is more effective than buckshot". Quite the opposite, the wound trauma generated by being hit with 9 .33 caliber pellets of 00 buckshot is much more extensive and devastating than being hit with a single .380.

MTMilitiaman
July 3, 2012, 03:23 PM
Lots of good information here.

I think the problem lies in the fact that humans are complex organisms that tend to be fairly easy to kill, but difficult to stop. A determined aggressor can soak up a lot of damage and still remain a threat. Will they die? Probably eventually, at least without proper medical attention. But this doesn't matter to you if you're lying next to him bleeding out on the same floor, with your kid crying and you're old women screaming in the background.

There's no perfect solution, cause this isn't a perfect world. Bottom line for me is that if someone advances towards a .73 caliber muzzle, they aren't there to make friends. And regardless of what combination of drugs, adrenaline, anger, and stupidity compels them to advance when they know what's coming to them, I am going to do whatever is in my power to stop them. With the tools at our disposal, this means I have to do enough damage to the right organs and structures to make them unable to continue their aggression. If someone sees all 6'6" of my pale white figure standing in my PJs in the hall they just entered behind a my 590 and doesn't immediately evacuate their bowels, do an about face ("What? This isn't my house!"), and trip over themselves getting the hell out, I have every reason to believe they intend to do me harm regardless of whatever physical pain I can inflict on them. That is why I am justified using lethal force--because the means necessary to stop an aggressor determined enough to harm me as to advance when they know I am armed is likely going to be lethal.

This is one reason why I don't buy the over penetration hoopla. I've seen gelatin photos and have shot enough varmints with birdshot to know it has absolutely no place in a defensive arsenal against anything larger than a rabid rabbit. In fact, I have seen well centered patterns of birdshot through my 26 inch barreled Rem 870 fail to stop a ground squirrel at ranges I have inside my house enough times that I probably wouldn't even use it for rapid rabbits. Is it going to make a mess out of the first several inches of tissue it encounters, absolutely. But if pain compliance was enough to get the job done, you're not justified legally or morally in using a shotgun. Then consider that 1/3 of Americans are obese and nearly half of us are overweight. The chances are high that the person in your living room or stomping up your stairs is going to be big. And clothed. And if they have a weapon, it is probably going to be held in front of them, conveniently between you and their vital organs. Expecting birdshot to penetrate a wrist/forearm, clothing, and several inches of fat and pectoral muscle before it even makes it inside the chest cavity where the organs that need to be perforated to stop the aggressor lie is a bit much. It's not uncommon for the majority of #6 or #7 1/2 shot in my experience to not penetrate a snowshoe at 30 feet. If you can't find a 30 foot shot in your house, you live in a refrigerator box. Just saying, this is a simple discussion to me. Defensive shotgun ammunition for me consists of eight rounds of Hornady Critical Defense eight pellet 00 buck in the shotgun, with another 3 or 4 and a couple of Foster slugs in the side saddle for good measure.

F1ST0
July 7, 2012, 05:53 PM
I wish I had a wife that would cover me with a revolver.

LeonCarr
July 8, 2012, 12:59 AM
For over 100 years the ammunition specified for 12 Gauge shotgun use by the United States Armed Forces is 00 Buckshot, not birdshot.

In 99% of Law Enforcement Agencies in the USA and probably worldwide the issue 12 Gauge shotgun ammunition is 00 Buckshot, not birdshot.

Why do most professional shotgun users use 00 Buckshot? because it works.

Birdshot is for birds.

If Joe Dirtbag, 6'4" 350 loaded up on crystal meth breaks into your house at 0200 with the intent on stealing all of your possessions and killing you and your family, why do people insist on using a load that works on Dove and Quail but will not reliably penetrate to the vital organs on a human being?

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

Dave McCracken
July 9, 2012, 07:43 AM
Well put, leon....

beeb173
July 17, 2012, 09:13 PM
What happened to the thread with the guy from Gun Blast advocating birdshot in some circumstances? I'm pretty sure it was in the shotgun section.

allaroundhunter
July 17, 2012, 09:52 PM
You're making a lot of assumptions. I never said underpenitration was an advantage. I don't live in an apartment. I don't care about damaging my big screen. Where are you getting any of this?
Birdshot does more than enough damage and has less recoil. I've seen what it does to humans at close range. There aren't enough narcodics in the world to allow a person to keep coming at you if they were shot in the chest, abdomen or face.
Finally, if you would rather shoot buck shot, I won't stop you.

Beeb, I have shared this story several times, but here it is again:

My grandfather was one of the only medical professionals in a small Kansas town in the '50s. As such, he served as a doctor as well as a coroner/medical examiner. I have learned many things from what he has seen, and here is an instance involving birdshot. A man tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the chest with a load of birdshot. The barrel was pressed up against the center of his chest and he pulled the trigger with his toe. Now, not only did the shot not kill him, it did not even stop him from walking to a neighbor's house in order to get help which was not a short walk (he decided he actually didn't want to die). He was not on drugs or any medication to give him extra strength, and the only significant damage done was the hole in his chest that did not reach any vital organs.

Would he have bled out? Yes, eventually, but if that were an attacker he would have another 45 minutes to kill you and your family before that happened. If you still want to use birdshot for "defense", I really must question whether you are defending your family's right to live, or the BG's right to kill you and then live to tell about it...

beeb173
July 18, 2012, 12:23 AM
The shot I bought for 'people' is #2 heavy but still technically bird shot. I'm sure the vast majority of shotgun survivors are from the smallest loads from a distance. I'm not gonna change anyone's mind here. Just asking about the Gun Blast thread and if and why it was taken down.

I had it in my head that bb was smaller. My mistake.

gp911
July 18, 2012, 12:28 AM
Actually a "bb load" wouldn't be too bad. BB denotes a pretty decent shot size.

geo57
July 18, 2012, 11:10 AM
My 2 pennies:

A. I would not use birdshot for self defense if I had other choices.

B. See A above

C. Just as the fellow in a few posts ago reported that a charge of # 4's into a turkey had little effect on it, let me share this. A few years ago while pheasant hunting I kicked up a largish coyote and by the time I was on him he was about 15-20 yards from me. I was using a 12 ga. with high brass 2 3/4 " , 7 1/2 size shot, 3 3/4 dram of powder, 1 1/4 oz of lead. The shot rolled and totally disabled him. Barely alive I put him out of his misery with a blast of the same load to his head which blew it to Smitherines.

D. I have no idea of the gauge or load used in a couple of the stories above where guys took blasts at or very close to contact distance in the center chest but it will be a frost warning day in Hell before I believe one could take a full power 12 ga. load of # 2's, #4's or even #6's center mass with the muzzle against him ,him not being extremely heavily clothed ( or armor plated ) and him walking away for a distance sans dramatic effect.

Fred Fuller
July 19, 2012, 05:58 PM
One particular case has been documented from Australia. In February 1995, a man committed suicide on parkland in Canberra, Australia. He took a pump action shotgun and shot himself in the chest. The load passed through the chest without hitting a rib, and went out the other side. He then walked fifteen meters, reloaded, leaned the shotgun against his throat, and shot his throat and part of his jaw. He then reloaded, walked 136 meters to a hill slope, lay down on the slope, held the gun against his chest with his hands and operated the trigger with his toes. This shot entered the thoracic cavity and demolished the heart, killing him. -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_gunshot_suicide

The incident above was originally posted with full text and pictures at https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2000/173/11/shotgun-suicide-difference, the site now requires paid membership to see full text articles. The shells used in this incident were #2s...

geo57
July 19, 2012, 06:56 PM
Thanks for posting that Fred. Unless the victim had someone following him ( arranged for in advance ? ) around and taking notes during the entire saga, I'm wonding how something like this can get documented with any degree of accuracy. And If he had someone observing this wouldn't that person have tried to stop proceedings after shot # 1 or after he blew part of his noggin away with shot # 2 and before the feller went 130 something meters for the grand finale ?

The article says shot # 1 missed a rib and passed through but does not state if it was centrally located at all or far off to one side, etc. Shot # 3 describes the sort of damage I have witnessed myself on critters and inatimate objects and to me at least dispells the thinking that full power loads taken to the center chest at contact distance leaves only an ugly surface wound without sufficient damage to reach the boiler room.

C0untZer0
July 19, 2012, 07:14 PM
For personal defense and law enforcement applications, the International Wound Ballistics Association advocates number 1 buckshot as being superior to all other buckshot sizes.

Number 1 buck is the smallest diameter shot that reliably and consistently penetrates more than 12 inches of standard ordnance gelatin when fired at typical shotgun engagement distances.

A standard 2 ¾-inch 12 gauge shotshell contains 16 pellets of #1 buck. The total combined cross sectional area of the 16 pellets is 1.13 square inches. Compared to the total combined cross sectional area of the nine pellets in a standard #00 (double-aught) buck shotshell (0.77 square inches), the # 1 buck shotshell has the capacity to produce over 30 percent more potentially effective wound trauma. In all shotshell loads, number 1 buckshot produces more potentially effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck. In addition, number 1 buck is less likely to over-penetrate and exit an attacker's body.

http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs10.htm

One_Jackal
July 19, 2012, 10:34 PM
Not all shots are perfect. Not all situations are predictable. I prefer buckshot. I am not picky about the size of the pellets. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. Even without the optimum load for the situation your chances are pretty good with buckshot.

Fred Fuller
July 20, 2012, 12:19 PM
I'm wonding how something like this can get documented with any degree of accuracy

Forensics, I suspect. Blood trails, volume of blood, etc.

whatnickname
July 29, 2012, 03:58 PM
169066

My load is 3" 000 buckshot. Hope I never have to use it. Make no mistake, I would not hesitate to do so if forced to defend myself against an intruder.

Rob0321
August 26, 2012, 09:57 PM
I just managed to track down some Federal LE #1 Buck with the flight control wad, turns out GT Distributors will ship to active duty military. They are still in transit, and it will probably be two weeks to get to the range, but I'll attempt to put up a range report when I can.

Knockdownpower
August 26, 2012, 11:55 PM
My defense shotgun is loaded with Hornady TAP 00bk. Very happy with it.

Thinker
September 8, 2012, 11:49 AM
I don't see the debate here, I mean I see it but I think you have to ignore a lot of logic to rely on anything less than buckshot. I use 00 because I can buy 250 rounds in bulk and practice with the same load I keep in my 500. Now, that said, I know there are other choices in buckshot. I'm not even gonna consider anything less than #4 BUCK. I have shot at different target media and bird shot sucks for penetration. OK if its all ya got then so be it. Hey if all I had was my Ruger MKIII I would use it too, but when I hear people say they intend to protect themselves with bird shot I fear for them. Now, I am off to dig up all the info I can on other buckshot sizes.

lemaymiami
September 11, 2012, 09:58 AM
for the fellow that wondered how the sequence of shots could be determined for that suicide that needed three pops before hitting the dinger....

As a retired cop that's been involved in numerous gunshot cases (of all...only one was mine....) the state of the art regarding forensics and gunshot wounds, blood spatter evidence, etc. is very, very good. Where I worked is actually where they figured out that wood dowels inserted into impact points in walls with an interior shooting could give extremely accurate trajectory info (nothing like south Florida in the seventies and early eighties for a great variety of gunshot wounds....). I was actually on the scene of the first killing where the shooter's fingerprints were actually taken directly off of the body of the woman killed (and it buried him for a triple homicide).

In short the state of the art on gunshot forensics is so good that anyone tempted to lie about the where, how, and manner of any shooting should think long and hard about straying from the truth.... at least that's my opinion (and with the shotgun and ammo used you can even tell just how far away the shooter was when the shot was fired....).

hwmoore
October 21, 2012, 05:47 PM
I always used #4 it patterned well at the range I expected to be using it at, penetrated enough to reach critical areas, increased shot count over 00 (27 verses 9) 2 3/4 shells all though some say the smallest you should use is #1 buck

LuvMyGuns
October 21, 2012, 07:34 PM
2 3/4 00 buck - it kills

beeb173
October 22, 2012, 02:50 PM
i, like many on this site, get pumped when this thread is active!

stormspotter
November 10, 2012, 11:02 PM
I just finished working on a Ted Williams Model 21 (High Standard) pump 12 ga. All I did was remove the poly-choke (it was incorrectly installed and shot to the right) and take the barrel back to 23". I then reinstalled the front bead and then measured the inside diameter of the barrel. It measures right at .700", which if I am not mistaken is about a modified choke.

Using Federal Premium LE Tactical 00 buckshot it will shoot POA and keep all 9pellets in a group slightly larger than a silver dollar at 15 yards. This load uses the Flitecontrol wad and is listed as 1145 fps. I didn't get to shoot at longer distances, as several people were fine tuning their deer rifles last week.

Yes, it will "only" hold 5 rounds, but I just love how smooth the old High Standard made guns are.

beeb173
November 11, 2012, 09:31 PM
why use flight control for self defense applications? why not just use a slug? granted i have never been trained by the military or Thunder Ranch. could someone explain the advantage? thanks.

allaroundhunter
November 11, 2012, 09:39 PM
why use flight control for self defense applications? why not just use a slug? granted i have never been trained by the military or Thunder Ranch. could someone explain the advantage? thanks.

One word. Penetration.

You do not want to be sending a slug at a perp if you are in a home. 00 buckshot penetrates plenty far as it is. Unless you are going to be shooting through materials to hit the BG, leave the slugs in the box.

(And also you most likely will not be shooting more than 10 yards defensively, so you don't need the added range of the slug)

sfchemist
November 23, 2012, 09:19 PM
Interesting thread that has me re-thinking about what to use in my 12 ga for home defense. My first round was (is) non-lethal followed by four OO buck. I'm now gonna put the non-lethal round in my gun cabinet and for now load 5 rounds of OO. The Winchester PDX1-12 looks interesting and I'll be looking into that very soon.

Thanks to everyone for a lively discussion of opinions and ideas.

spotch
November 30, 2012, 01:25 PM
It stinks that 20 gauge has so few buckshot options from manufacturers

Fred Fuller
November 30, 2012, 07:21 PM
I've never felt deprived... http://gun-deals.com/ammo.php?caliber=20+Ga

spotch
December 1, 2012, 03:39 PM
Really? Seems like a lot of people stress the importance/essentiality of 00 buck...? The more I read the more I worry that a 20g puts you at a real disadvantage because #3 (or #2 if you go 3") is your only viable option.

JAshley73
December 3, 2012, 02:36 AM
The comments about slugs got me thinking a bit - What about foster slugs for defense? Most of the YouTube videos I've seen testing foster slugs show them flattening, fragmenting, penetrating 12-18 inches consistently. Now, I certainly have no experience testing these, nor any other defensive load for that matter, but wouldn't that be a good recipe for a defense load? A large, fast, single projectile, that dumps tons of energy into the target, then expands to over 1" in diameter, fragments, and penetrates a foot deep? Sounds nearly ideal to me... Thoughts, concerns?

armsmaster270
December 3, 2012, 03:01 AM
I rely on 00 Buck in my 12ga. It's hard for the law to crucify you if your using the same ammo as them.

Fred Fuller
December 3, 2012, 11:56 PM
#3 buck is still bigger than #4, and a lot of people like #4 buck in a 12 ga. At typical defensive range, with some experimenting with choke tubes to find a pattern that is suitable, #3 buck in a 20 ga. will do just fine. It's a good match of pellet size and pellet count in the 2.75" shell - 20 pellets of #3 buck at 1200 FPS is nothing to sneeze at.

I prefer 00 in a 12 ga. because I can handle it effectively. Give me another 10 or 15 years on these old bones and I may well decide that little 20 ga. 870 Express Youth Model in the safe is just the thing for a house gun. But I doubt I'll feel undergunned or deprived in any way. For younger, smaller or physically impaired shooters, a 20 ga. might be just the ticket - for clay games, hunting or repelling boarders.


JAshley73,

I keep slugs in the Sidesaddles of the house guns here, but they are hard swaged Brenneke KOs, not soft lead Foster type slugs. If I ever need to use a slug, it may well be because I need even more reliable penetration than a Foster will give me.

spotch
December 4, 2012, 12:49 AM
Good points Fred.

willroute
December 29, 2012, 12:00 AM
If you live in close vicinity (e.g. apartment), go with #4 bird shot. Yes, bird shot...if you are shooting within 5-7 yards, this will do the job without killing your neighbors. But if you have a home without close neighbors-buckshot.


If you do not believe bird shot will do the trick, take a water jug out to 5 yards and shoot it with #4 or 5 bird shot..amazing what a non-dispersed shot shell will do in close quarters.

TroyR
January 5, 2013, 10:28 AM
Slugs only for me.

For you buckshot guys, in a general gunfight in your house I doubt you are far enough away for your buckshot to open up and it will act like a slug anyway.

JAshley73
January 6, 2013, 09:50 PM
willroute, I strongly suggest you check out this video comparing different shotshell's performances, and how they compare to each other for the purpose of defense loads.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rhZf_x8Esms

I'm still curious about foster slugs for close range defense. Largely in part because I've yet to pattern my gun with 00-buck loads, and also because of their high cost and limited local availability. I'll have to pattern some here soon. But I was excited to finally see brassfetcher post a foster slug ballistic gel test. Although it only showed penetration of roughly 9-10", it did impact the target with over 2000 ft/lbs of energy, expand to over an inch in diameter. I would have to believe that would create a massive and incapacitating wound. Of course shot placement would matter, but I can't imagine anything that needs shooting walking away from that. Other tests show the slugs fragmenting - I can only imagine this would cause a devastating wound as well.

