View Full Version : Buckshot vs. Birdshot for home defense

September 19, 2005, 08:18 PM
Hi everyone. I was wondering how Birdshot compares to Buckshot in home defense situations. Also, is #4 shot anygood for HD? Thanks for your time and help.


Charles S
September 19, 2005, 09:35 PM
Bird shot is for birds. Try #4 buck or my preference #1 buck. Know you fields of fire and be aware of your penetration potential.


September 19, 2005, 09:48 PM
Check out this link it well help you. http://theboxotruth.com/docs/bot3.htm

Dave Haven
September 19, 2005, 10:25 PM
Yeah, I thought bird shot would be good until I checked out "box of truth".
I stand humbly corrected. :o

September 19, 2005, 10:42 PM
No way I would ever even consider anything less than #4 for a social situation.

I have gotten to where I only load out slugs, both in the tube and in the sidesaddle when I go to work.

September 19, 2005, 11:30 PM
Highly informative, thanks Evil. I am still searching for Federal and Remington LE 00 loads, anyone with info where to purchase?


September 19, 2005, 11:50 PM
FWIW I got the Federal LE 00 2-3/4" from Ammoman.com a while back.

September 20, 2005, 12:25 AM
Number 4 Buck has a more even pattern and it does more damage so the target bleeds out faster. I have heard it referred to as hitting your target with twenty-one... 22LR's at the same time!

Of course this depends on the length of cartidge. It could be even more.

Up close, 10 or 15 feet, little difference... then, on out to 30 yards the even pattern ensures a more consistant hit.

I prefer lethality for my target, (He can't shoot back) as opposed to wounding, and bleeding out is second fastest... next to a CNS hit. :D

September 20, 2005, 06:32 AM
Birdshot is for bird hunting in my opinion. I load 4 #1 buck and 2 Federal slugs.

September 20, 2005, 07:29 AM
I think the argument of Bird vs Buck is missing the point.
A shotgun is an effective weapon, but is not a guarantee that a threat will be neutralized with one shot. The ability to provide rapid follow-up shots is essential, especially when home invasions are almost always two or more perpetrators.
For that reason I prefer 2&3/4 low recoil 00 Buck. At distances under 20 feet, as would be the normal home/self defense situation, magnum loads are just not needed.

Harley Quinn
September 20, 2005, 08:21 AM
Well I am going to wade in on this one.

I will say from personal experience Bird shot is brutal. We are not talking dry wall boards we are talking skin and flesh. If in your home and shooting a shotgun it is devastating. Granted for the all around task, buckshot is very hard to beat, so it is the preferred for police work etc.

Lets take the average room in a house and shoot at something. Problem is the house will need to be fixed so...

Lets do this, take a 3lb plastic large mouth container like the ones that have protein Whey in them. Or get a watermelon. The thing is you can put a few pieces of wood in the container to resemble bone material, a few tennis balls to resemble organs, along with water and jello. The idea is to have some strength on the outside so it will be like a leather jacket or ????...

Let it sit for some time to let the jello jell (refrigerate is better). Then put it at about the distance of 15/20 feet or so and shoot it with #8s. Granted 20 feet is quite a far distance if you want to think about the average room in a house, but it will give you the idea.

At 5 feet it eats holes as big as your fist through 1 3/8 solid core doors. A simple drywall wall is destroyed. Some of it flys back at you so beware. Better stand behind a piece of 3/4 ply or thicker and have two small holes in it one for the barrel and the other for your vision (safety glasses on and ear muffs)...
If it does that to doors and walls where do you think all the flesh and bone goes?

Penetration is fine on car side windows, they just dematerialize. Get realistic and try the test I have said. You will be very surprised. :D

When going into the brush after live dangerous softskined animals #4 or #6s was the preferred for some of the big game hunters. The distance can be as close as 5 or 8 feet and it is so brutal in that circumstance, the ones who were in the know picked small shot to buck shot. But under those conditions bird shot is not as effective, but neither is a slug. This is my experienced opinion.


September 20, 2005, 08:28 AM
I don't know exactly how Turkey Mag #4 fits into everyone's view points....?

As for myself and the short distances of my home's rooms and hallways.....Well, I will continue to use it and feel very well protected if need be to pull the trigger on some misguided home invader...

and a full (turkey) choke should keep the group tight. Someone stop me if I am too sure of my equipment and components?

roy reali
September 20, 2005, 10:19 AM
Many, many moons ago I took a hunter safety course. The instructor used visiual aids to help make his points.

He had taken his Remington 870 field gun to a range. It had a modified choke. He also took some #8 dove loads. He then shot at sheets of paper at various distances. He started at 30 yards and continued to twenty feet. At the longer distances it was clear that the small bird shot would unlikely be fatal except to maybe an eyeball. At short distances, the target had one large hole in it. The bird shot acted like a large projectile.

Shots at in house intruders is measured in feet, not yards. Anything coming out of a 12 gauge will be most unpleasent to anyone hit at those distances.

At very short ranges, a shotgun is a very wicked weapon.

Charles S
September 20, 2005, 10:38 AM
It's your own responsibility for your own protection. People are not paper. You must decide what you would bet your life on.

After taking care of gunshot wounds for over a decade I will take #1 buck. A couple of years ago I cared for a gentleman who's duck dog stepped on the trigger of his loaded shotgun. He took a 3 inch magnum load of duck shot at point blank range. He was functional for some time before the blood loss ultimately incapacitated him. He survived the wound with some disability.


roy reali
September 20, 2005, 10:47 AM
Where was he hit with the duck load?

September 20, 2005, 10:49 AM
The local Wal Mart is selling Valu-packs of Remington Buckshot.

It was marked $3.24 per 15 rounds, but rang up $6.27 per 15. I got the first price. :)

September 20, 2005, 10:50 AM
My h/d mossberg 590 is loaded with 8 shells of #4 buck. . . winchester superX 27 pellet #4 buck iirc. That said, i have 5 ranger HP slugs in the stock shell carrier. i would never trust my life or anyone elses to anything less then #4 buick or low recoil 00. . .never.

Charles S
September 20, 2005, 10:54 AM
Where was he hit with the duck load?

COM. A little to the right, the would only measured about 3 inches around; it was strenum and lower two ribs down.

I have taken care of a patient, in the ER, that took a similar shot with 00 buck he never made it out of the OR.


roy reali
September 20, 2005, 10:55 AM
I admit that buckshot is better then birdshot for defense. But birdshot is better then nothing, and far superior to most small caliber handguns. If you were out bird hunting, and someone approached you to do some harm, a round or two from your gun will more than likely discourage the dude from hurting you.

You have to admit that birdshot wounds are pretty ugly.

Harley Quinn
September 20, 2005, 11:37 AM
I will stand by my post. Others can stand by theirs. While others who have an inquiring mind might put some math together and figure out the real situation. No more on this topic. We need some fresh air. :)


September 20, 2005, 01:43 PM
I Use regular old plain jane Foster slugs.

I find out which brand groups best for a particular bbl/choke and use that load for that bbl/ choke. Federal are preferred by the bone stock 870 Express near me now...

Slugs work from contact to out yonder a bit.

I figure if I hit as I am supposed to- ain't got to worry about any stray pellets going where they are not supposed to. One chunk of lead, one target down...I like simple. Math is not my strong point either. :p

Oh...I can see the groups a whole easier than them pellets, I have my Diploma from Pattern Board Univ. Do you realize how many pellets and percentages a fella has to figure to get a diploma?

Word is Denny has a Diploma from there too. Must be why he uses Slugs as well. :D

PBU Class of '73 :cool:

September 20, 2005, 02:52 PM
I forget where I read it, but birdshot is ineffective at stopping an attacker.

The GOAL to self defense is to STOP an attacker RIGHT NOW, in his footsteps with as few shots as possible before he can attack you, shoot back, flee, whatever.

The KEY to stopping an attacker immediately is to cause immediate shock to his body by creating massive internal tissue damage and large wound channels that interfere with essential body functions (heart, lungs, ateries, spine, kidneys, liver, etc.).

Typical military handgun and rifle rounds do this very well. Buckshot mimics several handgun cartridges with deep penetration (for instance, getting hit by buckshot may be comparable to multiple .380 rounds) and creating massive tissue damage and striking vital organs beneath the surface of the skin.

Birdshot, however, is ineffective because:
1. It loses velocity and energy quickly
2. It 'only' causes massive surface tissue damage and stops below the surface of the skin, failing to interfere with the vital bodily organs. I think of it as a bad case of "road rash" on a motorcycle. It's gonna really hurt and can be life threatening, but it won't necessarily kill you instantly.
3. See www.theboxotruth.com for "steel doors." Birdshot is the only round tested that fails to even go through a common steel interior door. While I don't know for sure, I suspect that birdshot would fail to adequately penetrate an attackers leather jacket, jean jacket, whatever else.

Birdshot may be effective at killing him in 10 minutes as he bleeds to death, but that may be too late. You want immediate and lethal stopping power in one shot.

From www.theboxotruth.com regarding birdshot:
Birdshot as a Defense Load
I have had a lot of questions, summed up as follows: How effective is birdshot (#4, #6, #8, etc.) as a defense load?

We have done tests with various birdshot loads. Birdshot penetrated through two pieces of drywall (representing one wall) and was stopped in the paper on the front of the second wall. The problem with birdshot is that it does not penetrate enough to be effective as a defense round. Birdshot is designed to bring down little birds.

A policeman told of seeing a guy shot at close range with a load of 12 gauge birdshot, and was not even knocked down. He was still walking around when the EMTs got there. It was an ugly, shallow wound, but did not STOP the guy. And that is what we want... to STOP the bad guy from whatever he is doing. To do this, you must have a load that will reach the vitals of the bad guy. Birdshot will not do this.

In fact, tests have shown that even #4 Buckshot lacks the necessary penetration to reach the vital organs. Only 0 Buck, 00 Buck, and 000 Buck penetrate enough to reach the vital organs.

Unless you expect to be attacked by little birds, do not use birdshot. Use 00 Buck. It will do the job.

September 20, 2005, 03:01 PM
I have taken care of a patient, in the ER, that took a similar shot with 00 buck he never made it out of the OR.

Well, he made it out, just that it was in a bag.

roy reali
September 20, 2005, 04:17 PM
I found a website that catalogs hunting accidents. It even lists the firearm used and if the accident was fatal.

The website is www.ihea.com

You will see that not all rifle accidents were fatal. You will also see a couple bird hunting accidents that were fatal. One involved dove hunting. I assume buckshot or slugs were not being used.

Charles S
September 20, 2005, 04:26 PM
You will see that not all rifle accidents were fatal. You will also see a couple bird hunting accidents that were fatal. One involved dove hunting.

There is a substantial difference in ultimate fatality and immediate stoppage.

Your welcome to hunt brown bear with a 243. I have no doubt that with proper bullet choice and placement the bear will die; you may die in the before the bear does.

I am a hunter and I have killed more than a few deer. Try this test, would you shoot a 100 pound deer with it? Then don't shoot a 200# man with it. Use a little common sense.


roy reali
September 20, 2005, 04:36 PM
If I wake up in the middle of the night and confront an intruder in my bedroom, and I fire a couple of rounds of high base 6's into his abdomen, are you telling me I am SOL?

You are a nurse. My wife is undergoing major chronic illnesses. I have the utmost respect for nurses. I have learned that you guys do more to keep patients alive and going then any MD.

You should however know that there is a big difference in shooting animals and shooting people. That big variable is shock. Shock can turn an otherwise nonfatal wound into a life and death battle. Shock does not seem to be such a problem with animals.

September 20, 2005, 04:52 PM
In surprise scenarios, you may only get to shoot your gun one time. Make sure that your are shooting the best possible self defense man stopping round.

Mortally wounding the attacker does you no good if he can still attack you with his gun, knife, or jumping on you and bleeding his HIV all over you while you wrestle with him.

Look, just get buckshot (my research says 0, or 00) like the overwhelming evidence supports and rest easy.

I don't understand really why this is a debate.

Charles S
September 20, 2005, 04:55 PM
You should however know that there is a big difference in shooting animals and shooting people. That big variable is shock. Shock can turn an otherwise nonfatal wound into a life and death battle. Shock does not seem to be such a problem with animals.

I have been a nurse for over a decade, almost 15 years. Shock will stop someone quickly, but it cannot be counted on.

That big variable is shock.

I have had gunshot victims walk into the ER. I believe that if you induce shock you will stop the person, I do not believe that you can reliebly induce shock without penetration. As I stated earlier; I have experience in this area. I have worked, in the past, in Shreveport, LA where I have seen and cared for numerous gunshot wounds.

Based upon my experience I think that birdshot is not reliable. I have seen too many instances where people shot with birdshot did not stop what they were doing, some even drove themselves to the hosptial. I am looking for RELIABLE, rapid incapacitation. I do not believe that that can be achieved utilizing bird shot.

My 2 cents, you want to ignore my experience that is up to you. I will not trust bird shot. I feel so strongly about this that I carry a handgun when I am bird hunting.

I would sugest that any who wish should get some advanced training like Gunsight, Thunder Ranch, ect.


Harley Quinn
September 20, 2005, 09:45 PM
Think about what you are saying here.
1 1/8 ounce of lead moving at 1300 feet per second and still in its wad. The wad holder is still wrapped around this lead and you are telling me it will only make skin deep penetration? LOL :eek:

The wad usually does not totally seperate for about 15 feet. Just go to a range and check it out. The wad alone will go into a person at that range.

Reread my post, I have personally done tests. 1 3/8" wooden doors are quite a bit harder than jeans and leather. At 5 feet you can stick your hand through the door, the gut of someone would be similiar. In a house where loved ones are at and behind other walls this is the prudent round of choice.

Bird shot is not for the weak of stomach. :eek: Some of the shot stays in the person so he has absorbed all the energy and it is not all passing through.
Slugs are just that one round, not 70 or thereabouts hitting the target at say 'less then 10 feet along with the wad'.

You guys are making me think we need more laws to protect yourselves from yourselves. LOL LOL No actually it is sad :barf:


September 20, 2005, 09:52 PM
When I have used birdshot and shot plastic milkjugs the birdshot generally penetrates only one side of the empty jug and most of the birdshot can be recovered in the milkjug. Thats equivalent to a pellet gun and I'm not interested in using it for home defense.

If that's your weapon of choice, best of luck to you.

Charles S
September 20, 2005, 09:56 PM
1 1/8 ounce of lead moving at 1300 feet per second and still in its wad. The wad holder is still wrapped around this lead and you are telling me it will only make skin deep penetration? LOL

That is not what I stated. I stated that it did not cause rapid incapacitation.

The wad usually does not totally seperate for about 15 feet. Just go to a range and check it out. The wad alone will go into a person at that range.

I do not disagree I have personally removed the wad from the skin.

I am sure that your testing of inanimate objects make you more of an expert than anyone with real life experience in gunshot wounds.

Like I stated before get some real training by professionals. I have, and see what they recomend.

Hey you are responsible for your own protection not me. I have made my choices based upon real life shootings I have personally cared for. I know what a shotgun can do. I have seen open abdominal wounds from knifes, handguns, rifles and shotguns (Penetrating trauma is the term we use).

The key is not the ultimate death of the intruder through exangination. It is rapid or instant incapacitation.


September 20, 2005, 10:00 PM
+1 Charles

roy reali
September 20, 2005, 10:55 PM
How far did you shoot the milk jug? What was the jug made of?

Harley Quinn
September 21, 2005, 12:46 AM
When the guts are strewn across the room like they have been scooped out with a sharp shovel because the person was hit with #71/2s at 5 feet the last thing you need to worry about is shock. Believe me.

You see the ones that get to the Operating room not the ones that go to the morgue.


September 21, 2005, 12:50 AM
#71/2s.............see, that equates to number 35.5 shot, pretty fine stuff.

Kidding aside, all of it will kill you, sometimes. Why chance it? I really could give to craps what you use, but Im using the stuff thats designed for it. I shoot clays with #7 1/2s, and scrotes with #00.

September 21, 2005, 01:06 AM
Those who think that birdshot is adequate for self defense are missing the POINT.

The POINT is that adequate self defense requires immediate massive INTERNAL tissue damage and interruption with KEY vital organs.

While birdshot will, granted, probably cause alot of surface tissue damage and blood loss, it is inadequate at stopping assailants with any regularity, particularly drugged assailants who aren't feeling pain. Birdshot will, however, penetrate up to two sheets of drywall whereas 00 penetrates 8 sheets according to www.theboxotruth.com

Any search on the internet will result in the same advice; don't rely on birdshot for self defense.

Is it lethal? Yes. Can it be used for self defense? Of course. Am I going to trust MY life to it. Absolutely not! I'm not interested in the assailant dying in the emergency room. If there is an assailant assaulting me, I want a one shot stopping round. You may not get a chance for a second shot.

I trust MY LIFE to calibers that will IMMEDIATELY stop an attacker in his tracks due to the penetration, velocity, bullet expansion, and/or massive internal penetration and tissue damage and would channels, such as 00 buckshot, slugs, .40, and .223.

Harley Quinn
September 21, 2005, 01:10 AM
I am advocating this in your home at close quarters because as has been pointed out the other stuff really penetrates and goes through stuff it is not leaving all the energy in the suspect.

00 buck is my call for police work or outside shooting where the distance gets greater, but the background really is a needed concern. As was stated the slug as a one round into the suspect is better then 4 in and 8 somewhere else.

Shoot what you want. I have seen all the wounds I want for a life time.

I like paper and cans and plastic jugs that go woosh. For real action watermelons at 20 feet or you can use the sledgeomatic at 2 feet LOL. :D


September 21, 2005, 02:34 AM
Good site about gunshot wounds. http://www.firearmstactical.com/wound.htm And here is a pic of the damage #4 buckshot will cause. http://img359.imageshack.us/img359/280/1220gauge20no20420buckshot9lo.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

September 21, 2005, 02:55 AM



***LINK*** (http://www.trauma.org/imagebank/wounds/shotgun.html)

Harley Quinn
September 21, 2005, 10:44 AM
I remember the time frame and the tests that were done by the FBI.

Interesting statement in the article, I find that a give away.

Lets just say that all the gun manufactors and the manufactors of ammo are in this conspiracy to decieve the public. They had many persons on their payroll to decieve the public and the shooters who annually killed so many things they started an outrage by the Enviromentalists, is very much fabrication.

