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Old May 19, 2008, 12:34 AM   #26
Crosshair
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I think the Darwin Awards normally require one to kill oneself in some stupid way. Maybe this can qualify, however, given the nature of the injuries.
No, they only require that the person looses the ability to reproduce. Be it death or otherwise.
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Old May 19, 2008, 03:01 AM   #27
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But against an intruder inside your home, a good handgun is still your best option.
I don't think so.
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Old May 19, 2008, 07:28 AM   #28
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Well I have worked in a level one trauma hospital for almost 20 years. With the bird shot, it is like any defensive weapon, it can be devistating or not. I have seen a case where bird shot was used at a distance with only a few pellets hitting the side of the head, but one happened to penetrated the suture of the skull and transversed the brain killing the individual. In another case, the patient tried to commit suicide with a 410 under the chin and lived. Both of those were the exception.

Birdshot can be very effective and I do not hesitate to use it. That being said, as with any defensive weapon, don't stop until the BG is no longer a threat.
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Old May 19, 2008, 12:56 PM   #29
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I worked as a Paramedic in central Georgia for 13 years. I saw many gunshot wounds. Besides the cases I worked, I went over to the ER to check out any GSW that came in, as our barracks was in the parking lot out behind the ER, and I was particularly interested in gunshot wounds.
I was fascinated by the lethality of birdshot wounds to the torso.
In the course of my career I saw 14 close range birdshot wounds to the torso and every one of them died.
Most of these injuries occurred inside a house, so you are talking 10 feet to maybe 25 feet max.
We did have one sad case, a teenage boy was crossing a barbed wire fence. He had a .410 with number 6 shot. The gun went off and hit his brother in the back of the neck, ten feet away.
The kid was dead when the ambulance arrived.
Most of the shotgun torso wounds I saw were like that, we would get there ten minutes after the shooting and the guy would be graveyard dead.
I saw hundreds of gunshot wounds and close range birdshot was the most lethal gunshot injury I saw.

If any of y'all doubt the effectiveness of birdshot, it is easy to do a penetration test.
I had heard that birdshot would not penetrate a leather coat. I doubted this so I made a test. I got a pair of old workboots, the sole was worn out but the ankle leather was still good, easily as thick as the leather of a coat.
I got a 20 gauge shotgun loaded with number 8 shot. At fifteen feet I shot the boot. The shot went right through the leather, and went right out the other side. The pattern was familiar, about 1 1/2 inches wide, a rough jagged hole.
Then I put a pine 1x4 into the other boot. I figured that 3/4 inch of pine was a pretty good simulation of human bone.
I fired again. The shot went through the leather and blew right through the board. This time, only a few shot exited the other side of the boot.
I had the feeling that if someone had been wearing this boot they would have had their foot blown off, it would have given the orthopedic surgeon a very long night to try to save it.
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Old May 22, 2008, 11:41 PM   #30
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I will agree on the general effectiveness of birdshot

At very close range. I think it is a fine load for inside the house use in an emergency. As to the lethality of bird shot, I don't care. It is often very lethal, but in a defense situation, I don't care one bit about killing the attacker. What I care about is stopping them. If they die as a result of being stopped, they die. But killing is not my primary concern.

A stray pellet or two is unlikely to be lethal, and may not even cause serious damage, but the full shot charge (and wad) certainly can. I have read many folks on the Internet discounting birdshot as a viable defense round, always claiming the lack of penetration as "proof" of its inability to be a good stopping round. If you have a large house, and fire across the length of it, you just might get a shotgun pattern to open up enough to start to lose some effectivness, but under 40 feet (and in my house that is farther than any distance I can shoot) the shot column hits like one large bullet, no matter what the shot size.

