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Effective buckshot range

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by redneck2, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    What is the effective range of OO buckshot in terms of penetration? I'm NOT concerned about pattern density, just penetration value. Guess something like performance in ballistic gel would be a help.

    FLNT4EVR Well-Known Member

    Check out the BOX O TRUTH website .It has all kinds of penetration tests.
  3. snooperman

    snooperman Well-Known Member

    Velocity is lost fast with buckshot

    Do not hold me to it , but I believe the effective range of OO buckshot is about 25 yards in a 12 ga gun. I heard people say 35 but the penetration is not there and that is important for stopping a bad guy. Also the choke of the gun counts for something too. I hope others will chime in on this as I am not completely sure about the above as my memory is not as good as it once was.
  4. rondog

    rondog Well-Known Member

    I'm sure within any legally justified self-defense distance, penetration would be just ducky. You can't just shoot bad guys at any old distance, they need to be close enough to be a valid threat to CYA. Now, hunting aminals with 00 might be another story.
  5. wrs840

    wrs840 Well-Known Member

    I think we should assume he's shooting at coyotes or such.

  6. Youngster

    Youngster Well-Known Member

    Buckshot can cause lethal wounds as far out as you're ever likely to hit with it but the penetration tends to get erratic at around 35 yards, or closer in cases where you have small and/or badly deformed pellets.
  7. snooperman

    snooperman Well-Known Member

    Box o truth

    I just got off 2 web sites and in a home defense gun of 20" barrels and cylinder choke, for every yard you are away from the bad guy, the spread is about ! inch. 10 yards would be about 10 inch spread. In side a house, cylinder bore choke is OK but if you are outside and the diastance is 20 yards, than you will get a 20 inch spread, which is not good. A full choke gun is great for hunting deer in the brush at 35 yards with 28 inch barrel but in the house it would not be a good choice for home defense. This is of course with OO buckshot. The penetration is not good with a cylinder bore beyond about 18 yards. I hope this helps but you need to be very specific about your use , distance , barrel length, and choke because there are so many variables in determining the " EFFECTIVE RANGE" of ammunition used.
  8. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    Everyone assumes this, that, and everything else. I've got 18 pellets, and you have no idea what the choke is.

    Go back and read the original question.
  9. wrs840

    wrs840 Well-Known Member


    The Title of the thread and first five words of your original post must have thrown me.

  10. jfdavis58

    jfdavis58 Well-Known Member

    I rather doubt you'll get or find what you are looking for: shotgun self defense penetration effectiveness. The cost effectiveness of a slab of gelatin with a 3 or 4 foot square impact face is not.

    About the best one might do is extrapolate the information at Box O Truth along with some of the biased and slanted personal anecdotal information scattered throughout the web.

    Penetration, roughly:
    Birdshot doesn't although the surface wound ranges from bad to horrific,
    Buckshot does penetrate deep enough at short distances probably less than 10 yard but on occasion further and larger pellets go deeper than smaller,
    Slugs are simply awful, deep penetration, wide channel, no expansion predictable.

    Let me know if you find and gelatin tests-I'd be interested...
  11. Snowdog

    Snowdog Well-Known Member

    The ballistic coefficient of a sphere is garbage compared to anything conical. I remember learning that a few years ago when finding that the same .454 lead RB that would BLAST throught a 2x4 at 7 paces (from a Pietta Remington 1858) would bounce off and leave a shallow dent at 80 yards or so.
    I would think buckshot would be the same way but to a more pronounced degree (having started off with less mass from the muzzle).
  12. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    I can only tell you that I saw a bad guy, who had just stabbed a bartender to death, shot from 39 yards with a Remington load of 00 buck (9 pellets), as he was trying to bring a gun to bear on a fellow Deputy. Seven of the pellets hit said bad guy, rendering him DOA.

    He had driven his car through the front of a large sporting goods store across the street from the bar and was trying to load shotgun shells into a shotgun from a rack behind the gun counter. He refused numerous commands to drop the gun and raise his hands, and when he turned towards the Deputy with the shotgun in his hands and raised it, the Deputy fired his Remington 870 at him. Our 870's carried either 18" or 20" barrels, depending on when they were purchased, and all had cylinder bore barrels. One round of 00 buck went over the bad guy's shoulder and imbedded in the stock of another shotgun, and the other errant 00 buck went into the wall behind the gun rack.

    As it turned out, and was only learned after it was all over, the bad guy was trying to load 12 gauge shells into the only 16 gauge shotgun in the rack.... This was in 1971, and before they required that all long guns be chained or locked when the business was closed.