Winchester 12ga, 2-3/4" 1oz foster slug ballistic test.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ftrCtOyLrmU

Bartholomew Roberts
January 6, 2013, 11:02 PM
Buckshot doesn't act like a slug at close range. A closely packed column of 8-9 pellets still acts under the same laws if physics that govern a spread out bunch of pellets. Pellets, close together or otherwise, will lose momentum faster than a slug because they have less individual mass.

JamieC
January 8, 2013, 04:11 PM
Which means 00 has a much better chance of NOT passing through the intended target and hitting something not intended.

jp
January 27, 2013, 12:31 AM
#4 buck:neener:

lg&m
January 29, 2013, 06:48 PM
It looks about 50/50 00 buck/slug. So what do you think about this?

http://www.winchester.com/Products/New-Products/Pages/pdx1-12.aspx

hwmoore
January 30, 2013, 10:56 PM
the slug and buck is an an old concept of duplex load IE the buck and ball has been around since the revolutionary war. the Ideal was one load multiple ranges and in volley fire was very effective. However I would wonder how it patterns for enclosed spaces I am satisfied with #4 buck 24 projectiles 6mm in diameter in a 20 inch circle will make a man bleed like a sieve

jp
January 30, 2013, 11:54 PM
here is a good video showing the affects of different shot loads from #8 birdshot to 000 buck in ballistic gelatin .... it qualifies my choice of #4 buck.

hey have fun with it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhZf_x8Esms

jp
January 30, 2013, 11:57 PM
It looks about 50/50 00 buck/slug. So what do you think about this?

http://www.winchester.com/Products/New-Products/Pages/pdx1-12.aspx
boutique loads.:eek: i mean really what is the advantage other then making your wallet a bit lighter?

76shuvlinoff
February 2, 2013, 10:36 PM
870 with a 2 rd extended mag. First round is a 2 3/4 slug in case I need to be extremely selective or penetrate medium cover. Followed by a full complement of 2 3/4 00.

LeonCarr
February 3, 2013, 08:03 PM
I refuse to use birdshot, any birdshot, for any defensive purpose.

A minimal amount of research or testing has shown and will show that birdshot does not penetrate deep enough to reliably stop a human threat.

It does not matter if you live in the Sultan of Brunei's Castle, an apartment, or a cardboard box...use at minimum #4 Buckshot.

Your life or the lives of your loved ones might depend on your ammunition selection.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

beeb173
February 4, 2013, 09:14 AM
Sorry that was poor wording. I'll try again.

you could have a man the size of N'Damukong Suh in your house trying to rob you and if you shot at 15 feet w/ bird shot the fight would be over. if you have different living conditions you would want different ammo.

Inebriated
February 4, 2013, 09:28 AM
A minimal amount of research or testing has shown and will show that birdshot does not penetrate deep enough to reliably stop a human threat.

It works well enough to deter the majority of home invaders. I wouldn't turn my nose at it.

I use 00 buck, I want to get my hands on some 1 Buck. I wish I could find some locally. I'd switch now. 4 Buck is great, but 1 Buck seems to be the butter zone in range, pattern, penetration, and pellet count.

LeonCarr
February 4, 2013, 10:28 AM
I will turn my nose at it.

Detering and stopping are two completely different things. I have seen several people shot with birdshot continue to function and be a threat.

I also noticed in your post that you do not use birdshot.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

Inebriated
February 4, 2013, 11:16 AM
I will turn my nose at it.

Detering and stopping are two completely different things. I have seen several people shot with birdshot continue to function and be a threat.

I also noticed in your post that you do not use birdshot.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

No, I don't use birdshot. I am of the mindset that if I'm using a long gun, I'm going to use it to its full capability. My point about birdshot was simply that it's not the puff of hot air that many claim. I'm not advocating it, nor am I implying that it'll reliably incapacitate anyone, but you'll generally make someone quit doing what they're doing with it. An "anything is better than nothing" kind of thing.

Also, since this is relevant...
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb201/Name890/Buckshot1.jpg

Fryerpower
February 8, 2013, 06:00 PM
Great thread and I love the poster above!

I'm slowly working my up to larger and larger shot sizes for my 20 ga. shotgun as I find them in stores.

I started at 2-3/4 inch shells with #7-1/2 dove shot, because that was all they had.
Then I moved to 2-3/4 inch shells with #5 Pheasent shot, because they had some in stock.
Today I picked up some 3 inch shells with #5 Turkey shot (copper plated lead), because turkey season is coming up and they had some in stock.
Someday I would like to get some 03 buckshot...

Jim

Inebriated
February 8, 2013, 06:15 PM
I picked up some 3" 4 Buck for the 12 gauge today.

I really wanted 2-3/4", but they only had 3", which means my 870 will only hold 4+1 rounds. But my HD shotgun has one role, which is "sit and wait for police", so I'm not terribly broken up about capacity.

I'm gonna do some patterning tests tomorrow morning or Monday, if I can.

And Fryerpower, you're going in the right direction! :D

bubba in ca
February 11, 2013, 11:36 PM
There is a difference between killing somebody and using deadly force. I don't think anyone particularly has the legal right to kill anyone in civilian life. "Homicide" is what you did, period. After the fact, "somebody else" may decide it was "justified".

On the other hand, if you have the moral and legal right to use deadly force against somebody and he happens to die as a result or your legal use of deadly force, that comes under the Law of Tough Nuggies. If anyone does not understand this they should take a CCW class or study up on your State's laws. While you are studying your State laws, pay particular attention to the definition of revenge killing, mayhem, and give some serious thoughts about any bravado comments you may feel like making to witnesses and investigators.

Also keep in mind that that use of less lethal ammo or shooting to wound is still deadly force in the eyes of the law because the MAY kill and they put the recipient in fear of his life.

According to FBI penetration tests, some weak loads of 4 buck do not have the required penetration.

Theoretically, the ammo you chose should make no legal difference, but we don't live in a theoretical world. If you live in a pro-crime legal jurisdiction, have a bad lawyer, are the nervous type, etc. you might want to worry a little about this. For most folks in most places with a ''clean shoot, cap'n Furrilo" shootout, just get any common name brand buck or personal defense buck and don't worry about the details of the ammo.

000 and slugs will work just fine, but they have a tendency to over penetrate. Unless you live in bear country, they are probably not the best idea.

If your concept of home defense is to encourage a bad guy to go away but only have a 50% chance of stopping him if he decides to charge, use birdshot. In all other cases, use buckshot!

20 gauge buck is easily available online.

Fryerpower
February 12, 2013, 05:33 AM
20 gauge buck is easily available online.

Link? Every place I have been lists it, but is out of stock.

Jim

RetiredUSNChief
February 12, 2013, 07:28 AM
Good string. I especially like the first couple pages which was essentially discussing what amounts to the use of deadly force and the interpretation of what stopping an attack entails.

Those of use who have served in the military learned that deadly force is that amount of force which I know, or should know, will cause serious bodily harm or death, to be used as a last resort when all lesser means have failed or cannot reasonably be employed. And we learned all the times when deadly force is authorized...but the only time it's really applicable to us as civilians is when you fear for your life or the life of another. (Yes, I'm perfectly aware that many states allow the protection of property here...that's a legal distinction. In my opinion, just because something is legal doesn't mean it's always the moral or ethical thing to do. I leave that as your call, based on your own laws and morals.)

The key here is "fear for your life or the life of another".

To that end, we don't draw a weapon on another human being unless we truely believe it's a "him or me" situation...that either yourself or another human being is going to suffer serious bodily harm or death if you do not.


Yes, the mere fact that you have drawn a weapon MAY deter the aggressor.

Yes, the mere fact that you may shoot and miss MAY deter the aggressor.

Yes, the mere fact that you may wound MIGHT deter the aggressor.


But these things are incidental to the decision to apply deadly force and they cannot be depended upon. When circumstances conspire to the point where the weapon is drawn, you're saying that applying deadly force is REQUIRED. And THAT is the mind set which is required until the threat no longer exists.

When attacked in such a life-threatening scenario, you don't have time, nor any business, to do anything but apply the maximum amount of force you are able, in the most effective way possible.

If, during this process, the attack is stopped without involving a death...great. Then the need for deadly force at that time no longer exists and it should no longer be applied. (Though you should be on your guard.)


I love the OP because it focuses on the reality of what it means to effectively and reliably apply deadly force with a shotgun. You don't go half-measures, because anything less than deadly is not something that you can rely upon. You don't rely on folk tales about home loaded rounds with dimes or salt. You don't use unproven ammunition obviously hyped for marketing purposes.

