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Super-Dave
December 6, 2008, 08:26 AM
Suppose your house was being invaded, would you trust your life to using #4 buck shot?

At what distance is #4 buck shot unlikely to penetrate deep enough?
15, yards 20 yards?

Torch
December 6, 2008, 08:30 AM
If I recall correctly, No. 4 buckshot is a .24 caliber pellet and each round contains about 27 pellets and they all leave the barrel at 1325fps. Yes, I'd trust it.

wnycollector
December 6, 2008, 09:07 AM
If it patterned well in my shotgun and that was all I had avaliable...yes. My main problem is that I prefer low recoil buck and low recoil #4 buck is hard to find locally. My HD shotgun is loaded with fiocchi low recoil 00 buck.

Deegle
December 6, 2008, 09:31 AM
Yes

roker
December 6, 2008, 10:19 AM
I forgot the site but, I think I Googled Defence Shotshells. So, this guy claims only 00 buck has adequate penetration that satisfy's the FBI standards. He shows various loads shot into balistic geliten. Hope this helps.

Borch
December 6, 2008, 11:44 AM
Lets remeber this is a shotgun we're talking about and at HD ranges any load should pattern well enough to be effective. I know I'm going to get flamed huge for this but I have no dedicated HD shotgun. My 16 ga sxs bird gun loaded with high brass #6 is all I've got in my closet. Having seen what the full choke barrel puts out for patterns at HD ranges I am more than satisfied that it will incapacitate any intruder in a hurry.

KD5NRH
December 6, 2008, 12:18 PM
At what distance is #4 buck shot unlikely to penetrate deep enough?
15, yards 20 yards?

Depends mostly on the gun; 18" cylinder bore, down the hall should be fine. In my 28" 835 with extra-full choke, it can reach out a lot farther.

wnycollector
December 6, 2008, 12:27 PM
Borch I have a 16ga SxS w/ 18.5" barrels as well. I tried to use it as part of a trade a few years ago...and my wife told me absolutely not! Her position is that the SxS was "idiot proof" where as my maverick 88 required more thought/training. I have mine loaded with #1 buck. A dozen .30 cal pellets will get some goblins attention:D

BillCA
December 6, 2008, 02:23 PM
I'd prefer #1 buckshot, but #4 will certainly work well for home defense. In a standard shell you get 27 pellets and you get 41 in a 3-inch shell. Your choice.

FireForged
December 6, 2008, 04:13 PM
That is exactly what I have in mine... #4

dgludwig
December 6, 2008, 04:42 PM
Absolutely. My sd shotgun (A Benelli Nova with ghost ring sights and extended mag) is stuffed full with # 4 Buck.

armsmaster270
December 6, 2008, 05:26 PM
Nothing wrong with #4 buck I don't think the FBI tested at bedroom distance which in a standard house would be 20-25 feet.

guntotinguy
December 6, 2008, 06:34 PM
Sure I would and have a 4 rounder Saiga S12 mag loaded with the #4 buckshot.But I do prefer the Fiocchi low recoil 00 Buck for a good replacement.I have a mossberg 500a tactical and a Rem 870 loaded with these as a back up too.So the answer is yes to the original question and id trust it about 25 'in house'.

publius
December 6, 2008, 07:09 PM
Yes, that's what I use.

nutty ned
December 6, 2008, 09:36 PM
Well, I always said any shotgun shell was good enough for across the room home defence. Now Gunsite is saying almost the same thing, the only difference is they say 7&1/2 is the smallest shot size to use.

nemoaz
December 6, 2008, 10:07 PM
Now Gunsite is saying almost the same thing,Link?
Only an ignorant fool uses buckshot, I always say.

dgludwig
December 6, 2008, 10:13 PM
Only an ignorant fool uses buckshot, I always say.

Do you now. :rolleyes:

johnwilliamson062
December 6, 2008, 11:23 PM
against an unarmored person at less than 30 feet you are going to mess them up with almost anything you can load. Even nickels. I use a break action single shot for HD, so I use 00 buck to be sure, but I am thinking about switching to my 11-87 which I think I could throw sporting clay shells out of it and still disable one or two people without any problem. It would probably also look better in court.

What I am going to start working on is patterning OO buck out of a rifled choke to look at riot control. Centrifuge those things out into a large patters and that would really be a crowd stopper.

scoutleader
December 7, 2008, 12:07 AM
My Winchester 1400 has 3 rounds of 2 3/4 number 4 turkey loads. There is no where in my house that I would have shoot more than 12 feet. I have killed turkeys at 55 yards, 12 foot should be no problem.

444
December 7, 2008, 01:57 AM
It wouldn't be my first choice, but if that is what I had, yes I would trust my life with it. Especially in the circumstances you give: inside my home.
I wouldn't trust my life to birdshot.

I am certainly no expert on the subject but unlike most who discuss this subject online, I have seen several people who have been shot with shotguns. Both bird and buckshot.

zippy13
December 7, 2008, 03:58 AM
Nothing wrong with #4 buck I don't think the FBI tested at bedroom distance which in a standard house would be 20-25 feet.
I have no argument with his evaluation of #4 buck; however, IMHO his estimation of the size of a "standard house" bedroom is excessive. As a licensed architect, of armsmaster270's generation, his numbers set up a flare. Think about it for a moment, how many of you live in a "standard house" with bedrooms the size a of 2-car garage?
In reality, the typical bedroom has a maximum minor dimension of 12-ft. (This may sound bizarre, but the 12-ft rule of thumb is based on a standard roll of carpet.). For example, given a 12 x 14-ft master bedroom, the longest distance would be a diagonal of about 18.5 ft. Subtract 3.5' for the length of a short barrel shotgun w/ shooter and another foot for the BG and you get a maximum range of something like 14-feet. This is significantly less than Super-Dave's original estimate of 15 - 20 yards. At less than 5-yards, I suspect #4 buck would be devastating.

guntotin_fool
December 7, 2008, 04:14 AM
OK BACK TO BASICS>

a cylinder bore shotgun on average, will spread 1 inch per yard, after about the the third yard.

A full choke shot gun, will spread about 1 inch per yard, after about the 10 yard.


We are talking about using a weapon for defense INSIDE your home, after a break in. We are not talking about assaulting a barricaded crack house, breaking motor blocks at road blocks or stopping a PRC assault on a hill in Korea. WE are talking about defending your and yours against a common burglar/crackhead/banger coming into your home with bad intents.

NOW lets look at houses, a smaller starter home is going to run about 800 square foot, a big house is about 1500 square foot on the foundation. A really nice house is going to run 2000 square foot on the foundation. Thats 40 feet by 50 feet. Now doing the math we find out the diagonal on that house is 64 feet. thats corner to corner, the longest shot possible is 20 yards. Now that makes the assumption there are no internal walls, no furniture in the way, nothing, just a big open box. Which we know is not the way homes are built, but even if this were so, that means that a average shotgun, bored cylinder, is going to deliver a 17 inch spread. (20 yards, from muzzle to far corner, is the 3 + {17 x 1}. ) thats like getting hit with 27 .22 stingers all at the same time.

