View Full Version : 00 buck? Why not 0 Buck?

January 1, 2001, 04:15 AM
Is it just me or does 0 Buck seem to be superior to 00 buck? Lets look at this logiclly for a minute. 0 buck is .32 caliber, 00 buck is .33 caliber... Now really, is there much of a diffrence here? Would you even be able to tell a .1 cal diffrence? I know I wouldn't.

Infact isn't the 12 pellet 00 buck load for 2 2/3" shells really 00 caliber? Or is it just 0 buck renamed to sell? I mean its not like anyone would be able to tell the diffrence. And I do find it odd that before the 12 pellet 00 loads, they could only fit 9 00 pellets and 12 0 pellets. Now they can fit 3 more pellets magiclly? They must have just renamed the 0 load, what do you guys think?

And what do you think is more powerful, the higher velocity of the 9 pellet 00 or the 3 more pellets of the 12 ellet load? Damn it all, why must the ammunition manufacturers torture us with these problems!!!!

January 1, 2001, 09:26 AM
Pellet size affects penetration [heavier pellets tend to penetrate deeper] since most all SG loads are loaded to about the same velocity. Smaller pellets give you better pattern density but lose their energy faster.

So you pay your money and take your chances.

Usually OO buck and No. 4 Buck are what you will find for 12 gauge. I agree with you that the terminal difference when going up or down one size is not going to be noticable.

January 1, 2001, 05:37 PM
[Gratuitous personal attack deleted by Staff.]

[Edited by Rich Lucibella on 01-01-2001 at 07:26 PM]

Badger Arms
January 1, 2001, 06:19 PM
Buy a box of shells from the 9 pellet load, 12 pellet load, and the 9 pellet tactical load. Cut open the shells, weigh the powder and measure the pellets. Then post your results. I haven't done this because I already know what the answer will be.

[Edited by Badger Arms on 01-02-2001 at 12:41 AM]

January 1, 2001, 09:45 PM
The 12 pellet 0 Buck loads often pattern better in TIGHT choked guns than the 12 pellet 00 Buck loads. The reason for this? I would guess it's because the 0 Buck doesn't suffer as much deformation when hitting a tight choke and the pellets fly truer.

Shells that are marked 00 Buck contain 00 Buck pellets. Those marked 0 Buck contain 0 Buck pellets. No conspircy here!

Dave McC
January 2, 2001, 07:00 AM
IMO, the popularity of 00 results from the days when most folks made their own ammo. 3 00 pellets lie in a nice neat layer in a 12 ga shell.If I recall correctly, 3 #1 buck do the same in a 16 ga shell, and #1 is the biggest buck usually found in 16 ga.

In practical use, I doubt it makes much difference if the load is 0, 00, or 000, how it shoots for YOU and YOUR shotgun is the crux of the matter.

Mr. Pub
January 2, 2001, 10:13 AM
I noticed that ammoman, under 12 ga. ammo has 000 buck listed as "#1 manstopper rated by NRA" or something like that. Which leads to the question - what is the top rated one shot stopper in 12 ga. buckshot? I realize we are probably splitting hairs, but then again that is why we are here - ha.

Dave McC
January 2, 2001, 11:58 AM
There's no ineffective shotgun ammo at typical HD ranges, Pub. Splitting hairs is an understatement. Until the cup wad leaves the charge,all loads are a more or less solid chunka lead moving at somewhat more than the speed of sound. Prefragmented handgun loads are an effort to get the same performance in a handgun round.

There's not a perp out there that would be able to tell if he was shot at less than 10 yards by a 12 pellet 000 load or a skeet load of 9s.

So, does this mean we shouldn't test different loads in our particular shotguns and use environment? Nope, it means we should find a decent load and stick with it.

Mike Irwin
January 2, 2001, 03:52 PM
I use No. 4 buck.

27 pellets, roughly 1.5 times the payload weight of 00 buck (due to better pellet packing).

If things get REALLY rough, I have 5 rounds of 00 buck by S&W (12 pellets) on the buttstock, with 5 slug rounds available, as well.

January 2, 2001, 06:56 PM
Hey guys don't forget to pattern your shotguns.. saw a really neat demo of this on TNN yesterday with 5 different shooters taking shots at turkey targets.. the SMALLER shot produced denser patterns (in general) on this particular episode. Also notice one shooter missed high and right and claimed a 'flinch"... looked like a miss to me. ;)

Anyway the point was.. one gut had a 10 guage gun full of #4 shot and ddin't score a single pellet in the kill zone since the pattern was so wide open, with a #6 the pattern was denser and he had 12 hits. Most of the 12 guages produced denser patterns than the 10. The real point was to pattern your shotgun and know where it hits.

I'm in agreement with Dave that at HD range this stuff is pretty moot.. but it would get me thinking of #4 buckshot instead of 000 at ranges of say.. 50 -75 feet. Considering I don't use buckshot for shooting at deer (we have to use slugs here) I'm thinking about leaving all that 00 and triple 000 to my friends that don't have "evil black guns" and leaving a sturdy game load in the shotgun, say a #6 pheasant load.

Dave McC
January 3, 2001, 08:37 AM
Thanks, Rob, a little note here...

Turkey hunters have gone up to 2 oz special loads for their quarry, and oft ended up with a pattern inferior to a more standard and gentle load. More is not necessarily better when it comes to shotguns.

Much of the advances in shotgun ammo and shotguns have come from these folks and the turkey shoot folks, who have made a lot of research about interior ballistics and payload pay off.

As for #4 vs 0,00,000 buck, how about doing a little research? Try the paper plate routine at 25 yards with both and count holes. Then, as a purely arbitrary formula, let's say that three 4 buck equal 2 0,00,etc, for effect. Post the results and we'll kick it around a bit. If I can locate some #4 buck, I may do it myself.

January 3, 2001, 10:00 AM
And add in some #1 Buck to the test, if you can. #1 is a potentially interesting compromise between the pellet count of #4 and the size, penetration, and retained energy of 00.

Not that hard to find in 12 ga. either, if you know where to look.

Dave McC
January 3, 2001, 01:22 PM
Good point. #1 has some interesting potential. Unfortunately, with a 00 stash of,uh, sizeable proportions, I'm uninclined to do much further testing.

January 3, 2001, 08:25 PM
For my HD shotgun I found the smaller shot to be better for my use in the home. I want some spread, I can get a 6" to 9"in group's with O buck at 10yards but I want to make sure I don't miss, so I went smaller and carry OO and slugs on the side saddle, and practice Quick loading that between shots. I like #4 or even F or T at close range. M-2

January 3, 2001, 09:04 PM
I'm a bit puzzled! Are we talking HD, Hunting (and what sort of game?), LEO, or Combat use of the SG? These ALL have very different requirements! One size DOESN'T FIT ALL.

I think that's the beauty of the SG.... it can do many things well! But.. you need to feed it the correct fodder for the job at hand.

[Edited by DaMan on 01-04-2001 at 07:14 PM]

Dave McC
January 4, 2001, 07:49 AM
You da man, DaMan. Best thing is for each shooter to pick a load for the mission and use environment,and that works well in that shotgun.

Jerry Stordahl
January 5, 2001, 10:12 PM
Take the #1 Buck. There was a link that offered test results for different loads to judge terminal effectiveness. I think the #1 Buck was found better. Now I have to go and hunt up that link.

January 5, 2001, 11:07 PM
I've tested handloads in every size of buckshot there is in both 12 and 20 gauge.

In the 12 ga., the 000 buck stacks 2 pellets per layer, 00 buck stacks 3 per layer (so does 0 Buck), #1 buck stacks 4 to a row, and #4 buck stacks 5 to a row with the 6th pellet sticking up a bit in the middle. Smaller shot sits fairly randomly in the shell.

In the 20 ga., the #1 buck stacks 2 pellets per layer, #2 buck stacks 3 per row, and #3 buck stacks 4 per layer. Lead F-buck stacks 5 to a row with the 6th pellet sticking up a bit in the center.

In relatively loose chokes (cylinder or improved), I've found the larger pellets GENERALLY group tighter than the smaller pellets. And heavier than normal loads (ie. 12x00pellet, 20x#1B, and 34x#4B) loads spread more than the standard loadings. This has both advantages and disadvantages.

Larger patterns make "hits" easier. But they also produce thinner patterns at longer ranges.

Smaller shot means less penetration and less energy.

Also, you've also got to check out each load to make sure you aren't getting the dreaded "doughnut" pattern.

Get a target and pattern several rounds to see if your selected round "delivers the goods" from your gun.

Regards! DaMan