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Ballistic gelatin test : 12 gauge #1 Buckshot FBI test #5 (Exterior door)

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Brass Fetcher, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. Brass Fetcher

    Brass Fetcher Well-Known Member

    In order to get an idea of the suitability of shotguns (using the optimum load on bare gelatin, #1 buck) for usage against targets utilizing hard cover, I conducted this test against FBI fixture #5. This test consists of a 3/4" fir plywood panel placed 18" in front of a gelatin block, sporting 'light clothing'. The material called for in the original specifications are usually very difficult to obtain, so: the light clothing consisted of two layers of 10 oz. denim fabric and the plywood panel was 3/4" thick Birch wood. Additionally, the 18" offset was reduced to 6", due to a lack of space on the test bench. Enjoy the results...


    Cartridge : Winchester 3" magnum #1 unplated buckshot (Part # XB1231)

    Firearm : Pump shotgun with 20" barrel and smooth bore. Cylinder choke.

    Block calibration : 11.1cm @ 605 ft/sec

    Single shot fired at 10' distance. Shot impacted at '875 ft/sec' (chronograph malfunction) - Winchester lists the muzzle velocity of this load at 1040 ft/sec.

    The 24 0.3" shot pellets penetrated the wood panel and light clothing, with an average penetration depth of 7.7", with the deepest pellet going to 11.0" and the shallowest penetrating to 3.8". Wood pulp and fragments were present in the wound track until 6.5" depth. The suction caused by the passage of the pellets had drawn in the wood chips/pulp such that the majority of the permanent cavity was filled with wood at the end of the penetration event. 23 of the 24 pellets were moderate to severely out-of-round.


    Attached Files:

  2. Brass Fetcher

    Brass Fetcher Well-Known Member

    More photos...


    Attached Files:

  3. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    Thanks!! 1 buck is looking better all the time....
  4. shootinmedic

    shootinmedic New Member

    Great job JE223! I have been using #1 Buck for a few years and is my choice of home defense shot loads.Go to www.firearmstactical.com and read TacticalBrief #10
  5. Brass Fetcher

    Brass Fetcher Well-Known Member

    @shootinmedic - Welcome to THR and thank you for the kind words. I'm way ahead of you on that one (!) - that article is partially what got me interested with wound ballistics - it was (is) fascinating how you can balance the surface area of the shot pellets with the penetration (average of all of the pellets) in order to optimize a shotgun load in that way. The article was pure brilliance.
  6. salty

    salty Well-Known Member

    Impressive as always - as my friend says - it a shotgun. My concern with buck for home defense is overpenetration - 7 1/2 birdshot close up does a number a close target and will shoot through wallboard if you have to - but will stop before going third sheet.
  7. Brass Fetcher

    Brass Fetcher Well-Known Member

    I would be hesitant to recommend birdshot for usage in home defense. If it can only penetrate one additional sheetrock panel, it is unreasonable to expect that equates to 12.0" or deeper in ballistic gelatin.
  8. Fabarmfp6

    Fabarmfp6 Member

    #1 shot for home defense = #1 reason for home repairs.
  9. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    Yep. The 'numbers' on #1 buck have always looked really good. I got introduced to them in a hunter safety class way back in the 1970s.

    Unfortunately I have yet to find a barrel/choke that will pattern #1 buck worth a darn. I'll still stick to 00 that will stay on target when the range stretches out a bit.

  10. tanksoldier

    tanksoldier Well-Known Member

    Box O' Truth on using birdshot for SD:

  11. familyman555

    familyman555 Active Member

    This test used a very slow magnum load. A 12 or 16 pellet load would have have more penetration with a muzzle velocity of 1300 to 1200 fps.
  12. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Well-Known Member

    Very nice work ... thanks for the posting.
  13. Jack2427

    Jack2427 Well-Known Member

    I have always considered #1 Buck a short range load (20 yards or less), with #4 Buck bringing you out to a 30 yard max. After that it is 0, 00, or 000 Buck for anything else. It IS hard to find a gun/choke that will pattern less than 0 Buck well. I have an FN (Winchester 1300) with the knurled "tactical" choke tubes that when used with a improved modified or full tube will put #1 and #4in a good pattern out to 35 yards. Of course my idea of a good buck pattern is under 18 inches, I want all my pellets on my target. I use nothing less than a modified choke on the shotguns I use for serious social encounters, and prefer full, or even Turkey Full for many. I first learned that more than cylinder bore could be effectively used when many of the VN era Ithacas were full choked Deer Slayers, and they worked very well. BTW most hollow base "rifled" slugs also work very well with full chokes, the Brenneke wadded slugs not so much.
  14. wnycollector

    wnycollector Well-Known Member

    Great info as always! Keep up the good work! Just wondering if you plan on testing any of the low recoil flavors of 00 buck out there in the future?
  15. Mike U.

    Mike U. Well-Known Member

    Brass Fetcher, you ROCK!
    I always look forward to seeing your test results. When I see a thread with your name on it, it's like a mini-Christmas for me. :D
    Thank you for sharing them.

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