Do you realize that a single 00 pellet has less energy and momentum than a .380?

Do you realize that a single 00 pellet has less energy and momentum than a .380?

This is a discussion on Do you realize that a single 00 pellet has less energy and momentum than a .380? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Because 00 buckshot is right at 9mm in diameter, actually 0.33" vs 0.354" (9 mm), we kinda think of 9 pellet 00 buckshot being equivalent ...

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Thread: Do you realize that a single 00 pellet has less energy and momentum than a .380?

  1. #1
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    Do you realize that a single 00 pellet has less energy and momentum than a .380?

    Because 00 buckshot is right at 9mm in diameter, actually 0.33" vs 0.354" (9 mm), we kinda think of 9 pellet 00 buckshot being equivalent to 9, 9 mm rounds. It isn't and it isn't even close, especially when the 9 pellet 00 is low recoil. Here's why:

    The total energy delivered to a threat by a 12 ga load, say Federal LE13200 reduced recoil which consists of 9 00 pellets at 1145 fps, is an impressive 1413 ft-lbs. However the energy of each individual pellet is only 157 ft-lbs. A .380 Federal American Eagle, FMJ, has 203 ft-lbs of energy. How significant is all this?

    Well, if a threat is shot a distance such that each pellet strikes a different place, i.e. no two pellets strike the same place, then the work done by each pellet, which reflects the ability of the pellet to penetrate, is all you get. A 00 pellet weighs 54 gn and is traveling at 1145 fps (actually that's muzzle velocity) and is very close in diameter to a 9mm. So in a sense it would be like loading your 9 mm handgun with a 54 gn bullet with a velocity of 1145 fps. Who would pick such a round for SD? Yet, that's what each pellet of 00 buckshot is.

    Even the lightest 9mm loads, say a Federal American Eagle, has a bullet weight of 115 gns (well over twice the mass of the 00), a velocity of 1180 fps, and an energy of 358 ft-lbs. So 4 shots of such a 9mm load would deliver the same total energy, actually more 1421 vs 1413, than the shotgun. Then if you compare momentum of a single pellet vs a single 115 gn American Eagle 9mm, the 9mm has over twice the momentum. Momentum is the primary effect that knocks things around, i.e. recoil and bone breaking, not the energy. That's why a .223 with about the same energy as a 12 ga shotgun doesn't have nearly the recoil - the shotgun load has far more momentum.

    Even a 90 gn FMJ .380 has more energy than a single 00 pellet and has 44% more momentum.

    Hmmm, I wonder if I can get a .380 shotgun?

    Another interesting thing is a single 55 gn .223 @ 3240 fps has almost as much energy as the whole 9 pellet 00 buckshot load - 1281 ft-lbs. The .223 has the same weight as an individual 00 pellet but over 8 times the energy!

    Anyway, this is just something to think about when you have nothing else to do, or want to go to sleep or something. This doesn't in any way diminish the power of the shotgun, but on a pellet basis, a 00 pellet is really pretty wimpy. And unfortunately it is the mass and velocity of the pellet that does the work and makes it penetrate.
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    I'll take the 12ga. loaded with 00 Buck.........thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xXxplosive View Post
    I'll take the 12ga. loaded with 00 Buck.........thank you.
    That never was an issue, but you're welcome????
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    What we truly need is a pistol round that accurately mimics the 00 pellet. That way, we can easily just do eyeballing estimates!

    How about with larger buckshot? Is there anything that approaches pistol-level energy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanuckQue View Post
    What we truly need is a pistol round that accurately mimics the 00 pellet. That way, we can easily just do eyeballing estimates!

    How about with larger buckshot? Is there anything that approaches pistol-level energy?
    Well, a slug has the same energy as a 00 load and it's nearly .75 caliber.

    In buckshot, 000 has a weight of 70 gns which is still less than the 90 gn .380.

    It's just curious how effective buckshot purportedly is, when the individual pellets are significantly less powerful than a .380.
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    I'll take a 12ga loaded with Single 0 buck. More hits in the spread pattern across the room!
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    I've never been a 00 fan. My home defense shotgun is loaded with 385 grain Winchester sabots.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxwell47 View Post
    I'll take a 12ga loaded with Single 0 buck. More hits in the spread pattern across the room!
    I understand. But this really isn't about which shotgun load is the best. It's about how single pellets compare in energy to some pistol bullets. It's a bit of a conundrum, yet who can deny the effectiveness of a shotgun with the right load?

    I guess what I'm pondering here is if we question the penetrating ability of a .380, and a .380 has more energy and more momentum than a single 00 pellet, the individual pellets won't penetrate as deeply as the .380. What does it mean?
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    Similar discussion here:
    00 Buck penetration
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    I know I don't want to get shot with any of 'em!
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    I know I don't want to get shot with any of 'em!
    Amen to that!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    Similar discussion here:
    00 Buck penetration
    Thanks for the link Mike; I've seen that before I think, but a good refresher.

    I do agree with the tenets in the link except I believe there is reason to suspect the claim a bit about 00 penetration. As I've pointed out, an individual 00 pellet would be like loading a 9mm with a 54 gn bullet with a velocity of 1145 fps. Of course we're talking about ball here which may require much less energy to penetrate sufficiently than expanding bullets would.

    Also, the concept is supported by the fact that as game gets larger/tougher, 000 seems to be the preferred load.

    Also, what would be considered full power loads, i.e. 00 at 1325 fps, would be considerably more effective than low recoil at 1145 fps, but then there's the significantly increased recoil, about 16% more which is what the low recoil was suppose to help with.

    It all just kinda makes you go, hmmmm???
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    Another interesting thing is a single 55 gn .223 @ 3240 fps has almost as much energy as the whole 9 pellet 00 buckshot load - 1281 ft-lbs. The .223 has the same weight as an individual 00 pellet but over 8 times the energy!
    That is because energy goes up exponentially with an increase in velocity... smaller and faster has more energy than larger and slower.. which is part of the whole 9mm vs 45acp debate.. wrench in the machine is that the permanent wound channel is so much larger from the larger round.. obviously..

    as far as handguns go, you want both big diameter rounds hitting the target at ludicrous speeds.. im talking, "they've gone to plaid!" speeds.. but you need to balance the two factors.. a 1 inch bullet at 10,000ft/s is unrealistically controllable in a handgun or a rifle really.. so we need to find the biggest round that can controllably be fired and be done so accurately at the highest fps possible.

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    I talked to a fella whom shot a perp with a 12 gauge. He stated "I never imagined the damage I saw that 12g do". Mentioned it nearly cut him in half, at this point I cut that topic short as he was starting relive the moment and getting a little shaky, I changed topic we finished our donuts....we always heard shots at night here and there.....one of those was this guy getting shot...
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonJ View Post
    That is because energy goes up exponentially with an increase in velocity... smaller and faster has more energy than larger and slower..
    That's how I calculated the comparative figures, E = 0.5 x mass x velocity squared. But the momentum, which causes the reaction is linear with velocity.
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