Those idiots who tell novices that they need not aim ought to be beaten bloody, as this "advice" is not only incorrect, it is potentialy dangerously harmful. Patterns do open up, but not instantly, and even the most open choked gun will only be 4-5 inches spread at max inside the house range. You MUST AIM a shotgun! You just don't aim it like a rifle or pistol. But you still need to aim, or you WILL MISS!
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Old May 23, 2008, 02:39 AM   #31
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A stray pellet or two is unlikely to be lethal, and may not even cause serious damage, but the full shot charge (and wad) certainly can.
When its my life and the life of my family on the line, I'm not going to put my eggs in the "certianly can" basket.

There is more than enough evidence out there that shows the ineffectiveness of birdshot for stopping the attacker. Add to this some tweaker who hasn't come down yet and you have serious problems.

With low recoil loads there is no excuse for using buck in your shotgun.
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Old June 3, 2008, 03:39 PM   #32
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For those that advocate birdshot
Birdshot: Neutering retard, gang-banging, gun stealing, dope heads since 1776.
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Old June 5, 2008, 05:53 PM   #33
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I'm gonna teach our dogs to shoot.
They're up all night anyway.
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Old June 5, 2008, 11:18 PM   #34
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There is more than enough evidence out there that shows the ineffectiveness of birdshot for stopping the attacker.
Yet you are unable to cite any such "evidence"? Hmmm....

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Old June 5, 2008, 11:26 PM   #35
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I don't think so.
Again, it is interesting to see people state their opinions, yet have absolutely nothing to say to back up their remarks with.

As I have stated in a similar thread in the shotgun section of these forums, handguns offer definite advantages over a shotgun when it comes to home defense. In your average home, unless you live in a "mansion", you are operating in very tight quarters. A shotgun is going to be far more cumbersome to handle and deploy effectively.

Accessibility, though, is really the clear advantage the handgun has. It is going to be far easier and more practical to store a handgun in a safe and accessible location where you can easily retrieve it, than it will be for the far larger shotgun.

And a handgun in your hand far away beats out a shotgun in a nearby closet or safe.

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Old June 6, 2008, 06:53 PM   #36
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Lance, it is funny, the guys who have never seen a person shot with birdshot are full of info about how ineffective it is.
Those of us who have seen the effects of close-range birdshot know the truth.
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Old June 6, 2008, 09:21 PM   #37
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I'm trying to think of an informal test that I could do, to compare the two types of loads. Maybe even video tape the two shots for comparison. I'm specifically considering comparing a magnum 12 gauge 2 3/4" load with 12 00 Buckshot in it, with a magnum 12 gauge 2 3/4" Turkey hunting load of #5 Birdshot.

Within home defense type ranges, I can't see there being any practical difference.

I wish I knew someone here in Western Oregon that had ballistic gelatin available.

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Old June 6, 2008, 09:44 PM   #38
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Do a mythbusters! Buy a frozen pig or two and use them (after they have thawed out of course.)
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Old June 7, 2008, 03:33 AM   #39
grey sky
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Didn't the box o truth do this??
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Old June 7, 2008, 04:05 AM   #40
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Answering my own post

Yes he did but only with various buck loads and at 12 feet. I don't think this answers the question as in the house the distance is going to be closer or is at least likley to be.
I am inclined to believe being on the recieving end of a load of bird shot is going to slow down aggressive behaior appriciably and there is always the option of follow up shots
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Old June 7, 2008, 05:47 AM   #41
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I was thinking of testing at 20 ft. I am confident that even birdshot is going to hurt a heck of a lot at that range.

Where does one buy a frozen pig? I checked locally, and this was the only type of pig that I could find available for sale:


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Old June 7, 2008, 06:19 AM   #42
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I did find a birdshot gelatin test on the web. However, it was only of a light 1 1/8 oz field load of #4 shot. Still, the average penetration of the #4 shot at a range of 9 ft was 6.5 inches. And the wound is quite massive in size:





This sure looks like a lethal hit to me.