The 10mm, and 357 were designed to get around the large slow moving projectile that was on the scene (the old 45 auto and 44 spl).

And of course the 9mm which is the most popular hand gun cartridge of all time is not worthy of any consideration.(world wide)

I have seen so many bullet wounds and death by gunfire, some die because of shock, some die because they think they ought to and others die because they bled out from a shot to the leg and it hit the artery, or the puny 38 stopped a man in his tracks and he was dead before someone could get to him.

The term Hydrostatic shock that turn organs to jelly, are also bogus?

If it goes thru the object it does not stop the object. You get hit in the lower abdoman and if it stops in your spine or pelvis you are going down now.

FMJ is and was designed because it produced less trauma. Geneva rules remember. But this webpage is proof positive? Good stuff but all does not fit so neat in the box.

A slug that hits a vest causes so much blunt force trauma they bleed internally and the shock to the system is real. The 223 will go through the vest the heart and the spine and kill the person 5 feet behind them (FMJ).

Let's see the armor piercing round that goes thru a car door and then some of it hits the driver in the chest cavity goes thru him and kills the passenger (in the head) and lodges in the other door HMMM.

I find the webpage a good one and it has information that I would consider good. Thanks for sharing.

The picture of the person who was shot is a very terrifying vivid example of what happens to persons who are as we say shot. Superficial you say? OK!

I feel that my posts are accurate to the question asked in the initial post.
Much of what has been discussed is off topic.

I also feel that most of the persons that say they will kill a human at the time of the shooting will be very hesitant. That's good.

Then you have the new generation of cowards who shoot indescriminatly into crowds and kill innocents. These are the true terrorist's in our society and we have persons who want them to have rights,??? Interesting our society.


September 21, 2005, 12:19 PM
The Answer:

"Hydrostatic shock is the effect commonly believed to be caused by a high velocity object entering a body, such as a bullet fired from a weapon.

The shock is described in the following way—the object will cause ordinary damage by the actual penetration, but also pass a shock wave in the surrounding tissue due to the energy of the slowing object being passed into the largely liquid material of the body (65%+). The shock wave, or sometimes competing shockwaves from multiple impacts, are believed to cause greater damage than the object itself, sometimes enough to rupture internal organs and fracture bone. Especially large objects are believed to cause hydrostatic shock by the closure of the cavity created by the object's passage.

There is a body of opinion, however, that believes hydrostatic shock is errant nonsense. The argument is based around how energy is transferred and the effects of such a transfer. Issues raised include kinetic energy vs. momentum, the rate of energy transfer, thermodynamics (kinetic energy would be transformed into heat), the speed of sound in tissue, hydrodynamic effects, 'wound tracks', and the nature of a body.

Testing in recently killed pigs (soon enough that no loss of muscle elasticity or rigor mortis could occur), shows that large amounts of tissue distruption from spherical projectiles only occurs at striking velocities somewhere between 800 and 1100 meters per second (2,500 and 3,600 feet/second). A velocity of 764 m/s (2507 ft/s) resulted in a hole barely larger in diameter than the 6 mm projectile used, while a velocity of 1116 m/s (3661 ft/s) produced a 20 by 25 mm hole in muscle. (Fackler, et al)

Some sources attempt to compare inelastic media, such as fruit and water jugs, to people, saying that the massive "splattering" effect also occurs in living flesh. This is totally contrary to the known laws of physics.

If an exerted force exceeds the tensile strength of a material, deformation and tearing occur. Because water effectively has a tensile strength of zero, any force exerted on it will deform or "tear" it (cause it to splash), discounting the effects of gravity. Human muscle tissue, however, has a tensile strength of roughly 1 to 4 MPa (145 to 580 lbf/in²); other tissues may be weaker or stronger. If the force of the "hydrostatic shock" exceeds the tensile strength of the tissue struck, then stretching or tearing of the bullet hole can occur. Lesser forces will still displace tissue, but not hard enough to cause any damage other than bruising due to blunt trauma."

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrostatic_shock

Harley Quinn
September 21, 2005, 01:45 PM
The 22-250 is one that fits the bill very well, so is the 220 swift, goes through steel(that is a mis nomer) what happens is the friction of it hitting the 3/8 plate and velocity send the hot steel from the plate mixed with the molten bullet, then it go's through the steel sending quite a bit more down the road than the original weight of the bullet.

Take one of the above and load it so the primers don't flatten but close.
Now you are getting some very high velocity, the longer the barrel the better, but of course there is a limit. FMJ is the best under these conditions.

The statement about hydrostatic shock was sarcasam :) In my above post.

Hydrostatic shock is very real and the difference between 2500 and 3600 is quite a bit (percentage) now add the additional fps that I have just suggested (into the low 4000+) and we are talking bad news.
But...The bullet is the thing, got to be able to take that kind of velocity.

PS. If you need wikipedia you have not had first hand experience.

September 21, 2005, 02:58 PM
"PS. If you need wikipedia you have not had first hand experience."

No I dont have a first had experience of shooting someone and seeing what the Hydrostatic shock will be like, if that what you meant by first had experience. And the only reason I used wikipedia because its a reliable source and poeple cant argue on how accurate the info is. :)

Harley Quinn
September 21, 2005, 05:06 PM
If you read what wikipedia is, it is very controversial. Anyone can post about the subject and they will tell you it is very controversial.

If I have knowledge that you don't have, and believe me I do.
I am not going to go to a location like wikipedia and try to convince you.

Like all of this controversy (this discussion, off topic) It is not relevent to what the person asked. :) Reread the original post.


September 21, 2005, 05:23 PM
I have a question about buckshot for defense. Winchester still makes expanding led shot where some manufactureres use only copper coated. As a person that has shot deer with buckshot, the led shot expands much more and causes more damage while not overpenetrating the deer. Copper coated tends to go right through, where led will often stop in the deer. Has anyone ever tested the different brands for penetration vs just throwing different sized shot (00 buck, 1 buck, etc.) at the boards?


September 21, 2005, 07:33 PM
From what everybody seems to understand about ammunition, seems it would be logical to assume that shells labeled as "Birdshot" "Dove Load", Quail Load" etc. were designed and assembled with, ummm shooting BIRDS in mind.

"Buckshot" is not called that because it was designed to blow doves into powder (Although I've seen that happen once or twice), but because it will most likely knock down a male deer. At least that's probably what the Ammo Makers had in mind, mebbe. Perhaps it would be smart to go with what the shells were DESIGNED for when trying to decide what to use them for.

Bottom line on home defense though, is to only use a shell, a load, or a weapon that is 99.99999% likely to be lethal at the range chosen. There are only three imperatives that matter in a home defense scenario.
1. Be prepared to use, and then USE lethal force when confronted with a home invasion situation. If the other guy is armed, he will not ask permission to kill you before trying his very best to do so.
2. Make sure that once gunfire begins, you will be the only survivor of the confrontation. In today's real world, you must be CERTAIN that you will be the only one testifying at the coroner's inquest or at the Grand Jury.
3. Once you have terminated the intruder and made sure all wounds are front to back, and have called a lawyer to deal with the next phase of your life, then put away your weapon and call 911, being sure to tell the 911 operator what you look like and where you will be when the police arrive. You do not want to be shot by mistake by some nervous rookie.

If you do all these things in the proper order, you may just possibly survive the experience.

roy reali
September 21, 2005, 07:39 PM
What if you were to use .223 ammo in a rifle. Lets say that the ammo box has a picture of a varmint on it. Would this disqualify the ammo from human use?

September 21, 2005, 09:08 PM
Harley Quinn

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just pointing out some points.

Harley Quinn
September 21, 2005, 09:09 PM
Roy Has a very good point. So do others.

I was viewing some of the posts and not many seem to understand the idea this fellow is asking. Home defense as in the home, as in rooms occupied by loved ones and other persons who you may care for.

Most of the buck shot and slugs are really to powerful inside a home they go through walls innocents etc. I should clairify something I notice I did not give the correct number of shot per ounce regarding 7 1/2s. I did not hit all the keys. In a 12 gauge in an ounce + of 7 1/2s you are shooting something that is just smaller than .10 and it contains close to 400 of them, more if you are shooting 1 and 1/4 ounce in 3" mags. Really look it up. Now the close range makes it a very deadly weapon and it also makes it less dangerous. If that makes sense.

Probably for the house a 410 is really a good all rounder make sure the barrel is 18+ inches and have a stock. Great for hitting people or shoving into a loose dog prior to blowing them away. Really 410 has more power than a hand gun and the versatility of several different shells in the snout. you could start with a scatter gun round of #8s, then go for the double 00 or triple 000 and finish it off with a slug or two as they are running down the drive way because you jerked instead of squeezed, say because of your own fears and apprehension. LOL

You who believe, will believe, you who don't, won't. So what, ignorance is fine but now you should know different. If you don't I will still sleep soundly.


September 21, 2005, 09:20 PM

What a brilliant riposte you've tossed up today! You get the "clever guy" award for the next 2 minutes, so enjoy yourself! :D

I suppose the concept of sarcasm is lost on you? Trying to point out to those naifs on the board that only a birdbrain loads birdshot for a lethal force scenario, and any case in which you fire on another human HAS TO BE a lethal force situation. Can you understand the term "Negligent Homicide"? How about "Wrongful Death Lawsuit"?

Did you also miss the parts about the after-action sling your butt will be in if you just cripple or mutilate a housebreaker whose attorney will then make your life WORSE than it is for the nitwit you shot?

Trouble with these forums is there are only a few really trying to be helpful, and just loads of smartasses just out to prove they are champs of the snappy, snippy comeback.

Try being flip with the 300 lb felon who just plowed thru your front door, see if being cute works with him. :mad:

September 21, 2005, 09:52 PM
Hey Harlequin,

The only good point Roy has is the one on top of his head. Everybody is trying to make "cute" comments when the subject is deadly serious. If you make decisions about what load or what weapon to use because you are PLANNING ON MISSING YOUR TARGET at under 20 feet with a shotgun, then you should only be allowed to use a hammer to defend yourself. Not one of the big 20oz. ripping hammers, either, those go RIGHT THROUGH drywall.

And about your progressive load scenario, saving the last couple slug rounds to FIRE AT THE FLEEING ATTACKER RUNNING AWAY FROM YOU DOWN THE DRIVEWAY? Sounds like you are just bound and determined to spend more time in prison than your fleeing "victim"

I hope you were just "clowning around" with that statement, Mr. Harlequin, 'cause I don't know of any tactic more certain to get you locked up than shooting somebody in the back, running away. Great idea. :eek:

roy reali
September 21, 2005, 10:03 PM
You will have a law suit on your hands irregardless of the criminal aspect of your shooting.

I put myself through college working as an armed guard at a convenience store. Yes, it was an idiotic job, but it paid my bills. I had to go through a certification and qualification course to earn my "gun" card. The instructor was an ex DA.

If you ever shoot anyone, you will be in court facing the family of the person you shot. You will be sued. You will be made to look like the scum of the earth by the family's attorney. The person you shot will be made out to be a pillar of society.

One thing they will have as evidence against you is your weapon and ammunition. Remeber, the jury probably will have little or no knowledge of firearms and their applications. Imagine how you will look to them if they bring out a small, short barreled shotgun, loaded with half a dozen rounds of buckshot. They will use this to make you look like a kook. Compare that with a guy that used his bird shotgun loaded with high base pheasant loads.

Remeber, in a civil suit it comes down to a tipping of the jury towards one side or the other. Beyond a resonable doubt is not part of the outcome.

Harley Quinn
September 21, 2005, 11:54 PM
Not only are you correct on some of your statements you are obnoxious to boot.

You probably know about as much about lawyering as you do about the subject matter. You like to get mouthy, hey that is fine.
I have swung a 20 + oz Hammer most of my adult life, so I could easly revert to it if needed.
Funny how do you know these things? Just clever I guess.

Yes, some of it was tongue in cheek, I have been very serious most of the time I have talked on this thread. But ignorant and obnoxious people as you have worn out my desire to communicate. So a little levity. Why don't you read the entire thread and give it a rest.

300 pound gorilla or 100 pound meth freak I feel certain I can handle the situation, can you say that? I am not one bit concerned with my abilities.
But on the other hand I would say you are.

You lost it chump, when you started calling people names so back to you.

Bud and Lou do my light weight work and keep me informed to all trespassers
Mdl 37 12 gauge does the rest.

Harley :D

September 22, 2005, 10:33 AM
Birdshot will stop people shot with it most of the time, so will a .22, you're limited experience means nothing to me. The problem with birdshot is that it has limited penetration, it will cause nasty wounds that are not likely to be fatal. Birdshot can blow off an arm, it can disembowl someone, but I pity you if you ever try to shoot a bodybuilder or fat person high on PCP with it, or for that matter a determined person of regular stature. It will not penetrate to vital organs, and they will very likely disregard the damage and go on to harm you.

You're playing with fire and gambling with you're life on this one, you've gotten lucky so far, but trust me if you ever go up against someone that is very determined or high on something, you will probably lose, the birdshot will fail.

You simply cannot depend on shock and disgusting surface wounds to stop someone, eventually your number might be called and you will be left holding a thunder stick with less penetration than a pellet gun.

#1 buckshot for home defense, it has enough penetration to go through an arm and still hit vitals, and causes the most wound volume for its penetration.

September 22, 2005, 11:44 AM
The poster that thinks that birdshot will look any different to a jury than buckshot is ill-advised. It would likely be irrelevant in a self defense situation. By this logic, one should use pillows and fight the bad guy. A good defense lawyer would crush this logic by simply saying that the homeowner prepared himself with the most efficient means of stopping a burglar and, with research, learned that it was with 12 guage buckshot and armed himself accordingly.

If it were allowed, a few photos to the jury of the tramatic looking results of birdshot damage, or the disfigured BG in the courtroom with massive surface tissue scars would be much worse than a single penetrating hole of a buckshot wound, and the BG would not even be in the courtroom to tell HIS side of the story (how his car broke down and he only came up to use the phone and found the window open...).

Besides this, in many states including Colorado, a homeowner is IMMUNE from criminal prosectution or civil suits. So, here it's a moot point.

#1 priority is stopping the BG immediately, not causing mortal wounds that may kill him in 10 minutes through blood loss. The odds of you accidently shooting someone through a wall or two are so remote as to not worry abou it. FIRST, you'd have to miss your target. SECOND, the bullet would have to cleanly go through the wall and not be stopped by a stud (about 10% of the wall) or any furniture/appliances on the other side. THIRD, it would actually have to hit somebody. If you can't hit a BG 10 feet away for whom you're AIMING at, I think the odds of you hitting a random person through a couple walls is incredibly remote!

Do an experiement and see whether birdshot will even penetrate a leather jacket at 10 feet, or heavy jean jacket. Even if it does, I suspect that it's velocity will be slowed tremendously.

Everyone here, with few exceptions, agrees that buckshot is much much better. Why do you refuse to listen to the advice of the other members?

Bottom line is to use the best tool to stop the BG.

September 22, 2005, 11:56 AM
This is quite a spirited discussion. For me, it is 00 buck.

I always get a kick out of people's assumption that a defensive shot will always be at short range (under 10 feet). I agree that birdshot might (!) be effective at very short distances. However, you can't always control the situation.

I think you can think of a variety of situations that might occur where distances could be much further. I can imagine situations where you might pursue the home invaders as they attempt to leave. Take for example you wake up and find them dragging your daughter/son/wife out the front door to their car. The strategy isn't close to 5 feet so your birdshot works!

Lead--your comment about not worrying about overpenetration with 00 is bad advice . . . Be sure of your target and what is BEYOND.

Harley Quinn
September 22, 2005, 12:07 PM
I have got to say again I have lots of experience.

I stick with my posts, you stick with yours. But please don't lecture me.
You sir are sadly mistaken. What you know about bird shot is very limited obviously. Again within the confines of a home it is very very effective and lessens the potential of over penetration to hurt loved ones and innocents.

At five to 8 feet (where most shooting occur by the way) If you hit some one in the chest with a 12 gauge (#6s this time since you have discounted #71/2s but both are considered bird shot.) we are talking major damage as in no sternum, no heart, and possably only parts of the spine left, and not much damage to your son who is in the next room (why because he is between 2 pieces of drywall and other things).

The same thing will happen with #71/2 but you don't believe it for some reason. Listen people are afraid of 165 mile an hour winds debris and other stuff flying, but you sir are discounting 1 1/8 ounce's of lead traveling at 1300 feet per second and less then ten feet away. (plus 71/2 are safer for loved ones), not much but sometimes enough.

Number 6s are .11 in size and approx 250 in an ounce along with the wad.
That is the size of a bee bee. Moving at 1300 fee a second. LOL

Muscle is nothing compared to lead traveling at that speed. Believe it. It is the truth. Go out and check it out this week-end. But I would say with the way you are talking you have not shot much or you would know better.

Enough on this topic. Good day.


September 22, 2005, 12:16 PM
I think my point about overpenetration was not written very well and misinterpreted as a result. My mistake.

To clarify the point, ANY effective man stopping round will necessarily penetrate MANY common barriers in the home such as drywall.

I'll reiterate a final points and then rest my case:

You wound't shoot a 100 pound deer with birdshot, why would you use it for a 200-300 pound attacker doped up on who knows what?

September 22, 2005, 12:42 PM
You don't seem to understand, shooting jello with tennis balls in it really doesn't tell me much. Shoot a watermelon with an Ar-15 and it will explode. So what?

Shotgun Pellet Wound Ballistics
A shotgun pellet produces wound trauma by crushing the tissue it comes into direct contact with as it penetrates. In order to produce wound trauma that will be effective in quickly stopping an attacker, the pellets must penetrate his body deeply enough to be able to pass through a vital cardiovascular structure and cause rapid fatal hemorrhage to quickly deprive the brain of oxygenated blood needed to maintain consciousness.

Shotgun pellets are classified into two general categories: 1) birdshot, of which individual pellets are typically less than .20 caliber in diameter, and 2) buckshot, which varies in diameter from .24 caliber to .36 caliber.

