I watched a video account by a young man who found himself on the wrong end of a gang initiation. He was shot three times at less than 10 feet with a 12 gauge. Once in the arm, once in the chest and a grazing shot to the head. Then the perp left him for dead. The young man then proceeded to walk to get help. He was unconscious for several days. He made a full recovery.
Did it ruin his day? Sure. But that's not the correct measure here.
We're talking about a home defense situation here. That person that you shoot must be in the process of putting your life or the life of a loved one in peril. The question is; can I count on this shot to END this situation. If the perp has a weapon himself do you really want to bet that they won't be able to return fire? This kid got shot center mass and walked away... Literally walked away from the scene.
You do what you think is right, but as for me I figured out what the 'worst' patterning (loosest) 00 buckshot was and that's what's in my hd gun. It gives me a 10" circle at 15'.
Remington 3" 00 from Walmart in the 15rd packs. I also tested federal 00 and 000 classic. I found the 00 to pattern very tightly at 15'. 3-4". The 000 was a little looser at about 5".