View Full Version : What shot to use?

November 23, 2008, 09:22 AM
What size shot do you all use for your short barreled shotguns for home defence?

November 23, 2008, 09:52 AM
OO Buck and slugs.

Scattergun Bob
November 23, 2008, 11:19 AM
Below is a link to a good site for the discussion of shot shell and slug penetration, toward the bottom of the page is test samples to review. It is true that ballistic gel is not human tissue, but it is the best we have. Bare gel = bare skin with out a layer of clothing.

Part of what I am here for is to enlighten folks about fighting shotguns, I use a method of

Get Smart
Be Smart
Stay Smart

So how about you check out the sight, and come back and tell us what you think, that always makes for a better discussion!:)

By the way, baby is loaded with Federal LE Tactical 00 standard pressure, most times, with a couple of slugs in case the fight goes outside. It is how I was trained and I have confidence in this setup.

By the way there is a hell of a discussion in the Bird Shot for HD thread running close to yours, don't fell bad if only a few answer you.

Good Luck & Be Safe

November 23, 2008, 12:08 PM
For home defense, some form of buckshot is the rule.

In 12ga, using any of #00, #1 or #4 will do the job.
In 20ga, I use #3 buckshot

With a pump shotgun, I load it with buckshot. In the shell carrier or buttstock sleeve are 2 spare buckshot and 3 slugs. If an incident ever goes so far that you need to reload, it is time to change tactics.

November 23, 2008, 12:45 PM
I use #1 or #4 buckshot in my 12 gauge pump - 18-inch barrel.

November 23, 2008, 12:47 PM
12 ga #1 Buck

November 23, 2008, 02:53 PM
00 Buck

November 23, 2008, 02:55 PM
#4 buck -.24 caliber
#3 " - .25 Caliber
#1 " - .28 caliber
#0 " - . 30 caliber
#00 " - .33 caliber

Plus any slug from 20ga to 12ga.

November 23, 2008, 03:17 PM
00 BK. If you live in an apartment complex or somewhere with other people or close neighbors I'd say go with #1 BK or maybe a little smaller.

November 23, 2008, 04:02 PM
I use federal #1 buck in my 16ga SxS and Fiocchi reduced recoil 00 buck in my 12ga Maverick 88. I really like the Fiocchi ammo. For the money it shoots nice consistent 6" patterns at 12 yards (longest straight line distance in my home) out of my maverick.

November 23, 2008, 05:49 PM
It really depends on how much damage you want to do to your house, and in the case of slugs, the neighbors house.

Take a tape measure and measure the inside of your bedroom, living room, etc, I bet you'll find its 10 - 15 yards, at that range, bird shot works fine and less chance of distroying your house.

With slugs, you really need to take into account how close your neighbors are. I could use a heavy rifle here, I dont live in town, but what I keep for Home Defence is the same as CCW, my little 642 in my pocket.

I do keep a loaded rifle by the door, but thats for coyotes and other critters that are intent on eating my chickens.

November 23, 2008, 05:55 PM
Nobody uses dimes anymore?

November 23, 2008, 08:10 PM
if you live alone load it with a few rounds of heavy stuff first. make your last one a flower petal/tickle shot. keep a few more boxes/rounds of heavy stuff handy.

if there are others in the home. load it how you see fit,just use caution when discharging towards a wall that has a room or door on the other side.

because i'm not alone i load with winchester low recoil/low noise target loads #8 shot. i keep #1 buck on the stock,and slugs on the nightstand next to my flashlight

November 24, 2008, 03:38 AM
Buckshot / Slug

Bill DeShivs
November 24, 2008, 04:17 AM
Who are you expecting to break in? Slugs are just a "little bit" overkill. Penetration is far too much.

November 24, 2008, 04:43 AM
Just because I enjoy getting the goat of everyone here....

I keep my scattergun stoked with #7 bird shot, but I keep 2 rounds of #4 buck, 2 rounds 000 buck, and 2 slugs in a elastic butt cuff.

Maybe birdshot isn't the deadliest meat shreading round available, but even if the BG isn't hamburger, I still have faith that a couple of game loads COM sill take the fight out of them.

Then again, I'm also more worried about pests and 4 legged critters than I am crack smoking super villians wearing body armor.

