12ga Defensive Ammo Recommendations (OVER PENETRATION SERIOUS CONCERN)

This is a discussion on 12ga Defensive Ammo Recommendations (OVER PENETRATION SERIOUS CONCERN) within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by NCGunDude Frankly, I'm bit surprised at all of the recommendations for 00 and even #2. "Know your target and what is beyond." ...

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  1. #16
    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCGunDude View Post
    Frankly, I'm bit surprised at all of the recommendations for 00 and even #2. "Know your target and what is beyond." You don't want to knock down a bad guy and then get charged with manslaughter because a round went through the neighbors wall.

    #6 high brass 2 3/4" is the largest shot size you can shoot and reasonably expect to not over penetrate. At self defense distances of less than 20 feet, #6's should do the job. Would 00 be better, hell yeah, but those shot are going through the wall, too.

    Disclaimer: my home defense round is 9mm JHP and 2 3/4" 00 buck for zombie patrol.
    I completely agree. The OP is living in an apartment with drywall and neighbors on three different sides. If they shoot a shotgun inside the apartment with 00 buckshot and miss, there is a high probability of collateral damage which could cause them to be charged with manslaughter. Therefore, I wouldn't go any higher than # 4 Buckshot. Perhaps the ideal solution would be to load the first shot with bird shot, the subsequent 3 shots with # 4 Buckshot and then a couple of rounds of 00 buckshot in case the perpetrator is still going or is not willing to back down. I think that a distance from 10 - 12 yards, a shot of bird shot to the upper torso or face would produce such a gruesome wound that it would definitely stop the attack or be lethal. If criminals have been stopped with a .380 round, I'm pretty sure a load of 12 gauge bird shot will do its job.
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Maybe you should consider a 12ga isn't the right weapon for you if you are so concerned with your neighbors.

    If it isn't the right weapon, then it's not the right weapon. Consider a pistol cal carbine mounted with a red dot and loaded with very light ammo, like a beretta storm with an optic and federal C9BPLE which is a 115 grain +p+ jhp.

    You get that sucker up over 1500 FPS with a carbine (guessing...) and it's probably not going to exit a person, and with a red dot, you can place that sucker pretty accurately even in low light, under stress if you can keep a head on your shoulders.

    If your conditions make the effective use of a weapon you have impossible, and from what I read, you are saying you don't want to use a 12ga to it's proper effect - multiple .30+cal impacts on a bad guy - then it's time to look at something else for an option.

    (Yes, this is an argument you should use on your significant others to justify the purchase of a new toy...)

  4. #18
    Distinguished Member Array MinistrMalic's Avatar
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    If you search the boards you can find an excellent post from Janq on shotgun loads for HD. Lots of experience and lots of ballistics testing and lots of logic and reasoning in it. Long too. At the end of the day, his analysis is that #4 Buck is the best load. Least chance of overpenetration and at HD distances makes a heck of a wound channel, which will make BGs stop fighting you.

    All that to say, my 870 is loaded with #4 Buck.
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  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by alachner View Post
    I completely agree. The OP is living in an apartment with drywall and neighbors on three different sides. If they shoot a shotgun inside the apartment with 00 buckshot and miss, there is a high probability of collateral damage which could cause them to be charged with manslaughter. Therefore, I wouldn't go any higher than # 4 Buckshot. Perhaps the ideal solution would be to load the first shot with bird shot, the subsequent 3 shots with # 4 Buckshot and then a couple of rounds of 00 buckshot in case the perpetrator is still going or is not willing to back down. I think that a distance from 10 - 12 yards, a shot of bird shot to the upper torso or face would produce such a gruesome wound that it would definitely stop the attack or be lethal. If criminals have been stopped with a .380 round, I'm pretty sure a load of 12 gauge bird shot will do its job.
    If someone is posing an imminent lethal threat, why would you want to shoot with something that has a high likelihood of not ending that threat? Firing the first round of birdshot is still considered lethal force in the law, but it isn't going to end the threat as effectively as buckshot, even smaller buckshot like #4. As far as the "A load of birdshot for the face crowd" you don't always get to pick and choose what part of a BG you get to shoot at in a gunfight, they are very fluid and dynamic in nature, and unpredictable. So why not load even the first round with something that is likely to end the threat with just one round? The birdshot vs buckshot thing gets debated on here a lot, and the consensus tends to be, leave birdshot for birds.

