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Combat Shotguns: Dying?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Panzerschwein, Jul 4, 2016.

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  1. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

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    BSA1: If we're talking #4 birdshot, I definitely stand by my statement that it has too little mass for sufficient penetration in a human. Birds are built a lot lighter then humans (think a Mazda Miata versus a '65 Chevy), and it takes more mass to penetrate to the important part. If #4 birdshot worked that well for game, why don't folks use it for deer hunting? After doing some more research and reading on #4 buckshot, it is probably at the very bottom of the viable shot sizes in terms on penetration. Any intervening barriers, or adding some distance to the engagement (say 10-15 yards), would probably see inadequate penetration. Additionally one of the issue with lighter shot is that it has to be driven faster (more recoil) to get the same depth of penetration that heavier shot would. All things being equal a larger shot size can penetrate the same depth as lighter shot with less velocity, and hence less recoil.

    I will say I'm intrigued enough from researching though, that I'll request we test #4 buckshot to see exactly how it does.

    I6turbo: The Federal tactical shells we tested use the flight control wad. The example linked above is actually about the worst pattern we've ever seen with them (which is still pretty dang good). We routinely get all 8 pellets on the body at 50 yds, and I'd take a full exposure shot at 35 yd any day of the week, as I know the pattern is going to keep all the pellets on the target.

    -Jenrick
     
  2. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    #4 buckshot has a mixed reputation. It loses energy fast! But it has much better pattern density than 00 buck and a lesser danger radius.

    If you need tighter than normal patterning, look at Hornady Varmint Express #4 buck shells. http://www.hornady.com/store/12-Ga-VX-4-Buckshot/ These use the VersaTite wad, which is the same patent as Federal's Flite Control.
     
  3. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    I'll keep those shells in mind. I plan to probably use #4 buckshot since I live in an apartment complex downtown.
     
  4. weaponhead

    weaponhead Member

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    No, that's not what AI&P is referring to. I specifically mentioned the Germans unsuccessful protest earlier in this thread in reply to his assertion that "shotguns were banned for future use in war' when he decided to give me a "history lesson."
    Of course his quote was ridiculous on the face of it.....he states that it was banned for future use and then goes on to cite how we've used shotguns in every war since!:neener:
     
  5. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    https://youtu.be/w6cmGHz-4O4
    Mrgunsandgear ' video shows excellent penetration with standard Remington #4 buck.
    #4 buck would be fine for most HD use. I've shot the Hornady versatite #4 round, and it shoots very well.
    My mossberg is loaded with #1 low recoil Federal flitecontrol.
    I like my AR just fine...but if someone is coming through my door at zero dark thirty, I want my shotgun.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
  6. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    Both.

    For offensive use by Law Enforcement Agencies and Security Forces #4 Buck. The larger pellets are more effective on hard targets such as cars and through cover.

    For defensive use by citizens in home defense #4 High Power Duck and Pheasant hunting loads. I include #6's also. If you don't believe that either of these loads can create massive damage inside the human body from 30' - 45' away then you lack real world experience.

    The issue is not so much the shot size but the lack of choke of the barrel. Short barrel shotguns are usually cylinder (open) choke. The lack of choke causes the shot to spread more rapidly.

    In fact with a full choke shotgun I would have no problems taking out a attacker from 75' away. I have one barrel for my 870 cut down and set up for use with interchangeable choke tubes.

    For home defense I use Full choke. For Turkey Hunting I use a Extra Full Choke. For Turkey hunting a tighter pattern is generally preferred.

    p.s. Jenrick. A lot of big game has been taken over the years (especially before W.W.II ) with shotguns and loads you consider too weak.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
  7. strambo

    strambo Member

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    Really? The only "real world" experience you posted about #4 was pheasants. Have anything else, like taking deer or other large game with #4-#6 shot? Any gel tests or autopsy photos? I can't imagine #4-#6 birdshot being very effective at 10-15 yards, will it even get through a human rib cage?

    I'm not denying it will make a horrific (looking) wound, but how does it penetrate?
     
  8. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I love my Ithaca 37 DSPS with a 2" barrel. If you stuck me out in the woods and said, "Pick one gun to use to feed and defend yourself", it may very well be at the top of the list.

    It's got a butter smooth action, hold a respectable amount of ammo, and it's the old school slam-fire type:evil:

    That said, I'm an AR for HD kind of guy. Actually, I'm a pistol for HD kind of guy, but if I were holing up due to some sort of community unrest I would pick the AR.

