Best home defense shotgun ammo?

This is a discussion on Best home defense shotgun ammo? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Getting ready to purchase a Mossberg FLEX 500 12 ga. and was wondering what is recommended as the most effective shotgun ammo for home defense. ...

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Thread: Best home defense shotgun ammo?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Hodad's Avatar
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    Best home defense shotgun ammo?

    Getting ready to purchase a Mossberg FLEX 500 12 ga. and was wondering what is recommended as the most effective
    shotgun ammo for home defense.

    Stopping power and excess penetration are my major concerns.

    I am looking to be educated on this subject. I have read some interesting threads on another forum site but wanted some
    input from the defensivecarry community out there.

    Thanks in advance for your responses.
    "Life is tough but it's really tough if you are stupid"

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    1 buck minimum. 000 buck is a waste. So - 1 or 0 buck if you can find it, or 00 (most common) if you can't find either of those.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Sig35seven's Avatar
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    The bigger the pellets the deeper the penetration but the less stopping power. So it depends on which is most important. I disagree that 000 buck in a 12ga. is a waste for close range home defense.It's quite good actually and would probably be a good choice for home defense. Even bird shot in the chest at close range leaves a devastating wound and will knock you down hard. (I am not advocating using bird shot)
    "Confidence is food for the wise man but liquor for the fool"

  4. #4
    Member Array Eichorn's Avatar
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    Opinions on what is the "ideal" shotgun load vary widely.

    If you anticipate firing at very short ranges (say, 6-10ft) and over penetration is a major concern, you may with to consider #7 1/2 or #8 birdshot.

    If you require more stopping power and range, but still reduced penetration, #4 buckshot is another option.

    For a general purpose load, 9 pellet, 00 buck is your standard, "do all" load. You may wish to consider reduced recoil loads for indoor work, if you choose 00 buck.

    Full power 00 buck or slugs are also a consideration, if you anticipate needing to stop a threat outdoors of either the two or four footed variety.

    One answer to the problem is to store a variety of ammo on your gun in a side saddle or butt cuff. Starting with the lightest load and working your way up in power, depending on the expected threat and range, etc.
    "Hell is truth seen too late."

  5. #5
    Member Array ruger91's Avatar
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    i use 00 buck and winchester pdx1 defender together. not that the recoil is a problem or anythng but i have my first shot as a low recoil 00 so i can get back on target for a second shot if needed, then normal 00 and then the pdx1s.

    NRA member

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array KBSR's Avatar
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    I load #6 shot & #7 shot for the first two rounds, followed by #4 Buckshot. Using buckshot indoors is problematic, if you have loved ones sleeping on the other side of the wall you are shooting towards. Bird shot will encourage your subject to "put some yonder" between himself and that gun, and RIGHT NOW!!!

    A sidesaddle installed on the weapon will allow you to choose your rounds, depending on the scenario. Couple of 00Buck rounds, and a couple of rifled slugs ride my sidesaddle.

    Be safe.
    MamaMaria, cthruit and PAPADALE1 like this.
    " But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself... Baa." Col. Dave Grossman on Sheep and Sheepdogs.

  7. #7
    Senior Moderator
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    All I have is 00 buck for my coach gun...from someone who cares to give the very best!
    Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

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  8. #8
    Member Array Sgt45's Avatar
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    Ann Arbor, MI
    I haven't use a shotgun in years, but back in my other life I thought a 3" magnum with #4 buck (41 pellets) was a good choice. The idea of getting hit with 41 .25 caliber balls-ouch. Now that I'm older and supposedly wiser 00 buck is probably the way to go, or as others have suggested start with something smaller and work up. As totally stupid as it may seem, starting small has its benefits in court, No your honor I wasn't trying to kill him, I only wanted to stop the attack but he kept coming at me so... . I'm not sure you could get away with that using #4 buck, but hey... . I do have an 870 in the safe and a Wilson is waiting for me to pick up as I plan to take a 4 day shotgun class in the spring. My feeling is that 00 buck and slugs will be the recommended ammo.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array JDE101's Avatar
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    My 870 is loaded with 00 buckshot and the stock sleeve is loaded with alternating 00 buck and slugs. Like retsup99, I care to send the very best!
    Live to ride, ride to live. Harley Road King And keep a .45 handy Kimber Custom TLE II

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array yz9890's Avatar
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    Best home defense shotgun ammo?

    I use #4 buckshot.

  11. #11
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    Array pgrass101's Avatar
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    I prefer #1 or #4 buckshot, but since it's hard to find #1 I use 00 instead (I currently still have 10 rounds of #1) Winchester Super-X Ammo 12 Ga 2-3/4 Buffered #1 Buckshot 16 Pellets
    A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.

  12. #12
    Member Array MamaMaria's Avatar
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    The defensive shotgun ammo debate is probably as divided as the "9mm vs .45" debate. The answer is not always as easy as 00 buck, or #4 buck, or whatever; it depends on All we can do is give our choices for our particular situations. Over penetration prevention is a very important consideration indoors, and in my situation, does weigh heavier in my shotgun ammo choice than stopping power.

    With my tiny 1950's built house (think small rooms, all bedrooms grouped together, homes close enough together that neighbors can shake hands through the bathroom windows), 00 buck is the "biggest" I'll go, and slugs and PDX1 are a no go. Like others, my shotgun is loaded with increasing shells: a couple #7-1/2 birdshot, #4 birdshot, last are the 00 buckshots. (Side saddle's got either some PDX1 or slugs in it--not sure, hubby put those in)

    Others will disagree with my ammo choice, but collateral damage (injury to children or neighbors) is too easy with my home layout, and is absolutely not acceptable in my case.
    Last edited by MamaMaria; December 20th, 2012 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Grammar for clarity
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  13. #13
    Member Array bubbatime's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    You asked for the best load? Here it is, end of discussion.

    Federal low recoil 1 buck buckshot

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  14. #14
    New Member Array LibertyorDeath's Avatar
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    To be honest its all depended on your house layout and how many people you have in your house. I use 00Buck, But i have no kids and my wife and I keep our wolf hybrid in our room. 00Buck will go straight through drywall, slugs will go through your house. I would accually suggest bird or dove shot. At 10 yards with a 18inch barrel, the intruder taked EVERY pellet. I even reloaded bird shot with crayons. You can use 1/4 the ammount of bird shot and melted crayons, the wax will hold the projectile until it hits then force the birdshot into your body without a through and through. What it comes down to is, do you want to splatter the intruders all over your house or take the risk hes not dead. Id rather be safe then sorry, Ive shot an intruder with 00Buck. There is still stains on my floor. But he sure as hell didnt get up. Police found a Bersa 380 in his hand. He was there to kill and rob. He robbed a few houses in the area days earlier and stole that handgun from one of them. Its up to you, id go with dove shot or 00Buck. My wife sleeps with the M&P15/22. Thats 26 rounds of .22cal hollow points. Anything is better than nothing.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    Not sure this is the best answer for inside a house but I like it for outside against a mob. I keep it in my sawed of 12 ga.

    A single .650 dia. ball and six #1 buckshot.

    Centurion Multi-Defense Ammo 12 Ga 2-3/4 .650 Diameter Round Ball over

    I trained with Angelina Joulie from Wanted. I mentally steer the ball to the ring leader and the buckshot takes out the guys standing on either side of him!

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