View Full Version : Is this ammo good for self-defense?

April 17, 2006, 02:55 AM
Hi all. New shotgunner here. Recently got Mossberg 500A with 18" barrel. Want to stock up on self-defense ammo. Came across Wolf 12 gauge 00 Buck 9 pellets for 41 cents/round shipped if buy 250 rounds and S&B 12 ga 00 Buck (clear) for 37.6 cents/round shipped if buy 250 rounds. Any thoughts on Wolf vs. S&B in this matchup?

This would likely be my only shotgun ammo purchase for some time. Is this the right type of round to use? Is it worth it? Nearest alternative I could find was Federal Tactical Low Recoil 00 Buck 9 pellets for 59.6 cents/round shipped if buy 250 rounds.

Any thoughts?

PS: I also have handguns for self-defense if that makes any difference.

Tommy Vercetti
April 17, 2006, 07:00 AM
I like the Sellier & Bellot :) my guns do too

April 17, 2006, 07:03 AM
Thanks Tommy. I'm such a total newbie to shotguns that I have no idea if there's any qualitative difference between these same loads from S&B, Wolf and Federal. I'll be doing some practice with the rounds, but mostly they're just for just in case.

Edited to remove baby talk! :o

April 17, 2006, 08:02 AM
Shotties? No wonder you have questions.

April 17, 2006, 08:05 AM
Ouch Oletymer! I was just using the lingo I've seen here before. :o

Dave McC
April 17, 2006, 08:25 AM
See my response on THR....

April 17, 2006, 12:05 PM
Perpster dont worry about the cheap ammo not being good enough for hd. I've shot lots of cheep and high end ammo and never noticed a lot of difference. The cheepo like wolf and S&B blow up the targets just the same. You are not dealing with a minimal caliber weapon for defense. The 12 guage will stop an intruder with no problem with any buckshot load. Youre good to go man.

April 17, 2006, 12:11 PM
Thanks Monkey. With the help of Dave and Lee over at THR I ended up buying 2 cases. One of Federal Tac 00 (for tighter patterns) and one of S&B 00 for wider coverage. I'd say I'm definately good to go! Enough to practice and pattern with, and enough if ever needed. Thanks again.

April 17, 2006, 01:17 PM
You bet. Have a great time shooting.

April 17, 2006, 01:26 PM
now it is tiem to bring up a question that has pluaged mankind since the days of old' what about birdshot size 6?

April 17, 2006, 01:34 PM
I preffer #1 buck. But #6 birdshot will do plenty of flesh damage at close range just not as much penetration. If you want to blow an intruders ass off then you have picked the right load. :barf:

April 17, 2006, 02:28 PM
Myself, I have a full tube of 00 buck inside my little 870, but in the saddle are 3 rounds of Horady SST slugs and 3 rounds of Federal #2 steel goose shot. I'm just evil like that.:D

April 18, 2006, 12:23 AM
i think its ammoman.com that sells some reduced recoil 00 buck from a name brand company for pretty cheap.

my suggestion

2 3/4" reduced recoil 8 or 9 pellet 00 buck


2 3/4" #1 buck

main thing here is you have to make sure your gun feeds the ammo you choose reliably. i would definitly go for reduced recoil b/c recoil goes up a lot more for a bit more velocity, its a thing of diminishing returns. remember too, how it will go down.

most likey : at night, low light, sleepy/nervous/fumbling ect

you want the most advantage you can get and thats the reduced recoil to not disorient you quite as badly, and provide faster follow up shots. remember a missed shot dosent count!

good luck w/ your choice.

April 18, 2006, 01:53 PM
+1 on the sellier & bellot. i go with higher-end loads for bullet defensive rounds, and i do have some of the federal 00 buck as well, but for stocking up, the S&B always seemded a little higher quality than wolf without hurting the wallet.

Death from Afar
April 18, 2006, 04:00 PM
Buy a few boxes of each and pattern your gun. You will see what does best with your gun and at what ranges. I suspect that the S&B might be a slightly higher quality load, but thats about it. I would look at the cartridge that has the higest brass rim, and thickest case as that will reduce the chance of failure to eject and an expanded hull causing a jam. Some el cheapo ammo with low brass and thin hulls will lead to hard ejection...which can be embarressing.

April 18, 2006, 06:01 PM
Many people don't know, but it's a fact that "patterning" a home defense shotgun really isn't practical. At home defense ranges of under 30 feet (and oftent well under 30 feet for most home interiors), buckshot has no opportunity to expand much beyond an inch or two, even out of an 18" barrel. Yes, this means you do still have to actually AIM the gun to score a hit and likely all pellets will be within an inch or two at 30 feet (10 yards).

