Whats the effective range of #4, and 00 buck?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by CoyoteSix, Oct 1, 2012.

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  1. CoyoteSix

    CoyoteSix Member

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    Hey all. Just a quickie today.

    I recently picked up a single shot 12 gauge and I'm gonna hack it down to 20"-18.5", its gonna do some trunk duty and maybe be part of a Bug Out Kit. I'm always seeing more bad news in the paper.

    I just wanted to know the maximum effective range of #4, and 00 buck. I keep a little bit of both with the shotgun

    I don't have to blow the target away, but solid ( Ex. Stopping a threat.) hits at decent range are what I'm looking for.

    On a side note, do low recoil loads effect range?

    thanks!
     
  2. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    Well I'll stick my neck out and on dogs: 1 1/4 oz of #4 buck rolls a 50 pound dog at 50 feet and 00 does it to 100 feet in the last 50 years of doing such things. Much past 100 feet patterns open up on either so not all pellets hit vitals.
    Cops who have shot people told me that is about right too.
    What I can say difinitely that either load is dangerous for hundreds of yards and those blue whistlers are all over the place out there :uhoh:
     
  3. DNS

    DNS Member

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    Cutting it down makes it an open cylinder so groups with either are gonna be loose. I d expect 30 yards would hit paper.

    I'd sure pattern it for my piece of mind though.
     
  4. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    You could always have someone thread it for chokes to make it more viable for different uses at different distances
     
  5. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    If you want to stretch the range with buckshot, try one of the loads from Federal, Hornady or Speer that have FliteControl wads. That might save you from paying for choke tubes.

    Might consider putting iron sights on it though, if it shoots slugs OK...
     
  6. VA27

    VA27 Member

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    You're gonna have to pattern the gun to find the answer to your question. Every shotgun barrel is a law unto itself and different brands of even the same shot size will pattern differently.

    As a best guess I wouldn't expect a solid hit (I define a solid hit as half to two thirds of the payload on the target) past 25 yards. Individual buckshot pellets can be lethal past 100 yards, but that's not something you can count on.
     
  7. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    Your shotgun has a favorite load but unless you ask you will never know. Try #1 Buck if you can find it. It is the best compromise between pellet count and diamiter.
     
  8. plumberroy

    plumberroy Member

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    Hunting wise I won't shoot farther than 40 yards with any buckshot with loads the gun likes . I prefer #4's or #1's over #00 or #000
    Roy
     
  9. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    I suggest you conduct a shooting experiment at a paper plate. Try 75 feet for starters. Count the number of holes. Divide the number of holes into the total number of shot to calculate percentage of hits.

    TR
     
  10. bassdogs

    bassdogs Member

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    As a dog lover, I am offended by a post that measures shot effectiveness in relation to shooting at dogs. I understand wild dogs can be a problem in certain areas, but your reference to lots of experience with this target choice leads me to believe you're getting way to much fun out of shooting man's best friend. Really?? Was that the best choice for this post?

    MAYBE YOU MIGHT GET BY WITH SETTING UP CARDBOARD TARGETS OR 50 GAL OIL DRUMS OTHER THAN THE NEIGHBORHOOD PETS!
     
  11. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

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    yeah, as a human lover, it really pisses me off when people ask what is the most effective round to defend themselves from an attacker is.......i cant help but think they must enjoy killing other people.....
     
  12. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    Somewhere between 25 to 50 yards is the maximum sweet spot. I believe in a class i took, they said the longest LEO confirmed kill of a bad guy with 00 buck was 97 yards (one pellet) eye shot.
     
  13. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    A single shot is shorter than any pump so resist your Bubba urges and put the hacksaw away, choke isn't a bad thing or it wouldn't have been invented.
     
  14. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    I have lived a big chunk of my life on ranches. A dog attacks live stock and he is worm dirt and it is the "owners" fault. Sooo for many years I used a SG, first with #4 buck then with 00. However I went to a rifle 20 years ago because I wanted an instant kill so it could not crawl off to "pet lover" :neener:
     
  15. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    I love dogs. But, over the decades I've had to take a few ferals off the count.

    Regrettable. yes.

    Necessary, also yes.

    Let's stick to shotgunning, OK?
     
  16. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    Funny you should say that. A good friend of mine has a cattle ranch in Texas and that's the unofficial law out there. If your pet is chasing the cattle they will shoot it (even if they know the pet and the owner) and it's your fault for letting it out. It's that way because even though the dog is just goofing around, the cow can twist or break a leg fairly easy, amongst other things.
     