Birdshot, because of its small size, does not have the mass and sectional density to penetrate deeply enough to reliably reach and damage critical blood distribution organs. Although birdshot can destroy a great volume of tissue at close range, the permanent crush cavity is usually less than 6 inches deep, and this is not deep enough to reliably include the heart or great blood vessels of the abdomen. A gruesome, shallow wound in the torso does not guarantee a quick stop, especially if the bad guy is chemically intoxicated or psychotic. If the tissue crushed by the pellets does not include a vital cardiovascular structure there's no reason for it to be an effective wound.

Many people load their shotguns with birdshot, usually #6 shot or smaller, to minimize interior wall penetration. Number 6 lead birdshot, when propelled at 1300 fps, has a maximum penetration depth potential of about 5 inches in standard ordnance gelatin. Not all of the pellets penetrate this deeply however; most of the shot will penetrate about 4 inches.

Taken from firearms tactical.

In conclusion, your ridiculous conjecture and blind faith in birdshot may eventually end with your death. Do not expect it to create immediately life threatening wounds. Also, birdshot will penetrate multiple walls. It has a lessened chance of killing someone on the other side, but think about why that is for a few hours...

You wouldn't hunt a deer with birdshot, you wouldn't kill someone in a firing squad with birdshot, no major police department or military has used birdshot, just don't bother with it, for God's sake! leadcounsel has made some very good points that perhaps you should think about...

September 22, 2005, 01:15 PM
I'm still debating between #1 and #4 buck for myself. Bird shot may kill, but from looking at ballistic gelatin tests from 2-3 yards I don't believe it has enough penetration to be reliable. Plenty of people have "walking away with birdshot in them" stories too. I personally won't be trusting birdshot to stop a man. But I also won't use glasser rounds in the my pistol. Ymmv.


September 22, 2005, 01:17 PM
Harley, you seem to be dedicated to your cause and refer to having "lots of experience".

Would you care to give us a better understanding of the background and experience from which you draw? If not, I can understand that also.

September 22, 2005, 02:11 PM
what do u "experts" think of my choice :rolleyes: :p

3" magnum turkey load, 2oz #4 birdshot, copper plated

roy reali
September 22, 2005, 02:36 PM
A civil trial has nothing at all to do with a criminal trial.

When I took my "gun" course for armed guard service, most of the classroom discussion was dedicated to protecting our rear-ends in civil court. The manner and method of the actual self-defense act will be scrutinized to the most extreme case. The plaintiff, the family of the person you injured or killed, will do all in their power to make you look like some blood thirsty maniac. If they show the jury some para-military type weapons, that is a strike against you.

I do not agree with this. But you are going to have a court room full of parents or kids crying that you, the "bad guy" hurt my daddy, my son, my spouse, whatever the case may be.

I carried a Ruger Security Six on duty. The instructor strongly advised against putting shells with "magnum" written on them. He said put the hottest specials in the gun, but leave the mags at home. They could make it look like that you could not wait to blow someone away.

I am a die hard, right wing conservative. I personally believe that you should be allowed to use anything you want to defend your home, espically on the inside. However, a jury may or may not agree. Remember, in a jury trial, the decision will come down to the majority ruling. If seven members give a certain verdict, that is it. There are no hung juries here.

Charles S
September 22, 2005, 03:40 PM
When the guts are strewn across the room like they have been scooped out with a sharp shovel because the person was hit with #71/2s at 5 feet the last thing you need to worry about is shock. Believe me.


You assume too much.

I was a Paramedic before I was a nurse and continued to work in the field for the first five years as a nurse.

I have practiced both pre-hospital and in hospital. I have worked at LSU Med Center a trauma teaching facility and I have worked in a Level II trauma Hospital. I have worked outside the country in Central America and treated trauma there.

I have taken the Pre-Hospital Advanced Trauma Life Support. Trauma Nurse Core Curriculum (TNCC), Advanced Trauma Nursing, ATN, Course in Advanced Trauma Nursing, CATN, and I have audited and latter assisted teaching Advanced Trauma Life Support ATLS.

I have just a little experience with trauma, and I find your statements do not support a thorough understanding of trauma.

Probably for the house a 410 is really a good all rounder make sure the barrel is 18+ inches and have a stock. Great for hitting people or shoving into a loose dog prior to blowing them away. Really 410 has more power than a hand gun and the versatility of several different shells in the snout. you could start with a scatter gun round of #8s, then go for the double 00 or triple 000 and finish it off with a slug or two as they are running down the drive way because you jerked instead of squeezed, say because of your own fears and apprehension. LOL

This is a statement that causes me to further question your expertise.

Like I stated before take some advanced shotgunning courses from teachers like Jim Cirillo (He has been there and done that), John Farnam, Mossad Ayoob, Clint Smith ext. See if they recommend high brass 7 1/2s. I have taken some of these classes and I have spoken with some of these teachers. I have yet to find one that would recommend bird shot.

I did not intend to respond because you obviously are decided and it is your responsibility to protect yourself, but when you recommended the 410 for self defense I could not stay out. The 410 would be adequate for self defense if you used slugs otherwise it is entirely inadequate.

Barrier penetration is necessary when protecting yourself and your home from time to time. Think about the home invader who ducks behind your couch or flips your table over and is now behind cover. In my house that will do him little good. I will shoot through the barrier. I understand my fields of fire and I know where my loved ones are.


September 22, 2005, 04:01 PM
Charles S,

Thanks for your comments. After the discussion turned abusive, with some folks reacting rabidly to a bit of sarcasm of mine, I elected to stop arguing.

Can't reason with folks who aren't getting the humour of the discussion. Seems your experience trumps most of the hot air, and the angry mob.

Obviously everyone will still use whatever ammunition they think is reasonable. If it is ever needed in a life and death situation, well, some will live, and others will die.

Too bad that shouting about your own superior knowledge will not necessarily stop an ignorant felon by itself. Difficult to talk someone to death.

Thanks again for the practical answers from you and from Cobray, who also seems, at least IMHO, to actually know whereof he speaks.

As to the others, best of luck, don't forget to duck, and do try to hit the target in the chest, not the back.............. :D

Harley Quinn
September 22, 2005, 04:36 PM
I am going to say this. A couple of the people HERE have SOME good pointS but miss the target. Several of the writers and experts who you talk about have written on this very subject. They agree with me.

The last thing I am going to say: 250 projectiles at .11 cut them in half because you are doubling .11+.11= .22... Now 125 .22s are going into your body cavity and some will go through and some won't they will stay within.

5 inchs of penetration! LOL your heart is only 1 inch deep behind the sturnam that has become projectiles continuing with the shot.

Enough said. I have the experience, I have the know how, I have been there, I am an expert, I am, and that is the end of the conversation.

Except: every thing I have talked about I have seen. From guts on the wall to dead bodies on the ground. Persons loading their 410s the way I described and kelvar vests in shambles with just little old #6s. Under 10 feet gentleman is where most of the shooting occurs. Stand your ground, because I stand mine.

PS: edit for 1"group, Humor is in the eye of the beholder, as I stated I was tongue in cheek myself. LOL You insulted not one but two persons in your rant and now you are a groupie LOL...I will not say more about myself just because of persons like you.


September 22, 2005, 04:48 PM

I cannot believe how irresponsible and wrong you are with your postings!

First, if you're implying that #6 12 gauge will penetrate ballistic vests, you should first qualify the TYPE of ballistic vest you're refrencing.

For instance, you are wrong if you're talking about a level II or greater. Level II will stop OO buckshot and slugs from a 12 gauge, 9mm, .357, and .40 caliber rounds! It will certainly stop birdshot.

Secondly, I don't care if you've seen the aftermath of shootings. Personal experiences are not scientific and there are many variables involved. The stopping power of a particular round warrants science, not your experience of the aftermath. I grant that a birdshot shooting will be bloody and cause massive surface tissue damage. Besides, unless you witnessed what happened it's moot. Your arrival on the scene at a later time does not illuminate whether the birdshot had adequate STOPPING power. For all you know the BG was shot and bled to death for 10 minutes.

As far as gelatin penetration of 5", that is assuming perfect situation. In a real life scenario, the BG may very realistically be wearing a leather or jean jacket, thick flannel shirt, possibly kevlar. All of these would dramatically reduce the penetration of the small pellets from the birdshot. Further, the gelaten fails to reproduce angle, bone matter, etc. The birdshot penetration may very well be reduced to just a really bad surface tissue damage and fail to stop the bad guy, but allow him to shoot back.

Conversely, 00 buckshot which is what I advocate, should immediately stop and drop a BG due to the MASSIVE and widespread external and internal tissue damage, wound channel, interference with vital organs, and system shock.

I'm leaving this conversation as we've all made good points that birdshot is RELIABLY INEFFECTIVE in a self-defense situation. We've failed to persuade you and I no longer care what you use b/c you've stubbornly ignored reason.


I wish you and your family the best and hope no BGs are in your future.

Charles S
September 22, 2005, 04:57 PM
The last thing I am going to say: 250 projectiles at .11 cut them in half because you are doubling .11+.11= .22... Now 125 .22s are going into your body cavity and some will go through and some won't they will stay within.

By gosh! Now I understand. I should be hunting deer with #8 1/2 shot because and if I multiply that by 6 I have I will have a diameter of .51 and this will provide all the penetration I need. LOL

Enough said. I have the experience, I have the know how, I have been there, I am an expert, I am, and that is the end of the conversation.

I have provided some of my credentials. Please feel free to do the same.

I am going to say this. A couple of the people HERE have SOME good pointS but miss the target. Several of the writers and experts who you talk about have written on this very subject. They agree with me.

Cites please.

BTW seeing a shooting’s aftermath, or a seeing a shooting no more makes you an expert, than does watching a surgery make you surgeon, or going to a concert a musician.

You still have to have an understanding of the underlying theory, physics and dynamics.

Your quote about doubling .11 shot size to .22 shot size shows a lack of that understanding. There are charts available in trauma that will provide your estimated penetration based upon shot size and composition. I will look for mine and see if I can find it.



Harley Quinn
September 22, 2005, 05:27 PM
Thanks for the last line. But I don't believe that any more then you believe me. The other lines are just more misunderstanding regarding the thread.

For example I explained about the jello and wood and tennis balls in a container with some tough outer surface. Tests I have personally done and they are mocked.

Tennis balls are like organs stronger than the jello. sticks are like bone but all is not exactly perfect, but a test anyway.

Why don't you reproduce what I have explained as the target and then come back with your findings. 223 against a watermellon? Try the #6s at 10 feet.

Within 10 feet ok? Make sure the container is on a bench about 3' off the ground. Also shoot the 1 3/8 door and take the precaution I explained earlier.

Now I will state further the smaller projectile will go through vests like 22-250 or 220 Swift 223 fmj or 218 Bee and an icepick. I have explained all this in the thread but apparently no one is reading, only disagreeing, so disagree you are still wrong.

I conducted the tests over 20 years ago and used the on going vests at that time. I also conducted tests with steel plate 1/4 up to 1" You would be surprised at the results, but you won't believe about those either, so.

I also did some tests with stun guns and tear gas. I personally talked to the Deputy chief and he drew his conclusions from my reports. They used my findings and then political pressure, (well we all know) and about disagreeing, then finding out you are right, is really what it is all about. :D

Edit. The comparison was not the best .11 x 250 or 22 x 125. But you are missing the point of smaller at twice the amount vs larger at half the amount.
10 feet remember not shooting deer. Humans at less than 10 feet.

Knowledge is power and I have the knowledge. So continue on with your stories.


September 22, 2005, 05:39 PM

Harley Quinn
September 22, 2005, 05:53 PM
I Have read that before try the test, shoot 250 .11s into something at 10 feet.
Then we will talk.


September 22, 2005, 05:57 PM
I've already said before that I've shot birdshot into empty plastic jugs and many of the shot fail to exit the backside.

If the birdshot fails to exit a plastic just, I'm not using it for home defense.

You're not going to pursuade me otherwise. I can probably speak for everyone else that uses 00, #1, or #4 too. So why are you carrying on this argument.

I'm finished with this conversation.

September 22, 2005, 06:00 PM
I think we should refrain from totally denouncing Harley. His views are valid as are the proponents of buckshot. This is getting as bad as 9mm vs. .45 discussions as their is a mountain of evidence and experience proving the case for both sides. As Harley said, everyone is entitled to use whatever they chose to use depending on their philosophy and situation.

Me, I can tell you that load #4 or #6 birdshot as my first round in my HD shotgun. The rest is 00 buckshot. The reason is my house is 1,000sq.feet meaning I dont have any area that will stretch much over 25 feet. The doors to my kids room and the walls are cheap and hollow. I have neighbors on all sides of me. I would hesitate in a life and death scenario due to collaterall damage, whereas with birdshot I would be much less inclined to hesitate and thus not get shot.

My experience, not extensive like all you guys, but I am an avid hunter and outdoorsman. My preferred hunting weapon has always been a Remington 1100 for deer as well as waterfowl.

My only experience of using birdshot in a semi-defensive situation was when I shot a Rottweiler that was tearing up my pack Llamas. I grabbed the closest weapon(Rem 1100) and shot the dog once at about 10 feet distance. He died instantly and didnt make a sound, but the wound was profound and grotesque. I dont see a bad guy fairing much better. If he needs more convincing, I got 5 more rounds of 00 buck.

roy reali
September 22, 2005, 06:20 PM
You ever see someone shoot at a game bird a little too fast and a little too close?

Harley Quinn
September 22, 2005, 06:27 PM
Why am I carrring on this conversation LOL...

A group of persons (groupies) have called me names and attacked my experienced position, I have explained numerous times.

So far only one person out of about 70 post has really seen the devastating effect of this load we are talking about. Besides me, and you want to argue about it along with your groupies...

1 for charles etc. Well Charles I have more experience then the persons you paid to go see and get certs. I don't do that because I end up arguing with their own lack of knowledge. Did I say I was an expert, certified in a court of law numerous times.

Thanks WOD better late then never.

Like I said in past post's I am right, the fact that I know, that is why I am so inclined to take the abuse and still be here.

Here is a scene:

Walking along with your #6s in your shotgun hunting birds and rabbits, an animal weighing 60 plus pounds attacks you, raise your shotgun trying to get to better cover moving out of harms way (you are on the path).
You shoot at the animal and it is flown sideways and does not move. A hole as big as your fist and dead. No other clues. Do the test.



September 22, 2005, 06:51 PM
From the "For what it's worth Department":

Here's a nice picture of a birdshot wound on another forum.

Notice, the recipient ISN'T dead as a doornail.


My 2 cents worth of input is this:
I've never heard too many cases of people hit at close range with buckshot that weren't stopped instantly and/or killed on the spot.

I've heard many cases that were hit with birdshot that walked away from it, and/or kept fighting.

The great thing about America is, you're free to use depleted uranium or foam rubber, at your choice.

September 22, 2005, 09:20 PM
You ever see someone shoot at a game bird a little too fast and a little too close?

Yes I have been guilty of disentegrating birds, not really on game birds because I am not that fast but on starlings on slow dove and duck hunting days. I have shot them at about 10 feet and all you see are a puff of feathers like a magic trick.

I dont know Harley, but I understand his thinking. It is kind of Ironic that many of you are picking on him because he is emphasizing limiting collateral damage in a Home Defense situation. The gentleman criticizing Harley's thinking seem to disregard this fact in their argument. If I was fighting looting, raping, terrorizing thugs, then heck yeah I would grab the #00 buckshot so I can shoot through windows and cars 50yards away. The fact is we are talking about a home intrusion scenario in a neighborhood where I am loath to shoot a .22 pistol.

I am not a seasoned crime scene guru, but I have shot enough game with buckshot to know that even at close range, the majority of my game did not receive the full load, which means that the stray pellets could go into an unintended target. It is this fact I chose to use bird shot in the home. If I am errant enough to miss a man sized target at 20 feet with my bird shot, then the buckshot will settle it.

Each man to his own as far as this goes, but my decision for birdshot is based on my priority in a HD situation.

Number 1) Safety of my family
Number 2) Safety of innocents
Number 3) Taking picture and recording wound details from bad guy to guage effectiveness so that I may argue my points better on this forum.

September 22, 2005, 09:48 PM
This has been quite a little whirlwind here... :rolleyes:

I can understand the choice to use birdshot in a close, heavily peopled living space, but it is a very compromised defense load, suitable only when necessary by circumstances. Otherwise, it doesn't make sense.

I'm no expert, but from what I know, I would say that a hot 12 ga. birdshot load at 7 feet or so to COM of a moderately built man (NOT wearing a heavy leather coat) would probably take out the bad guy right now... it's certainly quite capable of that under "just the right circumstances".

On the other hand, at twice that distance or more and given a heavy leather coat, winter clothing, bodybuilder or obese type of guy, there's no way I'd even think of trying to rely on birdshot. I can't imagine how Harley would want to RELY on that either, when the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of buckshot when the barriers get thicker and the distance longer.

So Harley loads up for defense use with birdshot expecting to be up against people who aren't heavily clothed or built and they appear inside his bedroom at less than 10' range. Chances are probably decent that his birdshot may stop the guy OK.

BUT, what does Harley do if he has to go outside to try and protect someone else who is being harmed by the big bad guy and the distance is 15' to 25' and the bad guy is big, heavy, cracked up, leather clad, whatever? The birdshot he expected to work well at 7' inside his bedroom is likely to fail miserably in stopping the perp under these difference circumstances.

On the other hand, if he had loaded with 12 ga. buckshot to begin with, it would be supremely effective at 7' inside the bedroom, and still very effective at 17' down the hall, and also very effective at 27'+ in the yard against little guys and big guys, lightly or heavily dressed, sober or all hopped up.

The buckshot is simply a more reliable defense load under a wide range of circumstances. I can't see why a reasonable person doesn't understand the wisdom in choosing buckshot for defense. It just makes the most sense because you never know what circumstances you will find yourself up against. And if I knew that behind the perp was a room containing an innocent person, I'd be as disinclined to shoot birdshot as anything else. A high collateral damage-risk background is just that, no matter what the weapon or load.


another "12 ga. buckshot kind-of-guy". :cool:

September 22, 2005, 11:29 PM
DHart, nice summary.

Harley Quinn
September 23, 2005, 12:55 AM
Hi DHart,

Resonable? Well I laid down a scenario others want to convince me I am wrong. They arn't being resonable and I am not going to be resonable either.

I explained my scenerio and gave other scenarios and agreed with them (when they changed).

