View Full Version : What is your preferred home defense shotgun ammunition?

June 24, 2012, 09:33 PM
1) Buck shot (Specify what shot and brand in a comment)

2) Bird Shot (Specify what shot and brand in a comment)

3) Slugs (Specify what kind and brand in a comment)

June 24, 2012, 10:33 PM
Remington HD Ultimate Home Defense (loaded with high density tungsten-bronze-iron BB's).

June 24, 2012, 11:07 PM
super X #1 buckshot. Tough to beat 16 .30 pellets.

June 24, 2012, 11:57 PM
These are all 12 gauge rounds. All of these rounds are low recoil except for the rifled slugs.

1) Federal LE 132 #1 buck shoot
2) Federal LE 132 9 pellet 00 buckshot
3) Federal LE 133 8 pellet 00
4) Federal non-flitecontrol 9 pellet 00 buckshot.
5) I have some Federal Rifled slugs but I'm not using those unless SHTF.

June 25, 2012, 12:04 AM
3 inch 15 pellet 00 buck (winchester or federal)

June 25, 2012, 12:24 AM
12 ga, 2 3/4", 00...pretty much any name brand.

June 25, 2012, 12:34 AM
I use Fiocchi reduced recoil 00 buck 2 3/4"


Hornady TAP 00 buck 2 3/4"

mainly the Fiocchi cause it's cheaper but both pattern real good in my 500

June 25, 2012, 12:41 AM
For indoors home-defense use, any good low recoil buckshot is suitable, IMO. It allows you faster follow-up shots if needed.

June 25, 2012, 01:42 AM
Stars & Stripes Combat CQB

June 25, 2012, 02:31 AM
00 Buck. I usually prefer Federal stuff; it tends to pattern better.

Lloyd Smale
June 25, 2012, 05:35 AM
I load my own buck. i use 4-OO buck and then fill the rest of the hull with #3 buck. If i couldnt cast my own buck and load my own shells id probably go with #1 buck as its about the best compromise between penetration and pattern density.

June 25, 2012, 06:34 AM
I have a kid so its "wax slugs" for me.

June 25, 2012, 10:44 AM
First choice is #4 Buck, followed by #1, with a few #00 on the stock cuff.

June 25, 2012, 11:02 AM
I use #4 buck for my first two, only keep 2 in the tube but various other shells such as 00buck, slugs, and #1buck in a side saddle just in case but if im in my home and i need more than 2 #4buck, I may be in trouble anyways. I prefer #4 from various research ive done that shows it to be very effective at close range but without over penetration. If I lived alone 00 buck, I can always repair my home to stay safe. With family, absolutely not! Yes you should get your family behind you in a "safe" room but what if you dont have time or some other circumstance. #4 buck will be plenty and will struggle with large penatration, which is good, because please tell me if you were on your way to grab your daughter and there is an intruder, possibly armed in front of you, that you will imediately not shoot because your daughters room is right behind the BG. You will probably shoot. If you are using 00 buck, you better hope that all of it goes into the BG to slow it down. If anything misses, which at that range is more or less unlikely, it is going right through the wall into your daughters room. I am not taking that chance. But dont take mine or anyone elses word for it. Find out for yourself. Find statistics. Be absolutely sure and comfortable.

June 25, 2012, 11:51 AM
I had used Fiocchi low recoil 00 buck in my Mav 88 for years. It patterned nice and was relatively inexpensive to practice with. A few weeks ago, a guy in the next lane from me was shooting Federal LE 132 9 pellet 00 buckshot from his Remington 870. I was astounded at the consistent 4-5" patterns he was getting at 25 yards. Needless to say, after seeing what Federal LE 13200 can do I have switched over to it as my HD loading.

June 25, 2012, 12:15 PM
For a 12 ga. I use 00 buck in el' cheapo winchester super X... For the 20's I use #2 or 3 buck whichever I can find in any brand.... usually I can find thses in Federal...


Steel Talon
June 25, 2012, 12:40 PM
#4 Buck or Heavy Turkey load. 20 or 12ga.
Set some silhouette targets starting at 10 feet and ending at 50 feet. Shoot COM and review the pellet pattern.. I think you will be convinced of its ability.

The energy dispersion on target is quite impressive also.

This is the load I use on coyotes when we call them in. I have yet had one run away wounded,where as with 00 buck I've watched them appear to step over and around the pellets matrix style.

Turkeys are always DRT.

Lee Lapin
June 25, 2012, 01:56 PM
Federal LE-127 00 (9 pellet 1325 FPS FliteControl) in the magazine, Brenneke KO slugs in the Sidesaddle.

Al Den
June 25, 2012, 08:11 PM
HD? S&B 1oz. #4 Buckshot. Tactical? Remington #0 Buckshot.

June 25, 2012, 08:20 PM
Fiocchi 12LE00BK
10 Rounds $5.35

Good price & easy on the shoulder encourages practice

(Lee & Dave, bet you approve of my rationale if not my ammo)


June 25, 2012, 11:02 PM
Hornady TAP 00 Buck 2.75"

June 26, 2012, 04:00 PM
Remington 3" 00 Buck

June 26, 2012, 06:35 PM
winchester PDX1 rifled slug

June 26, 2012, 06:46 PM
Remington Duplex turkey loads.

June 26, 2012, 06:48 PM
The first one in my870 youth 20 is 4 shot followed by four slugs. In my house a slug wil go from one side and out the other. In Iowa we use slugs for deer hunting so I'm confident in my ability for follow up shots. Plus being only 5'6 the youth gun gives a little more kick but a lot more manageable in tight areas. Also works good for a truck gun dealing with all the critters around my acreage!

June 29, 2012, 01:43 AM
Winchester PDX1; 1oz Rifled slug with coated double 00 buck in front of it.... :eek:

Oh yeah, defietly a nice little combination and you dont have to worry about it going through multiple walls and hitting a loved one or neighbor like a .357 or a .45

June 29, 2012, 08:03 AM
Remington HD Ultimate Home Defense (loaded with high density tungsten-bronze-iron BB's).

June 29, 2012, 03:19 PM
Federal 2 3/4. 00 Buckshot for me

June 29, 2012, 03:46 PM
#4 buck when I live closer to people, #1 buck when I don't.

June 29, 2012, 03:52 PM

Shotgun dictates what brand is used in "that" gun, after testing and evaluating.

Investigate and Verify


June 29, 2012, 08:14 PM
Remington reduced recoil 8 pellet 00 buckshot.

June 29, 2012, 09:17 PM
#4 buck

June 29, 2012, 09:48 PM
00 Buck in 2 3/4" 12 gauge

Usually Remington Magnum 9 pellet

Presently (since wally world was out) I bought a case of S&B 2 3/4" 12 pellet low brass 00 Buck. Doesn't pattern as tight as the Remington but it's cheap.

Want to pattern the Federal 00 buck with the flight control wad

June 29, 2012, 10:57 PM
First 2 shells #4 Winchester-Western Duck and Pheasant Load, followed by 00-Buck and Federal Slug. I've had the Winchester loads for over 20 years, but I presume they are still good. If I'm wrong with shot shells not lasting that long, please let me know, and I'll pick up some new ones.

June 30, 2012, 04:15 AM
# 1 Buck any brand in 12 gauge

July 2, 2012, 01:19 PM
Military grade 00 buck. 2 3/4.
It was $5 for 5 at big 5.

July 2, 2012, 01:33 PM
Federal LE 12GA 00 Buck 9 Pellet Flight Control LE132

July 2, 2012, 01:38 PM
Hornady TAP 00 Buck 12-gauge, 2 & 3/4 with Versatite wad. 5+1 in a Remington 870.

July 4, 2012, 11:38 PM
00 Buck, Winchester or Remington, but only because I can't find #1 buck anywhere. Also hit the wrong button, damn eyes.

July 5, 2012, 05:21 PM
I use Fiocchi reduced recoil 00 buck 2 3/4"

Same here

Doc Intrepid
July 5, 2012, 09:25 PM
Remington rifled slugs.

There are distances involved, and these work well from my Rem 1100.

July 8, 2012, 10:20 AM
3" heavy turkey load no 4's, or 2 3/4" #4 buck

July 15, 2012, 08:54 AM
Federal 000 2 3/4

July 15, 2012, 12:14 PM
Ditto #4 buck

July 16, 2012, 05:05 PM
#1 Buck (LE132 1B), 00 Buck (LE132 00). #4 Buck is only marginal and birdshot is for the birds.

July 16, 2012, 06:33 PM
12 Ga. Federal LE Tactical Low Recoil 9 pell. OO Buck

July 16, 2012, 07:42 PM
Winchester #1 buck. Patterns well and works on deer.

