Home defense shotgun - 2-3/4" or 3" #00?

This is a discussion on Home defense shotgun - 2-3/4" or 3" #00? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a Remington 870 Express Synthetic for home defense and general hole-making on range days. Right now keep 5 rounds of 2-3/4" #00 buck ...

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Thread: Home defense shotgun - 2-3/4" or 3" #00?

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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Home defense shotgun - 2-3/4" or 3" #00?

    I have a Remington 870 Express Synthetic for home defense and general hole-making on range days. Right now keep 5 rounds of 2-3/4" #00 buck in the tube. I've been told that #3 is actually better for home defense having less chance of over-penetration, but still doing significant damage. Unfortunately, I can't find the stuff anywhere.

    My question is this: I believe the only difference in a 2-3/4" and 3" shell is the number of pellets, correct? If so, 3" shells should have a lower velocity since there's no extra powder to compensate for the extra lead, so would they be better? I live in an apartment complex and directly past my front door is the front door of a neighbor. Over-penetration is a huge risk.
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    Ex Member Array Yankeejib's Avatar
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    IMO, in a SD scenario, blasting someone with a shotgun at 5-20 feet, it doesn't really matter what gauge the gun is or what shell is in it. Someone's going splat. If you're worried about over-penetration, load with 2 or 3 rounds of bird shot first, then the heavier rounds behind them.

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    Distinguished Member Array Stubborn's Avatar
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    I keep mine loaded with 2-3/4 inch #4 Buck, (rolls a coyote like a sledgehammer) smaller lighter pellets than OO, but "yankeejib" is correct, up close it really doesn't matter if it's oo buck or #9 shot... it's going to make a hole about the size of a tennis ball.
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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    I refuse to use birdshot. It's made for killing birds, not creatures with thick skin, musculature and ribcages.
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    Senior Member Array Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    If you live in an apartment complex with thin walls, then you'd need birdshot IMHO. But I am not an attorney.

    I know we have a few lawyers on here, hopefully one will chime in. It would be interesting to hear the legal viewpoints on this subject. But it seems to me, if you use #00 Buck, then you most definitely risk pellets going into abutting units. If you were to injure or kill an innocent neighbor, well, the ramifications of that would probably be worse than the actual bad-guy encounter.

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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Well I'd like to get my hands on some #3 or #4,but i can't find the stuff anywhere.
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    Distinguished Member Array Stubborn's Avatar
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    I use Hornady 2-3/4 in. #4 Buck, I get mine at Bass pro in Orlando. I've also seen it in "Natchez Shooters Supply" catalog, actually chaeper than I buy it for at Bass Pro, I just didn't want to pay shipping charges when I can get it locally.
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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Bass Pro eh? I think I have one around here somewhere.
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    Member Array GvdM's Avatar
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    Here is an example of birdshot with drywall and soft tissue


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    Member Array jarhead74's Avatar
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    I'm pretty that birdshot will take the fight out of most intruders. cheaperthandirt.com has a wide selection of defense rounds for shotgun including door breaching and non-lethal.
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    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    The bird shot will definitely put a bad day on the BG blog that day. Plus bird shot is meant to down geese and ducks and trukeys etc. They are thick coated and thick skinned. It will put a definite hurt on a bad guy. As far as 00 buck I would go with 2 3/4" you can get more in the gun that way. Plus You arent shooting a football field away missing shouldnt be a major issue.
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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    Don't over think the type too much. Yes, 00 buck will penetrate more than #7 bird shot but so will a 9mm or 40 cal round.

    Usually the difference between the 2 3/4 and the 3 inch rounds are 9 pellets in the 2 3/4 and up to 12+ in the 3 inch. That's roughly the equivilent of 9 or 12+ rounds of 38 special bullets. If the first shot gun round doesn't work then you still have the next and so on.

    Personally, I keep a full tube of Federal LE 00. If the intruder is still standing after the first round he will not be standing still. He most likely will be looking for a hiding spot. I want to have the ability to be able to educate him between the subtle difference between concealment and cover.

    This is another good reason to take the time BEFORE something happens and learn the "clear shot" alleys in your home that minimize the risk of over penetration hazards to others.

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    Member Array Savage206's Avatar
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    as of now, since I am in an apartment i have two birdshot rounds then the rest 00 buck. I also have neighbors right across the hall and would hate it if I caused an innocent harm. But I have the 00 in the tube as well if the first two shots don't do the job. ;)
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    Member Array violinjim's Avatar
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    After seeing the pumpkin and birdshot test awhile ago, I put away my shotguns and stick with pistols. Sure a miss will end up sending a .38 cal round through a wall but at least it's not nine .30 cal balls hurling their way through space. The Crimson Trace aides in groggy night time aiming and acts as one heck of a deterrent for one B.G. Thankfully I have an all Brick exterior so I'm not too worried about a round taking out a neighbor.

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    Member Array violinjim's Avatar
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    Perhaps I stand corrected. Here is some info you'll find valuable: The Box O' Truth #3 - The Shotgun Meets the Box O' Truth - Page 2

    JIm

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