But under what I think the question that was asked, by the never seen again asker. Was my thoughts, still are. Up to 25 feet I still will go with #6s or 71/2s not enough difference to worry at that footage, 8yds +

Who asked for resonable? To reason is to give in or be acceptable to a majority decision. NOT. I am banking on my experience and know how and that is it.

Civilian is not police and never will be. Military the same. Resonable tell that to President Bush.
Add in more variables, change the question, throw in armor add 100 feet and I will adapt.
But regarding the question I stand by my thoughts.
How many times do I have to say 10 feet? Ten little feet? Or ten large feet?

No biggie, be resonable and agree with me... LOL


September 23, 2005, 01:32 AM
This discussion pretty much ran out two or three dozen posts ago.... I sure can't add anything useful beyond what's been said. It's time to go load up my Mossy 12 ga. "Persuader" for the night. With buckshot! ;)

Harley Quinn
September 23, 2005, 01:39 AM
I like you, very resonable fellow.


September 23, 2005, 05:37 AM
1 for charles etc. Well Charles I have more experience then the persons you paid to go see and get certs. I don't do that because I end up arguing with their own lack of knowledge. Did I say I was an expert, certified in a court of law numerous times.

I am going to have to go with Charles and say, lay out your experience. In your bio, you list your occupation as a carpenter, hardly matches up with ballistician, forensics, trama and such. Louis Awerbuck, who is probably one of the premier shotgun instructors, never wrote in any of my readings, to use #7 1/2. Just to give you a little story, a street that intersected mine had a little block party one summer. Things got out of hand and one neighbor went after the other in his home. This guy was 6'2" and at least 275#. He busted into the house and the homeowner nailed him in less than 10' with a load of 12gauge bird shot.The guy was hit right in the chest, and is alive today. I know you are saying that in this distance, the load should behave like a slug, but it doesn't. My Remmy is loaded with 00 buck.

Harley Quinn
September 23, 2005, 09:34 AM
I know lots of stories and they will always play to the side persons want others to believe their thought pattern.

Do yourself a favor do the test. :D


Edit: I just wanted to add this before you fire at the container (about 1 foot high and 8 inchs in dia-meter tightly closed with lid) Pattern your shooter as in find a 3x3 piece of cardboard and aim at it with a certain sight pattern you will try to duplicate and see where your shotgun and you shoot.

Most shotguns do not have front and rear sights so to be able to hit this with right on accuracy you need to make sure you know where it is hitting. I was using a bolt action slug gun, had front and rear sights, so I know where I was aiming.

While conducting these tests I have seen people actually miss and others just barely hit it, true.

It should have a back up as in sitting on a shelf and not being able to go anywhere have it solid. I used a 4x4 post and had shelves at different height. The container would sit against the 4x4 which had a 2x4 in front so I could replace it as it stared early on to disintegrate.

Remember have a tape measure and don't let your shotgun go in front of the line, don't stand on the line and then lean forward (you will then be 8' not 10')


Ps again, I know you won't do the test but I figured I would explain how I did mine and the parameters.

September 23, 2005, 10:46 AM

Your test(s) don't accurately replicate the penetration of various shotgun loads into a human wearing clothing for various reasons including:

1. Wood, banana peels, old tires, tennis balls and other junk don't replicate human skin, penetration, organs, etc.

2. By bracing your test material so it cannot move backward to absord some of the impact, you will necessarily get more and deeper penetration. A human will necessarily move backward from the impact of a bullet much like he would if you were to punch him in the chest. That backward movement absorbs a significant amount of kinetic energy and therefore reduces penetration. IF you don't understand this concept, try this test: First, shoot your shotgun from a standing position with nothing behind your shooting shoulder. Your shoulder moves backward to absorb the recoil. Next, brace your shoulder against a tree so it cannot move backward. Caution, this could cause serious damage to your body. However, it will illustrate that your test shooting target and penetration are skewed because they cannot move to absorb the recoil. Hence, you'll get deeper penetration.

3. Shooting birds and 60 pound animals cannot begin to replicate a NFL linebacker sized AGGRESSIVE assailant with the purpose of breaking into your house and robbing you, killing you, raping your wife, and molesting your kids. He could be an escaped felon from death row, or on PCP, or carrying a shotgun loaded with slugs. While you're busy waiting for him to get within range and a clear shot, he's firing his stolen .45 through walls and doors trying to kill you once he sees you've produced a shotgun.

I genuinely think, and have backed up my belief with numerous data (as well as the others here that agree) that birdshot has extremely limited application for self defense, in that it would only have any real affect on a BG that is BOTH very close in range AND not wearing any heavy clothing. Conversely, buckshot is much more effective at close and medium range. You may think of scenarios where you are able to engage at close ranges and shoot multiple times, but unfortunately you won't be in control of those scenarios and how they play out. For instance, if the BG is in your home with a handgun and you engage in a gunfight where you are both taking cover. He will win 9 times out of 10 because (1) he's more likely to score a hit due to barrier penetration and (2) his hit with most handgun calibers will likely be immediately more life threatening than any pellet hits you score. And the BG won't care about overpenetration.

September 23, 2005, 10:59 AM
Well Mr. Quinn:

I agree with you. There is no doubt in my mind that a shotgun fired with birdshot at 10 feet or under is going to disintergrate the Gremlin!

I would think any bird hunter who has shot phesant and not allowed them to get a little distance before busting them, would agree. If you don't let the bird get out a little bit, your not going to have anything left to eat.

For the home, birdshot will do just fine...if your going out into the driveway and shooting 50-60 feet, then buck shot is preferred...however, we have been talking about in the HOUSE, distances of 10 feet...even at 50 or 60 a shotgun blast to the face with birdshot will (most likely) take both eyes out...

Harley Quinn
September 23, 2005, 11:14 AM
This item we are shooting at weighs about 10 pounds.

NOT as big as a human who by the time he is hit and moving backwards has absorbed the shot and most of the energy.

So strap it down...

You don't care that it over penetrates do you? Well part of this scenerio is doing harm to the BG and not others, stick with the question and within 10'.

Lead you are a funny guy, I did not mention bananas, tires or some of the other things you are trying to enter into the picture. For someone who works
(supposedly) in very controlled and articulate enviroments you like to get into other areas and quick. Ps. I don't believe you are who you say you are, based on that alone. You are trying to convince me of what you say. Do the test LOL


September 23, 2005, 11:16 AM

Head shots are not advised for novices because they are harder to score hits. If Harley is concerned about missing and overpenetration so much, center mass shots are advised.

In the effective range of birdshot, any miss will likely not allow time for a followup shot if the attacker rushes and tries to overtake the shooter. Even a hit will allow the attacker to maintain his feet and rush the shooter. More take down is necessary. Look to buckshot.

September 23, 2005, 11:24 AM
"NOT as big as a human who by the time he is hit and moving backwards has absorbed the shot and most of the energy."

Exactly my point and exactly why birdshot ain't gonna be reliable or effective.

Your test doesn't replicate a human target in any way. You and this discussion are a waste of time.

September 23, 2005, 11:37 AM
Harley, I'm curious if you load frangible bullets in your pistols?

Summary from the internet of 2 articles:
[1] Performance of the Winchester 9mm 147gr Subsonic Jacketed Hollowpoint Bullet in Human Tissue and Tissue Simulant, Wolberg, Eugene J., International Wound Ballistics Review, Volume 1, Winter 1991.
[2] The Ideal Police Bullet, Fackler, Martin L., Internal Security ( Supplement to IDR 11/1990 ).

THE HEART AND MAJOR BLOOD VESSELS ARE THE VITAL STRUCTURES OF THE TORSO. These structures can be over 20cm/7.8in deep from some angles. Both arms are often in front of the torso ( holding a handgun ) during armed encounters, so that a well placed shot may have to pass through an arm before hitting the torso. The bullet needs sufficient potential to do that and still penetrate the body deeply enough to disrupt vital structures. In the FBI Miami incident, Agent Dove fired what would have been a perfect shot, but his high-speed 115gr 9mm bullet did not have enough penetration potential (reference to a figure showing penetration depth of said bullet to be about 20cm/7.8inches ). ... Agent Dove and Grogan lost their lives because of this bullet failure, and five other agents were wounded.
With that said no one is changing anyone's mind I'm sure, but because in some situations you may be able to reach part of the heart 1" in, I wouldn't count on always being able to do so. If the FBI feels like they need 12"+ of penetration to be safe against clothing, extended arms, and angles, I'll believe them before I believe any rigged test I could do at home.

Harley Quinn
September 23, 2005, 11:39 AM
Head shot????

What he is explaining is that at 60 feet the pattern is going to grow and thus more likley to hit more then the concentrated area at 10'. Read the response and quite adding these would be things.

Actually Head shots have always been recommended but the public does not like that thought nor the courts thinking you are nothing but a bunch of killers.
So the pat answer is trying to immobilize the suspect not to kill (I shot to stop the suspect your honor). Next location is the guts and lower groin, why? Because behind that soft tissue is the spine and pelvis, Knocks um down to the ground when hitting that bone.

Ever heard the nasty saying 'gut shoot UM'... Sure the upper torso is good also but as you are drawing and firing you had better be shooting the legs first and then the gut and then you are on target, shoot more carefully. You need to attend a real group of shoot out guys and quit mynabirding these cert dudes who are only doing it to make money off of wannabees.

Sounds better to these monday morning quarterbacks and wimps when you say I shot to stop sir. Not to forget the @#$%% Lawyers who have turned this country into a bunch of criminal terrorists, who make people in a free country afraid to go out on the town and have a good time on friday night.

PS You are not a police officer you are a citizen and protecting your house at 10'...Geez

What is rigged is the tests so the public will think we are not out there to kill bad Guys. Ever seen the movie "Extreme Justice" Rent It.

Semper Fi

September 23, 2005, 11:55 AM
There are lots of spots in my home that exceed 10' (not to mention on my property). Given a bad guy with a knife is a serious threat at 21', I hope to solve the problem well before they reach the 10' line.

00 buck for me.

September 23, 2005, 11:57 AM
Do yourself a favor do the test.

Do yourself a favor and post your background and what makes you so knowledgable besides your irrelevant backyard test. Shooting sticks isn't going to tell me jack about what a given load is going to do with a human that has elastic skin and tissue, unknow thinckness of fat layer and so forth. Just like shooting a pheasant isn't going to tell me what it is going to do to a 275# bad guy that wants to do me harm. Going by your theory of shooting sticks, the same should apply to the steel plate I shot this morning with 12gauge lead slugs. Plate weighs around 5lbs and went spinning in the air, so that must mean the guy will go spinning in the air. That is as bad as someone saying, hit them in the arm with a 45acp and it'll knock them on their backside. :rolleyes:

September 23, 2005, 12:08 PM
AA... same here... there are a lot of areas in my home where I would have 20 to 25' range and YES, I want to keep the perps from even getting that close to me! No birdshot for me.

Harley Quinn
September 23, 2005, 12:16 PM
No, I won't post my background.

If you can not tell by my posts that I know what I am talking about for the scenerio indicated, my background would not help either.

A piece of steel plate where did that come from? By the way a piece of 3/16s weighs about 7 pounds a square foot.

If you are able to break that down you will be able to figure out how heavy all the plate steel thickness weigh, for a square foot.

But given your thoughts on this thread of 10' in a house with your loved ones etc. etc. and collateral damage does not concern you etc. etc. You will want to tell me how much angle Iron weighs when it is not in the equasion.

Edit: Now you are shooting them outside your front door and through it no less.LOL Oh well......

No Mas :p


September 23, 2005, 12:23 PM
No, I won't post my background.

Well then what you say has no relevance. Your theory and back yard tests do not mirror documented real life incidents, and contradicts what every professional shotgun instructor teaches. You may be a hell of a carpenter, but ballisticaian you are not.

September 23, 2005, 12:24 PM
Quinn is a carpenter that likes shooting buckets with wood, jello,and tennis balls thinking that it is identical to shooting an attacker. I think that speaks for itself everyone.

As far as distances, I have to agree that there are many areas in my house that exceed 10 feet. The hallway from my bedroom to front door is 20', for instance.

Birdshot will not penetrate a steel door, but buckshot will. See www.theboxotruth.com for a test case. At 20' from my bedroom door to the front door, if the perp were to enter, the birdshot would be uselessly ineffective, and the perp could take cover behind the steel door when I shoot when he gains access and charge at me or shoot at me after my first shot.

roy reali
September 23, 2005, 12:31 PM
I bet if a wrongful death/injury attorney is reading some of these replies they would be salivating. There kid's college funding would be secure.

September 23, 2005, 12:39 PM
You can only worry so much about a law suit, I worry more about making sure I make it to the next morning. My shotgun is short and black and scary and says Police on the side. What goes in the magazine is the same as what the police put in theirs. If an attorney wants to say I'm a killer just waiting for his chance because I chose the rounds they did because they would be sure to stop a man I'm prepared for that. I'm not a hunter, and not going to keep a hunting shotgun and rounds around. The police have chosen what they feel is appropriate to protect themselves, and so did I, it just so happens we picked the same thing.

Harley Quinn
September 23, 2005, 12:50 PM
For all you wannabees and persons who think I am just a disillusioned carpenter that is fine I can live with that.
I can also live with the fact that I stuck to the topic on hand as the poster requested.

Sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never penetrate this old bird.

Semper Fi
No more clues.

ps Lead, I sent you a PM not an e-mail, c you are wrong on that one also. :D

September 23, 2005, 01:03 PM
Sticks and stones and buckshot may break your bones, but birdshot certainly will NOT :D

Couldn't resist!

September 23, 2005, 01:30 PM
ps Lead, I sent you a PM not an e-mail, c you are wrong on that one also.

He is wrong about A LOT of things. You should see his pepper spray thread that got locked and his amusing tales of breaking into hardened steel safes with a screw driver in a different thread. :rolleyes:

On topic-- I would probably use #4 after seeing those nasty photos posted earlier in the thread. :eek:

September 23, 2005, 03:08 PM
This has been a very interesting discussion and I am change my mind about my current load: #6 birdshot in a 590 Mossberg.

Thank you for your varied opinions gentlemen, and the nice links: Lead - I especially like your Wound ballistics link - and the box of truth (Which I have been surfing for a while) with the new shotgun test is very enlightening.

I must add that before I started reading about shotguns and HD, I used buckshot, then after taking to various sources: Ex CIA, army folks, I switched over to birdshot. (With their advice)

Hoping to never use my shotgun in a defensive scenario, but if I were, my main concern is taking out the BG. If I can accomplish that without destroying my home, killing my neighbors etc., that would be the preference.

September 23, 2005, 06:46 PM
I must add that before I started reading about shotguns and HD, I used buckshot, then after taking to various sources: Ex CIA, army folks, I switched over to birdshot. (With their advice)

I am a little confused?

Are you saying that after talking with ex CIA, army folks, ie people in the know who advised you to use birdshot as Harley espoused;

You have now changed your mind from birdshot to buckshot on the advice of virtual people who have used nothing but conjecture and jest to prove their point? Harley's methods may not be scientific, but at least he has spent the time to test them, while everyone else is just making fun of him.

To each his own :confused:

roy reali
September 23, 2005, 07:02 PM
Some of you must live in counties with very understanding and conservative DA's. You mention going outside and shooting at someone 50 or 60 feet away. There is mention about shooting someone through a door. I am more restricted in my county. Our district attorney frowns on any self defense shooting that is not anything but just that, self defense.

September 23, 2005, 07:12 PM
WOD the thing to keep in mind is I think you have to ask yourself ultimately where you have to defer to a better source for testing. I won't try to do my own MRI at home, I have to go to a professional for that. The same goes for home ballistics, at least to me. I can do all the tests in the world with wet phone books, or half full milk jugs, or whatever other scheme I dream up. Looking at hard test data for ballistic gelatin though far beats out anything I can mock up at home. So yes when the FBI says I need a foot of penetration from hard data gathered from people getting shot I'll believe them no matter how many watermelons I've blown up. When someone does a comparion with ballistic gelatin, I'll probably take their results over someone shooting through corn cobs unless their methodology seems wrong. It just seems foolish to ignore the results of a better testing method just because you don't have the means to replicate their testing setup.

September 23, 2005, 07:57 PM
This is ridiculous...sorry I've been drinking...but, let me make this simple as others have tried to do....

BIRDSHOT IS FOR BIRDS...USE BUCKSHOT, 00 BUCK WORKS WELL (and use 12 pellets instead of 9)...yahoos... ;)

September 23, 2005, 08:50 PM
Don't feel bad Mathman, I'm one of the ones who caught the first few rounds of abuse for mentioning that they call it "birdshot" because the ammo manufacturers, little backwoods outfits like Federal, Remington, Winchester, etc., designed the load for...... big surprise....BIRDS!!. And they call that other stuff BUCKshot because its for big male deer. Response I got was that I'm sooooooooo stupid that I'd probably not be able to know enough to use .223 Varmint ammo on a Tango because its got a picture of a groundhog on the box. That was about the time I abandoned training, knowledge, experience, etc. and suggested that the best weapon must be a hammer, because that wouldn't penetrate drywall accidentally but you might be able to beat the BG to death with it, unless he had a gun, of course. :D

Half the folks posting here would absolutely positively do the PC thing and bring an underpowered weapon to a live or die GUNFIGHT! :eek:

Wanna have a duel at the length of my upstairs hallway? You guys take the #6, or #8, and I'll stand behind the hall tree and pound away at you with 00 BUCKSHOT.....OK? Range 20 feet, spread on 00 buck about 10-12 inches. Do the math, pals! I'l be a bit bloody, you'll be a bit shredded. :eek:

September 23, 2005, 08:59 PM
(and use 12 pellets instead of 9)...yahoos...

why not use 3 1/2 inch magnum loads with 18 00 pellets instead of a girlish 12 or 9? :D :D :D ;)

September 23, 2005, 09:03 PM
The range of 00 buck is limited, in a typical cyl bore barrel, to about 15 to 20 yds before the pattern thins out.

There's no question that birdshot is devistating at near contact range--or that it's ineffective as soon as the pattern develops and individual pellets are on their own. Why argue about it. For those who understand the facts before making decisions with re: to HD loads, then that's your call if you wish to limit your effective range to 5 to 7 yds (less if heavy clothing is involved).

This subject comes up more than the 9mm vs. the .45 Auto debate before .40 cal. came along.

September 23, 2005, 09:24 PM
Okay Roy, here you go . . .

