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Why 00 buck?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by ccsniper, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. ccsniper

    ccsniper member

    I have been doing a lot of research lately on the best buckshot loads and to become a better shot-gunner especially in the area of home defense. In my research it seems that 1 Buck comes off as the best all around home defense round for shotguns. I have read on several different websites that 1 buck offers a perfect compromise of shot count to penetration etc. Why then is it not more common? I have never even seen a 1 buck round in person, My shotgun is currently loaded with 0 buck because I prefer 12 pellets to 9, and I don't see enough difference between .33 and .32 or 54 grains vs 48 grains per pellet to reduce pellet count. If I could find 1 buck it would probably be loaded in my shotgun (considering it patterned well). Thoughts?
  2. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

    I agree with your logic about using the #1 over the 00, and recently scored several boxes of Winchester SuperX #1 buck for my bedside Mossy 500. I tried to find it locally, but no joy. I ended up getting some pretty reasonably from someplace like LG outdoors (IIRC).
    I'm assuming the civilian popularity of 00 buck over #1 is due to the fact that 00 is so commonly used by military and law enforecement, so the old "monkey see/monkey do" thing is in effect, just like with drop-leg holsters, load bearing vests, and all the other tactical,mall ninja,wanna-be "operator" stuff that's selling like hotcakes on the interwebz. Well, at least that's my take on it :D.
  3. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Well-Known Member

    00-buck is the best "balanced" buck and is easiest for the manuf. to produce on high-speed equipment.
    It has 3 pellets per layer and 3 deep with a standard "high-velocity" loading in the 2-3/4" shells.

    From personal experience, I'd suggest the standard #4 buck loading for self defense at close range in a confined area. It has less penetration on things such as dry wall, ect. I've even seen it fail to penetrate auto glass (drivers side window) at ranges of 50ft or greater. This makes it a "less" hazardous loading for uninteded targets down range.

    However, I've also seen deer brought down with it at ranges as far as 80yds. (3" magnum load w/41pellets from full choke... head-hold by experienced shooter on stationary deer...

    The #1 buck is indeed an excellent loading. With standard 2-3/4" loads, you get 20 pellets. It was the issue ammo when I was a police officer working for a small Department in E.Alabama in the late '70's. (Above mentioned hunter was the Police Chief !). The 3" loading is even better w/24pellets. (Pellets are 4 per layer. I've shot most of the deer I've taken with a shotgun (w/buckshot) with #1.
    I've even got a load w/#1 for the 20ga. I load 10 in a 2-3/4" hull over 17.6gr of Hodgdon LongShot with the Remington SP20 wad with the "fingers" cut off, and buffered... I get 10" patterns at 25yds from a modified choke (best) and have taken 3 deer with 3 shots..... (about 30yd average shot distance...). Why this loading isn't available commercially baffles me. It is as good as most 12ga 9 pellet 00-buck loads on deer.

    I've loaded buck shot for hunting using #4, #1, 00, 000, and .375" in .410. My favorite is the 000 in 12ga. I got 100% patterns at 40yds w/10 pellet 3" magnum loads. This is an awsome performer on deer/bear and is a standard with many Alaska guides for going in the alders after a wounded bear. However, I have to cast my own as it is prohibitlively expensive to order/ship. Likewise, I cast my own #4 (Lee gang mould), #1 (.310" rd ball mould); 00 (.330" mould); 000 (.350" mould) and .375".

    However, the "reduced" recoil 00 "law enforcement" loads are great for their intended purpose. You ought to try these. They make follow-up shots easier from pump (fixed breech) guns (less recoil).

    You can order most any load available off the internet. I suggest trying Grafs.com or MidwayUSA.com.
  4. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    #1 buck represents the triumph of theory over experience IMHO. The numbers all say it ought to be the best thing going - but the pattern board (for me) says 00 beats it hands down on a regular basis, and has done so consistently (for me) for some thirty years now.

    YMMV of course... and if I could find a barrel that patterned #1 buck to my satisfaction, I'd definitely use it.
  5. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Well-Known Member

    99% of my shotgun shooting is with buckshot and slugs. I use the shotgun in a personal protection or deer/hog hunting in heavy cover role more than a shooting aerial targets role.

    #4 Buckshot - Great for apartment or small house defense where overpenetration might be a concern. It works really well in the standard or magnum loading on varmints like coyotes or bobcats out to 40 yards or so with a load/choke combination that your shotgun likes.

    #1 Buckshot - Have tested these since many authorities consider them the best choice for self defense and as previously mentioned by another poster I also have not had much luck with tight patterns, even with modified or full chokes. Federal now makes a #1 Buckshot load with the Flitecontrol Wad, but IME it is very hard to find and I will test it when I can find it :).

    0 Buckshot - My local Academy store has this in stock and I had high hopes with this load offering 12 pellets of .32 caliber buckshot. From the Remington 870 Express HD with 18 inch cylinder choke barrel I do most of testing with this load barely stays on a B-27 Silhouette at 50 ft.

