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  #1  
Old 02-12-2017, 05:22 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is online now
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Shotgun (and loads) in the HD role

Like many here, I believe the shotgun has a unique and viable role in home defense. I keep a 9" SxS easily accessible in my living room, and a 13" Ithica M37 in the bedroom.

One subject that comes up from time to time is load selection- 00, #1, #4, birdshot... the competing variables seem to be over-penatration (of walls or barriers) vs terminal performance.

Since I had some scrap sheet rock from a project, I decided to compare and contrast Federal #1 buck with a #6 birdshot, from an old box of Remingtons that I apparently paid $3.75 a box for once upon a time...

Range was 25 feet, 8.3 yards. This is probably on the longer side of range within the typical home. Gun was the 13" M37 , hand cut and filed barrel. I haven't mesured constriction, but the donor barrel was full choked. The hooked end of the mesuring tape on the entry side of the samples indicates the top/upper orientation of the sheet rock slab. I was interested in both patterning and the effects on the drywall.

The images show, in sequence:
- Federal #1 buckshot, flitecontrol wad, entry.
- Federal #1, exit.
- Remington #6 bird/game shot, entry.
- Remington #6, exit.

My initial observations:

- The #1 buck shows a 2.75" shot spread, with notable vertical stringing. Not sure if the stringing is the by design or the result of my hacksaw gunsmithing. It is consistent.
- The exit, from both the shot and wad, is quite dynamic.

- The #6 created a symmetrical, 12"+ spread, centered around the wad.
- All of the pellets appear to have penatrated the drywall, though not as aggressively as the buckshot.
- Either will penatrate sheet rock. While I know that the buckshot has more energy, momentum, and mass in each pellet, the birdshot is not necessarily "safer" for close quarters or apartment dwellers. There's a lot of variables. Furniture, wall studs, angles, wall coverings...
- Assuming a hit on target, ALL of the buckshot pellets hit; the birdshot may miss with some, given the 4x larger spread.

My initial conclusions:

- Birdshot is NOT inherently safer in a structure than buckshot. While the latter offers greater penetration, energy, and momentum in each pellet, either will easily punch through drywall. How much risk this creates is subjective, and very much a personal choice. It also probably warrants more evaluation.
- Given that the goal is to definitively STOP the threat, buckshot offers a far greater probability of achieving this goal.

Thoughts, observations, opinions...?
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2017, 05:39 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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Well safety issues aside.

I will go with the #1 buckshot any day if I am fighting for my life. With that said, it appears that any kind of heavy clothing might and I repeat might prevent the bird shot from having the desired effect.

I would be very interested to see how #4 Buckshot would behave in a similar test. Maybe when the weather clears up I can do some testing of my own.
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2017, 06:05 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMM guy View Post
I will go with the #1 buckshot any day if I am fighting for my life. With that said, it appears that any kind of heavy clothing might and I repeat might prevent the bird shot from having the desired effect.

I would be very interested to see how #4 Buckshot would behave in a similar test. Maybe when the weather clears up I can do some testing of my own.
Birdshot tends to penatrate abour 4" in bare gel... so I wouldn't count on it to cause a physical stop.

I use #1 because, generally speaking, 12 or more of the 15x .30 caliber pellets meet or exceed the 12" FBI standard. #4, if memo serves, has 27x .24 caliber pellets, and doesn't generally meet penetration standards....

I'm also a big fan of the FliteControl wad; it keeps a tight shot column...

I think I have a few 00 buck floating around... I'd be curious to see how it compares....
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  #4  
Old 02-12-2017, 06:07 PM
walks with gun walks with gun is offline
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Living out here in the boondocks, my 870 is kept loaded with two 00buck with two 8 shot coming up first. My reasoning being that within the confines of a room, bird shot should still do the trick and also my shotgun is more often than not going to be used to scare off the neighbors running dang dogs or a coyote or to dispatch a troublesome skunk. Birdshot is much easier to find and much less expensive.
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2017, 05:59 AM
nh-murph nh-murph is offline
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I keep a 20" cylinder bore side by side 12ga loaded with a pair of 2-3/4" 00 buckshot handy. Nobody but the Mrs and I here and no real close neighbors, so other than having to fix a wall that the 00 would go through, I don't have a lot of concern with over penetration. My Henry .357 is still my go to for just about anything that would come up around here. I know that gas checked 180 LRNFP will take care of anything on 2 or 4 legs.
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  #6  
Old 02-13-2017, 07:35 AM
Sistema1927 Sistema1927 is offline
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Another argument against using birdshot is that while you might not kill the intruder you run a good risk of blinding him. The jurors at your civil damages trial will be impressed by his white cane.
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  #7  
Old 02-13-2017, 07:48 AM
Slow bullet guy Slow bullet guy is online now
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Would the Low Recoil 00-buck provide any advantage?