  17. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    Back to SG and "effective range of #4 and 00 buckshot;
    When I first ranch foremanned on a multi thousand acre remote Big Sur Ranch in 1976 I was given a 28" barrel Ithaca 37 full choke 12 gauge and a partial flat of Winchester #4 buck 27 pellets 1 1/4 .oz high brass shells . I also got a couple year old Toyota Land Cruiser jeep type vehicle with a radio that communicated back to my house (my wife stayed home with a new born) and a spot light and my duty was to patrol the place. I had my own .45 Combat Commander but as I was not hunting did not usually carry a rifle other than a .22, the owner felt #4 buckshot out of a long barrel 12ga. was the schizzle for such jeep patrol duty. That load is devastating on any racoon to 40 yards + out of that gun and I hate to say it on certain large raptors that swooped on birthing cattle.But mostly it was dogs , with more than a few coyotes and some bobcats and a couple lion. The bigger the animal the less effective that load appeared to be. I switched a decade later to 00 buck out of a imp. cyl or modified gun on my own ranch and at the 40 yard (plus) shots had more predictable results. About 20 years ago after trying 10 gauge #4 buckshot with 54 pellets I gave up on the shotgun against things that came after my live stock and went with a centerfire varmint rifle so I don't have to deal with ones that get away to be examined.
    I still have respect for 00 buck , although I never shot anybody with it personally in Vietnam where I carried my own Mod. 37 for 9 months or in 20 years of full/part time law enforcement. My best friend and superior officer shot a perp with issue #4 buck at 50 feet but the guy turned as he let fly so was hit with about 10 pellets in the butt which did NOT hit vital organs as they stopped in about 6" of muscle tissue :evil: I have seen people hit with 00 and they were laid on stretchers and rushed into the meat wagon and some died and some did not. None ran far with a solid hit tho less than 50 feet away and yes one was killed outright at about 100 feet in a shoot out at a cabin when he shot out a window and recieved a few 00 balls in the cabeza.
    I keep a SG loaded with high brass 2 3/4 00 in the house with reduced power slugs in the side saddle for precision needs. I can't imagine a legal shoot outside the 25 yards (OK 100 feet max) that 00 is very effective if AIMED accurately :uhoh:
     
  18. TAKtical

    TAKtical Member

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    I assumed that by dogs he meant coyotes, dangerous predators known to attack children and pets as well as livestock. But if he meant someones pet, I would treat it the same as a coyote if it was on my property and posed a threat. Control your animals, especially if they are dangerous.
     
  19. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    In rural Texas, feral dogs worry me more than 'yotes... they seem to have less fear of man. I love my terriers like children, but the pair of snarling labs that backed my pregnant wife against our house years ago got what they had coming. As for effective range, I can only say that any animal close enough to make me think about a shotgun, is already well within shotgun range. Otherwise, get a rifle.
     
  20. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    Or a circular pipe cutter.
     
  21. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Member

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    Other way around. Divide number of holes by total number of shot. Then 2 decimal places to the right for percentage.
     
  22. forehire

    forehire Member

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    00 Buck Federal flitecontrol, 50 yards or less. More than 40 use slughs, I like B&G 1oz target, Federal tru-ball (low recoil) and 1oz or 7/8 oz low recoil Fiocchi. Good for sure kill up to 75 ****.
     
  23. the count

    the count Member

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    By pure coincidence I tried out a new shotgun of mine yesterday with buckshot at 10 and 20 yards. The 10Y one was 00. Forgot what the other one was. Here is the picture. The pellet force of a 00 at close range is about the same as a 9mm pistol (at least with me testing). As you can see at 20Y the pattern opens up a lot. I would say that 35 yards would be a max to achieve more than just a chance hit. I am surprised how many guys actually never pattern their shotguns with different ammo at different distances and just 'assume' what will happen is what they think will happen. Like killing a zombie dead at 50 yards with birdshot. Ha ha...right.

    [​IMG]

    Now check this out. This is a 1.5" thick piece of the plastic board they use to make boardwalks these days. Pretty dense stuff. The slug make one big huge hole, thats for sure, but I really like the 00 buck shot better.

    [​IMG]

    The back side tells the full story.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  24. elrowe

    elrowe Member

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    Gotta agree with this. If it's part of a bug-out plan you'll be well off to keep the full barrel so you can add the ability to take small game if it gets really bad in the neighborhood. Using a single shot anything for self defense against people or critters is a risky proposition - we all miss, and miss more under stress, if you do, then what?

    I love single-shot firearms (quick count has me owning about five), but I voted for scrapping the idea for my "zombie plan". Go with an 870 or 500 combo and keep both barrels in the bug-out/trunk loadout with a mix of slugs, buck, and biirdshot. My single shots come out to play with deer, clay, doves, and squirrels, but that's about it.

    Finally, for what it's worth, Capstick makes a compelling arguement for single O buckshot and pumpguns in his section on close encounters with wounded leopards (effective for 300 lb PO'd cat should be really effective on 200 lb PO'd bad guy) in Death in the Long Grass, worth a read as you select loads.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  25. VA27

    VA27 Member

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    I once killed a,beaver under 2 feet of water with 0 buck. When shooting through air I like 1 buck. Heavier pellets than #4, more pellets than 00. It was the preferred load of a couple of federal trappers I knew and they used it for beaver control and coyotes and hogs from aircraft.
     
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