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Posted: 3/2/2006 12:54:43 AM EDT
I have been loading my HD shotgun with a game load of 1-1/4 oz. of #4 or #2 birdshot for years. When I tell people they look at me like I am crazy. I explain that I am concerned about buckshot being over penatrative. I have done some tests of my own by shooting into "walls" that I made up with drywall, plywood, and 2X4's. I know it is not exactly scientific, but I don't have access to ballistic gelatin. I also know that in a defense situation I probably won't be shooting the walls in my home. The point of my testing was to see how much penetration the loads would have in common building materials. I have small children in my home, and I wouldn't want one of them to get hit by a stray buckshot pellet that passed through a bad guy and then a wall. It may be a remote possibility, but it is a possibility. In my tests I concluded that #4 and #2 birdshot was the best compromise. All the buckshot loads, even the "reduced recoil" ones, easily deafeated my "walls" with room to spare. I found that at common defense distances, which would be no more than about 25 ft in my home, the birdshot would arrive on target in more or less one solid mass.
It seems to me that at close range the birdshot would hit like a 1-1/4 oz. slug, but without the over penetration of a slug or buckshot, because its energy would dissapate quickly.
My questions are:
Am I the only one in the world who uses birdshot for defense?
Has anyone done any similar testing, maybe with ballistic gelatin?
And, what were the results?
Thank you.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 1:27:03 AM EDT


I read some FBI shotgun defence article of some kind, it was a while ago so I would be able to find it, it said the #1buck is the best choice for HD when everything is considered. It also said that birdshot is the worst choice for home defence. Birdshot makes really nasty looking shallow wounds. The key to stopping power is penetration and shot placement and to be a reliable man stopper you need atleast 12 inches of penetration. #1 buck had the penetration but with less chance for the over penetration from slugs and 00 buckshot. Hope that answers you question
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 1:41:10 AM EDT
No your not!!! When I had small child and lived in a trailer we used number #2 shot. Great for two legged FOXhad
Now in my own house, kids are grown, #00hug.gifhug.gif is all I have in my HD shotgunhing



PITA45



Ever notice how people on the Left talk about leaving the Country and people on the Right talk about taking the Country back?
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 4:02:03 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 6:24:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 6:38:50 AM EDT by thinkat]
http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs10.htm
http://www.tacticalshotgun.ca/ballistics_shotgun.html


Suggested Reading for everyone.

I had the same concerns as you. If a BG were to walk into my bedroom at night. He would be standing in front of my closet. On the other side of the closet is one of my childs' bedroom. Therefore, I have placed objects against the wall in order to harden it. For the record, I use #1 buck. I'd rather fix the problem (overpenatration) than limit my weapons effectiveness.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 6:27:08 AM EDT
"Birdshot" tells you everything you need to know about its intended uses...
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 6:31:34 AM EDT
Popcorn- Check

Beer- Check



Link Posted: 3/2/2006 8:15:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/3/2006 3:56:47 PM EDT by sandboxmedic]
Birdshot works awesome for making nasty holes- if you cut partially through a factory shell at the wadding. It blows the entire end of the shell off (you need a cylinder bore) and acts like a giant Glaser safety slug. Obviously this is going to look really bad in a shooting incident and about half the time the short piece of shell left doesn't eject right so it's not a really viable option. I toss it out there for all those who say it won't penetrate or make nasty wound channels; I certainly wouldn't use it for self defense but it does cool things to small pine trees and water jugs.

ETA- for those of you wondering, the above was tossed out for range fun; my shotgun is loaded with 00 buck and there's a pair of slugs (plus four more 00) in the sidesaddle.

I do have a friend who is really into duck and goose hunting though who keeps his shotgun loaded with some of those heavy 3" goose loads. I'd be curious how those stacked up? I know the recoil on them is a bitch.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 11:18:48 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 11:28:01 AM EDT
Hmmm. A (possibly) non choked 18" barrel with #4. I guess at 10 yards you might be able to tickle him into surrender.

Seriously, nothing but 00B for me. I've got family around and I prefer actually putting the guy down instead of lodging a few BB's in his skin.

I won't stir the pot on home defense shotguns, but I will tell you I'm going to buy a smaller framed pistol with a light rail soon to replace my 870 for HD roles.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 11:35:15 AM EDT
If it won't kill a 78 year old lawyer it probably wont kill a 20 year old crack addict.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 11:47:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 11:50:16 AM EDT by HardShell]
Old_Painless... paging Old_Painless... Old_Painless please pick up the white coutesy phone...

