2 3/4" VS.3" Magnum Buckshot?

This is a discussion on 2 3/4" VS.3" Magnum Buckshot? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; My main defense load for my shotgun (18.5" barrel) is 2 3/4 inch buckshot (nine pellets) a friend of mine say's I should use 3 ...

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Thread: 2 3/4" VS.3" Magnum Buckshot?

  1. #1
    Member Array thinktwice's Avatar
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    2 3/4" VS.3" Magnum Buckshot?

    My main defense load for my shotgun (18.5" barrel) is 2 3/4 inch buckshot (nine pellets) a friend of mine say's I should use 3 inch magnum shells. I understand the magnum shells have somewhat more power, but I think regular 2 3/4 inch will get the job done just as good with less recoil. I would like to hear what you guys think.

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    Either one will ruin a BG's day.

    Personally, I'd stick with 2 3/4".
    CCW permit holder for Idaho, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire. I can carry in your country but not my own.

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    New Member Array arizona98tj's Avatar
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    I personally wouldn't opt for 00 buck in a magnum loading for my defense load.

    The magnum load, resulting in more recoil, means you will take longer to get back on target for followup shots. And the increased recoil usually leads to less practice time. I like to enjoy my practice....and I enjoy pulling the trigger many, many times during the session. ;) If you believe as some folks do, that 00 buck creates too many chances for over penetration, then a magnum load only exacerbates that problem.

    It's not uncommon to see folks using reduced recoil 00 buckshot for defense loads. I believe more folks go that route than opting for a magnum charge. After all, we are talking distances that are most likely in the 15 yd and under distance.

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    VIP Member Array searcher 45's Avatar
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    00 Buck 3in Mag kicks like a mule, and for me makes any follow up shot a matter of question.
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Stick with the 2 3/4" for your shotgun IMO.

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    I've owned and hunted with 3-inch 12 gauge guns. Never saw the need for the magnum length shell. The 2 3/4-inch 12 gauge shotgun is an amazingly capable firearm with all the different ammunition available.

    What little buckshot I've flung at critters all worked very well and it was mostly from a 2 3/4-inch 12 gauge gun.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    Senior Member Array RebelRabbi's Avatar
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    2 3/4 feeds more reliably than 3".........I doubt there is any discernable difference in the Terminal effects inside 40 yards.

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    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    2 3/4" should be plenty,

    depending on your magazine capacity, you might get one shell less with 3"
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

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    Senior Member Array Macattack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacii View Post
    2 3/4" should be plenty,

    depending on your magazine capacity, you might get one shell less with 3"
    Yep beat me to it!
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    My 2 pennies. . .My first three shells are BB loads followed by buck shot. I do this mostly for reduced wall penetration should I get sloppy at 3AM. Please don't confuse that with standard "bird shot" like 6, 7.5, 8 etc. With a BB size load there are only 72 pellets, whereas the #6 load has 225, so there is quite a size difference between the two. I assure you the BB load will make a big enough hole in the BG to throw a small cat through. Run some testing on your own and have fun doing it! After all, it's free country for the time being!
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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    No, the 'Magnum' shells do not have more power.

    Shotgun shells are not same as handgun & rifle rounds as in regard to the marketing term of "Magnum".

    All that 'magnum' means in a shotgun shell is that the amount of volume for the projectiles is greater allowing for greater payload and thus increased shell length as well as by that increased felt recoil due to mass.

    Shotgun shell length determines payload...NOT powder charge quantity or density as in handgun and rifle rounds.

    Below is quote of item I'd posted on this exact subject on June 7th at another gunfu forum:
    * The components of a shotgun 'shell'



    Source - http://homestudy.ihea.com/ammo/12shell.htm

    Informational: A shotgun does NOT fire 'bullets' nor does it use 'cartridges' or 'rounds'. Rifles and handguns fire those.
    As well a shotgun that is labeled as "Magnum" is not the same by meaning as that of a handgun or rifle as in relation to the shell it is designed to support. Remember this...Very many people including even gun experienced people do not know/understand this fact.

    ~~~


    Source - http://homestudy.ihea.com/ammo/13shell.htm

    Informational: Generally any shotgun shell at 3" or longer is referred to by industry under the _marketing_ term of being 'Magnum'. The only difference is the amount of payload (shot balls) per given shot size per gauge.
    With handgun rounds and rifle cartridges the term 'Magnum' is applied to mean a greater amount of powder than normal is packed within the casing. That is not the case with modern shotguns. The only exception being antique, as in not modern, blackpowder shotguns. Generally not relevant but to specialty gun owners, and they make their own shells rather than buy them from WalMart or Joe's Gun Shop.
    When you fire a 'high capacity' shotgun shell, widely marketed as being "Magnum", the increased recoil you feel (aka 'felt recoil') is a function of the payload AND the specific weight of the shotgun you happen to fire it out of.

    Velocity figures for all commercially loaded shells as from 2 3/4" up to 3.5" across a given product family will be pretty much same. Why?
    Because there is not additional powder, just additional payload volume.

