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Bird Shot for SD?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Archangel14, Aug 5, 2016.

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  1. Archangel14

    Archangel14 Member

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    I know that this topic has been discussed at great length, but in my selfishness I wanted to make a few points and obtain your feedback.

    Having practiced with bird shot I'm surprised at how much damage it does at close range. I've also watched a few internet videos that show what BS can do to flesh at short range. Now, understanding that typical BS is not likely to penetrate to the vitals of a human or other sizable animal, even at close range, would BS still make a suitable SD tool at close ranges? Particularly in a house? In answering my own question my hypothesis is that at short range BS will inflict such sudden, painful, and gruesome flesh injury that the typical assailant will just have to stop. And I should clarify that I'm talking about a typical home invader; no body armor, or anything involved. I can't imagine getting hit with BS at 10-15 feet, center mass, and being able to continue. Add to the scenario the frightfulness of a close range shotgun blast and the obvious potential of follow up shots. Now with that said, let the opinions roll......;)
     
  2. j1

    j1 Member

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    Not a really good idea.

    Great for snakes though.
     
  3. Devonai

    Devonai Member

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    Good luck explaining to the authorities that you met the legal justification for the use of deadly force, but intentionally used less effective ammo to inflict more pain and suffering.
     
  4. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Bad idea IMO. Lots of damage to flesh and muscle, but may not reach the vitals. Proponents (even some pretty well known "internet gun guys") usually spout things like "BS will rathole anything at close range" or they shoot turkeys or pork butt and it looks devastating, but if you measure penetration it's never good.

    I understand why people choose to use it, and that's their decision. Certainly birdshot is better than rock salt or a pointy stick. Me, if I'm forced to shoot someone it's because my life or my family's is in immediate danger and the threat needs to be stopped with deadly force. I have my SD shotgun stoked with buckshot and slugs in the sidesaddle.

    YMMV
     
  5. MrGiggles

    MrGiggles Member

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    Terrible idea.

    In this video at 1:17 you can see what little affect bird shot has even at close range. She walks away and wasn't even expecting it, it wouldn't phase somebody that is full of adrenaline or drugs.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_F_KuFzjOGA
     
  6. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

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    Take a card board box and set it out to 10 feet then hit it with a full load of number 4's!

    At close range bird shot works just like a meat grinder.
     
  7. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    It can be effective, it can also fail. I'd never advise anyone to use birdshot as their primary load. If it is all you have then use what you've got. There is no downside to using buckshot and no advantage to using birdshot, so why choose it.

    Birdshot is preferred in many hunting situations because it is considered safer if another hunter is shot. It isn't all that uncommon for hunters to lose sight of each other and fire at game animals that fly or run between them striking the other hunter. Ask Dick Cheney about that. Hunters wearing thick hunting clothes quite often suffer minimal injuries. You don't have to be wearing body armor to stop birdshot, just a winter jacket.
     
  8. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    :D

    To be safe I'd go with a Carhartt, it will stop Buckshot too. :)
     
  9. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    :rolleyes:

    Next time you're attacked by a cardboard box that'll come in handy.
     
  10. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    A new hunter swung on my buddy's uncle at 20 feet hunting pheasant and shot him with #6 shot from a full choke 12 gauge, the uncle saw it coming and got his arms up over his face. The Pendleton hunting jacket stopped almost all the pellets, he pulled three from his hand and kept hunting. The bruises he had were pretty bad though. After seeing the after effects of that, I use buckshot or slugs for close range.

    Sent from my LGLS740 using Tapatalk
     
  11. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Birdshot will work but there are several downsides. Lack of penetration is one. Another is it will tend to ricochet off hard surfaces like stoves, cabinets, refrigerators, etc.
     
  12. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    It is an old military rule of thumb that projectiles need, at the least, 58 foot pounds of energy to produce a killing or disabling wound, reliably. That idea was cooked up in relation to designing and using old fashioned Shrapnel shells, later applied to artillery fragments and was most recently used in the design of the Claymore mine. It's not very exact, for people have been disabled or killed by far less energetic projectiles, but general rules are just that: they have exceptions.

    Unless the calculator I used is way off, #4 buckshot launched at 1250 fps is down to 58 foot pounds just nine yards from the muzzle. (For comparison, #1 buckshot launched at the same speed has dropped to 58 foot pounds of energy when it has flown 76 yards and 00 buck gets out to a trifle more than 115 yards before its energy drops to that level.)

