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Thoughts on running "slugs only" in a defensive gun?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Trebor, Jul 14, 2008.

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  1. hamourkiller

    hamourkiller Member

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    If you have a 3" gun and want a compromise solution, try the Dixie Tri Ball loads.
    3 x .60 (20GA) balls. This gives very tight patterns even from cylinder bores.
    They also have just come out with a tusker slug load. Specifically made to fire from smooth bore cylinder guns.
    The Tri Balls should work well as any slug and offer multiple hit probabilities.

    http://www.dixieslugs.com/products.html
     
  2. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Moss590,

    Welcome to THR.

    I would be concerned about malfs with the mini slugs- that, and I don't feel that giving up the extra power is really worth the additional rounds.

    John
     
  3. hamourkiller

    hamourkiller Member

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    My personal self defense shotgun is an 870 Remington Police model with the rifle sighted 20" bbl and extended mag. wooden stock.
    It is loaded with Winchester 0 buck as that is what it patterns best. I have an elastic side saddle with 5 Win. slugs. The sugs offer extended killing range, making this shotgun very versatile indeed.
    Your idea of using just slugs, in essence, converts your shotgun into a big bore defensive carbine. Nothing wrong with this if that fits your needs.
     
  4. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    Dave, care to eleborate a little? I'm still in "info gathering mode" and the more info the better.

    If it matters, the gun I'd be using is a FN Police Pump 12 Gauge. That's basically the Winchester 1300 with plastic furniture and a parkerized finish.

    The gun has rifle sights and a five shot tube. I plan on installing a fiber optic front sight and extended mag tube and maybe a side saddle.

    The only mod I made so far is a Limbsaver slip on pad.
     
  5. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    John, you have a point. Exit wounds usually mean faster bleedout and better blood trails, but keeping the projectile in the target means all the energy gets dumped there. Larger temporary wound cavity.

    And even with no exit wound, Ray Charles could track most shotgunned deer OK.
     
  6. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Heh. Now that's a visual!

    I do want to keep my bullets in human threats, or at least not overpen much.

    If you look at the link I posted, though, at least at close range, slugs really are less likely to completely shoot through than 00 buck.

    I've said this recently in another thread, but I think many folk on these forums sweat stuff like ammunition too much.

    It should be reliable.
    It should be reasonably accurate.

    Waaay less important than these two, are varying amounts of terminal effectiveness and penetration depth. If it ain't birdshot or armor piercing, it'll probably work just fine.

    Personally, I like the control a single projectile gives me. If I'm close to the threat/target, I would still have to aim, and if I'm farther away, using a slug means I have much better control of where my lead goes. As well, I lost faith in buckshot years ago, after seeing terminal effects on some game.

    John
     
  7. Bix

    Bix Member

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    Sometimes :)

    The source site for the data posted at Shadonet also shows, for example, the Remington reduced recoil slug penetrating 30 inches of gel -- as compared to the 20.5 inches penetrated by the reduced recoil buckshot:

    http://www.tacticalshotgun.ca/content_nonsub/gelatin_testing/rem_rr_slug/gelatin_slug_rem_rr.html

    I think this just emphasizes the importantance of knowing exactly what's coming out of the end of your gun.

    The particular buckshot load that I use appears likely to penetrate less than the particular slug load that I have the gun zeroed for -- so that's why I choose buck over slugs in a condo.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2008
  8. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    John, we're closer in philosophy than one may think.

    For me, 00 buck's proven track record makes a good case, though were I stuffing Ol' Trusty Rusty with KO Brenekkes instead, I doubt I'd be less effective or more at risk.

    Even more so with Number 2, which has that peep zeroed for KOs. However, in the confines of this TH, buck still seems the better choice.

    Since each and every pellet may stray, a good case can be made for slugs as a better choice.

    There are two KOs in OTR's Sidesaddle, just in case I have to shoot through the fridge or something.
     
  9. icecorps

    icecorps Member

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    At indoor distances, even up to 15 yards, buck is probably your best bet. Take some out and pattern it at different distances, and you should be able to decide if you're happy with what it does.
     
  10. 357wheelgunner

    357wheelgunner Member

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    This alone tells me that you shouldn't even consider slugs.

