View Full Version : What are the best uses for 6 shot?

Te Anau
August 22, 2007, 07:39 AM
In your opinion.Would you feel confident using 6 shot for turkeys or home defense out of a 12 gauge?

August 22, 2007, 07:59 AM
A good number of turkey loads use #6, usually hardened, plated and buffered.

Try http://www.winchester.com/products/catalog/shotshell.aspx

the tool bar on the right lets you choose the use. #6 comes up in everything from rabbits, squirels to ducks to turkeys.

I personally would not use #6 for HD, it simply won't penetrate enough, particularly through heavy clothing. It would leave an absolutely gross wound through through a t shirt though!!!

45Marlin carbine
August 22, 2007, 08:35 AM
use the Hi-brass loads. have more punch than the cheap stuff. pattern would be important for turkey. full choke. 5's would be better tho. that's my favorite for crows,skunks, other vermin and turkey. 6 for rabbit and squirell

Te Anau
August 22, 2007, 08:42 AM
The reason I ask is cost.Like other forms of ammunition,shotshells are going up--fast.Wal-Mart still has Winchester Super Speed Xtra,6 shot,1 ounce,2 3/4",1350fps loads for $3.97 for a box of 25.The next cheapest load is $5.99 a box and according to the guy behind the counter,most of the ammo will be going up around 25% next month! I want to stock up as much as possible and the Winchester is the biggest load I can get still fairly inexpensively.

nutty ned
August 22, 2007, 09:11 PM
The shells you reference are pretty much for small game like doves, quail, rabbits, and snipe.

Fat White Boy
August 22, 2007, 11:53 PM
6's are good for pheasant, chukars, and hot footin' quail...

August 23, 2007, 12:18 PM
I realize that this answer will draw intense criticism, so here goes:

#6 is the most versatile load that you can buy. It is adequate for most small game. At home defense distances, it will be more than satisfactory for changing the intentions of a bad guy. That is what I use in my 20 gauge Nova for almost everything except dove and quail. For these i use 7.5 shot.

I retired from a career in law enforcement and can assure you that in spite of the gelatin tests and water jug testing, a shotgun blast within 30 feet with #6 shot will stop the perp. It may not kill him but it will put the brakes on him and in many instances will be fatal. I have seen guys shot with buckshot that survived. With small shot that survived. Also, many fatalities.

My suggestion is now, and will continue to be: Use whatever shotgun load you have on hand for home defense. Within HD distances you are perfectly safe from even the worst stoned out cokehead.

I have known of dogs being shot all to pieces with buckshot that kept on charging. I have seen the animal control officer shoot them and it didn't phase them until death hit them. Humans, even dopeheads, can't take a shotgun blast. They roll over but quick, kicking and screaming, if they are able to do so.

I have picked up quite a few bodies that were blasted with from bird shot to slugs. Up to 30 feet, the possibility of survival is almost nil, even with a heavy coat on. Stopping the perp is the name of the game.

A shotgun is the most useless piece of equipment that a cop can carry as the use of it is limited. It can't be used in a crowd as it is hard to aim the buckshot so as to only hit the perp. It can't be used in a building as it will penetrate the walls. It can be useful in a traffic stop in a rural area if there are no nearby houses. I found the Mini-14 the weapon of choice to take down a perp. The round will not exit the body. This brings us back full circle to the use of small shot. They won't exit the body and will make hamburger out of the flesh. Very hard for the medicos to repair.

We want to stop a bad guy. Killing him is not hard to do. Do you really want to kill someone? Or stop them. I want to protect what is mine. I feel perfectly safe with #6 loads in my shotgun. I know the damage it can do. I have seen it first hand. I don't need a gelatin test. Experience in the autopsy room has shown me.

August 23, 2007, 01:34 PM
I think 6's are fine for a self defense load ( or 7 1/2's for that matter ). You're not necessarily trying to pierce armor ........

August 23, 2007, 01:36 PM
6 shot is good for a lot of things. That $4 walmart ammo is good for knocking over cans and that's about it. The local Sportsmans/gander/cabelas/ whatever has $5-$7 a box stuff that's better suited for HD and hitting animals.

The better stuff hits harder (>FPS), has more and better quality shot, and patterns better (in my experience).

