Looking for #4 Buckshot for home defense?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by mrbladedude, Jul 14, 2011.

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  1. mrbladedude

    mrbladedude Member

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    Hi. I am looking for some #4 Buckshot for home defense. My question is: What am I looking for? Like which brand and should I get the reduced recoil ones? How does the recoil compare to a rifled slug since I have never shot Buckshot before? I plan on getting some #4 and practicing at the range. I dont mind paying for good quality ammo. 12 GA

    Any help appreciated. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  2. youngda9

    youngda9 member

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    Buy a few types at the store to try it, it's relativelly cheap. I would go with as many ounces of shot as you can handle. Shot typically has the velocity listed on the side of the box...so that coupled with the ounces of shot should give you an indication of the recoil between the different types.
     
  3. blackDdefense

    blackDdefense Member

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    I use #6 birdshot or #8 birdshot in the 12 because it won't pentrate interioir walls like buck will. Just a thought for you...also my wife can handle it alot better than buck because it does not have the mind numbing recoil.
     
  4. BigWoolyBanjo

    BigWoolyBanjo Member

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    #4 Buck is exactly what I keep in my home defense shotgun. It's that Remington that comes in the green & yellow box. Kicks less than a slug but a lot more than birdshot. High velocity vs. Reduced recoil vs. Standard load doesn't really matter in my mind. Any of them would make for a bad day for anyone on the recieving end. BassPro has them $5 for a box of 5.
     
  5. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

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    Birdshot is for birds. if you wouldn't use it for hunting animals that weigh as much as people, you shouldn't use it for self defense.
     
  6. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    My preference is for 00 buck in reduced recoil loads, I use RIO. Federal and Remington both sell excellent 4 buck loads in 2 3/4, also Sellier and Bellot sells a good 4 buck load but you lose 1 round in the tube because they are longer shells even tho they are sold as 2 3/4. Try several brands and also try various chokes, if possible, to find out what patterns best in your gun.

    These are all sold as 2 3/4 loads but you can see the length differences, the S&B is enough to drop the capacity of most shotgun tubes by 1 round.

    00buckshells.jpg
     
  7. Pacsd

    Pacsd Member

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    I have high brass # 4's in my HD shotgun and lemme tell ya, you ain't gonna feel recoil of probably even hear the shot if you are caught up in a life/death situation.
     
  8. blackDdefense

    blackDdefense Member

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    uderstand all the points....but 6 shot pheasant load to the torso is very effective at 5 yards. just my two cents of what load I use and the fact that a reduced recoil buckshot will be very effective.
     
  9. straightshooter9

    straightshooter9 Member

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    There are those will not use Birdshot for anything but birds,
    but I gotta believe it will back up an intruder with a good shot! :what:

    You can always have #4 or better for a second shot!

    I think I'm going with #4 Buckshot for HD. :D
     
  10. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I agree 100%. Across the width of a bedroom, I don't think it matters.
    I agree also that #4 buck is a good choice for HD.
     
  11. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    Whatever you get, make sure it has FliteControl wad (Federal) or VersaTite wad(Hornady)... they're the same, just covered with a different shell. The wads will give you excellent patterns, better than anything without the wads. Also Federal and Hornady just tend to have excellent quality in their ammo.

    And if you care to know what I use and why, I use 00. #4 will still penetrate walls, but you'll have a lot more of them. I would (and do) use Federal Tactical 9-shot. Has FliteControl, and reduced energy for indoor use. It'll still go through walls, but you only have 9 pellets to worry about vs 34. With the 4" patterns I've gotten at 15 yards with the Tactical, I have no reservations about loading up with it. Again, that's just what I use, and YMMV.
     
  12. straightshooter9

    straightshooter9 Member

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    STUPID question Time!

    Just so I understand, the VELOCITY is what determines how far it will penetrate? That's why "00" Buck is the most deadly?........due to it's velocity?
     
  13. lbutterman

    lbutterman Member

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    I am a retired Police Officer and when I went through the Houston Police Academy we were taught to load up so that the first two rounds would be #4 buckshot, then fill'er on out with #2's....(it helps when the perp has a little distance on ya and is wearing his "Felony Flyers")
     
  14. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

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    Don't use birdshot in a defensive weapon. Unless you've ever shot anything bigger than a bird or actually used it in a defensive situation, don't listen to this. I've heard enough EMT's, including my own parents who were Vietnam medics and saw wounds like this (not in Vietnam of course) that it just doesn't cut it. They don't lose blood pressure, they very likely won't go into shock, the shot won't penetrate to the organs (unless you are VERY lucky) and certainly not the nervous system --unless you shoot them square in the back. Birdshot as an adequate defensive shell is an illusion. It is an illusion, nothing more.