I spoke with an acquaintance on the SWAT team and he says shotguns with pellets are not favorable for entry tactics because there are many pellets you must account for. They use frangible .223 or shotgun slugs.

Personally, I still have an 18" Remington pump loaded with both 00 Buck and 1oz slugs and have plenty handy. I also keep an AR15 .223 handy. I would likely go for the Shotgun for HD frankly due to reliability and knock down of slugs. It is a superb weapon. I just recognize that shot won't expand in any of my applications for HD.

As far as wolf ammo... I don't know about shotgun ammo. I do have experience using handgun and rifle wolf ammo and I DO NOT like it. It's dirty and fouls my guns, the steel cases are hard on the extractors and chambers, and it tends to jam more in guns with tighter tollerances. It causes so many jams in my AR15 and Beretta 9mm that I just refuse to use it in any guns.

I do like S&B ammo and it feeds flawlessly in my 870 Express shotgun.

Death from Afar
April 18, 2006, 06:08 PM
Many people don't know, but it's a fact that "patterning" a home defense shotgun really isn't practical.

Nonsense. All buck performs differently and it behives every shooter to know exactly what each round will do. Intriguing that Gunsite, for example, dont agree with viewpoint.

April 18, 2006, 06:33 PM
I think I've been misunderstood. It's important to shoot all of your guns with the ammo you intend to use for self defense and home defense at ranges you anticipate you would encounter. This is true for a variety of reasons. You should be comfortable with the load, that it will feed and eject properly, is accurate, and patterning for shotguns. MY POINT was that at close range you shouldn't expect much of a "pattern" from 00 buck. You've got several pellets but they will all be within a couple inches at close range such as home defense situations. That was my point.

For a great example, see www.theboxotruth.com. A fun non-scientific website where informal ballistic experiments are conducted. There is one test with various shotgun loads and patterning.

Death from Afar
April 18, 2006, 06:49 PM
Well, thats not what you said. You stated that patterning was not really practical. I said that it was needed so you could see what the shot would do.

April 20, 2006, 08:03 PM
"or a great example, see www.theboxotruth.com. A fun non-scientific website where informal ballistic experiments are conducted. There is one test with various shotgun loads and patterning."

The patterning issue is a surprise. BUT, he is using sheetrock. Human skin and muscle is a lot weaker than sheetrock. Don't believe me, take a razor and push down on sheetrock with medium force while making a slicing motion. Then, try it with your own forearm. OK kiddies, please do NOT really try what I just said.

44 AMP
April 21, 2006, 02:04 AM
Don't buy into the popular myth that all you have to do is point in the general direction....you have to aim (point) the gun right at the target you want to hit, or you WILL MISS. Particularly at self defense ranges.

Take a target (paper), put it at across the room distance, and shoot it. See where the pellets hit, compared to where your bead (point of aim) was. Do it with 00B. Then go buy a box of #6, or 7 1/2, or #8 shot, and do it again.

Some guns will be "on", some will hit high, and some will hit low at this distance. This can be an important thing for you to know.
this has to do with stock fit, the way you aim (point) the gun, and the load used.

For inside the house use, I would say that #8 is pretty effective across the room, and not very likely to go through more than one wall if you miss.
Follow up shots with 00 Buck, if needed.

April 21, 2006, 12:22 PM
My experience it that patterning a shotgun at 30 feet with 00 buck makes a lot of sense. I have found that some rounds give you a consistent group with flyers seldom experienced. While others are not as consistent and often have a pellet or two that do not pattern well. Unless you have a special shotgun, groups of 1 and 2 inches at 7 yards is unusual. The rule of thumb is a 1" of spread for each yard of distance.

I have found S&B 00 Buck to be in the latter class. Often the pattern is nearly twice that of high quality ammo. Estates (before the buyout) used to pattern very consistently and tightly.

Especially when shooting hostage targets, those flyers can kill you.

For those interested, Vang Comp makes defensive shotguns that are designed to pattern tightly. This site https://www.vangcomp.com/Pattern_dea.html shows some of the patterning results of their guns. Most defensive shotgun will pattern less tightly than these. If you look at some of the various patterning tests, you can see the pattern sizes vary dramatically with ammo.

April 21, 2006, 09:10 PM
#1 buck's the best. I love what it does to stuff. Plus there's enough of it in a shell to have a good time with. I don't pattern my shotgun anymore because the pattern was always in a neat circle and it got boring. I do shoot trap occassionally with it. 20 of 25 or so at 30 yds.