Link Posted: 3/2/2006 12:00:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ikor:

Originally Posted By sandboxmedic:
Birdshot works awesome for making nasty holes- if you cut partially through a factory shell at the wadding. It blows the entire end of the shell off (you need a cylinder bore) and acts like a giant Glaser safety slug. Obviously this is going to look really bad in a shooting incident and about half the time the short piece of shell left doesn't eject right so it's not a really viable option. I toss it out there for all those who say it won't penetrate or make nasty wound channels; I certainly wouldn't use it for self defense but it does cool things to small pine trees and water jugs.



That is called a "field expedient slug" and yes, it will work, even with buckshot, if shot is all you have and you need a slug badly. The FBI used to teach how to make these in Instructor classes. They do not give very predictable accuracy past 20yd. and I always suspected they were hard on the gun pressure-wise, but I sure as heck would not want to get hit with one! Still, quite a different thing from firing small shot from a standard shell.



Field expedient slug, huh? Pretty darned cool!

Is it time to do a sticky on the birdshot/buckshot/hd/overpenetration/underpenetration issue? This topic pops up or resurfaces every few weeks. There's another here that includes penetration tests and test mediumar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=6&f=1&t=193319&page=1

There a few more that I can't seem to find right off.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 12:44:07 PM EDT
Thanks to all of you who acually helped. I've decided to try out some #4 and #1 Buck. I don't know why, but I didn't try those sizes in my previous tests, I only used various loads of the ubiquitous 00 and 000 Buck. For the record, my HD shotgun has a 20 in bbl and (currently) a full choke tube in place. I figured if I was going to use birdshot I should use a full choke, so I had my gunsmith thread the bbl for chokes. I should probably use IC or Mod. for buckshot though.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 1:47:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 762mmFMJ:
Thanks to all of you who acually helped. I've decided to try out some #4 and #1 Buck. I don't know why, but I didn't try those sizes in my previous tests, I only used various loads of the ubiquitous 00 and 000 Buck. For the record, my HD shotgun has a 20 in bbl and (currently) a full choke tube in place. I figured if I was going to use birdshot I should use a full choke, so I had my gunsmith thread the bbl for chokes. I should probably use IC or Mod. for buckshot though.



I can't say that there is or would be any use for the IC tube, if you are worried about missing targets and hitting walls, family members and whatnot. You already have a Full; I'd recommend a Modified and an extended Modified like the sporting clay or steel shot tubes. Try all three and see what does the best for your given purpose with the different types of ammo you try. Carlson's choke tubes are great and so are their employees.

Winchester buckshot is buffered, so it throws denser, more evenly distributed patterns. Try some of that in your comparisons.

I've been experimenting with different types of ammo, barrels, chokes, brands, you name it. If any of it might help you in your search, here's some links
www.ezforums.org/454Casull/forum_posts.asp?TID=166&PN=1
www.ezforums.org/454Casull/forum_posts.asp?TID=319&PN=1
And some more (it's a little long, but there's some good stuff in it)
www.ezforums.org/454Casull/forum_posts.asp?TID=102&PN=3
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 4:24:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/4/2006 5:21:29 AM EDT by 555R]
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 4:29:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 555R:
www.theboxoftruth.com



The above site is your best friend. ^^^

I keep #4 buck in my HD shottie since I am an apartment dweller currently. When I get a house, I'll keep 00 buck in the tube instead.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 4:53:06 PM EDT
bird shot kills, but usually only in very close quarters, like under 10', depending on the circumstances......
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 6:47:46 PM EDT
You guys got it all wrong! There is no need to even have the Shotgun loaded. Instead just rack the action and that will make the bad guys shit themselves and run off. Heh I just had to throw that out there cuz it makes me chuckle when I hear that being said.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 9:54:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Glockin_It:
You guys got it all wrong! There is no need to even have the Shotgun loaded. Instead just rack the action and that will make the bad guys shit themselves and run off. Heh I just had to throw that out there cuz it makes me chuckle when I hear that being said.




It is a very intimidating sound...I would sure think twice on advancing after hearing it.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 10:21:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
If it won't kill a 78 year old lawyer it probably wont kill a 20 year old crack addict.