And you DON'T go into an application of deadly force expecting less than deadly means to work, nor do you do it believing that the law will look upon you fondly if you do.


I prefer 00 buck in my 12 ga. I will use whatever I have handy, regardless. And I will not stop applying deadly force (by any means) until the threat is ended or I am no longer able to defend myself.

Inebriated
February 14, 2013, 11:20 PM
Tried that 3" 4 Buck today.

Far too much recoil for a home defense load, and the pattern wasn't anything impressive.

Back to good old 00 for me.

hwmoore
February 15, 2013, 11:49 AM
3 inch would be too much for me also, I limit myself to 2 3/4 #4 buck , 00 buck and slugs. As far as I'm concerned I see no need for a 3 inch shell but then I'm not shooting ducks or turkeys :)

Fryerpower
February 15, 2013, 12:49 PM
3 inch would be too much for me also, I limit myself to 2 3/4 #4 buck , 00 buck and slugs. As far as I'm concerned I see no need for a 3 inch shell but then I'm not shooting ducks or turkeys :)
I'll keep that in mind if I am ever given the opportunity to buy some buckshot. :banghead:

Since the largest shot I can find is #5 turkey I will stick with a 3 inch shell to give those little suckers as much umph as I can.

Someday things will get better and I will be able to get some buckshot.

Jim

Inebriated
February 16, 2013, 03:15 AM
Well I got 3" because that's all there was. I usually use 2-3/4" anyway. Might get some 2-3/4" #4 and #1 Buck, but... ehh... I'm happy with 00 as it sits.

Fryerpower
February 16, 2013, 04:34 PM
Stopped by the Coop today for hay and found out they sell ammo!

I'm up to 3", #4 turkey shot!

Little by little I'm getting closer to buckshot!

Jim

Inebriated
February 16, 2013, 07:14 PM
I think Natchezss has some 3" 000 20 gauge, if you're interested.

At least when I looked a couple days ago.

Fryerpower
February 16, 2013, 08:58 PM
Great price on a box of 2 3/4", 20 Ga, #3 buck. $4.49 for 5 rounds. Shipping TOTALLY sucks! $18.33 for one box by UPS ground!

Jim

Inebriated
February 17, 2013, 02:58 AM
UPS seems pricier than usual. Midway wanted $19 to ship a holster, a Glock connector, and a small powder scale... Boyd's wanted $18 to ship two screws for my Savage.

Fryerpower
March 6, 2013, 07:23 PM
Success! LGS had 2-3/4 inch, 20 GA, #3 buckshot for $4.99 per 5 round box.

Jim

undeRGRound
March 24, 2013, 09:53 PM
i, like many on this site, get pumped when this thread is active!
Alrighty Then!


Lots of good info here, but I was wondering if there is a good "practice"
round that won't break the bank... Saw a case (250) of #7 birdshot for
$70 (Estate Brand) and wondered if it would be a waste of time? Different
recoil ot just totally different patterning? LMK!

Inebriated
March 25, 2013, 04:07 AM
You definitely want to practice with what you're going to use, when it comes to shotguns. You'll find that everything patterns differently, so try to train with what you are going to use. I used to use Federal XM12700 before it went up in price. Used to be $99 for 175 rounds plus a new ammo can. Now I think it's about $150. IF you can find it in-stock. Of course if you're into the FliteControl stuff, that's a little harder to buy in bulk or for a good price.

And fyi, you can get 100 round boxes of birdshot for $20 at walmart. 3 of them would be $60 and you'd get 300 rounds.

jdh
March 25, 2013, 02:00 PM
To the Slug guys, If I am going to launch a single projectile I prefer to to it from a platform designed for that purpose. Some thing with sights and rifling.

At across the room distances shot size is less important than shot placement. The room broom myth has led many to believe all they have to do it stick the muzzle in a crack in a door an anything in the room will be hit. Not so. At 10 to 20 feet the shot will still be tightly bunched you need to aim. Point an pray is not going to cut it.

undeRGRound
March 25, 2013, 10:02 PM
You definitely want to practice with what you're going to use, when it comes to shotguns. You'll find that everything patterns differently, so try to train with what you are going to use. I used to use Federal XM12700 before it went up in price. Used to be $99 for 175 rounds plus a new ammo can. Now I think it's about $150. IF you can find it in-stock. Of course if you're into the FliteControl stuff, that's a little harder to buy in bulk or for a good price.

And fyi, you can get 100 round boxes of birdshot for $20 at walmart. 3 of them would be $60 and you'd get 300 rounds.
Thx Man!

I will practice with the intended use ammo!

Inebriated
March 27, 2013, 12:41 AM
Yup. The nice thing about shotguns is that it doesn't really matter what you shoot (wally world birdshot aside), it's all expensive. So no reason NOT to shoot what you plan to use lol.

Eb1
March 27, 2013, 01:19 AM
Well. Our home is protected by 20 gauge #3 buckshot. Longest shot to defend my family is 40 feet..

Pray we are all safe from predators.

ZVP
May 9, 2013, 01:33 PM
I biught a sweet Sroger 20 ga SxS as a back-up gun for ny 12 ga bd especally because both the wife and I have weak left sholders from injuries. At the beginning of this string I read that you should use no buckshot larger THAN #2 in a 20 ga! Right now #4 is really hard to find with the ammo panic.
as I said. the 20 is a back-up and loaded with a heavy #4 Phesant load, does some real damage at 15 ft! The wife can handle the recoil of the plesant shooting Uplander So untill I find that #4 Buckshot we will have to use it with Phesant loads and slugs (I dunno about her and slugs???)
I just mounted a slip-om KickEEZ. I opted for the slip-on because in the past slip-on's have giben me a better recoil reduction. It;s like the air pocket adds to the dampening effect! Heck. get all you can when it comes to recoil reduction!
The Stoger SxS came with a good factory mounted pad that honestly reduces Target loads and
felt recoil to that of my RWS 52 Magnum Air rifle!
Teamwork seems to be the answer to home defense for us!
I foresee the need for some pretty well thought out pratice.
We have to divide the house into defensible quadrents. Teamwork!
ZVP

kalbo
July 5, 2013, 02:46 PM
i load mine in federal gold medal hulls with 12 0-buck or 15 #1 buck. hope i never have to use it on anyone, but if i have to i think it will work just fine.

swampcrawler
August 1, 2013, 01:50 AM
^^ I thought the use of handloads was pretty universally discouraged due to legality issues?

RetiredUSNChief
August 2, 2013, 07:56 PM
^^ I thought the use of handloads was pretty universally discouraged due to legality issues?

Nope. Seems this is far more urban legend than actual fact.

People would do far better understanding the laws regarding the use of deadly force in their jurisdiction and making darn sure they meet the wickets for a justifiable shooting should all else fail them. It's these details which are far more likely to fry someone on a self-defense shooting in court.


Here's a short string I found on this:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=474739

The biggest issue with handloads seems to be more from a forensics standpoint than from a legal attack by a lawyer. Forensics experts have a much more difficult time pasting together all the details of a shooting from handloads of non-standard factory loads or otherwise unknown variables.

ericp1
August 13, 2013, 11:53 PM
FWIW, In my Mossberg 500 12ga, I have 6x (1 chamber, 5 mag) #4 buck. Read many places that #4-#1 buck can stop the perp without too much peripheral damage. Larger goes through the body and takes out your water heater etc. Gun is hot (but with safety on) at all times. Funny story: had just come from Sporting Clays range and swapped 28 field barrel for 18.5 tactical. Doorbell rang. Was a solicitor (despite multiple signs). Walked to door with 12ga. 68# dog was right next to me. Opened door, asked solicitor whether he was unable to read the signs. When he saw me (I look like a Viking Berserker), 6# coal black dog, and 12ga locked and cocked, he rapidly retreated. I suspect I am no longer on his solicitation list.

stressed
August 14, 2013, 12:37 AM
Lowest I would go is #1 buck, which size and pellet count is a good load for man. 0 buck, then 00 buck are also good.

Here is something to throw in there. OK, you hear the clumsy boots up at the top. And two more pairs in the kitchen. You slowly approach, and peek out as the suspect is looking into the first room, and see he is armed with a Kalashnikov. Now what? Do you feel sufficient enough with what you have loaded? What do you do now? You have about a second to react. What are you going to do? If someone is going to perpetrate a home invasion, it's a good chance they will be armed and have accomplices.

undeRGRound
August 14, 2013, 08:12 PM
@ericp1

Love that mental picture,
Viking Berserker, 68# coal black dog LOL




Found a GREAT SD round!

