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12ga Home Defense Ammo

12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby rgrecco » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 07:08:31

I have a Remington 870 Express 12ga with a Smooth Bore 18" barrel with Rifle Sights...

Would you keep it loaded with 00 Buck or 1oz Rifled Slug???

I am thinking the 00 Buck is the better option but figured i would see what everyone elses opinions are...

Thanks for your input in advance...

Ron

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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby rgrecco » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 07:20:39

Sorry... I have the 20" barrel not the 18" barrel...

870 Express BBL 12ga Deer 20" Rifle Sights / Improved Cylinder

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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby jdonovan » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 08:28:53

rgrecco wrote:Would you keep it loaded with 00 Buck or 1oz Rifled Slug???

I am thinking the 00 Buck is the better option but figured i would see what everyone elses opinions are...


Have you taken it to the range and tried out the ammo? Which worked better for you?

Either ammo in theory is fine. There are some reasons you might select one vs the other. Slugs have VERY long penetration vs drywall. Expect that if you don't hit a stud that 4-6 walls (12 sheets of drywall) can be penetrated. This means exiting the house for most people...unless you live in a bunker, or a REALLY big house. Buck will still go through 2-3 walls, so you still have to be sure of targets and beyond.

I think I ran through 75-100 rounds of various loads before I settled in on one I liked. It was something like 12-15 different brands/loadings of buck I tried out, and shot 5 rounds of each. It was very surprizing to see the difference in pattern/point of aim for each load... much more of a difference than I would have expected.


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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby grumpyMSG » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 08:37:20

I'd go with the buckshot, but one of the things you need to the range and pattern various brands to figure out which brand gives you the best, most predictable pattern.
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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby OakRidgeStars » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 08:40:40

If you want to use 00 buckshot, try the low recoil loads for home defense. A 12Ga shell is more than powerful enough to stop an intruder, but over-penetration is going to be an issue.

Another option is #6 or #8 bird shot. It's still effective but not as risky in terms of over-penetration.
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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby jdonovan » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 08:46:42

OakRidgeStars wrote:Another option is #6 or #8 bird shot. It's still effective but not as risky in terms of over-penetration.


NO

Birdshot is NOT a realistic option unless you are looking to piss-off the intruder and ensure he lives and hires a lawyer.

If the load is going to penetrate the needed 10-14" of bad guy to ensure it can reach vital organs. The is _IS_ going to go through walls, several of them.

If you don't want to worry about walls, get a taser, or pepper spray.


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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby Chasbo00 » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 09:07:45

Pattern your potential shotgun loads for the distances you are likely to use it in a home defense situation. Most are surprised at how tight the pattern is at 15 feet or less.
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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby Palladin » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 09:26:40

2'' # 4buck for inside the house if your rig will feed it. :fireright:
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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby OakRidgeStars » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 09:39:19

jdonovan wrote:NO

Birdshot is NOT a realistic option unless you are looking to piss-off the intruder and ensure he lives and hires a lawyer.

If the load is going to penetrate the needed 10-14" of bad guy to ensure it can reach vital organs. The is _IS_ going to go through walls, several of them.

If you don't want to worry about walls, get a taser, or pepper spray.


I say that unless your 12Ga shell is loaded with unicorn dust and kitten fur, it's going to be effective. Remember, we are talking about a home defense situation. That means that the homeowner is likely to be up close with a attacker. That will make a difference.
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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby Chasbo00 » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 10:55:41

Sorry, I failed to answer your question with my previous post. Short answer: 00 Buck.

Longer answer:

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. A standard 2 ¾-inch 12 gauge shotshell contains 16 pellets of #1 buck. The total combined cross sectional area of the 16 pellets is 1.13 square inches. Compared to the total combined cross sectional area of the nine pellets in a standard #00 (double-aught) buck shotshell (0.77 square inches), the # 1 buck shotshell has the capacity to produce over 30 percent more potentially effective wound trauma.

In all shotshell loads, number 1 buckshot produces more potentially effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck. In addition, number 1 buck is less likely to over-penetrate and exit an attacker's body.

