I know that 00 buck has the greatest wound potential, but some people fear overpenetration with this load. I've heard that #1 buck offers a good balance between wound potential and penetration.
However, I just picked up a great deal on some Federal 2-3/4" #4 buck (1000 rounds for $200) and am wondering if this makes a good HD load or if I should just use it as range ammo.
Also, what kind of patterning do you think I could expect from this ammo at say... 15 yards... and 25 yards with an IMP CYL 18" barrel? Would it be much different than 00 buck or #1 buck?
Thanks in advance.
I just found some information on the net from "Guns" magazine where they did some patterning tests with different loads. It didn't really get into wound capablilities though so any info you guys might have would still be appreciated.
GUN AND SHELL PATTERN SIZE
CHOKE IN INCHES
DISTANCE 3 YARDS
18" Cylinder #7 4 3/4
#6 3 3/4
#4B 3 3/4
00B 2 1/2
28" Modified #7 2 1/2
#4B 2 1/2
30" Full #7 2 1/2
#6 1 3/4
DISTANCE 5 YARDS
18" Cylinder #7 9
#4B 6 1/2
28" Modified #7 4 1/2
00B 2 1/2
30" Full #7 5
#6 4 1/2
#4B 4 1/2
DISTANCE 7 YARDS
18" Cylinder #7 12
#4B 9 1/2
00B 6 1/2
28" Modified #7 7
#4B 5 1/2
30" Full #7 6
#4B 5 1/2
DISTANCE 10 YARDS
18" Cylinder #7 16
28" Modified #7 9
#4B 8 1/2
00B 5 1/2
30" Full #7 8
00B 4 1/2
DISTANCE 20 YARDS
18" Cylinder #7 29
28" Modified #7 18
30" Full #7 15
#4 buckshot is excellent for HD use.
The argument over #00, #1, or #4, is like any other such argument: A matter of personal preference.
In my housing situation, due to the short range and close neighbors, I use #4.
If I can still find some, I'll shortly be going to Reduced Recoil #4 buck loads.
A good starting "rule of thumb" on defense shotguns and buckshot is "About" 1" per yard from the muzzle for spread.
In other words, at 15 yards, the pattern would be around 15"-16".
In other words, for every yard from the muzzle the shot will spread "about" one inch.
This varies based on the choke, and how a specific gun shoots a specific brand/type of ammo.
The only way to tell for sure is to actually shoot your gun with the ammo.
Keep in mind, that REAL HD situations almost always take place at very close range, and you may not WANT a tight pattern.
The typical dwelling has a maximum possible range of no more than 20 to 30 FEET.
At that range the pattern is pretty small, and it's easy to flat out MISS.
20 feet is about 6 yards, and that means a group "about" 6" to 7" INCHES.
In addition to changing to Reduced Recoil #4 ammo, I'm going to open up my 870 Police gun's Improved Cylinder choke to a true Open Cylinder to get more spread inside.
+2, #4 buck I my personal favorite, considering you can find it.
I still have some old ass purple hull winchester #4 buck in 20ga, top that.
I use 000 buck... That said.. I'd feel perfectly safe if all I had was #4.
Actually, 4Buck has more wounding potential than either 1Buck or 00 *IF* penetration isn't a concern. 1Buck is the optimal choice if you follow the tenets of the IWBA, where you expect the pellets to all reach a foot of penetration. Nobody markets a 1Buck low-recoil load, so the many low-recoil 00 offerings are often the chosen round.
In a typical 4Buck load, not all of the pellets will penetrate a foot. A few might, most will fall a couple of inches short, and a few might only go 8 or 9 inches deep.
However, a centered-on-chest shot on a bad guy is going to make such a devastating wound that, 99 times out of a hundred, the lack of penetration will be moot. The lack of penetration is a concern with shots at a goofy angle or going through arms, really thick clothing or a lot of excessive fat or muscle.
I use 8-pellet 00 rounds, but you shouldn't feel "undergunned" using 4Buck.
