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Old May 29, 2012, 10:18 AM   #26
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Lefteye is dead on #1 buck or 0 if you can't get #1. Yes, a dove load will (probably stop) the threat at short distance. Why chance it though. I have put the load of shot and the wad of a dove load deep into the back of a rabid dogs head at about 3 yds. but you have let them get waaay to close if you are shooting at that distance. A docter brought in an x-ray to the gun shop a couple of years ago for us to look at. #4 lead at about 15 feet. He said the wound was gruesome, the guy's chest looked like hamburger but only one pellet entered his lung. The doc agreed that if he had been hopped up on drugs there is a good chance the wound would not have stopped him. Any buck is good but #1 is the perfect balance of payload and size of projectile.
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Old May 31, 2012, 01:09 AM   #27
Bartholomew Roberts
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I had a chance to sit down and talk with an officer who was shot in the upper right torso with a load of birdshot from 15' (no body armor - off duty). It left a large ugly wound; but because he was partially turned when it hit, his arm took a lot of the blast and he was left with a really gruesome looking wound with few pellets penetrating to the torso and none hitting anything vital. So gruesome looking that when he walked over to a neighbor's house to ask them to call 911, his neighbor freaked out and he made the call himself. It was a wake up call to me that such a thing could happen and as I read more on the subject, I understood how.

If I thought someone was an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury to myself or others, I think I would be concerned about using a round that left them physically able to move and communicate for 15 minutes or so.

Additionally, with birdshot, a lot of things that are only concealment from heavier shot or pistol/rifle rounds become hard cover (refrigerators, bookcases, interior walls, down or leather jackets). I would hate to be in a gunfight inside my own home where my rounds can't penetrate interior walls or furniture but the home invader's rounds can. I doubt the home invader is all that concerned about overpenetration or a safe background, so the more shooting he does, the bigger problem there is.
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Old May 31, 2012, 03:51 AM   #28
Willie Lowman
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Is there an assumption, in this thread, that you will only shoot once?
What if you shoot more than once, or twice or three times or...........
If the goal is to keep shooting until the threat is neutralized, wouldn't you?
There is an assumption in your post, that you will be able to shoot more than once.

What if you get shot, or your weapon malfunctions, or............

If there is a possibility that you will only get one shot to neutralize your target, why make it a less powerful one?
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Old May 31, 2012, 10:48 AM   #29
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You might get a better perspective re comparison between birdshot and various other 12ga rounds from this video:
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Old May 31, 2012, 11:47 AM   #30
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I chose no. 1 buckshot by simply shooting paper targets at simulated hallway/room distances and liked the pattern. If memory serves I believe its 10 or 12 pellets.
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Old May 31, 2012, 12:15 PM   #31
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I've learned that bird shot won't penetrate enough in most situations to mortally wound an assailant.
What you've learned is basically false. Facts are that most of the time bird shot will mortally wound a BG hit in the chest at HD distance. Is it the best? I wouldn't say that but you're right, 1 oz of lead at 1200 feet per second is sure to leave a mark whether it be in one solid chunk or 400.

Where these threads go completely sideways is SOME try to lump all bird shot into one group and buckshot into another. They compare 00 to some lame trap load. Bird shot generally goes from #2 thru 7 1/2 or 8. You also have BB, T, F and bunch of other shot available. There's a big flippin difference between all of them. Personally I see no reason to go any bigger than 4 buck and anything thing lead or hevishot down to maybe #4 shot is bound to save the day with dramatic results. Like I said, big difference between those I mentioned and 7 1/2 dove loads.

For the record, the plastic wad will blow thru plywood more times than not from 15 feet.


Last edited by L_Killkenny; May 31, 2012 at 12:21 PM.
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Old May 31, 2012, 12:56 PM   #32
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Where these threads go completely sideways is SOME try to lump all bird shot into one group and buckshot into another.
I couldn't agree more. A full house load of Hevi-Shot Dead coyote is in a different category all together than a #6 field load. I think that some may opt for the larger bird shot (#2, bb, tt) over heavy buck shot (# 1, .30 cal and up) and slugs because of their concerns with over penetration. Of course I am just speaking for myself; I am more concerned about where the BG's bullets are going than about my shot over penetrating. My current choice is #1 buck, I have considered a 12 pellet 2 3/4 in magnum load of 00 buck, but currently consider #1 my best option. Not to be dramatic, but if someone is doing something that is so threatening to me or my family that my only option is to shoot them. Whatever their doing, I want them to stop immediately. I don't want to experiment with something that may work. I want to use a load that is heavy enough to smash through furniture, clothing, bone, muscle and fat, rettaining enough energy to reach vital organs. A heavy magnum load of turkey/ duck / goose shot may work. My concern is what will the foam and fabric of my couch, the muscle and bone of the assailants forearm, the fabric of his heavy winter coat and the muscle and bone of his chest leave left of that "magnum" load designed to kill a 20-40 lb animal not a 200 lb. human. One is called Bird shot and the other Buck shot for a reason.
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Old May 31, 2012, 09:16 PM   #33
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I've learned a lot and am going to learn how to utilize my gun the best way I can. I'm looking for a defensive class to take and I'm going to order some DVDs in the meantime.

Let's put this thread to rest as it has turned into another long-winded I'm right you're wrong marathon.

I do appreciate all of your responses. It's given me pause to consider.

Thanks again!

Hobie...reading the "One Second After" by William Forstchen again.

Last edited by Frank Ettin; May 31, 2012 at 09:35 PM. Reason: clean up
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Old May 31, 2012, 09:16 PM   #34
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Any shotgun load, even small birdshot, is lethal at close range before the shot has started to spread.
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Old May 31, 2012, 09:34 PM   #35
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Turning into a rehash. Let's end it.
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