You said it before I could.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 10:22:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GNX:

Originally Posted By Glockin_It:
You guys got it all wrong! There is no need to even have the Shotgun loaded. Instead just rack the action and that will make the bad guys shit themselves and run off. Heh I just had to throw that out there cuz it makes me chuckle when I hear that being said.




It is a very intimidating sound...I would sure think twice on advancing after hearing it.



Really?
I would open fire in the direction of the sound.
Anyone who waits until the shit starts to chamber a round won't be smart enough to be behind cover.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 11:52:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:

Originally Posted By GNX:

Originally Posted By Glockin_It:
You guys got it all wrong! There is no need to even have the Shotgun loaded. Instead just rack the action and that will make the bad guys shit themselves and run off. Heh I just had to throw that out there cuz it makes me chuckle when I hear that being said.




It is a very intimidating sound...I would sure think twice on advancing after hearing it.



Really?
I would open fire in the direction of the sound.
Anyone who waits until the shit starts to chamber a round won't be smart enough to be behind cover.



+1

If I was a bad guy, or a good guy, and I heard some one rack the slide, I would imeadiatly start shooting in that direction. I would assume that they are loading one to use on me and they were stupid enough to give me an audio clue as to where they were.
Link Posted: 3/3/2006 12:22:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/3/2006 12:35:07 AM EDT by Soljah46]
Was once hunting birds with my brother using a 20ga remington 1100. came across a few muflon sheep. we only had #5 an #6 birdshot. we got about within 10 to 15 yards of one and brought it down with one shot to the head with the #5 birdshot. it instantly fell dead where it stood. so if it can take down a sheep at roughly 10-15 yards, with one shot, then bird shot will very well be lethal at a closer range such as inside a house. just adding to the thread with an experience of mine.

eta: the sheep weighed in at about 140lbs everything intact.
Link Posted: 3/3/2006 5:35:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Soljah46:
Was once hunting birds with my brother using a 20ga remington 1100. came across a few muflon sheep. we only had #5 an #6 birdshot. we got about within 10 to 15 yards of one and brought it down with one shot to the head with the #5 birdshot. it instantly fell dead where it stood. so if it can take down a sheep at roughly 10-15 yards, with one shot, then bird shot will very well be lethal at a closer range such as inside a house. just adding to the thread with an experience of mine.

eta: the sheep weighed in at about 140lbs everything intact.


A head shot on an unsuspecting goat is a bit different than a crazed crackhead coming right at you, or your ex mother-in-law for that matter.

I am an urban dweller, so I use #4 followed by slugs. #4 will shred things, aimed fire with a slug will break things. I can't afford to throw a handful of .30 cal balls around the neighborhood if I step outside with the shotgun.

Link Posted: 3/3/2006 6:27:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/3/2006 6:27:32 AM EDT by SC-Texas]

Originally Posted By Soljah46:
Was once hunting birds with my brother using a 20ga remington 1100. came across a few muflon sheep. we only had #5 an #6 birdshot. we got about within 10 to 15 yards of one and brought it down with one shot to the head with the #5 birdshot. it instantly fell dead where it stood. so if it can take down a sheep at roughly 10-15 yards, with one shot, then bird shot will very well be lethal at a closer range such as inside a house. just adding to the thread with an experience of mine.

eta: the sheep weighed in at about 140lbs everything intact.



DAMN! I am simply amazed that the sheep didn't fall over dead with the sound of you racking your slide!
Link Posted: 3/3/2006 6:42:45 AM EDT
I love coming to the "Special Ed" forum for a good laugh!
Link Posted: 3/3/2006 6:57:45 AM EDT
If you've reached a deadly force situation, put them down. The decision has been made by you to fore a weapon at another human being. Slug, or buckshot.
Link Posted: 3/3/2006 6:59:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
If it won't kill a 78 year old lawyer it probably wont kill a 20 year old crack addict.




EXACTLY what I was thinking and going to say.
Link Posted: 3/3/2006 1:21:45 PM EDT
Unload your shotgun. This is all that you'll ever need!
Link Posted: 3/3/2006 3:07:11 PM EDT
hmmm
l have x rayed a few birdshot victims and most of the major trauma was just subcutaneous...just under the skin...Sure there was alot of blood but their clothing took most of the brunt of the force...i just dont see how birdshot can bring someone down...I dont know the range at which they were shot at but they had buckshot everywhere but nothing even lifethreateneing.
Just my 2 cents
Link Posted: 3/3/2006 4:43:25 PM EDT
OK ENOUGH!! I said I was going to switch to buckshot, end of discussion!