The bad guy breaks in your house and rapes your daughter. He starts dragging her out of the house and her scream wakes you. By the time you wake up, grab your shotgun and go down stairs, he is throwing her in the back seat of his car and getting ready to get in the front seat to drive away . . . are you going to shoot? Or, let him drive off? Or, close to 5' so your birdshot works?

Here is another, it is a hot summer night. You are sleeping when you hear a car pull up. You see several guys get out with hooded sweat shirts with one carrying a shot gun. You aren't far from the door when they start to kick it in and screaming mean nasty phrases at you . . . are you going to shoot (possibly through the door)? Or, are you going to wait until they door finally gives way? Oh, I forgot . . .just birdshot . . . better wait until the door gets out of the way.

I am sure there are far better examples but that should make the point clear.

September 23, 2005, 09:28 PM
I'd go with the 3 1/2and 18 but ONLY because the wife won't let me set up any claymores in the bedroom. :(

Anybody thinks the sound of a slide racking on a Mossy 12 is enough to scare off the BGs, has never been around when somebody double-clicked one of those puppies' detonators..... :eek: :eek: BOOM!

September 23, 2005, 09:46 PM
u guys r still arguing about this?

"arguing over the internet is like running in the special olympics... even if u win u r still retarted!" :p

roy reali
September 23, 2005, 10:04 PM
Your added details make all the difference in the world. Some of the responses mentioning distances and outdoors did not mention any scenarios like you did. In other words, you added details "should" make the shooting a justifiable homicide.

However, around where I live, if you shoot anyone at more than at twenty or thirty feet, espically outdoors, you better have had all your ducks in order. In my county, if you shoot someone on the other side of a door, you better have evidence that it happened as you indicated above. Short of that, you better hope the DA is in a good mood.

September 23, 2005, 10:05 PM
You mean "Retarded"? Like I usedtabee a Jarhead buttnow I'm retarded? :D

September 23, 2005, 10:17 PM

You must have missed half the threads in this old raggy shirt. All that legal worrying got tossed out about 50 or 60 posts ago! Couple of us had the nerve to say it would be a really good idea to make sure alll the entry wounds were in the front of the BG, and that firing at a fleeing felon 25 yards down the driveway was mebbe gonna get you more jail time than the Target,. Then we moved on to the important stuff, like what size birdshot is best to use on a burglar in a flannel shirt or a Martha Stewart Shawl, to be sure of a one shot stop without damaging any of the furniture, etc.

Everybody is obsessing on the weapons and tactics, and giving no thought to the couple years' worth of hassle that starts just as the gunfire echoes die out.............. Plenty "how to" and "what if" up to the first trigger pull, NO plan for the after-action changes to your whole life.

Couple shots fired in the moment, and you are forever after gonna be somebody else. "One little mistake" and a blue dress..............!!!!!!!!
Bet not one baby got named Monica the last couple years....

September 24, 2005, 12:35 AM
Wow everyone thanks fer your many responses. I didn't know it would become this big of a debate :D . Well i guess then which load to choose depends on personal preferences/ experience or what your planning to do to the BG. Thanks for all your help! :)


Harley Quinn
September 24, 2005, 03:52 AM
Hi Helwan,

Glad to see you. Since you came back and offered your thanks I will say one more thing.

Did you notice how "lead" disappeared when he was exposed for his silly stuff on another thread. Then "1 inch group" comes back with his insults? LOL

I gave a scenerio of the 410 with bird then 000 and 00 and then slugs.

One inch bad mouthed it, then it comes up as the scenerio to justify the 00.
I have got to tell you, I am glad the rope was long enough. I sat and waited for you. :)

Take care,

September 24, 2005, 07:57 AM
I didn't think there could be such a long debate on this topic :D.

September 24, 2005, 08:56 AM
Roy, although I provided some scenerios, shooting in either case would likely end you up in court. Still might take the shots.

Helwan, realize that you have many(!) people telling you that birdshot is a bad idea in most cases. It limits your ability to stop an attack except under very close encounters. Their opinions also align with most professional trainers in the field.

On the flip side, you have one very strong advocate recommending birdshot based on his background (which he won't share) and some home done experiments. Many of his points are valid for extremely close encounters.

As you mentioned, the choice is yours. If you are responsible for protecting others (aka family), I hope you make the right choice.

roy reali
September 24, 2005, 12:07 PM
I would also make the shot in your stated scenarios. But my point was that shooting at someone fifty or sixty feet away better be for a darn good cause. Besides, we are starting to get into ranges were a rifle would not be impractical.

September 24, 2005, 12:31 PM
Agreed. Although you can shoot slugs in a shotgun, they make marginal rifles.

September 24, 2005, 12:35 PM
I am the kind of guy that keeps a 590 loaded 8+1 with "hollow point" 1oz slugs. (The remington loads are VERY accurate out of my shotgun. I can routinely hit a soda can 25 feet away with quick follow-up shots.)

That being said, I do not think anything is wrong with shooting a BG at 5 feet with birdshot. You would basically blow a shot cup sized hole into him... but beyond that I want 00 of 000... preferably a solid .72 caliber projectile. ;)

September 24, 2005, 01:18 PM
Yo Harley,

Hope you don't suffer too much from whatever "insults" you think I tossed in your way.

Nothin' personal there, pal, just mebbe a difference of opinion expressed a bit harder each time you went on the offensive from your side.

Its called a discussion.

End result is some of us had some fun, some of us reacted like we'd had our chains pulled too hard.

Maybe next thread we'll actually agree on somethng........or maybe not :D

September 24, 2005, 07:20 PM
WOD - Yes I am changing my mind - to load up a more powerful type of birdshot into my shotgun. Not switching to buck as of yet. The number 6 birdshot - might be switched to a number 4. Or perhaps a number 3 if I can find one.

I live in a townhouse environment with cinder block walls on the sides, but the front and rear is a brick facade - lots of overpenetration danger. I would probably switch to buck if I lived in a stone house out in the countryside with no nearby neighbors.

I do not think you can go wrong with either solution - one has to tailor the solution to the scenario. Where you live etc. :p

September 24, 2005, 10:26 PM
If you have cinderblock side walls and brick rear, you're good to go with buckshot.

Buckshot won't penetrate block or brick walls.

A test I once saw showed that buckshot will "spall" block and brick, but won't "bust" them, and certainly won't penetrate.

Block and brick are about the only wall construction that WILL stop buckshot.

As I recall, even slugs won't penetrate block and brick.

September 25, 2005, 06:07 AM
Just to touch on the possibilities of firing at a distance of 50'. I live in a 80 yr old row home. For those of you down south and elsewhere, it is what they now call "town" homes. Think of the opener of All In The Family, here in the N.E., they are rows. But anyway. From mt front door straight back to my back door is 50'. If a goblin is at one end, and I am the other, and he threatens my fams safety, I am engaging.

September 25, 2005, 07:28 AM
This thread is like the Energizer Bunny...It just keeps going and going and going... :D

September 25, 2005, 07:43 AM
Buckshot won't penetrate block or brick walls.
I'm going to dispute this.

There are a lot of variables, from the distance the buckshot is fired from to the quality of the masonry and the brick itself. I have seen buckshot penetrate a brick chimney. It was a ND from about 4 feet, and the chimney was about 10 years old made of fire rated red brick. The opposite wall of the chimney was not penetrated.

There are no absolutes.

This thread is like the Energizer Bunny...It just keeps going and going and going... http://www.foxtick.com/foxboard/images/smiles/horse.gif :D

September 25, 2005, 08:28 AM
Why keep it simple - when you can make it difficult? :D

Well I can certainly understand why some folks just call 911.

I know, with Halloween coming up - I reload some Skittles or Reece's Pieces - Goblins show up " Trick or Treat".

I am not the only one that has actually gone out and shot inside structures. Using safe backstops and abiding by 4 Rules.

Materials are one thing, these material react differently when actually part of a structure. Two x four studs differ from sixes. Paneling from sheetrock, from drywall ceilings. Porecelan tubs from Fiberglass ones. Fake wood fireplace mantels from heavy wood mantels.

Boy...them stone fireplaces are tough customers. Shooting from the "bedroom" out, stone fireplaces will stop a slug. Takes a nice chunk out of the River Rock, still stopped it. I'll stick with the 1oz Federal slugs anyway.

Find a way to shoot Thermal Pane glass installed. Have a target on other side, and take note of POA/ POI. Reacts just like vehicle glass, bullets, buckshot, do not always end up where pointed - slugs do much better.

Shoot thru a heavy glass room door - one that divides rooms.

Try the glass decorative bricks for backstops. Say for instance you need to cower down for cover below a kitchen counter, bar, or low divder wall in an office setting made up of these decorative bricks.

I think about what if...what if the BG is coming at me, what can I use for cover to stop his incoming lead.

I hope he is using Skittles... ;)

roy reali
September 25, 2005, 10:14 AM
You must also have nice folks working at your prosecutors' office.

September 25, 2005, 11:38 PM
Kudos to Charles S entry #25

Second finest example of common sense. :rolleyes:

See entry #8 ;)
:D :D :D :D

Lee Lapin
September 26, 2005, 08:02 AM
Wow... I was wondering how this tired old topic could go for pages and pages. I see... .

lpl/nc (still loading 00 and slugs in the 870 anyway, thanks)

September 26, 2005, 09:56 AM
wow 133 posts and I am still convinced that birdshot sucks for home defense! another vote for 00 buck here.

Harley Quinn
September 26, 2005, 10:30 AM
I agree with most of the various thoughts and similar scenerios,
00..000..0000, slugs, good stuff.

But I will stick with my thoughts regarding the question. In the house and less then 10 feet.

Again at that distance you are going to have that slug going through the BG and the wall and the wall. Pretty much with your heavier buck.
I don't shoot um and then drag um in the house like I saw once...LOL

So I still like the bird shot for my first one in the snout.

Nothing wrong with a good discussion it is when people call each other names that things go a drift.
So don't throw mudd unless you want it thrown back, thats a good point also.
Does not hurt anybody? Hey this is an internet talk board. I can figure that most of the BS is from just that. BSers... I agree with others like I have said,
and again I go with my scenerio for less then 10 feet in the house.

Lets see, how many of you have shot buck shot or seen the damage of the various things we have talked about to the human torso?

Since leadcouncil has dissapeared after the salvo to his character, wonder how he is doing? Kinda makes you think don't it? Or not.


September 26, 2005, 10:53 AM

This post is dead in the water... nobody cares that you use birdshot and you seem to be about the only one. You have NOT posted a single professional source that backs up your statement about using birdshot. Others, including myself, have posted MANY professionals that recommend buckshot.

I only hope that any burglar that attacks your home is unarmed, not wearing a heavy jacket or body armor, and approaches within 10' and then waits for you to shoot him. Beyond 10' or if he is wearing protective clothing, your birdshot will be an ineffective manstopper. Great that you've protected others from overpenetration, and the perp will thank you while he's standing over your body with your shotgun getting ready to go rape your daughter.... and bleed all over your wife because you caused alot of surface tissue damage....

As for the unwarranted attack on my character on another posting, that person should back up their comments or sit down. He's done neither, much like you. You're in the clear minority here regarding birdshot for home defense applications. The overwhelming research, HD instructors, and firingline posters all recommend buck; you'd be wise to listen. However, I stopped posting because I said I was withdrawing and I really give a rats @ss about what you think is best for HD because you have zero credibility anymore.

Oh, and by the way, I performed your silly little test over the weekend using birdshot and buckshot. The birdshot barely damaged the object at 10' and the buckshot destroyed it. So, there you go. If you're worried about overpenetration, Daisy makes a great BB gun... maybe you can shoot his eye out.

Harley Quinn
September 26, 2005, 11:01 AM
Yes I agree with you on some of what you are saying.

But and here is the real issue, you are not who you say you are in my
opinion and I don't believe you did the test. OK.

Lets just let it go at that, Opinions are like -------- because everyone has

Your last post said it all.


September 26, 2005, 11:21 AM
Might as well take one more kick at this dead horse. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, shoot it with duck-shot.

If it weighs 200 lbs, wears a mask and light body armor and has a gun, how about using buckshot? Lots and lots of buckshot.

Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

Like somebody said opinions are like ------s, everybody has one. :D

Of course , when deciding what might be a life or death question, the only opinion that finally matters is your own, because that's the opinion that will either keep you alive, or kill you. :eek:

If it was a majority vote, then birdshot is out by about a 6 to one ratio here.

Fortunately, there is no mandatory loading that has been legislated up to now, so anyone is entitled to use buckshot, birdshot, rock salt, skittles, whatever floats your boat, as long as you know that its only YOUR LIFE that hangs in the balance. :eek:

September 26, 2005, 11:36 AM
I really hate to help perpetuate this thread, but one more thought comes to mind... there is a "happy medium" between 00 Buck and #7 birdshot. There is some strong authoritative support for #1 Buck and #4 Buck... loads which will be much more effective than birdshot, yet not penetrate walls quite as readily as 00 Buck will. Not so great for long distances, but for a homeowner with likely ranges of perhaps 5' to 30', it's a reasonable alternative, though not perfect... but nothing is!

September 26, 2005, 12:36 PM
I used to work in the Main OR of a big hospital. We had 19 OR suites.
This did not include other surgical areas btw...

I worked there as I was taking medical classes at the time, I was going in that direction at the time. So with my classes, I had rotations if you will.

My shooting pards over the years, many were Doctors, Surgeons, ScrubTechs...

So yes I have seen , literally stuck my Bio-Gel -ed hands into the goo, gore, blood, muscle, bone, tissue...to retreive the lead / various types of ammo emptied into a human body. I have done so with Animals as well.

Same with edged weapons, pointy sticks, the green fence stake that went into a ladies body during a MVA and - best to just bring her in with stake and remove in the OR.

Seat belts, have a tendency to do nasty things to mammaries, sometimes the breast was saved, sometimes not.

We had a "discussion" once upon a time, in regard to the "Ultimate Shotgun", many folks recall the discussion.

We have Professional Folks on this board and THR, actually been on Safaris and such. Buckshot is NOT the "Ultimate". Basic gyst of that discussion. Now when a mean critter weighing only 150# , with claws, horns or whatever is coming at you, intends to do harm, and does not have a PC much less the internet - said critter does not know he is supposed to run away, or DRT. Mother Nature instead gave that critter some skills, and that critter is gonna do some serious hurt, if an IMMEDIATE ACTION does not occur by his 'prey'.

Apply this to a bigger , meaner critter.

Humans are another factor in this equation.

I have shot rabid critters, including dogs ( in a pack or not) weighing 60# to 120#. At distances as close as 2yds. Buckshot did not always stop the immediate action with one shot, and I made good hits! A 60# mutt did not stop DRT, he keep a coming and was serious about his intent, I shot until the threat was stopped.

I doubt seriously bird shot would have done any better. I figure a human being weighing more, with intent, drunk, high, both or all the above is a no brainer.

I choose to NOT risk the "sound of a pump will scare 'em. Nor do I chance the sound of the gun, or any type of projectile going at them - would stop and immediate threat.

Why do I want to give away my intent by racking a pump or any other action , like throwing a bolt, racking a slide, closing a cylinder, slapping a mag in...I do not give away my position when I hunt - why in the world would I want to when the BG is the one hunting me?

I am also responsible for any projectiles I launch. So why would I fire an indescrimate warning shot - or scare tactic shot?

WE talk , bash, trash, discuss, get threads locked, and theorize Firearms, Platforms, Wood & Blue, tactical, Bling Bling, Fuzzy dice, caliber wars, guage wars, birdshot, buckshot, slugs, dragons-breath , flares - you name it.

The reality is - we have 4 Rules of Gun Safety. Guns are dangerous tools no doubt. It is the intent of the user of any tool, every tool has Rules of Safety - be it a handsaw, powerdrill, or matchstick.

Reality is also - There is NO Warranty that any Firearm, with any loading is 1) gonna go bang. 2) Result of said bang will hit what aimed at ( shot placement) and 3) the immediate threat will be stopped.

I have seen, stuck my Bio-Gel -ed hands into the mouth of a fellow that stuck a .357 revolver , with full power .357 loads mind you , into his mouth and pulled the trigger.

Yes he lived, and is still living. Granted he has room service, all sorts of attention, folks tending to him, some dental work, sinus work, - but he lived.

There are NO Absolutes in Life - except there ain't any.

My observations : If some life form ever draws a breath. if you will - someday it won't anymore. About as Absolute as I tend to get.

Human beings are facinating. Anatomy and Physiology I really really enjoyed. The human body is the most unique "computer" if you will, all sorts of stuff all working at the same time. The body is designed to protect itself.

All sorts of things happen when a body takes a trauma. All sorts of things happen while laying on a OR table.

So yes my experiences do shape my opinions. My experiences sometimes takes me back to my youth and <click> "umm maybe that is why that critter did not do this, or that person died, or that one survived that car wreck, fall, this, that or the other accident or experience".

This board, TFL was set up to Promote Responsible Fiream Ownerhip.

I know, there are folks all over the world that read TFL and similar sites. I also know there are folks that are AGAINST Responsible firearm ownership that read TFL as well. What perceptions did I [Steve] do for Responsible Firearm Ownership with my postings?

I have my faults , made my mistakes, I am human and will so again most likely.

There is so much to this Responsibe Firearm ownership - than guns.
So much more than types of shot, slugs, ammo, mag capacity and whatever else is hashed, bashed and trashed.

Rich has a sig line : More Signal, Less Noise.....please

Well Rich - I apologize for wasting bandwith. I know I cannot change people, places and things. I am responsible for ME, and I am the only one that can change ME.

I am going to do everything possible to NOT be there when trouble shows up. I am going to know how to use various tools, be it guns, ammo, voting, being a member of some Organization, taking a new shooter shooting, keeping up with legistalation ...etc.

Most of my trigger time is on shotguns and handguns. I let the rifle skills kinda slide - and I used to shoot rifles in competion when I was younger. That is my fault.

Folks - we can hash, bash, trash all we want. The reality is one has to actually get the training, test for themselves to make a determination. Once that deterimination is made - really really hope that determination is never tested in the real world application.

Again apologize to Rich, Staff, and Mods. I'm going to log off and then read the L&P, nope on second thought, going to read some old archives , need a LawDog story I do.

I have some other reading to do in the TFL Library, I keep finding new things to read and learn from in there.

