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Less lethal 12 gauge HD rounds

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Jomax, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. Jomax

    Jomax Well-Known Member

    Overpenetration is of significant importance as my neighbors' walls are just 6' (2 yds.) from mine. No one's house walls are brick or cinderblock. Just stucco over chicken wire and styrofoam over 5/8" exterior grade sheathing on 16" center wooden studs. 1/2" drywall inside throughout. Such is life in a development.

    All that said, what are the best choices for a home defense Mossberg 500 12ga? The entire house is barely 50' long (17 yds.) by 30' wide (10 yds.).

    Are these exotic less lethal rounds that contain rubber projectiles worth a look? Slugs?
  2. cdcmj

    cdcmj Well-Known Member

    well id wait for others input, but certainly not slugs..
  3. takhtakaal

    takhtakaal Well-Known Member

    Consider bird shot. 6 and 8 is usually effective at in-house ranges without overpenetrating. I'm not sure that I would be using anything that would just PO someone for HD.
  4. 2TransAms

    2TransAms Well-Known Member

    I'd just say to be sure of your target and don't miss. It's not like you're gonna be taking random potshots.
  5. Oldnamvet

    Oldnamvet Well-Known Member

  6. RioShooter

    RioShooter Well-Known Member

  7. RyanM

    RyanM Well-Known Member

    Birdshot would be very ineffective. Same with rubber bullets or beanbag rounds. I'd suggest making some kind of plan on what rooms to hole up in (and plan for different rooms, depending on where you are if a break in happens), so that the only direction a bad guy can come at you is not the direction the neighbors' house is in, if that's at all possible. #1 buckshot is the smallest that will consistently penetrate to the FBI's minimum specification.
  8. earplug

    earplug Well-Known Member

    Birdshot is most assuredly effective at typical indoor ranges. I would be hard pressed to find a better round inside of twenty feet then a typical 12 ga.game load. 4 or 6 shot will be fine.
    At that distance your pattern would be about 8-10 inches accross.
  9. Fast Frank

    Fast Frank Well-Known Member

    I think that we need to decide what the number one priority is for our home defense load, and then match the round to that priority.

    Let's see... could that number one priority possibly be stopping a life threatening attack?

    (It better be, or you have no business firing that shotgun)

    If you want to trust a shotgun shell that was designed for hunting doves to stop a life threatening attack, go for it.

    Personally, I would prefer a shotgun shell that was designed to stop a life threatening attack.

    Why would I send buckshot through the wall?

    I will not fire my defensive weapon unless I am actively defending against a life threatening attack. That puts me in a defensive position and the bad guy moving toward me.

    I will not miss.

    Practice with your shotgun, and use 00 for bad guys.
  10. berettashotgun

    berettashotgun Well-Known Member

    Just throw a brick if you want less than lethal.
    WHAT'S THE POINT??????????????????????????
  11. takhtakaal

    takhtakaal Well-Known Member

  12. Jomax

    Jomax Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info and the links, folks. I appreciate the response. In answer to my question, it would seem then that the first round should be #6 birdshot and, if necessary, the follow-up rounds #1 buck.
  13. RyanM

    RyanM Well-Known Member

    I don't know that having the first shot be birdshot is such a good idea. The first shot in a gunfight is most likely to be the decisive one. It's also the most likely to hit, since you'll have more time to aim than with follow up shots. So your first shot should be as effective as possible.

    And birdshot will not do all that well. Here's #8 birdshot at close range, for instance.


    Note the calibration BB penetrated 12.5 cm. Optimum calibration is 590 fps and 8.5 cm. Corrected penetration depth of the birdshot is 3.5". That is not enough.

    #4 birdshot.


    Deep calibration again. Corrected penetration depth is 5.4". Once again, not nearly enough.
  14. bad LT

    bad LT Well-Known Member

    See if you can get your hands on some shells with smaller BUCKSHOT (Possibly #4-#1 Buck). They do not penetrate quite as much as OO buck, but penetrate much better than bird shot. When living in an apartment, my shotgun was stocked with #4 buck.
  15. Rampant_Colt

    Rampant_Colt Well-Known Member

    First round less-lethal? Why? Birdshot? Why? :banghead:

    What if a home invader is shot with said less-lethal round? He's mad now and shoots back at you... What do you do then? What if the bad guy is tweaked-out on meth or coke[or both!] and doesn't think your less-lethal rubber balls will dissuade his criminal activities.

    Forget the birdshot that may 'get the job done' BS and opt for a minimum of #4 buckshot for home defense.

    birdshot may cause a serious wound
    birdshot may stop or halt the threat
    birdshot may end hostilities

    At least with buckshot it rules out many of the "if's" regarding the terminal effects of birdshot. Buckshot may not work 100% of the time, but the odds will be stacked greater in your favor.
  16. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member

    "Birdshot would be very ineffective."

    Tell that to Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch. He recommends #6 shot.
  17. JNewell

    JNewell Well-Known Member

    It _may_ be effective, but it will not _most assuredly_ be effective - at least, not fast enough at those distances to be useful. Check the link above for details. While it's probably true that nothing is guaranteed to be effective all the time, there are better and worse choices.

    The old LAPD No. 4 Buck load has been pretty well discredited, at least in comparison to larger buckshot payloads, but it might be a better balance.

    The key is not missing, since as you point out at those distances _anything_ is going to be in a near-laser cone. The original poster would be well served by getting good, professional training, if he hasn't already had some.
  18. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    With all due respect- Clint Smith ain't gonna be present if I have a gunfight (but Louis Awerbuck will be the angel on my shoulder, yelling in my ear :D ).

    I use 00 buck, with slugs in the SideSaddle if needed. YMMV of course.

  19. Creature

    Creature Well-Known Member

    Same...00 buck or slug used here. No messing around for me with a balancing act of lethality vs not hurting my neighbors. I want the scales tipped in my favor as much as possible with every shot I make at the BG's.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2007
  20. Jomax

    Jomax Well-Known Member

    I sincerely thank everyone for their comments and suggestions. Obviously, the issue of ammunition is not as cut and dried as I thought it might be. But, the replies and information within the links have given me a lot of food for thought and so I've decided that I will forego the use of a shotgun for home defense and stick with a handgun instead.

    In my particular case, there are simply too many variables too close by for me to consider and those concerns may contribute to a subconscious hesitation factor that, in a split second, could make all the difference in the world and get me hurt or killed in the process of defending myself and my home.

    Thanks again for the input, folks. It's been very helpful.

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