The history of the buck and ball load is really interesting. I've read that George Washington was a huge fan of it and that it was used widely by General Meagher's "Irish Brigade" during the civil war with deadly effect, especially during the Battle Of Bloody Lane at Antietam.
In fact, there's an article in the latest American Rifleman about the guns of Antietam and it says that in addition to General Meagher, "Col. William De Rosset of the 3rd North Carolina actually declined to turn in his smoothbores for Springfield rifle-muskets. Both men believed that engagement ranges would be short enough to make the .69-cal. "buck and ball" load of a .65-cal. round ball and three .32-cal. buckshot more effective in the shotgun-like smoothbore than the single conical Minie ball used in the rifle-musket."
In addition to these testimonies, I have read that the buck and ball load was used in the Boer War extensively (I assume the first Boer War, I would like to learn more about this if anyone can supply any links to factual information).
Obviously this type of loading is no 'gimmick'. It is a time-tested and battle-tested combat loading that has very real benefits. In my case, I think it's a great option through a barrel that I haven't yet patterned. Once I get a chance to go out and shoot this barrel I've got the mil-spec buckshot, Federal 00 Buck and Winchester 00 Buck that I'm going to test in addition to a variety of different slugs. If I am able to find any of the Federal flightcontrol buckshot mentioned previously I will try that as well.
But until I get it patterned (and maybe after) I'm sticking with the buck and ball combination. It's just another example of how versatile the 12 gauge shotgun is and why it's probably my favorite of all firearms.
EDIT: Forgot to mention that I paid $12.37 for a box of 10 rounds of Winchester PDX1 12 gauge ammo, so I don't think it's outrageously priced like that "Pitbull" stuff that sells for $16.95 for 5 rounds.
"Which side are we on? We're on the side of the demons, Chief. We're evil men in the gardens of paradise, sent by the forces of death to spread devastation and destruction wherever we go. I'm surprised you didn't know that." --Saul Tigh
Last edited by azsixshooter; July 2, 2012 at 04:03 PM.