View Full Version : #4 Buck

Boris Bush
April 1, 2008, 10:36 PM
Well I thought to myself as I stood infront of the buckshot at the store that I always get OO buck or OOO buck. I thought, and put it back and got some #4 buck instead. I got a box of the Estate Cartridge 25 round box. I went to the range the next day and my shotgun throws very even pattterns with any buckshot. When I shot the #4 the pattern size was the same but of course more full and impressed me alot.

I dont use buckshot for hunting (big game atleast), but I do for HD. I think I will swap out the Flite control wad Federal (OObuck) and put some of the #4 as my primary load..........

April 2, 2008, 01:52 AM
quarter-inch diameter pellets, delivered at once, will definitely get someones attention, for a bit.

April 2, 2008, 02:15 AM
#4 is good i prefer #1 myself more shot than 00 and 000 and larger than #4

April 2, 2008, 08:12 AM
I have used #4 buck for the last 10 years for our deer drives.(slug gun for on stand) It puts them down with authority and I shoot Winchester 3 1/2" and it packs a 54 pellet payload.

April 2, 2008, 09:44 PM
If you are going to use buck for HD I would go with #4. For deer I would use #1 although I have used #4 with success.

April 2, 2008, 10:34 PM
#4 Buck is about .24 caliber and weigh about 40 grains per pellet, so at around 1200 FPS it is like shooting 27 .22 rimfires at the same instant into a target. I used to load them at times and shot a Snowshoe rabbit one time at about 25 yards or so. He rattled when i picked him up and there were fur balls on the other side of him where the shot took fur right through him (or her) I really doubt I would have a real problem with this load for HD. Considering people have been killed with a single 22 rimfire. I think 27 would surely do the job. I also seriously doubt any bad guy is gonna want to hang around for the 2nd shot much less give me a hard time. I am NOT a Tacky Cool kinda guy, but I think #4 Buck is fine. I don't use a extended magazine in the fear of a running gun battle. I don't intend to "rack the slide" in the hopes it will scare off the bad guy or make him fill his pants. I don't have a sidesaddle containing 75 extra rounds. I simply have a Berreta 390, old model with the pretty wood. If my home was entered, I would most likely load the gun, actually, I have no kids so it is always loaded with the bolt back. I would be on the floor, being that it is something where I am least expected to be. He has a matter of a second or 2 to hit the floor, one way or the other,, his choice to get down on his own, or dead, also his choice. I sure don't expect to need more than one, at most 2 shots to neutralize the threat. Like I said, I am not "cool" much less "tackycool" looking and one that is hopeing someone breaks in so I can show off my masculinity and testerone levels. Also, do you want to face a judge in a self defense (Manslaughter) trial with a gun that looks like John Rambo would own to take out a town? Sorry, I rather go in with my plain old hunting gun complete with the wood plug. Being prepared is one thing, being Tactical and not a Cop is something else. I don't want to spend time in a prision because I read it was OK on some gun forum to look like and act like a Rambo. That is the movies, not real life.

.45 COLT
April 3, 2008, 06:41 AM
#1 Buck is around 40 grains, #4 is about 20. Still a pretty nasty load.


April 3, 2008, 07:43 AM
Ruger4570, Your thoughts are the same as mine and I agree 100%. I live in a state where the gun laws are out of control and one could have a very hard time with a judge with a rambo style gun. A sporting model would give you a lot better hand of cards to play with arguing your defense.

April 3, 2008, 09:21 PM
.45 Colt, I apologize, you are right on the weight. I just seemed to "remember" weighing one at 40 grains. Obviously my memory from 40 years ago is off. :D