I won't be making noise - I'll be making more signal.


Harley Quinn
September 26, 2005, 12:55 PM
If you take the ones who disagree and the ones who agree and figure it out, my odds are a lot better than the NRA and the way the rest of the country feels if you look at the amount who actually are in the NRA.

So as far as preaching the majority to me all I can say about that is this:

Considering the amount of LEO in the country and the percentage, there again I don't feel they are in the majority. Reminds me of the movie 'High Noon'.

Or lets take the people who were responsible for the writing of the constitution do you think they were in the majority?

So stick to the thread and not some other feeble attempt to persuade me.

The way President Bush got into office in the first place did not impress me.
Nor do your attacks Lead, pretty feeble about my family and trying to make it look like you care while you are just a, well, nuf said. What is it they say about mob rule?

Lead are you trying to get this thread locked? So anyone who sees your feeble attempt will not be able to answer you?


September 26, 2005, 12:57 PM
Do you ever proof read your posts, or maybe decide to make a POINT when you type? You often ramble nonsense....

Charles S
September 26, 2005, 12:59 PM
Again, Harley,

Lets see, how many of you have shot buck shot or seen the damage of the various things we have talked about to the human torso?

I have extensive experience with shooting buck shot. A long time ago I felt the need to test the effectiveness of buckshot on jugs of water, wet paper, clay, and ultimately ballistic gelatin. Being a hunter, I have shot a lot of critters with buck shot. If you take the time to test your choke and find the appropriate load, and pattern your load I find the real life hunting performance to be adequate, not good just adequate.

Yes, I have seen a lot of torsos shot with buck shot, bird shot, handguns, and rifles. I have seen more knife wounds than I can count.


Well written post.

This board, TFL was set up to Promote Responsible Fiream Ownerhip.

What perceptions did I [Steve] do for Responsible Firearm Ownership with my postings?

Again, well written, we all need to keep this in mind.


Harley Quinn
September 26, 2005, 01:18 PM
I feel what I have said is responsible and if you can't see that well to bad.

I never advocated a warning shot???I never said half of what the super killers are saying. When the time to pull the trigger on a man or human is there, hope you make the right decision.

But if I am in a bad position regarding approaching someone alone, yes I will fire at the ground if need be, rather than risk having to kill. Been there done it.


Harley Quinn
September 26, 2005, 01:31 PM
Nonsense, You have stated nonsense. I have only talked a better mouse trap for the distance of most shootings (that is a stat that you can find yourselves) You like to attack the persons and throw out small statements that are not condusive to proper arguement.

Big game, soft skinned, and man, at the distance I am talking are toast swiss cheese. Goo and all the other stuff SM said.

Hope this finds you all thinking the same.

Just keep up the talk fellows, I love it. It is always nice to be right when the other side is starting to use ways to convince you when you know, because you have been in places they will never be or never would.


Charles S
September 26, 2005, 01:50 PM

You and I have a serious disagreement on the effectiveness of birdshot. I wlll admit that I am jaded based upon my personal medical experience, but I feel that my hunting, and medcal experience correlate well.

I think that birds shot is excellent at contact distances, but not at range. After we conversed I measure my shots in my house the possible shots are 16 feet, 19 feet, and 17 feet, I have one, very unlikely shot of 12 feet. Based upon my training, and reading with Ayoob, Cirillo, Cooper, Farnam, Miculeck, and Smith and my past medical experience I would not choose birds shot. I have #1 and 0 buck. I know my shots and my penetration factors, I have 2 children in the house, yet i am comfortable with my choices.


September 26, 2005, 01:57 PM
I agree with you, HOWEVER, you also have shots at ranges WITHIN the ranges you posted.

I think that the point is that buckshot is deadly effective at any range up to and including 30' or more (covering most residential applications). Birdshot, while effective at contact ranges up to a few, dramatically loses effectiveness over a few feet.

The point Quinn misses is that buck is more versatile and you don't need to let the attacker get on top of you before your weapon is effective. At that range it might make more sense to carry a taser.

Charles S
September 26, 2005, 02:11 PM
I agree with you, HOWEVER, you also have shots at ranges WITHIN the ranges you posted.

I hope not, based upon the use of cover. Short of being surprised. I have dogs, and alarm system, and I am a light sleeper. I cannot believe that a contact shot is likely, but I could be wrong. I firmly believe that buckshot will work at contact distances, this is based upon experience.


September 26, 2005, 02:15 PM
My comments were NOT directed to any one poster, or any particualr posts. I apologize if this is what some interpreted.

I shared MY perceptions, observations and experiences in a general reply to simply state:

There is no Holy Grail, There is no hard fast rule Applies to life, and all that is in it. Including firearms, and loadings.

Besides I was raised right, ;) right here on TFL, we don't attack the poster, we question and learn from the post of others. Having links and references is good if you have them.

See I am one that emails, PMs, calls folks that have real expereinces too. I do a lot of stuff off -forum always have.

I was reading some old posts by Erick Gelhaus , the moderator of this forum, back before TFL closed. I read a recent post of his - interesting to see he has not changed his opinions and advice to folks over the years in regard to the topic he was posting about.

I bug...err...contact Denny Hansen, from time to time, he actually has contacted me once about something. I appreciate and respect his input and sharing. Yes he bascially has the same take on things, he also calls them as he sees them, and if something has really really impressed him, and other trainers...he will say so. He may say - hold-up, gonna test a bit more- before he recommends a change, Denny has good instincts.

I ever get to meet and take a class from Awerbuck, I'm in a heap of trouble :p I figure Rich will show up and help Denny throw spent hulls/ shells at me to make my training experience ' memorable'.

Awerbuck has some interesting insights on shotguns and loadings - scary part is I have doing all my life much of what he suggests. My mentors and elders are the ones I listened to as a brat.

Maybe I can beat Awerbuck shooting skeet...just my luck he is good at that too. :D

We are supposed to all be on the same side , sharing experinces , strength and hope. The idea is to make it home at the end of the day, wake up, repeat.

That drawing of last breath comes soon enough as is.

I know, it is time to drive the Rifle Forum nuts. Someone do a Barrel Break-in cleaning thread. :p

Me...I side with Schumann and Gabe McMillan on this.

Was reading McMillian's old posts again I was... ;)



September 26, 2005, 02:17 PM
But then again, you don't have to worry about killing your wife or chidren in the other room with bird shot. At distances of 30-40 feet I would not be in a shoot mode yet, not self defense unless I'm under fire at those distances and then I'd be seeking cover and/or distance.

Harley Quinn
September 26, 2005, 02:31 PM
I agree with you on some of the scenerios, I also see that you are doing your home work and based on your experience you are making a decision.

Now switch to a certain rifle or cartridge, we both may like the caliber or not, again preference. Or a pickup truck same thing. I am not advocating for you to change, I am just telling you why I feel it is best for me. I have not insulted you over it or will I. But that can not be said of others.

I have seen lives destroyed by bad shootings, that bullet never can be brought back, that moment in time will live with you forever. I will wait that split second to give them a chance, I am not so convinced I want to shoot the guy who is drunk and stumbled into the same house one block over and is harmless. ( I saw that one too). He stops and does what I ask, well that's enough.
I am not a killer by choice or a braggard on the net. I am a guy like yourself that has a lot of experience pulling his string.

Thanks for the information.


September 26, 2005, 02:34 PM

Let me get this straight. Here's the scenario: You and your family are in the house and you don't know the whereabouts of your wife and kids. You are surprised by an intruder in your home. Luckily you have your shotgun but he is outside the effective reach of birdshot but within range of buckshot. If I understand you correctly, you're going to wait for him to make a move, shoot you etc.... instead of shooting him with buckshot?

I completely agree that you have to be sensitive and aware of what is BEHIND your target. In that regard you are being very responsible. However, I think it would be MORE irresponsible to NOT shoot a BG with buckshot for fear of overpenetration than taking the shot with buckshot. By waiting, you give up any advantages you may have.

September 26, 2005, 03:28 PM
A shot does not have to be lethal to be effective. At 10 yards which is probably the farthest a BG would ever be encountered, (definitely in my house) the spread of my birdshot load will be no more than 4''-8'', if that, with full choke. I think that this would be more than adequate to stop any BG. Just being in my house does not mean that I need to kill them. As to the bad guy only being hurt and then continuing after me, would mean that I have a hit put out on me. I think most home invasions are to steal money or any easy thing to carry and fence. These guys, after being shot, are not going to become dedicated assassins, they are going to flee or cry for their Mommy's. Look at the pic of that birdshot wound again, based on the spread that shot came from approx. 30 yds I bet even at that distance it got the guy's attention.

p.s. Not knowing where my loved ones are is why I would use the birdshot.

September 26, 2005, 03:43 PM
Predicting what a BG may or may not do is risky business. And if he turns to flee, what then?

I seriously doubt the stopping power of birdshot at 10 yards (which is 30') against an attacker wearing anything durable (like jeans or leather).

You're banking on a lot of dangerous assumptions:

1. He's a "normal" BG not juiced up on crack or PCP or meth;
2. He's not armed with a gun and shooting back with his "man stopping" bullets;
3. That he will flee after the first shot. Maybe he realizes that it IS life or death and will fight until the death;
4. That he doesn't have a partner out of view that has a large caliber gun that will do you in while you're making your followups on the wounded BG or chasing the wounded BG outside.

September 26, 2005, 03:51 PM

If he flees, I win. If I continue the fight after he runs, then I'm guilty of 2nd degree murder or manslaughter.

September 26, 2005, 04:47 PM
Have you considered what will happen if you injure him and he escapes?

Do you think he'll be foregiving? Or is it more likely he and his friends may decide to extract revenge against you and your family, or that he may sue you? Of course if he's dead his family/friends could still seek revenge or lawsuit, but the most dangerous enemy I imagine you can make is someone that you shot that survived.

Can you defend your home 24-7 from burglary, hits, firebombs, etc.?

If you shoot and kill a burglar he's not going to testify against you in civil court about how he had a rough upbringing and was hungry and only wanted a drink of water. He's not going to rally his thug friends to do awful things to you, your family, your home, your pets, etc.

Best bet -- If there's someone in MY house that doesn't belong, and it's clear that it's not a mistake (I think you can tell in an instant whether someone has entered by mistake, mainly because it would be impossible to enter my house by mistake because the doors and windows are locked; therefore if he's there, he's made a deadly mistake), he's going out in a body bag.

Now, I'm the only witness and the police will get one side of the story, the truth, rather than two sides.

Harley Quinn
September 26, 2005, 08:02 PM
You are very correct in your thinking as far as I am concerned. 2nd degree or manslaughter is exactly what you will be looking at if you pursue and shoot them down.
BG is running because he had no weapon he is wounded. You are not going to continue and kill him? Good call.

They come back and harm you and yours, yes that is a tough one to call.
But they are the ones that make the overt move not you, because you are a responsible citizen and not a wanton killer. Another good call.

I think "Lead" you need to quit making up all these different scene's just so you can say I won HA HA.

This is one of the tough things about taking someones life based on your own training and your experience. Or lack of it.

Given a badge, major responsibility, a city can be sued millions of dollars because you as an officer of the city makes a bad call.

I knew a guy that was LEO and would not shoot back because of not wanting to take a life. True, he was pensioned off after twice being hit in the vest on two different occasions and he did not fire back, his fellow officers did though.

I have seen some that were to quick to shoot and get fired or pensioned.

I wish it was as easy as 'Lead' say's but the circumstances have to be right and even then you are in for a long legal battle. Civilians as a rule don't make good choice's, But meddac is making responsible choice's.

This is not right or wrong it is a decision that needs to be made by the person who loads the gun. The scene can change in an instant and hopefully you make the right choice. I feel as I have said the choice for me would be #6s in the house.

I think Meddac feels the same, so now he is going to feel 'Lead's' rage. LOL

Lead let it go.


Charles S
September 26, 2005, 08:21 PM
At 10 yards which is probably the farthest a BG would ever be encountered, (definitely in my house) the spread of my birdshot load will be no more than 4''-8''

Your shotgun obviously shoots better patterns than mine, my favorite shotgun a Remington 1187 won't make 4' groups at 30 yards with a turkey choke. I know, I have tried. I consistently shoot 12-14 inches with my turkey loads and a extra full turkey choke at 30 yards. The best I can do is about 45 yards and consistently get a tight enough pattern for turkeys (number of hits on the birds silhouette). Based upon the patterning of my shotguns I am impressed with yours.

On a different note, my self defense shotguns a Remington 1187, Remington 1100, Remington 870 and a Mossberg 500 wont come close to patterning like my hunting shotguns. Again I know I have tried.

You might want to pattern your gun on paper if you have not. If you have, again you have a really special gun.

The rule of thumb for a cylinder bore, most defensive shotguns are cylinder bore, pattern spread is on inch per linear yard of travel. So at 30 yards your typical shotgun pattern with a defensive shotgun will be 30 inches. At the afore mentioned 10 feet it will be approximately 3 inches. This is just a rule of thumb and every individual should pattern their shotgun so they know how it performs with an individual loading.

As I stated before, I think that everyone can benefit from professional training. I know that I did. It changed my perceptions of reality. I highly recommend LFI, Thunder Ranch, Jim Cirillo’s classes, John Farnam’s Classes, and Gunsight. There are others that are great also. I am just making recommendations based upon experience.


roy reali
September 26, 2005, 08:30 PM
Boy, some of you live in exciting places. I mean with folks coming into homes that are as big as linebackers and wearing enough clothing to deflect lead going at 1300 feet per second. I guess the BG's around here are wimps compared to yours. Around here, a blast from a shotgun, regardless of payload, at ten feet, incapacitates them.

Harley Quinn
September 27, 2005, 01:28 AM
then 30 Yds, LOL...

Geez guys we are talking a specific area, your home.

Not shooting turkey at 30 or 40 yds or BG at that distance. We have a changing scenerio every couple of posts and it is growing.

Less then 10' is where most shootings occur. This sounds like a football game and one side is trying to run the ball and get a few yds and someone else is talking throwing it 30 to 40 yds.
In that game you have multiple scenerios from Quarterbacks making, 'Hail Mary's', to your Fullback going in for a couple of feet.

One more thing about shooting. Shotguns or longguns or handguns one thing
in common they will spread out the further they get from the barrel.

Shotgun scatters pretty fast, slugs are luckey to be in a 12" circle at 80 yds
Rifle's are pretty accurate at distances of under 300 yds but after that they grow. Heck they grow quite a bit, if say at 100yds you are shooting a 2" circle, then at 300 yds you are luckey if you can keep it in an 8" circle.

Hand guns are similar they are going to grow, from where they are touching at 7yds and then at 50yds you are growing quite a bit, depends on the length of a barrel etc... It is inherent in the piece you are holding in your hand.

Now add all that up and take into consideration the shooter. Now we are talking major variables. Lets keep this to open sights shall we?

So what I am saying is less than 10' ...LOL this is funny.

Then you go from the wife beater shirt (very popular for BG) to leather jackets and heavy overcoats, then to the vest, on to Batman costumes with stronger then steel protection. LOL

I think there are quite a bit of teenagers out there arguing this thread.

Do the test. LOL

I have been doing training under professional leadership most of my adult life.
From learning to shoot in the Marine Corps at the young age of 17 to now.
I was figuring it out today when I was over to the range practicing with a 30 cal carbine. I probably have shot more than 100,000 rounds of ammo. Not bragging, just the fact's ma'am.


September 27, 2005, 01:47 AM
The point you seem to be missing is that you are planning for someone wearing only a wifebeater and standing no farther than 10 feet from you. Most of us have already agreed that under such circumstances, 12 ga. birdshot *may* serve you well enough... in that very limited scenario.

What is KEY is that you can't predict what you will face, nor at what distance. You limit your plan to a scantily clad, light-weight perp at ten feet, but you are just as likely to find yourself up against two or three really beefy bruisers, possibly heavily clothed, possibly very numbed with drugs or alcohol, and you may have to shoot them at 20 feet, 25 feet, perhaps even 30 feet... you really have no idea what you're going to face.

Under that set of circumstances, birdshot *might* save your bacon, but the odds are greatly against you. Your stubborn choice to stick with birdshot may very well lead to your demise. Funny thing is I would have expected a more reasoned, balanced approach from a former marine, but that's obviously an unreasonable expectation.

So why set yourself up for failure by planning for an extremely limited set of circumstances when you are quite likely to face something significantly different?

You appear to be so fixed on seeing things from only your narrow, very limited perspective and so intent on defending your viewpoint that you have developed a "logic-tight compartment" around this issue and cannot recognize the merits of better choices. But your choices and actions determine your own fate, not ours, so all I can say is good luck. Hope you don't need it.

I've got an idea just for your consideration... have a few shotguns loaded and available to you... one with #7 birdshot in case a skinny, scantily-clothed perp presents himself right inside your bedroom. And another shotgun with #6 birdshot positioned by the bedroom door so you can use that against a slightly larger perp who might appear just down the hall from your bedroom door... then a third shotgun with some 00 buckshot to grab, if you have time, after realizing that your problems are just a bit larger than the solo, skinny, lightly-dressed perp you envisioned appearing beside your bed. :confused:

I propose that other folks might load with #1, 0, or 00 Buck and be better prepared for a wider range of possibilities.

You are a remarkable person indeed and this thread has far surpassed anything most of us could ever have imagined happening! :rolleyes: You have created quite a humorous thread here!

Harley Quinn
September 27, 2005, 02:50 AM
I appreciate your thoughts I have given way to a lot of the scenerios.
I also have stuck with the original request of post #1.

You guys crack me up, if you sway away from the original post as has happened (and I have given on that numerous times) read what I have said with out the insults. Insults to me means you just lost the match, you are barking up the wrong tree amigo with that one.

I have given ground and then come back to explain the original post.
I made my decision on my expertise. Right from the get go. No room for change on the original Idea of about 10 feet. But with other scenerios I will give ground, already have.

So enjoy the thread I have. You are a real piece of work Dhart. I truly would like to see you face to face. But unfortunatly that will never happen.


September 27, 2005, 07:37 AM
All that I can say is that after all these posts, all this evidence, you are a damn fool. You are free to pick whatever ammo you wish, just glad its not me your protecting.