November 24, 2008, 06:15 AM
Nobody uses dimes anymore?

theres nothing like the buzzzzzz of some dimes ripping out the barrel!

November 24, 2008, 06:18 PM
i thought it was " i got eighteen dimes in each barrel boy. you ever see what a dollar eighty can do to a twenty dollar steer,much less a little crook like yourself" ?


Scattergun Bob
November 24, 2008, 06:34 PM
Heck Son, 18 silver dimes that's almost lunch, mind if I dig them out when your all done!:D

November 24, 2008, 09:13 PM
i'm sorry scattergun bob, i did not mean that i was shooting or attempting to shoot you or any other person named bob for that matter. i was quoting bob ollenger (spelling?) and billy the kid in young guns 2.

November 24, 2008, 10:48 PM
The Box O' Truth #35 - A Load of Dimes Vs. The Box O' Truth (http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot35.htm)


16 dimes from 15 ft .

As you can see, it busted the first jug pretty well, but did not penetrate through the back of the first jug.

That means less than 3 inches of penetration into ballistic gelatin or bad guy.

Not nearly enough to reach the vital organs.

November 24, 2008, 11:04 PM
...But the punk's life will be worth a buck sixty more than nuttin!!!:rolleyes::D
Next time some bum says... "Buddy... can ya spare a dime?" You can say "well how about 16 of them....
I got quite callous with them living in Daytona Beach!:mad:

Scattergun Bob
November 25, 2008, 12:13 AM
I was just playing along with you, I rather like the way it went in Pat Garret & Billy the Kid the movie:D No offense meant or taken. We all know dimes don't get the job done, but that's what movie magic is all about!

My Best, Bob

November 25, 2008, 03:12 AM
actuly the whole dime thing started with SILVER dimes. which would provide a hell of a lot more penetration than the zink? they are made of now.

its a hell of an intimidating sound tho.

November 25, 2008, 03:29 AM
Our current dimes weigh 2.33 grams, the silver ones (90% silver 10% copper) weigh 2.5 grams.

I seriously doubt this would cause a big difference in their penetrative qualities.

Dave McC
November 25, 2008, 09:02 AM
For the record, that incident with Billy the Kid and Bob Ollinger was based on fact. The shotgun was a 10 gauge loaded with Buckshot.

The Kid had been sentenced to hang. While awaiting execution, he was kept shackled. Two deputies were assigned to guard him. One day, Ollinger went to eat while a deputy named Bell guarded the Kid. Using an outhouse break as a ruse, the Kid got a concealed handgun and killed Bell. Ollinger heard the shot and ran back to the courthouse. Someone called to him as he ran that the Kid had killed Bell. Ollinger looked up, saw the Kid had obtained a shotgun and said, "And now he's killed me". The Kid gave him both barrels, had the local smith cut the shackles off and left town in a leisurely manner.

The dime thing has surfaced in a couple modern legends. Some point men in the Nam mess were supposed to use them in Ithaca Deerslayers in the jungle because the dimes made it through the plants better than buckshot. The fan fire feature of the Ithacas was part of the myth.

Trouble is, the bores on the Deerslayer variants run about .690". That's like a full choke, and most dimes run something like .703". While this may have been tried, infantrymen oft being creative, the results would have been catastrophic.

Me, good 00 is my load of choice when things go bump in the night and birdshot appropriate to the game when hunting or clay slaying. Slugs work for deer and Community Defense if needed.

Exotic junk doesn't work all that well. Shun it.

November 25, 2008, 05:44 PM
flechettes have been used for a couple of hundred years,at least. and they are verry effective.
3 common varietes.
hard brass, penetrates about anything, very dense for long range.
hard steel, good penetration, narrower than brass so more in a load.
soft steel, actulay flex/bend entering the body, thus a shot in the leg might make it to the guts.

Scattergun Bob
November 25, 2008, 07:47 PM
I am a little confused. I am not aware of any Deerslayers in RVN. I a familiar with S prefix pre 1967 variants and 1967 contract M37 all of these were cylinder bore and labeled as riot guns. Some of the 1967 contract guns did have extended mag tubes but to my memory none were deerslayer types. However, being involved with the brown water navy and marines may limit me, perhaps my army brothers had other stuff.

Dave said "The fan fire feature of the Ithacas was part of the myth." could you explain the myth, new to me!

troy_mclure within limits I agree with your statement. We inventoried 2 different Flechette rounds. a whirlpool produced 97 MP Beehive round and a AAI Special purpose L-L1. The 97 MP was a long range round that had good jungle penetration and range extension but was very poor as a manstopper. The L-L1 was a Soft Metal round that was touted as a superior MANSTOPPER, however developed mixed reviews and I personally thought it failed at the job. The fact is that since scattergun slugs were near nonexistant in RVN, I carried a few 97MP's in my cargo pockets, "JUST INCASE" the range got out of hand. Otherwise XM257 #4 Buck was the load day in day out.

Good Luck & Be Safe

November 25, 2008, 09:56 PM
bob, when i was in the 101st we had a bunch of really old ithica feather weights in 12ga.

and iwasnt talking of just military shotgun rounds, my uncle has a handfull of flechettes from a 105 shell. they are about 5" long.

Dave McC
November 25, 2008, 10:13 PM
Bob, at the time I had other things on my mind than shotgun ID. Part of my crew equipment was a Winchester 97, but I used it only on guard duty.

For the record, I was an AF firefighter, not an infantryman. Sometimes I was in hot zones. I do recall seeing Itahca 37s, and was told they were Deerslayers..

That was in 1970. Perhaps they arrived through highly irregular channels.

I also saw Savage,Remington and Winchester pumps, and both A-5s and 11s.

Shotguns tend to show up in hot zones, whether issued or not.

Re Fan fire, usually the war story goes something like.....

ALL you do is hold the trigger down and shuck it like H*ll....

The lack of a disconnect in the Ithaca, like the 97 and 12, is not an advantage. It's very hard to control a 12 gauge fired like that. The rate of fire is impressive, but hits count, not noise.

Scattergun Bob
November 25, 2008, 10:27 PM
I wasn't in any way suggesting that you were wrong, I was jst confused! You were a firefighter I was a gunnersmate. It is why I know a little bit about fighting scatterguns in the service, I was the dummy who had to fix it when it broke.

I agree, I saw a lot of ODD scatterguns and attachments that sure did not come from any armory. By the way, I was interested in the dimes myth, not the slam fire thing.

My Best Bob

November 25, 2008, 11:21 PM
Before I geared up with new tactical shotguns and stocked up with more than enough cases of shells, I did a lot of research and testing for my own self.

My conclusion was:

Urban Neighborhood where houses are very close to each other: #4 Buck
City vehicle in heavy concentrated trafic: #1 Buck

Ranch house where nearest residense is over a mile: 00 Buck with Slugs in the side saddle.
Ranch truck: As above but with a box of number 9's for snakes.

Walking in heavy brush snake gun (Don't even start the HD arguement, I said SNAKES): Taurus Judge with #9 shot in 3" .410.

November 25, 2008, 11:36 PM
#2 Steel shot should do just fine with modern shotcups the shot really does not spread that much you have deep penetration in humans but it won't get out of the house

November 25, 2008, 11:46 PM
#2 Steel shot should do just fine with modern shotcups the shot really does not spread that much you have deep penetration in humans but it won't get out of the house

No, it does not have deep penetration on humans or test media either.

#2 lead shot does not give adequate penetration and steel is lighter than lead.

November 25, 2008, 11:57 PM
Sorry I meant Heavi shot at room distance it works

November 26, 2008, 06:42 AM
"Who are you expecting to break in? Slugs are just a "little bit" overkill. Penetration is far too much."

I have to agree with Bill DeShivs on this one. Slugs are too much. #4 buck is plenty, as is #2 birdshot. For HD, you're looking at what? Max range 30'? Anything will do the trick at that range. At that range, you're looking at a pattern-spread of <12". No need for slugs.

November 26, 2008, 07:09 AM
ive got a buddy that has a motorcycle repair/paint shop. he loads slugs so the shot pattern wont damage any bikes. he said he can afford 1 or 2 from over penetration, but he cant afford 4 or 5 from scatter.

Dave McC
November 26, 2008, 09:11 AM
IMO, best defense ammo is not "One size fits all". Use environments vary greatly. And so do shotgunners.