BTW, that Tactical Shotgun Megaphone was f***ing hilarious.
Link Posted: 3/3/2006 6:17:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 762mmFMJ:
OK ENOUGH!! I said I was going to switch to buckshot, end of discussion!

BTW, that Tactical Shotgun Megaphone was f***ing hilarious.



Unfortunatly these shotgun self defence threads go on regardless of what the thread starter says They are no longer trying to help you they are typing to see themselves type
Link Posted: 3/3/2006 7:07:32 PM EDT
how far away were the vice president and that guy he shot? did he just get a few pellets or the full load? i would assume they were using at least 6 shot.
Link Posted: 3/3/2006 8:11:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/3/2006 8:16:42 PM EDT by steveinct]
At bedroom hallway distances - birdshot - any size will blow a devastating channel through a human torso.

Birdshot not being effective and "bouncing" off people is only true at distances beyond 20 or 30 yards.

Whittington was peppered at a distance of THIRTY YARDS (not ten or 15 feet) with #8 shot from a 28
guage using at best, an improved cyl. if not cyl. bore choke. Which means he was peppered lightly
by pellets weighing less than a grain each, traveling about 700 fps at that distance in a pattern where
fewer than half the pellets would have fallen into a 30" circle at 40 yards.

Had Whittington been ten feet away, the shot could have blown out half of his throat or half of his head and he could have been an instant non resuscitable fatality. He would have been hit by three quarters of an ounce (or about 327 grains of lead) in a pattern about the size of a coffee cup traveling 1,200 or 1,300 fps.



Birdshot loses velocity rapidly, but the larger the birdshot size and the tighter the choke, the longer it retains its velocity, power, pattern density and penetration.

At very close ranges it is HIGHLY LETHAL and more effective than ANY handgun round.

Even #9 skeet loads at very close range can saw an adult torso practically in half. At 100 yards, the pellets won't even raise a welt on the skin.

Link Posted: 3/4/2006 12:12:38 AM EDT
Birdshot is not ideal for defensive use as it does not penetrate deeply enough to cause mortal wounds. While not idea, certain bird shots can be used effectively. Light field loads like 7,8 and 9 shot are most certainly unacceptible for defensive use as they will not penetrate deep enough to be lethal except for at point blank ranges. Larger 2,4,5,6 shots are a better choice, but still can lack the penetration depth to be effective. 00 or 000 buckshot is the most effective defensive load but has a large risk of over penetration and depending on proximity to friendlies, is just as unsuitible for a defensive load. 000 buckshot is nearly the size of a 9mm bullet and will penetrate like one and have sufficient mass to be lethal after passing through walls/doors. Shooting one 000 buckshot shell is equivalent to a burst from a 9mm SMG and the liability is potentially huge. 1 and 4 are "safer" but still retain enough mass to cause collateral damage. For this reason, I advocate the use of BBB-T-F shot in 2 3/4 or 3 inch length. The shot in these shells is best described as "small buckshot" though doesn't have quite the mass and thus the risk of collateral damage.
While it is "safer" than buckshot, it has enough weight to penetrate deeply enough to be lethal.
These shells can be difficult to locate, especially in 2 3/4 length depending on where you live. 00 or 000 buckshot is the most effective choice, but for those who have proximity concerns BBB-T-F is an excellent compromise. I keep my 870 Police magnum laoded with 8 rounds 2 3/4 Federal BBB with 6 rounds in the side saddle. I also keep 5 rounds of Hydrashok slugs in a butt cuff just in case. I reccomend securing BBB-T-F for testing should you decided to use them for defensive purposes.

