I really love the idea of buckshot for that "saturation effect" that a well-patterning load delivers. As Massad Ayoob states in Stressfire 2: Shotgun, sometimes the sum of the parts are massively more effective than any of the parts taken alone (or something to that effect).
I can't say that a Buck-N-Ball load would be _more_ effective at close range than buckshot, but if you and your gun can keep that pattern of a 1oz slug and 3 heavy pellets in the kill zone at close range how much difference in effect could there really be? And with the Buck-N-Ball you have the advantage of taking well-aimed shots out to 50 yards or so and pounding a target with that 1oz slug, even if the shot doesn't hit or reach the target with any appreciable velocity.
I think the value in the Buck-N-Ball load might lie in a more offensive role as opposed to a defensive role. For strictly home defense buckshot is probably going to always be the best way to go. Slugs are devastating, but that "saturation" effect that you get from buckshot is incredible. It's like all of your organs getting smashed at the same time instead of a single projectile issuing a tremendous wound channel through just one smaller area. Sure, both will probably end the fight but it seems the buckshot would have the more immediate result.
In an offensive setting where you might be engaging moving targets at distances out to 50 yards or so I can see the Buck-N-Ball load holding merit. You might miss with the slug, but you've got those 3 "insurance" pellets out there that might land you a wounding hit that would facilitate a follow-up coup de grace. Also, with the Buck-N-Ball load in an offensive role you are throwing a mix of heavy penetrating payload in the slug with a few extra pellets that might wound additional targets or maybe have some ricochet effects if you were shooting into a confined area.
I fear I'm starting to stray into that "mall ninja" territory but it is fun to imagine different scenarios where a somewhat non-conventional (but tested and proven) load like the Buck-N-Ball might prevail. It's always good to know what options are available and base your choice on what you load up with on sound logic.
"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 3, 2012 at 10:05 AM.