Noble Sport Mini-Buck!
Reduced recoil,. 9 count - 00 Buck, 1-3/4" long,
EXTRA CAPACITY!
10 count for $7.70 !!!

armsmaster270
August 14, 2013, 10:42 PM
I always shoot to stop, not kill. If the slug in the heart happens to kill the subject, Oh Well.

I presently have 10 25 round boxes of 2 3/4" 9 pellet 12ga shells left over from the Rodney King Riots. However my main SD weapon is my Sig 226 357Sig or .40 depending on which barrel I have in it.

Fred Fuller
August 15, 2013, 10:11 PM
1-3/4" long

Make sure they will function reliably in your shotgun before you use them 'for serious'...

undeRGRound
August 16, 2013, 10:48 PM
ABSOLUTELY!
They did great in the Mossberg 500, except last shell OUT twisted...
Made the first one IN a full sized, and ALL cycled perfectly! Even during
Live Fire! Cycling them out w/o firing showed the flaw. It's All Good!

ericp1
August 18, 2013, 01:53 AM
The instructor who sold me the shotgun advised #4 buck. When I went to favorite local gun store, they advised #4 buck. CCW instructor advised #4 buck.
Is anyone surprised that my Mossberg 500 has 6 rounds #4 buck?

Fred Fuller
August 24, 2013, 04:43 PM
Where shotguns are concerned, there are no stone tablets writ by the finger of God and brought down from the mountain by Moses.

I don't care who told you what, where, how many times.

What I do care about is how much YOU have experimented/demonstrated/proven/patterned/experienced/trained/practiced with YOUR shotgun and YOUR finger on the trigger.

THAT is worth talking about. Everything else is pretty much hearsay.

A pile of hulls that you have fired is not hearsay...

undeRGRound
August 24, 2013, 05:39 PM
Very Nice, Fred Fuller... Very Nice!

Fred Fuller
August 24, 2013, 09:53 PM
Pretty much the sort of thing Dave McC said for years here... it isn't just me :D

mr.trooper
August 24, 2013, 10:15 PM
re-reading the OP and this thread.

I've got to say, in my admittedly limited experience, "disrupting the central nervous system" is certainly not "normally required to stop the threat".

Most 'hardened' killers, rapists, and mental wackos give up the second someone gets smoked - even in a group. The only consistent exception to this is when the criminal is high with some kind of drug, or very drunk.

Criminals understand force. Many of them ONLY understand force. When someone is willing to level a weapon at them and pull the trigger, 99% of the time they want no more part of whatever is going down - be the projectile rubber slugs, blocks of wood, or lumps of lead. Tacti-cool "CNS disruption" not normally required.

Fred Fuller
August 25, 2013, 12:51 AM
The only consistent exception to this is when the criminal is high with some kind of drug, or very drunk.

Or living in Miami, perhaps? Might be something about that subtropical air...

A perception that many have held the intervening years is that the eight FBI agents' marksmanship was gravely lacking. Not so, argues Dr. Anderson, and presents a persuasive brief that a number of FBI hits were good ones; they just happened to run up against two highly trained (military police, 101st Airborne and Rangers), well-practiced (approximately 750-1,500 rounds per week which they had purchased or robbed from several unfortunate civilians plinking in the Everglades), and extremely focussed individuals in Platt and Matix. The FBI fired a verified 70 rounds (possibly as many as 77 or 78) and delivered 18 wounds to the bad guys, firing at extremely hostile targets obscured by gunsmoke, considerable amounts of dust and debris from the crashing, careening cars, and the deep shadows of the trees beneath which their vehicle came to rest.

Among those wounds, McNeill hit Matix with that head shot plus a neck/chest shot early on in the fight; Dove delivered that difficult hit as Platt was wriggling from the passenger window of the Monte Carlo, as well as two others; Risner (from 30 yards!) also made a lethal chest wound on Platt in mid-fight; and Mireles, after his shotgun blast had delayed Platt with four 00 foot wounds, had one-handedly put three rounds into Matix's head and two into Platt (one central nervous system, one scalp) all while himself gravely wounded.

An adversary gets hit square in the head with a 158-grain +P, and he isn't stopped, you are having a bad day! McNeill, Mireles and Hanlon had bad days… only Grogan and Dove had worse ones. In light of this information, perhaps John Hall's "ammo failure" assessment has some merit… but then as a war veteran chum with more than three dozen confirmed kills continually asserts, "the more I see of this stuff, the more I'm convinced that nothing hand-held is absolutely reliable."

This is one reason why Dr. Anderson undertook such a time-consuming labor of love, as he related in an interview with the author. "I've been fortunate in life," he avers simply and with characteristic modesty. "And the law enforcement community has taken good care of me, witness that I am still alive after a number of death threats I have received." (Bio chemists involved in genetic engineering are viewed with considerable alarm in many fundamentalist sectors.)

So, long fascinated with the "nuts 'n' bolts" of the Miami Massacre, Dr. Anderson set about to answer some lingering questions in his and the minds of many who have studied that bloody suburban firefight.

Through interviews with the six surviving Agents, Sgt. Rivers and P.O. Martin Heckman of the Metro-Dade P.D., civilian witness to the firefight Sidney Martin, and the post mortem reports, photographs, x-rays, slides, notes and ancillary materials provided by Dr. Jay Barnhart, the Metro-Dade County Medical Examiner who actually responded to the crime scene between 120th and 124th Streets, and subsequently performed the autopsies, Dr. Anderson uncovers some previously obscured "truths" about that bloody Friday morning, all of which are documented and substantiated in his fully detailed volume.

Forensic Analysis of the April 11, 1986, FBI Firefight is truly a magnificent achievement, with never-before seen full color crime scene and autopsy photos, as well as painstakingly detailed graphic illustrations of not only the Miami killing field, but the wounds Platt and Matix received. At the risk of sounding like a certain writer who opined that the Colt's All-America 2000 "instantly made the 1911 design obsolete," it is my view and others with whom I have consulted, that Dr. Anderson's oeuvre has immediately taken its position as the standard text in this benignly neglected genre.

Certainly it is an indispensable adjunct of every wound ballistics student's bookshelf, or that of those interested in gun fights, and the volume is finally available to the general public.

What Dr. Anderson's extraordinary artifact shows in graphic and detailed color, is that on 11 April 1986 there were three huge pairs of balls on Miami's Southwest 82nd Avenue… fortunately for the good guys, the biggest set belonged to Ed Mireles and with the aid of some solid hits from Gordon McNeill, Ron Risner and Jerry Dove, the good guys won, but at a terrible expense of life.

-- http://www.thegunzone.com/11april86b.html

redstategunnut
September 8, 2013, 11:09 PM
Where shotguns are concerned, there are no stone tablets writ by the finger of God and brought down from the mountain by Moses.

I don't care who told you what, where, how many times.

What I do care about is how much YOU have experimented/demonstrated/proven/patterned/experienced/trained/practiced with YOUR shotgun and YOUR finger on the trigger.

THAT is worth talking about. Everything else is pretty much hearsay.

A pile of hulls that you have fired is not hearsay...

http://imageshack.us/a/img577/7527/1hyh.jpg
http://imageshack.us/a/img20/931/dysh.jpg
http://imageshack.us/a/img42/8396/3n5x.jpg
http://imageshack.us/a/img713/3050/6a35.jpg
http://imageshack.us/a/img138/7351/rtkx.jpg

I vote 00BUCK and 1 ounce slugs.

hwmoore
September 9, 2013, 05:12 PM
"the more I see of this stuff, the more I'm convinced that nothing hand-held is absolutely reliable." Yep I agree Phineas P. Gage took a 1 1/4 tamping bar through is head exiting out the top walked upright with little assistance to a cart to get treatment and lived for 12 more years

lemaymiami
September 22, 2013, 10:16 AM
I carried and used a standard 12 riot gun for many years down here in paradise (and was working the day the "Miami shootout" occurred -fortunately not there but in the north end of Dade county..). I retired out in 1995 having only fired one round on the street where it counted. I relied on my shotgun whenever there was even the possibility of an armed confrontation and took some ribbing about it from my officers. The one time it was needed all nine 00buck pellets went into the chest cavity and ended the matter on impact... All I ever used was issued 23/4 00buck or slug rounds and that's what I used on that one occasion.

As an old "country boy" with a short tour in Vietnam before going into law enforcement I always understood that the human animal is so wildly variable that there are a few walking around that you might actually have to out-run AFTER you've made a killing shot... Anyone who believes otherwise should pray they never find out the hard way...