August 23, 2007, 04:33 PM
big j, you could, in fact, be trying to pierce armor, considering someone stupid enough to break into your house smart enough to buy a bullet proof vest. therefore, i would stick to a .30cal or bigger to penetrate armor. but they probably wouldn't be smart enough to wear it, but i personally wouldn't take the chance. i would stick to buckshot to the head since you don't want to kill the neighbor with a centerfire round

August 24, 2007, 08:06 PM
Just my 2 pennies worth...

I believe that more pellets on target are better than fewer.....

As such, 6's, at close range,will outperform
buckshot everytime.

I've been trying to find the link,
but I read a study that proved that #9 shot was more effective,
again at close range, than buckshot at knocking down steel targets.

I have never heard of stoopid crooks wearing BR vests while breaking into a residence. I would think that, unless they stole the vest, they would have a difficult time obtaining one.....

Again, just my thoughts............

August 25, 2007, 05:44 PM
heres the link to where you can get one, even though i was just saying if they happened to have a stroke of luck and be smart enough to think about it.

August 25, 2007, 07:21 PM
I use 00 reduced recoil Ranger. I want maximum penetration to hit vitals and make the perp go down. I don't think that #6 will hit vitals not a cop never seen a gun shot wound but just my 2cents. If they die I don't really care but wouldn't bother me if they did. After-all they're in my house and 2 pittbulls didn't deter them they're up to serious no good. After being used as a chew toy they might not have any fight in them:p.

August 25, 2007, 09:20 PM
Turkeys, yes.

Pheasant, yes.

Quail, yes, but overkill.

Dove, yes but overkill.

Self-defense, no. No. 4 buckshot or larger.

September 6, 2007, 11:48 AM
therefore, i would stick to a .30cal or bigger to penetrate armor.

I'm a bit curious as to how a 30 caliber shot pellet will penetrate armor when a 9mm, 40 or 45 caliber slug will not! FWIW the impact of a 12 ga load (any size shot) short range on someone with a vest may not kill him but it WILL leave a serious mark and possibly make him think twice. It would very possibly cause some "internal" damage.

September 6, 2007, 03:09 PM
I use hard, high-base #6 for mid-to-late season Maine grouse hunting due to the longer shooting distances involved. For early season grouse and woodcock 7 1/2 or 8 shot in cheap shells works great.


September 6, 2007, 03:27 PM
I'm a bit curious as to how a 30 caliber shot pellet will penetrate armor when ......

I'm sure he meant .30 cal rifle there.

As others have said, the loads you referenced are great for small game. For Turkey you're gonna probably want a high brass shell with a heavier payload than 1oz. I like the 2oz. #6's out of my Mossberg 835 for Turkey. The #4's and 5#s just don't pattern quite as well for my gun, though they do for my father in law's 835.

I still say use the best patterning buckshot load out of your shotgun and not birdshot for HD. Birdshot may stop the intruder and may kill the intruder, but IMHO it is not as reliable in that regard.

Brad Clodfelter
September 6, 2007, 07:15 PM
Well I'll agree that 6 shot is probably the most versatile size shot there is. I have even used it for doves, but 7.5 shot does work better. As for killing power on turkeys, squirrels, or rabbits, I have found 5 shot to be better, and 4 shot to be even better yet. It's just hard to beat 4 shot on the longer shots on say turkeys out to 50+yds. The same can be said on rabbits. I have peppered rabbits with 6 shot loads at 45-50yds, only to see them keep running. Every once in a while you may get lucky and break a leg and stop them long enough to finish them off. But a good load of 4 shot at the same distance will put more rabbits on the ground. Yea I know kill them at shorter distances, but not all rabbits seem to wanna cooperate with that way of thinking.

When I'm shooting a stubborn gobbler at say 50yds, and he doesn't want to cooperate with coming closer, I want some shot heavy enough to penetrate feathers to hit vitals like heart or lungs, or break wing bones or leg bones instead of just relying on the smaller size 6 shot to hit the smaller neck and vertebrae area of a turkey. There are those that say more shot increases your chances of killing a turkey at this distance of 50yds or farther by being able to hit this small vertebrae kill zone on a turkey. I say that may sound great on paper, but it won't be the way it works in the turkey woods at this distance of 50yds or farther. I know, I have tried enough 6 shot loads at that distance to know it's a very iffy deal that you are probably going to end up the loser regardless of how well your gun shoots the #6 loads. At 50+yds 6 shot don't have much zip left at all when it comes to killing power anyway. Yes they still can kill a gobbler at that distance if you are fortunate enough to hit the tiny vertebrae area on his head and neck. But all the shot that hits the turkey in the body is just pepper spray to the bird at that distance. A Mossberg 835 with a .695 H.S. Undertaker choke tube with Win Supreme 2 and 1/4oz loads of #4 is the ticket to consistantly taking turkeys down for the count at this distance or slightly farther.

September 6, 2007, 08:25 PM
I've seen 7 1/2s and 6s fail to stop ground squirrels at distances I have in my house too many times to trust it to stop a meth head in my living room. I've used a 26" barreled Wingmaster with an extra full turkey choke to takes thousands of ground squirrels, and even with the tight patterns the extra full choke allows me, it isn't uncommon for ground squirrels to fall over and jet for their holes. At distances beyond 30 feet, exit wounds even from a 2 pound varmint are the exception, rather than the rule.

I keep birdshot for birds (weird, huh?) and small game. If I was to use a shotgun for home defense, it would have 00 buck in the tube and a couple rifled slugs in a side saddle. As it is, I have an AK clone with a reflex sight that offers better accuracy, range, and capacity as well as providing more magazine capacity and better penetration potential should that prove necessary.

Brad Clodfelter
September 6, 2007, 08:48 PM

You need a H.S. Undertaker .695 choke tube on the end of your 835 barrel. Use Win Supreme 2 and 1/4oz #4 loads and go shoot all the turkeys you want at 50-55yds, and you will see the light to just what your 835 will do with #4 shot. Your Mossberg will shoot 90% patterns consistantly at 40yds with this setup combination. I killed a jake at 59yds and a gobbler at 53yds with this same setup. Both birds never took a step. I have 2 buddies that have 835's as well, and both shoot the #4 loads out of their guns with similar size constriction choke tubes. I know one of them has killed a gobbler at I believe he told me 62yds.

September 6, 2007, 08:51 PM
Brad, I'm gonna have to disagree with you there. Reason being, I have that exact same choke and #4's were considerably less dense than #6's for my 835 (24"bbl). My father-in-law's shotgun using the exact same choke was the exact opposite. Go figure huh?

That being said, the undertaker choke is my favorite in both my 835 and my 870. My 835 just doesn't like the number 4's.

Brad Clodfelter
September 6, 2007, 08:58 PM
You have the first 835 that I know of to be like that. Mine shoots 90% patterns with the Federal 2 and 1/4oz #6 loads using the .675 Carlson turkey choke tube. I use the #4's on turkey that like to think they are out of range and in the safety zone. Like I said before, a bird in hand is better than 2 in the bush.

By the way all the Mossberg 835's I have either tested or seen shoot had 28" barrels. But even then from what I have seen testing Rem 28" barrels vs a 21" barrel gun I had was only a small difference of say 10-15 shots less for the 21" barrel shooting at a turkey head on 8.5 x 11.5in piece of paper at 25yds. It was a very small amount of difference. And I would say it safe to say that some shorter 21" barrels would out shoot some 28" barrels.

September 6, 2007, 09:01 PM
I guess mine just likes to be different. I've never tried #4 turkey loads in my 870. I patterned some #6's and was satisfied so I never tried the 4's. hmmmmm........maybe need to pick some of those up in 3". :)

Edited to add: I've been using the Winchester Supreme 2 oz #6 3 1/2"

I tried the same brand in #4's too. Haven't tried the federals. May pick some of those up too. :)

September 6, 2007, 09:01 PM
waterfowling, turkeys, and clays....not humans : )

Brad Clodfelter
September 6, 2007, 09:13 PM
I found the best shooting turkey loads in 5 or 6 shot out of all my turkey guns to have the best tightest patterns at 40yds with the Federal loads. I can't explain why this is, but Federal seems to be where it is at for these shot sizes. I personally believe it is either the copper plated shot that they use are the buffer mixture that they put in with the shot. The Winchester #5 turkey loads shoot very well, too. On the 4 shot loads, Winchester Supremes are what I have found to be the best shooting. The Federal or Remington #4 loads just don't seem to pattern as well out of all of my shotguns I have tested. I can't explain why this is, but I just take it for what it is.