View Full Version : home defence ammo

tony stark
April 24, 2006, 01:18 AM
out of a short (18") barrel with an open cyl. choke, how fast does bird shot spread out?
i've heard that buckshot spreads at about 1" per yard. if bird shot "sprays" about the same, would it provide the stopping power needed at home def. distances?
i don't like the idea of 00 buck penetrating walls.
i know that bird shot is not going to penetrate like buck shot.
but, if at 18' all that shot is in a 6" area, I would think it would at the least hurt.
don't know, just a question.

April 24, 2006, 01:27 AM
I think #6 or so bird shot within household ranges would be more than adequate for subduing any bad guys. Or for more fun just get rock salt rounds...

April 24, 2006, 01:37 AM
check out www.theboxotruth.com for nonscientific performance of different shotgun loads.

April 24, 2006, 07:30 AM
My only gripe with birdshot is that it will not penetrate the FBI minimum standard - your BG will have a nasty wound, but all his vitals will be intact, leaving a determined attacker able to still do harm to you and your family.

From TheBoxOTruth.com:

"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."

Birdshot is still going to go through at least one wall, and you most likely will still have a BG strolling around your house - mad, scared, and wounded.

#1 Buck will cause 30% more wound trauma than traditional 00 buck, and is as small as you can get and still reliably get the FBI recommended minimum 12".

April 24, 2006, 08:40 AM
Unless at extremely close distances with good shot placement, you can't count on birdshot doing the job. There are lots that advocate it and in most cases it would stop the attack. As far as that goes, in most cases just seeing you with a shotgun will stop the attack.

However, I would not bet my life on birdshot.

As an aside, so many people worry about overpenetration problems to the point that they pick an unacceptable (in my opinion) alternative. Yes, 00 buck will penetrate walls. Almost all shotgun loads will. But it is highly effective in stopping a lethal attacker.

April 24, 2006, 11:31 AM
Just to give you an example:

In my "backyard" shooting range, we have a few old appliances (washers, dryers and a refrigerator) that we hang targets on (with about 2 feet of wood backstop behind them)...#4 turkey loads won't penetrate the sheet metal on the appliances...00 buckshot will pass through both sides (and anything in between, e.g. plastic internals)

April 24, 2006, 11:50 AM
Birdshot is a poor choice for defensive use, period.

Death from Afar
April 24, 2006, 03:41 PM
You simply must pattern your gun to see how it performs. You will probably be surprised by the spread through an open choked gun. I agree that bird shot is a very poor choice for home defence, but is better than thrwing rocks, and is a judgement call on your part if overpenetration is a real issue. If you simply must use bird shot, #6 is a poor choice. Use #2 or BB which with a lead shot wil give you more penetration, but not as severe as 00. But, as has been said its not ideal.