https://www.cheaperthandirt.com/prod...62344702698.do

The lower velocity should help some with "overpenetration" concerns. What say you?
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2017, 08:40 AM
AZ Desertrat AZ Desertrat is online now
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I have always used #1 or 00 buck. My turkey gun, Benelli M2 is also my HD gun, and it has a 24 inch barrel....so still pretty easy to swing, indoors. I would stay away from any kind of birdshot.
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  #9  
Old 02-13-2017, 09:08 AM
Riverpigusmc Riverpigusmc is online now
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I keep a coach gun loaded with 00, but I live in the middle of the woods
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  #10  
Old 02-13-2017, 10:13 AM
roaniecowpony roaniecowpony is offline
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Looking around my house, it's a 2300 ft single story ranch, there are mostly 10-15 ft shooting lanes. There will be no practical pattern development in those distances. A shot from birdshot will be very small. I'm not supporting birdshot, but I believe it will act much like a single projectile at 10 ft. My preference is 00 buck. If I didn't worry about neighbors, slugs would be my preference, mainly to have more long range capabilities if needed.
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  #11  
Old 02-13-2017, 02:10 PM
steviesterno steviesterno is offline
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guys, we're missing the most important part... OP has 2 short barrel shotguns and not a single picture! come on man, lets see that SxS!
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2017, 04:21 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steviesterno View Post
guys, we're missing the most important part... OP has 2 short barrel shotguns and not a single picture! come on man, lets see that SxS!
For your viewing pleasure...

Early 70s vintage Ithaca M37 pump, no disconnector, 13" barrel and a 30s era Springfield Arms 5100/311 type SxS, 9.5" barrels. Both stocks have been cut down to suit my needs, comfortable on the M37, and just enough to mount on the SxS.
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If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. ~Samuel Adams~
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  #13  
Old 02-13-2017, 04:40 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow bullet guy View Post
Would the Low Recoil 00-buck provide any advantage?

https://www.cheaperthandirt.com/prod...62344702698.do

The lower velocity should help some with "overpenetration" concerns. What say you?
The "low recoil" is about 200fps slower than Federal 00 buck, and about the same velocity as the #1...

I think the difference would be negligible, until you're looking at the 3rd or 4th wall...

I prefer the #1 not for the slightly reduced barrier penetration, but for the 15 (as opposed to 9) pellets, each creating its own wound channel, while achieving acceptable penetration on target.
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If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. ~Samuel Adams~
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  #14  
Old 02-13-2017, 07:27 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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I like the more pellets idea myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wccountryboy View Post
The "low recoil" is about 200fps slower than Federal 00 buck, and about the same velocity as the #1...

I think the difference would be negligible, until you're looking at the 3rd or 4th wall...

I prefer the #1 not for the slightly reduced barrier penetration, but for the 15 (as opposed to 9) pellets, each creating its own wound channel, while achieving acceptable penetration on target.
That is why I picked up a case of #4 buck a couple of years ago. My way of thinking was/is that it would still have enough mass to give adequate penetration while also giving a little better spread. Certainly country's posts have given me food for thought. I definitely plan to do some testing with the #4 buck when the weather breaks. I have had the 250 round case of it for some years bought as a "might be good to have kind of thing." But I have yet to fire a single round of it. additionally if time permits, I may have a look around and see if some #2 or #3 buck can be obtained and see how this stuff behaves. I have never seen either one of these loads available on the retail level, but that does not necessarily mean that it is unavailable. We will see.

