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home defense ammo recommendations please

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by owenbright, Mar 9, 2006.

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  1. owenbright

    owenbright Member

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    Could you recommend some home defense rounds for 12ga ?
    I'm in a very small condo like building, and I'm concerned about penetrating
    through to the neighbors apts.
    Thank you.
     
  2. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    The Archives are your friend. But to sum up.....

    Some of us like birdshot for defense, since it penetrates less than buck, way less than slugs.

    The best thing to do is to measure, not estimate, the longest possible shot distance in your domicile and add one yard for GPs.. Pattern various loads at that range until you find the one that patterns tightest. Palm sized is best. Use that if the distance is close, say 18 feet.

    For longer opps, including if it hits the fan and we have to militia things to restore order, buck is best. Again, pattern.

    I have buck in for everything, but any defensive use here has me shooting away from people behind interior walls.
     
  3. dfaugh

    dfaugh Member

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    If you have concerns about overpenetration, stick with birdshot (I like #4, as I've found it won't penetrate much of anything, but carries quite a bit of energy at short range)....It'll still make a mess of the BG, acting almost like a slug at short range. Don't expect much spread, at the distances you're probably likely to encounter. As mentioned, try a few different loads, at known distances, to see what the actual spread is like. I use 00 buck, but I don't have to worry about overpenetration, as I have a free standing house (OLD w/ thick walls), and the nearest neighbor is 200 yards away.
     
  4. The-Fly

    The-Fly Member

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    the guys at box of truth recommend at least #4 buckshot (NOT bird!).

    http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot3.htm

    Anything that has a good chance of dropping a bad guy has the risk of overpenetrating, espcially if you miss.

    That said, i keep my house gun (Remy 870) loaded with winchester ranger reduced recoil 00B.
     
  5. owenbright

    owenbright Member

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    Thank you for the replies so far.
    I definitely should try to measure the distance in the apt and
    try different loads at the range.
     
  6. HankB

    HankB Member

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    +1 on that.

    An "ideal" round would drop a bad guy like the hammer of Thor, but stop in one layer of sheetrock. Unfortunately, no such load exists.

    I tend to stay away from exotic ammo (HankB's Rule of Thumb: The more impressive the name, the less impressive the performance) and stick pretty much to quality standards, like 00 buck or slugs in a 12 ga.
     
  7. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    A 12 gauge load spreads about 1.5 inches for every yard from the muzzle. At distances inside a condo the pattern is very tight. #4 birdshot at that range is deadly.
    I applaud your concern for your neighbors. Listen to dfaugh. Birdshot is best for you.
     
  8. xd9fan

    xd9fan Member

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    Accourding to the International Wound Ballistics Assoc. #1 Buckshot is the best as far as number of pellets and damage caused. Sorry I dont have a source. But I was looking for the best home defense ammo like you about 2 years ago and the folks at www.shotgunworld.com helped me out.
     
  9. mountainclmbr

    mountainclmbr Member

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    I don't have to worry about neighbors so I keep 12 ga with 3" 00 buck. I live in bear country though. If I lived in a city apartment building I would stay with #6 to #4 shot. It would be very effective at distances under 20 yards (60 feet), but would lose energy quickly in passing through walls.
     
  10. owenbright

    owenbright Member

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    Starter52,
    I'd hope that people in my situation'd be concerned about the same thing.
    I'm not in a city apt, but it's a building with 4 2-story apts and I'm on the
    south-west corner. So two sides are less safe with thin walls (very thin I think) separating us from the neighbors.
     
  11. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    I use 00 buck but only have to worry about the shot going through inside walls, outside walls, crossing the yard, entering another wall etc......as far as over penetration.

    If I had folks in other rooms like kids etc. I would mostly load up with #4 with I would not feel underarmed with, and have lots of as backup ammo.


    Csomeguyontheinternetwhoknowsjackschitslinger.
     
  12. kjdoski

    kjdoski Member

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    I would never advocate bird shot of any type for a defensive firearm. Birdshot is simply not enough to reliably incapacitate a BG intent on harming you. Step one in this equation is YOU living through the defense of your residence...

    I'd STRONGLY recommend you pick up some Federal Tactical OO buck, the new stuff with the flite control wad. It is the tightest patterning buckshot I've ever seen; at 25 yards out of my 870, it's total spread was still only about 10-12". At "apartment" or "condo" ranges, it'll be like hitting with a slug. The only way you have to worry about overpenetration is to MISS; something I don't recommend, regardless of shot size...:)

    In lots of recent testing, the round which was found to be LEAST likely to penetrate standard building construction (to include interior walls) is actually 5.56mm, as odd as that might seem.

    Regards,

    Kevin
     
  13. nicnic19

    nicnic19 Member

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    mix it up

    i keep a good mix starting w/7 and next 6 , 5,3,2 ,00 always ready,,
     
  14. grimjaw

    grimjaw Member

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    In lots of recent testing, the round which was found to be LEAST likely to penetrate standard building construction (to include interior walls) is actually 5.56mm, as odd as that might seem.

    That does seem odd, given that at least one tester found that 00 buck and non-frangible 5.56 penetrated the same amount of drywall: four walls. In my apartment, that's three too many. I have neighbors on both sides, one wall between most points, and three sets of sliding glass doors. Pretty much anywhere I aim is headed for innocent bystanders if it doesn't hit or exit BG.

    I'll assume you meant frangible rounds, but can you point to source?

    jmm
     
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