That'll work, or some slugs.
This is a discussion on HD Shotgun Ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have done a search and found several threads that deal with HD shotguns, but none that deal with the ammo. Here is my question ...
I have done a search and found several threads that deal with HD shotguns, but none that deal with the ammo. Here is my question - what ammo do you keep for your HD shotgun?
I have 2-3/4 "00" buck for mine. I figure that this should disable a BG and minimize overpenetration. I appreciate your thoughts.
That'll work, or some slugs.
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
Laws are restrictive but sometimes necessary to maintain a civil society. Rights are nonrestrictive but are always necessary to maintain a free society.
I keep it "cruiser ready", loaded with 00buck, and slugs in the side saddle.
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
ANY ammo, in ANY firearm, that will penetrate to the vitals on a BG, will also penetrate several interior walls in the event of an outright miss. In the event of a good hit to center of mass, I would not worry too much about overpenetration, unless you are using slugs.
The only use for slugs in a defensive shotgun is for reaching out farther than you can with buckshot. Indoors, this is not an issue - use buckshot.
The data I have seen recommends #1 buckshot as the best blend of pellet size, penetration, and number of pellets. If you cannot find it, then 00 is a good substitute.
See this link:
Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo
From the linked article:
Number 1 buck is the smallest diameter shot that reliably and consistently penetrates more than 12 inches of standard ordnance gelatin when fired at typical shotgun engagement distances. A standard 2 ¾-inch 12 gauge shotshell contains 16 pellets of #1 buck. The total combined cross sectional area of the 16 pellets is 1.13 square inches. Compared to the total combined cross sectional area of the nine pellets in a standard #00 (double-aught) buck shotshell (0.77 square inches), the # 1 buck shotshell has the capacity to produce over 30 percent more potentially effective wound trauma.
In all shotshell loads, number 1 buckshot produces more potentially effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck. In addition, number 1 buck is less likely to over-penetrate and exit an attacker's body.
For home defense applications a standard velocity 2 ¾-inch #1 buck shotshell (16 pellet payload) from Federal, Remington or Winchester is your best choice. We feel the Federal Classic 2 ¾-inch #1 buck load (F127) is slightly better than the same loads offered by Remington and Winchester. The Federal shotshell uses both a plastic shot cup and granulated plastic shot buffer to minimize post-ignition pellet deformation, whereas the Remington and Winchester loads do not.
Second best choice is Winchester's 2 ¾-inch Magnum #1 buck shotshell, which is loaded with 20 pieces of copper-plated, buffered, hardened lead #1 buckshot. For those of you who are concerned about a tight shot pattern, this shotshell will probably give you the best patterning results in number 1 buck. This load may not be a good choice for those who are recoil sensitive.
While #1 buck might be ideal IF the the shot is hardened, the reality is that these loads might be hard to find. If finding hardened #1 proves elusive, 00 buck is a great choice instead.
Hope that helps!
The number of people killed because they didn't have "enough gun" is dwarfed by those who had none at all. Get a gun you will always carry, and add more capability as you grow.
You have to keep this in mind in any HD situation: anything you shoot at a BG is likely to penetrate into the next room. Be sure, be very sure of your aim if others are in the house. Only in the movies and on TV can you hide behind the typical interior walls. Remember the compound raid in Texas? The shots penetrating the exterior walls and hitting the LEOs?
Retired USAF E-8. Official forum curmudgeon.
Lighten up and enjoy life because:
Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth
What gauge shotgun?
My research led me to believe that either #1 buck or #00 buck were generally considered best for 12 gague, but I want to say that Massad Ayoob recommended #1 as an "urban load" for the 12. My shotty gets loaded with #4 and #1. The reason for #4 is over-penetration. I have #00 as well, but I don't load it.
While I also have slugs, I wouldn't use them for defensive purposes. Too high a chance of over-penetration into a neighbors house IMHO.
Here's a link with some gel tests:
Taking a quick glance, the majority of the #00 buck seemed to penetrate more than the recommended 16". The #1 buck had an average of roughly 12" after going through an "interior wall" and denim.
Here's a link to the Chuck Hawks list:
Ammunition For The Self-Defense Firearm
I don't know about the best, but I keep 6 00 buck in the mag tube, 3 7 1/2 bird shot, and 3 slugs in the side saddle, just incase I meet up with some shady four legged bad guys.
Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
Well, like many others, I'm depending on the '00' and slugs in the 12ga. The more I think about it though, I've been rather impressed with the pattern of #2 steel shot out of my 870 Express at the range. The shotgun isn't my first pick for HD anyway, but if I plan on going out the front door to cure a problem, it's going with me. So please let's not get into the wall penetration issues and all of that stuff. If you were concerned about it, you wouldn't be choosing the shotgun for inside the home defense in the first place.......right?
Here's some reading for you.
Home Defense Shotgun Ammo
Federal or Winchester reduced recoil 00 Buck. Slight build members of the family can train with this load and not fear it if they need to use it. Our smaller build officers and females love it. Keeps all pellets on a B-27 head at 15 yards from our rifle sighted 870's.
"Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".
"A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves".
2 3/4" Federal Tactical 00 Buck w/ Flite Control Wads (ensures tighter pattern)
Remington high speed steel, goose load. Thats 135 or so 15 caliber pellets moving at 1500 fps. At a typical indoor house range of 20-25ft it would be rather messy.
Current collection: Too many according to the wife...