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Old December 5, 2012, 02:24 PM   #1
plouffedaddy
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Remington #4 Buckshot Gel Test & Results




Just finished up the testing of the #4 buckshot round from Remington (#12B4) Here are the conditions and results.

Test conditions:
-20'' Remington 870 barrel (no aftermarket chokes, as it comes from the factory)
-300 feet above sea level
-Test rounds fired from 10 feet
-FBI spec Clear Ballistics gel block (more on this below)
-4 layers of denim

Results:
-1234 fps average velocity
-11.5-15'' of penetration

The manufacture of the gel block, Clear Ballistics, claims their gel meets FBI specs for testing. I calibrate my gel per their specs prior to testing and use 4 layers of denim per IWBA protocol.

However, by no means am I saying this test is a substitute for the great work industry professionals like Dr. Roberts and others do. I'm just a shooter that likes to learn about the products I use.

Here's the video showing the test, the permanent cavity, and a discussion of the results:

#4 Remington Buckshot HD Video Test
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Old December 5, 2012, 03:40 PM   #2
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Awesome!
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Old December 5, 2012, 11:04 PM   #3
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Good info. Thanks for sharing.
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Old December 5, 2012, 11:20 PM   #4
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I'm liking your reviews and tests plouffedaddy. Keep up the good work.
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Old December 5, 2012, 11:35 PM   #5
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You are a man of action and keep putting out good reviews, reports, testing, photographs,and videos. All to our benefit. You are a straight shooter. #4 buck is the minimum and your testing confirms that it will work. Thanks

Last edited by jmortimer; December 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM.
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Old December 6, 2012, 10:41 AM   #6
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Great video!


From a deer hunting perspective, in the Gulf Coast states, some hunters use a "saturation fire" approach by deliberately targeting the head/neck area. Hunters that subscribe to this method often use 3" and 3.5" loads of #4B with 41 and 54 pellets respectively. This is no different than turkey hunters using heavy loads of #6 shot for head shots.
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Old December 6, 2012, 11:48 AM   #7
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I never did any gelatin tests. I have shot about ten deer in Michigan over the years with #4 Buckshot, most of them with the two and three-quarters, 27 pellet count, a couple of the last ones with three-inch, 41 pellet count loads. They all worked very well. I am glad to see that #4 Buckshot works so well on gelatin also.
Some #4 Buckshot myths:
Myth: (1) They run off and suffer.
Reality: They fell as quick, usually quicker than those I have shot with a rifle. Did not have to track any of them.
Myth: (2) Number 4 Buckshot does not have enough mass, will not penetrate deep enough to be effective.
Reality: Usually found the pellets under the hide on the off-side, having penetrated all the way through the vitals, did not have enough energy left to exit the tough hide, but stretch it and bruised it. The deer died from bleeding into the chest cavity.
Myth (3) All those pellets will destroy to much meat.
Reality: This is a really big one. I have never had to discard any blood-shot meat or any meat full of bone debris, etc., that I have had to do with rifle killed deer. The pellets do not cause secondary projectiles out of bone, do not have the high velocity the causes massive bruising. The muscle meat itself (not so with the vitals), is relatively undamaged by the buckshot. In an instance I remember, after eating a pristine should-roast, I discovered a clean hole through the should-blade...there had been no evidence of any damage to the meat before it was eaten.
Myth (3-b) All those pellets will destroy to much meat.
Reality: Despite the pellet count (especially the 41 pellets in a three-inch 12 guage), the pellets fly though the air as an elongated cloud. If the deer is running, the cloud of pellets will not all hit the deer. Some of the forward pellets will miss the dear, some in the middle of the cloud will hit the deer the length of the body, some in the rear of the cloud will not miss the deer. Being "cloud" shaped some will miss above and below the deer. The only way all of the pellets could hit the deer is at extremely close range to the deer while it was standing still.
I always do an autopsy on my deer when skinning and processing (do it myself), and the most pellets I have ever found in a deer were nine. I have never lost a deer that I have shot at using number four buck...how many of you can say that about rifle hunting?
Why not use double-ought? It is the same as duck hunting...you have to put enough pellets into the duck to do the job. If you use double-ought, some of your cloud of shot will miss to the front, some above, some below, and some will miss to the rear. How many pellets of double-ought will actually hit the deer? You have to hit the duck/deer with enough pellets to do the job. How many pellets do you find in your ducks?
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Old December 6, 2012, 03:28 PM   #8
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dahermit

Frankly, I have not used #4B on deer, although I have see a number that were take with #3B and #4B.

The majority of the deer I have taken with small pellet buckshot were with 00B. The minimum pattern standard I set with 00B is 100% in 10 inches at 25 yards and limit shots to the distance that my Load/Choke/Gun combination will consistently place 6 pellets of 00B in 10 inches regardless of the total number of pellets in the load.

What standard do you use to determine the maximum range you will take a shot with #4B?
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Old December 6, 2012, 04:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
What standard do you use to determine the maximum range you will take a shot with #4B?
40 yards max if they are standing still or walking broadside. 20 yards if running broadside to me. Never any Texas Heart shots or angle shots. If a person is stealthy (as they should be), just like bow hunting; just wait until they present a broadside shot (as I always do/did with a rifle/handgun anyway)
It is notable that in later years, I mostly reverted to rifles/handguns for deer for the reason that I had become so enmeshed in shooting sports, it seemed more like a sport than meat-gathering. Nevertheless, if my primary reason was to get meat each year, I would revert to 12 guage, 3-inch, with 41 pellets of #4.
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Old December 6, 2012, 05:50 PM   #10
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I find your penetration findings with #4B very interesting. Certainly your restraint from any angle shots adds to effective penetration.

So how many #4B pellets in what size pattern determines your maximum range.

Last edited by RMcL; December 6, 2012 at 06:39 PM.
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Old December 6, 2012, 06:32 PM   #11
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"If the deer is running, the cloud of pellets will not all hit the deer. Some of the forward pellets will miss the dear, some in the middle of the cloud will hit the deer the length of the body, some in the rear of the cloud will not miss the deer. Being "cloud" shaped some will miss above and below the deer. The only way all of the pellets could hit the deer is at extremely close range to the deer while it was standing still."
dahermit

I have to disagree on this point. Yes there is some small horizontal shift effect due to shot stringing. However high speed photography gives a better view of what the "cloud" shape really means. Bottom line, the speed of the game vs the speed of the shot makes the effect rather minimal - to the point it can be ignored.

Here is a good short explanation:
http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/...gh-speed-video

Last edited by RMcL; December 6, 2012 at 07:22 PM.
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Old December 6, 2012, 06:53 PM   #12
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A little bit of info.

Last year I ended up finishing off a wounded deer that came up on me, shot him with a 3" #4buck, put a hole in the side of the ribcage you could've set a soda can in to. Short range + large number of pellets = the cookie cutter effect.

While some of the pellets ended up passing completely through, a large number of them did not. This was at a distance of less than 15 feet, and the deer was not particularly large. Penetration seemed a little iffy to me, but that's just one instance. I'll add that the deer died almost instantly, that close range afforded me a very clear heart shot, and most of those pellets found the mark. Definitely effective for close range work in my book, but I'll not be making any 30 yard and beyond shots with it. YMMV.
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Old December 6, 2012, 07:19 PM   #13
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12GaugeShuggoth,

Your concerns over minimal penetration at longer ranges with #4B mirror my own.
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Old December 7, 2012, 09:03 AM   #14
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Thanks plouffedaddy. I've been wanting to see a test like this for some time. I've always thought that #4 buck would be a great home defense load.

If you have the time and inclination, would love to see a similar test at 25 yds. As indicated by concerns in previous posts, at what distance does #4 buck begin to drop off in effectiveness?
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Old December 7, 2012, 09:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
If you have the time and inclination, would love to see a similar test at 25 yds. As indicated by concerns in previous posts, at what distance does #4 buck begin to drop off in effectiveness?
I may get to it one of these days but I'm planning on testing a pretty wide variety of ammo so I've got a lot of loads before I start incorporating distances.
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Old December 7, 2012, 09:45 AM   #16
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A number of test results have found #1 to be the ideal balance between penetration an number of projectiles. Thanks again for all you are doing.
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Old December 7, 2012, 11:19 AM   #17
dahermit
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Quote:
I have to disagree on this point. Yes there is some small horizontal shift effect due to shot stringing. However high speed photography gives a better view of what the "cloud" shape really means. Bottom line, the speed of the game vs the speed of the shot makes the effect rather minimal - to the point it can be ignored.
Velocity as per picture on the box = 1325fps. (but 1234fps average velocity as actualy measured), Shot strings as indicated by the video were 20ft. maximum (however they were not of buckshot loads, so they may or may not be indicative of an actual length of a #4 lead buckshot string.) Deer running speed? I started doing the math to determine the length that a shot string would translate horizontally on a running deer, but come on, give me a break...I'm 69 years old...someone help an old guy. How about you young math guys do the cyphering and report that here for education's sake?
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Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

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Last edited by dahermit; December 7, 2012 at 11:40 AM.
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Old December 7, 2012, 11:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
So how many #4B pellets in what size pattern determines your maximum range.
My maximum distance if completely arbitrary, determined within seconds, effected by the befuddlement of an old-mans brain, based on years of personal experience hunting game with a shotgun. I have never fired buckshot at a pattern board. My interest in #4 Buckshot came about when I was working with in a sawmill with a family of people who were from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where the poverty level has created a great number of subsistence poachers... They told me that they had learned that the most efficient and effective method (guns and load-wise), was to use #4 Buckshot ("...you have to put enough shot in them to do the job, just like duck hunting..."). I tried it, and it found it to be as they told me...very effective, has always resulted in a quick kill and a recovered deer.
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Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?

Last edited by dahermit; December 7, 2012 at 11:37 AM.
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Old December 10, 2012, 10:18 PM   #19
RMcL
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dahermit,

In the video, at 35 yards the shot string was approximately 8 ft long and took 0.0138 seconds from first to last pellet impact. A duck flying 35mph would move approximately 8.5 inches in the time it took from first to last pellet impact.

While the shot used was not buckshot, it indeed indicates that shot string plays a very marginal role in shotgunning. If buckshot pellets miss a deer it is due to the width and placement of the pattern.

This is not to dismiss your experiences, but to note there is another plausible explanation of your observations. As already noted, you limit your running shots to 20 yards and still shots to 40 yards - only when the deer is standing broadside. This self imposed limitation would maximize pellet penetration potential.

In shotgunning the compromise is always between on target pattern density (area of pellet strike) and sufficient penetration.

Last edited by RMcL; December 11, 2012 at 02:40 PM.
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