Now drop that down to a more reasonable distance, like say, the top of the steps to the bottom of the steps, lets say 4 yards if you have a "grand Staircase" thats like getting 27 hits to the chest with a .22 in a 1 1/2 to 2 inch circle. Do that once or twice more, and you have what"s called hamburger.


Now not making light of all sorts of gelatin testing and what have you, I have seen the results of a 12 gauge blast at close range with just #6 six shot, and i have been shot with 6 shot at fairly long distance, and a few #6 shot penetrated across my back several inches, and that was at well over 30 yards, and maybe closer to 45. The hunting accident I helped recover a body on was a hunter shot with 6 shot at about 3 yards, as far as we could tell, and there was a hole thru the victim, the entrance appeared to be golf ball sized, and the exit was much larger. Clearly at that range penetration was complete on a human body.

Now for the do it yourself tests. get a tshirt, pack it with wet newspaper, and stack it on a log, where you have a safe back ground. Now using a tape measure, measure inside your house what might be the longest practical shot you are going to have in a home invasion. At the test sight, measure that out, then aim and shoot that wet newsprint, and see what you get.

I think you will find that you answer is self evident.


So unless you live in Buckingham Palace or are a crown prince in Saudi Arabia where you use a golf car to get around your home, a twelve gauge with 4 buck is going to be darn near perfect.


One other point rarely thought about, is miss's. If you miss with a slug or 000 buck, that miss is going to travel on a good distance, and you MIGHT at the time of need, think about that, and say to yourself, I need to wait a second to shoot or I will hit "bill and alice" next door. Shooting 4 buck, after 60 yards of so, its not going to be as lethal as a slug or 000 buck. so don't worry, shoot when the shot is there, rather than worrying.

nate45
December 7, 2008, 04:31 AM
I'd prefer #1 buckshot, but #4 will certainly work well for home defense. In a standard shell you get 27 pellets and you get 41 in a 3-inch shell. Your choice.

I agree, #4 Buck is acceptable, but it is as small a shot size as I would feel confident with. I would also prefer #1 or larger. Penetration tests aside, the 41 pellet, 3 inch 12 GA is a nice amount of 24 caliber holes.

Having seen what the full choke barrel puts out for patterns at HD ranges I am more than satisfied that it will incapacitate any intruder in a hurry.

What is your sense of satisfaction based on? I'm fairly certain it can't be #6 shots woeful lack of penetration. What evidence do you have that it will in fact 'incapacitate someone in a hurry'?

Only an ignorant fool uses buckshot, I always say.

LOL wut? Is that a sick joke are do you actually believe that all the smart, well informed people are using birdshot for defense?

NickySantoro
December 7, 2008, 08:54 AM
Would you trust your life to #4 buck shot?

Absolutely, right up until I could get some 00.

Dave McC
December 7, 2008, 09:01 AM
Keep it on the high road, guys.

One 870 here stays loaded with 4 buck, others with 00. The one with 4 buck, not 4 birdshot, will be used in very close quarters fired more or less horizontally at ground level if at all. The others are not on ground level and will more likely be fired down at an angle.

I doubt I'd have done this if someone hadn't given me a good supply of 4 buck that patterns nicely from that barrel and a Mod tube.

KD5NRH
December 7, 2008, 09:38 AM
Does anybody make a 3.5" standard velocity (i.e. not magnum, just more pellets) #4 load? I might as well take advantage of the long chamber in the 835, and while the 3.5" 18-pellet 00 loads are fine for me, my wife isn't going to be able to fire a second shot if I have one of those up front.

csmsss
December 7, 2008, 10:46 AM
Only an ignorant fool uses buckshot, I always say.Quite the analysis there.

This particular ignorant fool favors 00 buckshot in a 3" magnum 12 gauge chambering. Better than #4 shot? Dunno, as I've had the good fortune never to have been struck by either. But it helps me sleep at night, and when all's said and done, that's what home defense loads are all about.

444
December 7, 2008, 11:24 AM
If Gunsite is now advocating the use of birdshot for defensive shotguns, then Louis Awerbuck must have stopped teaching shotgun at that school.

When I took Gunsite's 260 (Shotgun) with Louis Awerbuck as the rangemaster, he didn't trust buckshot. He carried his shotgun loaded with slugs. He was a BIG believer in Murphy's law.

kraigwy
December 7, 2008, 11:25 AM
I was involved in a homicide investigation where the victom (large dude) was shoot across the bar room (about 50 ft) with a load of #4 buck shot. I also attended the autopsy.

Yeap I'd trust one.

hogdogs
December 7, 2008, 11:30 AM
Trust is a relative term! If all I had was a garden rake in my bedroom I would trust my life to it before getting on my knees to take a shot to the back of the head! I cannot say I TRUST any firearm of any caliber/gauge with any type projectile... It is my mind and my mindset and the following motions my body parts take in following orders from my brain that I trust. I am ready to use my firearms but always aware they may not function as planned since they are but mere inventions of moving parts. That said I prefer 00 but if all I had was 7 1/2 or even a .22lr that is what I will use.
Brent

Death from Afar
December 7, 2008, 03:16 PM
Only an ignorant fool uses buckshot, I always say.

Tell you what- get one of your mates to shoot you centre of mass with #4 buckshot, and let us know how you get on.

rantingredneck
December 7, 2008, 03:28 PM
3.5" standard velocity

"Magnum" in shotgun shells is deceptive. Not extra velocity. Just more lead (typically at lower velocity even). It's the extra lead that produces the extra felt recoil.

To the original question. Yes I'd trust #4 buckshot at inside the house distances. Trouble is, I've never found a #4 load that remotely approaches the pattern performance of the 00 loads I prefer. So, in my particular circumstance #4 compromises some longer distance performance with no upside for me.

nutty ned
December 7, 2008, 08:46 PM
Quote:
Now Gunsite is saying almost the same thing,

Link?
Only an ignorant fool uses buckshot, I always say.
Newest Shooting Times

Vince1911
December 7, 2008, 09:17 PM
Here is a video thats VERY informative but a little long.
#4 Buck is .17 so its very close to a .22 bullet but you will be sending over twenty .22's all at one time.

Shotgun Ammunition: 'Rounds of Authority' (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ievbU3xIYGQ)

arizona98tj
December 7, 2008, 09:34 PM
Vince, I do believe #4 buckshot is .24 caliber, not .17 caliber.

rantingredneck
December 7, 2008, 09:37 PM
Indeed ^

Dos
December 7, 2008, 09:54 PM
Good video.

scorpion_tyr
December 7, 2008, 10:01 PM
Yes

.45 COLT
December 7, 2008, 10:49 PM
Posted By KD5NRHDoes anybody make a 3.5" standard velocity (i.e. not magnum, just more pellets) #4 load?

Here you go - but don't expect your wife to soot more than one.

