Maximum DANGER range for 00 Buck?


August 12, 2013, 06:40 PM
I'm curious if anyone has any numbers as far as safe distance's go when referring to 00 buck? In my particular situation, if I fired a round of 00 from my bedroom (where the wife is with me, no kiddos to worry about) and missed, the pellets would encounter:

A) Either the exterior wall of my study consisting of drywall, and then Hardy plank siding or
B) Double pane window

From there in a straight line the nearest piece of habitation is about 275 yards away. Additionally there's a pretty good chunk of wood line in the way that would probably eat all the pellets, but just in case....

Assuming a level bore (or dang close to it) shot down the hallway out of my bedroom, what are the odds that the pellets are still going to be dangerous almost 300 yds away after going through all that intervening stuff?

The main reason I ask is that I know a pistol or rifle round still has plenty of energy left over to be dangerous at 300 yards, particularly if it hits the glass. I'd imagine that the buckshot would probably be much less dangerous down range in the event of an errant pellet, or even shells worth of pellets.

If that's the case, then I'll probably transition to a shotgun by the bed rather then a pistol or carbine to reduce the risk of errant projectiles.


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August 12, 2013, 06:46 PM
They won't. They will hit the ground well before then. If you fire the gun horizontally the pellets will probably hit the ground a maximum of 150 yards away, and I wouldn't even expect that.

The pistol round fired at the same angle also would not make it a full 300 yards before hitting the ground. However, if fired at a slightly higher angle it will travel further than 00 buck.

A .223 through drywall would actually continue on for the shortest distance, but through glass it has the potential to go further.

August 12, 2013, 06:46 PM
I'd imagine that the buckshot would probably be much less dangerous down range in the event of an errant pellet, or even shells worth of pellets.

Those pellets are the size of a 38, typically traveling @1200 fps or faster (like a 357), so if you think a 357 is dangerous, why would you think that 9 or more projectiles of equal or greater energy would be less so?

223 will not penetrate as well as 00 buck

August 12, 2013, 07:20 PM
In Hunter Ed Class I was taught that Buckshot can pierce skin out to 500 yards. I am guessing that is when fired at an upward angle.

Just my .02,

August 12, 2013, 07:28 PM
A round ball has low sectional density and the drop of 00 buckshot would be about 18 feet from the muzzle at 300 yards if fired from a flat angle. Now elevate the muzzle about 10 degrees above the object and it could get there and prolly break glass.

Ron James
August 12, 2013, 07:47 PM
12 Gauge, Double 00 { don't know brand }, fired from a 12 inch barrel, fired by a wanabe gangbanger killed two 17 year old at a distance of 50 yards. So , it is at least lethal to 50 yards

August 12, 2013, 07:47 PM
Those pellets are the size of a 38, typically traveling @1200 fps or faster (like a 357), so if you think a 357 is dangerous, why would you think that 9 or more projectiles of equal or greater energy would be less so?

Because they lose velocity much more quickly and will not remain in flight as long. They are not spin-stabilized, either.

August 12, 2013, 08:48 PM
In a Loui Awerbuck class, he mentioned a confirmed kill with a shotgun using buck at 96 yards (eye shot). I think it was a law enforcement encounter n

August 12, 2013, 08:58 PM
oneounceload: As others have noted, the drag of a sphere is well in excess of that of any bullet. They'll loose velocity much faster so less danger range.


August 12, 2013, 09:01 PM
I know of a deer shot in front of dogs out to 75 yards, Using 3 1/2 mag 00 ; )

August 12, 2013, 09:02 PM
Being round balls, they will also ricochet of the ground and take on another flight at odd angles too.

However, after going though two walls of your house and the deep dark woods?

I would not be overly concerned about your neighbors house 275 yards away.


August 12, 2013, 11:56 PM
One drunk 4th of July,about 35 years ago with old vietnam buddies about 5 years out, I torched off a load of blue whistlers over a big granite bolder (damn sawed off shot high) that was on a little hill behind my friends rural house in the Sierra foothills. The added angle gave me an indirect fire drop on the MOUNTAIN GIRL's cabin maybe 1000 feet up the hill and in a slight depression so out of my line of sight. :o
So this half drunk 6 foot tall biker amazon comes livid around the rocks to our little party and get right in my face because the balls peppered the side of her cabin .:uhoh:
She was soooo hot that it took all three of us eligible bachelors to get her to drink with us and calm down.:D
As I remember the holes I spackled up were about 3/8ths deep below the surface of the fir siding.

Fred Fuller
August 13, 2013, 09:52 AM
At optimum muzzle elevation the maximum range of 00 is around 800- 900 yards. Slugs, around 1200...


August 13, 2013, 10:17 AM
I have personally seen a deer killed at close to 100 yards with 00 buck from a Remington 1100. We didn't have range finders but I am decent at judging distances and it was well beyond the 75 yard mark. One pellet hit the deer in the head and DRT. This was on a dog hunt 20 or so years ago and I don't know what brand of ammo but I imagine it was 2 3/4" from that gun? Feel free to correct me on that but I don't remember the old Rem 1100s with a 3" chamber.