As noted above, know your weapon, practice to become competent, and pray you never need it.

chuwee81
October 19, 2013, 12:29 PM
Hi folks, just watched penetration tests on youtube and agree that 00 buck would do the job. Thanks for sharing that leymaymiami, but i do have concern of over-penetration. In your case, how far was the distance and was there any pellets that went through? I am seriously doubting stocking up my tubes with 00 bucks now not from UNDER-performing but Over-performing.

nathan
October 19, 2013, 02:54 PM
Shoot to stop the threat. Shoot and shoot until it stops. Aim for the chest and head using slugs!

armsmaster270
October 20, 2013, 01:47 AM
As I used to tell my students, Shoot to stop the aggression. The best way to do that is center of mass/heart area, that way if you somehow miss you still may get a piece of him. If he dies that is irrelevant.

http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff207/armsmaster270/Police%20Dept/CoronerDiagram.jpg

IDriveB5
October 23, 2013, 08:30 AM
Pretty much the sort of thing Dave McC said for years here... it isn't just me Yep, good old BA/UU/R :)

Fred Fuller
October 23, 2013, 06:43 PM
Dave probably spilled more shot at the reloading bench than I've fired in my life - that's what made his contributions here so valuable. I still miss him every day I stop by here...

ElPasoWrangler
December 2, 2013, 06:51 PM
In over fifty years of shooting and killing game I still remember that first rabbit and how I felt watching the twitching body as I realized what I had done. I hunted to eat or to protect property and life.

No sane man wishes to have to kill another but sane men do accept that at times it may be the result of their actions. It is a grave responsibility.

I remember being told that a man armed with a drawn knife and within 20 feet could cover the distance in less than 2 seconds. Can you draw and fire in less than 2 seconds? Most gun owners can't even decide to fire in 2 seconds. Train your muzzle on the threat and at the first hostile act move to save yourself. That is what this is all about, self preservation. Most people have no idea what incoming gunfire sounds like. I do and I don't like it.

Most injuries to border patrol officers is from rocks. Rocks are considered deadly force and should be defended against as appropriate. Do you think the person coming into your house will be armed with just a rock?

Like the quote from Patton in the movie, "It is not your place to die for your country, it is to let that other poor sob die for his." He knew what he spoke of as he had ended the life of a Mexican Villista charging him on horseback with a shot from his colt peacemaker.

Feel bad about it later but be alive to have feelings.

Forley
February 17, 2014, 08:14 AM
The instructor who sold me the shotgun advised #4 buck. When I went to favorite local gun store, they advised #4 buck. CCW instructor advised #4 buck.
Is anyone surprised that my Mossberg 500 has 6 rounds #4 buck?
Same, loaded up with #4 buck, it'll do the job, especially at the distances involved inside the house, average distance would be 5-7 yards, with a maximum of 20. On the shell carrier on the buttstock I have 3 00 buck and 2 slugs, mostly for wildlife since I live in the country, though that shotgun wouldn't be my first choice for outdoors work. I'd be far more likely to have my .357 on me, or be grabbing the rifle. http://www.brassfetcher.com/12%20gauge%20number%20four%20buckshot.pdf

I'd love to get my hands on some 15 pellet #1 buck though. I have some but it's a 3" 24 pellet magnum load, recoil is stout.

NYShooter
February 19, 2014, 04:00 PM
The instructor who sold me the shotgun advised #4 buck. When I went to favorite local gun store, they advised #4 buck. CCW instructor advised #4 buck.
Is anyone surprised that my Mossberg 500 has 6 rounds #4 buck?
Yes, me. #4 is "marginal" http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs10.htm

spottedpony
March 10, 2014, 06:00 PM
No intention of hijacking this thread, though here's some food for thought on the matter in general. (Don't shoot the messenger here, these are simply thoughts from a discussion)

Having years of law enforcement in my past, as well as a family member who before retirement, served as an assistant DA, we've discussed, hypotheticly, some of the scenerios posed here.

His concensus is that, (based on) individual responses here, as well as some posted photos, He would more than likely pursue criminal charges against the home defender, even though, they did in fact believe they were defending life and property.

The reason being, there was obviously premeditation about self defense, ammunition used with the intent of inflicting the most damage or death, as well as the design of a "specialty" weapon for this exact purpose.
As he puts it, there is a distinct difference between protecting ones home with grandpa's old (shotgun of choice) should a break in occur, the planning and practice some people practice. Therefore its a fine line between being prepared and being seen as an aggressor, and as he puts it, he could easily convince a jury that the shooter had in fact been planning for such an occasion and was looking forward to the opportunity to stop by any means, such an attack.

We also discussed what might be a reasonable (legally speaking) home defense shotgun and ammo, and agreed that the following would provide plenty of plausible deniability.
a midrange priced pump or autoloader, with a shorter 26 inch bbl and screw in chokes, using an improved cylinder tube. For ammo factory or handloaded 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 ounce of lead BB or BBB shot at nominal hunting velocities. (Since these loads could in fact be readily available as turkey loads it could be argued they were not designed primarily for self defense.)
The argument by a defense lawyer would of course be, that it was a shotgun designed for hunting as was the ammo thus at least while used as home protection that wasnt the prime goal.
Now these thoughts are from a couple of pro gun folks, just imagine what the anti gunners could do with it in court?

jdh
March 10, 2014, 08:03 PM
Any prosecutor who would take a good home defense shoot an pervert it into the acts of a deranged premeditating killer based on the home owner's choice of the proper tool for the job should be disbarred, tared (the hotter the tar pot is before dipping him/her in it the better) and feathered, and rode out of town on a rail.

C0untZer0
March 10, 2014, 09:39 PM
His consensus ?

Is he schizophrenic?

RetiredUSNChief
March 10, 2014, 10:41 PM
A "consensus" of one amounts to an "opinion". A consensus implies a group decision making process.

This DA obviously is out to get convictions regardless of the circumstances, it seems to me.

It also seems to me that this DA has no concept of what the word "deadly" means with respect to "deadly force". If I need to use deadly force to defend myself or another person, then by definition I'm using force which I know will either kill or seriously injure another human being. And if I've reached that point, I have absolutely NO business intentionally planning and using anything LESS than deadly force. Like bird shot. Bird shot is deadly to birds, not humans; hence the name "bird shot".


To have a well thought out defense plan is not pre-meditated murder. Or premeditated manslaughter. Not having any plan is leaving one's defense of life and limb to "chance".

It is the job of the DA to press charges against those whom he perceives to be in violation of the law as he sees fit, in accordance with the circumstances and evidence of each particular case. In self defense cases, that is SUPPOSED to start with what the states laws say with respect to deadly force and when it's permissable. From there, the DA has to look at the case and determine whether or not there is a reasonable suspicion as to whether or not its use in that case was NOT justified.

If the use of deadly force was NOT justified, or it's not clear that it was justified, then the DA must, in good conscience, press charges. That's what he's paid to do.

If the evidence is clear-cut that it WAS justified, then the next question is whether or not any other laws were violated in the process.


For example:

A gang of five armed people chase a man and woman into their home, forceably breaking their way inside, destroying everything in their path and discharging firearms. Man reaches his gun and defends himself and his wife with deadly force, resulting in the death of all the attackers. The entire attack is caught on various security cameras from the moment the attacker's van screeches to a halt and dumps the armed attackers off all the way through to their armed home invasion and their sudden deaths at the hands of the armed homeowner.

Open and shut case of self defense where deadly force is clearly permitted by state law and the DA chooses not to press charges.


HOWEVER, the homeowner defended himself and his wife with deadly force using a firearm with an illegally owned silencer per the federal laws under NFA. The DA chooses to prosecute the homeowner for the illegally owned silencer.

hartcreek
March 10, 2014, 11:36 PM
The aim is to stop the attack perminantly which is why I load 000 buckshot and layer bbs in the voidsand use 20 some grains of Red Dot. What ever I hit aint gonna survive so shot placement is critical meaning avoiding anything that I do not want destroyed.

I too load my own 5 000 and the voids filled with BBs for 2 3/4 hulls 7 000 and the voids filled with BBs for 3 inch hulls. I used the phone book and sheet of scrap plywood methods to test. They sure worked well.

lemaymiami
March 11, 2014, 12:54 AM
The fellow a few posts ago who talked about "an ADA" and how he'd prosecute many of the "defend home and life" cases might just have come from my area - south Florida. During my time on the job I saw a number of cops prosecuted (mostly during the Janet Reno era - before she went to Washington to work for the Clinton administration...). Since I was my department's representative to the then monthly Dade county police/prosecutor meetings she ran way back then I had a front row seat to that kind of mindset. The good news for all concerned is that almost none of the cases I knew about were ever successfully prosecuted. That, of course, says nothing about the stress, aggravation, and costs of finding yourself on the wrong end of any prosecution....

Of course as my Dad would say "Guess they told him (or them) what they thought of him". And that, of course, was the object of the exercise.

Despite that you have the right to defend yourself. My counsel to anyone asking would be just make sure you have no other choice before firing that first shot in self defense. You really want to be in the strongest position possible for all the really bad weather that will come your way afterward...