As far as reduced recoil rounds, they bring good feedback. But if I am going into harms way. This is not going to be a concern to me.
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  #15  
Old 02-13-2017, 07:51 PM
walks with gun walks with gun is offline
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Ex VP Biden said all you have to do was fire a couple shots in the air with your shotgun, problem solved. So shot size doesn't really make a difference anyhow.
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  #16  
Old 02-13-2017, 10:18 PM
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Johnny handgun Johnny handgun is offline
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I just picked up the adapter that allows my Mossy's to fire the Aquila mini shells double my capacity and still have plenty of umph. Otherwise I would prefer turkey loads but my sxs has 00 in it.
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Old 02-13-2017, 11:34 PM
emptymag emptymag is offline
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Just to be clear...
what kind of intruders are we defending our homes against?
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Old 02-13-2017, 11:45 PM
walks with gun walks with gun is offline
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I'm defending my home against feral cats, dogs, coyotes, wolves, bears ect. with the occasional nut or meth head thrown in. Here in the boondocks we haven't had to much trouble with gangs or intruders wearing body armor and such, but could see it's a problem in more urban area's.
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  #19  
Old 02-14-2017, 04:58 AM
steviesterno steviesterno is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wccountryboy View Post
For your viewing pleasure...

Early 70s vintage Ithaca M37 pump, no disconnector, 13" barrel and a 30s era Springfield Arms 5100/311 type SxS, 9.5" barrels. Both stocks have been cut down to suit my needs, comfortable on the M37, and just enough to mount on the SxS.
outstanding, thanks! I'm currently looking for a donor side by side for a very similar build idea.
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  #20  
Old 02-16-2017, 12:05 PM
Marlin35 Marlin35 is offline
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I have had to use a shotgun to hunt deer. I tried #1 buck and #4. Neither one was good at stopping deer. I use 00 buck for anything larger than a dog.
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  #21  
Old 02-16-2017, 06:23 PM
230slugster 230slugster is offline
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00 buck only for short range and slugs for long range hd or shooting through a vehicle.

There is a video of the school shooting where a girl took a point blank range bird shot to the chest and walked away. People don't walk away from buck shot to the chest.
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  #22  
Old 02-17-2017, 05:49 AM
CRT2 CRT2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walks with gun View Post
Ex VP Biden said all you have to do was fire a couple shots in the air with your shotgun, problem solved. So shot size doesn't really make a difference anyhow.
But it does matter, larger pellets falling from the sky should inflict more damage.

Wife and I each have a 930 SPX loaded with 7 rounds of low recoil 00 buck. Spread at 7 yards should result in all pellets striking the target.
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  #23  
Old 02-17-2017, 06:57 AM
roaniecowpony roaniecowpony is offline
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All this talk about this load or that having more or less pellets means nothing without some measurements in your house shooting lanes and actual pattern tests with your gun and load at the shooting lane distances.

Let's see some pattern tests!
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  #24  
Old 02-17-2017, 07:56 AM
John Joseph John Joseph is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wccountryboy View Post
For your viewing pleasure...

Early 70s vintage Ithaca M37 pump, no disconnector, 13" barrel and a 30s era Springfield Arms 5100/311 type SxS, 9.5" barrels. Both stocks have been cut down to suit my needs, comfortable on the M37, and just enough to mount on the SxS.
Legal?
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  #25  
Old 02-17-2017, 08:07 AM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roaniecowpony View Post
All this talk about this load or that having more or less pellets means nothing without some measurements in your house shooting lanes and actual pattern tests with your gun and load at the shooting lane distances.

Let's see some pattern tests!
Good point... I see a lot of people posting with the quntifiers 'should' , 'ought to' or the like... or with no supporting information at all. Just a lot of assumptions... just like all "JHPs" are not created equal, neither are all 12ga 00, #1, or #4 buckshot loads....

Posting patterns, specific loads, gun, and range would offer a decent source of information for the membership.

I posted patterns in my OP, along with distance and other information. I used 25 (8.3 yards) feet as the distance because it was easy to pace off, and probably close to the maximum REALISTIC distance inside a typical home. I know I could create a longer shot in my house, but none would be very realistic.
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