View Full Version : Would you attempt to shoot a deer with #4 buckshot?

April 8, 2008, 09:13 AM
Would you attempt to shoot deer with #4 buckshot?

If so what maximum range would you make your shot?

April 8, 2008, 09:20 AM
I think I would prefer a slug over buckshot any day. Where are you hunting and are you required to use buckshot? I didn't think FL required the use of shotguns for deer.

April 8, 2008, 09:24 AM
No reguirements, I am just curious if I could reliably take down deer with #4 buck shot and at what maximum distance?

April 8, 2008, 09:38 AM
My personal opinion - for what it's worth - is that #4 may be a great short range defense choice it is too small for deer and hogs. You would be much better off going up to at least a #1. I just don't think you will get decent enough penetration with the smaller shot.

April 8, 2008, 09:45 AM
I will answer the Q you asked q/o other comment. You did not give any info on the shotgun. #4 Buck 3"Mag from 12 ga. Clear shot, not bustin through bushes,40yds.
There will be some that will stretch it farther.

April 8, 2008, 09:57 AM
Shot would probably be taken at less than 25 yards due to visibility and foilage. Possibly from a stand useing 12 gauge 2.75" buckshot. Would #4 work or is it still too weak to risk losing a deer?

April 8, 2008, 09:58 AM
No, I dont use any size buckshot

April 8, 2008, 11:47 AM
"Buckshot" is for birds and thieves

April 8, 2008, 12:08 PM
Shot would probably be taken at less than 25 yards due to visibility and foilage. Possibly from a stand useing 12 gauge 2.75" buckshot. Would #4 work or is it still too weak to risk losing a deer?

Depending on the thickness of bushes, branches, these are going to take a terrible tole on the #4 buck. As others have said it is really not a hunting load. I have never really considered it a viable load for much except maybe long range Sandhill Crane. Too big for ducks, & too little for deer.

To answer your last Q. Yes, at the stand you describe I think you are running a very high risk of loosing a deer.

Art Eatman
April 8, 2008, 06:39 PM
I'm no shotgun deer hunter. That said, if I were, it wouldn't even occur to me to think of #4. 00 or 000 or slug. 99.9% odds for selection of slug.

April 8, 2008, 06:45 PM
I would probably go with a slug if your using a shotgun. When i lived on the airforce base you could only hunt deer with a shotgun. I killed my first deer with a slug at about 75 yards. My dad did put a scope on the shotgun and changed out the barrel.

W. C. Quantrill
April 8, 2008, 07:06 PM
You "can" shoot deer with #4, but it doesnt kill them most of the time. Usually it just cuts their legs out from under them and then you have to go up and finish them off. In my book it is inhumane and unethical to use.

April 8, 2008, 07:09 PM
I use 00 buck or slugs. I've killed a lot of deer with 00. Typically 25-30 yds or less. Depending on your gun, load, and how it patterns you can stretch it another 10 yds. Beyond that you are in definite slug territory.

I've been impressed with the Federal loads with flite control wads. I've patterned the 9 pellet LE loads for "social work" but have purchased some 3" 12 pellet loads for hunting. Will be patterning them over the next few weeks to see how they do. I've also picked up some turkey #6 loads with flite control that have yet to see the pattern board (gotta fix that this week as the season starts Saturday :eek:).

I'd stay away from #4. I bought some Rem express #4's last year to test them for HD loads and the pattern was dismal past 7 yds. Opened up way too quickly. Now that's with my gun, not yours.

Beyond patterning there is also the per-pellet penetration difference which has already been mentioned. Round balls penetrate poorly as it is. The lighter they are the worse this problem gets.

April 8, 2008, 07:17 PM
#4 for deer? Hell no. Turkey yes.

April 8, 2008, 07:21 PM
Way too much at risk using #4's, as mentioned before nothing lighter than a #1 should be considered for deer. I've stopped all but a few deer with 1's and OO's with no complaints, at sometimes 50-60 steps or better. All I can say is they sure knew how to make a shotgun in Belgium!

April 8, 2008, 09:04 PM
Maybe a pudu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pud%C3%BA) deer? Probably not because this species is endangered due to deforestation.

April 8, 2008, 10:49 PM
I've taken many deer with #1's and 00. I think 4 is kinda small, but would be adequate for short range shots.

April 9, 2008, 12:16 AM
i cant think of a reason that you would want to....adds another variable in the equation....KISS, keep it simple, stupid....

April 9, 2008, 06:41 PM
#4 buck is pretty small, but i would use #4 buck for deer, but thats only if the following apply,

1. the deer was no more than 30 yards away walking slowly or standing still with a clear shot.
2. it patterend great from the shotgun i was shooting it with, meaning atleast 8 pellets in a 9" paper plate at 30 yards. and a few more within a 12" circle.
3. i only had #4 buck with me. i only carry a few rounds of it.

i carry 10-12 #1 ,a few 0 buck and 5 slugs. unless i was using the VR barrel. NJ laws says barrel must have open iron or peep sights or a scope on the shotgun, if in possesion of any slugs.

