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Old January 19, 1999, 02:37 PM   #1
Rich Lucibella
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A well known, though controversial, site has recently put forth the proposition that #1 Buckshot is generally preferable to #00 or #000 for defensive situations.

The reasoning, based on standard 12 guage 2.75" shot, is as follows:

#1 Buck contains 16 pellets which present 1.13" of combined surface contact while still providing adequate penetration.

#00 Buck contains 9 pellets which present .77" of combined surface area.

The conclusion is drawn that #00 Buck gains in penetration at the expense of surface area, but that it is actually an overpenetrator. Unfortunately, I could find no penetration data within the article.

If it is true that #1 Buck offers sufficent penetration for the user's comfort, the increased surface area is indeed a plus. Discarding the temporary wound cavity argument, we might assume, as the article suggests, that "the #1 buck shotshell has the capacity to produce over 30 percent more potentially effective wound trauma". For those of us who are #00 Buck fans, it gives one pause to reconsider.

Original text may be found at:
http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs10.htm
Rich
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Old January 19, 1999, 02:53 PM   #2
Spectre
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I feel two factors should be taken into consideration:

1) Range?

2) Environment?

If one is in a "target-rich environment" (read: no friendlies), I would use 00 everytime. I want deep penetration in that event. If in a neighborhood, or my domicile, less is more in regard to penetration. YMMV.


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Old January 19, 1999, 04:50 PM   #3
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"000" be da one!
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Old January 19, 1999, 05:44 PM   #4
Spectre
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I believe my M500 is loaded w/ one round of BB, then 00 Max dram buck.
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Old January 20, 1999, 12:43 AM   #5
Ed Brunner
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Rich; Are we talking surface area or cross- sectional area?

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Old January 20, 1999, 12:54 AM   #6
G35
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Or, is that FRONTAL AREA ....
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Old January 20, 1999, 08:21 AM   #7
Rich Lucibella
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Ed; G35-
Good points. That refers to cross sectional area.
Rich
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Old January 22, 1999, 02:10 PM   #8
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Well, when I used to shoot three-gun, I chose #1 buck for the combination of more pellets and the chance of less wall penetration.

This is admittedly a slightly ignorant choice without any published evaluations to back up my suspicions. #1 appears to be big enough, perhaps out to the inadvisable 50-yard mark (too much pattern dispersion--depends on your tube, though...)

Thus, I was most disappointed when the American Rifleman article on "tactical" buck loads did not compare them with #1. They did discuss #4, IIRC, generally discounting it as being a bit too light for decent penetration.

Anyone have any test data on #1? I'm going to the Firearms Tactical site right now...

Be aware of your surroundings, friends!

Cheapo.
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Old January 24, 1999, 07:46 PM   #9
Jeff Thomas
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Rich, thanks for starting this thread (doesn't it belong in 'Shotguns'? - just having fun with you).

I also noted the article at the Firearms Tactical Institute. That article came to mind when I was rereading Massad F. Ayoob's 'In the Gravest Extreme'. I read that Ayoob also suggested #1 buck, but without much discussion. This book was written almost 20 years ago, and it is usually cited more often for its combat / legal advice. However, on pg 101 (15th edition) he says:

'Some consideration should be given to ammo selection. One who can place his shots with rifle-like precision should use the heavy lead deer slugs. Their stopping power is unparalleled. Buckshot is the general choice; most favor the double-0 size, which in a 12-gauge will throw nine .33 caliber balls. Some have recommended birdshot, on the theory that at close range any shotgun blast is deadly, but birdshot won't carry far and is therefore safer. I prefer #1 buck, with 16 .30 cal. pellets.'

I gather Ayoob liked the number of pellets as well. Now, I still get a bit confused about the choices even in #1 buck. For example, Federal offers Classic Buckshot in F130 - 12 Gauge, 2 3/4", Mag, 1 Buck, 20 Pellets; and F127 - 12 Gauge, 2 3/4", Maximum, 1 Buck, 16 Pellets. I gather, in spite of the name 'Mag', that shell actually holds less powder and more pellets compared to their 'Maximum'? (rather like the fast food joints that no longer have 'small' drinks, eh?) [1/26/99 update - Federal emailed me the following info: 'MAXIMUM HAS 16 PELLETS-1250 FT/SEC, MAGNUM HAS 20 PELLETS-1075/FT/SEC.' Based upon that, it would appear their Magnum is the better choice for home defense I would think. Then, there are their 'personal defense' loads ...]

So far, I use a couple of dove loads, then #1 buck in the magazine. Slugs are available on the side saddle. I would likely need to use the shotgun in a home situation, and over penetration is a real concern.

[This message has been edited by Jeff Thomas (edited 01-26-99).]
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Old January 25, 1999, 12:43 AM   #10
Rob Pincus
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I am a big fan of the smaller size shot for defensive applications. all the way down to #4, let alone #1. I have covered this topic in the shotgun forum before.