mikenbarb: I have several buddies that are either Prosecuting Attorny's or Defense Attorneys. We often get together after shooting and go to the local pub and have a brew or two and see how many chicken wings we can make disappear.
The discussion of HD has come up many times over the course of the past couple of years. Both types of Attorny's agree, you set up some kind of Rambo gun, in a court, the prosecuters will hang your azz. Remember in a HD situation with the death of a "perp" there will still be a charge of Manslaughter against you. It might be cleared and no harm to you and you go home. But as pointed out to me, if you have some Tacky Cool gun you are going to have some real problems defending yourself as the Prosecuter will most likely lay the grounds, you were prepared, ready to ambush then and HOPED and PRAYED someone would give you the opportunity to shoot them with the excuse of HD.
People watch movies and TV and somehow think that is the way the Law actually works. Nothing could be further from the truth, they are SHOWS, entertainment, made up and nothing more and CERTAINLY not sound legal advice.
I always get a laugh whenever I read about all the tricked out HD shotguns with extended tubes, sidesaddles, lasers and so on. Well you certainly are well prepared for a SHTF situation, you just better pray it doesn't happen to you. Heck, you might even get off with some luck, then look at your legal bill as opposed to the guy with a sporting 28 inch barreled shotgun or a legal pistol defending himself. It is cool to try to be a Rambo, but you will find in the end, you have a problem. If you doubt me, call your Lawyer and spend a little time with him, I suspect he will advise against a Tacky Cool gun too.

.45 COLT
April 3, 2008, 10:00 PM
Ruger 4570 - My uncle was head DA there in Monroe County for many years. That was back when the area was a little more conservative I hear it is now. I lived in your area for a while (Macedon) and he got me out of a couple of scrapes.I was in Wayne County, but he had friends all over the state.:D


April 4, 2008, 10:12 AM
If they are going to "hang your azz out" for using a "Rambo" (belt-fed?) gun, there's a pretty good chance they will do the same thing if you use Grandaddy's 30" double barrel. Some areas of this Country don't want people defending themselves at all.

April 4, 2008, 12:07 PM
john1911, I live in the great state of New Jersey where you wouldnt want to be in front of a Judge with a tricked out HD weapon, No matter what style. They would take into consideration that it was a true HD situation if you had Grandpas old 12 double because it doesnt have alot of optional equipment installed by the owner.(not saying how much it looks better to the jury) I have seen it time and time again in the court system in this state. Our state gun laws are tough in this state because all the crackheads like to shoot each other.( I dont mind that at all ) But because of their actions it makes people like myself and many others suffer every time we want to buy a new long or handgun. We have a wonderful 6 month wait to buy a handgun. And you have to do that for every one you buy. If you shot an intruder in this state you better hope he had a weapon and he was going to try to kill you. If not, your the one going in pretty silver bracelets. Im sure you would have a better defense if you had a sporting firearm vs. a tricked out model due to the reasons Ruger stated. Im not saying its a no no to have one but I wouldnt want to have the prosecuter hold it up to show the jury members that watch ALOT of movies. (Rambo style = Any weapon altered to enhance tactical use or appearance.)

Bill DeShivs
April 4, 2008, 12:28 PM
It must be awful to live in the liberal north. I pity you guys!
Everything you are saying is completely foreign. A little further to the south, we actually have laws that make sense.

April 4, 2008, 02:51 PM
I have some Remington 3-inch #4 Buck. It has 41 pellets. I have not patterned it yet.

April 4, 2008, 03:39 PM
Gun laws get even better going West and South as long as you don't wander into California.
NY is about as liberal as anyone can stand and has many restrictive laws, but, there is no law against defending yourself from someone with a weapon. I just have to agree with the consept that in a Court in front of Jurors with a rabid Prosecuter you may have some serious problems with a "tricked out" shotgun. Personally, I don't care if the Tacky Cool guys get their ego off with them all accessorized. I just know, in a HD situation, me with my sporting gun and 3 round magazine against a another with his Rambo special,, who do you REALLY think stands a better chance of acquittal in front of a Jury?

Bill DeShivs
April 4, 2008, 05:40 PM
I would THINK, in the normal sense, that if the shoot was a good one, in your own home-that it really wouldn't matter.

April 4, 2008, 05:49 PM
I would THINK, in the normal sense, that if the shoot was a good one, in your own home-that it really wouldn't matter.

Exactly. A good shoot with a legal weapon should be cleared. Doesn't matter if it's a Revolutionary War era Brown Bess musket or a legally owned full auto gun.