Now in contrast, I found a photo of a fellow who survived a hunting accident of being shot in the side with birdshot. I have no info about the range involved, but just by judging the size of this pattern, he must have been some distance from the shooter. Certainly you can contrast this pattern size here to the pattern size at 9 ft in the gelatin photo.


http://postarchives.entensity.net/082905/birdshot1.jpg


Still, though, I have got to think that this fellow must have been in terrible pain from this shot. The number of pellets here would also indicate to me that this was a rather small shot size. Remember that not all of the pattern would have hit him.

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Old June 7, 2008, 06:56 AM   #43
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Lance if that had been a man, instead of gelatin, he would not have been in any pain.
He would have been dead.
I have seen it many times on ambulance calls and the result was always the same. Dead Right There.
You get 9 inches of penetration. How thick is a human? Your chest wall tissue is like a deer's, it is maybe 2 inches thick, on a fat person 4 inches thick.
Get through that and all you have is stuff that bleeds a lot, like lungs and arteries.
Hit a man with a load like that in the torso and he will be in full cardiac arrest when the paramedics get there.
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Old June 7, 2008, 12:53 PM   #44
Bill DeShivs
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.... But..... but... the "FBI Penetration test" says it won't even hurt!
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Old June 7, 2008, 03:38 PM   #45
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A buddy of mine was shot in the belly with bird shot across a small room. It messed him up and he has an awful scar but he lived. The guy who shot him didn't.
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Old June 7, 2008, 04:07 PM   #46
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Agntsa

Using birdshot for home defense is laughable... But whatever

Lots of good comparison information here:
http://www.tacticalshotgun.ca/ballistics_shotgun.html


This photo of an average-size dude is worth 1000 words:




If you still cannot figure out why birdshot is a lousy choice...
I personally like the odds stacked in my favor
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Old June 7, 2008, 07:35 PM   #47
LanceOregon
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Lance if that had been a man, instead of gelatin, he would not have been in any pain.
He would have been dead.
The reference to pain was in regarding to the hunting accident photo, which is not showing up for some reason. I agree that the gelatin shot would be 100% lethal.

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Old June 7, 2008, 08:06 PM   #48
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Using birdshot for home defense is laughable... But whatever

Lots of good comparison information here:
http://www.tacticalshotgun.ca/ballistics_shotgun.html
Thanks much for posting that link. The gelatin tests there clearly prove that Birdshot is extremely lethal at close range.

I see absolutely nothing on that website to support your contention. In fact, the photos there conclusively show the birsdshot loads to be highly damaging.

Just look at this gelatin block showing #1 Birdshot ( yes, Birdshot that is between #2 and B in size, and works out to .16 caliber in size:





Penetration in the gelatin block was over 9 inches. The temporary stretch cavity was so huge, that it ripped open the entire gelatin block, as you can see in the above photo. And here is a close-up of the permanent cavity, which is also enormous in size:





A load of smaller #2 Birsdshot also penetrated over 9 inches, and caused this huge wound:




And has been previously pointed out by others, even the lighter 1 1/8 oz load of smaller #4 Birdshot would have been very lethal. Here is another view of that gelatin block, and you can see how badly that block was shattered too:





Again, thanks so much for providing this data that definitely proves your arguments against birdshot to be false.

.
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Old June 7, 2008, 08:15 PM   #49
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A buddy of mine was shot in the belly with bird shot across a small room. It messed him up and he has an awful scar but he lived. The guy who shot him didn't.
Please ask him to visit this forum and post a photo of his scar in this thread. This would be a most interesting scar to examine.

He could then also relate to us more details about the incident, such as the type and caliber of shotgun used, as well as the birdshot size.

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Old June 7, 2008, 08:45 PM   #50
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People can live through amazing things. I knew a man who was shot from across the room with a 12 ga. 1100 loaded with #8 shot. Blew out most of his right lung. He lived. Buckshot would not have made a difference, but a couple of inches difference in shot placement would have.
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