Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by joker4096, Dec 10, 2008.
Hi Joker, welcome to THR
In order to answer that question it might be best to know a bit more about your living situation. If you live out in the country where distances over about 40 yards might be needed for Coyotes, etc then slugs might be a good idea.
If you live in suburbia or in an apartment then I would NOT recommend slugs because they will over-penetrate and endanger your neighbors.
Opinions on what type of buckshot vary on this board. 00 buck is probably the most common, but many people here feel that number 3 or 4 buckshot is better in most house settings. The larger the number gets the smaller the pellets there are. And the smaller the pellets they are the more of them there are.
I think in most settings I would lean towards #3 or #4 buckshot rather than 00 because you'll have more pellets hitting the target and each pellet will be enough to penetrate to where you need to.
For evidence of what I'm talking about, check out these ballistic gelatin tests, the #4 is EXCACTLY the degree of penetration i would want from an HD shotgun, and the wound is massive:
Patterns best out of my Maverick 88...Your Mileage Will Vary. Buy a small box of all the different brand/shot sizes you can find locally, set up the pattern board/paper and blaze away. Once you have found the load that gives you the pattern you want, buy a whole mess-o-them.
I believe that in a HD situation, pellet count won't do much to improve your odds of a hit. At HD ranges (point blank to maybe 10 yards) a shotgun pattern is pretty tight. Unless you have some out-of-this-world short barrel, that pattern will necessitate aiming the thing as though it were loaded with a single slug. Once the pellets enter the body of the hapless desperado...that's a different story. Then pellet count might matter, as more pellets=more chance of one weaving its way through the body to the spinal cord.
Just don't think that a higher pellet count means a wider cloud of shot at HD ranges.
00 buck could well overpenetrate at HD ranges, though. I just don't know...never done ballistic gel tests on that. Check out The Box O' Truth.
Some people tend to over-think the legal issue. For example, one poster said that their first load is BB so as not to appear as if they are trying to kill. Any of a multitude of weird things will happen later in court. For example, a prosecutor may argue that if your intent was merely to slow a person down, then you were planning on the possibility of shooting when your life wasn't in imminent danger. (Meanwhile, it's hard to argue that you intentionally fired a shotgun at a human's center and expected them to survive.) That’s just one example of how it’s impossible to know what the prosecutor will do. My point is that over-thinking the legal aftermath is a waste of time and possibly detrimental to your own good.
Stay within the law. Keep your thinking honest and simple.
1. Obey the four rules.
2. Show no mercy to the transgressors.
3. Go to hospital to re-locate shoulder.
do yourself a favor and order in bulk, you can get 250 rds for $199 off ammoman.
That first round will land you in a world of hurt. It basically has to be "life or death" & standing in front of a judge/jury explaining why you just wanted to wound the guy isn't going to cut it... If you merely "shoot to wound" then it plainly ISN'T life or death... & he (or his surviving family) will sue you all the way to the poor house.
At least thats how it was explained to me...
I personally go with your 2-3/4" Remington Express 00 buckshot. I also have some #1 as well, which I like because there being more pellets. I live in a neighborhood where there is enough space that everyone has a nice yard, so the overpenetration thing isn't an issue for me.
also, if you are using a gun (especially a shotgun), you are using deadly force. A firearm is a deadly weapon. The court will not likely see it any different. With that in mind, if you have to shoot someone, you might as well stay with that intended purpose and do it right in order to make sure that they don't come back with their own deadly force or their lawyer.
I'd suggest you have your legal theory vetted by an attorney in your jurisdiction.
I go with #4 buck, and I keep two slugs in the sidesaddle to the rear. You MAY have to shoot THROUGH something like a wall or an appliance. If you don't have the right load, you don't have the option. If you are loaded with a mixture of rounds, you don't know what round you might need at what time. As suggested above, #4 will cause pretty much the same trauma as 00 at close range, but also increases the odds of a CNS hit with a higher count of pellets.
aim a home-defense shotgun in order to hit.
Small shot lacks penetration, and penetration is needed to reach vitals to insure reliable stoppages. I wouldn't consider any load with smaller than 00 buckshot, and prefer 000 whenever available. Slugs are best reserved for rural or anti-vehicle scenarios.
If you're concerned about overpenetration, first make sure you don't miss the target. Very few (if any) buckshot loads will penetrate through-and-through the human body with a COM hit. Using large diameter buckshot in lower recoil (tactical) loads is a good idea, as hits are easier to get, follow-up shots faster, and penetration is adequate without becoming excessive.
Birdshot and small dia. buckshot can sometimes give devastating results, but have too high a failure rate for my peace of mind. They're best suited for other than self-defense uses. Cheers!
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