I voted for the 2 3/4". I could very well have chosen 'other'. It all depends on the purpose, deployment, expected range, and the one pulling the trigger. 3" might be a bit much for some folks, and when using a shorter barrel. Many years I've heard the standard pros and cons, and whats best for everybody. I've owned 12ga and 20ga shotguns, hunting and PD configurations and some that did double duty hunting in field and reconfigured for home. I kinda like the pattern #2 steel shot leaves at 10 and 15yds out of my 18" barrel 870. That's just me. Debate the '00' buck all you want to.
I voted “other” as I use/prefer a FED 2 ¾” #1 16 pellet load. As long as the #1 meets the FBI penetration testing it works out like this:
16 x .30 = 4.8”
9 x .33 = 2.97”
Also I’ve got an additional 7 pellets to hit something vital. The 3” magnums are too much of a good thing at HD distances IMHO.
A 2 3/4-inch 12 gauge shotgun is a fearsome weapon. It is amply adequate.
Assuming the same shot size for both, there would be no increased problems with over-penetration when using a 3-inch magnum shell. If over-penetration is a concern at all with the 3-inch shell then using a 2 3/4-inch shell won't solve it. The 3-inch magnum shell gains some degree of effectiveness through increased payload rather than through significantly higher velocity. A gain that isn't worthwhile considering the cost and recoil in my view.
2 3/4 or 3" all I know is I would love to have some ear plugs if have to sound the boom stick inside my house. But we all know that ain't happening.
#4 buck is excellent for close range in a dense and tight pattern, but remember each single pellet only weighs 20gr. A thought might be full choke if only using #4 buck lead shot? We're talking two-legged animals that can shoot back.
Originally Posted by Stubborn
I use a handgun for HD but do have a pump shotgun (12g, 2-3/4") loaded with #4 buck as the first shell, then either #0 or #1 buck shells to follow. Then slugs in a spare shell carrier on the gun as I figure if anything goes on that long then either range is extended or barriers are involved. One beauty of a shotgun is that ammo can be varied.
Wait, #4 doesn't go 12 inches? Does that mean no pellets go 12, or not all pellets go 12?
If the distance is long enough to cause the pattern to open, then individual pellet hits/performance become important if you want to stop someone from harming you. The more mass the better. A #4 buck pellet weighs only 20gr (.24" dia). A .22LR bullet weighs 40gr. A 20gr pellet will lose velocity faster during penetration than a heavier pellet and it is a round sphere too. Typical shotgun muzzle velocity is around 1300fps.
Originally Posted by CanuckQue
I'm not trying to say an airgun is the same as a shotgun but just as a perspective thing for an individual pellet, a .22 airgun pellet weighs around 14gr. This Walther can shoot a .22 pellet around 1000fps. Walther® Talon Magnum Air Rifle - .22 Caliber, Air Rifles, Airguns & Airsoft, Shooting : Cabela's .
A #1 buck pellet weighs 40gr (.30" dia). So going at 1300fps at muzzle is sort of like a .22LR out of a rifle.
You're very correct. Looking at the numbers, it seems that you want to be above .30 inches to get sufficient depth. At that point, though, I still think recoil should dominate the conversation.