    For more reading toward recoil as specifically related to shotguns and shotgun ammunition go to the following:
    * Shotgun Report ~ 'Recoil'
    http://www.shotgunreport.com/TechTec...ts/Recoil.html

    * Wikipedia ~ 'Recoil'
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recoil

    * What is Recoil and How is it Calculated?
    http://www.loadammo.com/Topics/August01.htm

    * How to figure shotgun recoil?
    http://www.gunnersden.com/index.htm.shotgun-recoil.html

    All of the above is specific to commercially loaded shotgun shell ammunition which is what at least 99% of shotgunners in general never mind home defense users in specific would have experience with over the course of their shotgun handling lives.

    The only exceptions to the above are those who either load their own homemade modern shotgun shells and do so going greater than commercial loading suggestions ('wildcat' loads) and/or those who are using antique type shotguns and firing from shells or even brass casings using blackpowder as a propellant; http://www.tbullock.com/bpsg.html

    For information on shotshell loading (reloading) including a primer on 'recoil'as related to shotguns in specific, point your browser here:

    * General Information on Shotshell Reloading
    http://www.accuratepowder.com/data/P...0reloading.pdf

    The reason that I take the time to detail this is because _very_ often I see online as well as run into people IRL, including students, who assume or even believe that 'Magnum' shotgun shells are directly akin to that of magnum type handgun and rifle rounds as by marketing nomenclature.
    Why this belief endures is a mystery to me considering that clear evidence against as much is obvious when one actually compares two shells (magnum and non-magnum) to each other as side by side. But... (!) ...This does require the viewer to have an actual understanding toward the construction of a shotgun shell including it's components, to which then there would be no question on this subject to start.

    IMHO use of 'Magnum' shells is not of high purpose for HD, or general survival, use. The gain in increased payload/pellet density as against that of the increased recoil due to the increase in overall payload mass is not worth the increased expense in felt recoil nor the ammunition cost.
    Magnum shells were developed to provide hunters with a greater opportunity to kill game animal targets as at distance (which is not up close as in HD and tactical application) by increasing the percentage of projectiles into the target AND increasing the percentage odds of making a strike to the game animal target by any number of projectiles (balls) as within the shell without respect to barrel choke type and distance of the target as measured from the muzzle.

    Nobody will have a HD situation that justifys use of 'Magnum' _payload_ ammunition in that the threat as a target is so far out in relative distance or so small in relative size or so thick in relative hide density (natural body armor) that an increased or even greatly increased (3.5" shell) becomes a necessity at all...As opposed to ability to fire a second shell (2 3/4") more/much more quickly and to be able to physically withstand the first and/or second shot with less/no immediate physical wounding/injury to the shooter by way of felt and actual recoil forces.

    As to magazine capacity it's IMHO pretty much a functional wash as generally 3" Magnum shells only cost you one shell capacity difference. Meaning you gain one additional shell when going to 2 3/4".
    If you in a HD situation (not military and not police...Nor are you hunting snow geese at 50+ yds.) find yourself having to fire greater than 2 or 3 shells max...Then you need to transition to another and better weapon system such as a handgun or rifle of higher capacity and/or potential threat specific stopping power.

    Bottom line:
    2 3/4" FTW

    - Janq

    "Recoil is the 'kick' given by a gun when it is fired. In technical terms, this kick is caused by the gun's backward momentum, which exactly balances the forward momentum of the projectile. In most small arms, the momentum is transferred to the ground through the body of the shooter...
    The change in momentum results in a force which, according to Newton's second law, is equal to the time derivative of the backward momentum of the gun. The backward momentum is equal to the mass of the gun multiplied by its reverse velocity. This backward momentum is equal, by the law of conservation of momentum, to the forward momentum of the ejecta of the gun (the projectile(s), wad, sabot, propellant gases, and so on). Provided that the mass and velocity of the ejecta are known, it is possible to calculate its momentum and thus the recoil." - Wikipedia entry explaining 'Recoil'
    Last edited by Janq; June 28th, 2010 at 01:19 PM.
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    What Janq said
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    The only time I used a larger buckshot load than that delivered by a 2 3/4-inch 12 gauge shell was in "defense" of the yard and perimeter of my home against a large and vicious pit bull dog that had started hanging around. We lived in a rural area and had two small children.

    On this occasion a 10 gauge magnum 3 1/2-inch, 2 1/4 ounce load of number 4 buckshot was used: 54 pellets of .24 caliber diameter. It was amazing but, at less than 10 yards, a 12 gauge 2 3/4-inch shell would have been equally effective.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    Good post Janq...
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    Member Array booyah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    The only time I used a larger buckshot load than that delivered by a 2 3/4-inch 12 gauge shell was in "defense" of the yard and perimeter of my home against a large and vicious pit bull dog that had started hanging around. We lived in a rural area and had two small children.

    On this occasion a 10 gauge magnum 3 1/2-inch, 2 1/4 ounce load of number 4 buckshot was used: 54 pellets of .24 caliber diameter. It was amazing but, at less than 10 yards, a 12 gauge 2 3/4-inch shell would have been equally effective.

    Ok, um holy my goodness.... where can I get one of those? Better yet make it two

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