For LE/ offensive situations, I prefer 000, for the sheer increased hit probability. In a crowd situation or long range shot, I would hesitate to use a Shotgun, unless switching to a light Slug load first.

As usual, this stuff is based on my own playing arounda nd talking to people I trust abot there experiences. I have killed quite a few deer with 00 and 000, never noticed a pentration problem with the smaller shot, but I arguably don't feel I ever got a der with 000 that wouldn't have gone down with 00 just as well.

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Old February 5, 1999, 11:57 AM   #11
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Great topic Rich. My personal choice is Super X OOB 9 pellets. My primary home defense weapon is the shotgun ( for obvious reasons). I feel that max shot force is the best bet. Please always keep the engaugment field in mind.I live in a brick home with neighbors in the same so over penatration is a low negative factor. Also I am alone so there is little room for an accident. This has nothing to do with the topic ,but Ill mention it anyway, sighting at night should be kept in mind. My shotgun is equiped with a laser, speed means everything when you are the one on the defensive. JMHO.

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Old February 12, 1999, 10:33 PM   #12
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I read the FTI article, and it made sense to me. I try to balance LOTS of decent-sized pellets with reasonable control of follow-up shots.
I live in a rural, wooded area, in a brick house, with no neighbors, so over-penetration is not a concern. But the denser the pattern, the greater the chance of hitting those "Need Now" vital organs. 16 pellets of #1 seems about right for the intimately close encounter.
Of course, last year it was Federal Low Recoil 00; last month it was standard 00, last week it was 000 magnums; tomorrow...? Playing around with the different loads is most of the fun, but with the 12 gauge it doesn't much matter:
They ALL work.

-boing
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Old February 13, 1999, 01:49 PM   #13
Harry Humphries
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Ok we've worked this one long enough so I'll stick my two cents in. Hopefully I wont bore the @#@!!@# out of you too much.

I think we'll all agree that the shotgun, or scatter gun is the weapon of choice if we are looking for maximum fire power, or more specifically - accuracy forgiving, stopping power within close quarters and the ability to accurately deliver large caliber rounds out to 100 yds or more. The weapon is exceptionably powerful and presents over penetration problems in cases of home defense and the effective range of shot is limited to shot dispersion.

Before getting into the shot selection I believe we need to look at the (Shotgun / Shot, or Slug) system. First the gun needs to be patterned, as most of you know the "X" zone is that distance from target where the shot pattern is concentrated with little shot separation, i.e. one big hole in the paper around 3 inches in diameter, usually at ranges of 3-5 yds depending on the cylinder quality. The "Y" zone is the optimum shot zone where the shot pattern spreads evenly out to about 12 inches or the thickness of intended targets - the human body. This range usually is within 15 yds. As we go beyond 15 yds out to 25 or 30 yds we see the "Z" zone or those ranges where the shot patterns demonstrate errant flyers. Patterns spread out to 20 -30 inches and are donut, or blown, shaped which means the intended center mass is not being hit.

Every gun is different some, for no known reason, will pattern better than the others. You need to know how your gun patterns. If you are firing in your gun's "X" zone, does it make a hill of beans what shot you're firing? Not really as the shot, buck or bird, is hitting as a single mass. How about the "Y" zone? Now shot separation, while still controllable, offers maximum accuracy forgiveness and this is good provided the individual pellets are adequately penetrating, that is to say, meet or exceed the 12 inch soft tissue penetration standard. Shot selection is definitely important here. How about the "Z' zone? The shot has patterned out of control, much of the shot will create collateral damage, over penetration becomes a real problem here - the kids are sleeping in the next room. You need to consider small game loads here if in the house with dry wall partitions or, if outside go to slug select.

The trick is to first extend the "X" and "Y" zones out as far as possible, we need to tighten the patterns so we can take longer shots without worrying about shot selection or collateral damage - right? Fitting on cylinder or improved cylinder chokes will certainly do that but slug selection becomes a problem - we've stuck some garbage in the muzzle that slugs don't like.

We recommend looking at Vang Comp modifications for this job. Hans Vang will modify your barrel for around $200.00. This results in 1.- extending the forcing cone giving it a more gradual taper, 2.- back boring the barrel which slightly increases ID to just before the muzzle and
3. - compensating at the top of the muzzle which aids in muzzle flip control for more accurate follow up shots. The result is a drastically improved pattern while not interfering with slug performance.

Now that the weapon part of the system is considered, shot selection becomes the final performance improvement. Our experience tells us that Federal's "Tactical" H132-00 which is their new "shotcup" round gives at least a 30% smaller pattern, in any barrel, compared to standard OO Buck. When shot in the Vang Comp barrels the difference is remarkable as we get "Y" zones out to 30 yds.

