Your view of police shotgun load (read OP)


January 30, 2013, 12:55 AM
The title is worded kind of funny, but basically, in your opinion, do you think LE shotguns should be loaded with (INSIDE MAGAZINE ONLY FOR THE POLL):

1) Buckshot only
2) Slugs only
3) Mix of buckshot and slugs

You do not have to be in LE to answer the question. Base your answer on what you know of defensive shotgunning, and encounters you think LEO's might run across.

I am in LE and have always prefered to have a mix of buck and slugs, but I've run into high up opinions that we should be loading with buckshot only.

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January 30, 2013, 01:03 AM
LE should not be using shotguns in engagements requiring slugs. The penetration that they have is far too much to be used in a public or residential setting.

With more and more officers issued ARs, there is zero reason for taking an extended range shot with a slug.

Most all defensive shootings (LE included) occur within 15 yards. That is the sweet spot for buckshot.

Personally, I don't think you should ever mix rounds in a tube. Have all of them be buck, or all slugs, but never a mix. If you want the option to have a slug *just in case*, then keep some in a side saddle.

Why do you think you should have a mix?

January 30, 2013, 01:37 AM
I run my gun with one empty space in the tube, the rest of which is full of 00 buck. The empty slot allows for a select a slug drill from the side saddle at any time.

January 30, 2013, 04:44 AM
My department loads their shotguns with a segmenting slug load only. The reasoning is that a slug is more accurate, with less chance of a stray pellet hitting an unintended target. The second reason for the segmenting slug is that the slug will break into 3 sections upon impact with the target, so over-penetration is lessened.

January 30, 2013, 05:22 AM
Either slug or buck, but not both at once. Too much stress to really remember what's in the chamber, and what's coming up, when things are smelly.

January 30, 2013, 09:24 AM
For Law Enforcement use the segmented slug is the best of both worlds. Accurate, hits hard, breaks into three pieces upon impact to inflict big time wounding without the dangers of overpenetration.

The only two loads of this type that I know of are the Winchester PDX1 Segmented Slug and the Polywad Quik-Shok.

If these are unavailable (As most ammunition is right now) I like the Federal Flitecontrol LE132 00 with Brenneke Slugs in a sidesaddle, buttcuff, speedfeed stock, or bandolier. If used only for home defense, the Flitecontrol Buckshot will work fine unless you live in a really big house :).

January 30, 2013, 11:49 AM
I like to run an every other set up: one buck, one slug, etc. This allows me to get off one Oh S*** shot, then dial in better for the second shot. I also work in some rural areas, so I don't usually anything to worry about right behind my threat.

Fred Fuller
January 30, 2013, 03:02 PM
I don't set LE policy, nor do I wish to.

I keep full power, tight patterning 00 buck in the magazines of the defensive shotguns here, loaded one round short, and they have full power Brenneke KO slugs in the Sidesaddles.

I have yet to see a top tier professional instructor advise 'candy cane' loading with more than one kind of ammunition in a shotgun magazine. You NEED to know what's coming out of the muzzle with every press of the trigger, and it's a rare shooter indeed who can 'count rounds' in a gunfight. Don't believe me, spend three days under the tutelage of Louis Awerbuck and let him prove it to you (and every other student in your class).

There is no substitute for training at the hands of a genuine professional instructor...

January 30, 2013, 03:32 PM
Yup, keep buckshot in the magazine tube and slugs at the ready. I live in a rural area so I'm not worried as much about colateral damage of what a pellet may or may not hit. However, if I need the precision (relatiely speaking) a slug offers over buckshot, I want to do a select slug drill rather than wonder if the next round in the chamber is a slug....or was it buck....I can't remember....oh well, let's hope it's a slug. Boom!! Nope, it was OO buck...oops!:uhoh:

January 30, 2013, 04:11 PM
Thanks for the responses. My first formal training with a shotgun was in college for police science. I can't remember if I came away from the firearms classes with suggestions of mixing ammo, or if it's an equation I formulated myself. I think I prefer the slug due to the power and more precision and range it offers. However over the years I've come to have much more respect for buckshot.

One of the deputies in our county completed the firearms instuctor course through the state LE academy and told me that they recommended buckshot only, but couldn't remember why they suggest it. That really got my gears turning.

Through my reading, I think the reasoning might be that even if your target doesn't catch all the shot, they'll still get some of it while the rest doesn't penetrate much into walls at distance.

Currently, of the dept's three duty shotguns, two of them have 7 round mags and one has a 4 round mag. For years I've loaded the 7 shot mags with 4 buckshot (to be chambered first) followed by 3 slugs. I think I currently set up the 4 shot tube with half buck and half slugs.

I think I've set it up that way because they don't have side saddles on them or even butt cuffs to hold extra rounds. The 7 rounders are in racks above the front seats, so without on-the-gun storage for more rounds, I wanted the officers to have both types of options available. I've also put extra rounds in the glove compartment and in the go-bags for our rifles so they can resupply those with shotguns.

We're very soon going to put racks in between the seats for the rifles and shotguns in all the patrol cars. To make the shotties fit, we're getting folding stocks, so I think I'm going to make a push to get side saddles to put slugs into while mags will be filled with buckshot. I do like the idea of keeping an empty space in the tube too in case one needs to load a slug. I'll also have to look into the segmented slug too. I found this vid on a quick search:

January 30, 2013, 04:15 PM
Although I've just realized that the folding stocks might not work with side saddles. Hmm.

Old Dog
January 30, 2013, 04:23 PM
My department loads only 00 buck (primarily the Federal LE132) for our 870s; occasionally we'll train with slugs, but don't issue them for duty loads. Frankly, given that we also have M-4 carbines, I'm not sure what application we'd ever use slugs for.

January 30, 2013, 06:20 PM
My own HD shotgun is loaded as follows:
1 #2 turkeyshot (less likely to over penetrate drywall)
2 #4 buckshot (some chance of penetration)
1 00 buckhot If I get to this stage something is really wrong
1 slug Last chance I want maximum damage/impact

January 30, 2013, 08:38 PM
Less Lethal rounds entirely. Stop cheating lawyers out of fees!

January 30, 2013, 10:39 PM
00 buck with slugs on the sleeve. You can't always run back to the car and get out an AR. If a suspect is wearing armor, a slug would ruin his day. Having a shotgun is still needed in todays environment, the availability of slugs close or long range gives an option.

January 31, 2013, 02:55 AM

So true. A shotgun is still a viable weapon in today's police work. I am fortunate enough to have both a shotgun, a dedicated less leathal shotgun, and arifle in my car. Along with my primary sidearm, I feel I have the correct choice for any situation.

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