View Full Version : Flechettes

novus collectus
April 24, 2005, 01:27 PM
Has anyone ever fired a 12 guage with a shell filled with flechettes? I bought some when I order some dragons breath and I haven't had a chance to fire some. I was wonderring if they would penetrate drywall and still carry enough force to seriously injure. Also, are the flechettes supposed to be all lined up point first? I took a round apart and 40% were tail first. I figured that either, they quickly turn around in flight, or the people who made them just didn't care how they loaded them. I assume that the flechette rounds the police buy (and/or military) are of a better manufacture with a high standard of quality? Any LEO's fire a flechette round?

April 24, 2005, 04:02 PM
Used some of the early loads in the RVN, work alright, not sure stoppers,buckshot works better

In my state if you used them in a shooting,you'll get feed to the prison system.

Standard load is half up ,half down in the shell

novus collectus
April 24, 2005, 04:12 PM

April 24, 2005, 06:18 PM
These were normally loaded like yours.
Some of them were loaded "backward" since the fins on the rear take up room, and reversing some allows getting more into the shell.
They do turn point first when fired, AS LONG as they have enough room to do so before hitting something.

In the "real world", the flechette as a shotgun round just didn't pan out.

The problem is, they don't have enough energy, and they tend to fail to QUICKLY stop someone.
People hit tended to bleed to death internally......eventually.
That means that they were still able to remain on their feet and shooting for a fair amount of time.

In the heat of battle some people were unaware they'd been hit, and continued fighting until internal blood loss shut them down....often too late for the man who shot them.

This is NOT the kind of performance you want in a close range personal defense weapon.
You want the STOP the enemy NOW. Not some time later.

To date NO shotgun round has been proven to work as well as standard buck shot.

For these reasons, the police never used flechettes, and the military stopped using them in shotguns after they failed in the Vietnam experiments.

As far as I know, the last military rounds made were in the late 1960's for Vietnam.

Bottom line: Another "Hollywood" type idea that doesn't work in real life.

April 24, 2005, 07:05 PM
Flechettes were designed to penetrate some of the body armor. I've seen an x-ray of someone shot with them .The flechettes went in and were deflected and bent. I would not want to be in court defending my use of flechettes !!! Just use buckshot ,it works fine..... I heard of someone using the 'dragons breath' when BGs broke through a window.The curtains had to be replaced and the window and frame had to be repainted !! The BGs are probably still running . :D

April 24, 2005, 08:47 PM
Years ago, I read an article that may explain why some of the flechettes were reversed in the shell. It stated that flechettes spread much less than round shot, and that spread of the flechette pattern could be regulated & widened by reversing some of the "darts".

For "just in case", I'll stick with plain old buckshot. But I will admit to being curious about the "Dragon's Breath" shells. Are those the ones that use no projectiles, they just shoot fire out the bbl? :D

novus collectus
April 24, 2005, 09:54 PM
For "just in case", I'll stick with plain old buckshot. But I will admit to being curious about the "Dragon's Breath" shells. Are those the ones that use no projectiles, they just shoot fire out the bbl
Yes, they claim to be. I haven't shot the ones I ordered yet, so I cannot say what they are like. I have read that they shoot a fireball 50 ft long and the flames last for a few seconds. I took some of the compound out of the shell and tried to ignite it in an ashtray. It just glowed bright red. I guess it needs a lot of oxygen from a supersonic blast of air. If I ever find a place to fire it (and some tannerite I ordered too :D ) then I'll try to take pictures.

I would use buckshot as well for HD, but in the (currently) unlikelyhood that someone who invaded my house was wearing body armor and the first few shots had little or no effect, it would be nice to know that the fourth shot would penetrate. After the comments I have seen so far in this thread, I would never use the flechettes as my first few shots (if at all).

Jim Watson
April 24, 2005, 10:08 PM
I shot some of the fletchette shotshells from the same outfit that sells dragons breath. At 25 yards as I recall, it has been a while.

A pattern board showed some of them hitting point on, some sideways . So much for the fins turning over the ones reversed in the shell.

A gallon jug just went glug, glug, glug dribbling water from small holes and narrow slashes.
Shot bounced and splattered it hard.

A defunct TV showed holes in the thin plastic cabinet but the fletchettes did not break the picture tube. In fact, I have a picture of one of the bounced and bent fletchettes sticking through my shirtsleeve. It could have been my face, glad I ALWAYS wear shooting glasses.
Buckshot reduced the TV to rubble.

On the other hand, a guy brought some dragons breath out one day. It would ignite a paper target at 25 yards. Impressive, a real terror weapon.