Winchester XB12L4
Shot Category - Buckshot
Gauge - 12
Length (in.) - 3-1/2
Velocity fps @ 3 ft. - 1050
# Pellets - 54
Shot Size - #4 Buck

KD5NRH
December 8, 2008, 02:37 AM
Velocity fps @ 3 ft. - 1050
# Pellets - 54
Shot Size - #4 Buck

Thanks...54 pellets sounds like a really effective defense round. I'll have to add some to my next order from any of the places that carry it.

nemoaz
December 8, 2008, 03:19 AM
Yeah, I screwed that up. Meant to say birdshot....

Loses it's sarcastic punch when my fingers don't work.

nemoaz
December 8, 2008, 03:22 AM
"Magnum" in shotgun shells is deceptive. Not extra velocity. Just more lead (typically at lower velocity even). It's the extra lead that produces the extra felt recoil.

That woud be nice. Reduced recoil (equals reduced velocity) would be nice also in something other than OO buck or slugs.

To the original question. Yes I'd trust #4 buckshot at inside the house distances. Trouble is, I've never found a #4 load that remotely approaches the pattern performance of the 00 loads I prefer.
What do you mean specifically? You seem to have a good handle on this, so I'd like to know what parameters you were using and perhaps why. I hate to admit I haven't patterned my home shotguns. Note to self...

So, in my particular circumstance #4 compromises some longer distance performance with no upside for me.
Better target coverage? Especially important if you are only getting, say a shoulder, arm (with gun of course) and part of a head presented? Less chance of overpenetration? Still getting 15" of ball. gello penetration at across the room distance, so good enough but not as much over penetration?

Just brainstorming there. I'm on the fence between 4 Buck and OO Buck (reduced recoil, which I have a pretty good supply).

Nnobby45
December 8, 2008, 03:47 AM
Does anybody make a 3.5" standard velocity (i.e. not magnum, just more pellets) #4 load? I might as well take advantage of the long chamber in the 835, and while the 3.5" 18-pellet 00 loads are fine for me, my wife isn't going to be able to fire a second shot if I have one of those up front.

As Clint Smith would say (and often does), Wolves sometimes travel in packs. LE has found that the low recoil Tactical 00 buck gives up nothing stopping power wise, and allows for quick follow-up shots.

Fed's Tactical (low recoil) with FliteControl wad produces 1 hole at 10 yds, a 4" pattern at 15yds, and a 7" pattern at 25 yds. It's also available in #4buck if one must have it. That's from my Scattergun Tech cyl. bore. Hornady TAP uses the same wad, but uses lead instead of plated shot like Federal.

Basic Buck Shot 101:

It's at LONG distance where the extra shot extends the range by increasing pattern density. Not in HD where quick followup shots can be MUCH more important than hitting Bubba with three times as much ordnace as needed, and maybe his friends not at all because you're still recovering from recoil.:cool:

rantingredneck
December 8, 2008, 08:18 AM
What do you mean specifically? You seem to have a good handle on this, so I'd like to know what parameters you were using and perhaps why. I hate to admit I haven't patterned my home shotguns. Note to self...

Going off the advice of some gentlemen more seasoned and experienced in shotgunnery than me, I like a 25 yd pattern about the size of a sheet of notebook paper.

Remington Managed Recoil 00, Remington Express (standard 9 pellet load) of 00 both do this well out of my guns, but Federal LE 127 00 does this in spades. I haven't tried many #4 loads, but the ones I have patterned, the pattern gets very wide very fast. By 10-15 yds the pattern is well off the paper.

Better target coverage? Especially important if you are only getting, say a shoulder, arm (with gun of course) and part of a head presented? Less chance of overpenetration? Still getting 15" of ball. gello penetration at across the room distance, so good enough but not as much over penetration?


I don't particularly worry about over-penetration. Inside my house I'm not shooting toward my kids bedrooms with anything even if it were birdshot. Anything that can penetrate people can penetrate drywall and then people. It's not an easy problem to overcome by switching ammo. The good news is my house is laid out in such a way that I'll not likely be placed in a situation where the badguy is between me and my kids. I also don't have to worry overmuch about neighbor's houses. If I have to shoot straight down my hallway though, my plasma TV and my truck are likely both toast :(.

As to better target coverage, If only a shoulder or arm are presented it will be nigh shredded with a fist size pattern of 00 buckshot. The #4's I've tried spread too fast for my liking.

Everyone's situation and needs are different. 00 works for me out of my guns in my house/on my property. I've also killed quite a few deer and coyotes with 00 buck and have seen firsthand the performance on flesh. I've never had the opportunity to do the same with #4's.

Presently the bandoliers and shell belts around here are loaded with Remington 00. The HD shotguns in question are loaded with the Federal Flite control 00 though. The bandoliers have been full of the Remington stuff for awhile and I haven't rotated it through. I have no doubt it will work if called upon.

I've really come to like the Federal flite control shells. I've got about 350 rounds of the standard 127 00 (2 3/4" standard load). Remains of the last case I bought plus one that just arrived last week (ammunitiontogo.com). I've also started buying the 3" loads for deer. Killed one a couple weeks ago with it at 40 yds. Dropped in his tracks with his neck and shoulder full of buckshot

Dave McC
December 8, 2008, 08:20 AM
Re Maggie Numb loads for HD and CD.....

Even the little 410 has more ME than 230 gr 45 ACP. Shotguns have oodles of energy to dump into a target. That's why they're so awesomely effective.

The trouble with small shot is they lose that energy faster than bigger ones, all else equal.

The very old round ball load for the 28 gauge ( around .55 caliber, fired at a MV of around 1500 FPS) may be a superb defense load. Since they stopped making it, it's hard to prove either way.

8 pellet,lowered velocity 00 loads seem to be just as effective as 15 pellet 00 loads and are A, easier on us and B, easier to recover from if there's need for more than one shot.

Feel free to test this. Fire off one round of 12 gauge, 1 oz, 2 3/4 dram or 1145 FPS birdshot, then a turkey round. Something like 1 5/8 oz will do. Back each round up with a similar one.

Fire away, having your bud time the split time, that between the first and second shot. Betcha there's a difference that may, Heaven forbid, make a crisis into a tragedy.

Re smaller buck, if you can find a load that your shotguns like, go for it. 1 buck may be the point where the lines of the graph cross for pellets count and retained energy. But, I've yet to find a load that has no flyers. 00, old Estate Buck among others keeps them all in the pattern.

BTW, my test shotguns have long cones and for most, choke selection for that load of Estate.

The Federal load of 4s I use is a 20 yard load for me. In actual use, given where the weapon is posted, shots opps are more like 3-5 yards.

Of course, your results may vary. Do us all a favor and actually test loads to find the one that best meets your criteria.....

Vince1911
December 8, 2008, 02:08 PM
Vince, I do believe #4 buckshot is .24 caliber, not .17 caliber.

Your right #4 bird shot is .17 I believe.

rantingredneck
December 8, 2008, 02:18 PM
Your right #4 bird shot is .17 I believe.

Negative.

.24 is #4 Buck,

http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs10.htm

.45 COLT
December 8, 2008, 03:49 PM
#4 Birdshot is .13". If you're looking for .17, it's B.

DC

Nnobby45
December 8, 2008, 04:37 PM
Going off the advice of some gentlemen more seasoned and experienced in shotgunnery than me, I like a 25 yd pattern about the size of a sheet of notebook paper.


