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Birdshot Damage, Close Range (Photos at link)

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Fred Fuller, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    I tell people pretty often ... you don't want to have an ND with any firearm, but you especially don't want to have one with a shotgun. Here's why.

    NO, I am not going to post the pictures here with no warning - just the link. No one else needs to do that either. Anyone clicking through to the pictures, be warned - they are graphic.

    Review the Four Rules for yourselves.

    Read the following description/discussion first:

    Thats my left shoulder. Story is: my son in law and I were at the range, and he HAD to have me shoot his AK47. Now, I believe they should be allowed under the 2A, but i like my .22, .410, and LOVE my .12 GA due to its versatility of rounds. SO. While I shot his AK47 (which WAS pretty cool) he went through some shells on my shotgun, going from slugs to birdshot, to see what each round could do. The wives called and told us boys it was time to come home, and I pulled the clip and emptied the chamber, and loaded his AK in the trunk, noticing my shotgun was already stored. When I got home late that evening, I grabbed the shotgun to take it out, and the trigger caught on the jack handle. Result: BIG BOOM. and a birdshot round litterally REMOVED my shoulder socket, shattered the bone halfway down to the elbow, and left the inside of my shoulder blade looking like baby swiss....

    Lessons known:
    1. treat every gun as loaded
    2. an unloaded gun is a worthless gun
    3. always transport your weapon empty unless you even THINK you may need it

    Lessons learned:
    1. my son in law is an idiot
    2. even an ex-marine doesn't necessarily know what he's doing (which I should have realized 2 years ago when he shot his left finger off with a .45 pistol
    3. put the () gun in a CASE or lock the trigger and
    4. just because someone is NOW a cop, don't mean (). (actually I DID know that, this just confirmed it!)

    Then click on http://ogdaa.blogspot.com/2013/03/12-gauge-birdshot-damage.html if you want to see the photos. Read the comments, too...
  2. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    That actually tends to underscore birdshot's ineffectiveness as a defensive round. For a point blank injury, it could have been much worse. Yes the tissue and bone were badly mauled but you don't see the kind of through-and-through destruction of buckshot at near-contact range. Note also how much shot was just absorbed into the tissue even at that range, doing no substantive damage at all. Now it's just sitting there. Imagine shooting a fat man in the gut with that load. How much would have gotten beyond the fat layers and done any meaningful damage?
  3. Takem406

    Takem406 Well-Known Member

    Wow should post that on XD Talk! They hash the bird shot thing about once a month!

    If you have a tight pattern at close range with 4 shot plated lead inside of 15 yards... Game over jack!

    In God and Glock we Trust
  4. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Well-Known Member

    The first rule of safe gun handling has a pretty harsh correction curve. Violate the First AND the Third rule at your peril.

    "Steve" (the guy in the article) can be as pissed as he wants at his son-in-law but the truth is he did it to himself with negligent firearms handling.

    "Steve's" story and images just became part of my firearms safety course. I always have a "wake them up/gross them out" segment at the tale end of my class because I want to hammer home that ANY carelessness with a firearm can have instant and catastrophic results.
  5. coyote315

    coyote315 Well-Known Member

    i have seen similar birdshot wounds at that range firsthand, and the 160lb man never made it back to his feet.
    Birdshot is unquestionably effective in a room or hallway for defense, with no danger of overpenetration. Surface wounding a problem? That's why even Crazy Uncle Joe says to get a double-barrel. The face is a helluva surface to wound after the first shot puts them down.
  6. psyopspec

    psyopspec Well-Known Member

    In addition to failing to treat the firearm loaded and keeping the trigger clear of objects (not a finger in this case), he was also failing to maintain muzzle awareness and to know his target/beyond. This looks like a violation of all 4. If he'd have just broken rules 1 & 3 he may still have ND'd, but not into himself. And that's the beauty of redundancy. In order to hurt someone unintentionally with a gun have to break all 4.
  7. mnhntr

    mnhntr Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear this happened but I would be kicking my SILs rear end
  8. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    I'm voting with comment #2. A point blank injury to an unprotected part of the body and no exit wound even through a relatively narrow part of the body.

    Back off to 15' and ask birdshot to penetrate thicker winter clothing and chances are good you won't reach vital organs with many, if any pellets.

    This looks like a typical birdshot wound. Nasty looking, lots of damage, but very shallow. Just because something worked once does not make it a good idea. I'd use birdshot if out of other options, but would never use or recommend it as a 1st choice. There is just no downside to using buckshot if available.
  9. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

    Just goes to show you that birdshot is a reliable self defense alternative. To other naysayers I direct to Jeff Quinn who shoots a pork shoulder covered in 4 layers of denim from 21 or 25 feet to penetrate 4 or 5 inches into the shoulder. While 4 or 5 inches is nothing compared to the penetration of buckshot, 4 or 5 inch gaping whole in your chest or in OP case shoulder, is nothing to scoff at.

  10. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Well-Known Member

    Holy Macaroni - close call. hope healing up goes well.
  11. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    If you say so.
  12. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    Wait Lee is that you who got hit? IF it is you remember what Yoda Louis told us about complacency and how he (Louis) was potentially the most dangerous man on the range! I learned to "switch on" EVERY time I touch a gun and hope I LIVE that out until I die. FWIW I have been seeing people I know have "accidents" lately that were trained to not have them.
  13. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    No, it was not me. Sorry to be misleading in that regard - the blog is not mine, and the pics are not me.
  14. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

  15. Eb1

    Eb1 Well-Known Member

    I think I'll stick with #3 buckshot from my wife's Mossy 500 20 gauge.
  16. Inebriated

    Inebriated Well-Known Member

    It's unfortunate that people need to be reminded that 1, birdshot is dangerous, and 2, the four rules are there to keep you alive.
  17. nathan

    nathan Well-Known Member

    I bought a box of steel shot BBs. Thanks for the video. The birdshots are very effective in close range. No doubt about it. The myth that is spread s so quickly and not as effective manstopper is a not true. In closed range , it will put a man down and kill em.
  18. RTR_RTR

    RTR_RTR Well-Known Member



    I'd rather a round that can reliably make it through a jacket, through a stereotypical american's central obesity, and still have some energy left to crack a vertebra. Fleshwounds don't stop but by pain tolerance (at least not quickly), and I would rather not cross abdomen off as viable target area. To each his own

    Edit: I am assuming the X-ray isn't bothersome to anyone. If requested, I'll take it down. Feel free to PM
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  19. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    I am too squeamish to go to the pictures.
    Note that it took two violations of safety principles by two careless people operating in ignorance of each other's actions.
    #1 stowed a loaded gun
    #2 picked up a gun by the muzzle.

    That killed Dave Higginbotham, owner of Lone Star Rifles.
  20. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

    I get what you are trying to say. Not everyone is going to be injured by 4 inch penetration of birdshot. But keep in mind a few things
    1) That was 4 inches through pork shoulder bone and Grissel muscle. Fat and human flesh is much softer and not as dense as a pork shoulder off a 250 hog. Jeff mentions that later in the video. I would love to see him do the same test with a cadaver but dead people willing to get shot are in short supply.
    2) Even a .22LR can score a kill hit if hit placement is prime. Granted a .22LR has more velocity to bleed off in a chest cavity compared to 12ga pellets. But a few hundred pellets beats a HV .22LR

    I am not saying 12ga birdshot is ideal. But in an apartment where collateral damage is a high concern, buckshot is not as good as birdshot. Buckshot will punch through thin interior walls and be more than lethal velocity to anyone in the next room. Birdshot would still be lethal in the next room but not as readily as buckshot.

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