Rich,

it is generally accepted that # 1 Buckshot is the smallest cal. that will meet the 12 inch soft flesh penetration standard, within reasonable ranges. With the Federal Tactical Loads of #1, which include a hardened shot(less likely to deform in the barrel) stacked in a shotcup, you can anticipate a 1/3 increase in shot pellets per unit of mass. Given that it takes 12 #1 Buck pellets to equal the mass of 9 OO Buck pellets of the same alloy you get a 10% increase of tissue crushing potential with the #1 Buck.

Pheww! sorry guys I get carried away sometimes.




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Old February 14, 1999, 08:54 PM   #14
Douglas in CT
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Harry H
Thanks for the information. Don't worry about being too long, but could you be a bit more specific (HI!)
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Old February 14, 1999, 09:04 PM   #15
Rich Lucibella
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Harry-
Great stuff, as usual. Thanks so much.

I'm fixin' to send my 870 barrel to Vang. Are you in favor of the Compensator option on a defense shotgun. I had always knee jerked away from this concept as a result of the drawbacks to compensating a defensive pistol. Should I be rethinking my posiotion on compensators and shotguns?
Rich

[This message has been edited by Rich Lucibella (edited February 14, 1999).]
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Old February 15, 1999, 12:28 AM   #16
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John Shaw hits head shots at 35yds with #4 Buck as do I. Use a proper choke and know yer ammo.

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Old February 16, 1999, 01:30 AM   #17
Ivanhoe
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I seem to recall (man, its ugly when
Alzheimer's hits in your late 30s) that
there was at some point a "duplex"
load, i.e. two different pellet sizes.

I would think that you might be able to
find a stacking sequence for , say,
04 and 00 pellets that would allow more
pellets than 00 and better penetration
than straight 04. I might also guess
that patterns might not be good, but
if we can put a man on the moon...

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Old February 16, 1999, 07:16 PM   #18
Harry Humphries
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Rich,

If you're not having muzle flip control problems, don't bother compensating. Definitely have Hans fit you up with a Laser Products fore stock, if you don't have one.

Tell him I said you want the quick delivery package.
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Old February 16, 1999, 10:09 PM   #19
Rich Lucibella
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Thanks, Harry. I'll pass on the comp. Scattergun delivered the weapon with an LP fore stock.
Rich
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Old February 17, 1999, 03:54 PM   #20
Jeff Thomas
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Harry, thank you for those comments. At the risk of beating this horse too badly, let me clarify a remaining question.

Regarding Federal's 'tactical' 12 ga. #1 buck, they make a 'Magnum' version and a 'Maximum' version in their Classic line (according to my dealer). The Maximum is load #F127 and contains 16 pellets, while the Magnum is load #F130 and contains 20 pellets.

Is one of these the #1 tactical buck you are referring to and prefer?
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Old February 22, 1999, 12:58 PM   #21
Harry Humphries
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Jeff,

Sorry for delay. The study I used in my last posting actually compared 2 3/4 " Federal Tactical OO [H132-00] containing 9 copper plated Buckshot pellets to Remington 3" magnum 24-pellet #1 Buckshot.

Although the tests show a statistical leaning towards the # 1 loads, I prefer to control my patterning and use the larger cal. OO Buck out to the Z zone (about 35 yds for my Vang modified 870 )where I select slug out to 150 yds.
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Old February 22, 1999, 01:16 PM   #22
snoman
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How about the Quick Shock 12 ga. slug, 10-12 inches of penatration, quite an accurate round from what i've heard.

---snoman---
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Old February 22, 1999, 10:08 PM   #23
Jeff Thomas
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Harry, no problem. I'm being undercharged for this consulting anyway!

Thanks for the info - I get the picture now. More pellets of the same caliber is a good idea, generally. Soon (!! ) I'll have a Vang Comp 870 as well, and we'll have to go out in the desert and experiment with various loads.

[This message has been edited by Jeff Thomas (edited February 22, 1999).]
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Old February 23, 1999, 11:46 PM   #24
buzz riley
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I've always been a fan of (12)pellet magnum OOB in the 2 3/4" length(plated if the budget allows). I've even got my own department using it. I feel the 3" length is harder on compressed extended magazine springs (that is if it doesn't lessen the capacity by one round). I understand that (12) pellet has less velocity than (9) pellet, but feel it's a worthy trade. Don't have any war stories to back it up...it's just a personal choice.

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Old February 25, 1999, 11:47 AM   #25
Harry Humphries
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buzz,

Do yourself a favor and test the patterning of your gun with OO -12 pellet mag. shells against OO - 9 pellet, preferably Fed Tactical, you will see that the 12 pellet mag. shells tend to pattern poorly. This is due to the increased shot deformation that occurs in the barrel which is caused by the "Blivit Effect". To save a lot of return posting,—, may I apologize for the coining of "Blivit Effect" A Blivit is a one pound bag loaded with two pounds of fecal matter,----, but you already know that.
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