    We know anecdotally that #4 buck works farther than nine yards, but we also know its reputation for poor performance as distance increases. We have read of police becoming disgruntled with the load and switching to 00, due to indecisive results when suspects were hit with #4 buck. At other times it has worked quite well, and its good pattern density is obviously an advantage in getting hits on the target.

    We are flirting with the limits of ineffectiveness with #4 buck, and the results show it. That seems to bear out the military's 58 foot pounds estimate, and suggests to me that #4 buck is a sensible lower limit.

    FourBuck.jpg
     
  13. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    No

    Buckshot or Slugs

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  14. Shane in MT

    Shane in MT Member

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    All things considered, I believe #4 Buck is a sensible minimum load for HD.

    I wouldn't go any smaller.
     
  15. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    For some reason when bird shot is discussed people on the web seem to fixate on 7-1/2 or 8 shot as being bird shot, maybe because a lot of these people don't hunt and their idea of shot size is what they commonly see at the big box stores. Even at that the small bird and target shot size is lethal at close range. A skeet or trap shooter with 7-1/2 shot in their gun wouldn't likely be shooting someone breaking into their house in the chest but rather would put that into their head, a task much less difficult that shooting fast moving small clay targets at 5 or so yards.

    When you get into the heavier bird shot 4 and under there will be greater penetration and range as these are generally heavier pheasant loads being 1-1/4 + oz vrs the 1 to 1-1/8 oz loads of 7-1/2.

    Go to BB size lead and its quite effective on man size targets. An associate of mine sold shotguns and shot shells to the ROK troops in Vietnam. They wouldn't take buckshot but wanted BB bird shot. Must have worked for them in those close quarter jungle conditions.

    Shot size should depend upon your home and the distances you need to cover. If you live in an apartment then a heavy bird shot becomes a better choice as buckshot will penetrate several walls of most wood frame construction. If you live in a single family home of masonry construction or neighbors separated by a couple hundred feet then buckshot makes a good choice.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
  16. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    When they change the name from Bird Shot to Burlgar Shot, I'll start using it for home defense.
     
  17. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Of course on that theory you shouldn't be using "Buck" Shot either.
     
  18. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Steve C, where did your associate get all those shotguns and ammo he sold?
     
  19. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    BB? Just for fun, I plugged in the value of .18 for caliber, and 1250 fps for the muzzle velocity into the lead round ball calculator you may find at http://www.ctmuzzleloaders.com/ctml_experiments/rbballistics/web_apps/rb_ballistics.html

    And it isn't lookin' good. Each pellet has 30 fpe at the muzzle, 23 fpe at 10 yards, and it is all downhill from there.

    Lately I have been thinking that energy in foot pounds, or if you like, foot pounds with frontal area factored in, is a more useful measure than gel tests found by looking around on the Internet. The problem with gel tests on the Internet is that they disagree with one another, and with known-reliable results like Martin Fackler's. If people want to 'try this at home' and do their own penetration tests, I would suggest a Fackler Box instead, which gives results scalable to gelatin penetration but uses plain water as its medium: hard to mix that wrong.
     
  20. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    When the guy you shot in the face with a load of #8 shot totters into court on the arm of an assistant and carrying a white cane you will really wish that you had not used birdshot in a self-defense situation.
     
  21. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I wouldn't hedge my bet on typical, noise, flash, or anything like that. Law enforcement officers are the subject matter experts on the use of the scattergun for antipersonnel applications. They don't use bird shot.
     
  22. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Yup. I've been hit by birdshot enough, and am still here. A guy I grew up with tried to commit suicide with a trap load under the chin. It took him two agonizing weeks to die. Not a glowing endorsement of birdshot in my book. I have buck n' ball in my M37. (Win. PDX1)
     
  23. B-man '06

    B-man '06 Member

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    If you are worried enough about over penetration that your wondering about bird shot then maybe research the effectiveness of some heavy goose loads (F. T, BBB). I know of one instance where a load of "T" shot killed a bear at point-blank range. reason for suggestion is that steel shot retains less energy after penetration.
     
  24. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    What convinced me that birdshot was insufficient for SD/HD was shooting a sheet of ~28 gauge steel from 20 feet and having it leave a dent. A .22lr will easily punch a hole in that same sheet metal.
     
  25. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    This.
     
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