April 17, 2008, 11:12 AM
Use # 1 Buck or # 0 Buck for deer. Maximum range depends on gun barrell length and choke. With a 28" barrell and full choke, maybe 60 yds. for the two rounds above. With shorter barrell and/or different choke, you will need to check the pattern you are getting.
Would expect # 4 Buck would be effective out to 40 yds., but I've never checked the pattern for it as I consider it to be an inferior round for deer. The big thing would be to check your pattern at maximum distance you wish to use it at. As mentioned previously, you will need several shot of # 4 B to take deer down.

April 17, 2008, 11:42 AM
"Buckshot" is for birds and thievesAs the name implies, buckshot is for bucks, or deer, if you prefer. Birdshot is for birds. Thieves get 45 caliber hollow points.

That said, at 25 yds, out of a 2-3/4" 12 ga shotgun, #4 buckshot will kill deer. 0, 00, or 000 wil kill them at longer ranges. But dead is dead.

a pudu deerI thought the musk deer was the smallest deer, but I was wrong. Musk deer are 14"-18" tall, and that little thing is only 12" tall! I guess I better load up the 460 Weatherby and go get one . . .

April 17, 2008, 12:14 PM
Can you get 4 buck for free or something?

April 17, 2008, 06:38 PM
The fact that so many people said, "i wouldn't", or "probably not", or i guess you could", leads me to seriously question the intelligence and usefulness of anything I read in these forums. The correct answer is NO! Evidently you've never hunted anything in your life, which is fine, I hadn't until I was 9. Let me tell you though, slugs or center fire cartridges ONLY. My Grandpa used to tell stories of taking deer back in the day with a .22, but that was the depression, and there's no excuse for it today.

April 17, 2008, 06:55 PM
Would I ????


April 19, 2008, 11:14 AM
#4 buckshot is .25 cal & we all know what a potent round the 25acp is. this was an excellent goose load before we had to go non-tox. not for deer.

April 26, 2008, 08:54 AM
I personally wouldn't go lighter than a #1. I like the # of shot in that round. That being said, I've never killed deer w/ a shotgun...I did kill a ferral goat with a 20 ga Stevens side by side when I was a teenager though...(we all know the STUPID things we did as teens - this was one that could have gone wrong, but didn't...) I pulled both triggers simultaneously and put 2 rounds of #6 birdshot in the head of a goat inside of 20yds. Dropped it like a brick. So I would say #4 would kill, but wouldn't be the best choice...I know I'm going to catch crap for the above statement, but I will say it too...that was one of those stupid numskull teenage things I did...Wouldn't repeat it, but glad the results were what they were...

April 26, 2008, 01:56 PM
Only if it was the only thing I had with me or I couldn't borrow a few shells from one of my hunting buds. I wouldn't intentionally go deer hunting with

JP Sarte
April 28, 2008, 10:04 PM
If you are forced to use a shotgun (i.e. in a shotgun zone) I would always use a slug. Buckshot is the greatest crippler of all time and is a terrible idea on a Whitetail deer.


April 29, 2008, 07:23 AM
Every deer I've ever shot at, I shot at with buckshot. Every one of them fell right in their tracks. They might have tried to get back up, but not one ever did. Only one took more than two shots.

I've seen a lot of deer killed with buckshot. Within it's range limitations it is as deadly as anything else. I have heard stories of deer being killed at 100 yards with buckshot, but I suspect those who tell them wouldn't know 100 yards from 100 miles. In my experience, about 40-45 steps is as far as I've ever shot at a deer. That's a long way around here. Even when hunting over a field stand, I'd step off that 40 steps and tell myself, inside here, shoot. Outside, don't.

Having said that, I would never use No 4 buck. I've heard of people who have killed deer with it but I just never did trust it. Every deer I ever killed was with No 1, all but one of them out of a 3" mag gun. I always felt this was the best combination of number of shot, and size (weight) of the pellets. A lot of guys I hunted with liked 00, or even 000. The deer I have seen killed with 000 went down like lightening hit them. That stuff breaks BIG bones and keeps on going. It just never patterned well in my gun. For me it was No 1 or nothing.

April 29, 2008, 07:38 AM

May 5, 2008, 03:03 AM
I have sucessflly use 4 buck to take a deer at approximaty 70 yards. adropped it on the spot. that being said, i would not use buckshot on deer. if you absoutely must use buck I would go with #1.

May 5, 2008, 07:18 AM
Superdave, I have used shotguns with #4 buck for a long time and it flat out kills them dead. I have killed deer at 60yds with #4buck and never had a problem at all. Yes its smaller but it works and I find it patterns alot better than anything else. Most people say no but I live in a state where its shotgun only and have alot of time in with shotgun deer hunting and have never seen a deer crippled and lost with #4 buck. I shoot a Browning 3.5 for deer drives and it packs 54 pellets vs 9 or 12 of 00 buck. I would rather hit a deer with 15 or 20 pellets of #4 buck than 1 or 2 of 00 buck. Yes, I do shoot a slug gun and prefer it when on stand or in the open but in the thickets and swamps its useless and turn to the #4 buck.

45Marlin carbine
May 9, 2008, 09:51 PM
not if anything bigger is available. I like 000 myself. neck shot if it presents.

May 9, 2008, 10:50 PM
i use #1 and #4 they both drop deer

i prefer the amount of pellets vs size of pellets