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Old February 4, 2000, 02:06 PM   #1
BTR
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I have an old double-barreled 16 gauge shotgun, and a bunch of size 6 birdshot shells. What size shot is recommend for self-defense? My knowlege of shotguns is extremely limited, I just inherited it. Thanks.
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Old February 4, 2000, 04:59 PM   #2
LongDuck
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You mentioned nothing about the model or brand or age of the shotgun, so assuming that it's a side-by-side (SxS), you'll want to be sure that it can handle standard shotshell loads before trying anything new. Most over/under (O/U) guns are designed to use modern loads, AFAIK. If you're unsure, take the gun to a gunsmith or shop (in a case, makes them nervous when you just 'walk-in' with it...) and have them look it over. Some were designed for black powder shells only and you could be in serious trouble if you ever tried to shoot smokeless powder shells (modern) in it.

To answer your question about shot size for self defense, it really depends on your immediate environment. Again, guessing that this will be a Home Defense (HD) gun left around the house, you'll need to take into account your maximum range of fire. If your house is contemporary ranch style, you'll be fine with standard #7 or #8 upland game loads, since penetration through drywall and 2x4's would be minimal. At indoor ranges of the modern home, you won't be called upon to fire at farther than 15-20 feet, and at this range, your shot spread with birdshot is going to be 4"-6" - possibly less depending on choke.

If you live on a larger property and may have to fire on more distant targets, 00 buckshot would make a great defense round providing it patterns well in your gun. Slugs are the ultimate in 'stopping power' but have limited utility indoors and very limited use until you need penetration or accuracy out to 100 yards (again, depending on choke and gun).

In all, you're probably okay with birdshot in that gun, but be sure to get it checked out if you're not familiar. Best,

[This message has been edited by LongDuck (edited February 04, 2000).]
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Old February 4, 2000, 05:37 PM   #3
BTR
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Thanks, LongDuck. It's a Savage Arms, Stevens Model 311A. It's probably not that old, but the stock is a little battered. So, size 6 shot is adequete for home defense?
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Old February 4, 2000, 08:11 PM   #4
Al Thompson
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In a word, yes. If you anticipate longer shots (10 yards and beyond) and your backstop is OK (very important), you may want to look for some buckshot.

It is very important (!!!!!!) that you shoot this thing and acheive a good comfort level with it.

Giz
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Old February 4, 2000, 09:58 PM   #5
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I have 7 1/2 birdshot in mine. Working in an ER I've been privvy to seeing the results of many gunshot wounds. Although 00 Buck is impressive, NOTHING compares to 1 1/4 oz. of Birdshot form 15 feet! Were not talking about penetration injuries here, sure plenty penetrates and puts dozens of holes in vital organs. But the tissue destruction at the contact point is total. Talk about completely "DEFACEING!" (no pun intended)

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Old February 5, 2000, 10:08 AM   #6
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I've got to agree with the DOC, birdshot is the best for HD. I keep 4 or 6 shot pheasant loads in mine. If the perp lives, just think how painful it'll be pikin out all them itty bitty pellets. Your shots won't be more than 15 or 20 feet so you won't need a lot of carry. I've gotten off quick shots on pheasants at 10 to 15 yards and it just explodes them (not too good eatin after that). Imagine what that would do to the perp.

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Old February 5, 2000, 12:26 PM   #7
PEA SHOOTER
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The loads I keep in mine are; 36grns BlueDot 1 1/4 #6 Win R12 wad in a Fedral paper hull
This is my Pot$hoot/Pheasant and used to be duck load.A proven performer!
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Old February 5, 2000, 12:53 PM   #8
Dave McC
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Close range shotgun wounds, regardless of shot size, are best described as a bloody rathole. The database shows(or did show,haven't checked lately) that a shotgun comes as close to a one shot one stop weapon as any shoulder arm can be.

BUT, I never saw anyone who didn't LIKE shotguns become more than marginally effective with same.So, if you shoot recreationally, use the shotgun for HD. But, it's no Magic Amulet that shields from harm by its mere presence. If you're not fond of the shotgun, I fervently rewcommend you explore alternatives, especially if there's others who may need to use your firearms for HD.

Finally, the 311 is a serviceable weapon with modern ammo,and I think #1 buck is readily available in 16 ga.
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Old February 5, 2000, 05:24 PM   #9
Art Eatman
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At inside-the-house distances, #9 Skeet is probably as useful as 00 Buck or any size in between.