    Whether this answers your question or not, I don't know, but this is first hand knowledge, since I was there.

    Hope this helps.

  13. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    Fred....that's more what I was looking for. I've got an SP-10. Shells are 3 1/2" with 18 pellets each. Modified, full, or super full turkey chokes.

    I did check with Mr Google. Found one article that said effective penetrating range was 50-75 yards. Obviously, factors like clothing, etc. would change the outcome.
    I'm a pretty big fan of the Box 'O Truth. I worked in a gun shop for two years and heard every idiot story about shooting that's ever been dreamed up. Nice to have some real world stuff.

    Looking back, we used to fox hunt when I was a kid. Most guys used 2 3/4" with BB or #4 buck, full choke. Kills at 40+ yards were not uncommon. Fox is a pretty little critter but they've got a lot of fur.

    I have a friend that was shooting his .25 auto. Used an old broken heavy plastic tote as a backstop. Rounds bounced off the plastic at 10 yards. None broke through.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  14. snooperman

    snooperman Well-Known Member

    Redneck 2

    Your question was about "EFFECTIVE RANGE" of OO buckshot and "PENETRATION". Penetration in WHAT? You did not say. Are we suppose to be mind readers here. It makes a big difference when the penetration is in Cows, deer, or humans , gel, Etc. Tests have to be done on that only after all available data, such as barrel length, choke type and ammunition mass has been determined. There are mathematical formulas to determine what you want , but you can not in science, just pull out of thin air ,answers to technical questions, without testing it scientifically or go to some place where it has already been done . My 10 cents Retired Physics & Chemistry teacher, Snooperman
  15. snooperman

    snooperman Well-Known Member

    O.k. You say gel tests , i see

    EASY--- Go buy some gel and shoot YOUR GUN with said ammo in it at the distance you want and you will answer your question without nary a problem.
  16. RetiredLawman

    RetiredLawman Well-Known Member

    My hunting club dog hunts early in the season. We have had some of the members shoot at deer over 100 yards away and one buckshot did the trick with a lucky hit. I don't recommend it for extreme ranges but we've dug out 000 buckshot that went deep enough to kill at 100+ yards. All it takes is one shot in a vital spot. Remember, we don't like for the members to take these long shots, but buck fever numbs the mind.

    Now, if we could prevent the shot from spreading so much, I think that 100 yards would be fatal. We use modified and IC chokes and they hold the pattern better than full chokes. We have over 8,000 acres we lease and it is full of deer and all other critters. To keep the deer and coyote population down, we dog hunt early and still hunt later in the season.
  17. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    Buckshot can be used effectively at over a 100 yds it can be lethal at up to 1/4 mile or more.

    Most people confuse potential "effectiveness" with how far they can or have effectively hit something and confuse that effectiveness as a limit to potential lethality. Many shooters have no realistic idea how potentially dangerous their gun is.
  18. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    Even easier is to find someone that's already done it.
    See....someone has the answer, and I didn't have to mix up any jello to find out

    I've been dusted with #6 shot while rabbit hunting. I was maybe 80-90 yards out and knew it was coming. I was wearing a Carhart jacket. Shot bounced off the frozen ground and bounced off me. No biggie. Obviously 00 is a different program.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  19. snooperman

    snooperman Well-Known Member

    Redneck 2 - I hope this helps

    I called Remington and asked about their OO buckshot ammo for home defense , 9 pellets, and the ammo manager stated that their buffered home defense 12 guage OO buckshot was "Highly effective "at 40 yards. I also called Federal and got the same reply. When I pressed them for more information on "PENETRATION" they would not comment on it. That said, I have on many occasions shot deer on my farm in the brush with OO buckshot , using my 12 gauge modified choke Ithaca pump with 26" barrel, at distances from 35 to 44 yards and found them dead a few yards from where they were shot. This is with a 23/4" shell. I can not find any information on penetration tests yet and it is a an expensive way to do it if one has to buy the gel. One can find much info on handgun ammo for penetration tests but not much for shotguns. I will put my wife on this as she is better with the computer than me.
  20. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    There's a couple of reasons this may be important.

    First is a defense situation.

    Second is a downrange "unintended consequence" of any shooting situation

    Third would be hunting

    I have a friend that had a ND back in his youth with a Trapdoor .45-70. 500 grains at mebbe 1,300 fps. Slug went thru the bedroom wall, thru the easy chair his aunt had been sitting in just a few minutes prior, thru the big cabinet TV, thru the outside wall of the house, and lodged in the outside wall of the neighbors house.

    Now, I well understand that there's a difference between 500 grains and buckshot. I'm just trying to get a grasp on how much.

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