    It's lighter, less recoil, easier to keep my rounds on target, shouldn't over penetrate, and is easier to reload.
     
  9. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

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    I don't take this personal, as I've had it lobbed my way far to many times to take it personally anymore. Why is there always an assumption that since another poster disagrees, they lack any real world experience in the relevant area. When it comes to SD/HD shooting 99.9% of people in the US have very little to no personal experience in what a particular round does to an other human being. If we open the criterion up from actually pulling the trigger to observing the affects first hand (medical staff, police, ME's office, etc) we're still probably at 90% of the population not having experience.

    Additionally even among folks who do have experience there are frequent and contradictory accounts of effectiveness. I have several good friends and co-works who served in military units that did significant direct action work. Some think M855 "green tip" ammo worked wonderfully, others think it was complete BS and was directly responsible for US solidiers being killed due to poor performance. Well if I go solely off of personal anecdote's who do I believe and why? Instead if we delve into the research we can learn all sorts of things about how they're both right, and WHY.

    Hunting animals is not hunting human beings. Everyone of the big 5 has been taken with .22lr from a pistol, does that mean I'd recommend that for SD/HD? For that matter bison and mastdaon were taken down with bone and wood spears. Should I recommend those for SD/HD?

    Hunting provides a valuable real world perspective on how a round performs in a flesh and blood target, but it doesn't necessarily correlate to how it will perform against a human.

    -Jenrick
     
  10. geo57

    geo57 Member

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    Let me start by saying birdshot would NOT be my 1st choice in a defensive load ...

    Sadly, we lose a pheasant hunter or 3 here on average every year. Typically it's chilly to cold here in Nov. so a heavy jacket plus a shell vest is common attire when chasing roosters.

    I can attest that anyone taking a load of high brass #4 or even #6 center mass at 10 and even up to 15 yards would put that victim in serious trouble. The pattern from even an open cylinder at those ranges would be about that of a basketball and from a modified choke which is common here, much less.

    No, not all of the pellets would get past the ribs but many would slip in between to very damaging depths. It is not uncommon here while blocking a field for the drivers to get peppered a little if a bird gets up between them and even a #6 can break the skin on your face from as far out as 75 yards or more. Ask me how I know.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
  11. 200Apples
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    200Apples Member

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    Good grief.

    What if the human body in question is wearing a Carhartt jacket?

    :neener:

    Nevermind. I just saw geo's post above. :-|


    Combat shotguns shouldn't be loaded with bird loads, anyway. They should be fed a proper diet of buck and slug. Why? Because those are what seem to work best when up against two-legged, violent predators on the attack. At least the U.S. military and most U.S. law enforcement think so. Why is this so hard to accept for some people?...

    And if someone else wishes to defend themselves with a 5.56 carbine or whatever, great. The topic here is "combat shotguns".

    :)
     
  12. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    Oh just investigating some shootings where a shotgun was used while working the streets.

    Oh just cleaning up in emergency room after shooting victims come in.

    But then I have much different objective than you do when it comes to defensive shootings. My only goal is to cause my attacker to stop attempting to harm me and my loved ones. So if the birdshot bounces harmlessly off of the attacker which causes him to stop his attack mission accomplished.

    I'm surmising that you will not have any problem being shot with #4 and #6 birdshot since it will not penetrate and at it's worse only might break the skin.

    But you really need to get to a shooting range, pattern your shotgun and shoot fun targets like water jugs, etc.
     
  13. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    No fair cheating!

    Go back to the dressing room and change into bad guy clothing.
     
  14. strambo

    strambo Member

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    Awesome, my all-time favorite internet argument, the old "would you want to get shot with it" ploy. I wouldn't want to get shot with a pellet gun. Nor did I say it would only break the skin, nice to work a strawman argument in for extra credit.

    So, how well does birdshot penetrate out to 10-15 yds where you say it is effective? Not in pheasants, in people. Not in point blank suicides and homicides, but at 30-45 feet?

    I just want my attacker to stop as well...but I'm sure as heck not betting my families life they'll choose to. I'm going to use something that is likely to reach the vital organs from off angles and through an arm which are commonly in the way. They chose violence, they can choose to stop at any time before I stop them.