    BUCKSHOT is what you want, it doesn't really matter which size, they were all made for buck which is equivalent in size (we usually weigh more, but we have heavier appendages and guts). #4 is adequate, at close range, it may be the best, better than 00. But 00 is time tested and proven. 000 will definitely get the job done, but you will probably have over-penetration with it at defensive ranges. 00 can over penetrate slightly (not much energy left over). They will all go through drywall, if they didn't, they wouldn't be any good. This whole finding a round that doesn't go through drywall is a pipedream. A round that won't just isn't sufficient; it is physics, it was shown by Isaac Newton centuries ago. Either learn the physics and math, or depend on others for it, but don't try to fight it. It is futile. BTW, the birdshot will go through drywall too... All 600 of 'em. They just won't go more than skin deep in a human. Just not enough kinetic energy per pellet, not enough momentum, however you want to look at it.

    #4 was used by SEALS in full auto shotguns to break ambushes in Vietnam. Nothing like 200 .24cal. pellets flying at your face to make you cease and decist. Anyway, Massad Ayoob likes #1 and says that is the best one --lies in between #4 and 00-- so perhaps he is right. You can't go wrong with any of them, like I said. The #1 has fallen by the wayside, so much so I forgot they made it until recently!

    They come in so many flavors. 00 probably comes in the most, as it is the most popular. If you go with the 00, let me recommend the Hornady TAP FPD. 1600fps, 300fps faster than most buckshot, and lower recoil. Does this by eliminating one pellet. You still have 8, but 8 that are travelling at handgun speed. Keep that in mind. Low recoil LE buckshot, like Winchester Ranger, does this by keeping the one pellet and lowering the velocity to 1000fps. Go with the TAP here, it kicks a little more than the Ranger, but definitely worth it. Patterns like a tea saucer at defense ranges too, so no fliers.

    #4... I like the #4 Winchester magnums, 41 pellets. They kick HARD. Maybe harder than the slugs do. But you will only need one. The Federal stuff is a good standby too, their mags have a lot of recoil. The thing with #4 is that with regular high brass you get 27 pellets, but 41 with the magnum. I just can't resist. With 00, you only get a couple or 3 extra pellets. Significant, but the magnum #4 is like unloading a whole 'nuther handgun at the target. #1 has 16 pellets I think.

    The LE ammo will be the lowest recoil. And I am sure it will work, but I think that was also designed for cops that like to empty the mag (I've never seen a recorded cop shooting where they didn't, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I'll be needing more than a few videos). If you empty a magazine, it will be construed into murder. Go with the higher power, whatever you can handle.

    As far as #4 goes, I think the highest recoil load has to be the Winchester XX magnum. Maybe the highest recoil load period. The lowest that I have shot personally is the LE Nobel Sport. 27 pellets at 1325fps. About average. The Winchester is literally a wall of lead in a decent pattern, I can't recall the diameter. The Nobel Sport, can't recall the diameter, but it patterned heavy to one side (3/4 of the shot on one side, the rest on the other side of the pattern). The rest I've shot has been too long ago... I stick with the 00 when I use a shotgun now, that or those Latvian Hexolit32 fragmenting steel slugs (whichs should be a COM one shot stop --instantly-- but there will be a mess).

    Leave that gimmicky stuff and bad advice alone. If you want to carry birdshot though, my advice is to find a police department that issues it (because I know the army doesn't). One person successfully using it isn't enough, find a group that has a positive consensus about it. My thought is you won't find one, most use 00, some use #4.
     
  15. blackDdefense

    blackDdefense Member

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    Preference

    QUOTE:
    "With the right load, a shotgun can be very effective in quickly stopping the deadly violence being perpetrated by a criminal who's invaded your home.

    If you're worried that a missed shot might penetrate through a wall and harm others, load your shotgun so that the first one or two cartridges to be fired is number 6 or smaller birdshot, followed by standard lead #1 buckshot (12 gauge) or #3 buckshot (20 gauge). If your first shot misses, the birdshot is less likely to endanger innocent lives outside the room. If your first shot fails to stop the attacker, you can immediately follow-up with more potent ammunition.

    With birdshot you are wise to keep in mind that your gunfire has the potential to NOT PRODUCE an effective wound. Do not expect birdshot to have any decisive effect.

    Number 1 buckshot has the potential to produce more effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck, without the accompanying risk of over-penetration. The IWBA believes, with very good reason, that number 1 buckshot is the shotshell load of choice for quickly stopping deadly criminal violence."

    This makes better sense...shot two and on will be #00 or #1 from now on.
     
  16. straightshooter9

    straightshooter9 Member

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    I appreciate that info, Stryker!

    ibutterman, I almost spewed my beer all over the flat screen with the
    "FELONY FLYERS"!.............VERY funny!
     
  17. EMT40SW

    EMT40SW Member

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    Say what?

    BlackDdefense, "but 6 shot pheasant load to the torso is very effective at 5 yards".
    As a Paramedic & an RN I have care for enough gun shot wounds. On an EMS shift I once cared for a patient who got shot in the back right between the shoulder blades with a 12 ga loaded with birdshot from 20 feet or less. The wound was the size of a fist & had removed soft tissue but did not damage the spinal cord or any vertebrae. The patient was able to run 200 feet to his house & call 911.
    The moral of the story is that had the shotgun been loaded with buckshot or a slug this patient would have died or at minimum been paralyzed. This story had a happy ending because the guy shot was a good guy that had no permanent disability from this incident. But had he of been a bad guy attacking your family he could have carried out his attack if shot with birdshot. Think about it. For me buckshot & slugs are the only ammo for HD shotguns.
     
  18. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    I was recently searching around for a 12 gauge offering that was decent for home defense. Notice I didn't say best, as there is no best in todays market... only those that are more adequate than others.

    I tried many buckshot sizes/brands and wasn't particularly unimpressed by any; the performance all seemed to be up to defensive standards. The only one I had issues with were with #4 buck from PMC. Performance was about identical to the rest, but for whatever reason, there were extraction issues.

    Then Natchez had an excellent deal on 2 3/4" Fiocchi #4 nickel-plated buckshot (12HV4BK), one of the options I had previously tested with good results, so I purchased a few hundred.
    I am fairly impressed with them. The shot seems harder than those from other manufacturers. With the smaller diameter of #4 buck as compared to 00B or 000B, I think I would rather they not deform and stay spherical as long as possible to increase penetration against both intermediate barriers and the "bad guy" as well.

    They seem to have a good reputation for reliabilitiy and dependable performance. I'll likely buy more once I run out.

    Currently, I'm running them through both a Maverick 88 and a Norinco 1897 riot shotgun. It looks as if I'm going to purchase a Mossberg 930 SPX for home defense (to replace the '97 in serving that role). Fortunately, I gave 20 shells to a good friend of mine who reported they all worked wonderfully from his 930 SPX (and now uses #4 buck, though 41 pellet 3" Remintons). From a cylinder bore, I consider this a 20 yard-max load due to the spread (see below).

    As for #4 buck for defense, I believe it will work wonderfully in this role assuming the load is of decent quality.

    Here are a few pictures I took of the patterns I found typical of 12HV4BK from both the Maverick and Norinco:


    Cut open to display the nickel-plated buck
    3902424200_615af43593_z.jpg

    Shot and Shotgun (current and dependable HD, yet soon to be usurped by a far more modern design)
    3902427240_6f0a3821e8_z.jpg

    10 & 15 yard patterns from a cylinder bore
    3901637079_a9b2ea23c4_z.jpg

    20 & 25 yard patterns from a cylinder bore
    3901639795_297bdaee18_z.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  19. klutchless

    klutchless Member

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    Has anyone tried a wax slug? Gives the same results as a contact wound with a 30 yard slug range.My dad taught me how to make them and can send number six shot through a 4 inch yard timber with no more recoil than a no6 target load.
     
  20. THplanes

    THplanes Member

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    Penetration is determined by velocity and sectional density. The larger the shot size, the higher the sectional density. So #4 buck won't penetrate as deep as OO buck when fired at the same velocity.

    Also, pellets that deform usually penetrate less that pellets that don't. This is why soft #4 buck will not penetrate the standard 12". But hard/plated #4 will get somewhere around 12".
     
  21. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    Also why birdshot is a bad idea...if it won't penetrate a dove's breast what makes you think it will penetrate a leather jacket and stop an intruder. The individual pellets just don't carry enough energy. Birdshot makes a very ugly surface wound...much like a bad road rash. Will it make some people stop? Sure it will. Will it make someone who is determined to harm you and your family stop? I wouldn't trust it to. Only way I would trust it to stop an attacker is with a contact shot...with the muzzle actually pressed hard against the BG. The huge amount of gas entering the wound tends to tear things up.

    No I have not shot a person with either but I have shot ballistics gel with both. Even at 5 yards birdshot just doesn't penetrate. With a Goodwill leather jacket over the gelatin it was a joke.
     
  22. straightshooter9

    straightshooter9 Member

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    mmmmmmm........good points..........
    in that case birdshot is not an option for me...I don't hunt!:cool:
     
  23. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    I would actually advise against this for indoor HD in most houses. At 20 feet, fight controlled 00 or 000 buck makes one hole, barely bigger than a slug. It holds it together too much.

    Unless you have a very long hallway to shoot down, I'd recommend normal 4 buck loads and a cylinder bore gun. Remington 2-3/4" #4 buck out of both my SxS and my M-11 (both cut down to 19") gave 6-8" patterns at 25 feet. The longest shot I'd face within the confines of my home is 18 feet.
     
  24. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    At 30 feet, #4 buck will spread around 6"- 8" from both my shotguns that are cylinder bore. This, in my opinion, is the butter-zone in terms of pattern spread. Only if I were planning on having to engage at ranges of 20+ yards would I desire less spread (and buckshot of a larger diameter).

    In reality, I think it's much more likely any defensive encounters in my home would be within not just 15 yards, but 15' (where the pattern would be closer to 3-4", making a complete miss under stress more likely). Sometimes too tight a pattern will work against you.
     
  25. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    I currently have my 870 loaded with #4 Buck that I myself loaded with factory TAP 12 #00 for a reload. I feel as though its the best option for HD.
     
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