One anecdote coming out of the Katrina/NOLA debacle has three home invaders busting in on an elderly couple. The couple had a a revolver and a Model 42 Winchester pump he had used for skeet when younger. Due to age and infirmity, the other guns they owned had been passed on to their children and grandchildren.

The 42 was a 410 of course. It was loaded with skeet loads, probably 1/2 oz of 9s. The distance was rather close, time frame was very short.

While she went for the revolver in the bedroom, he opened up with the 410.

Three shots COM, three neutralized threats.

Bob, I've fielded the dimes myth a few times. What I do not know is why 00, one of the most effective close range stoppers yet devised, is unacceptable to folks.

Even out of a cylinder bore chokeless barrel of standard dimensions, the low ballistic coefficient and sectional density would leave the dimes coming up way short in performance compared to a standard buck load or even that 1/2 oz of 9s.

BTW, I've loaded up some 6 pellet loads of 00 with the idea of an ultra light, soft kicking "House" load. Works well, still packs more ME than most handgun rounds.
My hunch is they're looking for The Magic Bullet that never misses.

November 26, 2008, 09:31 AM
There was a time in my life when the straight and narrow wasn't so easy to see...
Pops and I had a run in with a handful of fellers over a "business transaction" at my rural place and they wanted to get stupid. My dad had his 18 inch barreled single shot in his home made "Wyatt Earp" holster and when he palmed the walnut one guy says... "Old man there is 5 of us and 2 of you what are gonna do?" Dad said... "I got one 00 buck so ya'll decide who wants it and c'mon..." Didn't take but 5-10 more seconds and we were discussing it like civilized gents...

Death from Afar
November 26, 2008, 02:36 PM
oo buck.

You really must pattern the gun at various ranges and learn how the shot will perform. It is a very eye opening experince to see how the shot stays together at a certain range, then the pattern opens dramatically. Once you do that, you will really know what the gun is capable of. Its also a heap of fun.

I have shot a few animals with oo buck over the years. About 6 years ago, I was up goat shooting in the Southern Alps. I had my AR15, and my old Benelli M1, short barrel, iron sights, cant recall the designation. We saw a mob of about 15 goats (theres no limit or season for any introduced mammels in New Zealand) , so, because of where they were, i grabbed the benelli and loaded it with Winchester OO buckshot (manufactured in Australia, this particular load), and sneaked off into the bush.

I gave my mate my Ar15, as his L1A1 was a bit on the chunky side. Anyway, we ambushed the goats and let fly. From 5 to about 18 metres, 3 goats were just completely pole axed. Dropped like a stone, apparently having been hit by all 9 pellets- didnt get up. (Meanwhile, i was being showered in hot 5.56 brass, but thats a story for another day) BEYOND 25 metres the shotgun wasnt worth a damn. I could see the pellets striking all around the goat i was shooting at, but no pellets hit, at all. Even allowing for the moving animal, it was very hard to connect with any pellets beyond a certain range. When i patterned the gun, the buckshot group was huge at that range, and I think the pellets sailed all around the goat without connecting.

The moral of the story is buckshot is deadly at certain ranges, but virtualy worthless beyond that, IMHO.

November 26, 2008, 02:47 PM
What happened to Buck 1,2, and 3?

November 26, 2008, 02:52 PM
Still there just not found to be the prescription to assuredly sedate most everyone.... EVERYTIME... That is my best guess. I have #3 buck in my 20 gauge as it is all I found in the local stores.

November 26, 2008, 06:11 PM
So, I have a question for everyone who thinks the nasty surface wounds created by birdshot will "take the fight out of an attacker":

What happens when the intruder is so hopped up on crack, meth, or PCP that a non-fatal shot just pisses him off?

November 26, 2008, 09:57 PM
shoot him in the neck or shoot him in the kneecap - either will suffice.....but 00buck is still preferred.......but if all I had was 7-1/2's handy, I'd shoot for the head or knee myself....

November 27, 2008, 10:31 AM
shoot him in the neck or shoot him in the kneecap - either will suffice.....but 00buck is still preferred.......but if all I had was 7-1/2's handy, I'd shoot for the head or knee myself....