    I realize the OP said over-penetration is a concern, however, if the shotgun is used in a "hunker down" type role, I still suggest that the over-penetration risk can be partially mitigated by some creative decorating. The vast majority of apartment bedrooms I have seen have 1 door. So, if you are hunkering down in the bedroom, beyond the doorway would be the place to reinforce. Try to find a way to put a book case, or a dresser, or a refrigerator, in the area beyond that doorway. Doors are referred to as fatal funnels in urban warfare for a reason. In the OP's situation, where there are big over-penetration concerns, and unclear fields of fire because of that, he shouldn't be clearing his apartment, even with a pistol. He should be hunkered down, waiting for the cavalry to come take care of it. And if he uses that plan, he can construct safe fields of fire, centered around the bedroom door, which will help mitigate the concerns of over-penetration.
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  6. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda66 View Post
    Anything that will penetrate a goblin deeply enough to be an effective stopper is going to go through walls, plural. On the flip side, any round that won't penetrate a wall will be an iffy stopper at best.

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  7. #21
    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeyeLCPL View Post
    If someone is posing an imminent lethal threat, why would you want to shoot with something that has a high likelihood of not ending that threat? Firing the first round of birdshot is still considered lethal force in the law, but it isn't going to end the threat as effectively as buckshot, even smaller buckshot like #4. As far as the "A load of birdshot for the face crowd" you don't always get to pick and choose what part of a BG you get to shoot at in a gunfight, they are very fluid and dynamic in nature, and unpredictable. So why not load even the first round with something that is likely to end the threat with just one round? The birdshot vs buckshot thing gets debated on here a lot, and the consensus tends to be, leave birdshot for birds.

    I realize the OP said over-penetration is a concern, however, if the shotgun is used in a "hunker down" type role, I still suggest that the over-penetration risk can be partially mitigated by some creative decorating. The vast majority of apartment bedrooms I have seen have 1 door. So, if you are hunkering down in the bedroom, beyond the doorway would be the place to reinforce. Try to find a way to put a book case, or a dresser, or a refrigerator, in the area beyond that doorway. Doors are referred to as fatal funnels in urban warfare for a reason. In the OP's situation, where there are big over-penetration concerns, and unclear fields of fire because of that, he shouldn't be clearing his apartment, even with a pistol. He should be hunkered down, waiting for the cavalry to come take care of it. And if he uses that plan, he can construct safe fields of fire, centered around the bedroom door, which will help mitigate the concerns of over-penetration.
    Don't get me wrong. I only load 00 buckshot and slugs in my shotgun for home defense. But I am able to do that because I live in a large property with no neighbors and a house with concrete walls. If I had neighbors and dry walls in my house, I would load it with bird shot or # 4 buckshot. In your post you mention that under stress it is not easy to aim or that you don't have the perfect shooting position since a gunfight is very fluid and dynamic so head shots are not always possible. That is precisely what the OP fears! If you load your shotgun with 00 buckshot and in the midst of a home invasion and under stress you miss your shots, you will definitely cause collateral damage since 00 Buckshot has been proven to over penetrate. Therefore, it is best to load it with Birdshot or # 4 Buckshot.
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

  8. #22
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    My first post in this thread suggested nothing smaller than #4 Buckshot, implying that it was an acceptable choice. It probably is the best choice for the OP.

    Also, as noted, the OP should get creative in decorating, and make good fields of fire, so as to stack the deck in his favor. Anyone that has never tried Force on Force training in an urban setting, it is something that should be done. If the OP imagines a trained military team that is going to breech walls, it is a different story. But a room with a single door is very easily defended by one person with an appropriate weapon, even against trained multiple attackers (until you get into frag grenades and stuff, but I am assuming a civilian level here). All you need to do is hunker down behind some cover, like the bed, and aim at the door. Being in a doorway is an exceptionally vulnerable position for an offensive force. And it gives the defender a good, clear shot. So aiming center of mass with a weapon and round that will end the threat is a lot more feasible than a head shot. A COM shot will soak up most of the energy from buckshot, 00 to #4, and if there is overpenetration, and he got creative with his decorating, that should soak it up.