Steve C
August 14, 2013, 12:00 AM
There's a lot of difference between "dangerous" meaning capable of inflicting severe bodily harm and can intentionally hit what one aims at re: "effective range". The dangerous distance is always much greater. Remember that a shotgun, even if fired horizontally, spreads shot at angles that are both + and - horizontal so calculating based on a horizontal travel is not realistic.

I seem to remember that the danger warnings for slugs was 3/4 mile and Buckshot somewhere around 1/4 mile, probably one of the reason its illegal to hunt withing 1/4 mile of an occupied dwelling in my state at least.

August 14, 2013, 12:21 PM
Down-home-goodness-and-internet-arrogance ?

Is that 00 Buckshot or Biscuits and Gravy?

Just my .02,

Fred Fuller
August 14, 2013, 05:16 PM
I used to try patterning 3" magnum loads of Federal Premium 000 buck at 100 yards when trying to stretch the range on shotguns. With the choke tube I was using then (a Patternmaster), I could get 3-4 pellets on a GI E type silhouette pretty regularly. At that range they would also fully penetrate the treated 2X6" lumber used in constructing the target stand.

It's very true that buckshot as round balls have poor SD and bleed velocity and thus energy rapidly. Which is why, for potentially longer shots with buckshot, you should use the largest pellets that pattern well in your barrel.

August 14, 2013, 05:37 PM
I think the practical answer to this question is answered WITH a question:

If you were armed with only buckshot, and a man with a rifle were shooting at you, how close would you need to be in order that you would stand and return fire, as opposed to running away?

I would answer by saying 75-100 yards, and that's stretching it.

loose noose
August 14, 2013, 10:12 PM
OO buckshot is .32 caliber, there are 9 pellets in a 2 3/4" shell. From an 18" cylinder choked barrel the pattern opens up 1" per yard generally speaking.

August 15, 2013, 01:10 AM
Jenrick, it is down-home-goodness-and-internet-ignorance that 00 Buckshot is best for everything and anything but buck. And that's 'cause they sell it at Walmart. You have choices still to make. Get comfortable #0 Buckshot and you and your neighbors will be best served all around your property. And if you are thinking in and just outside your house use #4 Buckshot or MAYBE #1 Buckshot if you are paranoid and have a complex that makes you think compensating with bigger, and faster, is better and ballistics, physiology, and statistics be damned...

To be honest, not sure how to take the first part, but I'll assume it's all meant in the best sense possible. I'll probably run #1, as it is the smallest size that provides consistent penetration to 12"+. Regardless of shot size, it'll be in Federal Tru-flight, as it patterns VERY well out of my shotgun and is very shootable.


August 15, 2013, 09:23 AM
Had biscuits and sausage gravy from Whataburger this morning. Probably the best drive thru biscuits and gravy you can get :).

Anyway, per various wound ballistics experts and tests done by both professionals and non professionals, #1 Buckshot offers the best combination of pattern and penetration and has the greatest potential for wounding and therefore fastest incapacitation of a threat. The OP should have no problems with #1 Buckshot traveling past 275 yards, it will probably be killing earthworms way before that.

Just my .02,

August 15, 2013, 01:04 PM
00 Buckshot is not the same thing as a 357 Magnum. Its not even the same thing as a 38spl.

A 60gr pellet of buckshot @ 1200fps is not the same as a 158gr bullet at 1,200fps - not only does it carry much less energy at the muzzle, but it is MUCH less aerodynamic and sheds energy and velocity much more quickly. That gives gravity much more time to work over the same distance.

And for what its worth, the thin aluminum sheeting car doors are made from wont stop a .22LR

August 15, 2013, 11:58 PM
MattShlock: Correct I do already have a shotgun, and I do know how the shot patterns. I guess the word "tight" would have been a better choice then "well." And yes a tight pattern is better then a wide one, in my situation.

And before any one starts, I don't care that a shotgun is commonly known as a "scatter gun." Every thing coming out of the bore has a lawyer attached to it. The tighter that cluster of lawyers is when it impacts the happier I am. If I wasn't worried about the down range safety fan on a 124gr +P Gold Dot or 62 gr Federal Tactical bonded I'd be using another weapon system. As is I feel that due to the situation I find myself in with the layout of my residence and the range to my neighbors down the likely avenue of engagement, a shotgun provides a good combination of terminal ballistic effect and down range safety in the event an errant projectile travels down range.

LeonCarr hit the nail on the head regarding #1 shot. If want further details just look for anything from Dr. Fackler regarding projectile penetration and shot size. Anything smaller then #1 is NOT going to reach 12" on a regular basis and that's not a good thing for HD shooting.


August 16, 2013, 11:00 AM
Per the aforementioned Dr. Fackler, maximum wounding with the shotgun using buckshot comes from a pattern 5-8 inches in diameter. My pattern testing has shown that several Non-Flitecontrol Buckshot options will pattern right around 8 inches or better at 50 feet. Unless you live in what I call a "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" type house, most of your shots will be well under 50 feet. Do some tape measure or laser rangefinder work inside your home and then some pattern testing at the range, and I think most of us will find that just about any buckshot including most of the soft lead pellet, no shotcup, no buffer varieties will meet that 5-8 inch standard at typical household ranges and provide virtually no chance of collateral damage outside your 275 yard limit.

Just my .02,

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