It boils down to this, wheter you see it or not; Birdshot MIGHT work in a FEW scenarios. Buck WILL MOST LIKELY work in MOST scenarios. If you are a gamble, more power to you.

roy reali
September 27, 2005, 09:31 AM
I wonder how many Hollywood screenwriters are responding to this topic. Most in-home, justifiable shootings I have read about, involve some skinny ghetto kid trying to get valuables to take care of his dope addiction. I also wonder if some of you have plans how to defend yourselves in case your home comes under an attack from Ninjas.

September 27, 2005, 09:58 AM
Ninjas?? are they really out there? uh-oh...hide under the bed?
true most home invasions are not big Arnold Schwartzennegar (spelling?) type guys pumped up on meth or whatever the whackos are using now, the type of guys who could head butt a bull elephant and have less of a head ache than John Travolta after head butting the bull in the movie Michael. most home invasions are younger males in one of two situations; either they are trying to steal jewelry and tv's for a drug habit OR they are teenagers who chose a very bad way to have some friday night fun (gang initiation fits both of those).
however it is not unheard of for a methed out 10 foot 600 pound mountain of a man to break into a home, or for a serial killer to pick Joe Nobody as his next target for whatever reason one of his multiple personalities picked.
no matter what the reason someone is breaking in, I personally wouldnt want to sit down with them and discuss their reasons, then if need be shoot them. I also wouldnt want to use birdshot at 30 feet hoping it is a crack addicted teenager looking for his next fix. I will use buckshot incase it is the big bad guy, knowing it will be even more effective on the little whimp.
you also have to take into consideration HOW you meet the threat. if someone breaks into my home during the night I will know it before they get to the bedroom (unless they hop the fence and come through a bedroom window) because my german shepherd barks if someone walks past our house during the night. I will grab my shotgun, close the bedroom door, wife will call 911 while I have the shotgun aimed at the doorway. it starts to open I will get my sights on the BG and fire. oh...I also have a 15 million candle power spotlight aimed at the door, ready to turn on if someone tries to come through, this will blind them and should atleast buy me the time for a second shot if I need it.
the things in my house are replacable, I have home owners insurance for that. the lives in my bedroom (me, my wife, my 2 dogs) are not replacable. I will not go hunting a bad guy in my house but if he comes into the bedroom he will get hit hard with some buckshot.

September 27, 2005, 10:19 AM
-might just want to practice that spotlight gig a few times in the middle of the night. You are likely to blind more that the guy opening your door.

Not sure what state you are in but shooting a guy for opening your bedroom door, especially if he is unarmed and no verbal warnings could be a bit of a problem.

September 27, 2005, 11:29 AM
have practiced the spotlight and it is bright but far from blinding when behind it. and yeah I left that out, there would deffinetly be some verbal warnings such as "I have gun, police are on their way, I will shoot if I have too." plus probably some cuss words thrown in and never been in a situation where I have felt a need to shoot a person so cant say for sure...might be some panic in my voice. there will deffinetly be some loud barking from the dogs, and the bedroom door has a lock on it so hed have to force it open.
also have a friend and neighbor who is a state cop who has helped me with planning this strategy to have the best chance of survival for me and my wife, least chance that I WILL have to fire and least chance of a lawsuit or criminal charges. of course no plan is without flaws and no plan ever works perfectly.
I know I left a few points out in my home defense plan, the main point was that I will not go LOOKING for the bad guy, he will have to come looking for me KNOWING that I armed and ready and will have to force his way through the door prepared to face a very large guard dog and a gun. meaning that the vast majority of home intruders would not harm me or get harmed by me in my home. I dont anticipate a professional assassin or terrorist assault team storming my home in the near future, and wouldnt trust birdshot against an assailant in my home. sure it might kill them or hurt enough to make them leave. if they retreat you have lawsuits. buckshot will most likely work against any intruder. I'll stick to buckshot.

Harley Quinn
September 27, 2005, 11:51 AM
with keener hearing then the old man, might have wandered into harms range without you knowing it and is in another spot then the one you are thinking she is. After it goes thru a few other things then just the BG is now the recipient of your over kill in a house.

Do the test and thanks for the insult, do you talk to your daughter the same way?


roy reali
September 27, 2005, 12:44 PM
Killing or wounding have nothing to do with a lawsuit. You will be sued either way unless the attacker is an orphan with no relatives or family at all. The weapon and ammunition you use for your defense will be part of the civil trial no matter what.

Charles S
September 27, 2005, 12:58 PM
You will be sued either way unless the attacker is an orphan with no relatives or family at all.

Roy, I am not sure where you live, but I don't believe that to be true in Texas. As a matter of fact I believe that civil lawsuits in Texas where the attacker was shot in a house he was breaking into are very rare.

I can ask my wife to do a LexisNexis search on the subject. I am not certain of this, just going by the information provided in my concealed carry class.

In any event if you are sued, to some extent you have lost, by that I mean even if you win you have had to hire an attorney, spend your and/or you insurance companies money and your time to defend yourself.

I think the most prudent course of action is to know your local laws, your state laws, comply with them and do not act in a manner that gives a bad impression, and again as I stated before get some professional training. I cannot stress how important professional training is.

Sorry for the length. I certainly am not an expert in the legal field..


roy reali
September 27, 2005, 01:32 PM
I do not know if Texas law had a civil immunity clause in it for defensive shooting. But wouldn't that apply to killing and wounding. I do not think any state would have any law that would promote killing, even though for some BG's that would be what they deserved.

Unless a state has specific laws granting lawsuit imminity, you could be sued by anyone for just about anything. Our state has a Good Samaritan law. If you attempt giving first aid to someone and it doesn't go well, you are free from civil action.

I believe some of the folks on this websire live in some fantasy world. They think that if the person dies, no civil recourse is available to the BG"s family. If they wound the intruder, they will get sued. I know of no laws in any state that state that death is a civil suit immunity in itself.

Charles S
September 27, 2005, 01:57 PM
We are kind of off topic, but oh well this thread has drifted quite a bit anyway.

I do not know if Texas law had a civil immunity clause in it for defensive shooting. But wouldn't that apply to killing and wounding.

Texas does not have a civil immunity clause for defensive shootings, but those states that do do apply that no matter if the attacker killed or wounded.

I did check with my wife, there have been a couple of civil lawsuits in Texas where the person breaking in to the house sued the homeowner for shooting them, but the plaintiff did not win. She could not find a single case in which when the shooting was justified the plaintiff won.

My wife, who is an expert, said it would be unlikely for a jury in Texas to find for the plaintiff if he was breaking and entering and the shooting was justified. She also stated that the individual in question would have a hard time trying to find an attorney to take the case.

Unless a state has specific laws granting lawsuit imminity, you could be sued by anyone for just about anything.


That is true, but you either have to bring the action yourself or find an attorney to take the case. Again unlikley, in the case of breaking and entering and a justified shooting.

Our state has a Good Samaritan law. If you attempt giving first aid to someone and it doesn't go well, you are free from civil action.

This is true in Texas also.

I believe some of the folks on this websire live in some fantasy world.

In this you and I are in 100% agreement. LOL

They think that if the person dies, no civil recourse is available to the BG"s family. If they wound the intruder, they will get sued. I know of no laws in any state that state that death is a civil suit immunity in itself.

I guess no one is ever sued after an individual dies. LOL

I agree with your principals, and I think we should all be cognizant of the laws and the potential to get sued.

I think the best way to prepare for the eventuality of using a gun in self defense is to get professional training. (I kind of sound like a broken record don't I).


roy reali
September 27, 2005, 02:05 PM
Even though we do not agree on the initial premise of this thread, you seem to be one of the few here that understands the morale and legal implications of shooting someone. I really believe that some of the other responders look at shooting a person as some sort of video game. Unfortunately, real life does not have a reset button.

Charles S
September 27, 2005, 02:10 PM

I really believe that some of the other responders look at shooting a person as some sort of video game.

I really hope you are wrong about that, but I am afraid you are not.

Unfortunately, real life does not have a reset button.

Before anyone picks up a gun for self defense one should look at the moral and ethical implications of their choice.

Good luck,


September 27, 2005, 02:14 PM

My state of Colorado provides immunity for lawful defensive shootings in ones dwelling. The relevant CRS is below.

As for the lawsuit, if you live in a state where you are immune it's a moot point IF YOU kill the perpetrator and he cannot give his FALSE version of the story to the police. The problem arises where you might otherwise have immunity BUT the BG lies to the police raising doubts about whether your shooting was rightful or wrongful. If he is convincing, you may face BOTH criminal prosecution AND civil suits. If you are justified in shooting, better that he leaves in a bag.

18-1-704.5. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.
(1) The general assembly hereby recognizes that the citizens of Colorado have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant.
(3) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from criminal prosecution for the use of such force.
(4) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from any civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force.

September 27, 2005, 02:31 PM
Not sure what state you are in but shooting a guy for opening your bedroom door, especially if he is unarmed and no verbal warnings could be a bit of a problem.

Jeez. Even here in California that's not a worry. Someone illegally comes into your house here, the presumption is that you have legitimate fear of death or serious bodily harm.

roy reali
September 27, 2005, 03:04 PM
Can you site tthe California Penal Code that backs up your claim?

I have looked it up. It is very vague, to say the least. It leaves alot of interpetation open to the prosecutors.

roy reali
September 27, 2005, 03:14 PM
First I called our county DA's office. They told me that they could not comment of the penal code. I then called our county Sheriff's Office homicide division. A nice detective explained things to me.

She agreed that the Californai Penal Code addressing justifiable homicide is vague. It is that way to give the DA's office latitiude in prosecution. A person entering your house, in California, does not automatically immune you to prosecution. All the circumstances are investigated and weighed. You shoot someone in your home in this state, all your ducks better be in a row,

I realize that this in now way off topic. However, being a Californian, I want to make sure my fellow state gun owners do not find themselves in hot water due to some unfactual information.

September 27, 2005, 03:26 PM
That's why if you shoot someone in your home,they better end up in a box or their version WILL differ from yours and it WILL increase your odds of prosecution and civil suits.

Hence, use a real man stopper like buckshot and not something that will maim him like birdshot.

September 27, 2005, 03:29 PM
Best civil liability exception law on the books just got enacted in Florida, by Satan's brother, Jeb Bush, working hand in glove with the liberal's other most favorite enemy, NRA/ILA, who helped the Florida Legislature draft the law. The "Your Home is Your Castle" legislation specifically establishes that any intruder inside your home, or breaking in to a vehicle you own and are occupying at the time, may be met with lethal force with no requirement that you prove any of the usual "in fear for your life" stuff that most other states still have in their laws. Florida also has a "Will Issue" CCW law that mandates a citizen's right to carry unless he is a felon. No discretion, like the setup that has kept almost every Maryland gun owner from getting a permit if the local police don't feel like giving you permission. Here almost all permits go to security cops or store owners who handle over $25,000 worth of cash on a daily basis, and those are limited carry, only OK when going to and from a bank deposit.
What a place! Homeowners' protected against invasion, mandatory issue of carry permits to honest citizens, sunshine, oranges, electronic voting machines that favor Republicans (because you can't screw with the results), its like California without the nuts! :D

roy reali
September 27, 2005, 03:35 PM
Not in California. If you have a California penal code reference that differs for my state, please reference it. There are Californians on this site. Please do not mislead them with false information. You are not doing anyone a favor.

Harley Quinn
September 27, 2005, 03:40 PM
Roy you still here, good for you.

Lead I agree with you on some of your stuff. But I just don't believe you are who you say.

Also It is a crime scene... The Police will work harder to convict you, if they think you murdered him. Only OJ and some others are that lucky. High profile.

Believe me you are wrong in the way you think and speak. It is funny when an officer figures you are trying to pull the wool over their eyes they dig in and go for you.


Edit: If you think OJ was innocent maybe you should talk to his neighbors.
They bought the Rockingham estate and it is now nothing but weeds and open ground. The neighbors all knew he did it. Maybe you read about it?

September 27, 2005, 04:44 PM
Here's pertinent info straight from the California Penal Code. 197 is good and then read 198.5.

California's Castle Doctrine is alive, well, and strong thank you very much.


197. Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in
any of the following cases:
1. When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a
felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person; or,
2. When committed in defense of habitation, property, or person,
against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or
surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends
and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter
the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any
person therein; or,
3. When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of a
wife or husband, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant of such
person, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to
commit a felony or to do some great bodily injury, and imminent
danger of such design being accomplished; but such person, or the
person in whose behalf the defense was made, if he was the assailant
or engaged in mutual combat, must really and in good faith have
endeavored to decline any further struggle before the homicide was
committed; or,
4. When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and
means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in
lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving
the peace.

198. A bare fear of the commission of any of the offenses mentioned
in subdivisions 2 and 3 of Section 197, to prevent which homicide
may be lawfully committed, is not sufficient to justify it. But the
circumstances must be sufficient to excite the fears of a reasonable
person, and the party killing must have acted under the influence of
such fears alone.

198.5. Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or
great bodily injury within his or her residence shall be presumed to
have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great
bodily injury to self, family, or a member of the household when that
force is used against another person, not a member of the family or
household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and
forcibly entered the residence and the person using the force knew or
had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred.

As used in this section, great bodily injury means a significant
or substantial physical injury.

199. The homicide appearing to be justifiable or excusable, the
person indicted must, upon his trial, be fully acquitted and

September 27, 2005, 04:47 PM
Most states including Colorado, Flordia, and yes, Commifornia and many other states give their citizens the right to defend themselves with lethal force if they are being attacked.

If you think about it, if the penal code gives you the right to defend yourself with a gun in certain situations, it must IMPLICITLY give you the right to take a life. There can only be two situations:

1. No justification to use lethal force
2. Justification to use lethal force up to and including killing in self defense
a) If you use buckshot he'll likely die immediately with no follow up necessary
b) if you use birdshot, he could possibly survive long enough to give a fabricated version to the police; or it may take several shots to kill him.

There is no middle ground. In situation 2, if the perp lives, he's lucky. You're better off if he dies before speaking to the cops. You're worse off if you have to shoot him multiple times, IMO. Best case scenario is that he breaks in and is threatening you with a weapon, BAMB one shot and he drops dead in his tracks. Worst case is that you have to shoot him multiple times with birdshot b/c it's ineffective.

September 27, 2005, 04:58 PM
Leadcounsel, thanks for amending your post. We PRK inhabitants get a lot of bad press. It's sad when a lot of the bad press comes from our own citizens who would do well to know the laws that effect them.

September 27, 2005, 05:04 PM
Hiya Lead,

We agree near 100%. I'm not too keen on going to trial after one of these gunfights where hopefully I avoided getting shot but the BG got a facefull of birdshot too far away to be fatal, or had that "psychic" moment as the trigger pulled giving him JUST ENOUGH TIME to twist around so it looks like he's shot from behind running away. Either way, there you are, months later, facing a jury you have to convince that this horribly shot up poor soul was actually the one at fault.
Noticed the California penal code talks about a list of conditions under which I"d have to be found Not Guilty AT THE TRIAL. Given what I've seen just on this thread, let alone in the rest of my experience, there is NO way I want to go to trial for ANYTHING. Happily the Florida law that the NRA and Jeb Bush (Brother of the Great Satan, George) got enacted does not require any trial to take place at all, if the officers handling the investigation decide to rule it a good shooting per that law.

Dead BG, one load of buckshot in the chest, lying in the smashed in doorway to the upstairs bedroom, in Florida? Priceless.

Same Scenario where I live in Maryland, probably $20,000.00 in legal fees.

Same BG in MD with multiple birdshot wounds, and still alive to argue, could be $500,000.00 and STILL I could go to jail for a good long time.

Birdshot is for the birds. So is the legal status of an armed citizen in Maryland.

roy reali
September 27, 2005, 05:04 PM
That is the penal code I found. Read once, read it a hundred times, it is vague. Our DA's office would not comment on it, they told me they can't. Our sheriff did. They agree it is not written very clear. They told me that the deputies and detectives often debate the exact meaning on this code during investigations. Still, irregardless, the DA has final authority.

You are right, most states and counties give citizens certain rights to defend themselves. I personally think that we don't have enough of them. However, here in California, our penal code, as you can see above is vague. This leaves the prosecutors with a lot of latitude. You have the right to defend yourself, and the DA has the right to pursue criminal investigations and prosecution against you. The detective I spoke to, told me that some shootings that the Sheriff's office deemed to be justifiable, were taken to court by our DA's office. In some of those cases the shooter was found guilty and jailed.

September 27, 2005, 05:07 PM

In my earlier post, I gave 2 situations.

1. No justification for lethal force;
2. Justification for lethal force.

The reason that people are prosecuted isn't because of a subset of the 2nd situation, it's because they were in the 1st situation. Make sure that if you draw on someone, you are in the 2nd situation and you'll be fine. I like states like Colorado which basically give you the right to draw on any uninvited intruder in your home, so you are almost always automatically in the 2nd situation.

In the CA penal code cited above, there is no ambiguity that a homeowner can use lethal force in defense of his life in his home or to prevent a violent felony in his home.

September 27, 2005, 05:13 PM

I don't see where we disagree.... seems like we are on the same page. The only good BG is a dead BG in my opinion.

As others said, I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

If legal aftermath is the main concern, I have some suggestions. Move to a gun friendlier state or pressure your representatives to adopt better laws. Make sure the BG isn't around to testify against you or even bring a lawsuit. I'm sure many BG's don't have the resources to hire a lawyer, family concerned enough about it, and it might be tough to find a lawyer to sue you on a contingency basis.

roy reali
September 27, 2005, 05:17 PM
You are honestly telling me that the above referenced California Penal Code is not vague. You are telling me that our sheriff's detectives are wrong in finding it vague. We need you to run for public office here in California. You could fix our legal systme in no time at all. Should we warn Arnold?

Also, if you do not kill someone, homicide becomes a mute point. After all, a person must be dead for any type of homicide determination.

September 27, 2005, 05:30 PM

The standard of reasonable doubt is the burden of proof the DA has to meet to convict you of a crime, agreed?

Okay, here are two scenarios.

1. You and BG both give conflicting stories to the police. BG is a witness for the prosecution, and has a maiming or disriguring injury and gains sympathy from the jury. BG's story is a complete lie, but he states that he had car problems and needed shelter from the cold weather and just came inside your house to warm up and gains sympathy from the jury.

2. YOU are the only witness and give the police only ONE side of the story, the truth. BG broke into your home armed with a weapon and you shot and killed in self defense.