    00 Buckshot - The Federal Flitecontrol Buckshot is the king in this pellet size. Racquetball size groups at 50 feet and 15 inch patterns at 50 yards. Federal makes three different Flitecontrol loadings 1145fps (LE132 00), 1325fps (LE127 00), and 3 inch Magnum 00 with 12 pellets in the Vital-Shok (PFC157) line. If I am presented with a hunting opportunity with the buckshot loaded shotgun, the 3 inch Magnum Flitecontrol 00 is probably what I will have loaded.

    000 Buckshot - For four legged animals this is a good choice. For two legged varmints all of the pellets will probably exit the body in just about every case. After doing some recent testing, I decided what the heck and shot some Remington Express 3 inch Magnum 000 Buckshot (10 pellets) through a Remington Factory Extra Full Turkey Choke at 50 feet, and was rewarded with a fist sized pattern. The Remington Factory Extra Full Turkey Choke is about .687 and did not exhibit any problems with pellet deformation on target that I could see. Only a slightly larger pattern than the 3 inch Magnum Federal Flitecontrol 00 Buckshot shot at the same distance, and about a buck cheaper a box.

    These are some of my observations. If ya'll were asking what time it is and I told ya'll how to build a clock, I apologize :).

    Just my .02,
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  6. 303tom

    303tom member

    For HD loads I use maximum load #4`s...................
  7. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

    Anyone surviving (and continuing to put up much of a fight) home defense distance 00, 1, 0, 4, buckshot means you're probably fighting the terminator...

    These debates about trivial differences in energy and pellets is funny. If you seriously think about this, someone getting shot at 10 feet with a 12 gauge is going to simply ruin his day. While there may be anectdotal evidence of a person here and there surviving, I think it is safe to say that at 20 feet or less, a full shot of buckshot is going to take the fight out of the recipient. Use what you are comfortable with, can handle the recoil, is available and affordable to train with and pattern your shotty and sleep soundly knowing that if you do your part, and aim true, the ammo will do its part.

    BTW, I expect you'd have time for a followup shot.
  8. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Well-Known Member

    I've killed two deer with #1 Buck. One was at a dead run at about 30 yards, the other was standing still at about 60 yards. That was proof enough for me.
  9. Youngster

    Youngster Well-Known Member

    I see 9 pellet 00 2 3/4 as a mediocre compromise, you don't get a lot of pellets and those pellets are nothing special on an individual basis.

    Most major brand 00 pellets seems to be closer in size to 0 these days, given the need to fit 3-across in a shell with a shotcup.

    I'm not saying it doesn't work but I think ease of manufacturing has more to do with its popularity than anything.

    I prefer #1B or 000, which gives you either a lot of pellets of sufficient size, or ones that are noticiably more impressive downrange than 00.
  10. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Well-Known Member

  11. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Well-Known Member

    Excellent...thanks for the info.

    Just my .02,
  12. jdh

    jdh Well-Known Member

    Wonder why it is never on the shelf in the Austin store.
  13. ccsniper

    ccsniper member

  14. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    If you want something that has "less penetration on drywall" you're basically going to need to go airsoft or paintball. Anything decent for HD will penetrate several walls. The reason to go down to #1 or #4 buck isn't that it has less penetration - it's the greater number of wound channels and greater combined surface area of the smaller pellets. 9 pellets of 00-buck has 0.8 sq in of surface area. 27 pellets of #4 has 1.22 sq in of surface area.

    In the end, your "optimal" load is the lowest number that will penetrate enough. Some people think that the lettered birdshot is enough. Others think #1 or #4 are. I don't think too many people think you "need" 00-buck, but it is very readily available.
  15. chrt396

    chrt396 Well-Known Member

    Heck...I thought 7 1/2 birdshot would ruin ANYONE'S day!! I've seen what it can do at 10 feet to a cured 2x6, so I can only imagine if I unload 2-3 rounds in succession...chances are..the bad guy ain't movin'!
  16. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    Problem is you have a gruesome, shallow wound that may not penetrate through to the vitals. Against a determined attacker, it won't be enough.
  17. 45_auto

    45_auto Well-Known Member

    You've obviously never seen someone shot with #7 1/2 birdshot from a range of 10 feet (3 yards). There's no difference in ANY shotgun load at that range.
  18. matrem

    matrem Well-Known Member

    You're sadly mistaken.
    I had to kill a dog about 20 years ago at close range with 12ga #6 shot. I didn't get bit, but performance was very underwhelming to say the least and multiple hits had to be involved.
  19. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Well-Known Member

    Birdshot is for birds.

    Listen to Mr. Skribs in posts #14 and #16. He speaks the truth.

    I have seen a person shot with #8 birdshot at 10 feet, and he was conscious, breathing, and talking when I interviewed him in the ER after his wife shot him in the abdomen while he was chasing her around the house with a knife during a dosmetic disturbance. He served his jail sentence and is currently alive with a colostomy bag.

    I have seen a person shot with 00 Buckshot at 10 feet. DRT.

    Don't play around with your personal safety and the safety of your loved ones.

    Just my .02,
  20. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Well-Known Member

    That's what the website says. It's not enforced. I'm not active LE nor military and I had no problem ordering 50 rounds.

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