For home defense applications a standard velocity 2 ¾-inch #1 buck shotshell (16 pellet payload) from Federal, Remington or Winchester is your best choice. We feel the Federal Classic 2 ¾-inch #1 buck load (F127) is slightly better than the same loads offered by Remington and Winchester. The Federal shotshell uses both a plastic shot cup and granulated plastic shot buffer to minimize post-ignition pellet deformation, whereas the Remington and Winchester loads do not.

Second best choice is Winchester's 2 ¾-inch Magnum #1 buck shotshell, which is loaded with 20 pieces of copper-plated, buffered, hardened lead #1 buckshot. For those of you who are concerned about a tight shot pattern, this shotshell will probably give you the best patterning results in number 1 buck. This load may not be a good choice for those who are recoil sensitive.

While #1 buck might be ideal IF the the shot is hardened, the reality is that these loads might be hard to find. If finding hardened #1 proves elusive, 00 buck is a great choice instead.



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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby jdonovan » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 11:41:13

The selection of #1 is VERY limited. Rumors are that Federal is going to start making their ammo with the flight control wad, with #1's... I'd be interested to try that.

When I went to pattern my gun, it did less well with the #1's that I did find. I had 3-6 hits in one area and then large gaps to the other pellets.

I had GREAT patterns with all the Federal flight control products.

I also had good luck with the Winchester 3" 00-buck loads. This shell runs 12 copper plated pellets at 1450FPS. Its tough on the shoulder, but I'm running a M4 which eats some of the recoil up... I've tried it in a pump gun and it was more recoil than I wanted... and a friend who was there tried it out and that was the last round he shot for the day, and was complaining about his shoulder for 3 days. :hysterical:

I did try out Centurion Multi-Defense 2 3/4" 10 Round Box 6 #1 Buckshot With a .650" Ball @ 1300 FPS. Also a stout kicker, and the #1's didn't exactly make a perfect circle, but were generally well distributed, and the round ball was generally close to the center, near to point of aim.

I figured them for somewhat of a 'gimmick' type round, and was quite surprised when they did a reasonable job.

I did not take pictures of all my test targets, but I'm willing for a do-over.

I still have a bunch of targets, and a box of assorted shells. If someone up NoVA way has a private range we could do some pattern testing on I'm game. I'd really prefer a private area as most of the testing is shoot, 1-2 rounds, go look at targets, change them/tape them... and repeat until the shoulders give up.


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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby grumpyMSG » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 12:32:57

OakRidgeStars wrote:If you want to use 00 buckshot, try the low recoil loads for home defense. A 12Ga shell is more than powerful enough to stop an intruder, but over-penetration is going to be an issue.

Another option is #6 or #8 bird shot. It's still effective but not as risky in terms of over-penetration.

OakRidgeStars wrote:I say that unless your 12Ga shell is loaded with unicorn dust and kitten fur, it's going to be effective. Remember, we are talking about a home defense situation. That means that the homeowner is likely to be up close with a attacker. That will make a difference.


I went to a website that uses simple semi scientific techniques to prove or disprove common firearm myths and looked for some info, here is what I found related to this topic:

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot1.htm
http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot3.htm
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"I saw a gunshot victim, about 5' 10" and 200 lbs, taken to the operating room with a shotgun wound to the chest. He was shot at a range of six feet at a distance of just over the pectoralis muscle. He was sitting on his front porch and walked to the ambulance. We explored the chest after x-rays were taken. The ER doc had said 'buckshot' wound, but this was obviously not accurate.
It was # 6 shot. There was a crater in the skin over an inch in diameter. When the shot hit the level of the ribs, it spread out about five inches. There was ONE pellet that had passed between the ribs and entered the pericardium, but not damaged the heart at all. As you say, 'use bird shot for little birds.'"

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot14.htm
http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot42.htm

On a personal level, I had one of my former Soldiers, a Police Officer at his civilian job, catch a round of bird shot at his face, He wore glasses and the shatter resistant lenses protected his eyes, some pellets broke skin and stopped at bone, some of the pellets managed to hit above his eyes and slide along his skull up under his scalp. He was able to return fire and hit the shooter. since it was his face he bled alot, but he also live to talk about it. after a few month he healed up and had few noticeable scars.

