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Old July 13, 2008, 05:36 PM   #26
Hawg
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Sorry, seen the results first hand.
As have I. If you want to trust your life to birdshot it's no skin off my nose.
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Old July 14, 2008, 12:45 AM   #27
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I think the answer to using magnum BB loads is "range" or better yet "close range"

I would spend the money and buy some 00 buck but if for some reason all I had was magnum BB loads I would want to be at a range of 20 feet or less.

I patterned some 12 ga. 2 3/4 magnum BB out of a H&R single shot that had the barrel cut down to 18.25 inches at around 20 feet it made a nice 3 foot circle and that isn't good enougt to bet your life on.

Maybe you will get lucky and make a head shot that blinds a bad guy but like the old saying goes "there ain't no second place winners in a gun fight".

Spend a few bucks and buy some 00 buck.

As for slugs - I hope I don't live near anyone using those. They could go through a lot of walls.
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Old July 14, 2008, 12:48 AM   #28
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Well gosh, I'd better be glad that my next door neighbor who was robbed & beaten at gunpoint didn't have anything to shoot back with either.
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Old July 14, 2008, 12:56 AM   #29
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Deathrodent
At a range of 20 feet, the pattern should not and could not spread to 3 feet.
The pattern at that range would be well under 12 inches.
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Old July 14, 2008, 01:09 AM   #30
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It was a long time ago but it couldn't have been much more than 20 feet - we didn't measure.

But the pattern was huge we didn't measure it either but it was wau over 12" - remember it was out of a 18.25 inch cut down barrel.

If I ever get the chance I'll test it again I still have some of those magnum BBs leftover.
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Old July 14, 2008, 01:33 AM   #31
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I have shot a great many 18" cylinder bore shotguns and none patterned anywhere near that size. Most were between 3-4 inches at a measured 21 feet.
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Old July 14, 2008, 01:54 AM   #32
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I have 2 mossberg 590's with 20" cylinder bore barrels. With cheap birdshot (#7) at a range of 25 YARDS they pattern is somewhere in the 18" diameter range. At 7 yards, it would be considerably smaller, I just haven't patterned them at that close of a range in a while. I would guestimate they would pattern about 6" diameter.

Last edited by imp; July 14, 2008 at 01:55 AM. Reason: typo
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Old July 14, 2008, 01:58 AM   #33
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It was a long time ago but it couldn't have been much more than 20 feet - we didn't measure.

But the pattern was huge we didn't measure it either but it was wau over 12" - remember it was out of a 18.25 inch cut down barrel.

If I ever get the chance I'll test it again I still have some of those magnum BBs leftover.
If it was a do-it-youself cut down, there might have been some damage to the muzzle that could explain an extreme pattern like that. You can also get some pretty wicked patterns by loading 12ga with split-shot fishing sinkers instead of your average shot, and opening each one up 90 degrees, but thats a tedious process and not worth the effort. There are some specialty 12ga ammo available online that can do about the same thing.
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Old July 14, 2008, 02:07 AM   #34
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The instructor took a large head of cabbage and placed it on a post 20 feet from us. He informed us that it was significantly tougher than a human skull.
He MISinformed you.
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Old July 14, 2008, 02:43 AM   #35
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Sounds like the instructor was a cabbage-head.
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Old July 14, 2008, 03:32 AM   #36
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Shotgun for Self Defense

Step 1) Buy a 10 gauge.

Step 2) Go ask local shop owner for 10 gauge slugs and laugh at reaction. ( You get some odd looks lol)

Step 3) Order 10 gauge slugs offline (unless step 2 was lucky.)

Step 4) Learn to lean forward properly to handle recoil if need ever be to use it.


From shooting a 10 gauge..... a 12 feels like the 20 gauge I used to squirrel hunt with when I was younger, 10's are a lot of fun as well.
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Old July 14, 2008, 08:28 AM   #37
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The first shooting I went to as a LEO involved a domestic where one guy shot another with a 20 ga loaded with #6 low brass at a distance of about 15 ft. Hit the guy COM in the xyphoid. Made a hole about the size of a golf ball with ragged edges. Dropped him where he stood. Shot had completely penetrated his body cavity and we found shot against his spine.
I don't recommend birdshot for self defense but don't minimize the effect and devastation it can cause at normal room sizes. It's very deadly. The downside to using birdshot for defense is it loses it's velocity quickly. If you knew all your shots would be taken within 5 to 10 yds then normal hunting rds would be very effective. The problem with defensive shootings is you don't get to pick and choose your combat distances.
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Old July 14, 2008, 08:41 AM   #38
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The problem with defensive shootings is you don't get to pick and choose your combat distances.
Exactly.........

The other problem with birdshot is that for every anecdote of someone dropping instantly from being shot with it, there is another anecdote of someone continuing to fight and sometimes even kill the person wielding the shotgun.

There are too many variables in each of our lives for one size to fit all when it comes to shotgun ammo. The good thing is you have choices.

I don't live in an apartment, my home is not a split floorplan with bedrooms on both sides. If I am shooting toward an intruder, I am shooting away from my family. The intruder, if he is shooting toward me, is shooting toward my family who would be behind me. I want him stopped, NOW. 00 buck and slugs tend to do that faster. Are they a guarantee?? No. But they're the best bet for a quick stop.

You may live in an apartment. You may have valid overpenetration concerns given your situation. In that case, you may be better served with smaller shot. Just don't expect it to "act like a slug" or "be effective at accross the room distances". Sometimes it might, sometimes it won't, sometimes you may have to shoot farther than across your bedroom. Have a plan B.
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Old July 14, 2008, 09:34 AM   #39
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Bird shot is for shooting cute little birdies not big scary bad guys. Save the BB for the Christmas goose and get some slugs or buck for SD.
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Old July 14, 2008, 10:39 AM   #40
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My cousin was shot three times with 00 buck from less than 50 yds. He was badly hurt but recovered. Nothing is 100%.
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Old July 14, 2008, 11:19 AM   #41
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One of my Troops took 3 rds from a .50 in VN. They didn't think he'd survive, he came home in a full body cast, and he's got so many scars from surgeries that he looks like he'd been attacked by sharks but here it is 40 yrs later and he's still alive doing fine.
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Old July 14, 2008, 11:20 AM   #42
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I don't recommend birdshot for self defense but don't minimize the effect and devastation it can cause at normal room sizes. It's very deadly. The downside to using birdshot for defense is it loses it's velocity quickly.
ISP sums it up quite well, and helps explain the varied anecdotes. Much depends on distance and shot size. Up close, any size shot will work fairly well, the farther away you get the less likely it is to work.
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Old July 14, 2008, 11:20 AM   #43
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My cousin was shot three times with 00 buck from less than 50 yds. He was badly hurt but recovered. Nothing is 100%.
And at "less than 50 yards" (I'm assuming it was close to 50 since that was your measurement) birdshot would have hurt even less.

Buckshot is not a terribly good 50 yard performer given most loads and most guns. All shot spreads. Round balls have poor SD and lose energy quickly.

50 yards is slug territory.

Glad your cousin recovered.
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Old July 14, 2008, 12:37 PM   #44
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"The problem with defensive shootings is you don't get to pick and choose your combat distances. "

In your home, you DO get to choose your distance! Smaller shot should work well.

LEOs don't get to choose, so buckshot is in order.
What cops need/use is completely different from the average citizen.
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Old July 14, 2008, 01:59 PM   #45
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An interesting link to ballistic testing of shot pellets:

http://www.tacticalshotgun.ca/ballistics_shotgun.html

They got 11" of penetration with BB at 3 yards ( the FBI recommends 12" min )

So, it is not quite up to FBI standards but still much more than regular bird shot like #4, which penetrated only 6", or #8 which only penetrated 4.5"

Still for me, I would consider #4 buckshot the mininum with 00 being even better.
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Old July 14, 2008, 02:13 PM   #46
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There are many variables, as others point out, proximity being pivotal. There is a big difference between gelatin, targets and drug/alcohol/mentally derranged attackers. Though I have seen several lethal "birdshoot" wounds, none were beyond 3 yards, most 1 yard or less, and all were solid torso or head shots.

Though I understand the legitimate concern for overpenetration in certian circumstances, there is no free lunch, less penetration will pertain to all strutures.
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Old July 14, 2008, 11:02 PM   #47
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I also would consider #4 buck the minimum. I have some 3-inch magnums that have 41 pellets of #4 buck. In my house I would be firing between screaming wife and 4 dogs. The 4 dogs would be all over BG so I go with some slugs first, then 3-inch 00-buck in 12ga. Bear problems preclude the #4 buck option.
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Old July 16, 2008, 03:24 PM   #48
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"NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.

No.

Birdshot is for birds.

I would likely stop them, but why bother with likely when you, or more importantly your FAMILY'S, asses are on the line."

Mr. Wilson:
He has never seen anyone shot with birdshot.
He doesn't know what he is talking about.
Yet he speaks nonetheless.
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Old July 16, 2008, 03:56 PM   #49
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Clint Smith

I believe the article was in last month's Handgunner. Something about bargain shotguns IIRC. He also said the same thing on an episode of PDTV titled "using what you have". I would rather have a defensive load that fragmented and transferred a lot of energy than a load that penetrated excessively. Ask any paramedic, the lungs are easily reached with a 3" needle, less than 5 to the heart. If I were concerned with overpenetration of my walls and endangering my family and friends, I would load big birdshot, pick my fields of fire carefully, and not worry. This picture shows the light #4 Buck going through 3 interior walls. Same for the #1. The 00 goes through 3 to 4 walls. The slug would be in my neighbors kitchen. A pistol round is bad enough.
http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot3.htm
In my house that's well into my son's room from anywhere I might fire. If I lived alone on a big lot it might be different. My needs may not be the same as yours.
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Old July 18, 2008, 02:56 AM   #50
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Kinda sums up my feelings exactly. For inside my house, I won't use anything bigger than #4 buck. But, if you live in an apartment with thin walls, you might want to go smaller. If you live next to a supermax prison with a narcoleptic squad of guards, you might want to use triple aught buck and keep Ma Duece on a tripod in the hallway. Just depends on what ya need.
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