So what happens when the shooter isn't a good enough shot to hit a small, mobile target like a head or kneecap, on a drug-addled lunatic, in the dark, fight-or-flight adrenaline reflex going wild, shortly after waking up?

November 27, 2008, 10:46 AM
just stop the madness and speculation and use buckshot.

12 gauge Winchester Super-X 3" magnum Number 1 unplated buckshot.

Firearm was pump shotgun with 20" cylinder bore barrel.

Block calibrated at 592 ft/sec and 9.2cm penetration.

Single shot was fired at the block, permanent cavity of 6"+ collapsed at 9" depth. Shallowest penetrating projectile was found at 11" depth and the deepest was found at 16"+. Muzzle was at 6 feet distance from the face of the block at the time of firing. Shot dispersion approximated 1" diameter at the entrance to the block and 5.5" diameter at the back of the block. All pellets exhibited moderate deformation with the average diameters equalling 0.300".

Look that was from only 6 ft away thats not the kind of penetration thats going to kill neighbors down the block, but it might stop a BG.

November 27, 2008, 05:48 PM
nate45, i have about 15 of those win 3" #1 buckshot. they are set aside for hunting purposes though. the 2 3/4" shells are for humans.

November 28, 2008, 11:15 AM
Mods should just pin a buckshot versus dove shot thread.

December 1, 2008, 07:52 PM
a round of #6 to the neck/face will stop a BG in his tracks even if he is hopped up on PCP AND wearing body armor.

December 1, 2008, 08:23 PM
#6 from zackly what distance will stop this hopped up zombiefied feller?

December 1, 2008, 09:47 PM
Well, the max distance I'll ever have to shoot in my house is about 30'. That's assuming I have my back up against the wall in the hallway and he is up against the wall in the living room. However, that's not probable. What is probable is a shot hunkered down on my side of the bed to the bedroom doorway which is about 12'. I even leave a lamp on in the opposite room for a nice silhouette.

December 1, 2008, 09:54 PM
Think what you want... There is no way I am staking my life on #6 at 30 feet from a cylindrical bore. I have shot far too many small animals like rabbit and grey squirrels at similar range with no pass thru pellets unless you count the ears... While I will point anything if it is my only option... Given a choice that is far and away not my choice of rounds. I been hunting for way too many years to go bird shot slinging in a life or death do or die moment.

Bill DeShivs
December 1, 2008, 10:08 PM
Cylinder bore, not "cylindrical."

December 1, 2008, 10:14 PM
Shotguns round here are loaded with various buckshot with more buckshot or slugs on the sidesaddles.

The 20" Cyl bore 870 that stays out for the wife when I'm not around is loaded with Rem Managed recoil 00 with more 00 on the saddle. I don't expect her to be doing community defense or select-slug loads, just repelling boarders if I happen to be away.

The other 870's stay loaded with federal standard 9 pellet LE flite control shells. So does the 11-87 and mossberg 500.

I've also got a few bandoliers of standard Remington express kicking around. Honestly the length of my hallway the BG isn't gonna know whether I shucked a green or red shell out of my shotgun.

If outside though those flite controls do give an advantage. UPS dropped off another case of them today from ammunitiontogo.com as a matter of fact. I've started using the 3" loads for our deer drives.

I hit a deer Saturday with a 12 pellet 3" federal flite control load at 40 yds out of my 21" mod choked 11-87. I recovered 9 of the 12 pellets from the shoulder and neck (kinda surprising given that I shot Bambi). He dropped in his tracks.

December 17, 2008, 06:00 PM

Love your signature. That is my favorite line from a western. That goes along with the other line in the shoot out: "This ain't Dodge and you ain't Bill Hickock!"

Oh yeah, #4 Buck from 18.5 " barrel 12 Gauge. Don't want to hurt the appliances too much in the kitchen. Floor is tile, we can get the blood and guts up.

December 17, 2008, 06:31 PM
i use slugs, but then again my house is brick, both neighbors houses are abode, and theres adobe fences between the houses. really doubt anything is goin thru that much dense material, but what do i know. also got a car port with 3 fullsize SUVS on the side. might have to worry bout a .50 BMG goin thru and taking out a 12 year old, but if i gotta bust uot a .50 to stop intruders......