Case in point: I settled a case 5 years ago where two high school kids were playing with a Remington 870 12 gauge loaded with 6 shot. The gun went off, passed through the wall and hit a 12 year old girl in the next room while she was doing homework. The wound was grevious and nearly removed her entire face. She was nearly unrecognizable, it was extremely graphic. Despite being a serious wound, it was not life threatning and she survived. With plastic surgery, the scaring has been minimized, though not eliminated. No criminal charges were filed and this case was resolved in civil court. What we can learn from this horrible accident is that birdshot lacks sufficient penetration to cause acceptible lethality. This young girl survived a head shot with graphic, but non-life threatning injuries. An average bedroom wall is no match for a variety of shotgun/handgun/rifle loads and almost any round will easily pass through at least one wall with enough force to remain lethal. Had the gun been loaded with larger shot, such as buck the result would have been different. Select a shot size most conducive to your environment and proximity to others. Even 9 shot will easily pass through a wall/door and remain dangerous/lethal. Choosing a round for utmost safety defeats the purpose of a defensive cartridge. While buckshot should be used only by those with a good deal of space, light field loads should be used exclusively for practice. Look into BBB/T/F in 2 3/4 length. This is an excellent compromise between lethality and "safety".
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 2:48:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/4/2006 3:17:39 AM EDT by steveinct]
Case in point: I settled a case 5 years ago where two high school kids were playing with a Remington 870 12 gauge loaded with 6 shot. The gun went off, passed through the wall and hit a 12 year old girl in the next room while she was doing homework. The wound was grevious and nearly removed her entire face.

Yes, very good point - AFTER PASSING THROUGH A WALL (luckily the girl survived)

That's exactly why birdshot is a good choice for home defense. And exactly the reason why so many
law enforcement officers and home defense instructors recommend it.

What if there were NO wall between the girl's face and the muzzle of the 12 guage 870 ?

Lacks penetration?

Again, at bedroom hallway range - say ten to fifteen feet - birdshot from a 12 guage - any choke, any size is going to cut a swath through a human torso 4" to 6" deep The average adult male torso is
10" thick.. A center of mass hit with a 12 guage shotgun, with birdshot at about ten feet, is going to cause a wound that will cuisinart internal organs and blood vessels.

Anyone here would agree that a kitchen knife could easily be used as a lethal weapon.

Set up a 4" thick phone book on a target frame and try stabbing the book and see how deep you can cut it into it. You'd make a channel the size of the knife blade through about half the book if you forcefully stabbed into the pages with all your might

Now, if a 12 guage shotgun with #6 shot heavy or light field load were used instead, at very close range - one shot would likely blow through the entire book with an entry hole about 2" in diameter
and an exit channel about the size of a small tangerine with a big, ragged tunnel cut all the way through.

About ten years ago I was hunting pheasant using #7-1/2 shot 1-1/8 oz. trap reloads at (3-dram eq) which is 1/4 dram eq lighter in powder charge and having 1/8 oz less pellets than a standard field load and had one pheasant flip in flight and turn towards me and I fired at about a range of 15-20 yards
The result?

The pheasant stopped in mid flight-flew backwards head over feet tumbling over about two or three times - as if flying head on into the radiator grill of a Mack Truck at highway speed. The resulting wound channel was three to four inches wide and blew through the entire bird breast through back including blowing through the wings as well.

This was with a load that was lighter than #6 field loads and at a distance four to six times greater than you would be if you confronted an armed intruder at the top of your bedroom hallway stairs.

I've been shooting shotguns for over 25 years. I know what birdshot does and does not do.

I saw the "box o' truth" pages many months ago. The man is testing wall penetration again.

Birshot lacks penetration through hard barriers like doors and sheet metal. On an exposed human being it WILL KILL at close ranges. No question about it.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 3:13:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/4/2006 3:43:38 AM EDT by steveinct]
The guy above who said he x-rayed birdshot victims and found superficial wounds also said the victim was "covered" with it, had it "everywhere" and didn't know the distance - you can estimate probably beyond thirty or even forty YARDS (not feet) if the victim was lightly injured and his body covered
with pellet hits. This would be about Whittington distance or even FURTHER away if the wounds were truly superficial.

In the late 1990s we had a Turkey hunter get killed in Connecticut in an accident involving #2 shot
at a range of about 20-30 yards. 12 ga. full choke. No problem with the shot getting through his jackets and clothing.

An Improved cylinder will put less than half its pellets into a 30" circle at 40 yards

A modified choke will put between 50-60 % of its pellets into a 30" circle at 40 yards.

A full choke will put 75% or more of its pellets into a 30" circle at 40 yards

At bedroom hallway ranges 12 guage birdshot will act like a giant glaser safety slug without a nosecap

At 100 yards - the pellets sized #9, #8, #7-/12 and # 6 will roll off of your coat like rain drops and still dangerous to eyesight if caught in the eye

At 50 yards they will hurt like hell and still considered dangerous

At 30 to 40 yards yards they are very dangerous and will cause wounding sufficient to require ER attention (Whittington incident distance)


Under 30 yards lethality and effectiveness become a function of shot size, charge weight, velocity
and choke

At 25 yards - #2 birdshot is still effective from a full choke and very likely to be lethal. Foxes and coyotes have been taken at distances under 30 yards with #2 shot with wounds that would have killed a human. being very easily.