Bird shot is not a good defensive round, racking a shotgun will not cause someone to $hit their pants, and if you aren't sure you can kill someone, do attempt to use a firearm to scare someone, you will just give them the weapon that they will use to kill you.
Of course it is in the last place you looked, you're not going to keep looking for something after you've found it.


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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby Wallace » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 13:02:14

jdonovan wrote:
OakRidgeStars wrote:Another option is #6 or #8 bird shot. It's still effective but not as risky in terms of over-penetration.


NO

Birdshot is NOT a realistic option unless you are looking to !@#$%^&*-off the intruder and ensure he lives and hires a lawyer.

If the load is going to penetrate the needed 10-14" of bad guy to ensure it can reach vital organs. The is _IS_ going to go through walls, several of them.

If you don't want to worry about walls, get a taser, or pepper spray.


It is a realistic option if you live in a relatively small home with children. I think circumstances should be weighed.

Am I confident enough in my skills that there is zero chance I will miss the target, and not penetrate the wall behind him and possibly injure a child?

If I have the weapon for the purposes of defending my family I should use caution in the type of ammunition I use. I can shoot more than once of needed.


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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby Chingon » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 15:59:38

I say bird shot is a viable answer. Its the same arguement as .45 vs 9mm in CQB situations (adequate penetration vs over penetration). I don't know too many people that have 50 yard hallways where bird shot would be ineffective. More realistically you will catch them at a door or open window or even at the entrance to your room. No need to go over symantics about shooting them dead or injuring. The purpose of home defense is to stop the immediate threat. Too many people forget this and get hung over on the cool factor of how "dubble out buck" or "1 ounce slugs" sounds. We all know that this is effective. The fact is that bird shot is cheaper to shoot and just as effective. It also allows you more range time to gain valuable experience at what to expect at different ranges and different situations. Besides, I don't know a single person that does not recognize the noise a shotgun makes when cycling a round. And if you are on the other side of that barrel, you better believe it will do the same thing as actually taking a shot which is to stop the threat.
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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby Jakeiscrazy » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 16:00:53

Wallace wrote:
jdonovan wrote:
OakRidgeStars wrote:Another option is #6 or #8 bird shot. It's still effective but not as risky in terms of over-penetration.


NO

Birdshot is NOT a realistic option unless you are looking to !@#$%^&*-off the intruder and ensure he lives and hires a lawyer.

If the load is going to penetrate the needed 10-14" of bad guy to ensure it can reach vital organs. The is _IS_ going to go through walls, several of them.

If you don't want to worry about walls, get a taser, or pepper spray.


It is a realistic option if you live in a relatively small home with children. I think circumstances should be weighed.

Am I confident enough in my skills that there is zero chance I will miss the target, and not penetrate the wall behind him and possibly injure a child?

If I have the weapon for the purposes of defending my family I should use caution in the type of ammunition I use. I can shoot more than once of needed.

Jdonovan is right, birdshot it is NOT going to penetrate deep enough to stop the threat. A round designed to take down a bird is certainly not suitable for self defense. And it will go thru walls don't convince yourself that using bird shot is a good substation for proper shot placement.

Look at some of the testing that has been done using ballistic gel.http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-381023.html

When ever your shooting a gun inside you home your risking lives. There is nothing you can do about that no matter what round your shooting. What you can do is use the most effective round at your disposable to put the person that is threatening you life out of the fight. Spend more time at the range, gain confidence with your weapon of choice so if the time comes you can make the shot. There is no such things as zero chance but either way you miss your still going to injure that child.


Also a bad guy with birdshot in him is that is still able to threaten your life and your families is more of a risk than you possibly missing.

And finally that whole you can "shoot more than once thing". You never know when your first shot is going to be the only shot you'll have a chance to take. It's for that exact same reason progressive loading is a bad idea.