To come full circle I can still think of no better defensive ammo than ordinary 00buck, in a standard 2 3/4" shell. At ranges under 20 meters that load is a fight ender if you hit center mass...

Spats McGee
March 11, 2014, 04:09 PM
. . . .Having years of law enforcement in my past, as well as a family member who before retirement, served as an assistant DA, we've discussed, hypotheticly, some of the scenerios posed here.

His concensus is that, (based on) individual responses here, as well as some posted photos, He would more than likely pursue criminal charges against the home defender, even though, they did in fact believe they were defending life and property.

The reason being, there was obviously premeditation about self defense, ammunition used with the intent of inflicting the most damage or death, as well as the design of a "specialty" weapon for this exact purpose.
As he puts it, there is a distinct difference between protecting ones home with grandpa's old (shotgun of choice) should a break in occur, the planning and practice some people practice. Therefore its a fine line between being prepared and being seen as an aggressor, and as he puts it, he could easily convince a jury that the shooter had in fact been planning for such an occasion and was looking forward to the opportunity to stop by any means, such an attack.
Balderdash.

Certainly there are jury-perception implications involved with the choice of HD weapon, but there's no reason to believe that either: (1) selecting a suitable HD weapon; or (2) practicing in order to be prepared, could be used to "easily" convince a jury that the HD shooter engaged in premeditation, or that the shooter was somehow the aggressor. Certainly, more proof would be needed than the 2 factors listed.

. . . . We also discussed what might be a reasonable (legally speaking) home defense shotgun and ammo, and agreed that the following would provide plenty of plausible deniability.
a midrange priced pump or autoloader, with a shorter 26 inch bbl and screw in chokes, using an improved cylinder tube. For ammo factory or handloaded 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 ounce of lead BB or BBB shot at nominal hunting velocities. (Since these loads could in fact be readily available as turkey loads it could be argued they were not designed primarily for self defense.)
The argument by a defense lawyer would of course be, that it was a shotgun designed for hunting as was the ammo thus at least while used as home protection that wasnt the prime goal.
Now these thoughts are from a couple of pro gun folks, just imagine what the anti gunners could do with it in court?
As mentioned above, there is some evidence to suggest that the choice of weapon influences jury perception. Juries are more accepting of "grandpa's shotgun" than they are of an AR-15. That said, my HD weapon is my HD weapon. I'm not interested in trying to trick the jury, and that's really what's being discussed here. If you're going to load GP's shotgun with turkey loads, and keep it as your home defense weapon, be prepared to explain to a jury why it was loaded at your bedside when: (1) it wasn't turkey season; and (2) there hadn't been any recent police reports of home-invading turkeys in your area.

spottedpony
March 11, 2014, 04:22 PM
Its fairly obvious most reply's didnt "ACCURATELY" read my post as I referenced the assistant DA as retired, thus he has no political involvement OR agenda.
So, before jumping on the bandwagon crying foul, or the guy must have (what ever excuses were offered) read and read accurately. My comments about what was said simply reflect what he felt the law would require.

As for the grammer police comment, (no names mentioned) perhaps you should look at alot of spelling errors also, that should keep you quite busy.

To the majority who commented in the thread, I interpret from the most posts, based on the "the intruder is dead" sort of comments, that very few here have actually taken a life.
Speaking for myself, even though it relates to somewhere in southeast asia, i've taken a number myself. Who else can say that and if not, you have no idea of the actual effect it has on a person. To those of you who were there also, you know exactly what i'm saying.
Those experiences for me were 40 years ago and things happened i'll never forget.

Now realizing there may come a time when one may need to defend home and family, quit making light of it. I understand some feel the need to openly discuss the vagarities (theres one for the grammer cop) of various types of ammo, and get input from others. bottom line though, there is no absolute correct answer.

AND, its not a joke nor is it something anyone can say with 100% certainy they will perform flawlessly no matter what kind of training you've given yourself.
Its simply not the same as a real life danger scenerio where the adrenelin is pumping, your heart's pounding, and you're breathing at 3x your normal respiration rate.
Quit watching your favorite cop shows where 47 bad guys get wasted and your hero walks away from it laughing. This aint TV its potentially reality.
**************************************************************************
AS for Spats McGee's comment "(1) it wasn't turkey season; and (2) there hadn't been any recent police reports of home-invading turkeys in your area.) I can reply in kind with the question, why are you keeping a buckshot loaded shotgun next to your bed when (1) it wasn't buck season and (2) why havnt there been any police reports in your area regarding home invading bucks?

No one says that grandpas shotgun of choice has to be next to my bed, nor loaded. (true also with a "home defense gun" though others have indicated otherwise) it could easily be in the closet unloaded and ammo readily available.

Spats McGee
March 11, 2014, 04:32 PM
. . . . Speaking for myself, even though it relates to somewhere in southeast asia, i've taken a number myself. Who else can say that and if not, you have no idea of the actual effect it has on a person. To those of you who were there also, you know exactly what i'm saying.
Those experiences for me were 40 years ago and things happened i'll never forget.
I take this to mean that you've served in our military. While I thank you for your service, said service doesn't automatically impart a solid understanding of our legal justice system.

. . . .AS for Spats McGee's comment "(1) it wasn't turkey season; and (2) there hadn't been any recent police reports of home-invading turkeys in your area.) I can reply in kind with the question, why are you keeping a buckshot loaded shotgun next to your bed when (1) it wasn't buck season and (2) why havnt there been any police reports in your area regarding home invading bucks?

No one says that grandpas shotgun of choice has to be next to my bed, nor loaded. (true also with a "home defense gun" though others have indicated otherwise) it could easily be in the closet unloaded and ammo readily available.
As for my HD, there really isn't anything to explain. I have no intention of telling the jury anything other than the truth. I keep a HD weapon to stop a potential intruder. Keeping some other round because it seems "reasonable" when it isn't connected to any other activity in which I engage runs the risk of having the jury think that you're trying to fool them. Juries don't like that.

You certainly are welcome to store the shotgun and amm in whatever manner you choose. I don't see any reason to think that practicing, keeping it loaded at bedside, or choosing the most effective ammo for those purposes could lead a prosecutor to charge me with anything regarding premeditation.

FWIW, I'm not just pulling this out of my backside. As of September of this year, I will have spent 12 years as a litigation attorney.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 12, 2014, 12:21 AM
The reason being, there was obviously premeditation about self defense, ammunition used with the intent of inflicting the most damage or death, as well as the design of a "specialty" weapon for this exact purpose.

Tell me, which state has self defense law that even mentions lack of premeditation as one of the elements of self-defense? Where did this person practice law?

Flintknapper
March 21, 2014, 09:57 PM
Dixie Tri-Ball (3”).

Three hardened Buckshot of 315 grains each.

That is a payload of just over two ounces of lead.

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n92/flintknapper/DixieTriBall_zpsade74e69.jpg

Sam Cade
March 21, 2014, 10:30 PM
How do those Tri-Balls pattern?

Sauer Grapes
March 21, 2014, 10:36 PM
I should be OK, grandpa's shotgun is locked up in the safe.
I wonder what the jury will say about the extended mag on my .40.

Flintknapper
March 21, 2014, 11:11 PM
How do those Tri-Balls pattern?

Sam, I just got these in and have not yet had a chance to pattern them.

I will be shooting from an 18" Mossy with a cylinder bore....so I expect they will open up significantly much beyond 25 yds.

I will post my results here when I have shot some of them.

dickydalton
August 5, 2014, 09:53 PM
If you're shooting at a burglar at 25 yards you will need a lawyer.:)

Eb1
August 5, 2014, 11:34 PM
The scenarios are just too many to make a blanket statement like the one above.

Cokeman
August 5, 2014, 11:57 PM
If you're shooting at a burglar at 25 yards you will need a lawyer.:)

You will probably need a lawyer if you shoot at a burglar at any yards. :cool:

Eb1
August 6, 2014, 01:35 AM
I think you hit that nail on the head, Cokeman. +1

Conelrad
August 18, 2014, 03:28 AM
Has anyone but me used these?

They come with OD green hulls and black bases a la military style.

Rumor has it they were designed for the tunnel rats in 'Nam.

They work OK, but I still keep the 590 full of 00 buck.

DG

Fred Fuller
August 18, 2014, 10:19 AM
Sounds like a turkey load to me (i.e., one intended for hunting wild turkey) rather than a defensive load.

The oldest duplex load I know of used in anti-personnel mode in shotguns was the old 'jungle load' used by the British in Malaya back in the 1950s. It's been discussed here before... the combination of buckshot and smaller shot was supposed to be more likely to deliver a wound in a fleeting encounter with guerrillas, and any torso wound in a jungle environment with austere or nonexistent medical care was likely to be fatal to the guerrilla who received it. At least that was the supposed logic as I understand it.

