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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I get a kick out of all the angst people go through when deciding which load to use in a shotgun for defense. I feel that at the normal self-defense distance of 21' virtually ANY shotgun load will work.

So, being a curious sonofagun, I decided to do a test today to prove or disprove my theory. Here are four 20 ga. shot & slug loads in 3/4" plywood. I'd hate to be hit with any of them!!



Admittedly, coming out of an 18" cylinder bore would make a bit of difference, but I don't have one of those.

(My home defense gun is a .357 Magnum! :cool: )

I also get a kick out of people wanting to expand the magazine capacity as much as possible. My thought is that if you can't put the perp down in one or two shots from a SHOTGUN across the room, sell the gun and buy some pepper spray!!
 

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The scariest thing an intruder will hear is the "clack-clack" of a pump shotgun !!!
 

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Federal makes a 12 gauge defense round with 34 pellets of 4 Buck . They claim that size shot gives the best penetration, 11 inches, and the smallest spread, 5 inches, at 15 feet.

That does sound nasty, like it would totally shred that 5 inch area.
 

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The scariest thing an intruder will hear is the "clack-clack" of a pump shotgun !!!
Second only to looking into the boreS of my side by side and hearing the "click-click" of two hammers being cocked...

Legend has it that click click of Doc Holiday cocking his double was what touched off the fire fight at the o.k. corral... :D
 

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I keep my 870 loaded w/ Federal 2 3/4" 00 Buck (9 Pellets), but this video made a lot of sense to me. Worth a look if you've got kids, thin walls, neighboring apartments, etc.

Shotgun Ammo For Home Defense
 

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I keep my 'home defense' Mossberg 12 gauge loaded with 2 3/4" 00 buck. While I understand the use of the smaller shot sizes inside the home, I have, on several occasions, had to investigate issues outside of my rural home. For me, it is comforting to have the 00 buckshot loaded up when facing an unknown threat, outside, at unknown ranges. Living in a rural, wooded area, with no children at home and no nearby neighbors makes this practical for me, but I realize that this is not the situation for many others.

Kenny
 

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Nice video...that guy is funny... all the bg's I have put down (just kidding :D) were wearing onion sacks...none of them had bullet proof vests made out of pizza box ...

My pump I have two bird shot followed by 3 no. 1 buck shot...

I like no. 1 a lot better 00 and I would use no. 4 even better still...but it is not normally on the shelf...

Also...my side by side is a coach gun...18" barrel...full choke both sides...I used it to shoot a couple rounds of trap about 30 years ago and scored 44/50 with it...missed the last three of each round...the gun kicks like a mule and has a hard butt plate...everyone who has shot trap or birds knows how easy it is to miss due to tight patterns and also how much damage it will do...people laughed at the gun as it was thought to be a "scatter gun" and that I would not be able to hit anything with it...you would think avid shooters with lots of shotgun experience would know better but it just goes to show how much gunsmthology is out there...

When I first got it I compared 00 to no. 1 firing both sides together into sheet metal...from about 30'

The 00 made all individual holes...so did bird shot for most part...the no. 1 buck shot made one single hole you could drive a truck thru...seriously it was the size of a 5 gallon bucket...
 

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I also considered getting some of the new "special" defense rounds in shorter shells for my side by side...

Less recoil...less over penetration...lots of put down...

http://www.midwayusa.com/find?sortby=1&itemsperpage=20&newcategorydimensionid=10170

http://www.midwayusa.com/find?sortby=1&itemsperpage=20&newcategorydimensionid=10162

I would not trust them in a pump/lever/auto...but for singles and doubles it makes sense to me...my coach gun is punishment with 2-3/4 bird shot...if you are not careful it will rip you hand off... :D

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I keep my 870 loaded w/ Federal 2 3/4" 00 Buck (9 Pellets), but this video made a lot of sense to me. Worth a look if you've got kids, thin walls, neighboring apartments, etc.

Shotgun Ammo For Home Defense
good vid. his beard just kills me, but he really seems to have some great common sense advice on that one. bird vs buck, concerns about walls, etc. but solid testimonial about the impact, so to speak, of small shot.
 

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I keep an 12 ga 870 with an extended magazine loaded with 3 inch #4 buckshot in brackets under the bed. Thats 41 pellets per shell.If the rottweiler doesn't get him and he doesn't hear the clack- clack of the 870, I would say he's got a problem. And then, of course, there's my wife with her sp101.
 

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I have an Ithaca model 66 20 gauge which is a single shot.

I keep it locked in my gun cabinet unloaded with one of those elastic shell holders on the stock with 5 #2 buck shells. If I need to grab it, it means my P95 with 2 mags of Hornady Critical Defense wasn't enough and in that case I want something with some gumption.
 

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I keep my 870 loaded with large birdshot or no. 4 buck, as we live in a double-wide so you can't count on a BB gun not over-penetrating in here! I also like that i can use it outside for any sort of critters coming through the house, shop or feedlot, which where i live could honestly be anything from a raccoon, grizzly, to a escapee from the county lockup!

I have shot deer with buckshot, as well as seen many many more taken by others with it, and can say with no uncertanty that 90% of people greatly overestimate what a load of 00 buck will do to something. Case in point, i shot a doe whitetail that weighed about 120lbs, which is on the small side for a bad guy, at 15 yards with a load of magnum 00 buck (9 pellets) last week with my full choke in the 870. TV would have you to believe that she would have been picked up and thrown sideways for a few yards, but such was not the case. With a broken shoulder, she could not run, but continued to push with her hind legs until she expired by the time i crossed the fence to her. I also once was forced to kill a crippled beef calf with buck, even at 20 feet it did not do as good a job i would have liked. I also have seen one put down with no 4 birdshot as it was the only gun avalable at the time, and that was an instant kill. I have also seen several deer put down on the highways with birdshot, and always, the damage is great and kills instant.
The pattern density is simply not there with 00 buck, and .36 cal roundballs are not exactly a proven manstopper. I will almost always choose a more dense pattern than buckshot, if i need penetration i have 00 buck and slugs on my defense gun, but by the time he is dug in i would hope one of us had gotten the safe open, and by then he is in a world of hurt!

Just my 2 cents worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Cut shells would be adding diameter to the shot column, since the end of the shell itself is going out the barrel. I would think this extra diameter and crimped end of the plastic shell would make higher pressures as well. Remember, when his Dad was talking about doing it that would have been paper shells, rolled crimp, with cardboard over-wad. I think the plastic crimp would be more "solid". From that, I would also say the cut shells would need a more open choke.
 

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I also considered getting some of the new "special" defense rounds in shorter shells for my side by side...

Less recoil...less over penetration...lots of put down...

http://www.midwayusa.com/find?sortby=1&itemsperpage=20&newcategorydimensionid=10170

12 Ga 1-3/4 | Shotgun Ammo | Ammo

I would not trust them in a pump/lever/auto...but for singles and doubles it makes sense to me...my coach gun is punishment with 2-3/4 bird shot...if you are not careful it will rip you hand off... :D

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Actually I have found that with reduced recoil loads with the larger shot like 0-buck and 00 Buck, especially if the shot is buffered will actually get tighter patterns and deeper pentration. I can only surmise that this is due to less pellet deformation on ignition and less deformation of the pellets on impact with the target.
 

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The problm with buckshot is not in its effectivness, but in secondary target acquisation, wha is beyond your target. 00 and 0000 buck will penetrate, at least, two walls. This is not acceptable for shooting inside of a residence. Taking that into consideration, my Saiga 12 gage AK-47 is loaded with six rounds of 2 3/4" shells, with 1 1/8 ounce of soft lead #4 shot.......Robin
 
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