View Full Version : Best HD/CQB 12 Gauge Ammo

October 8, 2002, 11:43 AM
I'm looking to find the best buckshot, and best slugs.

My experiance in handgun ammo tells me that Winchester Ranger line of ammunition is the best in handguns, is it this way in shotguns?

My max length that I'll be shooting is about 10 yards...most of the time less.

(my sg is a 870 express, 3" shells max)

October 8, 2002, 11:51 AM
I've used Fed Tactical slugs and buck in a pump shotgun with good results (on targets) and (I think) Rem. full power in an auto with excellent results.

Al Thompson
October 8, 2002, 12:24 PM
One, very rarely will you encounter much "bad" SG ammo. For that engagement range, #4 shot or larger would work fine. Sub-5 yards, breath mints would probably be effective.

Always a couple of questions - what's your back stop and have you measured your abode for distances?

One of the reasons that most of us use shotguns is the ability to select a load that is optimum for the circumstances. Having a slug for indoors in an apartment is not optimum. Having #2 birdshot as the first round up may in fact be tops. For those of us lucky enough to be in the country, candy caning slugs and 00 may be the ticket.

Got to evaluate those individual circumstances.

October 8, 2002, 03:52 PM
Buzz Knox gets my vote. Although its 2 3/4 inch in both slug and buck its fast and shoots very accurately out of my 870.

Dave McC
October 8, 2002, 08:00 PM
Besides individual circumstances, there's individuality in shotguns.Two identical shotguns w/ consecutive serial numbers will not necessarily pattern the same ammo best.

The good news is that there's lots and lots of choices out there, most of which are quite effective.

Buy a variety of 5 packs,shoot them up and note the patterns. Pick a few more of the better ones and see if one has a big advantage over the rest.

Go from there.

One thing, 3" shells are not required for HD. In fact, you're better off with a softer round.

Just for GPs,pattern a trap load at ten yards. The pattern will be shirt pocket size or less. At 5 yards, it'll hit like a giant Glaser Safety slug. Next, try a 1 1/4 oz load of 4s. Compare these and some 00 at the same range. I doubt you'll be able to distinguish which is which if you do not mark them beforehand.


October 8, 2002, 08:04 PM
As far as patterns go, each weapon is different (even if consecutive serial numbers). I have one 870 which loves Remington, his brothers hate it. I have one that grooves on Fed Tac #4, his brothers don't like it as much.

Whatever you use, test it yourself. Wear a white lab coat and have your wife call you "doctor." "Nurse, bring me my ammo."

Remember, wise man in Tejas saith, "inside your house, a shotgun is a rifle."

October 9, 2002, 12:49 AM
I dont want to disagree with Dave McC, he's forgotton more than I know.........But at 10 yards the 3 18" cyl bore 870's I patterned yesterday were far from shirt pocket size groups, I got 5 shot averages of 8-10 inches with big name 00Buck.

Every shotgun is different, and I may have some wild ones, but even at 7 yards I was doing over 7" groups with a lot of them, far from a solid mass.

Tightest groups for me in all 3 of my shotguns was from Federal Premium 2 3/4 00Buck in the gold and blue box, YMMV. Only way to find out what is best in your gun is to buy some of each and try em out at different ranges. There will be little difference in what the pellets do as far as expansion so look for the best pattern out of your barrel.

I am quite surprised by how much these loads spread. They are perfect for defensive uses in my house, with the longest shot being 24ft from the end of my hall. At that distance all shot was in the center of the average whacko serial killers chest.

Dave McC
October 9, 2002, 04:55 AM
Feel free to disagree, Brian, Mrs McC does it all the time...

I do not doubt your results. More evidence of how shotguns and ammo varies. I can change the size of 25 yard patterns by nigh a foot simply by switching from one brand of good 00 to another well made ammo.

Or,using the same ammo and switching from one shotgun to another, same make and model.

Some generalities do carry over,with cautionaries and caveats.

Good ammo(consistent charges,good wads,buffering, round pellets) patterns tighter than bad.

Long cones pattern tighter than short ones.

A little choke beats no choke, and oft beats more choke also.

FWIW, the last couple rounds I fired at targets a mere 5 yards distant had most of the shot still in the wad.

Finally, I use the term semi solid mass, not solid.


October 10, 2002, 10:14 PM
Heading out to a good, full COF range for two days this weekend and will once again pattern Federal Personal Defense (#2 birdshot) loads as well as the "best penetrating" #1 buck loads plus some (damn, no longer available) Estate 00Buck SWAT and miscellaneous target 8 whatevers and probably 150 slugs just to prove manhoond (hhhrrrrnrruuuhh) ... will report back next week, if able to move fingers.

October 15, 2002, 11:29 PM
Estate Swat 00 Buck can be found at www.cheaperthandirt.com.
My Vangcomp 590A1 loves this load... stock up while you can.


October 16, 2002, 11:16 AM
Check out what IWBA says at: