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Old July 25, 2000, 06:48 PM   #1
Xero
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00 Buck is the standard defensive load. It's 0.33" dia. and you get about 9 pellets in a 12 gauge load. Number 1 Buck is 0.30" dia. and you get about 16 pellets.

I like the idea of "30 cal." and nearly twice the pellets. Whay say you?
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Old July 25, 2000, 07:16 PM   #2
J. Parker
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Xero; I'm no expert but from what I've read it seems #4 buck might be a good load for home defense. The concensus is #00 buck might over-penetrate. Some prefer birdshot. I must tell you a story- My buddy and I were out blowing stuff up one day and I've got to tell you birdshot was a sorry penetrator on very lightly constructed targets. So, I'm not a fan of birdshot for home defense. When I'm out camping I stok my Rem 870 HD with #00 buck or slugs. Just my thoughts, J. Parker
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Old July 25, 2000, 08:39 PM   #3
Dave McC
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Six of one, half dozen of the other. What I suggest is patterning with both and going with the tightest, assuming it's zeroed.

I use 00 because I still have plenty left from work.It patterns well in my 870.
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Old July 26, 2000, 08:05 AM   #4
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I think #1 is probably slightly better in terms of wound ballistics, but how dead do the bad guys have to be? I use 00 in my HD shotgun because it is available in the "Reduced Recoil" or "Tactical" loadings, which are much more pleasant to fire. I have read that these loads are also available in #4 Buck, but have never seen them. Either way, I think whatever slight reduction in "stopping power" is suffered by going from #1 to 00 or #4 RR/Tactical loads is well worth it for the noticeable reduction in recoil.

That said, I think the ultimate 12 gauge home defense load would be a Tactical/RR #1 Buck with plated, buffered shot and low muzzle flash like Winchester's Reduced Recoil load.

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Old July 26, 2000, 09:45 AM   #5
Mike Irwin
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I shoot No. 4 buck, not for any overpenetration worries, but for a couple of reasons...

1. 24 to 27 pellets, depending on the load. I think Remington has 27.

2. Those 27 pellets give you nearly 1/2 again as much payload weight. Since they're smaller, they pack into the shell more efficiently.

3. With that extra weight comes significantly more energy on target.

At household ranges, you're not giving anything up by using No. 4 buck. I do, however, keep 5 Sellier & Bellot 00 buck shells, loaded with 12 pellets of shot (they're roll crimped, not fold crimped, so you don't lose payload space), just in case I need a reload.

My shotgun will put all 27 No. 4 pellets into a group that can be covered by my hand at 7 yards, and will keep all of them on a B-27 at 12-15 yards.

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Old July 26, 2000, 06:34 PM   #6
George Hill
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I'm a creature of habit - my police academy taught us with 9 pellet 00 Buck - so thats what I use.
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Old July 28, 2000, 10:00 AM   #7
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What about steel vs lead vs hi-brass shot. Either more risky in an aprtment (penetration)?
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Old July 28, 2000, 10:45 AM   #8
Mike Irwin
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I don't think there is steel buckshot, is there?

I think the largest steel shot is No. 1 for goose hunting?

By hi brass I'm assuming you mean higher power loadings. Stick with the higher power.

If you're REALLY worried about overpenetration in an apartment, use 7 1/2 shot and a full choke. At close range, the shot is going to hit the target in virtually a solid clump, but it will really be slowed down if it starts going through walls, etc. It's not going to be totally safe after it passes through a couple of walls, but it will be better than nothing.

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Old July 28, 2000, 10:56 AM   #9
Shawn Dodson
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I use Federal #1 Buck Magnum, F130-1B, which propels 20 pellets at about 1150 fps. Recoil is similar to Federal's #1 Buck Maximum load, F127-1B, which propels 16 pellets at about 1300+ fps (I don't have my notes handy, so my velocities might be inaccurate). Both loads pattern well out of both my shotgun barrels. Both loads have the potential to produce significantly more wound trauma than 00 buck.

The best patterns I've gotten so far has been with Federal's Premium 00 buck. The Tactical 00 Buck, H132-00, doesn't pattern well for me.

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Old July 28, 2000, 12:04 PM   #10
Dave McC
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Steel shot comes in F and T sizes, maybe more, larger than BB but smaller than buck. Steel does not deform,so more energy remains,
hence the possibility of overpenetration is greater.

Again, there's NO substitute for actually checking what a particular load will do in a particular shotgun at a particular choke degree. The good news is MOST will work OK, but you will not know for sure until you pattern and check.
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Old July 28, 2000, 06:46 PM   #11
a
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I went through this quandary myself a few years back. I'm basically a handgunner and think that shotguns are overrated. My Glock 21 has a 13 round clip; my Remington 870 holds, I think, 8 rounds with the extension tube. I get faster follow up shots with the handgun, I get more shots, and frankly out beyond 25 yards I'd rather have the handgun. Anyway, I tested 00 vs. #1 out in the desert. The #1 pattern expands very rapidly. If I recall, it was my conclusion that out beyond 15 yards or so I wouldn't like the #1. The 00 buck holds a tighter pattern with bigger pellets. I concluded by preferring the 00. Now, if you are concerned with in close fighting the #1 may be better. But then it gets back to, is it faster into employment up close than a handgun? I don't think so. I think this may be why, in true warfare, the guys are usually carrying a handgun and a battle rifle. The shotgun is a jack of all trades but a master of none. It might have been different in the old west where you'd have, say, a 10 gauge with split wads. That would really do some serious damage up close. In short, I think there's a reason the cops go with the 00 buck.
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Old July 28, 2000, 07:02 PM   #12
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Here's my two cents wort, Xero. The 12 pellet OO load is what I use. It's a 2 3/4" round and delivers as much energy as shooting somebody 12 times with a 32 auto. I prefer it because it's cheap and readily available and will penetrate anything. I'm not overly concerned with overpenetration. In my opinion, if I'm shooting at a bad gun with a shotgun, I'd be DAMN sure nothing is behind him. For apartments or urban situations, I'd suggest birdshot. It's nearly as effective at close range and won't penetrate too many walls. The shock power of birdshot is devestating but it loses it's velocity quicker and is less effective at increased range.
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Old July 29, 2000, 08:56 AM   #13
Dave McC
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a, to each his own. The shotgun MAY be overrated, for YOU.

Back when I competed, a common practice and fun COF was to stagger 5 targets(tombstones, B-whatever handy) from 15 to 25 yards, and place one shot on each while timing it. Sometimes started from the holster with handguns, sometimes not. Scores and times with either my GM or 870 w/ 00 were similiar, but there were oneheckuvalot more holes in the 870 targets.Times ran about 5 seconds, 6 from the holster. A good GM shot could cut that considerably.

Somebody said that you use your handgun to fight your way back to your longarm. Amen, for me at least...
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Old July 29, 2000, 09:28 AM   #14
Patrick Graham
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My 2 cents.
I have an ammo cabinet full of 2 3/4" #1 buck and #4 buck, non magnum. I also have 1 oz slugs. I lean towards the #4 buck because there are fewer big gaps in the pattern. Better to get single #4 buck pellet hit than a #1 buck miss.

Just my opinion.

Perhaps we should open a thread about "pattern". It would be interesting to learn more about it.
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Old July 29, 2000, 07:54 PM   #15
a
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Hey Dave- no need to get upset. I was just posting my experience, that's all. I like shotguns. It's just that after my own personal testing, I felt I'd be better off in a close quarters battle with a high capacity handgun. Faster follow up shots, faster into deployment, faster reloading, etc. As far as out beyond 25 yards or so, I'd prefer to have either an AR15 or an M1A. Several years back I was driving through Nevada with my wife and it happened to be during the local Hell's Angels convention. About 50-100 bikers zoomed past me in the middle of no where. No one hassled me. I was also armed with my Remington 870 and 3 handguns. But I felt seriously undergunned if something were to happen. I went out the next week and bought an AR15 with some 30 round clips. I felt that 8 rounds of 00 buck just wouldn't do it.
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Old July 29, 2000, 09:09 PM   #16
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I made some "walls" a couple of feet square out of 2x4s, sheet rock, and fiberglass insulation. I also made some with 1/4" inch panelling on each side and some with panelling over drywall last year for testing.

We checked the longest distance we could have from muzzle to target in the house and it was 14 feet (the room was 20 feet but with back against one wall the muzzle was out 4 feet and the BG was considered to be 2 feet thick if he was against far wall).

We tried all sorts of shot and decided on 7/12 or 8 CHEAP trap and skeet shot in highest velocity available. We found that the shot stayed in the shot cup out to about 15 to 18 feet and that it penetrated the first layer of wall like a slug. The cup was always left outside the first layer or inside the fiberglass. The shot penetrated the second layer of sheet rock but the pellets would only dimple and stick 1/8" or so into the second "wall".

We also "dressed" some big cabbage in various denim jackets, shirts, and leather coats from the thrift shop. We found that out to about 15 feet the trap and skeet load carried the clothing well into the cabbage (about a foot) and then exited the cabbage but most of the time everything stayed inside the back of the clothing if it went all the way through the cabbage.

We decided that for inside use the ONLY thing we were interested in was the $3.99 a box Walmart high speed trap and skeet loads. For outside use we opted for 00 and 000 Buck for out to 40 yards (night use) and slugs for day use as we were able to hold 18" easily at 100 yards.

These were our decisions for protection after several months of various sorts of tests as realistic as we could make them.

One of the neighbors tested a "hog in a jacket" when it came time to "harvest the bacon".

The Walmart trap load was shot into a double layer of denim jacket around the hogs neck at 16 to 20 feet (we measured after the shot). The plastic shot cup was located between the second layer of denim and the tough and hairy hog hide. It was about a 400 lb. hog. The hog dropped instantly.

"Autopsy" showed that the heavy neck spine was severely damaged and the meat was destroyed in the muscular neck for about 12 to 15 inches which was a little past and below the spine.

The spine was seemingly separated due to the hydraulic trauma as the shot went about 2 inches below it.

Nothing came through the other side of the neck which was about 18 to 20 inches thick. Hogs do a lot of digging all day with the nose and thus the neck is pretty solid muscle. and the spine is quite heavy.

We felt this was a good test but had no second hog to repeat the test with. The one hog gave us about 150 - 200 pounds of various kinds of pork meats and we had no need for more.

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[This message has been edited by Jody Hudson (edited July 29, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Jody Hudson (edited July 29, 2000).]
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Old July 30, 2000, 07:27 AM   #17
mussi
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Birdshot is actually great to incapacitate a perp. Just go figure -
one shot in the legs and the BG stands a good chance never to walk
again in his life. And of course, in front of a judge, one can always
claim "Sir, I shot him in the legs.".

Of course, bird shot also has the advantage it never overpenetrates,
and probably also makes a few dB less noise, which is a bonus if one
has to fire the shotgun without a HPD.
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Old July 30, 2000, 07:54 AM   #18
Dave McC
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A, I'm not upset, sorry to give that impression. The big advantage to a shotgun for HD is the massive amount of energy it dumps into a target,see Jody's Hog post here.

Nothing shoulder operated guarantees a stop, but the shotgun comes closest.

As for dealing with 50-100 bikers, you need backup(Like a heavily armed Marine platoon) more than a "Bigger" gun,IMO.
Out past 25 yards, it's a different game,and rifles would be the weapon of choice.

Thanks, Jody, that's an interesting test.
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Old July 30, 2000, 09:26 AM   #19
a
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Yea, you're right about the bikers. All I can say is I'd try to take as many with me as possible. I doubt if any of them would be carrying rifles, anyway. Maybe in a hypothetical situation such as this I could catch some of them out at a distance. Do you think if enough of them started dropping like flies, they'd lay siege and wipe me out? Probably. I tell you, though, that this one situation changed my whole perspective on defensive firearms and made me realize the importance of high capacity and fast reloading.
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Old July 30, 2000, 02:46 PM   #20
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I don't worry about the Hell's Angels, they may be a little noisy and rowdy but with several interfaces I've had with them communication sufficed. In fact during the Rodney King riots I asked them to keep the peace in a section of Hollywood (which they did a GREAT job of) in exchange for me arranging for a safe and secure place for all the bikes.

HOWEVER... at one time I lived in an area where predators on high performance dirt bikes had made a few terrorizing, maraudings of the local farm areas. They had come in fast from many directions and looted some small farms -- taking all and loading into a couple of trucks that followed them.

Some of the local boys somehow found out where they were from went to see them early one morning and "talked" them out of coming out to the country any more.

Before that happened though I bought a few dozen rounds of 12 gauge flares from the Ship's Supply store -- for just in case. The flares had an accurate range of about 95 yards with an ounce of phosphorous! After the 95 yards or so they began an erratic course for the next 80 to 100 yards. They were about $3 each for the flares as I recall.

I bought the flares based on the premise that bikers LOVE the bikes they ride. I felt that the psychological factor of white phosphorous bouncing and splashing amongst them and the bikes might be discouraging to them.

I went out to a neighboring farm of ours at the time and with permission I fired a couple of the flares into a scrap heap of metal that the farmer had for miscellaneous repairs. I was well impressed by the splashing of the phosphorous into the metal pile when it hit. I fired one of the flares into a bale of wet hay and then cut open the hay -- it had penetrated about a foot or so and had charred an area about the size of a softball in the wet hay.

AND I got a couple of hundred-round spiral magazines for my .22 rifle so I could bother them a lot more if there were a bunch of them. Yes, I had some auto-loading rifles and large magazines in larger calibers and some of those fast loaders filled with 00 Buck and slugs for my Bennelli shot guns too -- but we all make our choices based on our own experiences and familiarities. So I decided on the flares and .22s and was very happy that some of my distant neighbors "talked" the dirt bikers out of coming back. In fact the bikers "gave" all the bikes to the farm boys who loaded them up gratefully and brought them back where they were sold for parts and the money went to help the farmers who had been victimized. As far as I know the police were never involved -- just neighbors helping neighbors...

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Old July 30, 2000, 02:46 PM   #21
Jody Hudson
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I don't worry about the Hell's Angels, they may be a little noisy and rowdy but with several interfaces I've had with them communication sufficed. In fact during the Rodney King riots I asked them to keep the peace in a section of Hollywood (which they did a GREAT job of) in exchange for me arranging for a safe and secure place for all the bikes.

HOWEVER... at one time I lived in an area where predators on high performance dirt bikes had made a few terrorizing, maraudings of the local farm areas. They had come in fast from many directions and looted some small farms -- taking all and loading into a couple of trucks that followed them.

Some of the local boys somehow found out where they were from went to see them early one morning and "talked" them out of coming out to the country any more.

Before that happened though I bought a few dozen rounds of 12 gauge flares from the Ship's Supply store -- for just in case. The flares had an accurate range of about 95 yards with an ounce of phosphorous! After the 95 yards or so they began an erratic course for the next 80 to 100 yards. They were about $3 each for the flares as I recall.

I bought the flares based on the premise that bikers LOVE the bikes they ride. I felt that the psychological factor of white phosphorous bouncing and splashing amongst them and the bikes might be discouraging to them.

I went out to a neighboring farm of ours at the time and with permission I fired a couple of the flares into a scrap heap of metal that the farmer had for miscellaneous repairs. I was well impressed by the splashing of the phosphorous into the metal pile when it hit. I fired one of the flares into a bale of wet hay and then cut open the hay -- it had penetrated about a foot or so and had charred an area about the size of a softball in the wet hay.

AND I got a couple of hundred-round spiral magazines for my .22 rifle so I could bother them a lot more if there were a bunch of them. Yes, I had some auto-loading rifles and large magazines in larger calibers and some of those fast loaders filled with 00 Buck and slugs for my Bennelli shot guns too -- but we all make our choices based on our own experiences and familiarities. So I decided on the flares and .22s and was very happy that some of my distant neighbors "talked" the dirt bikers out of coming back. In fact the bikers "gave" all the bikes to the farm boys who loaded them up gratefully and brought them back where they were sold for parts and the money went to help the farmers who had been victimized. As far as I know the police were never involved -- just neighbors helping neighbors...

------------------
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Old July 30, 2000, 03:52 PM   #22
Jody Hudson
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I don't worry about the Hell's Angels, they may be a little noisy and rowdy but with several interfaces I've had with them communication sufficed. In fact during the Rodney King riots I asked them to keep the peace in a section of Hollywood (which they did a GREAT job of) in exchange for me arranging for a safe and secure place for all the bikes.

HOWEVER... at one time I lived in an area where predators on high performance dirt bikes had made a few terrorizing, maraudings of the local farm areas. They had come in fast from many directions and looted some small farms -- taking all and loading into a couple of trucks that followed them.

Some of the local boys somehow found out where they were from went to see them early one morning and "talked" them out of coming out to the country any more.

Before that happened though I bought a few dozen rounds of 12 gauge flares from the Ship's Supply store -- for just in case. The flares had an accurate range of about 95 yards with an ounce of phosphorous! After the 95 yards or so they began an erratic course for the next 80 to 100 yards. They were about $3 each for the flares as I recall.

I bought the flares based on the premise that bikers LOVE the bikes they ride. I felt that the psychological factor of white phosphorous bouncing and splashing amongst them and the bikes might be discouraging to them.

I went out to a neighboring farm of ours at the time and with permission I fired a couple of the flares into a scrap heap of metal that the farmer had for miscellaneous repairs. I was well impressed by the splashing of the phosphorous into the metal pile when it hit. I fired one of the flares into a bale of wet hay and then cut open the hay -- it had penetrated about a foot or so and had charred an area about the size of a softball in the wet hay.

AND I got a couple of hundred-round spiral magazines for my .22 rifle so I could bother them a lot more if there were a bunch of them. Yes, I had some auto-loading rifles and large magazines in larger calibers and some of those fast loaders filled with 00 Buck and slugs for my Bennelli shot guns too -- but we all make our choices based on our own experiences and familiarities. So I decided on the flares and .22s and was very happy that some of my distant neighbors "talked" the dirt bikers out of coming back. In fact the bikers "gave" all the bikes to the farm boys who loaded them up gratefully and brought them back where they were sold for parts and the money went to help the farmers who had been victimized. As far as I know the police were never involved -- just neighbors helping neighbors...

------------------
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Old July 30, 2000, 06:36 PM   #23
G50AE
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I would recomend either Single-O or #1. Shawn Dodson on his website makes a good case for #1. Ayoob also makes a good case for #1 in several of his articles. Both of their reasonnings are logical so #1 is probably a good bet, but if you can't get #1 in your area, use Single-O because it's closer to #1 than OO, and since you cannot get #2.
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Old July 30, 2000, 09:06 PM   #24
Dave McC
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I recall an FBI agent who was teaching an instructor's class giving a good case for #4 buck. IMO, all of it will work fine under the distance constraints, I still think one should pattern some in their weapons and get what shoots the tightest.

BTW, smaller buck oft patterns tighter than 00, but the FBI stuff ran looser in the 870 I used for the school.
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Old July 30, 2000, 09:45 PM   #25
Jerry Stordahl
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I read on some website; I think it might have been firearmstactical.com that the choice for buckshot is #1. The reasoning was greater incapacitating wound possibilities with the 30 cal. #1 buck; greater number of pellets with enough weight to penetrate adequately.

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