Don't know that such patterns existed in defensive buckshot loads (I like his thinking)---until Federal started incorporating the FliteControl wad into their Tactical line--such as LE 127 00, as you mentioned.

Choke has no effect on pattern with FC. The wad leaves the muzzle with pellets in tact, before the "fins" at the rear open up to release the shot. A different concept than the standard plastic wad with petals that fold back from the front as soon as they hit the air. Just dissect one, and you'll see how they work.

I'm very much in favor of patterning shotguns with various loads because the shotgun isn't just for HD in my book. At close indoor (same room) ranges, there isn't any pattern with any load.

As Dave mentioned, low recoil LE ammo works very well on the street. 9 pellets of 00 produces fewer potentially lethal (to innocents) flyers, and follow up shots are much easier. The recoil is about like a skeet load. The ammo was developed to extend the range of all those LE cyl. bores out there that saw the pattern thin out at 15 to 20 yds. with Tactical ammo. Standard full power loads were even worse at blowing out patterns. No more. :cool:

Note: While Hornady TAP uses the same wad and produces very tight patterns, the shot is lead rather than plated like Federal. When testing TAP, some of the shot didn't release and wad and shot hit the target together. It happened about 1 out of 5, and only with cyl. bore. Didn't happen with IC. choke. I suspect the lead shot played apart, as well as the "back pressure" being more in the IC. I'm guessing.

jjwestbrook
December 8, 2008, 04:49 PM
I would trust #4 . I have shot and killed many running deer with #4 buckshot. most of the deer 120lbs. + and capable of running on pure adrenaline with their heart blown out. for deer i use 3" mag with 41 - .24 cal pellets and for hd 2-3/4 with 27- .24 cal pellets.

rantingredneck
December 8, 2008, 05:01 PM
Don't know that such patterns existed in defensive buckshot loads

It can be done with non-FC loads, but it requires some choking. None of my HD guns (save one recent acquisition) is Cyl bore. All are either fixed IC or have interchangeable chokes.

45Marlin carbine
December 8, 2008, 05:56 PM
yep, I've got my 'Coach Gun' loaded w/it now. 3" Winchester #4B. it's a back-up to my Makarov and Camp Carbine if needed.

mikejonestkd
December 8, 2008, 06:27 PM
Take a look at this testing done with various loads:


http://www.tacticalshotgun.ca/ballistics_shotgun.html

#4 penetrated 14-15.5" depending on the brand of ammo used.

00 buck averaged around 19-20" or so.

Both would be sufficient in close quarters, like most houses.

nemoaz
December 8, 2008, 06:53 PM
Choke has no effect on pattern with FC. The wad leaves the muzzle with pellets in tact, before the "fins" at the rear open up to release the shot. A different concept than the standard plastic wad with petals that fold back from the front as soon as they hit the air. Just dissect one, and you'll see how they work.
Very interesting. Any links? When I google it, I find mention of it in several forums but nothing from Federal.

Chuckusaret
December 8, 2008, 06:56 PM
I have done a lot of research and also actual shot pattern testing on the different loads. The birdshot is exactly what it should be used for , birds, and would be unsatisfactory for HD. I load my good ole Mossberg 20" 12 gauge Cruiser with first BB followed by six 00 buck followed by a rifled slug.

jammin1237
December 8, 2008, 07:08 PM
there are way to many variables to be able predict what would happen in a home invasion...here is what i would do, measure the greatest distance in your house... 20 to 40 feet(unless u r rich) which is approx 7 to 14 yrds... pick a round any round and "practice" with it...if you hit center mass or head shot anything from a 12 guage at this distance the 12 ga will prevail and if for some freak circumstance it doesnt-- hit it again! this is why "practice" rules!

Nnobby45
December 8, 2008, 08:14 PM
Very interesting. Any links? When I google it, I find mention of it in several forums but nothing from Federal.

Just Google up Federal FliteControl wad, and take your pick.:)

skeeter1
December 9, 2008, 01:12 AM
"That is exactly what I have in mine... #4"

Same here. At the usual HD distance (~10yds max), anything out of a 12-gauge will do.

Nnobby45
December 9, 2008, 09:19 PM
Same here. At the usual HD distance (~10yds max), anything out of a 12-gauge will do.

Except if Bubba is hiding behind something--like a couch.

I've seen most of a charge of #4 buck glance off 1/4" plywood without penetration at a 90 deg. angle.

Then again, the purpose of going to smaller shot in doors is to reduce penetration for the safety of innocents. Shot size decreases, so does effectiveness under certain (but not all) circumstances. I say weigh in the factors.

jammin1237
December 9, 2008, 10:17 PM
when bubba is hiding behind a couch that means he knows you have a 12 ga... you take control since you have experience and have "trained"

KD5NRH
December 9, 2008, 10:23 PM
It's at LONG distance where the extra shot extends the range by increasing pattern density. Not in HD where quick followup shots can be MUCH more important than hitting Bubba with three times as much ordnace as needed, and maybe his friends not at all because you're still recovering from recoil.

My practice comes from living in the country, where the burglar gun and the coyote-across-the-fence gun tend to be the same. Thus, the first shot is #4 for pellet count, followed by three 2.75" 00 or 000, and one 3.5" 00. As for recoil recovery, I've rapid-fired everything I use except the 3.5" 00 magnum 18-pellet load. It stays last, but it stays in because I really liked what I saw when I tried it on a plate rack. (I jerked it a bit low, missed the plates and knocked the rack back a couple feet, causing all 6 plates to surrender - I'm pretty sure that'll stop anything that finds its way to my door.)

longcall911
December 9, 2008, 10:48 PM
Just a couple of days ago I experimented at the range, sending 8 shells of 12 gage Rem 3" magnum #4 shot to a paper target 25 yds.

I then did the same with standard load (federal) 2 3/4" 00 buck. Looking at them both side by side I'd say the first guy was pretty torn up, definitely stopped, and probably made it.

The second guy definitely didn't make it.

That said, the #4 magnum load was much more fun as it kicked like crazy, shot fire out the muzzle, and produced a very big bang sound. :-)

/*tom*/

73-Captain
December 10, 2008, 12:12 AM
I'm sure I'll upset a lot of "experts" but both at home and ON DUTY I carry #4 Buckshot.

My biggest fear is not under penetration but over penetration.

Remember, you OWN all of those pellets whether they hit an attacker or miss and hit your neighbor. Good luck trying to justify killing your neighbor because you also shot your attacker.

Many years ago a friend and I in college did informal, non-scientific testing of various sizes of shotgun pellets. We tested against samples of "typical home wall construction" , 2"x4" frames with thin drywall on both sides and insulation in the middle. We even tried duplicating typical mobile home construction with 2"x4" frames covered with just paneling on one side and thin aluminum on the other with old insulation in between.

The idea of our testing was to find pellet sizes that would not penetrate totally but if it did there it would not have much energy/penetrating power left. We had another frame behind the frame we were shooting at to measure this.

What we wanted was a pellet size that would be fully contained by normal home construction.