Under this range other factors start to matter less, but still at very close ranges like those in a typical home defense legally justifiable scenario - the distances will be damn close - measured in feet not yards.

Cash register clerks are no more than three feet away from a robber

Muggings are person to person contact

Home invasions the invaders will be probably no more than 15 feet away at the tiem you fire and
very often under ten feet away.

A 12 guage shotgun at this distance would be very lethal.

size 7-1/2 shot has a max overtravel of about750 feet +/-10% for wind.

Fired at 1,200 fps, the pellets lose HALF their velocity within 30 yards and the shot string is about three feet long at that distance. The pellets will fall into a pattern about 30" in circumference from
a full choke. A person standing in this string will be hit by about one third of the pellets, now traveling at 600-700fps from head to waist level the pellets now having dispersed and each one having very little impact

At ten feet - the shot string is two INCHES long and maybe one to two inches wide. Velocity is still near 1,200 fps. The leading pellets at the front end of the string will eat through the clothing and skin, boring a tunnel for the other 80% of the 450-600 grains of lead traveling at 1,200 fps to follow through.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 3:16:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 555R:
www.theboxoftruth.com




You got the wrong address.

It is supposed to be www.theboxotruth.com/
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 4:18:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
If it won't kill a 78 year old lawyer it probably wont kill a 20 year old crack addict.



Combat_Jack
You beat me to it!
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 6:40:08 AM EDT
I have one of those Tactical Shotgun Megaphones and I can tell you it's saved me from PirateNinjaCommandos many times.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 3:30:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/4/2006 3:31:42 PM EDT by steveinct]
Along with the megaphone, don't forget ... the shotgun must be loaded with Ultra Slugs made of polymer coated tungsten alloy with truncated point for maximum penetration loaded to 4-dram equivalent and 1,700 fps - anything less in a 12 guage shotgun is totally ineffective for defense and will result in merely scratching and welting the surface skin on your armed home intruder!
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 3:53:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/5/2006 2:29:42 AM EDT by steveinct]
The guy who does the board tests at "Box O Truth" doesn't have the full story on birdshot.

He's taking at face value the claim of one contributor here at arfcom who claims to have seen #6 shot at six feet do nothing but ruin skin and pectroral muscle tissue.

First of all, we haven't confirmed whether it was # 6 shot. Secondly we haven't confirmed the distance.

Third and more importantly - we don't know what kind of gun and cartridge was used - it didn't say "12 ga shotgun" it could have been a CCI .38 "snake shot" load for all we know and not even a real shotshell caliber. The "snake" shot loads were filled with #9s for years in centerfire calibers adn #12 DUST in the rimfires and only more recently did they switch to #6.

Having fired a few of these I can attest they really are pretty worthless. There isn't much shot to begin with - maybe a quarter ounce at best in the .38 load, and that is barely getting out the barrel at standard .38 velocity of around 700-800fps (which is about where a 12, 20 or 28 ga field load shell's velcoity would have dropped to at around 30 yards with this size of pellet. If fired from a typical 4" or 6" bbl handgun, there would be no effective pattern past even a few INCHES from the muzzle and not enough pellets to eat their way to start a serious wound channel.

If that shot were actually # 6 shot fired form say, a 12 ga shotugn with 1-1/4 oz of shot or even a 20 ga with 1-oz or 1-1/8 oz of shot at 1,200 fps - the victim would likely be dead or very critically wounded.

Again, we had a turkey hunting fatality here in CT about ten years ago. The victim was about 20 yards away when he was mistakenly shot by another hunter who thought he was a turkey....
He was shot with a 12 ga shotgun with a full choke and #2 shot. He was wearing fairly heavy exterior clothing, and was admidst dense foliage cover - and he was killed instantly - - the shot having blown a fist sized wound channel half way to two thirds of the way through the torso - EXACTLY what a tight choked 12 ga will do with #2 shot at that distance.

