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Old January 15, 2016, 06:41 PM   #1
mugsie
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Anyone have an opinion on 12ga home defense loads?

Anyone have an opinion on HD loads?
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Old January 15, 2016, 07:35 PM   #2
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There is more information out there than I can read. The only consensus I see is that over penetration is an issue with slugs. There are guys who are fine with #7 birdshot while others will consider nothing less that 00 buckshot. I know the FBI used to use #4 buckshot. I haven't read anyone using #4 birdshot yet.
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Old January 15, 2016, 07:51 PM   #3
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Use the biggest shot available. While shotguns do work, they are very over hyped. They do fail and don't work nearly as well as Hollywood has made many of us believe.

I'd only recommend bird shot if it is your only option. Even then I'd use the largest shot size I had.
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Old January 15, 2016, 08:13 PM   #4
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Not an opinion as much as a belief. Which is: bigger is better and cheaper is best.
I prefer the biggest loads I can handle as comfortably and cheap as I can get them so I can practice as much as possible. Found a few boxes of herters 6 ball 00 12 gage mini shells today for about $5 each. That's good enough for me on both counts
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Old January 15, 2016, 08:24 PM   #5
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From what I understand, the Federal Flite-Control stuff is top notch.
As for pellet size, you can't go wrong with the old standard, 00-buck, but I've heard a good case made for the #4 buck, too. I'd say pretty much anything in this range, as long as your gun cycles it, is gonna be more than sufficient. Reliability is paramount, especially when we're talking about self defense inside of 5-15 yards.
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Old January 15, 2016, 08:42 PM   #6
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00 buckshot, in quantity, because practice is the most important part.
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Old January 15, 2016, 08:50 PM   #7
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I like #1 buck in 12 gauge.
Win Super-X patterns well for me.
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Old January 15, 2016, 09:05 PM   #8
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I prefer #00 buck, but it's just my wife and the pooch at home. My other choice would be #4 buck. And as always a 1911.
It is important to have a specific plan modeled for your home's layout.
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Old January 15, 2016, 09:55 PM   #9
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I use 00 buckshot and 1-ounce slugs, alternating. As for my own shotgun (M870 Tactical), I use Estate buckshot. It patterns nicely to 25 and 35 yards, placing all 12 of the 00 into a 15" steel plate. The Remington 1-ounce Sluggers are quite accurate. We score 100% hits, on a 15" steel plate at 100 yards with ghost sight/front sight.
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Old January 15, 2016, 10:35 PM   #10
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#00 buckshot, without a doubt will stop an attacker, but I worry about over penetration and possibly entering a neighbors house. Any experience with the frangable stuff?
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Old January 15, 2016, 10:45 PM   #11
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The only fragile buck I'm aware of is the Rem. disintegrater 00. I personally wouldn't use it, but im old school.

If overpenetration is a concern I would go down to maybe 4 buck and practice extensively with it. Or, you could always look at using a 223, which from some aspects is better with battling overpenetration. That's a touchy subject, everyone has their view.

Edited to ask: how close are the neighbors?
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Old January 15, 2016, 11:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowFuse View Post
I like #1 buck in 12 gauge.
Win Super-X patterns well for me.
Yes, that in 2&3/4" length at avg Vo of 1250fps is one of the best loads available for HD.
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Old January 16, 2016, 12:02 AM   #13
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I have WIN. PDX1 in my HD 12 ga. It has a smaller slug with 3 00 Buck on top of it. Last round is a #4 Steel shot, because that's what I had handy.
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Old January 16, 2016, 12:33 AM   #14
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I like #1 buck as well. 16x .30 cal wound channels that will penetrate plenty deep to the vital organs, not as much penetration as 00. I also like Hornady low recoil TAP 00, don't think they make it anymore.

#4 to 00, no smaller, you need to stop the threat more than worry about over penetration.
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Old January 16, 2016, 12:56 AM   #15
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The Firearms Tactical Institute report recommends #1 Buck

Quote:
For personal defense and law enforcement applications, the International Wound Ballistics Association advocates number 1 buckshot as being superior to all other buckshot sizes.

Number 1 buck is the smallest diameter shot that reliably and consistently penetrates more than 12 inches of standard ordnance gelatin when fired at typical shotgun engagement distances.

A standard 2 ¾-inch 12 gauge shotshell contains 16 pellets of #1 buck. The total combined cross sectional area of the 16 pellets is 1.13 square inches. Compared to the total combined cross sectional area of the nine pellets in a standard #00 (double-aught) buck shotshell (0.77 square inches), the # 1 buck shotshell has the capacity to produce over 30 percent more potentially effective wound trauma. In all shotshell loads, number 1 buckshot produces more potentially effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck. In addition, number 1 buck is less likely to over-penetrate and exit an attacker's body.

Quote:
The only consensus I see is that over penetration is an issue with slugs.
Some slugs necessarily don't over-penetrate an assailant's body. If you look at the Winchester 12ga Super-X slug, it only penetrates to around 14.50" and expands to 1.24" in ballistic gel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKge3FF0Hx4

But it probably goes through walls and still retains a lot more energy than buckshot.
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Old January 16, 2016, 02:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strambo View Post
I like #1 buck as well. 16x .30 cal wound channels that will penetrate plenty deep to the vital organs, not as much penetration as 00. I also like Hornady low recoil TAP 00, don't think they make it anymore.

#4 to 00, no smaller, you need to stop the threat more than worry about over penetration.
Current commercial #1B pellets usually run close to .286"/33 grains. If .30" pellets are wanted you will have to handload.

