View Full Version : Buckshot size

November 16, 1998, 10:57 PM
According to the Firearms Tactical Institute #1 Buck is 30% more effective than OO Buck. Anyone care to comment? Is this based on any real world experiences?


Rob Pincus
November 16, 1998, 11:37 PM
I have always heard (and spread) the praises of #4 Buck, but I have been leaning towards #2/#4 magnum duplex loads in my house gun for a couple of years now.

The only advantage that 00 would have over smaller pellets is in depth of penetration and some extended range. I'd rather hit someone with four or five #1 pellets than 1 or 2 00 pellets.
I've patterned a bunch of differnet shotguns with a bunch of different rounds. I have some notes here from an 870 improved cylinder choke at 15 yards that shows about an extra 2 or 3 pellets between 000 buck and 0 buck. There is less than .05" difference in the diameters of those pellets, so give me the 0 every time.
There were almost twice as many #4 pellets as 0 buck but there is a bigger difference in pellet size (almost 1 tenth of an inch).

What are we trying to accomplish when we shoot someone? Shutdown the nervous system or breakdown the support structure of the body. At anything but very close range the shotgun is not very good for the latter of those two options (not counting slugs). Personally, I believe that the more pellets you get on the body the more nerve trauma you are going to cause (more wounds). Thus, birdshot would be great for a nasty nerve trauma wound, BUT bridshot isn't even going to penetrate a Salvation Army rack Members Only jacket at 30 yards.

The line you have to find is the most pellets that will still carry enough weight to give you decent pentration (of clothing and body) at the range you anticipate confrontation. There is a very strong argument for #7 heavy upland game loads for someone in an apartment, but the street LEO should not consider anything smaller than #4, IMHO.


Bottom Gun
November 20, 1998, 11:46 PM
JOhnN. . .
I agree with you choice of #1 buck. I've had excellent results with it. You can get 20 #1 pellets in 2 3/4 magnum load compared to 9 or 12 pellets in 00 buck. The #1 vs 00 equates to 30 cal vs 33 cal. I'll take the #1 magnum over 00 any time. I've had good penetration with both.
I shoot Ithacas and for some reason, #4 doesn't pattern well in my guns. I never bothered to find out why because I prefer the #1 buck. Hope this helps.