Our testing led us to our adoption of #4 buck.


Although our testing was not "scientific" and was done many years ago, not long ago I read about a PD doing tests of the "optimum" shot size. They did similar tests to us and in similar ways! But, they used many different types of construction including typical inside wall, different types of doors and single and multi-pane windows.

Their extensive and much more thorough testing came to the same conclusion as us for OUR uses. For THEIR use they determined that #4 buck provide the best combination of penetration without excessive over penetration.

C.

Ruger4570
December 10, 2008, 12:59 AM
I get flamed every time I post what my HD round is. I use 12 guage Remington Turkey loads. These are the 1 3/4 ounce of copper plated # 4 BIRD shot doing 1300 fps.
I am in a situation where overpenetration is just not allowable therefore I have to choose my loads carefully. True, I would "prefer" buckshot, it just isn't an option in my case.
I also don't think for a second, not even a half second any bad boy is going to catch almost 2 ounces of #4 plated shot in the chest and want to argue with me. If the simple "trauma" of this load to his body didn't stop the attack instantly, well my Berreta 390 has more left to spare. Ya, I know, it ain't a pump either.

MaxHeadSpace
December 10, 2008, 02:51 AM
At seven to ten yds, which is the typical "defense encounter" distance, I'd be fine with 8 birdshot in a 12 gauge. UPLAND game load, none of these "trap loads."

Shoot some like birdshot into a sheet of plywood at 7 paces (20 ft) and have a look see at the hole it makes. Big enough to put your fist through and not mess up your manicure. :D

I went to #1 Buck after realizing that I get nearly twice the pellets in the load and the difference in diameter is 0.03" --

Still looking for 3 1/2" 12 gauge loads in buckshot. It's all steel shot for geese.

jammin1237
December 10, 2008, 04:44 PM
+1 73-Captain...i have been reading posts on HD shot loads for some time now, always seems like hollywood creeps into the minds of people when HD is up for talk... if you take a round from any 12ga at any normal HD distance in the upper torso area you "will" stop what you are doing, if you are "lucky" you might survive...that is what "defense" means? when does it become offense....

Nnobby45
December 10, 2008, 05:48 PM
when bubba is hiding behind a couch that means he knows you have a 12 ga... you take control since you have experience and have "trained"

Right. If Bubba knew you had a pistol, he'd be out in the open. He'd figure "what's the use, couch offers no cover anyway from a real bullet".


Trained? Take charge?:D I think 00 buck that would defeat his cover would be how to take charge.

How did you mean?

Vince1911
December 10, 2008, 06:14 PM
Quote:
Your right #4 bird shot is .17 I believe.

rantingredneck
Negative. .24 is #4 Buck,


Nope birdshot .13 I knew it was something close to that anyway as for Buckshot yes its .24 you mixed up birdshot with buckshot

rantingredneck
December 10, 2008, 06:44 PM
Yeah I figured that out later. Sorry.

Vince1911
December 10, 2008, 07:24 PM
Thats OK I butchered the pellet size estimate.http://www.mysmiley.net/imgs/smile/fighting/fighting0036.gif

ppro
December 10, 2008, 09:35 PM
Oh, for what it's worth, the only two guys I have seen shot with BB were a little irritated. One as shot at approx 10 to twelve yards and he walked over a mile to be treated at at local hospital (husband with no sense of humor over a peeping tom).

Another, shot at about the same distance, went into a diner, sat down and waited for a ambulance to treat him. I sat a talked with him while he waited.

Of the two one was treated and went home and the other was treated and release, but suffered some minor nerve damage in his right arm.

Both of these guys were big boys (seriously big), and not fat, all muscle.

I spent time with both these guys as I investigated the shootings and I was pretty impressed with their condition considering what they were shot with, ...lots of holes but didn't really slow or stop them.

Based on my limited exposure, I might (read might) consider such ammo if I expected point blank or very close to that but with very much increase in distance, ....I am using something else.

Course, there are lots of variables but, really, I was surprised at what the shootings didn't do, rather than what the bb shot did.

Think I will stick with a minimum of #1 buck, and gel tests seem to support that such is a pretty good idea.

My personal preference, 8 or ten pellet 000, seconded by 9 or 12 pellet 00.

Paul

rantingredneck
December 10, 2008, 10:17 PM
Interesting........

Steel BB or lead BB?

Any thoughts on steel vs. lead and density/penetration depth differences?

rantingredneck
December 10, 2008, 10:48 PM
Couple things......

.i have been reading posts on HD shot loads for some time now, always seems like hollywood creeps into the minds of people when HD is up for talk... if you take a round from any 12ga at any normal HD distance in the upper torso area you "will" stop what you are doing, if you are "lucky" you might survive...that is what "defense" means? when does it become offense....



Normal HD distance is just that. Normal. Forgive me if I digress a bit, but any discussion of normal begs a definition of what normal means. A Bell Curve.

In terms of HD you'll have most incidents falling in the middle of that curve. Then you have the outliers. If you prepare for normal you ignore the outliers. It's the outliers that might get you killed when you prepare for normal. I'm not talking about preparing for "zombies", but what happens when you have someone at distance shooting at or into your house? It's a definite outlier. And a situation for which smaller shot from a shotgun is next to useless. Your house is likely to not be terribly bullet proof either. Just a thought....

Remember, you OWN all of those pellets whether they hit an attacker or miss and hit your neighbor. Good luck trying to justify killing your neighbor because you also shot your attacker.

That is one of the very things that went through my head when I was testing #4's and deciding against them. The patterns from my guns were so blown that I had a hard time thinking about where the pellets that missed the bad guy would go. Also got to thinking about having to account for 27 pellets vs. 8 or 9 in the 00 loads I prefer.

As I said in an earlier post, I don't worry overmuch about overpenetration given the layout of my home and property. BUT....... as I just said above preparing for "normal" isn't the greatest idea either. I may be called upon to use my weapon in a field of fire that isn't what I'm exactly expecting. Given that I prefer a tight pattern with fewer pellets to have to account for.

Just different thinking on the circumstances is all. Not saying either is right or wrong necessarily.

When it comes down to it, weapon and ammo choices (whether it's for your home defense shotgun, your deer gun, or your CCW pistol) is a game of compromises. There's no perfect answer or we'd all be using the same thing.

rem870hunter
December 10, 2008, 10:56 PM
no, unless it was all i had. but having said that. it is not all i have.

dgludwig
December 10, 2008, 11:00 PM
It's the outliers that might get you killed when you prepare for normal. I'm not talking about preparing for "zombies", but what happens when you have someone at distance shooting at or into your house? It's a definite outlier. And a situation for which smaller shot from a shotgun is next to useless

I guess that is when I reach for the rifle. When "normal" becomes abnormal, abnormal becomes normal- as a counter response.

Swampghost
December 10, 2008, 11:16 PM
This is so much fun!

