I never did any gelatin tests. I have shot about ten deer in Michigan over the years with #4 Buckshot, most of them with the two and three-quarters, 27 pellet count, a couple of the last ones with three-inch, 41 pellet count loads. They all worked very well. I am glad to see that #4 Buckshot works so well on gelatin also.
Some #4 Buckshot myths:
Myth: (1) They run off and suffer.
Reality: They fell as quick, usually quicker than those I have shot with a rifle. Did not have to track any of them.
Myth: (2) Number 4 Buckshot does not have enough mass, will not penetrate deep enough to be effective.
Reality: Usually found the pellets under the hide on the off-side, having penetrated all the way through the vitals, did not have enough energy left to exit the tough hide, but stretch it and bruised it. The deer died from bleeding into the chest cavity.
Myth (3) All those pellets will destroy to much meat.
Reality: This is a really big one. I have never had to discard any blood-shot meat or any meat full of bone debris, etc., that I have had to do with rifle killed deer. The pellets do not cause secondary projectiles out of bone, do not have the high velocity the causes massive bruising. The muscle meat itself (not so with the vitals), is relatively undamaged by the buckshot. In an instance I remember, after eating a pristine should-roast, I discovered a clean hole through the should-blade...there had been no evidence of any damage to the meat before it was eaten.
Myth (3-b) All those pellets will destroy to much meat.
Reality: Despite the pellet count (especially the 41 pellets in a three-inch 12 guage), the pellets fly though the air as an elongated cloud. If the deer is running, the cloud of pellets will not all hit the deer. Some of the forward pellets will miss the dear, some in the middle of the cloud will hit the deer the length of the body, some in the rear of the cloud will not miss the deer. Being "cloud" shaped some will miss above and below the deer. The only way all of the pellets could hit the deer is at extremely close range to the deer while it was standing still.
I always do an autopsy on my deer when skinning and processing (do it myself), and the most pellets I have ever found in a deer were nine. I have never lost a deer that I have shot at using number four buck...how many of you can say that about rifle hunting?
Why not use double-ought? It is the same as duck hunting...you have to put enough pellets into the duck to do the job. If you use double-ought, some of your cloud of shot will miss to the front, some above, some below, and some will miss to the rear. How many pellets of double-ought will actually hit the deer? You have to hit the duck/deer with enough pellets to do the job. How many pellets do you find in your ducks?
Last edited by dahermit; December 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM.