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Defensive Ammunition 101

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Dave McCracken, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Inebriated

    Inebriated Well-Known Member

    Yup. The nice thing about shotguns is that it doesn't really matter what you shoot (wally world birdshot aside), it's all expensive. So no reason NOT to shoot what you plan to use lol.
  2. Eb1

    Eb1 Well-Known Member

    Well. Our home is protected by 20 gauge #3 buckshot. Longest shot to defend my family is 40 feet..

    Pray we are all safe from predators.
  3. ZVP

    ZVP Well-Known Member

    A little disheartened

    I biught a sweet Sroger 20 ga SxS as a back-up gun for ny 12 ga bd especally because both the wife and I have weak left sholders from injuries. At the beginning of this string I read that you should use no buckshot larger THAN #2 in a 20 ga! Right now #4 is really hard to find with the ammo panic.
    as I said. the 20 is a back-up and loaded with a heavy #4 Phesant load, does some real damage at 15 ft! The wife can handle the recoil of the plesant shooting Uplander So untill I find that #4 Buckshot we will have to use it with Phesant loads and slugs (I dunno about her and slugs???)
    I just mounted a slip-om KickEEZ. I opted for the slip-on because in the past slip-on's have giben me a better recoil reduction. It;s like the air pocket adds to the dampening effect! Heck. get all you can when it comes to recoil reduction!
    The Stoger SxS came with a good factory mounted pad that honestly reduces Target loads and
    felt recoil to that of my RWS 52 Magnum Air rifle!
    Teamwork seems to be the answer to home defense for us!
    I foresee the need for some pretty well thought out pratice.
    We have to divide the house into defensible quadrents. Teamwork!
  4. kalbo

    kalbo Member

    load my own.

    i load mine in federal gold medal hulls with 12 0-buck or 15 #1 buck. hope i never have to use it on anyone, but if i have to i think it will work just fine.
  5. swampcrawler

    swampcrawler Well-Known Member

    ^^ I thought the use of handloads was pretty universally discouraged due to legality issues?
  6. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Well-Known Member

    Nope. Seems this is far more urban legend than actual fact.

    People would do far better understanding the laws regarding the use of deadly force in their jurisdiction and making darn sure they meet the wickets for a justifiable shooting should all else fail them. It's these details which are far more likely to fry someone on a self-defense shooting in court.

    Here's a short string I found on this:


    The biggest issue with handloads seems to be more from a forensics standpoint than from a legal attack by a lawyer. Forensics experts have a much more difficult time pasting together all the details of a shooting from handloads of non-standard factory loads or otherwise unknown variables.
  7. ericp1

    ericp1 Member

    FWIW, In my Mossberg 500 12ga, I have 6x (1 chamber, 5 mag) #4 buck. Read many places that #4-#1 buck can stop the perp without too much peripheral damage. Larger goes through the body and takes out your water heater etc. Gun is hot (but with safety on) at all times. Funny story: had just come from Sporting Clays range and swapped 28 field barrel for 18.5 tactical. Doorbell rang. Was a solicitor (despite multiple signs). Walked to door with 12ga. 68# dog was right next to me. Opened door, asked solicitor whether he was unable to read the signs. When he saw me (I look like a Viking Berserker), 6# coal black dog, and 12ga locked and cocked, he rapidly retreated. I suspect I am no longer on his solicitation list.
  8. stressed

    stressed Well-Known Member

    Lowest I would go is #1 buck, which size and pellet count is a good load for man. 0 buck, then 00 buck are also good.

    Here is something to throw in there. OK, you hear the clumsy boots up at the top. And two more pairs in the kitchen. You slowly approach, and peek out as the suspect is looking into the first room, and see he is armed with a Kalashnikov. Now what? Do you feel sufficient enough with what you have loaded? What do you do now? You have about a second to react. What are you going to do? If someone is going to perpetrate a home invasion, it's a good chance they will be armed and have accomplices.
  9. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound Well-Known Member


    Love that mental picture,
    Viking Berserker, 68# coal black dog LOL

    Found a GREAT SD round!

    Noble Sport Mini-Buck!
    Reduced recoil,. 9 count - 00 Buck, 1-3/4" long,
    10 count for $7.70 !!!
  10. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 Well-Known Member

    I always shoot to stop, not kill. If the slug in the heart happens to kill the subject, Oh Well.

    I presently have 10 25 round boxes of 2 3/4" 9 pellet 12ga shells left over from the Rodney King Riots. However my main SD weapon is my Sig 226 357Sig or .40 depending on which barrel I have in it.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
  11. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    1-3/4" long

    Make sure they will function reliably in your shotgun before you use them 'for serious'...
  12. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound Well-Known Member

    They did great in the Mossberg 500, except last shell OUT twisted...
    Made the first one IN a full sized, and ALL cycled perfectly! Even during
    Live Fire! Cycling them out w/o firing showed the flaw. It's All Good!
  13. ericp1

    ericp1 Member

    The instructor who sold me the shotgun advised #4 buck. When I went to favorite local gun store, they advised #4 buck. CCW instructor advised #4 buck.
    Is anyone surprised that my Mossberg 500 has 6 rounds #4 buck?
  14. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    Where shotguns are concerned, there are no stone tablets writ by the finger of God and brought down from the mountain by Moses.

    I don't care who told you what, where, how many times.

    What I do care about is how much YOU have experimented/demonstrated/proven/patterned/experienced/trained/practiced with YOUR shotgun and YOUR finger on the trigger.