Around here the average home is CBS due to hurricaines and the average 'home confrontation' is 12 ft. according to local LE. From my personal experiments even a Dove load is going to hurt somebody a lot at short range.

dgludwig
December 11, 2008, 02:09 PM
I experienced an incident hunting this year, though not "scientific" in the usual sense of the word, but interesting to me. We were hunting grouse (the locals call 'em "pats") and woodcock in Oscoda County, Michigan over my ten year old setter, Kate, when, toward evening, a woodcock flushed from under her point. We were in typical heavy Michigan bird hunting cover and I got a glimpse of the bird going right to left and fired. I was using a Browning Double Auto with a modified choke and standard 1 ounce, tweve gauge shells with #7 1/2 shot. As I swung on the target my barrel crossed an intervening tree limb at a distance of about ten feet as I pulled the trigger. Down came the limb, narrowly missing Kate.

After the good-natured kidding and laughter from my two hunting buddies, we examined the tree and were surprised to see a limb fully four inches in diameter cut cleanly off, as if it were severed with a hatchet. And the tree was quite green. Though, if you noticed my earlier post, I am an advocate of #4 Buck as a self-defense load in a home situation, I will never again disparage ordinary birdshot as a close-range self-protection measure.

And, for those who might be interested, after a five minute search and as darkness was closing in, we found the bird! :)

rantingredneck
December 11, 2008, 02:22 PM
I guess that is when I reach for the rifle.

Yep, or you can switch to slugs in the shotgun. Of course a load of 00 buck is still dangerous at well past 100 yds. It's just not terribly organized into a pattern anymore. Definitely will make you want to keep your head down though. But then that brings back the issue of collateral damage.

1 ounce, tweve gauge shells with #7 1/2 shot.

Those fairly well shred the plywood target backers at my range too. I can fire 00 buckshot and put 8 or 9 holes in it, or I can fire a dove load and shred the wood at the same distance. Only problem is that wood isn't a very good simulation of flesh. Wood splinters and shreds where tissue doesn't so much.

armsmaster270
December 11, 2008, 02:50 PM
I've gone to #2 Hevi Shot backed by 00 buck in my HD shotgun but i will reach for my Sig first. If I can't hit a BG from the hip in a bedroom with a Sig226 its time to hang up my gun

Jeff Mulliken
December 11, 2008, 03:37 PM
If you have a BG hiding behind a sofa and you shoot him through the sofa it's gonna take some serious splaining in court, unless your in the middle of a serious and ongoing exchange of fire. In many states, under the law, that is about the same thing as shooting him after he surrenders.....

xm21
December 11, 2008, 11:58 PM
You asked this same question back in Feb.Were you looking for different answers?

wjh2657
December 17, 2008, 02:52 PM
I measured the distances inside my house, which is designed with doorways staggered (not facing each other, for privacy.) Longest possible shot (near impossible scenario, shooting through an internal doorway) would be 31' (10 yards). Most likely scenario is >5 yards (10-15'). I really think with the small pattern involved that #4 buck or Low Recoil 00 are going to be equally devastating.

Death from Afar
December 17, 2008, 03:01 PM
There arguably is an advantage in bird shot, it has to be said, if you are to stand trial for shooting someone. IF you can say " i grabbed my duck hunting ammo" it may sound better to someone who knows nothing about firearms compared to " I grabbed my teflon coated heatseeking kills everything cartridges of death".

Bill DeShivs
December 17, 2008, 04:50 PM
If you live in a reasonable state, it won't matter what you shoot them with-legally or civilly.

rdsii64
February 25, 2010, 12:03 AM
I know this is a way old thread but I found it interesting. When considering what to use for home defence we have to balance the rounds effectiveness with the possiblity of over penetration ( ie walls) we are responsible to were every pellet lands. with this in mind I think that number 4 buckshot is a nice balance between terminal performnce and the risk of going through a wall.

bobcoop06
February 25, 2010, 01:50 AM
After scanning through the thread, I just realized how old it was, but it's still a good one!

I keep my shotgun loaded with #4 3" Magnum steel shot. Not that there's any tactical advantage, it's just what I shoot geese with, so I have plenty of it!

And also, for more information on the subject, check out the Box-O-Truth. That guy does some awesome, real-world research!

http://theboxotruth.com/docs/theboxotruth.htm

Uncle Ben
February 25, 2010, 02:44 PM
Yes, I would. I have 00 buck in my Mossberg 500, but I would not feel uncomfortable with #4 buck either. You mentioned 15-20 yards distance in your post, but inside your house you are not going to ever be that far away from the person you are defending your life against.

If they are outside at a greater distance...my opinion is that you should not be shooting at them at all, but rather you should be inside on the phone with the police.

Pezo
February 25, 2010, 08:21 PM
which would you prefer in a modified choke barrel? 00 or #4 or are they indiferent at home defense ranges.?

waterfowler
February 25, 2010, 08:35 PM
Id trust it to fight pirates on the ocean and in the home.

bamaranger
February 26, 2010, 12:58 AM
of my career, there was a trend to go to #4B as a LE load, and I have some articles somewhere that discuss/suggest its use by the military. The emphasis seemed to be on higher hit probability.

Its performance past very short distances was considered disappointing, penetration wise, and against common light cover and heavy clothing, and LE seems to have gone back to 00B as a rule. My agency did. Note this is for general police use, where longer range confrontations MAY occur, or suspects could be using cover, as in a vehicle or barricaded in a structure, or outdoors in heavy clothing at some distance.

Inside a residence, at distances measured in feet, it would do fine.

The term "rat hole wound" comes to mind.

John Schwartz
February 26, 2010, 06:38 PM
Two advantages with a shotgun that I always point out to people looking for a HD gun are the versatility of the ammo and their intimidation factor. Consider home invasion scenarios.


In most circumstances, burglars would rather go to jail than be shot, so even pumping the action is enough to intimidate and subdue them. Burglary is often a crime of convenience, and losers will break into a house to steal easily fenced items, but have no interest in hurting the occupants. Since criminal penalties for breaking into a house with a weapon are far more severe than simple burglary, savvy criminals will leave their weapons at home. In these cases the intimidating size and presence of a shotgun is all you need to win the day. Whether you have 00 or #4 buck won't matter.
In the rare event that an intruder is not impressed by merely having a big huge gun pointed at them, a "warning" shot is usually enough to calm them down. Birdshot is great for this. It's loud and flashy, especially in a dark room. You can shoot someone's feet and give them a taste of things to come without mutilating them for life. You'll also have fewer concerns about over-penetration and legal ramifications of shooting someone. Police will be more sympathetic to a homeowner who doesn't immediately shoot to kill.
At this point, the only people left as threats are probably on hard drugs, like PCP. My Mossberg 500 can carry five rounds in the tube, so even after firing a warning shot at the invader's feet, I've got for more shells ready to go. #4 buck shot is perfectly adequate at this point. In a home environment, it will be sufficient to rip any drug addict to shreds.


I think a lot of people who discount #4 buck are expecting home invaders to be wearing Kevlar or somehow invade your home from 50 yards away. If they've got body armor, then you're better off with a 30-06 than a 12 guage, and if they're 50 yards away, you'd have a tough time explaining to a judge why you felt the need to kill them. In any realistic scenario, #4 buckshot is more than adequate to defend your home.