The fact is, if a DA is presented with both scenarios, he would likely give serious consideration for prosecuting the first (but may not); however, he would be a fool to attempt to prosecute the second. In either situation, you'd probably win. However to win the first situation would require a trial and significant $. To win the second may not require much $ at all after the preliminary hearing or grand jury because it'll likely get dropped.

Anyway, this is very off topic. My suggestion is use the most effective weapon at all household ranges, shoot to stop the bad guy only if he's unlawfully threatening you, and you'll be fine. Don't shoot to wound, don't pull your gun if you don't intend to shoot, and don't speak ot the police.

PS - Harley, I really don't care if you agree with me or think I'm not who I say I am.

September 27, 2005, 05:34 PM

Like I said earlier, we are 100% on the same page as to tactics and the way the after action situation needs to be planned for well in advance. I was just pointing out that the PRM is almost as gun-owner phobic as Massachusetts, and there is a real risk of the State's Attorney filing suit against a homeowner in these cases even if the BG is dead and no one else gives a rip about the whole thing.

It's kind of a sport with the State's Attorney here to file against business owners who use deadly force to protect their businesses, homeowners resisting home invasion, women who shoot rapists, and so forth. Evidently not enough gang violence, organized crme, or bank robberies around here to keep those guys occupied.

Seems almost like a societal thing, State and City and County prosecutors figuring a firearms case is always good for their reputation for beng tough on crime, usually the "perpetrator is just an average white guy, so no race overtones to worry about, and few homeowners have the connections to hire hit men if the trial goes against them, so its a low risk, high scoring potential hobby for the prosecutors. :eek:

No "regular guy" is safe around here. :mad:

September 27, 2005, 05:42 PM
Boy, it's real obvious who's "seen the ghost" and who has only fired on somebody with a keyboard and a monitor. I don't think I'd want to ride the river with some of you.

...they better end up in a box...
...use buckshot he'll likely die immediately with no follow up necessary...
...BAMB one shot and he drops dead in his tracks...
...the only good BG is a dead BG...

I bet you, that who ever said all this has never shot at, let alone killed anyone!

roy reali
September 27, 2005, 05:45 PM
Crime scene physical evidence would not be looked at, right. Some folks think that once you have killed a BG in your home you are automatically free and clear. I really think that some of you live in a video game world of reality.

September 27, 2005, 06:00 PM
IF someone ever breaks into my house they will either have to come through the one front window, the front door, or break down/climb over the 6 foot privacy fence to go through a rear window/door. from the front door to the street is 50 feet. at night inside the house, if my dog hears someone walking down the street he barks. if someone breaks into my home he will bark. as I said, I will not be finding out their intent, then go back to the bedroom and get the gun, then tell them I am armed etc. I will close and lock the bedroom door as my wife dials 911 and then our neighbor who is a state cop (if he is home he will be in our house in 2 minutes). I will inform the intruder that I am armed, the police are on their way (sheriffs office and state highway patrol regional office are less than 5 minutes away) and that if he/she presses my hand I will fire.
I dont know any example or sites where I could find examples of our state laws but my neighbor (the state cop) has informed me that the plan he helped me come up with (he one I just explained) is the safest course of action. he has personally been involved in several home invasion shootng cases, one where someone broke into a house and his friends testified that it was a bet/dare etc and all he was doing was breaking in and stealing one or two small items to prove that he did it. the homeowner shot and killed the teenaged intruder beleiving that their life was in danger. the courts did not charge them with a crime.
I also know that if someone were to break into my house by punching through a window and then cut their hand they could sue me. if someone breaks into my home holding a loaded gun in their hand and my dog bites them I could be sued.
I WILL NOT go looking for an intruder, I in fact will try to prevent them from getting to ME. but if they do after I have warned them, then I will fire with the intent to kill them. the last thing I ever want to do is shoot someone (okay...maybe my mother in law) but if it comes down to them or me and/or my wife, I am not giving them the chance. would birdshot kill them? maybe. would buckshot kill them? most likely. I would rather them dead than me or my wife dead because I only wounded them and they continued to attack.
would I be convicted in a criminal court after the situation described above? from what I have been told by professionals in my area...no unless I deviated in some way from that plan such as...they run after I say I have a gun and police are coming and I chase them down and shoot/wound/kill them. would I be sued by the intruders family? maybe, anyone can sue anyone else for anything. I would rather go through a civil lawsuit than know that my wife is dead, or get killed myself, or both. I can afford a lawyer if the situation arises. my life and my wifes are more valuable than the life of someone who is trying to kill us. the things in the rest of the house are not nearly valuable enough to risk it.

September 27, 2005, 06:01 PM
I should not be giving my "novice" legal advice to some of you who are clearly hardened killers and legal experts....

I'm merely stating a few things:

1. It's clear that buckshot is much more lethal than birdshot at any distance based on ample evidence; most people will immediately go down with buck but the same isn't true with birdshot;
2. A dead BG cannot testify or give his version but a living one can;
3. A District Attorney operates in the real world and must follow the law. If he doesn't he risks having a wrongful prosecution case filed against him AND losing his job and ruining his career. You better believe that if the DA attempted to prosecute me for defending my home from an armed BG, his office would have a wrongful prosecution lawsuit slapped against him immediately.
4. Living BG's can bring lawsuits for assault with a deadly weapon. While dead ones' cannot and their estates can, it's highly unlikely given that he cannot testify nor give his side of the story.

That's it from me. No longer interested in this dead horse of a threat. Good luck to you all.

roy reali
September 27, 2005, 06:10 PM
So the DA's position is apolitical. Do you know how the chief prosecutor gets his or her job? I'll give you a hint. They are elected. They are politicans and some will do what it takes to be reelected.

Lets say you live in a culturally diverse area. You shoot a punk teenager in your home that is a member of a "special" group. Your DA is coming up for election in a tight race. Your shooting had better been textbook righteous.

I realize that there are states and regions that differ in how they look at justifiable homicide. Even here in California, it differs by county. I realize that the sterotype of us Californians is that of a bunch of liberal do gooders. Some areas of our state fit that profile. But we have some rural counties that are every bit as conservative as any area in this country.

I know that in the San Francisco area, if you shoot someone, they had better have been Osama's evil brother.

Harley Quinn
September 27, 2005, 06:18 PM
I checked your profile it is as empty as some of your statements.

I feel as always same o same o.

Give me a different scenerio on a different post and I will continue to agree to disagree or disagree to agree.

Hi Roy I have been reading my 2004 P C and I am as concerned as you.

In the good old bad days it was very clear that they were out to get the shooter, still is. Vague is not to friendly of a word when you are at the end of a rope and going down for the last count. Especially in the voting season, I feel the best thing is to keep all of your ducks in a row, cross your t's and dot your i's. Go with buckshot as a police and keep it loaded with birdshot as a citizen.

When you shot did you mean to kill this person? No your honor I was just trying to stop him. Thank you Mr Quinn... Next day... How does the jury find Mr Quinn???

Not Guilty your honor by reason of sanity. :D


September 27, 2005, 06:30 PM
A) I don't really care what a sherrif or deputy has to say about the Penal Code. The police arrest. The DA files charges. The concern is with the DA.

B) I'm not a legal expert, but I fail to see ambiguity in 198.5.

Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or
great bodily injury within his or her residence shall be presumed to
have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great
bodily injury to self, family, or a member of the household when that
force is used against another person, not a member of the family or
household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and
forcibly entered the residence and the person using the force knew or
had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred.

If you wake up at 2AM and find Billy Bad Guy in your living room, it's going to take one hell of a DA to convince one heck of a jury that you didn't have reasonable fear of imminent peril for yourself or your family. The penal code already dictates that I, Henry Homeowner, is presumed to have that reasonable fear. The DA will have to prove that such fear did not exist. That should prove a very interesting on his part. Frankly, I'm more then willing to take up that risk and will defend my home to the upmost of my ability.

Having patterned my shotguns and practiced with them reguarly, I load them with Hornady Tap reduced recoil 8 pellet 00 buck. Hopefully, I'll never have to see what the results are.

roy reali
September 27, 2005, 06:39 PM
So words like presume, intended, reason to believe, are not vague to you? Are you telling me that if you shoot an unarmed kid in your house, the DA will presume you are off the hook. I hope you have a good defense attorney and a fat bank account.

Harley Quinn
September 27, 2005, 06:56 PM
I am not sure if that was a type o in 'Lead council's' last breath but it is funny. "Dead horse threat" Maybe a "Freudian slip", Thanks for the humor.

Helwan what have you decided?

Now last thoughts on this threating thread.
When you are at home and relaxing are you ploting with guns in different rooms and figure you want to kill anyone who come's into your castle?
If so you are seriously a candidate for some needed counciling, PM Lead and he will tell you all about it.

I feel that it is time to take my keyboard and address a different post or two.
I will check back later. And he wanted me to post my creditials when his are blank! LOL


September 27, 2005, 09:06 PM
actually no, the only time other than on this forum that I seriously think about "what if someone came into my home" is when my german shepherd barks his warning barks. when that happens it is usually because the cat made some sort of noise elsewhere in the house, a motorcycle or especially/abnormally loud car or truck just went past, or because some kids are playing in a nearby yard. so when he barks during the day I assume a friend or family member may be approaching the door (again, mother in law is far scarier than godzilla on meth) I look through the door or window depending on which room I am in, if someone is there I tell him good boy and make him lie down while I open the door, if not I tell him that its okay. all the while unarmed.
during the night if he barks I turn on the light and turn on the hall light, then proceed to check each room (unarmed, except for the dog) and turn on outside lights to peak out the windows. if I dont see anyone (always the case so far) I turn out the lights as I head back to the bedroom and assume that it was one of 2 things. #1: who knows what, but harmless and glad the dog heard it and had me check it out. or #2: possibly a potential burglar who was checking houses (or just mine) to see if anyone was home and/or if there was a dog in the house; he/she heard the dog bark and then lights came on so they probably wont be back.
The only time I carry my gun at home is when I am cleaning it, unloaded; or when I am carrying it to the car to go to the range. the only time I would ever shoot someone is if I was sure they meant me or my wife (or future children) harm. how owuld I know that? because the feirce barking of a very highly trained german shepherd did not daunt them, because my warning that I was armed and have already called the police did not daunt them, and because my locked BEDROOM (forget about locked exterior door) did not stop them. would I be upset if someone came into my home and stole my belongings? yeah, who wouldnt? if I know someone is in my house will I leave my bedroom or even leave the door open? no, unless another comes through the bedroom window and forces me out. if after warnings of a gun, warnings from the barking dog, warning that the police have already been called, and a locked bedroom door doesnt stop them I think (wont know until it happens and I pray it never does) that I will shoot. after all those warnings I will still look for a weapon in their hand/hands before I fire, possible its a deaf kid who didnt hear any of my warnings, if they have a weapon I will have to assume they mean my family serious harm and I will shoot and I will hope that the first shot drops them or atleast does enough damage that the pain and shock allows for a second shot IF necassary. Im not saying I would shoot, they fall down but are still alive and I would shoot again. I would only fire twice if the 1st shot failed to stop them (wether stop means kill or just stop). if I shoot and they live and are bleeding all over the place and in pain but no longer a threat I dont know what I would do, besides hope that the authorities are almost here and bringing an ambulance.
in my opinion, in that situation the bad guy has been given ample warning and did not heed it only because his intent was to hurt or kill me or my wife. my intent will be to stop that from happening with as much force as needed.

Harley Quinn
September 28, 2005, 07:27 AM
I think your dog has you all figured out.

Dogs that bark to much are a pain.

Get a good dog and train it not to bark, just train it to take care of you and your family, now when they growl is the time to take notice.

Fear is the thing. As FDR said, 'fear nothing but fear itself', good statement.

To control fear you have to be trained. Self training is one way, paying someone to explain it to you is another. Now train that dog to quit barking at fool things.
If you are serious train yourself.

Fear will bite you in the behind everytime, you need to control it and let it work for you. Not against.

Edit: Jeff you should care about the deputy or sheriff or police. They are the first line of defense they can change your life in a way that will be f*****
Sure the DA will file or not. What do you think he files on??
Numerous things (what took place in the first place) how does he get that information? From the police>>>LOL

Whether he can make the case stick or not is up to many combinations.
So some fear the police and other's respect them. What's your take on that?


September 28, 2005, 08:54 AM
hahaha harley telling me about dog behaviour, thats funny. I've personally trained protection dogs at high competition level for over 10 years. my dog doesnt bark every five minutes or even every night. believe me I know my dog a heck of a lot better than you do. and preaching about fear? if I was afraid every time he barked then I would close and lock my bedroom door and enact my plan every time. as I said I go unarmed and turn on a few lights and check outside. when he barks I am not afraid someone is in my house, but I know and trust my dog so I have to check. learn a little bit more about dog behaviour and dont just assume things about people, just because I didnt mention that he was trained (oh wait I did) you assumed he wasn't. dont assume things.
as to the original topic...if you want to take the chance that birdshot MIGHT stop the threat and save the lives of you and your loved ones then go ahead and use it. personally I value my life and my wifes far more than the life of anyone who is threatening them so I will use buckshot and warn them with my voice.

roy reali
September 28, 2005, 10:04 AM
You must also live in an area of really tough BG's. In my area, a close in shot from a 12 gague, regardless of projectiles, is very effective. I guess our wimpy BG's here just can take an ounce of lead going 1300 feet per second that well.

Harley Quinn
September 28, 2005, 10:25 AM
OK if you say so. Dogs that bark to much (and your original thread led me to believe that yours does, just by the way you wrote it) are not trained very well. If they are trained properly and this is important.

They will not bark to frighten, they will wait and scare the crap out of your would be house enterer. They will attack and maul if need be, why because that is how good security dogs are trained. Dogs are very smart especially if they are trained. Similar to humans who are trained.

I know things like this from my training, did I tell you about my training ? No! Why would I want to do that, you and others like to snicker and then say things from a far. As I have said before, give them enough rope and they will hang themselves.

So now you are a dog trainer. Right!

Thanks for the information Jeff. Do the test and get back to me will you, 10'.


September 28, 2005, 03:42 PM
leadcouncil said:

As for the unwarranted attack on my character on another posting, that person should back up their comments or sit down.

Who are you talking about? You have gotten into pissing contests with so many people here. The more you type, the less people here seem to like you. Anyone who does a search of your postings can plainly see that you enjoy arguing.

Harley Quinn
September 28, 2005, 04:09 PM
I was over on the safe thread. LOL What a deal.

Oh well at least we have this guys # for awhile anyway. He may go covert. :p


September 28, 2005, 04:18 PM
I doubt it. He actually seems to enjoy his little pissing contests. He MUST be a lawyer! :eek: LOL

roy reali
September 28, 2005, 05:49 PM
I wonder how to pronounce the first part of LC's name.

LEAD can have two meannings.

Harley Quinn
September 28, 2005, 06:04 PM
I have misspelled his last part of the name on purpose, to his chagrin.
Just a little play on words that he did not like. :p

Well I think this thread has finally wound down, I wish Helwan would come back and check it out. LOL It has been fun.


September 28, 2005, 08:53 PM
Hi all!! After reading 200 something posts :eek: I believe that #4 birdshot would be fine for self defense. Since The ranges of self defesne are relatively low, the massive amount of shot would-- in my opinion-- cause a good concussion blast and injure the invader enough to put him down for good or allow me for a follow up shot if the intruder persists the attack. Well thanks for the 200 soemthing replies :)

- Helwan

September 28, 2005, 11:14 PM
OK, I've been holding my tongue watching this debate rage backwards and forwards without any risk of it reaching any sensible conclusion.

I'm going to suggest something so radical that it might be considered downright heretical, but here goes anyway ....

Why not use BB birdshot???

Everyone seems to think that birdshot refers exclusively to a 1 1/8 oz load of #4s but heavy birdshot is not that much smaller than buckshot ... particularly #4 buckshot which seems to be held in very high esteem as the holy grail of optimal effectiveness without excessive penetration.

#4 buckshot is 21 pellets per ounce of 0.24" chunks of lead.
BB sized birdshot is 50 pellets per ounce of 0.18" chunks of lead.

If you can't get BB sized lead shot anymore, you can always go to steel shot and then you can go to BBB, T, F or FF sizes (0.19", 0.20", 0.22" and 0.23" pellets respectively). Yes, steel is less dense than lead (about 30% lighter) but I still would not like to be on the receiving end of 35 pellets per ounce of 0.23" sized chunks of steel coming out of a 12 ga barrel at around 1250 feet per second. At across the room type ranges I'm sure that a goose load would be more than enough to get the job done.

It might not be the best home defense solution but might allow people some peace of mind with regards the "I only used my bird shooting gun and birdshot" argument, while still carrying enough sheer grunt to get some serious damage done on the intended target.

Personally, I really don't have the option of birdshot or buckshot because I would be in deep doo doo for even presenting a firearm and waving it at an intruder .... birdshot or no. Do not take your freedoms for granted.

Harley Quinn
September 28, 2005, 11:35 PM
That is a good thought pattern.

Nice to see you. Good decision.

Harley :D

roy reali
September 29, 2005, 12:40 AM
What about Remington's hevi-shot loads? Tests seem to indicate superior penetration compared to other similar sized pellets.

I guess you have the same wimpy thugs as I have around here. You seem to think that your shotgun might slow them down or stop them. Be grateful you don't live in an area that has BG's that are so big and tough that mere shotgun pellets will be deflected by their flesh. Some folks should consider RPG's for home defense. Colateral damage might me a problem, but most BG's wouldn't.

September 29, 2005, 08:24 AM

You must have missed a couple posts. I had suggested that for those who expect the noise from racking the slide on a 12 gauge to cause the BG to flee, the initial clicks from priming a manual Claymore detonator ought to be sufficient to kill them (fear induced myocardial infarct) on the spot.
Gal that is in charge at my house has a pretty severe "NO minefields" rule, so this is an option closed to me............... :D

roy reali
September 29, 2005, 10:28 AM
Mines should be able to handle the really tough guys. Here is the way I look at it. If I fire a shotgun at anyone at point-blank range and they are still able to continue their attack, I will need a weapon that is beyond the small arms class. You hit someone ten feet away with a 12 gauge blast, and they come at you, are you going to try to stop them with a handgun. That is when an RPG would be needed or some well placed mines.