Max effective range of 00 buck shot

This is a discussion on Max effective range of 00 buck shot within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; What would be the max effective range of 00 buck shot? I'm trying to determine what ammo I want to use in my mossberg 500 ...

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Thread: Max effective range of 00 buck shot

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    Distinguished Member Array skysoldier29's Avatar
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    Max effective range of 00 buck shot

    What would be the max effective range of 00 buck shot? I'm trying to determine what ammo I want to use in my mossberg 500 with 18.5 in barrel. My primary sector of fire has a house about 70 yards away and the shot would have to go through my outer wall first.

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    VIP Member Array GhostMaker's Avatar
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    According to some of the data I have seen 00 Buck can travel upwards to 750 yards. I would surmise that at 70 yards it would still have the ability to penetrate walls depending upon construction.
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    Distinguished Member Array skysoldier29's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paaiyan View Post
    What's the construction of your walls? Brick, siding?
    Siding of my house, siding in the house of in my sector of fire

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    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    The Box O' Truth website has some great tests on shotguns and penetration. This link convinced me to use #1 buckshot for home defense.

    The Box O' Truth #56 - Federal Flight Control #1 Buckshot - Page 1
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skysoldier29 View Post
    What would be the max effective range of 00 buck shot?
    By that I presume you mean: how far out can 00 buck still down a 2-legged assailant.

    I know of no tests on defensive ammo at any distance. About the only tests I've seen are for duck rounds, but those don't really apply to SD.

    Though, I don't think I'd want to trust it much beyond ~30yds or so. Slugs would be a different matter, of course.
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    Distinguished Member Array skysoldier29's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    By that I presume you mean: how far out can 00 buck still down a 2-legged assailant.

    I know of no tests on defensive ammo at any distance. About the only tests I've seen are for duck rounds, but those don't really apply to SD.

    Though, I don't think I'd want to trust it much beyond ~30yds or so. Slugs would be a different matter, of course.
    No I mean I'm shooting max 12 feet. After that is my outer wall approx 60yards in my line of fire then another house. Is it assumed that those rounds will perpetrate that other house and injure someone?

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    VIP Member Array Kilowatt3's Avatar
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    At 60 yards, 00 Buck is potentially lethal, and certainly capable of causing serious injury. Depends, of course, on how much the walls (yours and the neighbors') slow it down, but there's certainly a risk.

    Personally, my 12 ga. load of choice is #4 buck. If your maximum distance is going to be 12 feet, then 00 is overkill and even #4 buck is bigger than you'd need. #6, #4 (not buck), or BB shot will be devastating at 12 ft., and will cut down on the chance of collateral damage. Some will argue that #6 is too small, but they're mistaken; Nobody's walking away from a well-placed 12 ga. load of #6 shot at 12 feet.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skysoldier29 View Post
    No I mean I'm shooting max 12 feet. After that is my outer wall approx 60yards in my line of fire then another house. Is it assumed that those rounds will perpetrate that other house and injure someone?
    Ah. So, a full-house SD grade 12ga 00 buck shell that misses an assailant, strikes a wall at 12ft and goes through to another wall at 60yds. Would that round still be capable of killing someone, at that range.

    Figure the calibrated gel tests are at ~12ft from the muzzle, and the "good" stuff penetrates 12-18" (FBI rqmts). I wouldn't want to be struck from 60yds away, going through a wall. According to some drywall tests I've seen, #00 buck going through 3-4 boards minimum isn't uncommon. However, a gypsum board isn't a wall.

    Going through two actual house walls 60yds apart, would such a load still be able to kill? Dunno. Could, I suppose. A child? Very possibly. A fully grown adult? Perhaps not. But if #00 buck goes through 4+ boards, it could go through two average house/apt walls and strike someone, yes. It could certainly make a mess of someone who's walking by just on the other side of the one wall.


    Keep in mind:
    • 12ga #00 buck -- each pellet is ~.33cal, with 9 of them in the standard #00 buck shell.
    • FBI penetration spec is 12-18" in calibrated ballistic gel blocks (for stopping a 2-legged person).



