View Full Version : Whats right for home defense???

March 7, 2007, 09:22 AM
I've alwasy wondered what to load into a house shotgun. Bird shot is really gonna hurt and 00buck maybe to strong, is there anything inbetween. And whats your home loading preferance.

March 7, 2007, 09:58 AM
If overpenetration is a concern, #4 buck is a good choice. Roughly half the shot will penetrate the FBI minimum 12". But if you are looking for the absolute best size shot for social distances, #1 buck fits the bill. It will generate roughly 30% more potential wound trauma than 00 buck and is the smallest size shot that consistently penetrates the FBI minimum. Simply put, #1 buck is the best choice for two legged critters.

March 7, 2007, 02:00 PM
Don't miss though, or have a real solid wall behind the BG. I just posted this in another thread, its interesting to look at what buckshot can pass through and keep going.


I would like to see what BB shot does....when birdshot is tested they always use the teeny tiny stuff like #8. There is alot more to choose from than #8.:)

March 7, 2007, 02:49 PM
.45 acp


March 7, 2007, 06:54 PM
#4 Buck is an excellant choice, as mentioned by Syntax360....................hpg

March 8, 2007, 07:32 AM
What brands???

March 8, 2007, 09:36 AM

In your Boxtruth link the man summarizes saying "use 00 Buck to stop the bad guy".


I use Hornaday Tap, 12 gauge 00 Buck, FPD (For Personal Defense).

You can order directly from Hornaday and you will receive excellent service from them.

March 8, 2007, 01:50 PM
Whenever someone mentions defensive shotgun loads, it degenerates into bickering about overpenetration.

When you shoot someone with a shotgun, you're hopefully hitting them with several little lead balls intended to kill them. You can argue whether you want 000 buckshot (8 x 0.36" balls in a 2.75" 12 gauge), #4 buckshot (about 30 x 0.24" balls in a 2.75" 12 gauge), or something in between. People aren't going to settle on a shell, just like people probably aren't going to agree on whether it's better to shoot someone 8 times with a .45, 15 times with a 9mm, or 30 times with a .22 mag. The bottom line is that they're all going to get the job done. If you're using 000 buckshot you have a greater chance of penetrating a heavy leather jacket. If you're using #4 buckshot you have more hits, so you have a greater chance of hitting vitals.

Regardless, overpenetration is always going to be a concern. Even your #4 buckshot, if you use Syntax360's figure of half the shot penetrating 12", will easily have all the shot penetrate a human enough to hit something important, and even if that person is wearing a heavy leather jacket, there is the possibility of it penetrating the jacket, penetrating soft tissue, and penetrating a little kid in the background on the other side of the street.

Looking at theboxotruth.com, you can see that even a .22 is going to penetrate four layers of drywall. The bottom line that it is easier to penetrate drywall than it is to penetrate people, so there is no such thing as a good defensive round that is safe to fire with your children behind the target in the next room. Anybody suggesting birdshot as a defensive round is a moron (I saw it on a forum yesterday).

I guess #4 could be a little light for someone with heavy clothing, but I think #2 or #3 buckshot is a pretty good sweet spot. You've got a lot of shot, and it still has excellent penetration vs. people. If #2 buckshot doesn't penetrate someone's clothing, well, 00 or 000 is going to penetrate better, but you'd probably be wanting a higher velocity non-ball round for that kind of situation. Still, if I only had a shotgun and I was planning on trying to shoot through car doors on a regular basis, I'd go with the 000.

For home defense, I'd easily trust my life to anything from 000 to #4 buckshot, though. I wouldn't bother arguing about it or overthinking it. They're all great. My argument would be that since they're all more than adequate, I'd be more concerned with having a gun that's easy to handle. I'd suggest an 18" 20 gauge pump gun -- a lightweight gun that still makes the crap-your-pants slide-racking sound.

March 8, 2007, 03:58 PM
Voodoo, yep he does....just pointing out howmuch buckshot will go through so people take it for what it is. It seems to me many people underestimate a shotgun/ buckshots ability to keep going through things with all the talk of 3 inch mags and slugs for HD that I see in posts

tostada (your making me hungry:D ) I agree with the easy to handle short gun. I was just looking at what Mossberg has to offer. They have a lot of youth model 500s or 505s that look pretty good just as they are... short & light. They even have a pump .410 that is only ~ 37 inches long. Good fit for smaller people.

March 9, 2007, 09:55 AM
Brand isn't all-important with shotguns like it is with handguns, etc. For #1, take what you can get. I believe the Federal Classic load is technically "the best", but all I can ever find is Remington. Just get what you can.
For 00 buck, Hornady TAP is raved about as producing the tightest patterns. If you can find various brands, buy a pack of each and try them out in your shotgun and see which one patterns the best.

March 9, 2007, 12:29 PM
"see which one patterns the best"

Measure the longest room in your house and pattern it at that distance

It will be illuminating;)

March 9, 2007, 06:43 PM
I keep #1 buck loaded in my old savage. I like that it has double the pellets of a 00, without being terribly small. I've hunted deer with #1 before, and I'm satisfied with how it performs.

March 9, 2007, 09:23 PM
Remington, Federal or Winchester are the only brands I use.......hpg

March 14, 2007, 01:46 PM
I got a killer deal on the remington 3" #1 buck bulk package several years back and still have a lot. That is some fun ammo to blow up random targets if your feeling "destructive" Also my choice for HD due to overwealming conclusions that #1 buck is the best choice. More wound trauma, etc.

March 14, 2007, 02:15 PM
OBIWAN "see which one patterns the best"

Measure the longest room in your house and pattern it at that distance

It will be illuminating

Patterning Discussion (http://www.tacticalshotgun.ca/content_nonsub/shotguns/shotguns.html)

March 14, 2007, 03:07 PM
That is a cool site

And it reflects what my own experiments showed

With almost any load there was one hole (shot and wad) at close range

So much for "patterning"

March 14, 2007, 03:56 PM
Just makes you want to get one of them "house gun" barrels I just saw. "All the advantages of a sawed off"

You can also use it has a funnel or a megaphone, maybe even a trumpet!