    Slugs are for ranges past 25 yards (at least for me, my shotgun patterns about 20" at 25 yards with reduced recoil buckshot) and shooting through cover. If your longest range is 10 yards, there is no question that you should load up with buckshot. Keep a slug or 4 in a buttcuff in case you run out of shells, but at 10 yards a load of buckshot should have quite a bit more power than you need to solve a serious problem in your house.
     
  11. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    ice, you say
    Why? We have already discussed how, at very close range, a full-power Foster slug penetrates well but not excessively (and less than 00 buckshot).

    Is power REALLY an issue? You honestly think a 1 oz chunk of metal at 1200-1700 fps might not be powerful enough?!

    John
     
  12. rbernie
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    rbernie Contributing Member

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  13. Defensory

    Defensory Member

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    Hmmmmm. What to believe---a gelatin test or a drywall test? :scrutiny:

    Yet another quandary on THR. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! :p

    I'll stick with #1 buck, because both gelatin and drywall tests indicate that it penetrates less than either slugs or 00 buck.

    I also don't believe anybody could seriously question the stopping power of #1.
     
  14. Youngster

    Youngster Member

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    To me, slugged shotguns make poor rifle substitutes where two legged problems are concerned. If I were that concerned about reasonable effective range with buckshot I would look harder for a better patterning load and/or think about getting some barrel work done.
     
  15. PJR

    PJR Member

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    I've done my own penetration testing, hunted with both buck and slugs and slugs have more stopping penetration and are a better longer distance option. They are a better choice for my situation, perhaps not for yours. The great advantange of shotguns is a wide ammo selection so you can tailor the gun to your needs.

    Most of the time that's not an unreasonable conclusion. But slugs lose velocity quickly and don't have the same range as a comparable rifle round. Shorter range than a rifle, longer range and greater penetration than buckshot, ability to be more precise with a slug gives them a certain niche. If that is the niche you are trying to fill then nothing works better than a slug.

    The other advantage a slug has over a rifle round is sound signature. I'd rather shoot a shotgun slug without hearing protection than just about any major rifle caliber.
     
  16. Mossberg535

    Mossberg535 Member

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    I use 12ga 000 magnums for HD.
    Probaby overkill.
     
  17. Squidward

    Squidward Member

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    Let's slow up a little on the slug/buckshot discussion and take a minute to review what was originally stated:

    "I'm not much of a shotgun guy. I don't hunt or shoot skeet or trap and my experience with shotguns is pretty limited. I have some basic training on them, but not nearly as much as I do with handgun or rifle".

    "That's a lot of fairly complex weapon manipulations for a system that I really don't know that I want to spend *that* much time to master."

    It sounds like you have reached a decent proficiency level with a handgun, which (for me) is an important point in this thread.. If true, why not find the handgun that fills the HD role for you. Maybe you already own that handgun!! Instead of discussing shotgun ammo, maybe we should be discussing whether you need a shotgun at all. This paragraph below of yours says it all for me .

    "I don't think I have the time, money, or interest to train to the level where I am proficient with it as I am with a handgun. Since I can carry a handgun with me anywhere I go, and I can't do that with a shotgun or rifle, I dedicate most of my training to handguns".

    Arguments over which is a better HD weapon (handgun vs shotgun vs rifle) aside, a handgun may be your best choice for reasons you yourself stated.
     
  18. Northalius

    Northalius Member

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    That's exactly what I just ordered 5 days ago! I bought 5 shells of Federal 12 gauge 3" Magnum 000 copper plated buckshot. I am a newb to shotguns (just got my first Mossberg 500 about 2 weeks ago), and am getting some ammo just to test out. I know these are going to kick hard, but I just want to see how it is. I bought 100 shells of 2 3/4" birdshot from Walmart for $20, just for cheap "newb" practice; to break me in, I guess. ;)

    I also ordered 5 shells of Brenneke "Black Magic" 3 inch Magnum slugs; 600 grains at 1500 fps. That's some major power right there. :eek: Two inch groups at 50 yards, and 3 inch groups at 100 yards, according to Brenneke. And that's out of a smoothbore barrel, not rifled!

