Stopping power of a Slug v SG Buckshot?


el Godfather
January 24, 2013, 02:03 PM
Dear THR:
When fired at a target between 10-30 yards, which is more effective- Slug or Buckshot?

Has anyone done any test of their stopping power? If so, please discuss the methods employed.
Thank you

If you enjoyed reading about "Stopping power of a Slug v SG Buckshot?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
January 24, 2013, 03:11 PM
At 10 yards there would be little difference.

At 30 yards the slug wins every time because it will deliver the whole payload on target if you do.
There will be no stray pellets outside the target area.


January 24, 2013, 06:06 PM
Slugs have far more ability to stop an attacker, whether 2 or 4 legged. Buckshot simply improves the odds of a hit. At close range, against thin skinned animals or humans buckshot generally does just fine. Dead is dead. But against thicker skinned animals such as bear, or a human wearing several layers of heavy winter clothing buckshot will not always give enough peneration to be as effective. Especially after ranges start to increase much beyond 20-30 yards.

January 24, 2013, 06:16 PM
At close range, slugs and buckshot (assuming 00 buck here) will be about equal. A good solid COM hit will probably be lethal in either case.

At longer distances (the 30ish yards in the OP), the 00 buck will be more likely to miss with a few pellets, but as long as the aim is good, most should still hit, and still cause a great deal of damage. The slug, if it hits, will still be devastating. Beyond 30 yards, slugs all day long, unless you are running higher velocity buckshot and have a good choke. Depending on my set up, I can take a gobbler with #4 buck and a full choke at 50 yards.

#4 buck is about the smallest I'd consider for Home/Self defense, and will only load it when I'm out of 00 or #2.

The only "testing" I've done is on deer, turkeys, and the occasional rotten pumpkin or watermelon.

Apple a Day
January 24, 2013, 06:57 PM
There's going to be a point at which you trade off. At close range the slug is more likely to pass completely through and keep going, taking some of the kinetic energy , the "punch", with it while the buckshot will stop completely in the target and transfer all of its energy... if you subscribe to the "energy dump" theory. At that close the gob of buckshot may pretty much be an enormouse frangible round, though. I dunno.
At 15 yards all of my 00 pellets stayed stuck in a 1000 page catalog while a slug blew it a gaping hole through it. Either way I'd hate the be on the recieving end.

January 24, 2013, 07:12 PM
I didn't answer because both about equal wasn't an option, most slugs are only 1oz yet 9 pellet 00 is 1-1/8oz and you can custom load load buck up to 1-1/2 oz in a 2-3/4" shell so don't just dismiss buck outright.

bubba in ca
January 24, 2013, 07:32 PM
The advantage to buckshot is that when it hits a body the individual pellets go their own way thus increasing the chance of hitting something vital for a quick stop. Slugs, on the other hand, made one dandy big hole with a slight chance of irregular fragmentation. A good torso or head shot should do the job either way.

Also, at 30 meters flite control buck by Federal can have a very tight pattern--you would have to pattern it in your shotgun to see. Quite likely a center mass hit would involve all pellets hitting.

My choice? Close up a heavy buck like 00 or 1. At 30 meters, flight control with a heavy buckshot. Another advantage to buck at distance is that if your shot was not perfect you might still get a partial hit and half a load of buckshot is nothing to sneeze at.

If all I had was slug, would I be under-gunned? Not at all, aim straight.

January 24, 2013, 07:38 PM
Slug. At any distance.

I don't subscribe to the energy dump theory. I like exit wounds.

When you don't hit the CNS real well, rapid blood loss and the sudden drop in blood pressure is what takes the fight out of living things.

January 24, 2013, 07:39 PM
Here. Decide for yourself which one has more stopping power at close range. At 30 yards it's easily a slug but 15 feet or less could go either way. Here are some slow motion ballistics tests. The first one compares different shot shells such as OO Buck, OOO Buck and #8 Bird Shot. The second is a 1 ounce rifled slug.

charlie echo
January 24, 2013, 07:42 PM
At 10 yards might make a difference to a gun man wearing ballistic vest.

January 25, 2013, 12:13 AM
a ~400 grain hunk of metal about ~.65 caliber going ~1500 fps ? that exit hole is going to be dramatic. with or without a rifled barrel i'd take slugs all day vs human targets.

January 25, 2013, 01:42 AM
At close distances, traditional Foster slugs violently mushroom. This causes them to penetrate a little less than 00 buck. This is not true of reduced recoil slugs, though.

4v50 Gary
January 25, 2013, 01:49 AM
Back in the days of muskets, a big round ball smashed bone and destroyed flesh. Buckshot could too but at a much shorter range. If the distance was too great, all you might do would be to render h'ors d combat to your opponent. There was a reason for the buck and ball load.

January 25, 2013, 02:43 AM
At shotgun velocity, you're not going to worry about energy transfer as much as the hole that's made. Buckshot makes lots of holes, and due to the nature of the wound tract is much more likely to strike the heart (which is what you really want to hit when aiming COM to stop an attack). The slug will just make one massive hole.

Personally, I say buckshot. Slugs will win out over a distance, but doesn't one company make flite-control that has been tested to be about the same spread at 75 yards as most are at 15?

January 25, 2013, 11:50 AM
Cool read from shotgun world

January 25, 2013, 12:00 PM
Would you rather get hit with a ten pound rock or ten pounds of pebbles? Even if the payload of buck and slug are the same, they have different characteristics when they impact a target

January 25, 2013, 05:43 PM
Out to 30 yards - 00 Buckshot, preferably LE132 Federal Flitecontrol 00.

Pattern test your individual shotgun to see which buckshot patterns the tightest at 30 yards.

Past that, switch to a slug.

Just my .02,

January 25, 2013, 09:31 PM
You must be expecting a poorly aimed shot and a large buckshot pattern spread to catch a deer in the brain instead of the guts with one small buckshot pellet then?

In real life, it very seldom works like that.


January 26, 2013, 01:57 AM
The deer that I've shot with 16 and 12 gauge foster slugs at ranges under 30 yds have gone down almost immediately with double lung shots. Very impressive.

January 26, 2013, 03:08 PM
I like slugs as my Remington 870 has the rifled sights IC barrel. I can group 4 inches cluster at 50 yrds with Walmart Winchester econo pack.

January 26, 2013, 03:21 PM
I have patterned XM127 (9 pellet full power) OO Buck out of my modified choked 870 and I get 7-8 pellets on an 8.5x11" sheet of paper. The other 1-2 are close. This is at 25 yards.

Properly choked and patterned, Buckshot is the correct answer. If limited to a cylinder bore, the Flite Control loads are the right answer.

Nine simultaneous hits will almost certainly hit both lungs, and likely the heart or CNS as well.

If you enjoyed reading about "Stopping power of a Slug v SG Buckshot?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!