    I've patterned my gun at many ranges with many loads. I still choose the AR for HD...because the combat shotgun is dying. :neener:
     
  15. shootniron

    shootniron Member

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    bingo! ^^^^^
     
  16. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Arriving late to this party (as usual), but all I know is that if I was a bad guy coming face-to face with a good guy, I'd much rather face some inexperienced nimrod holding an AR-15 than a professional holding an 870 or a 590 that he truly knows how to run ...

    But what do I know; I'm only basing my opinion on over twenty years active duty with a couple combat deployments and eleven years in law enforcement.

    The combat shotgun is not dead by any stretch of the imagination. (That said, I do also keep an M-4 handy for when things go bump in the night but my 590A1 is right next to it and could be the primary option.)
     
  17. kell490

    kell490 Member

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    Aren't shotguns such as pump 870 used for self defense against Grizzly bears? I have read that rangers use them in Alaska I'm assuming with slugs or double 00. I have owned a hk benelli super 90 tactical for over 20 years. Looking though gun broker looks like the super 90 has actually not gone up in value so you could be right about the popularity with these type of shotguns.
     
  18. Screwball

    Screwball Member

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    Currently, ARs and similar rifles are on the forefront of these gun control issues... so many people are focusing on those. Same as what happened after that Sandy Hook shooting. Shotguns aren't directly on the chopping block yet, so people aren't really buying. If you are looking for a shotgun, now is probably a great time to buy.

    But if the election goes one way, everything firearms related will be gone. Most AWBs do specifically ban features on semi-auto shotguns, so they will go with the double stacked pistols/magazines (rifles will be gone with the lead up to the election), and then everything else will be pounced on after that. Not to get political, but if Clinton does make it in, past panics will look like a very crappy sale.

    When the Sandy Hook shooting did occur, I picked up a Nagant revolver and a Yugo Tokarev... plus a can of ammo for each. Neither gun was in danger of any legislation that was being discussed at that time. I order those two days after the shooting. They were available for about a month or two, but they dried up real quick (did see some small groups of Nagants come in, but prices went up and didn't last long). The Nagant, has been in the market at $100 for years prior to that (at times, under that). Yes, the source did dry up, but how many people actually wanted to buy them back then? Now, I see Nagants going for $300+... and people seem to want them. I personally think it is a terrible pistol, but not selling it due to the uniqueness it brings my collection.

    Whether the shotgun is popular or not, if you want one, I'd recommend to start moving to acquire one. I'll say the same for any firearm.
     
  19. geo57

    geo57 Member

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    About as well and factually said as can be.
     
  20. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    In my military experience I witnessed shotguns employed with less than ideal stopgap ammunition as in Trap loads because of ammunition availability. There were lethal encounters in night ambushes at reduced ranges. Was it the best combination no, but workable to a dgree under the circumstances of engagement. Sometimes you have to go with what you got as opposed to what you would like to have.
     
  21. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    As anyone reading my posts about shotguns for close quarters work will know - they're my first choice for those conditions.... That said, they're not the right tool for many other situations. The recent tragedy in Dallas wasn't close quarters at all -in that situation I'd want a carbine every time (but even more I'd really, really want to be somewhere else...).
     
  22. 200Apples
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    200Apples Member

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    Meanwhile, over on the base's trap range, brass hats looking for their trap loads found nothing but buck.
     
  23. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    To be honest I do not where or how our armorer obtained the trap loads but it was Winchester in plastic hulls which was new at the time before we departed Okinawa.


    I didn't even know we had shotguns in the inventory. They were M97Winchesters that predated my birth date.

    Later on we obtained 00 buckshot in brass cases which could have also predated my date of birthdate.
     
  24. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    I wonder if this would change anyone's mind. In some states you are restricted to 10 rounds capacity. Would you rather have a rifle or a shotgun if you faced that restriction?
     
  25. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    12Gnumber4Buckshot_zpsdc50ef8f.jpg

    The real-world reputation of #4 buck is better than its ballistics numbers would suggest. The energy per pellet is low, and penetration is shallower than the experts say is good. (27cm is about ten and a half inches and just one of the pellets in the above example made it that far.) There are, though, a whole lot of pellets.

    I trust this stuff but I have never been wholly convinced that the FBI criterion of 12"-18" of gel penetration is really an essential. I look to it in situations like yours, where overpenetration and danger radius are pressing concerns.
     
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