If it's any different, you should look real hard at your elected officials. Might be time to use the ballot box.

April 4, 2008, 08:10 PM
Some of you folks should take some time and actually go into a Court room with a case like this, most are open to the public. Honestly, no disrespect to anyone, but Justice in the real world hardly emulates Justice in a movie or on TV. I think a lot of people get their Legal Opinions from watching TV and movies and not from an actual Courtroom. It was a real eyeopener to me my first time. :)

April 5, 2008, 08:15 AM
Some of you folks should take some time and actually go into a Court room with a case like this, most are open to the public. Honestly, no disrespect to anyone, but Justice in the real world hardly emulates Justice in a movie or on TV. I think a lot of people get their Legal Opinions from watching TV and movies and not from an actual Courtroom. It was a real eyeopener to me my first time.

This is very true. If you ever find yourself in a situation like that, keep your mouth shut and hire the best mouth piece you can afford. The BG better be in your house and you need to be in fear of your life when you pull that trigger.

don't shoot it's me
April 5, 2008, 09:44 AM
I use the same load as our dept. (LASD) 4 buck. I have a 7 round tube and load it down....2 slugs first, then 3 of the buck....

Bill DeShivs
April 5, 2008, 12:35 PM
I have worked around the courts and LE for 36 years.

W. C. Quantrill
April 5, 2008, 01:59 PM

Nice website and knives you have.

I worked LE for a number of years and in the court system for about 10. I am quite a ways west of you, but here, attitudes are completely different than on the coasts. Fortunately, I was able to progress from that period of my life.

We carried #4 buck in our cruisers. Without elaboration, we found we got better results with it. Fortunately, we live in states that allow rifles for hunting, and it is not a factor there.

Also, fortunately, we have judges who can be somewhat controlled by the communities, or if not, they do not last another term. The power of the ballot box still prevails in this part of America. Somewhat west of here, ballot results are sometimes shakey, as are the elected officials.

The basic problem that we as Americans are facing at this time is that we are being ruled by emotion rather than law and order. Perhaps if we had more order, we would not need so many laws.

#4 Buckshot is still a viable option.


April 5, 2008, 07:13 PM
Ruger, I have tried to go to court hearings in regards to weapon violations to see how they pan out for people and they have closed court for all firearm violations.(not suprised) "A little story how New Jersey gun laws work",,, I have a friend that is a previous sport shop owner that had a great little business in Sussex county N.J. He is a great honest guy and comes from a great family of local people. He was broken into one night and had a few guns stolen out of a locked and secure area in his sportshop. Later that week we heard alot of police sirens and the next day we found out there had been a shooting of a couple pizza delivery men. The kids that stole his guns called in a fake pizza delivery to an abandoned house and when the pizza guys showed up they opened fire on them with the stolen guns killing them. After many court battles and hundreds of thousands of dollars he was sued by the family of the slain pizza delivery guys. He lost his business, his house and their life savings due to a couple kids that broke into HIS business and stole a couple guns to have a "thrill kill". In the actual statement one of the murderers stated that you should have seen the look on their faces when we started shooting. They were both given life and they are appealing the courts decision. This is a TRUE story of a legitimate sport shop owner that was broken into by a couple of dirtbags that should have gotten the death sentence. Reality sucks and the gun laws are getting tougher every day for the good gun owners and not severe enough for the criminals.

April 5, 2008, 07:31 PM
I was curious about #4 as well. I have small children (4,2, and a prego wife) and I always worry about strays. I have retired my HD handguns to the safe. Right now I have it stoked with birdshot.
The way I figure, if someone is in my house they are going to get 7 rounds of birdshot within 20'. If they live thru that, I have 12 more on the stock. I know this is not recommended, so I was looking at moving to larger shot, but not as big as 00,000

April 5, 2008, 08:51 PM
+1 on the 4 buck. I also noticed the pattern size with the #4 buck was the same as 00 with my Mossy.

April 6, 2008, 09:31 AM
Kristop, If worried about flyers then you might want to consider the frangable loads. They have alot of energy but little or no pass thru. Also is they hit a wall or something some of them turn to powder. I still like my copper plated #4 birdshot for HD. 2 3/4 mags work great and have massive ft.lb. energy at 0-10 yds.