Implicit in Dave McC's comment is, "Practice!". Get used to the gun, whether or not you hunt. Fondle and feel and get used to such things as reloading without looking at the gun. Cardboard boxes are good targets at, say five yards and ten yards. Shoot from the hip, shoot from the shoulder...

FWIW, Art
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Old February 5, 2000, 05:32 PM   #10
Ned Roundtree
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I use for HD #00 Buck and #4.
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Old February 7, 2000, 03:25 PM   #11
kraMrD
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I think it was Jack99 who posted a link to a ballistic/wound pattern chart which indicated that reduced recoil #1 buck gave the greatest wounding potential of all shotgun loads.

That's what I keep loaded in my HD Benelli.

M.
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Old February 7, 2000, 05:20 PM   #12
Dr.Rob
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And I think it was Dave who said "breath mints fired out of a 12 guage would be lethal at home defense range." with a 16 guage I think u need the sectional density of Certs.

Seriously the #6 should be fine, but if the ammo looks old or corroded (like is been wet, or laying in the bottom of a tacklebox) I'd get some new shells. Have gunsmith show you how to take it apart and clean and give it a thorough inspection before you decide to shoot it.

Good shooting and welcome to shotgunning.

Dr.Rob
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Old February 7, 2000, 07:56 PM   #13
Lavan
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#4 for anything under 25 yards.
Dunno if 00 comes in 16 ga. If not, 0 or 1
buck will take anything to 75 yards.
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Old February 8, 2000, 05:30 PM   #14
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1 #8, 2 #4s, and fallowed by 2 slugs(for the get away car).

Shok
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Old February 8, 2000, 07:07 PM   #15
Lavan
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S O M E B O D Y...... removed their plug.
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Old February 8, 2000, 07:44 PM   #16
muleshoe
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You must have a mighty big house if you're worried about 75 yd. shots. This subject has been hashed over and over with the same results. Some folks prefer the heavy stuff like 00buck and slugs, some folks think birdshot is plenty. I'm one to prefer birdshot, more pellets make a nastier hole. I would think that an errant shot with a slug would travel right through a wall, I hope the kid ain't sleeping on the other side. Here's another question for you sluggers. Say a gut shot not hitting the spine, will it exit the perp? Or will he take it to the hospital/morgue with him? If it does exit, does it still have enough energy left to go through that wall? Now I haven't tested this out cause my wife wouldn't be too happy about it, but I don't think a birdshot load will penatrate 2 pieces of sheetrock. And I'm real sure he'd take all of them to the hospital/morgue with him. As far as needing long range shots at get away cars, I think once Mr. Perp has left the building he is no longer fair game. Correct me if I'm wrong, but when the cavalry gets there aren't all deceased/deceasing perps supposed to be inside? Be hard to explain the one down the block in the car that's in Mrs. Jones' daisy patch with a slug in the back of his head.

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Old February 9, 2000, 12:22 AM   #17
TheOtherMikey
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BTR, I'll bet you are sorry you asked the question. Short answer is that the #6 are fine for home defense. At close range, they have a terrific whallop but are not large enough to penetrate walls and possible hurt children sleaping in other rooms.

Keep it, rely on it, use it to train on, and hopefully you will never have to use it for an actual threat. If you do, you will be ready. Regards, Mikey
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Old February 9, 2000, 01:32 PM   #18
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Muleshoe,

When deer hunting all of my slugs exited and were one shot kills. If you hit the deer in the sholder it will not exit. I'd guess it would be similar results for humans.

Shok
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Old February 9, 2000, 02:32 PM   #19
BTR
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I thank you all for the posts. If you have any more information you wish to share, I would be happy to read it. I shall practice more with my shotgun before I make any decision regarding its use.
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Old February 17, 2000, 10:40 PM   #20
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As to buckshot, I think you're stuck with #1 Buck which is a decent size for moderate range shooting. Get a case of the stuff both for practice and in case supplies get scarce. But before you do, try out both Winchester's and Federal's (if Federal still makes 16 gauge #1 buck) to see which one patterns better. Does anyone know if any other manufacturer makes buckshot for the 16 gauge?

Your local sporting goods shop should be able to order it for you but, if all else fails, try here http://www.goldpaint.net/cgi-bin/nph....tam?uu=108944
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Old February 18, 2000, 01:35 AM   #21
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by kraMrD:
I think it was Jack99 who posted a link to a ballistic/wound pattern chart which indicated that reduced recoil #1 buck gave the greatest wounding potential of all shotgun loads.

That's what I keep loaded in my HD Benelli.

M.
[/quote]I agree, I use #1 buck in my Mossberg 500. If I didn't have that, I would use #4 3" shells (turkey load)



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