Your best thing to do is to plan in such a way that creates a choke point so there is nobody downrange of you bad guy.
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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby Wallace » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 21:01:41

Jakeiscrazy wrote:
Wallace wrote:
It is a realistic option if you live in a relatively small home with children. I think circumstances should be weighed.

Am I confident enough in my skills that there is zero chance I will miss the target, and not penetrate the wall behind him and possibly injure a child?

If I have the weapon for the purposes of defending my family I should use caution in the type of ammunition I use. I can shoot more than once of needed.

Jdonovan is right, birdshot it is NOT going to penetrate deep enough to stop the threat. A round designed to take down a bird is certainly not suitable for self defense. And it will go thru walls don't convince yourself that using bird shot is a good substation for proper shot placement.

Look at some of the testing that has been done using ballistic gel.http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-381023.html

When ever your shooting a gun inside you home your risking lives. There is nothing you can do about that no matter what round your shooting. What you can do is use the most effective round at your disposable to put the person that is threatening you life out of the fight. Spend more time at the range, gain confidence with your weapon of choice so if the time comes you can make the shot. There is no such things as zero chance but either way you miss your still going to injure that child.


Also a bad guy with birdshot in him is that is still able to threaten your life and your families is more of a risk than you possibly missing.

And finally that whole you can "shoot more than once thing". You never know when your first shot is going to be the only shot you'll have a chance to take. It's for that exact same reason progressive loading is a bad idea.

Your best thing to do is to plan in such a way that creates a choke point so there is nobody downrange of you bad guy.


All good points, and that link has some great discussion.

If you live alone, in a brick house in a wooded area, you have more options. If you live in an apartment with people beside, above, and below you less than 10 feet away in any direction, birdshot is going to be a realistic option in my opinion. Situational awareness.

I am not saying it is the only option, or the best, but it should not be completely ruled out.


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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby SHMIV » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 21:41:40

Another thing to consider; who is most likely to break in your house?

Bored teenagers will react much different than a hopped up meth-head. The professional thief will also act different (and probably be a lot smarter).

In my case, I figure that the most realistic threat will be bored kids, from relatively well off families, looking for alcohol, a place to smoke up, and/or something else that they may deem "cool". This is not to say that a crack head won't show up in my house (those guys will steal anything!), it's just less likely.
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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby jdonovan » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 21:49:36

Wallace wrote:I am not saying it is the only option, or the best, but it should not be completely ruled out.


Hey if you are going to consider birdshot... I'd look into this http://www.amazon.com/Nerf-N-Strike-Vulcan-EBF-25-Blaster/dp/B0013U95U2 too. Real low chance of over penetration, and LOTS of ammo.


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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby grumpyMSG » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 23:47:14

Here is an idea for you folks that are dead positive that bird shot is a great idea for self defense, go purchase a thick cut of steak, maybe a ham or even a whole chicken, go ahead and shoot it, and then check the penetration of bird shot yourself. You wouldn't try to bring down a goose or duck with it, if you were hunting turkeys you would be using at least a #4. Why would you think that something used on dove and grouse is going to stop a human?

If you are that sure you cannot hit a human target at 30 feet or less with a shotgun:
1. You need to practice until you are proficient.
2. If your home is in need of defense, that should be your first worry. focus on hitting you target.
If you can't do step 1 and step 2, do step 1B...
1B. You should take the Monte Python defense and "Run away!!"
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Re: 12ga Home Defense Ammo

Postby mk4 » Fri, 02 Mar 2012 03:30:01

my mossy m590a1 20" barrel pump gun is loaded with #1 buck in the chamber, 2 more #1 buck shot shells in the mag tube next, followed by 3, 1oz rifled slugs and then 3 #00 bucks. all 2 3/4" shells. if i need more than 8+1, i've got bigger problems than i can solve with the pump gun. i could also go with 1 less round by using 3" magnums, but dang it they kick like a mule. my brother's got the shoulder bruise to prove it. ;-)

i've read mas ayoob extensively and he makes a good case for #1 buck over 00. i like it, but it's not the easiest to find.
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