NYC Shooter,
What are you basing you assertion that 4 buck is marginal? Ive seen alot of deer killed with #4 buckshot. Most were on the move in front of hounds. If the pellets hit their mark the deer went down quickly. I killed a few with #3's out of a 20 when I was a kid. Killed a bunch more with #1's cause that what my shotgun patterned best. Unless a bad guy is wearing body armor, there is no way that a load of #4's center mass at 50 feet or less wont be devastating. If it will kill a deer at 30-40 yards, it will certainly kill a man at half that distance.

July 16, 2012, 08:07 PM
NYC Shooter,
What are you basing you assertion that #4 buck is marginal?

It will not penetrate enough to reliably reach the vital organs, especially through heavy clothing. I know of of no LE agency that specifies #4 buck.

#1 buck has been theoretically the best load for HD, superior to even 00. The problem has been that there has never been a #1 buck that patterned worth a damn. Until now. Federal recently introduced LE132 1B and I can think of no reason to use anything else for HD. I bought some about six weeks ago and it patterns as well as LE132 00.

Here is a report from the Firearm Tactical Institute analyzing HD ammo:

And here is a recent review of the new LE132 1B on the The Box O'Truth:

There are those that will argue that #4 buck is good enough, and there are those idiots who will even suggest that birdshot is the answer, but I will use the load that I know will give me the best odds of stopping an intruder. But, hey, as usual YMMV.

July 16, 2012, 08:10 PM
Tested at 10 yards the slug was dead on and the three (9mm dia balls) were all less than 4 inches from the poi of the slug.

July 16, 2012, 08:54 PM
Seems the polls are too close to call but I feel there is a slight leaning towards the buckshot options...:D


July 17, 2012, 10:44 AM
I don't know what to make of the articles. I m sure they are sincere . My own experience has been much different. Ive seen lots of big game killed with #4 buckshot. Would say that thousands of deer, boar, and bear have fallen to it. Yet its deemed inadequate for self defense by experts. Makes ne question the experts expertise.u

Grant D
July 17, 2012, 01:44 PM
I have eight rounds of Remington 00 buckshot in my Model 1100, with a extended magazine.

Strafer Gott
July 17, 2012, 02:42 PM
S&B 00 buck or Federal 4T 3". You never have to ask if you hit them with the 4T. Too many of them gives me a recoil headache in a pump.

July 19, 2012, 08:21 AM
Federal, 3.5 inch 00 buck 10 gauge in the coach gun, Winchester 2.75 00 buck in the NEF. Not many shotguns to choose from around here these days.

July 19, 2012, 08:46 AM
Usually #4 buck, I've got some by Rio and some by Estate. Sometimes 00 buck, brands vary.

Willie Lowman
July 19, 2012, 09:27 AM
Federal 00 buck. Patterns well in every gun I have put it through.

July 19, 2012, 11:36 AM
Out of my 500 the first 2 are 3" 000BK 10 pellet then it's a mix of 3" 1oz rifled slugs and more 3" 000BK. Slugs are Winchester and 000BK are Remington. If it's out of my 835 it's 3.5" 00BK 18 pellet all the way, Remington again here. And if it's out of the Nova, it's Winchester Supreme Elite Extended Range High Velocity 3.5" #4 shot turkey loads.

Until I can load my own this is what I'll use. When I do load my own it'll be a mean concoction of mixed shot sizes. From 000BK to #4 shot.

Tapatalked via my highly abused iPhone

July 19, 2012, 08:23 PM
Remington 00 buckshot 9 pellets 2-3/4"

July 20, 2012, 04:58 AM
I have 00 and #4 buck handy and don't worry much about which one I have in the 870.

July 20, 2012, 06:43 AM

340 Weatherby
July 21, 2012, 12:58 AM
#4 Buck will solve ant problems I anticipate having.

July 21, 2012, 08:04 AM
I vote for #4 buck also. I have my 12 guage loaded with three #4 buck S&B and two 00 buck.

Old Grump
July 21, 2012, 04:24 PM
20 gauge, #4 shot, 2 3/4" shell, not brand fussy as long as it is hi velocity turkey loads but most of what I have is Remington, Federal. Fiocchi and Estate.

Jack O'Conner
July 22, 2012, 04:05 PM
Goose loads #2 shot.


July 22, 2012, 08:25 PM
#4 buck winchester LE with rem 2 3/4" foster slugs on standbye

Running Dog
July 25, 2012, 04:36 PM
Has anyone here ever touched off a 12ga. indoors without hearing protection? Speak up I can't hear you!

July 25, 2012, 08:41 PM
Has anyone here ever touched off a 12ga. indoors without hearing protection? Speak up I can't hear you!

No decent self defense firearm is going to be good for your hearing if discharged indoors without hearing protection. But a 12ga might actually hurt less than a .357 or .44 magnum...

July 25, 2012, 09:47 PM
12 gauge 2 3/4 Federal 000 with an internal hammer single trigger o/u
If I could find 3 inch I'd use it.

I'm considering having an extra shotgun handy, a Mossburg Slugster. Not sure on the ammo yet.

July 25, 2012, 10:25 PM
Hand load few pellets of 00 and then a tablespoon or so of Obsidian chips (from knapping, sharper than steel) it is something I wouldn't recommend to shoot much but 1 round of that will stop a moose.

Running Dog
July 26, 2012, 12:13 AM
@ Sport45...just kiddin' sort of...As being on the sending [I]and[I]receiving end of mortar rounds in the late 60's in V.N.,I know what concussion can do to yr hearing , I also know what failure to act promptly can do . Maybe a little off topic, but I use 38spl Glaser Safety Slugs(compressed #12 shot in a hollowpoint) as my first response, out of a Ruger LCP W/Crimson Trace laser. Serious terminal effect w/out wailing through too many walls hurting the wrong people. If I used a shotty it'd be my S&W 916 A w/ # 4 spreaders applied as necessary,repeat if needed.

July 26, 2012, 01:01 AM
Didn't the FBI penetration testing come up with #1 Buck as the best load?

Seems that's what I remember reading. We spent a bunch of tax money on that research. It might be wrong, but I'd ask someone to explain to me how they screwed it up. I'm no ballistics expert myself.

July 27, 2012, 12:28 AM
The thing about surveys like this is they are too general to be meaningful. Best for whom; urban, suburban, rural resident on a hermit living in the wilderness. Do you live alone, with adults, or small children?

July 29, 2012, 06:40 AM
Can't believe how much rifled slugs cost, box of 5 was $21. I bought Remington 3 inch magnum jacketed hollow points.

July 29, 2012, 01:34 PM
walmart has the winchester 1 oz box of 15 for $10 or so. remington also.

i have three 12ga mossberg 500 shotguns i cut to 20 inch barrel. all my ammo is 2 3/4". all my shotguns have the 5 shot carrier thing on the stock held in place with strips of bicycle tube like a big rubber band. on the other side of the stock i have 4 additional shells held long ways by the tire tube ban and out of the way of my face. and the 5 shells in the mag. thats 5 shells in the gun and 9 on the gun. each. plus a bandolier with 25 00 buckshot and 25 slugs.

shotgun one for in the house is loaded with 00 buck(remington or regular federal, or winchester).

second shotgun is loaded down with winchester pdx1(buck n ball) for really tough threats/outdoors that buckshot may not work on. according to tnoutdoors on youtube the regular 2 3/4" winchester slugs break up and penetrates around 10 inches of ballistics gel. the pdx1 buck n ball penetrates 19 1/2 inches! be careful!

third mossberg is to bring in the truck. i rotate federal flite control 00 buck and the winchester 1 oz slugs.

i'll post the buck n ball video in case someone has not seen it. you can checkout his other devastating 12 ga videos from there.


July 29, 2012, 02:12 PM
By rifled slugs, it was a typo. Meant Sabot slugs.

July 29, 2012, 05:45 PM
2 3/4 #1 buck. No manufacturer preference.

July 29, 2012, 09:14 PM
Good old 2 3/4" 00 Buckshot. Wouldn't have a chest left after taking one of those. No brand preference, I've shot a bunch of different brands of 00 buckshot and noticed very little difference.

Deja vu
August 1, 2012, 06:44 PM
00 buck from any major manufacturer

Glockstar .40
August 3, 2012, 06:45 PM
i like hornadys critical defense 00buck with some slugs in the side saddle..(j.i.c.)

August 6, 2012, 08:16 AM
I reload my own low recoil .00 buck shot 2.3/4 shells. I use 800X powder, Winchester 209 primers and a WAA12 wad clone and I usually reload federal top gun hulls. I buy them as field loads, reload them with .00 buckshot and stockpile for a rainy day. Then, rinse and repeat. In test after test of my reloaded ammo I am extremely happy with my pattern, shot column and minimal recoil and my cheap Mossberg Maverick 88 eats them like a fat kid eats cake.

Incidentally, I would recommend to anyone who enjoys shooting and likes to stockpile some ammo they learn to reload shotgun ammo. Forget the cost benefits they are not the real beauty of it. The real benefit is ammo quality control, customization, availability and self sufficiency.