April 6, 2008, 09:36 AM
The good thing about my HD shotty, is the previous owner had the forcing cone lengthened, giving it a tight pattern.
I haven't thought about frangibles tho, I may look into that some more.
This is whyt I love shotguns. So much variety.
I am also going to pattern some #4 this week.

Shadow walker1
April 6, 2008, 11:27 AM
In my part of New York a few years back the chains (Dicks, Gander and Bass) pulled ALL 00 and 000 from the shelves, mostly due to legal hysteria. Their defence; "You can't hunt deer in NY with Buckshot anyway." True, but it ignores all other uses of the load, including just range shooting.

I've used #4 for years though for a protection load. You can still buy it here, and the mom and pops run by real folk will carry 00 too if ya want it.

My primary HD weapon isn't a shotgun, since NY hasn't taken my right to continue owning my 1911. It's my carry weapon, and thus the most familiar to me for such situations. (Note: I'm NOT LE, I do private security. I don't want to mis-represent myself)

I do have a pistol grip pump 12 Ga. It's an old J.C. Higgins Model 20 (Sears brand of the High Standard 200) some one threw a winchester rubber pistol grip on and has the Cutts Compensater style choke on it. Folks who stop by my home have the typical reaction to it, expecting some wild shoot-out stories from me. (They seem to expect that anyways given my service history, which is as wrong as assuming on the shotgun) The dumber ones even insist on calling the cylinder choke a 'silencer'.

I'm actually looking for an original or adaptable shoulder stock for it. In an emergency, I have an 870 for the #4 loads. An off the shelf 870, with no trickin' out. If the .45 doesn't fit the job, the 870 will. You don't need fancier than that IMPO, and in court it looks like my hunting shotgun, which it is. Like it or not, when you use deadly force appearance is everything to the average jury, and if you appear to have been 'looking for a fight', you'll probably be judged wrong.

Beyond that, all the fancy tricking to make a "Tactical" shotgun isn't going to make it out-perform yer average hunting shotgun by much in the heat of the moment, and may make it easier for the bad guy to use against you. (I'm constantly reminded of the home invasion a few years ago where the unarmed baddie armed himself and killed the homeowner with the homeowners tactical Bennelli. The homeowner was asleep in bed, the Bennelli was kept loaded and near the door......

The Higgins is in the back of the gun cabinet. The 870 near the front. The .45 is in the bedstand when not on my hip and works in the tightest rooms and hallways.

April 9, 2008, 04:23 AM
Remember in a HD situation with the death of a "perp" there will still be a charge of Manslaughter against you. It might be cleared and no harm to you and you go home.

With all due respect I don't think this is entirely accurate; it depends upon the state in which it occurred. I'm not sure if you were the one in NJ, but does lethal force in a HD situation necessarily carry a Manslaughter charge, in your state?

I also noticed a comment about California. Actually it's not as bad here as some might think. I've seen several incidents where private citizens used deadly force including ones occurring outside the home, and charges weren't filed by the DA.

Scattergun Bob
April 10, 2008, 11:44 PM
Unless you live in San Jose, San Fracisco or Carmel by the Sea. Glad I'm gone, good luck with the new ammo ban.

Good Luck and Be Safe

April 13, 2008, 03:18 PM
My cousin's uncle's brother who is a Navy Seal said #4 buckshot was issued in 'nam.

Kidding, of course, but I did read that in a book many moons ago.

April 13, 2008, 04:29 PM
Indoors, #4 buckshot is heap big medicine for intruders. My 12-gauge Winchester Defender is loaded with three rounds of #4 and 5 rounds of #00. In my small townhome, if I have to use more than 3 rounds it's a serious fight.

As to the configuration -- it's the same configuration that one of the local agencies uses on their 870's. If it comes down to arguments about it's "Rambo-ish-ness" my attorney will be able to point out logical reasons for the ammo sling, which is the only "add on" feature.

