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Old July 1, 2012, 03:39 AM   #1
azsixshooter
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Buck-N-Ball

I recently converted my 21" modified rem-choked 870 to an 18.5", 7 round combat shotgun.



My new barrel has green tritium lamps in rifled sights and a fixed modified choke. I picked up 50 rounds of military 00 buckshot to pattern this barrel with, but have not had a chance yet.

Since I haven't patterned my barrel I'm loading up with the Winchester PDX1. I think it's a great concept, from point-blank to a couple yards or so it should leave one big ragged hole. From a few yards out to 30 yards and beyond I should be pretty accurate with the slug. If not, then the 3 buckshot pellets should help.

I was just wondering what others might think about the PDX1 12 gauge round. I'm excited to shoot it!
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Old July 1, 2012, 03:48 AM   #2
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I think that particular load is very gimmicky, myself. It's generally more expensive and its effectiveness over regular buckshot or slugs is highly questionable. I wouldn't waste my money on it.
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Old July 2, 2012, 10:30 AM   #3
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Try the Federal load with the Flite-control wad. We shoot the 9-pellet 00 buck load and find that it's very effective out to 25 yards. (It might be good out past that, but we shoot at 25 yards) The vast majority of the pellets (95% or better) will stay inside the 8-ring of a standard B27 target. It's highly effective against man-sized targets.
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Old July 2, 2012, 12:17 PM   #4
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I would stick to 9 pellet Federal 00 loads with flitecontrol. Or even better, Federal LE 15 pellet #1 buckshot with flitecontrol if you can find it.
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Old July 2, 2012, 02:14 PM   #5
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A local cop gave me some PDX1, but I decided they were not for me as I don't envision needing a "combat" load. To me, it is too much for urban HD.
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Old July 2, 2012, 03:57 PM   #6
azsixshooter
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The history of the buck and ball load is really interesting. I've read that George Washington was a huge fan of it and that it was used widely by General Meagher's "Irish Brigade" during the civil war with deadly effect, especially during the Battle Of Bloody Lane at Antietam.

In fact, there's an article in the latest American Rifleman about the guns of Antietam and it says that in addition to General Meagher, "Col. William De Rosset of the 3rd North Carolina actually declined to turn in his smoothbores for Springfield rifle-muskets. Both men believed that engagement ranges would be short enough to make the .69-cal. "buck and ball" load of a .65-cal. round ball and three .32-cal. buckshot more effective in the shotgun-like smoothbore than the single conical Minie ball used in the rifle-musket."

In addition to these testimonies, I have read that the buck and ball load was used in the Boer War extensively (I assume the first Boer War, I would like to learn more about this if anyone can supply any links to factual information).

Obviously this type of loading is no 'gimmick'. It is a time-tested and battle-tested combat loading that has very real benefits. In my case, I think it's a great option through a barrel that I haven't yet patterned. Once I get a chance to go out and shoot this barrel I've got the mil-spec buckshot, Federal 00 Buck and Winchester 00 Buck that I'm going to test in addition to a variety of different slugs. If I am able to find any of the Federal flightcontrol buckshot mentioned previously I will try that as well.

But until I get it patterned (and maybe after) I'm sticking with the buck and ball combination. It's just another example of how versatile the 12 gauge shotgun is and why it's probably my favorite of all firearms.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that I paid $12.37 for a box of 10 rounds of Winchester PDX1 12 gauge ammo, so I don't think it's outrageously priced like that "Pitbull" stuff that sells for $16.95 for 5 rounds.
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Last edited by azsixshooter; July 2, 2012 at 04:03 PM.
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Old July 2, 2012, 06:41 PM   #7
Al Den
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In October 1777, General Washington recommended the men deliver their first volley with a load of “one musket ball and four or eight buckshot, according to the strength of their pieces.” And from Army GENERAL ORDERS, Head Quarters, Perkiomy, October 6, 1777; “buckshot are to be put into all cartridges which shall be hereafter made."
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Old July 2, 2012, 09:03 PM   #8
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While the buck and ball may have some history behind it, that doesn't mean it's a good idea. In the revolutionary war, enemies would be lined up shoulder to shoulder, and this type of ammo maybe made sense: the large projectile severely wounds one enemy while smaller projectiles may wound the guys he's standing/kneeling right next to.

I can't really envision a modern day scenario where this would be better than regular buckshot or regular slugs. If I really thought I'd need the extra distance, I'd maybe use 000 buck.
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Old July 2, 2012, 10:26 PM   #9
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I really love the idea of buckshot for that "saturation effect" that a well-patterning load delivers. As Massad Ayoob states in Stressfire 2: Shotgun, sometimes the sum of the parts are massively more effective than any of the parts taken alone (or something to that effect).

I can't say that a Buck-N-Ball load would be _more_ effective at close range than buckshot, but if you and your gun can keep that pattern of a 1oz slug and 3 heavy pellets in the kill zone at close range how much difference in effect could there really be? And with the Buck-N-Ball you have the advantage of taking well-aimed shots out to 50 yards or so and pounding a target with that 1oz slug, even if the shot doesn't hit or reach the target with any appreciable velocity.

I think the value in the Buck-N-Ball load might lie in a more offensive role as opposed to a defensive role. For strictly home defense buckshot is probably going to always be the best way to go. Slugs are devastating, but that "saturation" effect that you get from buckshot is incredible. It's like all of your organs getting smashed at the same time instead of a single projectile issuing a tremendous wound channel through just one smaller area. Sure, both will probably end the fight but it seems the buckshot would have the more immediate result.

In an offensive setting where you might be engaging moving targets at distances out to 50 yards or so I can see the Buck-N-Ball load holding merit. You might miss with the slug, but you've got those 3 "insurance" pellets out there that might land you a wounding hit that would facilitate a follow-up coup de grace. Also, with the Buck-N-Ball load in an offensive role you are throwing a mix of heavy penetrating payload in the slug with a few extra pellets that might wound additional targets or maybe have some ricochet effects if you were shooting into a confined area.

I fear I'm starting to stray into that "mall ninja" territory but it is fun to imagine different scenarios where a somewhat non-conventional (but tested and proven) load like the Buck-N-Ball might prevail. It's always good to know what options are available and base your choice on what you load up with on sound logic.
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Old July 2, 2012, 11:07 PM   #10
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op, here is the buck n ball you bought and so did i after watching this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sg44jDOL8jo

i have the buck n ball in my second hd shotgun, first hd shotgun is loaded with regular 00 buckshot.

that same guy made videos of 00 buck and slugs. the buck n ball wins imo. it has much greater penetration(and damage) which is good for my hd shotgun #2.

2 3/4 slugs went 10 or 12 inches. about the same for 00 buck. 19 1/2" for the buck n ball.
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Old July 2, 2012, 11:58 PM   #11
azsixshooter
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Thanks for the video link, I liked that!

Once again, I'm thinking this particular load would do great for an offensive role, especially considering all of that penetration. I wonder if that slug would penetrate a body armor vest? Like if a home invader was wearing one or if the load was being used in combat. I never thought that buckshot could penetrate even minimal body armor, but slugs are pretty impressive. I would guess a sabot would go through at least some levels of body armor, but with my experience with fosters-type slugs I never thought one of those would make it through a vest. They just seem too soft and fragment too much.

But after seeing that video I'm wondering about the PDX1 slug. Looks like it held together great.
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Old July 3, 2012, 12:11 AM   #12
cajun47
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http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/produc...oducts_id/5726

there you go. too pricey for me. as far as bad guys wearing body armor and invading your house, headshot with buckshot or aim for the lower belly with buckshot.
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Old July 3, 2012, 01:53 AM   #13
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monument

There's a monument at the Gettysburg battlefield that has as its peak a "buck and ball" arrangement, I was always intrigued w/ it too.

But I can't find a parallel with HD and 1860 Napoleonic tactics. I am aware of a Brit (SAS?) Malaysia load (?) that used a buck and ball arrangement but again that was open combat.

All buck or slugs for me.
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Old July 3, 2012, 08:38 AM   #14
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As with many here, don't see the need for the buck-n-ball load in a HD shotgun.
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Old July 3, 2012, 02:04 PM   #15
Dave McC
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Many Civil War battlefields have those monuments of three smaller balls supporting a larger one. Some folks think they're cannon balls, but it's really a buck and ball arrangement.

In his monograph on the ammo used at Gettysburg, Dean S Thomas documents B&B use by many units in the both Confederate and Union Armies.

In the present, I regard Tri Ball as not any improvement on good old 00 and has some downside. A .69 Caliber round ball can penetrate much farther than .33 pellets and thus increase the chance of collateral damage.

However, YMMV. Do test and evalute thoroughly before use.....
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Old July 3, 2012, 02:33 PM   #16
azsixshooter
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Here's my main point in using buck-n-ball right now. It's a new barrel and I haven't got to pattern it or shoot any slugs through it yet.

My reasoning is that up-close even if the shot doesn't pattern for crap (severe stringing, etc) I have that big slug coming right up the middle no matter what.

At farther range, if the slug happens to be wildly inaccurate out of my barrel at least I have those 3 insurance pellets.

Heh, in all honesty I'm not expecting any trouble and I live in a nice boring rural area so this whole debate is pretty moot. This new barrel has a fixed modified choke so I expect it will pattern buckshot pretty well. Once I get it setup for 00 Buck I'll just stick with that as I always have. I have a sidesaddle I could carry some slugs in, but I'm not really fond of sidesaddles.

I think for HD it's unlikely I'd ever need a slug so immediately that I couldn't afford the time to grab a bandoleer of them. If I was leaving the house for any reason I would want more ammo than just what's in/on the weapon anyway.

I'm most likely going out to test fire about 5 or 6 different brands/types of ammo this weekend. I want to see what it patterns best for buckshot and what slugs group the best from this barrel. And also make sure the sights are dialed in pretty well. I'm not sure where to zero the sights to as far as the slugs are concerned, but as long as I'm in a 6" kill zone at 50 yards I think I'll live with it.
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Old July 3, 2012, 04:54 PM   #17
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I tend to agree with the offensive application of buck-n-ball. Having experienced woodland scenarios against likewise advancing aggressors flitting behind cover and concealment I wanted nothing more than buck-n-ball to have a fighting chance. It's the kind of realization that sweeps over you, turns you pale, and makes you break out into a cold sweat however hot it may be...
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Old July 3, 2012, 04:59 PM   #18
azsixshooter
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Yeah, season before last I shot a doe with a Remington Buckhammer. I hit her a little high, it went through her spine, out the back and blew a thumb-sized hole through a little tree about 4" or so in diameter! Slugs are awesome!
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Old July 3, 2012, 06:42 PM   #19
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Buck n' ball or no, you are still discussing the use of an unproven shotgun for self defense. That's nutty, no matter what's in the tube.

Go shoot it, then you can decide.
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Old July 3, 2012, 10:35 PM   #20
azsixshooter
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Okay, let's go there.

Other than the Buck-N-Ball load, which I chose, what would you load an "unproven" shotgun with in a pinch? Let's just say for fun it's your only gun and you need to run something. What would you choose and why?

To be realistic, I like the idea of that Federal LE Tactical 00 Buck with the Flightcontrol wad. I think out of an "unproven" gun that would probably have a high probability of patterning well. I've been told years ago at a shotgun class I took at Ben Avery in Phoenix that wad technology was so advanced now that choke selection didn't matter nearly as much as it did in time passed.

Please keep in mind I'm just interested in this Buck-N-Ball load and only started this thread to discuss it. I sure don't mean to stir up any animosity or make anyone think I'm trying to justify using it exclusively for HD.

In the end I will load up with 00 Buck as I almost always have. I like the thought of 1 Buck or even 4 Buck, but 00 Buck is so much easier to find I like to find a 00 Buck round that patterns well and that is always pretty easy to come across. Both for economy of cost for practice and for high-probability of procurement in a crisis situation.
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Old July 3, 2012, 11:33 PM   #21
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Quote:
Please keep in mind I'm just interested in this Buck-N-Ball load and only started this thread to discuss it. I sure don't mean to stir up any animosity or make anyone think I'm trying to justify using it exclusively for HD.
Your shotgun, especially being "un-proven" to you, is all the more reason NOT to stuff it full of the B-and-B. Simply cause you don't yet know the POI with any load.
I wouldn't want to be slinging slugs or B-and-B with their penetrating characteristics out of any shotgun I haven't shot enough to know how the load is going to react.

Quote:
Other than the Buck-N-Ball load, which I chose, what would you load an "unproven" shotgun with in a pinch? Let's just say for fun it's your only gun and you need to run something. What would you choose and why?
Given your above scenario of picking up an 'unproven' shotgun, if I had to load it with something in an emergency situation and considering it was a set-up like yours(mod.choke/18.5"bbl), I'd probably load up with 3 Buck for SD distance....
....Again, since I didn't know for sure the POI, I'd be concerned about over-penetration or missing my intended target using the B-and-B or slug and the heavier projectiles traveling into my neighbors house.

Last edited by shortwave; July 3, 2012 at 11:47 PM.
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Old July 3, 2012, 11:37 PM   #22
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I'm in the 'shoot it, then decide' school also. I would absolutely rather not be using a shotgun setup I had not fired, and at least run until it was hot, for real world defense myself. YMMV of course.

A MOD choke barrel is apt to open up patterns with FliteControl loads at least to some degree. That particular barrel is a steal of a deal IMHO, when they can be found (Midway has 'em in their current flier, IIRC) and it works generally well with a lot of the 'big name' standard (not premium) buckshot loads. One of those barrels works very well with my limited stock of the classic old Estate SWAT buckshot load, which is no longer manufactured after the company was sold to ATK/Federal. But every shotgun barrel is pretty much a law unto itself, and there's no way of knowing how a given barrel will pattern - or even how reliable it's likely to be - without shooting it.
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Old July 3, 2012, 11:53 PM   #23
azsixshooter
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Wow! My neighbors better be on their toes! If any zombies attack my house I might just be launching slugs that take a 90 degree turn when they exit my barrel!

Come on now, let's be realistic. I've never fired anything out of my shotgun (in 20 years of heavy use) that performed so insanely opposite of what I expected that I would deem it unsafe.

I really don't have any neighbors closer than about 125 yards in any direction so I think they are probably safe.

In my defense, I intended to pattern my barrel last weekend when I got it, but a 106F fever waylaid me for a bit. I'll be doing everything I can to get out this Sunday and get it sorted with 00Buck as I've been saying all along.
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Old July 4, 2012, 12:39 AM   #24
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Quote:
Wow! My neighbors better be on their toes! If any zombies attack my house I might just be launching slugs that take a 90 degree turn when they exit my barrel!

Come on now, let's be realistic. I've never fired anything out of my shotgun (in 20 years of heavy use) that performed so insanely opposite of what I expected that I would deem it unsafe.
Fact is, you've installed a new bbl. you've admittedly never fired so you have no idea where your projectile(whatever they are) are going to hit. Missing a paper plate by a couple inch's with a slug at 20yds. will be several feet off at 100-150yds.

Far as safety goes, this is really a moot discussion at this point.

Good luck and have fun getting acquainted with your new setup.

Last edited by shortwave; July 4, 2012 at 12:59 AM.
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Old July 4, 2012, 08:24 AM   #25
Al Den
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"Other than the Buck-N-Ball load, which I chose, what would you load an "unproven" shotgun with in a pinch? Let's just say for fun it's your only gun and you need to run something. What would you choose and why?"

#0, .32, Buck. Liklihood of hits, range, effect.
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