Regarding Hornady low recoil TAP 00, I checked out that internet rumor by contacting Hornady several days ago.

Their response:

"No it has not been discontinued. You can find information on this round on our LE website, www.hornadyle.com under Products.

Thank you,

Hornady Law Enforcement Team"
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Old January 16, 2016, 07:18 AM   #17
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#3 buck in the 20 gauge. I use 00 buck in the 12s, because it's cheap and abundant, but I really like #2 buck. When I get around to loading my own again, I'm loading a bunch of #2.
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Old January 16, 2016, 08:30 AM   #18
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Every choice is a compromise. Do you want to maximize payload, number of holes, frontal area of shot, penetration, pattern size, etc?

As long as you stick to at least #4 buckshot or larger, you will probably be ok.
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Old January 16, 2016, 08:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by entropy View Post
I have WIN. PDX1 in my HD 12 ga. It has a smaller slug with 3 00 Buck on top of it. Last round is a #4 Steel shot, because that's what I had handy.

I run that PDX1 through my 870, but I do have two breacher rounds in my side saddle (how we used to run them at my old department, and never got out of the habit). The longest shot in my house is about 15 yards, which if the slug is center-mass, those three pellets should connect as well. If not, that long shot has a stone wall/wood burning stove for a backdrop. Closer in, pellets will hit the body.

I have the segmented slug PDX1, but haven't tried it. Think the original load is superior (works perfectly for my needs), so not really looking to test it.
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Old January 16, 2016, 09:43 AM   #20
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Basic 2 3/4" 00buck for me every time.... A solid center of mass hit with that round is a fight ender. In a standard riot gun we patterned that round to disperse at 1" per meter from the muzzle with an improved cylinder choke (our outfit had a mix of Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 rack grade poppers with simple bead sights that ranged from 18 up to 20"...). At seven meters (that's big room distance in most houses...) we'd find a seven inch pattern every time, a 15" pattern at 15 meters....

With a shotgun, like any other weapon... shot placement is key and you always have to be aware of your surroundings before taking that shot. Yes, buckshot will go right through interior walls so shooting at a target standing in front of your kid's bedroom might not be a good idea... The patterning info I've mentioned was actually done with a variety of weapons - but no one should be shooting a defensive round (not even one...) without having a very good idea of what YOUR shotgun does with given ammo... and at what specific distance. I think it's a good idea for any home defender to do a bit of surveying inside their home and it's immediate surroundings so that they know exactly what distances would be involved in a given situation. You're going to get dramatically different patterns up close than you will at 20 or 30 feet... but you'd still better be aiming -none of this "to whom it may concern" shooting -not if your family's at risk...

In 22 years in law enforcement I only fired one shot (and this was almost forty years ago now..) it was with a basic riot gun at a range of 40 feet with the round described above. As mentioned it ended the incident right then.... For years after that I always had a shotgun in hand on any hot call and never needed to fire another shot but I was always ready and in the middle of things if I could manage it. I've had many, many folks completely disregard a handgun being pointed at them. No one ever ignored that shotgun -well, almost never - and usually the ones that did ignore it were already in full flight...

Whatever round you choose, after you pattern it, what's really needed is a good bit of practice so that you're absolutely confident of your ability to hit what's in front of you when your under serious stress.... Money spent on ammo and practice is worth more to me than any special additions to the basic weapon...
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Old January 16, 2016, 12:30 PM   #21
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Quote:
But it probably goes through walls and still retains a lot more energy than buckshot.
Specifically, yea, that's what I was referencing. Lots of YouTube's out there of shot and slugs vs walls and meat. Sheetrock doesn't appear to be much of an obstacle for slugs. I assume windows are going to be even more of a concern.
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Old January 16, 2016, 12:46 PM   #22
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At household ranges anything #1 Buckshot or larger.

00 Buckshot is the easiest to find, I would try several different buckshot loads at the maximum clear line of sight distance inside your home and determine which loads will stay inside the upper torso.

I have done some testing myself:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...highlight=Rama

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...highlight=Rama

Just my .02,
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Old January 16, 2016, 04:39 PM   #23
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Depends upon your home, its occupancy, location, size, construction and maximum range you may need to shoot. Not only will slugs over penetrate but 00 buck can go through a person too. Go to YouTube and search for shotgun shell penetration. You will get several videos of wall penetration test using different shot size.

In a typical 1,500 to 2,000 sq ft home in an urban area your maximum range will be under 30 ft or 10 yds due to intervening walls so range distance isn't as important as it would be in a rural home where the shotgun is used on animal varmints as well as potential human intruders.

In a small urban apartment with wood frame construction I'd use lead bird shot in the largest size shot I could find, preferably #2 or BB.

For my masonry construction single occupancy family urban house I keep my SD shotgun magazine loaded with a BB load followed by #4 buck followed up by 0-0 buckshot. The buck shot is there if needed and things really go South.

My relatives who farm and live in very rural areas keep their shotgun loaded with #4 or #6 Pheasant to dispatch varmints but there's always rifles available for longer distance needs. I don't know any of them who own a short barreled "tactical" shotgun as they're not practical for their needs as a hunting field gun with longer barrel.
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Old January 17, 2016, 02:06 AM   #24
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00 buck that patterns well at the likely distances you will need it.
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Old January 17, 2016, 03:36 AM   #25
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I have always been a fan of #4buck.large enough pellets without the pent ration of 00 buck. Safer indoor as far as going thru walls and hitting someone in another room is concerned.
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