Bill DeShivs
February 26, 2010, 09:37 PM
John,
Welcome. It's painfully obvious you are new here, so I'll go easy on you-
There is very little accurate information in your post.
I'll leave it up to the others to explain it to you.........

nate45
February 26, 2010, 10:06 PM
There is very little accurate information in your post.
I'll leave it up to the others to explain it to you.........


Okay, I'll take a few points and someone else can take over. :)

even pumping the action is enough to intimidate and subdue them.

Old wives tale, your defensive shotguns chamber should already be loaded.

a "warning" shot is usually enough to calm them down.

Never fire warning shots, even at the ground. The only time you fire is with the intent to stop your assailant.

Birdshot is great for this.

Bird shot is for little birds, not defense.

I would go in to more depth, but a search of this forum on this subject will show you that we have been over this it ad nauseam. Plus others will come along and expound on the points I've outlined.

John Schwartz
February 26, 2010, 10:53 PM
I think we just live in different areas and have different sorts of concerns. I knew a lot of dumb asses in high school, and they're the sort of kids who'd wind up getting arrested for B&E. Lots of tough talk, but deep down they're just plain dumb. Not a single one of them would resist at all if shot at with bird shot. Hardened dangerous criminals don't actually invade people's houses. Unless you're a drug dealer or something, you don't need to worry about people bringing guns to your house to rob you. Maybe where you are, things are different.

Seriously, the way you guys talk about it, it's like you're planning on a Taliban assault on your house. #4 buck would rip a person to pieces at a few yards. If you think that birdshot is ineffective at short ranges, let me ask you this. How much money would you charge somebody to allow them to shoot at your feet with birdshot? I doubt you'd let them do it for free. And to all the people who doubt #4 buck, what would you charge to let someone shoot you in the chest with it?

wilson133
February 27, 2010, 07:26 AM
John, people with a great deal of training and experience are trying to tell you that you are mistaken and you aren't listening.
The racking of a pump shotgun only tells the bad guy(s) where you are. There is an internet myth about the overwhelming fear that comes over said bad guy(s) with that sound, but you won't find any evidence of that in real life and you won't find any of the top end trainers saying that either.
If a person or a group breaks int an occupied house, they are generally after more that the plasma tv. You seem to think that this only happens to drug dealers, well even the cops make frequent mistakes when raiding supposed drug dealers. You need to do some more research, home invasions are on the rise even with the fall of the overall crime rate, and these people come in armed.
As far as birdshot, that dead horse has been beaten into a pulp. The ballistic gelatin tests are out there and easily found by search. If you want something less scientific but still very useful, check out The Box O Truth website. An ugly surface wound might scare away the timid, and it might infuriate someone else. A heavy coat will stop most bird shot at close range.
Warning shots are never a good idea. In many jurisdictions, a warning shot is treated the same as firing directly at someone. Discharging a firearm may only be done to prevent death or great bodily harm. If you need to shoot, shoot at them. In your scenario of firing a shot into the floor, this leaves you with a gun pointed at the floor and the bad guy(s) close at hand. This can lead to the shotgun in their hands.

shortwave
February 27, 2010, 08:56 AM
My thoughts on #4 would mirror bamaranger`s. In Ohio, around the mid to late 60`s, the Franklin Co. Sherrif`s Dep. went to #4 buckshot for reason`s explained similar to what bama suggested. Another reason was the fact that during a discharge in a close quarters dwelling (apartments etc), the powers-to-be felt the lesser penetration factor would be a better thing.
To date I believe they`ve went back to 00.

IMO, #4 buckshot will do the job in close quarters and should be used if your worried about over penetration. If not worried, use 00.

CajunBass
February 27, 2010, 10:03 AM
Would I trust my life to No 4 buckshot? You better believe it. Would I take it deer hunting? Nope. Most shots at deer are taken at longer ranges. However I have seen a few deer killed with No 4 buck. Usually out of a 20 ga. It works.

LanceOregon
February 27, 2010, 11:47 AM
Man alive, not one single guy here grew up with a BB gun. That is truly amazing.

Anyone who ever owned a BB gun knows that they are .177 caliber. So BB is the shot size that is closest to .17 caliber. Cannot believe all the mistakes made here regarding the caliber of shot.

#4 Buckshot is going to be more traumatic than 00 Buck, for the person is going to be hit in far more places. The odds of being hit in vital locations thus goes way, way up.

If you use copper plated #4 buckshot, that is going to improve penetration. So make sure that the ammo you use is copper plated. They also tend to pattern better.

Any notion that choke has no effect on shotgun patterning is completely bogus and untrue. I have a light modified choke in my FN SLP. It is halfway between an improved cylinder and modified choke in its restriction.

Federal unfortunately discontinued their Premium 2 3/4 inch Buckshot load that used copper plate buckshot. However, they still produce it in a 3" inch version with 41 #4 Buckshot.

I still have over 100 rounds of the discontinued 2 3/4 inch load, which was loaded with 34 copper plated #4 Buckshot in it. And that is what is in my FN SLP currently:

http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s272/lanceJOregon/guns/DSC_0131a_on_filtered.jpg


My FN SLP holds 8 +1 of these shells. That is 9 x 34 = 306 Buckshot without reloading. That is a lot of holes.


.

LanceOregon
February 27, 2010, 11:59 AM
Looks like I was wrong about the P156 4B load being discontinued by Federal. It has been removed from Federal's retail product list on their website, but it is still included in their 2010 Law Enforcement Product catalog.

So they must still be making it for LE use.

See:

http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/WebData/2010_FederalLECatalog.pdf

.

Capt.Mike
February 27, 2010, 12:05 PM
I love to read all the opinions... Look face the facts, most anything fired from a 12ga. can be deadly. Yea I read the Birdshot post, if you think your coat will stop a dose of 12ga bird, come on over and we'll try it. At less than 10 yards you're going to have a big problem covering your face and torso. If a load of 12ga bird to the head at 15 feet won't do major damage that #4 Buck will. Not a good site to witness, not Hamburger Hill but Hamburger Head. :eek:

John Schwartz
February 27, 2010, 02:43 PM
wilson133,

I know of two people who have had their homes invaded by armed men, and both were pot dealing pacifists. That is to say, they had cash, drugs, and no guns. They were targets of opportunity.

You claim that armed home invasions are on the rise. I don't know anything about that. A quick google search for "home invasion statistics" gave me a couple links.

http://www.superpages.com/supertips/home-invasion.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_invasion

The first link says "Though the chances of home invasion may have never occurred to you as particularly high, recent statistics suggest that this form of burglary is on the rise." That confirms what you said, sort of. It certainly leaves room for doubt. It also mentions "50 percent of home invasions involve the use of a weapon; the most common weapons used are knives or other cutting instruments." This means that 50 percent of home invasions don't involve weapons, and that invaders rarely use firearms.

In other words, that makes me feel confident that pumping the action of a shot gun will do plenty to secure my home. I know that if I broke into a guys house unarmed or carrying a knife I'd surrender to anyone with a gun. Knowing where they are is irrelevant when the odds are stacked against you like that.