    Just gonna give me some wakeup call practice shots, I guess. I'll keep some for bear protection, since there've been bear sightings just a month ago, about 500 yards from my house. I might go hunting with the slugs one of these days, as well. Over 3000 ft. lbs. energy at the muzzle, according to Brenneke. :eek: :uhoh:

    Anyway, for home defense, I'd think: when in doubt, load the first shell with buckshot (of your choice), and keep the rest in the tube slugs! If the buckshot doesn't [somehow] stop the criminal, I think the slug will work. ;)

    You can always buy flame throwing shells!

    Kidding! Don't do that! Unless you want BBQ'd criminal sitting in your house... or what's left of it after it burns down. :D
     
  19. 33-805

    33-805 Member

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    Moss590, have you had any reliability problems with this ammo? I just bought a 590 and I like it, but I am curious as to whether or not they will run this ammo without any modifications to the gun. If it works 100% it might be a good option to have.
     
  20. Mp7

    Mp7 Member

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    is it

    acutally legal to make your own projectile loads for a shottie?

    im thinking of cutting a slug into 4 even pieces and putting it
    back in da shell.
    For manstopping under 15 yards this should go well...

    thoughts?
     
  21. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    Squidwad,

    Very perceptive!

    Yep, one of the things I'm trying to figure out is if I should even be considering using a shotgun for home defense. It has the advantage of increased terminal effect over a handgun, but the disadvantage of being a completely different system then what I am used to.

    I'm wondering how "deep" I need to go into understanding the system before I can rely on it for defense. Do I really need to master the "select a slug" drill, for instance, or can I run with only type of ammo load?

    Right now my handgun is backed up by a M-1 Carbine or Daewoo 5.56. Those may stay as my long gun choices. I haven't decided yet.

    Btw, this has been a helpful thread. Thanks everyone for the advice. I think I need to take a dedicated defensive shotgun class, probably just a one day class, and then review and reflect and decide after that.
     
  22. Gord

    Gord Member

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    If I were an overzealous DA, I would be intensely interested in why you'd do something of the sort after being informed by a coroner or ballistician that four perfectly-cleaved pieces of slug were pulled out of dear departed Pookie's thorax.

    The only real answer, of course, is "so it'd kill 'em better..."

    Might come up, might not. Yours to decide prudence.
     
  23. Mp7

    Mp7 Member

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    Hmm.... well doesnt the same Q arise, when someone has to pick a slug from the guts of a BG?
     
  24. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    Guys,

    Let's keep this on track, if you would, please?
     
  25. Northalius

    Northalius Member

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    Treb, I know I'm probably not "qualified" to say this (I'm a shotgun newb, remember), but: You seem a bit over-worried about learning about the Shotgun. Personally, I don't think it's that hard, really. True, there're different techniques, I'm sure! But if you keep it simple, it'll still be extremely effective when you need it.

    With buckshot, at least 000 (like I'm going to try out) buckshot, you'll have 9-10 9mm / .36" projectiles hitting the target AT ONCE; and that's like getting hit with about 10 shots from an automatic 9mm machine-gun all at once. Pump shotgun quick to load another, and *BOOM* again, that's 18-20 9mm projectiles within 2-3 seconds. We're talking serious "stopping power" that I wouldn't think even a semi-auto .223 or .30 carbine could match!

    Again, if worried about buckshot not being TOO effective, then load a slug next in line, or 2 shells down, or wherever you're comfortable.

    I ordered copperplate buckshot, and it stated it's also better for deeper penetration, since the plate helps the buckshot projectiles from deforming on impact. I picked it since if I went hunting with 'em, I'd not have lead inside the game I killed. lol! But it works both ways here, I guess: penetration and no health hazards. ;)

    It's good you plan on taking a class; I am going to soon, as well. Just don't be so worried about the complication of shotguns. It's not going to be that hard. ;)

    If anyone tries to complicate it, you just say "KISS!" They say "What?" You say "Keep It Simple, Stupid!" :D

    P.S. I'm sure you can find maybe some soft lead Hollow Point slugs online somewhere. Those'd probably have more chance of not "overpenetrating" than the hardcast stuffl. Me, I need all the penetration I can get, since I'm using the shotgun to take down a bear if I have to.
     
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