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Old January 19, 2013, 05:04 PM   #1
mrt949
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How Well Does# 4 Shot Work For HD ?

Just purchased a 12 ga and the only ammo I could fine was # 4 shot . How effective is it?

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Old January 19, 2013, 05:14 PM   #2
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This gets argued about constantly by armchair experts, but I will say that at ordinary room distance the BG is gonna be hurting bad enough to change his mind. Past that distance bigger question mark. When you talk about distances in several yards you're outside your home and the potential legal picture changes. GW
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Old January 19, 2013, 05:23 PM   #3
HILLBILLY-06
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It will work at "VCR" very close range, but if you really want to use it for home defense, use buckshot. It's leathal range is greater by far, but if the bad guy wants to get up close and personal, "he won't make that mistake but one time" period.
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Old January 19, 2013, 05:56 PM   #4
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Prefer that to 7 1/2.

Brent
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Old January 19, 2013, 06:39 PM   #5
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Figure out the max distance inside your home, that you'd be likely to fire, then take a shot with that birdshot (outside) at a 1"x12" board the same distance away - and you'll have your answer.

That's how I got mine - a field load of #6's punched a fist-sized hole through a barnboard 12 FEET away.

Just my $0.02, but no BG's going anywhere but O.U.T., with a hole like that in his middle..................................



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Old January 19, 2013, 07:00 PM   #6
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Never mind all the Bird shot is for Birds quotes you will soon be hearing from the youngsters. Under 20' #4 shot will ruin anybody's day and nobody but nobody wants to get shot with a shotgun.
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Old January 19, 2013, 07:35 PM   #7
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If it is all you have it will work most of the time. Buckshot is still the answer. There is absolutely no downside to using buckshot over birdshot, and while birdshot may get the job done, it should never be the 1st choice. If you have no other option the largest size shot available should be used.
As someone else said, it is better than 7 1/2.
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Old January 19, 2013, 07:44 PM   #8
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Bird shot, Buck shot, or slugs from a 12 ga. shotgun are all pretty much effective. Considering you only get a 1 inch spread per yard, bird shot at 5 yards is still going to knock the crap out of the BG assuming a center mass shot. The problem is that center mass shot. in an excited state people are amazed at just how crappy they shoot.

In any shotgun with any round it's inportant to put a light on the shotgun. It will help ensure your aim is more accurate. Most times the weapon will be needed at night. But even during daylight hours a bright light helps your aim.

Remember, in an OH CRAP situation, you are not you. YOU ARE SCARED!!
YOUR HEART IS PUMPING SO HARD IT'S ABOUT TO BURST!
In a gun fight, if your not hitting you're not winning.

Here is some food for thought in the youtube below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrxkjRXk7m8
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Old January 20, 2013, 11:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moby

In any shotgun with any round it's inportant to put a light on the shotgun.
It will help ensure your aim is more accurate.
Most times the weapon will be needed at night.

Besides the fact that a flashlight on the shotgun gives away your position ( a decided minus), it WILL let you know if your gun is aimed at a straying child (of yours) in that same darkness - a definite plus.



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Old January 20, 2013, 02:02 PM   #10
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I cannot claim the title of "armchair expert" Just an old street cop. If I use a shotgun it has nothing but 00 buck or slugs.
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Old January 20, 2013, 04:43 PM   #11
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I knew a guy that got shot in the midsection from across a room with birdshot out of a single barrel 12. He took the gun away from the guy and beat him to death with it before he dialed 911. It seriously messed him up but didn't put him down.
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Old January 20, 2013, 04:47 PM   #12
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IIRC, after exhaustive study, #4 shot is what the FBI settled on.

Of course, over penetration was a critical factor in their decision.

Edit: I just looked it up and # 4 birdshot is much smaller in diamter than the #4 buckshot that the FBI adopted. Sorry.
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Old January 20, 2013, 05:28 PM   #13
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steel or lead

If its #4 lead it will go all the way threw a duck at 40 yards if its steel and you shoot in indoors some of it may find things to bounce off of and sort of get returned to sender you might eat so of it your self
bb

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Old January 20, 2013, 05:36 PM   #14
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If you're worried about overpenetration but still want to ensure you hit the bad guys' vitals, I recommend #4 buck. I've posted my test of it here before but if you haven't seen it it's worth a look:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6cmGHz-4O4

Birdshot may work okay but I wouldn't count on it. Kind of like how a 380acp might work in a pinch (both are a heck of a lot better than nothing) but I have either #4 or #1 buck in my HD guns.
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Old January 20, 2013, 06:03 PM   #15
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I think if you look around, #1 is optimum. #4 is minimum, and not ideal, and will go around 14" in ballistic gelatin. The following from "The Truth About Guns" web site has been posted quite a few times as this topic has been beat to death, but still worth revisiting from time to time
http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/201...arious-rounds/
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Old January 20, 2013, 07:32 PM   #16
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#4 buck or #4 birdshot? Remember, Dick Cheney shot his friend in the FACE with bird shot and the guy survived just fine, several documented cases of the fact birdshot does not penetrate humans well and is not an effective tool for stopping an assailant. #4 buck on the other hand is a very effective defense round and I have a couple friends who have it loaded in their HD guns since they're concerned with over penetration with 00.
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Old January 20, 2013, 11:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrt949 View Post
Just purchased a 12 ga and the only ammo I could fine was # 4 shot . How effective is it?
Did you mean #4 birdshot or #4 buckshot?

Here is the AR-15 shotgun shell FAQ:

http://www.ar15.com/content/page.html?id=176
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Old January 21, 2013, 01:36 AM   #18
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If you have to go with Birdshot try to get "Heavi-Shot it is heavier than lead.
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Old January 21, 2013, 03:34 AM   #19
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#4 bird shot is for birds it is not effective for self defense.

#4 buckshot is acceptable some even say its the best. That could be argued.
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Old January 21, 2013, 04:49 AM   #20
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#4 Buck yes

#4 Bird no
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Old January 21, 2013, 08:38 AM   #21
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I think the OP would prefer typical rounds for HD but isn't finding bigger stuff on these empty shelves...

I am stuck with slugs or 7 1/2 in my 20 gauges...

Brent
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Old January 21, 2013, 12:41 PM   #22
mrt949
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I am the OP and that's all I could find . Thank you HOGDOGS .
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Old January 21, 2013, 07:44 PM   #23
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If you are able to find ANY empirical data that says #4 will not suffice, then start worrying. I wouldn't hold my breath. There are reams of data on 38 Special, 9mm, and 357 shootings, but zip on shotguns, period. Everything you read is just opinions. Yeah it's based on gelatin penetration tests, yada, yada, but unless you get attacked by a gelatin block - you still don't KNOW. We once hit a hog on the way to a dove hunting trip. Farmer asked us to dispatch it and put it out of it's misery. After seeing what low brass #8s did to that hog at maybe 10 feet, I wouldn't hesitate to grab a #4.
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Old January 21, 2013, 09:20 PM   #24
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Here's one vote in favor of #4 birdshot *inside* a house. Penetration would be greatly reduced over any buckshot.
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Old January 21, 2013, 11:16 PM   #25
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Try this ( I did), soak some old phonebooks and newpaper. Put them in a cardboard box and shoot at them with #4 birdshot at 15 feet and then at 10 feet. This should simulate actual home defense ranges. You will be suprised at how much penetration you will get. I now use both #4 birdshot and #3 buck in my 20 gauge for home defense in my Mossberg 500.
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