View Full Version : 00 Buck - effective range ?

April 22, 2006, 07:40 AM
I was wondering what the effective range for 00 Buckshot is ?

I'm going to be using some in a Cowboy Action shoot so out of interest I've just been trying some 2 3/4" 00 buckshot out of my 28" O/U clay gun (not exactly a cowboy gun but its what I had to hand). With full choke on both barrels it was only just keeping all 9 pellets on a target the size of A3 paper (so 17x11 inches) at around 28 yards.

So it did make me wonder what people generally consider the effective range of 00 Buck - I got the impression at not much further distance you wouldn't be guaranteed a hit on a man sized target purely due to the randomness of the spread of the shot.

April 22, 2006, 09:49 AM
25 yards is usually it. TheBoxOTruth.com did some patterning, and at 25 yards his 00 buck printing 3 of 9 pellets on a mansized piece of butchers paper.

April 22, 2006, 09:57 AM
Same here--3-4 spread across a human sized target at 25 yds. Beyond that there is no guarantee. At 35 it was a chance I might get 1 pettet hit.

April 22, 2006, 10:58 AM
I agree. They claim 00 buck to be effective up to 50 yds but I wouldnt count on it. Both my shotguns do 30yds max on man shaped target 25 is more reasonable.

April 22, 2006, 01:43 PM
I shot a doe last year.I was tracking after a slug angled through the chest.I loaded my browning A5 with 12pellet 00 buck.I aimed for her head about 30feet and let one fly to finish her off.The doe got up and I opened up on her about 25-30 yards.The stuff does not drop deer very fast.For your first shot use a slug.I found my deer but wasted alot of meat.If you don't use a slug first don't go much passed 25yards.There is a good chance you will just wound the animal.

April 22, 2006, 04:37 PM
25 yds for man or deer though you can play around with chokes and get some interesting patterns at 50 yds. The problem is that the pellets slow down quickly so even with a good pattern 25 yds is the limit.

May 7, 2006, 10:25 PM
Most of the problem with buckshot seems to come from the cylinder bore riot gun crowd or those who fire any old buck load through a full choke and wonder why they have a doughnut pattern.

Try Federal Premium buckshot in a full choke tube that has a long parallel section. The resulting patterns should be around 8-10 inches at 25 yards. At forty yards the entire pattern should be contained in a 25 inch circle. This is the minimum performance standard I will accept for a load carrying a minimum of 12 pellets. I have dropped deer at ranges to a solid 40 yards with gun load combinations that meet or exceed this performance level. Shoot for the head and neck region for a quick kill.

Federal's new Premium Flite-Control loads may prove even better and should respond to tight turkey chokes since the pellets are stacked in off set layers of two.

Just don't expect a load of soft lead pellets in a shell without a combination of buffer and shot cup, (most Remington and Winchester loads), to hold a decent pattern past 20-25 yards.


May 8, 2006, 01:59 AM
if at 25 yards, a few pellets in one man sized target, would it be safe to say, at 25 yards its great for shooting at a group of BGS ?

May 8, 2006, 12:28 PM
Since nobody else did, I'll ask- who allows 00 Buck at a CAS shoot?

Dave McC
May 9, 2006, 08:18 AM
A couple things....

My HD 870 has no choke but does have a long, polished forcing cone. With the best 00 I've tested, patterns run 16-20" at 25 yards. One Mod tube here in another barrel beats that a bit, but not by much.

This is less than optimum. 15" spread should be about the max for defensive use.

Why? Measure your torso just below the armpits.

Folks that hunt deer with buck have come up with load and choke combinations that work out past 25 yards, but nothing that still has the moxie and pattern at 50.

Good buck makes a world of difference. Besides the old Estate RR, the new Fed load and that Hornaday Premium are getting praised by folks whose input I value.

Lots of us use buck in shotguns for HD. We should also know how slugs work and which slugs in case we have to militia things up for Community Defense.

May 9, 2006, 08:36 PM
Dixie Slugs has a new Buckshot round out that may make the 50-60 yard buckshot round a reality. Their TriBall round is loaded with three .60 caliber hard cast buckshot, 315 grains each, moving out at 1125 feet per second.
This 945 grain (2.16 oz) buckshot load is contained in a thick walled plastic wad with fine grained buffer. The folks at Dixie Slugs report the tightest patterns with .665 exit diameter chokes with patterns running 5-7" at 40 yards and still under 18" at 60 yards. This 3 inch load is designed for hog hunting in thick cover.

I am looking forward to personally testing this load in the next few days.

May 10, 2006, 02:52 PM
I have always had a problem with 00 Buckshot. While that load makes a pretty darn good close in load for deer (under 25 yards), past that, its (pardon the expression) pretty much 'hit or miss'.
My old Wingmaster, when wearing the new Remington 20 inch rifle sight barrel will pattern Winchester and Remington 00 Buck very tight (8 inches or so) out to say, 15 yards. Past that, the pattern opens up to about double by the time the range it much past 25 yards. At anything past 30 yards, you might as well close your eyes and pray when you shoot.
Long ago, I settled on slugs, when it comes to hunting with the shotgun. With Brenneke slugs, I can stay on a deer past 75 yards.
If the topic shifts to defense, the same results holds true.
RMcL, I am interrested in hearing how those Dixie Slugs Buck rounds work. Sounds like a good load for my Browning A5, 3" Mag 12 Ga, as a hog load in the very dense cover I am sometimes hunting.

Josh Aston
May 10, 2006, 03:30 PM
The Air Force claims its effective out to 68 meters, that's out of an 18" 870 with no choke. I thought it was a typo the first time I saw it, but no, that's what the official maximum effective range is for "00" buck according to the AF.

May 10, 2006, 05:26 PM
That may be based on an estimation of a disabling wound produced by the impact of one single pellet at that distance. It is no way a practical distance to count on, your pattern will be a several foot spread, and individual pellets (being balls & not particularly aerodynamic) will lose velocity and energy quickly.
I can get a very decent spread with all or most of the 9 pellets inside a black B27 silhouette out to 30 yards with some ammo/choke combinations, but most will have about half the pellets off the black at that distance.
68 meters would involve a lot of luck.