And that's a LONG way from stopping an intruder posthaste in a defensive scenario...

lemaymiami
August 24, 2014, 09:19 AM
Conelrad, I have a few boxes of the "military" buckshot in 00 and will put them through patterning, etc. Reading the fine print on the box shows that Winchester is the maker (or whoever Winchester actually is today...). If I were guessing, I'd say that they're just standard 00buck rounds in drab colors.. but I'll know after testing.

As far as tunnel rats go, pistols were their weapon -either a .22 (yep) or a 38 or 45. The effects of popping a 12 guage shotgun in a super restricted environment would probably do a fair amount of damage to the shooter. I'd expect serious vision impairment (short term) and serious hearing impairment (long term). In my short tour of that garden spot in 1971 I was never a combat type -just a pencil pusher. My Dad did two tours there (I was around 16 or 17 when he drew his first tour so I read everything that I could get my hands on about the conflict). Most of the stuff I read about the rats had them stripping down to hardly any gear other than a flashlight and a pistol. No, I never wanted to do anything like that -ever. My hats off to those young men!

Just re-read your post and realized you were talking about duplex loads - I've never seen any and know nothing about them...
sorry for the de-rail.

C0untZer0
September 9, 2014, 01:35 AM
I am wondering about using the Mossberg Slugster for an HD shotgun.

With the right ammo, it seems like it would deliver good terminal performance - like the Winchester 12ga Super-X slug, which only penetrates to around 14.50" and expansion to 1.24" in ballistic gel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKge3FF0Hx4

The Slugster is only $480 compared to the SPX which is $625

rcmodel
September 9, 2014, 01:57 AM
IMO: A 12 ga slug is about as poor a choice a man could make for HD ammo.

14.5" is about 2 1/2 people stacked prison lover style.

You aren't hunting Grizzly Bears inside your home!

00 Buckshot is the choice made by LEO, good guys, and bad guys for about 200 years.

There is a very good reason for that.
First, it works.
Second, it won't shoot through the BG and kill grandma in her rocking chair two blocks away.

00 Buck will generally provide complete penetration, and the nine pellets will sometimes be found inside the off side of the BG's T-Shirt.

That is all you need, or want to happen.

rc

C0untZer0
September 9, 2014, 02:27 AM
14" is considered excellent for a 9mm round or 45 ACP, I'm about 12" from front to back at the sternum, more than 14" at the belly.

On the issue of what size shot, The Firearms Tactical Institute report recommends #1

For personal defense and law enforcement applications, the International Wound Ballistics Association advocates number 1 buckshot as being superior to all other buckshot sizes.

Number 1 buck is the smallest diameter shot that reliably and consistently penetrates more than 12 inches of standard ordnance gelatin when fired at typical shotgun engagement distances.

A standard 2 ¾-inch 12 gauge shotshell contains 16 pellets of #1 buck. The total combined cross sectional area of the 16 pellets is 1.13 square inches. Compared to the total combined cross sectional area of the nine pellets in a standard #00 (double-aught) buck shotshell (0.77 square inches), the # 1 buck shotshell has the capacity to produce over 30 percent more potentially effective wound trauma. In all shotshell loads, number 1 buckshot produces more potentially effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck. In addition, number 1 buck is less likely to over-penetrate and exit an attacker's body.

http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs10.htm

C0untZer0
September 9, 2014, 02:29 AM
I don't think people would load the Winchester Super X for protection from Grizzlies, the big criticism of it is that it hardly penetrates.

Fred Fuller
September 10, 2014, 07:46 PM
IMO: A 12 ga slug is about as poor a choice a man could make for HD ammo.

I asked shotgun Yoda Louis Awerbuck once why he only used slugs in his defensive shotguns.

He explained that he wasn't smart enough to keep up with more than one kind of ammo... :D

Pit4Brains
September 10, 2014, 09:11 PM
First,some stuff to avoid.

Less lethal stuff like rubber buckshot or tear gas loads. It's regarded as Use of Deadly Force even when the police do it, and they do it when backed up by cops with real ammo in their firearms. That's in case L/L doesn't work.

There's a clue there. Use something more likely to STOP someone when that is desperately needed.

Also, avoid anything with a name like "Ultimate Deathmaster" or skulls on the box.

Don't laugh,it happens and PT Barnum was right, one IS born every minute.

Anything exotic like Dragon's Breath, bird bombs, buckshot strung together on a wire,etc.10 thin dimes would also be a bad idea. So would be reloads.

Any shooting, justified or not, will be scrutinized under a microscope by LE folks who are not necessarily your friends.

What if your 9 pellet 00 shells are marked "LAW ENFORCEMENT" and so are the boxes, and you are not L/E?
I don't think this ammo is illegal to possess but may be scrutinized under a self defense situation.

RetiredUSNChief
September 10, 2014, 11:41 PM
What if your 9 pellet 00 shells are marked "LAW ENFORCEMENT" and so are the boxes, and you are not L/E?
I don't think this ammo is illegal to possess but may be scrutinized under a self defense situation.

You bring up a good point.

But the fact of the matter is this: No matter WHAT ammo you use or what gun you use, if you are EVER involved in a shooting you need to simply resign yourself to the fact that absolutely EVERYTHING about the entire circumstance will be examined under a microscope...whether it goes to court or not.

EVERYTHING.

And if it DOES go to court...it won't matter what all these circumstances are, the prosecution will question everything about it.


For example, from the standpoint of the self-defense shooter, the biggest thing that can go for him/her is whatever the forensics can come up with (assuming there isn't some kind of really cool video evidence or something like that). Forensics will draw a picture. THIS is the biggest, and most logical, reason why reloads may not be the smartest thing in the world. Factory loads can be counted upon for reliable and repeatable forensics evidence to help paint a more accurate picture. Your handloads, however, cannot.

rbernie
September 11, 2014, 08:51 AM
I don't think this ammo is illegal to possess but may be scrutinized under a self defense situation.When they sell it at my local Academy Sports, I figure that I'm ok.

Potatohead
September 11, 2014, 10:04 AM
I like Flight Control:

http://www.theboxotruth.com/the-box-o-truth-56-federal-flight-control-1-buckshot/

Cooldill
September 11, 2014, 11:56 AM
I think the benefits of flight control wads are lost in a home defense situation. Heck, that stuff stays inside the wad until after it has traveled a little ways right? Well if the buckshot-filled wad hits the target, wouldn't that equal one large hole?

Also using "law enforcement" marked ammo for self defense is NOT a bad idea. You could say "I wanted to use what the local police use for defense" and IMHO that would go over pretty well.

RetiredUSNChief
September 11, 2014, 12:20 PM
I think the benefits of flight control wads are lost in a home defense situation. Heck, that stuff stays inside the wad until after it has traveled a little ways right? Well if the buckshot-filled wad hits the target, wouldn't that equal one large hole?

Also using "law enforcement" marked ammo for self defense is NOT a bad idea. You could say "I wanted to use what the local police use for defense" and IMHO that would go over pretty well.

Having looked at the results in the Box O' Truth, I'd say whether the buckshot remains in the wad or not at household distances is a moot point. They BOTH equal one large hole.

;)

Cooldill
September 11, 2014, 12:59 PM
Oh! I still like #1 buck for HD work, no magical "flight control" wad needed. :D!

Zach S
September 15, 2014, 10:58 PM
What if your 9 pellet 00 shells are marked "LAW ENFORCEMENT" and so are the boxes, and you are not L/E?
I don't think this ammo is illegal to possess but may be scrutinized under a self defense situation.

It may be, yes. But at that point, so would anything you use. You know, a S&W MP9 was designed for Military and Police, hence the name. Buckshot is for hunting, not defense. In any kind of SD shooting, there are all kinds of cards the DA and press might play.

Orginally, LE buckshot simply meant "low recoil." I ordered Federal LE132 00 (9 pellet 3dram) online for a few years before seeing its commercial cousin, H132 00, on any shelves locally.

I dont see it being an issue unless you have an overzealous ADA trying to make a name for himself, or desperate to make a case against you, since he doesnt have one.


...shotgun Yoda Louis Awerbuck...
Lol. Priceless, that is. Use it, I will.

Fred Fuller
September 18, 2014, 10:24 AM
Lol. Priceless, that is

But not original with me...

http://www.tacticalforums.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000051.html

http://www.m4carbine.net/archive/index.php/t-14585.html

http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/2011/09/well-thats-interesting.html

etc.

forgiven
October 8, 2014, 03:44 PM
I use the Critical Defense load in my shotty

Sauer Grapes
October 11, 2014, 11:37 AM
My shotguns are all of the ''sporting'' type. Not sure why I never invested in a ''HD'' type.

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