Have y'all had to point a shotgun at someone or had a shotgun pointed at you?
Yes, and Yes. And yes I've actually been shot at
with a shotgun. Buckshot whistling over and around your head is not a sound you'll soon forget, and it sounds absolutely evil hitting trees around you.
Birdshot from across a dove field fired by a 10 year old shooting at a low bird encouraged by an adult that shoulda known better sorta stings a bit too..........but I digress....
Based upon my own pattern testing (and real world performance on game), I buy and use Federal LE12700 "Flite Control" shells. 2 3/4" 9 pellet 00 load at 1345fps MV.
It patterns well, I use it for deer (where it performs admirably out to distances I'd not trust other loads) and it stays loaded in my home defense ready guns.
If I ever find a #1 load that patterns as well I may switch. Until then I'll stick with what I know works from the guns I own and shoot.