View Full Version : low recoil home defense ammo?

August 30, 2007, 03:23 PM
I'm looking for a low recoil 12 ga ammo for home defense, where I live there is no tactical low recoil ammo available.
So my question is, how efficient is a 12ga light sporting load? Or light birdshots loads?

August 30, 2007, 03:53 PM
You could always order some online. Ammotogo or ammoman have plenty of "LE" low recoil stuff. Birdshot is for the birds.

August 30, 2007, 05:13 PM
I live in europe and they doesn't import them :(

August 30, 2007, 05:36 PM
Well, if I were you then I would just go with standard 9 pellet 00 buck for hd. That would be my choice for hd if I couldn't use the low recoil stuff.

August 30, 2007, 11:19 PM
You state that there's none available where you live, perfectly reasonable.

The best place I've located "specialty ammo" when the small, reasonalbly poor community I live in doesnt' have it is gunshows. Next choice is M.A.H. supplies 1-866-966-5421. I've had good luck with the seller and the ammo.

August 30, 2007, 11:19 PM
Try #4 buck. It has less penetration thru walls, so it gives you an added safety factor in your home. It was the recommended carry load for the sheriff's dept. where I worked.

August 31, 2007, 09:58 AM
well, buckshots are available, I've plenty of 9 or 12 pellets, and plenty of slugs HP, but my wife is going to use it and she doesn't like the recoil of the bucksots.

Bill DeShivs
August 31, 2007, 12:45 PM
Let your wife practice with birdshot, but load buckshot at home.

September 1, 2007, 07:56 PM
Get her her very own 870 Express Synthetic 7-shot 20 gauge, or even the 4+1 (formerly called Express Home Defense models), if finances allow. People do better with their own firearm, especially when better suited to them than the alternative. Even if she is 5'2" and 80 lb.s, should be easily manageable, add a Knoxx stock and it probably kicks like a .410. 20 gauge, 2 3/4 #3 buck is a great defensive load, but is I guess just a ordinary sporting/deer hunting round. 7.5 bird if you live in a apartment and want to be extra safe. Birdshot is like a .22LR in the brain- very probable the guy is already dead, but it wouldn't be wise to assume that means stopping him. Of course a head/neck shot will probably have his eyes running out like egg yolks (on top of a perforated juglar/carotid/trachea) and have him grabbing walls to find his way back out the door. If overpenetration is not a concern, but there is absolutely no way to get any tactical or reduced loads for your 12 ga., try standard #4 buck, and turn to recoil reduction methods for your gun. Not sure if you could get ahold of a Vang Comp barrel, or Patternmaster choke (to make light bird hit like a ton of bricks with near slug accuracy and tight concentration-for the dreaded 'rat hole') if reduced power buckshot is that hard to get. Like I said, if you can afford it and she would be into it, see about a 20 ga., 18" barrel pump (autos will also offer recoil control but not sure about legality where you live and also autos are far less reliable than a pump and reliability is key; some might even say a short double barrel SxS would be enough but in these parts the more the better) for your lady.
It's just not cool to get battered around by a heavy 12 gauge load especially when you need far less of that to get the job done.
Do you have any friends that do reloading? A lot of clay shooters and bird hunters do, ask around. If reloading supplies are okay there's no way a good home defense load could be regulated. And you could make up your own specialty stuff-2 sizes of buck, etc. Personally I wouldn't count on any handloads in preparation for defensive use, but just throwing out some ideas here.

September 3, 2007, 07:29 AM
7 yds with # 71/2s ,JW-2000 Coach 12 ga w/full choke 20"
punched a hole through 2 by 6 treated wood

The scaterd shot was the open side


nutty ned
September 3, 2007, 04:47 PM
In a house any shot is good enough

September 3, 2007, 10:28 PM
+1 for nuttyned. A shotgun blast at HD ranges with any load will stop an intruder. I keep #6 promo loads in my 20 gauge Nova and have confidence that it is sufficient. After 30+ years as LEO, I have seen the results. I know what it will do.

September 4, 2007, 07:53 AM

bird shot will kill and incapacitate at the short ranges you'd see indoors. It won't pick someone up and through them through the window like in the movies, but nothing short of getting hit with a 40mm grenade will do that.

I've seen little 2" shells for sale, I think they were called "estate shells" or something like that. The concept seemed interesting, reduced recoil, increased tube capacity. I'd be interested to see how they feed.

September 4, 2007, 08:58 AM
It's really hard to beat a 20 Ga, 3-inch side-by-side double for women alone at home. She can practice with light loads and not be afraid of the gun, then load the hotter stuff for the problem situations.

Remember that stress is a big factor, so the simpler a firearm is to operate, the better it is in a strssful situation, especially for a person who may not shoot much.

The double is easy to load and check, and can be stored empty with shells located where the kids can't get them, or loaded with a safety lock that is quickly removed by an adult. The safety shouldn't be an automatic one. A manual one works better.

There is no firearm that is scarier than a double-barrel shotgun. Many situations are diffused without the need to use one.


September 5, 2007, 11:26 PM
Birdshot as a Defense Load
I have had a lot of questions, summed up as follows: How effective is birdshot (#4, #6, #8, etc.) as a defense load?

We have done tests with various birdshot loads. Birdshot penetrated through two pieces of drywall (representing one wall) and was stopped in the paper on the front of the second wall. 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.

In fact, tests have shown that even #4 Buckshot lacks the necessary penetration to reach the vital organs. Only 0 Buck, 00 Buck, and 000 Buck penetrate enough to reach the vital organs.

Unless you expect to be attacked by little birds, do not use birdshot. Use 00 Buck. It will do the job.

But doesn't 00 Buck penetrate too much in interior walls to be a "safe" load in a home?
Yes, it does penetrate a lot. But any load that is going to be effective will need to penetrate walls to have enough power to penetrate bad guys. If our only concern was to be sure we didn't penetrate walls, we would use BB guns. However, BB guns will not stop bad guys.

Therefore, we must use loads that will STOP bad guys, and this means that they will also penetrate walls. So, be sure you hit the bad guy and do not shoot into walls where loved ones are on the other side.

The above was copied from here –


September 8, 2007, 11:25 AM
Thanks for the infos guys, well, pump actions shotguns are not allowed where I leave (in france), semi auto are, but not pump actions, don't ask me why it's one more crazy anti gun law!
Since I have 3 side by side shotguns, my wife took the baikal coach gun and asked a gunsmith to adjust the stock to her size. There is a 20" barrel with chokes on it. She like this shotgun very much but just don't like the recoil of full power buckshots or slugs.
the 2 options I have are the sport slugs from sellier&bellot (it's a low recoil slug) or the 7 1/2 sporting loads I use for Cowboy Action Shooting.
If the 2 shots of the coach gun shouldn't be enough I teached her to not reload the shotgun and switch from the shotgun to her glock 19.

September 8, 2007, 04:37 PM

Don't mean to hijack you topic here, but you have Cowboy Action Shoots in France? Please tell more? What firearms do you use?

September 9, 2007, 03:35 AM
ARGarrison, no problem :D Yes, the Cowboy Action Shooting is just born in France for few months ago, we're assigned under the SASS with the same rules as the american SASS. The Cowboy Action Shooting is growing up very fast here in europe. The guns used are the same as in US except for the pump gun not allowed in france.
Personaly I have a couple of Black powders revolvers remingtons 1858, a Baikal coach gun and a Marlin lever Action for the CAS.
here is a couple of links

SASS #77183