Those of you who believe that birdshot is useless or not dangerous are SERIOUSLY misinformed.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 4:09:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/4/2006 4:29:59 PM EDT by sta1treeman]
We went on a shooting one night on a tow truck driver who was on the phone, and 2 thugs pulled up and shot him in the chest, with birdshot, I don't know the size, it was small though, from what we could see, none of the shot penatrated past his chest muscle and fat. He said the shooters were only 5-6 feet away when they shot. It left a good pattern in him, but didn't knock him down, and other than being scared shitless, he was fine. IMO, birdshot can be lethal, but would have little knockdown power, and the bad guy would still be in the fight, for at least a short time. I have killed several deer with 3" and 3.5" 12g 00, 000, and #1 buck, and rarely does the shot exit the deer, but they have been beyond 25', if your gun will allow, I would think about 2-3/4 rds with 00, or 000 buck. I use 12ga 3.5 with #1 buckshot as defensive in my house, but it is second to my 45 with TAP. (ETA) The guy above had a huge chest(38DDs LOL), built like a tank, was fat, and wearing a flannel shirt, the load would have had to penatrate probably 6-8" of fabric, fat, muscle and bone, to reach the vitals. That shot would have probably killed a skinny crackhead.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 4:23:57 PM EDT
Rule # whatever : Always Know your target and what is beyond.

Be aware that ANY shot size Larger than #6 WILL Definitely Penetrate normal Interior walls.

A flashlight or weapon light should be with your firearm for home defense too.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 4:29:07 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 9:32:30 PM EDT
I love that people still argue that birdshot is a good choice because it has killed people, even with staries of people taking shots to the chest with it at less than 10 feet and living through it. When buckshot will kill someone fast or atleast put them out of the fight for good.

I use a .38 for home defence that I 3 bullets in then I give it a good spin every night before bed. I got a 50-50 chance of a bullet going of when I pull the trigger and putting the bad guy down. Makes about as much sense as using buckshot for home defense.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 1:19:48 PM EDT
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Link Posted: 3/12/2006 7:15:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Magurgle:
I love that people still argue that birdshot is a good choice because it has killed people, even with staries of people taking shots to the chest with it at less than 10 feet and living through it. When buckshot will kill someone fast or atleast put them out of the fight for good.

I use a .38 for home defence that I 3 bullets in then I give it a good spin every night before bed. I got a 50-50 chance of a bullet going of when I pull the trigger and putting the bad guy down. Makes about as much sense as using buckshot for home defense.


Hell, 1 round in the gun. When the crackaddict breaks in run up to him spinning the cylinder and screaming "Do you feel lucky, Punk?"
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 8:59:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 9:35:40 PM EDT by KCMojo]

Originally Posted By SC-Texas:

Originally Posted By Soljah46:
Was once hunting birds with my brother using a 20ga remington 1100. came across a few muflon sheep. we only had #5 an #6 birdshot. we got about within 10 to 15 yards of one and brought it down with one shot to the head with the #5 birdshot. it instantly fell dead where it stood. so if it can take down a sheep at roughly 10-15 yards, with one shot, then bird shot will very well be lethal at a closer range such as inside a house. just adding to the thread with an experience of mine.

eta: the sheep weighed in at about 140lbs everything intact.



DAMN! I am simply amazed that the sheep didn't fall over dead with the sound of you racking your slide!




Rack the slide on an 1100? You question him?

Actually if you get over 1" penetration into the eye you should be into the brain. A 22 can do that. So the odd lucky shot with just about anything heavier than air soft has the potential.

I've seen deer taken with a 9mm Ruger P and my father in law tells a convincing story of his relative taking a lucky shot with 22 mag on a doe. You just never know. I don't recommend or condone it, but you never know.

Not knowing is why 00 sits in the Moss590 and #7 is fed to the 1187.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 10:23:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 10:26:02 PM EDT by 762mmFMJ]
I've read and re-read "The box o truth", and I think he is stacking the deck against birdshot. Why is it that every time he mentions that he tried birdshot it is always some light target load with little #8 shot? Why doesn't he test the larger birdshot sizes in full loads or 3" magnums? He even says he loads 3" magnum buckshot in his HD gun. I'm not trying to argue, these are legitimate questions. I want to know. In my tests, which are quite similar to his btw, the larger birdshot pellets (4,2,BB,BBB, etc) actually did pretty well without the excessive penetration of 00 and 000 buckshot. If anyone out there doubts this, then don't take my word for it, or even "the box o truth" guys word for it. Go out and test it for yourself.

ETA...I think one of the best tests would be to shoot sides of beef or whole pigs with the different loads. That would be expensive, but I think you could learn alot from it.
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