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; I just bought a 12ga Mossberg 500 tactical shotgun for the misses as she does not like shooting pistols that much and is well versed ...

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Thread: 12ga Defensive Ammo Recommendations (OVER PENETRATION SERIOUS CONCERN)

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    12ga Defensive Ammo Recommendations (OVER PENETRATION SERIOUS CONCERN)

    I just bought a 12ga Mossberg 500 tactical shotgun for the misses as she does not like shooting pistols that much and is well versed in the use of shotguns. Iím looking for a good defensive round for it and over penetration is a major concern due to living in a second story apartment complex with neighbors on 3 sides of us. As our tactical plan indicates her main sector of fire will cover our outside bed room window and through an outside wall. Iím looking to mitigate collateral damage.
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    #4 Buckshot is the smallest size shot I would consider for serious HD use.
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    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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    I've been using Remington 3" Magnum 00 Buck in my Mossy 500 HD Shotgun. Not sure if it is the best HD round, but it is what I've got. I'd be interested in hearing opinions of what is the best HD round.
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    I should add, the Remington Green box 2 3/4" 00 is my defensive load of choice. I don't get very fancy with my shotgun loads, although if I was to change my buckshot, it would probably be for the federal with the flight-control plugs. I Figure that 00 buck has done the job just fine for over a century, I don't need to change it.

    If possible, try to make some of the more likely fields of fire safer, by moving things like book shelves and furniture into the likely area that would be fired into. Some creativity might help.
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    The average shooting distance inside an apartment home is something like 10 - 12 yards maximum and over penetration is definitely an issue since most apartment buildings in the US have drywall walls. Therefore, to avoid over penetration I would recommend to use birdshot, # 4 buckshot or even better, a combination of both birdshot and # 4 buckshot for maximum stopping power. Load up your first shot with birdshot and then the remaining of the tube load it with # 4 buckshot in case the first shot does not stop the attack. Do not use traditional birdshot, as there are new shotshell loads that have greater performance and tighter patterns. The Remington HD Ultimate Home Defense shot shells are very good (2 3/4 shells with 1 1/2oz of BB's at a velocity of 1,250 ft/s). For # 4 buckshot, I recommend you buy Federal Premium Personal Defense (2 3/4 shells with 34 pellets at a velocity of 1,100 ft/s).



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    Birdshot is an iffy stopper on a good day... as I found out first-hand with a rabid coyote (1 shot of 1-1/8 oz #4s delivered to the chest within 10 yards barely fazed him... took 2 more to put him down for good).

    For self-defense indoors, you can't do better than buckshot... but skip the magnum loads. The "tactical" and LE buckshot loads offer reduced recoil and plenty of payload. #4 buck through 00 will do fine.
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    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Birdshot is an iffy stopper on a good day... as I found out first-hand with a rabid coyote (1 shot of 1-1/8 oz #4s delivered to the chest within 10 yards barely fazed him... took 2 more to put him down for good).

    For self-defense indoors, you can't do better than buckshot... but skip the magnum loads. The "tactical" and LE buckshot loads offer reduced recoil and plenty of payload. #4 buck through 00 will do fine.
    I agree with # 4 buckshot, but read the title "Penetration a Serious Concern". If he shoots 00 Buckshot inside the house and misses, there is a high probability that he will kill a neighbor.
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I've always thought #2 lead shot was the best under those specific circumstances. Construction methods, shot distances, shotgun barrel length, and choke all figure into the mix when you're using a shotgun 'inside the box'. When one chooses the shotgun as their first line of defense, there's always a lot more to think about than a missed shot. Devastating weapon as it may be, it's only the best choice under very limited circumstances. Choose your means and methods as best you can.

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    I have personally tested 00 buck shot and it scared the hell out of me. It shot straight through the interior and exterior wall of the first house and then proceeded to go through the exterior and interior wall of the second house. That's not all folks! It also penetrated through a fiberglass bath tub and stuck into the linoleum floor. This was tested with two houses that were to be leveled at a friends property. Each house was in working order and the exterior walls were about 25 feet from each other.
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    If you must use birdshot to minimize overpenetration use the biggest size you can and keep the most pellets on target considering the short range. Federal loads a 2 3/4" shell of #4 shot in their "Prarie Storm" line with the awesome Flite Control wad. If you or your lady can handle the recoil they load a 3" shell with #2 birdshot but the recoil is a lot more.

    The Flite Control wad keeps a tight pattern independant of the choke in the barrel, it works great even in short HD/SD guns. If you want to maximize performance, bulk packs of low brass #8 unplated shot from Wal Mart won't do. Premium with good patterns gives you the best chance. I have birdshot guns and buckshot guns but anything serious has Federal. The low recoil Flite control 00 for buck and the Flite Control big birdshots.
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    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.

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    Maybe keep heavy Bird in the chamber and plan on a face target, then have light Buck in the tube for followup if the BG doesn't gett the message.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Maybe keep heavy Bird in the chamber and plan on a face target, then have light Buck in the tube for followup if the BG doesn't gett the message.
    True. If the bird shot doesn't stop him or either cause him to exit, whoever he is, he's much of a man to stay in a house occupied by a shotgun. Or he's a zombie.
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    I go with #1 Buck in my Mossie 500. Don't plan on missing. Plan on hitting your target. If the danger of collateral damage worries you, hit the range and work on accuracy. I'm not having any difficulty whatsoever hitting targets at 25 yards each and every time. Indoors, it's going to be much closer. More like point-blank.
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