    Home defense is about much more than just the round. His handgun will probably over-penetrate in drywall construction, even with HP rounds. So why not load the shotgun with something that works (not bird shot), and do everything possible to make the environment better for the defender, and attempt to mitigate the over-penetration issues.
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  9. #23
    Member Array jon86's Avatar
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    PHP Code:
    Maybe keep heavy Bird in the chamber and plan on a face targetthen have light Buck in the tube for followup if the BG doesn't gett the message. 
    This is just not sound advice. What makes you think that you will have time for a second shot? Anyone worth shooting, is worth shooting decisively, with something that will stop him immediately. That means 00 buck.

  10. #24
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    If I were really concerned about over penetration I would use a different platform (00 buck is by far and away my #1 HD choice).

    However, if given no other choice and I have to use the shotgun here I would go with something a little different. I would look seriously at a magnum BB or T shot steel shot load. Steel is lighter than lead so it starts out at a higher velocity, but it slows faster at distance (not a problem for you). The large BB and T shot loads will penetrate fairly deeply up close but as the pattern spreads it will lessen the penetration factor. I think a hot BB shot load would do pretty well.

    Keep in mind that this is all just speculation on my part, not fact. It's an idea worth looking at though. I would try to test it at the range before making it your HD load.
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  11. #25
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    Trade the 12 for a 20 and go with #3 Buck. It sounds like she isn't a shooter?

  12. #26
    Distinguished Member Array LanceORYGUN's Avatar
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    Well, it is unfortunate that SkySolider never returned to follow up on this discussion that he started. For shooting inside an apartment, I would definitely say that any type of Buckshot is going to be way too dangerous if that is a major concern ( which is what he said his primary concern was ).

    Even BB shot is going to have a great chance of going through at such a short range.

    I would recommend a HeviShot 2 3/4 inch Duck load in #4 Birdshot as being the best option. At the ranges that one is looking at inside an apartment room, it is going to be very lethal and extremely incapacitating. I doubt that anyone could survive a solid hit anywhere on the trunk of their body.

    Another option would be that Remington 2 3/4 inch HD Ultimate Home Defense load that has a duplex of both #2 and #4 Birdshot in it, which Alachner mentioned earlier. That would get the job done too.

    Both of these loads use shot that is way heavier than lead, which makes them penetrate deeper than normal lead birdshot.

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  13. #27
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    I can push my finger hard enough that I can poke a hole in a dry wall. I can punch a dry wall easily through and through. (any adult can really)

    I sure as hell can't do it to a human lol.

    anything that'll penetrate a human, will go through couple layers of dry wall.

    advice? don't miss. lol

  14. #28
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    I use Centurion Multi-Defense "Law Enforcement" rounds in my 12ga. They're big, heavy rounds. I also live in an apartment, but given the way my apartment is laid out, I believe that any BG coming into/towards my bedroom will stop anything I can throw at them. The shotgun is not the "first line" in my home defense (falling third after the 22rds from the .45, and the 12rds from the .357mag), but it is the last I plan on needing. And, BG won't be more than 10 feet away.
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  15. #29
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    At the 10-12 yard range why not cosider less than lethal "beanbag" rounds for you your first and/or second rounds .This will limit your collateral damage, and at those ranges beanbag can be lethal. You could always backup you first two beanbags w/lethal rounds. Anytime you demostrate that your main focus was to stop an agressor and not to kill them ,I belive that the courts will look much more favorably toward the fact that you were defending you and yours no matter what the final outcome of the shooting is. Having said all that if the stupid moron dies from lead poisioning because he/she did not retreat then so be it!

  16. #30
    Distinguished Member Array LanceORYGUN's Avatar
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    Unfortunately the new Taser Shotgun Ammo is only being sold to Law Enforcement currently. Otherwise it could be another non-lethal option.


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