I've always had the opinion that anything flying out the barrel is not going to be nice when it hits anything close range. IOW, if I got hit by birdshot just down the hallway I'm sure Ill be detered.
Amen to that, Brother!
#1 buck actually has the most wounding potential.
00 buck=9 .33 caliber pellets
#1 buck=16 .30 caliber pellets
Do the math.
Which is why 4 Buck trumps them both, as long as possible under-penetration isn't a concern.
This is bird shot. I think any of the buckshots would do just fine.
That's hardcore, Brother! w00t!
U da' man!
When #1 Buck was recommended to me, I started looking for sources. A good friend said it is what the guides used to use in the African hunts to drop or finish off big cats. In my search I came across some in 3". That would have to be effective!
As I kept searching I found some of the higher quality loads with buffered shot, plated shot, and/or both. The buffer offers better groups. The plated shot shows little or no deformation in the game I have killed with it, and it penetrates much deeper. Of course I'm talking about birdshot, but I'm trying to draw a parallel here. Plated shot in Buckshot might be the way to go to increase penetration with the smaller shot like #4 Buck. I haven't done any penetration tests yet, but plan to in order to see how much of an edge the plated gives versus the non plated.
What I have witnessed is a deer being dropped dead in its tracks at 75 yards with Winchester Reduced Recoil 00 Buck from a 28" Winchester 12gauge with modified choke. That same gun dropped a dog at 35 yards; the ammo that time was Remington 3" Nitro Mags in buffered #4 birdshot. At the other end of the spectrum, I would absolutely NEVER ever use any birdshot load for self defense for any reason whatsoever! I shot a rogue dog at 25 yards with birdshot and it just about ate me alive before I got him down. I will never forget that.
The difference in the two rogue dog shootings is the one-shot-kill was from a safe distance on the second floor of the house. If something went wrong, nobody would have been hurt. The funny thing is the shooter was trying to pull off slightly just to burn the dog. It rolled the dog over and he was dead before the carcass came to rest. My experience was with my feet on the ground. After the shot, I had the muzzle of the gun pressed firmly against the dogs head holding him off of me. The gun had the spent shell in the chamber, and there was a multitude of other things working against me. When the dog quit pushing, I was able to get another shell chambered and put a huge smoking hole in his forehead (point blank). I didn't get hurt and I didn't pee myself, but that was a first hand, realtime lesson that has changed me forever.
Birdshot is for birds. Buck shot is for everything else.
As far as #4 Buck goes, there is a great thread in the forum somewhere
Read the whole thing. The book to reference is "Point Man, by James Watson and Kevin Dockery". From what I gathered, Mr. Watson used #4Buck exclusively in the line of duty in Vietnam. It worked well and keep in mind, this was jungle not in a house. I need to get that book and read it for myself. Knowledge is power.
Hey! Wait a darned minute! That is a whopper deal!
Did you really get 1000 rounds for $200?
Is that regular/full-powered Buck?
I thought ammoman.com sold stuff like that for over $100 for 250 rounds. Where did you find this stuff?
It's Federal F127, 2 3/4", #4 Buck High Power. I came across a local guy (through the internet) that was selling off a lot of his gun stuff. He had only 4 (250 round) cases and I offered him $200 and he accepted. And since he was local, I was spared shipping costs. I've never bought that large quantity of SG shells, but I knew it was too good of a deal to pass up. Those will last me quite a while since I don't shoot too many shotgun rounds when I go the range.
I guess I overlooked 1 case. He's got it listed on gunbroker. I won 2 cases through gunbroker, and he cancelled 2 other auctions for the same ones when I contacted him to inquire about picking up all of them. I thought he had only 4 but I missed this auction:
Looks like he increased the starting price to $60 though (+ shipping). I'm not sure what shipping on a single case would be since I picked mine up from him locally. Only 17 hours left in the auction, so if you think this is a good deal, time is running out soon.
ETA: He's also got some Winchester #8 shot (250 rounds) starting at $40 (+ shipping)
Less than an hour left for the #4 buck if anyone is really interested!!!