    TheBoxOTruth.com has done some penetration tests (through gypsum/wall board): The Box O' Truth #3 - The Shotgun Meets the Box O' Truth. #00 buck penetrated 7-8 boards, stopping in the 9th. But that was at ~5yds distance, not a test of (a) going through X boards, then (b) traveling 60yds and (c) then going through Y boards.

    TheBoxOTruth.com has also done a general rifle/shotgun test through 4 simulated "walls": The Box O' Truth #14 - Rifles, Shotguns, and Walls. #00 buck penetrated all 4 of these "walls." (Of course, the typical well-made house wall is somewhat more complex than just one simple sheet of gypsum board.) Still, BOT's point of penetrating 4 walls "with ease, but there's a price to pay" is worth considering.

    A test report from GunSite that was posted on ShotgunWorld.com back in 2007 also confirms that #00 buck penetrates several "walls" (boards): click.
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    Effective range for defense depends on the choke; I'm guessing that your 500 is cylinder, so maybe 30 yards.

    The range at which a stray pellet can be lethal is much greater. It's tough to find good data on it, as nobody really cares about how it drops deer at long range, but from the numbers I've seen, I'd guess at LEAST 100 yards.

    At 12 feet, you don't need 00 for people. Any buckshot would do, and some birdshot, IMHO. Check out the test of birdshot at gunblast.com.
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    If your statement of 12 ft. max is indeed valid (that's all you want it to do for you), then 00 buck would be a terrible choice if you have any possibility at all of collateral damage. It would be overkill (figuratively and literally.)
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxwell97 View Post
    The range at which a stray pellet can be lethal is much greater. It's tough to find good data on it, as nobody really cares about how it drops deer at long range, but from the numbers I've seen, I'd guess at LEAST 100 yards.
    Extreme Shock 12ga #00 buck is listed at 1160fps and 2300ft-lbs. Winchester's Ranger 12ga #00 buck is listed at 1600fps. I've seen some numbers on 12ga #00 buck rounds go north of 2800ft-lbs.

    Roughly similar in size to a .32auto round, each pellet at roughly similar speeds, though, would have significantly more (muzzle) energy than any .32auto. After going through 2-3 walls of an "average" home though? I wouldn't want to get hit by them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilowatt3 View Post
    At 60 yards, 00 Buck is potentially lethal, and certainly capable of causing serious injury. Depends, of course, on how much the walls (yours and the neighbors') slow it down, but there's certainly a risk.

    Personally, my 12 ga. load of choice is #4 buck. If your maximum distance is going to be 12 feet, then 00 is overkill and even #4 buck is bigger than you'd need. #6, #4 (not buck), or BB shot will be devastating at 12 ft., and will cut down on the chance of collateral damage. Some will argue that #6 is too small, but they're mistaken; Nobody's walking away from a well-placed 12 ga. load of #6 shot at 12 feet.
    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. #6...not enough energy. It might work, or it might be made almost worthless by some dense layered clothing. Oh sure the assailant might catch some that lodge under the skin and cause a nasty infection, but the likely immediate outcome is him covering that 12 feet after you shoot him and braining you with a bat or simply shooting you with something like a 9mm a few times.

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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRevered View Post
    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. #6...not enough energy. It might work, or it might be made almost worthless by some dense layered clothing. Oh sure the assailant might catch some that lodge under the skin and cause a nasty infection, but the likely immediate outcome is him covering that 12 feet after you shoot him and braining you with a bat or simply shooting you with something like a 9mm a few times.
    I'd be fascinated to meet the person who would fight with a baseball bat despite an 8" deep, 3" diameter hole in his chest. Optimal? Perhaps not. Worthless? Far from it.
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    Senior Member Array hayzor's Avatar
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    I like #4 buck for home defense, also for coyotes.
    I can say from experience that #4 buck at 70 yrds on a coyote is not effective. Under 10 yrds - Very effective on man and beast.
    If it had to penetrate a wall, travel 60 yrds, and penetrate another wall - It would not be lethal.
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