Second link is wikipedia, and it says, "Few statistics are available on home invasion as a crime, because it is not technically a specific crime in most states. . . But law enforcement has been seeing the increase in "home-invasion robberies" since at least June 1995, when "home-invasion robberies" were the topic of the cover story of The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin."

Sounds like you're probably right about the home invasions being on the rise. However, statistics are still unclear, and after a quick search I haven't been able to find any break down for invasions of drug dealers versus other homes.

Back to pumping the action. You say it's a myth, and you're probably right in certain cases. If I lived in a very high crime area, or one where heavily armed gangs routinely invade people's homes, I'd probably keep five shells of buckshot in the tube, and one in the chamber. Where I'm from though, in the suburbs, most people don't even own guns. If I were dumb enough to break into a home, and I heard a shot gun getting pumped, I'd crap my pants. I'm not fighting a guy with a shotgun. That's just not worth it. I'd surrender, get arrested and maybe wind up locked up for a month with a suspended sentence of a couple years. That's much better than risking my life in a fight I probably won't win. The idiots I knew growing up who've been arrested for B&E would do the exact same thing. They weren't trying to get shot, they were trying to steal easily fenced items.

As far as warning shots go, you're right that they're not legally protected. I'd still rather explain a warning shot than a shot to kill. Police and prosecutors have a lot of discretion in dealing with things like that, and if you've got a decent lawyer and a clean record you'll probably get away with it. It all depends on circumstances. You can't shoot a warning shot at an unarmed intruder, and you wouldn't bother if they posed an immediate threat, but if they've got a knife (the most common weapon used in a home invasion), and they're across the room, shooting them in the feet is a way to end the situation without killing them.

As far as birdshot being ineffective, if you pointed a shotgun at my face and said that it was loaded with a trap load, I wouldn't think "ballistic gel blah blah blah." I think, "Holy crap, my eyes are about to be turned to goo." You don't have to kill every single person you see. Most situations can be resolved without ending someone's life.

You talk about training and experience, it makes me wonder. What kind of training? What kind of experience? Has you home been invaded by armed gangs multiple times? As far as I know you're an anonymous guy on a message board. What I've seen doesn't impress me. I've seen a bunch of Rambo wannabes talking about how getting shot with birdshot is just gonna **** you off, and how #4 buck isn't good enough for home defense. Swear to God, if you shot me with birdshot from across a room, I would do whatever you told me to do. If you shot me with #4 I'd probably be dead.

Capt. Mike knows that much. If he, or somebody else with a lick of sense, says that pumping the action is a myth, I'll believe him. I'm just sharing my own limited experience with you guys. I'm willing to be educated, I'm just not willing to swallow bull.

nate45
February 27, 2010, 06:16 PM
You talk about training and experience, it makes me wonder. What kind of training? What kind of experience? Has you home been invaded by armed gangs multiple times? As far as I know you're an anonymous guy on a message board. What I've seen doesn't impress me. What I've seen doesn't impress me. I've seen a bunch of Rambo wannabes talking about how getting shot with birdshot is just gonna **** you off, and how #4 buck isn't good enough for home defense.

Well, you got us John.:o

I knew someday, someone, would come along and tear the whole buckshot house of cards down.

I mean the fact that this site is owned by S.W.A.T Magazine and some of America's best gun writers, defense tacticians, ammunition and firearms experts post here, that fact did not stop us. No, after all these years, it took the amazing John Schwartz to come along and expose us as wannabes and tear down our lies. :rolleyes:

dgludwig
February 27, 2010, 07:01 PM
I'm just not willing to swallow bull.

Nor should you. But what's already been said here is a long way from being bull. Pumping a shotgun before shooting it only says, "Hey, bg, I'm over here." If you need to fire a gun in self-defense it is only because your life and limb or that of an innocent other is in jeopardy. Warning shots only wastes ammunition and could compound any attendant legal ramifications. Save your bird shot for pheasants. If you mean to use your shotgun for self-defense, use ammunition appropriate to the task.

But the biggest mistake you're making imo is overly-stereotyping the criminal mind-set. I retired after over thirty years of le. My experience by no means makes me any kind of an expert in any sense of the word but what it did teach me is to never assume you have an understanding of how a criminal might think; allowing you to falsely predict his/her actions. All criminals are not stupid. All criminals are not cowards. And, most importantly, all criminals are not rational. Add a little meth or some other mind-altering substance and you potentially end up with a miscreant who doesn't run from the racking of a pump shotgun (like you or I or some other rational thinking person might be expected to do); is not deterred by a warning shot and whose drug-induced rage might allow him to temporarily withstand a load of no. 7 1/2 quail shot. Shooting somebody to stop them from killing you is no time for temporary measures. You don't shoot people in the feet who are trying to kill you. If they aren't trying to kill you, you probably have no business discharging a firearm in the first place.

If I were dumb enough to break into a home, and I heard a shot gun getting pumped, I'd crap my pants. I'm not fighting a guy with a shotgun. That's just not worth it. I'd surrender,

You would-they might not.

The idiots I knew growing up who've been arrested for B&E would do the exact same thing. They weren't trying to get shot, they were trying to steal easily fenced items.

And your former high school punks are the ones you're counting on to invade your home?

but if they've got a knife (the most common weapon used in a home invasion), and they're across the room,

How long do you think it would take for them to close the distance from "across the room"? Would you believe under two seconds?

As far as birdshot being ineffective, if you pointed a shotgun at my face and said that it was loaded with a trap load, I wouldn't think "ballistic gel blah blah blah." I think, "Holy crap, my eyes are about to be turned to goo."

Yeah, you would. Remember, you're the one who can be depended on to act rationally. They're the ones who very well might not.

Most situations can be resolved without ending someone's life.

Not situations where firing a shotgun point blank at another human being is the only thing that will stop him from killing you. And those are the only situations where you would be justified in shooting at somebody. Your goal is stopping someone from killing you. Unfortunately, stopping often times entails killing. If you are unwilling to kill to keep yourself or a loved one from being killed, you really should think long and hard before arming yourself with a shotgun. I would seriously advise looking into some kind of chemical deterrent like mace or pepper spray.

jammin1237
February 27, 2010, 09:09 PM
i realize now from my prior posts in this thread, i was side tracked...i apologize for assuming that the #4 buck shot was coming from a 12 ga...

i would trust #4 buckshot from "any" shotgun with my life...

i don't give a crap what some intruder thinks, or his prior convictions that drive him/her to do what they do, save it for the Dr Phil Show...

i dont know the criminal mindset nor do i want to, all i know is that if it enters here, it will be challenged to the fullest extent, without question...

cheers

NeroBrandt
February 27, 2010, 09:30 PM
I would suspect that with anyone entering your house uninvited at 3:00AM was up to no good and the only logical assumption you could make would be that they were there either to kill you and your family and/or take your things (most likely both). I would also think that a person would be well within his rights to shoot them dead without hesitation or question...

Shane Tuttle
February 27, 2010, 10:40 PM
With this thread continuing from last year and the discussion being veered to tactics (if one really wants to think so anyway), I think this one's ran its course.

Closed.