    THAT is worth talking about. Everything else is pretty much hearsay.

    A pile of hulls that you have fired is not hearsay...
  15. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound Well-Known Member

    Very Nice, Fred Fuller... Very Nice!
  16. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    Pretty much the sort of thing Dave McC said for years here... it isn't just me :D
  17. mr.trooper

    mr.trooper Well-Known Member

    re-reading the OP and this thread.

    I've got to say, in my admittedly limited experience, "disrupting the central nervous system" is certainly not "normally required to stop the threat".

    Most 'hardened' killers, rapists, and mental wackos give up the second someone gets smoked - even in a group. The only consistent exception to this is when the criminal is high with some kind of drug, or very drunk.

    Criminals understand force. Many of them ONLY understand force. When someone is willing to level a weapon at them and pull the trigger, 99% of the time they want no more part of whatever is going down - be the projectile rubber slugs, blocks of wood, or lumps of lead. Tacti-cool "CNS disruption" not normally required.
  18. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    The only consistent exception to this is when the criminal is high with some kind of drug, or very drunk.

    Or living in Miami, perhaps? Might be something about that subtropical air...

    A perception that many have held the intervening years is that the eight FBI agents' marksmanship was gravely lacking. Not so, argues Dr. Anderson, and presents a persuasive brief that a number of FBI hits were good ones; they just happened to run up against two highly trained (military police, 101st Airborne and Rangers), well-practiced (approximately 750-1,500 rounds per week which they had purchased or robbed from several unfortunate civilians plinking in the Everglades), and extremely focussed individuals in Platt and Matix. The FBI fired a verified 70 rounds (possibly as many as 77 or 78) and delivered 18 wounds to the bad guys, firing at extremely hostile targets obscured by gunsmoke, considerable amounts of dust and debris from the crashing, careening cars, and the deep shadows of the trees beneath which their vehicle came to rest.

    Among those wounds, McNeill hit Matix with that head shot plus a neck/chest shot early on in the fight; Dove delivered that difficult hit as Platt was wriggling from the passenger window of the Monte Carlo, as well as two others; Risner (from 30 yards!) also made a lethal chest wound on Platt in mid-fight; and Mireles, after his shotgun blast had delayed Platt with four 00 foot wounds, had one-handedly put three rounds into Matix's head and two into Platt (one central nervous system, one scalp) all while himself gravely wounded.

    An adversary gets hit square in the head with a 158-grain +P, and he isn't stopped, you are having a bad day! McNeill, Mireles and Hanlon had bad days… only Grogan and Dove had worse ones. In light of this information, perhaps John Hall's "ammo failure" assessment has some merit… but then as a war veteran chum with more than three dozen confirmed kills continually asserts, "the more I see of this stuff, the more I'm convinced that nothing hand-held is absolutely reliable."

    This is one reason why Dr. Anderson undertook such a time-consuming labor of love, as he related in an interview with the author. "I've been fortunate in life," he avers simply and with characteristic modesty. "And the law enforcement community has taken good care of me, witness that I am still alive after a number of death threats I have received." (Bio chemists involved in genetic engineering are viewed with considerable alarm in many fundamentalist sectors.)

    So, long fascinated with the "nuts 'n' bolts" of the Miami Massacre, Dr. Anderson set about to answer some lingering questions in his and the minds of many who have studied that bloody suburban firefight.

    Through interviews with the six surviving Agents, Sgt. Rivers and P.O. Martin Heckman of the Metro-Dade P.D., civilian witness to the firefight Sidney Martin, and the post mortem reports, photographs, x-rays, slides, notes and ancillary materials provided by Dr. Jay Barnhart, the Metro-Dade County Medical Examiner who actually responded to the crime scene between 120th and 124th Streets, and subsequently performed the autopsies, Dr. Anderson uncovers some previously obscured "truths" about that bloody Friday morning, all of which are documented and substantiated in his fully detailed volume.

    Forensic Analysis of the April 11, 1986, FBI Firefight is truly a magnificent achievement, with never-before seen full color crime scene and autopsy photos, as well as painstakingly detailed graphic illustrations of not only the Miami killing field, but the wounds Platt and Matix received. At the risk of sounding like a certain writer who opined that the Colt's All-America 2000 "instantly made the 1911 design obsolete," it is my view and others with whom I have consulted, that Dr. Anderson's oeuvre has immediately taken its position as the standard text in this benignly neglected genre.

    Certainly it is an indispensable adjunct of every wound ballistics student's bookshelf, or that of those interested in gun fights, and the volume is finally available to the general public.

    What Dr. Anderson's extraordinary artifact shows in graphic and detailed color, is that on 11 April 1986 there were three huge pairs of balls on Miami's Southwest 82nd Avenue… fortunately for the good guys, the biggest set belonged to Ed Mireles and with the aid of some solid hits from Gordon McNeill, Ron Risner and Jerry Dove, the good guys won, but at a terrible expense of life.

    -- http://www.thegunzone.com/11april86b.html
  19. redstategunnut

    redstategunnut Active Member


    I vote 00BUCK and 1 ounce slugs.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  20. hwmoore

    hwmoore Active Member

    "the more I see of this stuff, the more I'm convinced that nothing hand-held is absolutely reliable." Yep I agree Phineas P. Gage took a 1 1/4 tamping bar through is head exiting out the top walked upright with little assistance to a cart to get treatment and lived for 12 more years

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