But the primary shotgun, right now, is a 20-gauge 870 loaded with #3 buckshot. It's lighter and quicker handling than the 12 bore.

April 14, 2008, 01:22 AM
Like MNB said, a good load of birdshot fours can be devasting at close range. They are going to spread a little better than buck and will ruin anyones day. Probably go through three rooms of the house.

April 14, 2008, 01:38 AM
Those ammo slings suck. It's harder to hold a bead on someone with that crap swinging around underneath wanting to pull the muzzle side to side. You can't really take a hasty sling position with it either. Side saddles are superior.

April 14, 2008, 04:35 AM
I'm not sure if it's clear to all the posters (and I know it isn't clear to all the readers), but #4 birdshot (0.13) and #4 buckshot (0.24) are two different loads.


More: http://www.tacticalshotgun.ca/content_nonsub/shotguns/shotgun_ammunition.html

Dusty Rivers
April 14, 2008, 11:16 AM
:confused:I posted a question on the handgun forum about using Speer ammo in a revolver for HD. there were several comments of why would you want to spray shot all over your house. Yet on this forum the discussion for HD is number of pellets instead of a slug. HD hanguns talked about are heavy with the 357mag. Given that the shotgunners are concerend with number of pellets and over penetration of walls and the handgun people are more concerned with stopping power it seems that the two groups are talking in different directins when it comes to HD loads. If you think of a 357 loaded with birdshot loads is similar to a shotgun with buckshot and a 357 with hydya shock loads is simmilar to a sabot slug, it gets confusing as to what option is best. Should your prime concern be one shot stopping power, or worring about the number of walls and how big your pattern is at 5'-10'-20'?

No matter what you shoot it can go through a wall. Aren't you better with one projectile rattling around your house than 9+ pellets bouncing?
around? :confused:

April 14, 2008, 11:29 AM
No matter what you shoot it can go through a wall. Aren't you better with one projectile rattling around your house than 9+ pellets bouncing?

No. First pellets don't bounce around a lot. Penetration gets a lot of air time. My personal tests and additional reading indicate that a shot gun with smaller size pellets is a very good compromise. AT very close range a shotgun is devastating. It just makes a big hole...even with small pellets. But the energy dissipates fast and will not penetrate walls very well. Even bird shot. We think of bird shot and a guy just getting stung out at some distance. But at close range even bird shot is deadly.

So, if you want effective stopping power and not over penetrate, the shotgun is still a good choice. I have both 12 & 20ga. But I keep my 20ga. loaded with #4 shot for home defense.

If you think of a 357 loaded with bird shot loads is similar to a shotgun with buckshot and a 357 with hydya shock loads is similar to a sabot slug,

Not even close in my book. A .357 with bird shot does not equal to a shotgun with bird shot.

Scattergun Bob
April 14, 2008, 04:09 PM
Comparing 12 or 20 gauge shot characteristics to pistol shot capsule characteristics is just wrong. Please do not take offence at that.

The main reason for shot capsules in handguns not being a acceptable personal defense round is lack of penetration, not over penetration. They tend to bounce off the intended target and fall to the floor, this is not satisfactory.

Shotguns of the 12 and 20 gauge class shooting buckshot at personal defense distances do not have the above stated problem. They penetrate human bodies just fine and loose most of their energy before leaving the body.

I know the movies have given us a vision of room filling size patterns of shot at point blank distance, this is a fairy tale, (it does look good on camera).
IN THE REAL WORLD shot patterns are quite small within the first 30 feet of travel. At 10 ft some of my shotguns pattern no more that twice the diameter of the bore about 1.5 inches!!!, and at 30 feet I most shotguns should be inside 8 inches.

Yes, we have the same problem with shotguns that we do with pistols, they do over penetrate and we must establish a field of fire that avoids hurting innocent neighbors.

Good Books that do all of this justice;

The defensive shotgun by Louis Awerbuck

Stressfire II advanced combat shotgun by Massad Ayoob

Hope this Helps

Good Luck & Be safe

Dusty Rivers
April 15, 2008, 09:31 AM
Thanks for the input. I appreciate it.:cool: