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Shotgun home defense ammunition.

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  • Shotgun home defense ammunition.

    Interesting read....With all the different recommendations for best home defense ammo....Heres one more!! I tend to agree with what they say as long as your shotgun patterns well with 2&3/4 #1 buck. What say you?

  • #2
    I agree.

    There's one thing I've noticed lately.
    People are discussing HOME DEFENSE guns, and much of the discussion is about how tightly various guns and loads pattern.

    Based on the fact that the average home has a maximum distance of about 30 feet inside, you may not WANT a tight-patterning gun.

    A good "rule of thumb" is, a pattern opens up "about" 1 inch per yard.
    This means that at 6 yards-18 feet, the pattern will be "about" 6-7 inches.

    This means you can MISS. fairly easily.

    If you're looking for a true inside the house HD gun, you might be better off finding a load that spreads as much as possible.

    Other things I wonder about is the tendency for people to want to use slugs and Magnum loads.

    Slugs turn the HD gun into nothing but a big rifle, and one that will blow through walls without even slowing down. This negates one of the shotguns advantages, which is you "point' it not aim it.

    The use of Magnum ammo is now at the point were people are asking about the best loads for the 3 1/2 Super Magnum.

    They don't seem to understand that heavy recoil will slow them down on repeat shots, and this negates the shotguns MAIN advantage, which is speed-on-target.

    The last oddity is the old tale of the "Horrible, gaping, bloody hole" left in humans by bird shot.
    It's near impossible to convince people that that "Bloody hole" is a SHALLOW hole, in which bird shot usually fails to penetrate to vital organs.

    Everybody has tails of people being killed by bird shot, but most don't talk about the ones where the subject either wasn't killed or died.....eventually.
    "Eventually" is not something you want in your face late one night in your bedroom.

    Other people have their guns so loaded down with spare ammo they can hardly pick it up.
    Others have their guns loaded with "way cool" accessories like AR-15 collapsing stocks, bayonet locks, electronic sights, pistol grip-only stocks, and barrel shrouds.
    These are "Hollywood guns" or range toys, not valid HD guns.

    I personally think #1 buckshot in a more or less box-stock shotgun is about the best for real HD use.

    NOTHING says "leave us alone" like a standard load of buckshot.


    • #3
      I disagree w/ dfariswheel - as the shooter, you're ultimately responsible for every single piece of lead that leaves your weapon. Shotguns must still be AIMED, not 'pointed' as some folks like to believe. Wielding a shotgun doesn't give the shooter the right to spray and pray. Use whatever buckshot size you desire, but put every single one of those little lead pellets inside the bad guy.

      Having a shotgun that doesn't pattern appropriately for the intended application is irresponsible.



      • #4
        I recently purchased a Winchester model 1300 12 gauge pump action shotgun. It has a full stock, and a 22" barrel. I bought a box of 2 & 3/4" "light target loads". I'm hearing from a lot of people that double 00 buck might be a better choice.
        Also, there is a "choke" on the end of the barrel, is this for tighter groupings for someone to use when hunting?


        • #5
          Actually I was discussing the fact that shotguns are "pointed" at the target by looking down the barrel.

          Rifles are "aimed" by precisely aligning the front and rear sights on target.

          Since the typical shotgun has a bead front and NO rear, you can't aim it in the same sense as you do a rifle or handgun.

          You "point" the gun using the barrel itself as the reference.

          I didn't mean "Point" in the Hollywood sense, as in holding the gun at your waist and pointing it in the general direction of the target and blazing away in hopes of hitting something.

          If you "point" a rifle or pistol, you'll likely miss, so they require precise use of the sights.

          The shotguns advantage over them is, you don't precisely aim the gun using the sights.

          For that reason, the shotgun is more of an "instinctive" gun, and therefore, faster on target.

          Rifles project a .22 to .30 caliber "rod" at the target.
          The shotgun projects an expanding "cloud" of shot.
          At the typical inside the house range, this would be about 6-7 inches in diameter.

          You must precisely aim to get the .22 or .30 rod to hit the target.
          The shotguns, expanding cloud allows you to "point" the gun at the target.

          [ June 11, 2005, 21:28: Message edited by: dfariswheel ]


          • #6
            My HD shotgun has a ghost ring sight w/ a front post. It is very much an aimed weapon.

            You need to address the fact that you are legally liable for each and every pellet that proceedeth out of the barrel of your shotgun. A pattern that opens dramatically can send lead to places you didn't intend.

            A shotgun is not a license to be sloppy. I prefer the tightest pattern possible to do the maximum amount of damage to the bad guy in the safest way possible.



            • #7
              Regarding distances inside the average home as pertaining to the use of the shotgun as a home defense weapon, the longest distance inside the Zoe house is about 17 feet. This is only 5 yards, guys (& gals).

              Whatever your load is, it will probably not open up too much at such distances. The shotgun has a tremendous advantage in that it throws a heavy charge of lead (one oz. or more). At a distance of, say 10 feet, you are not going to really get very much dispersal. I patterned my Mossberg at several distances, including 5 yards. It helped me to get an idea of what I was working with when I had the Mossberg in my hands.

              The question above does not state whether the home is in a rural area with no other dwelling within several miles or an apartment in an urban setting with thin wallboard seperating you from that family of six kids next door. Those who use slugs or heavy buckshot in an apartment setting, for example, need to be aware of where the projectiles that miss are going, as was stated above. Actually, wall board doesn't stop very much of anything. I have seen the results of testing done on various materials commonly used in the construction of walls.

              Generally, I would think that a shotgun blast at any attacker at the distances found in the typical home would dissuad the attacker of the error of his/her ways. If the attacker is struck, it will usually end the altercation, I would believe. If the attacker is missed, the realization that the defender is usuing a 12 guage shotgun would probably be enough to cause them to withdraw. It would certainly cause ME to do so. Something about shotguns creates this immeadiate respect.

              For home defense, you really don't need all of the "Rambo" stuff, either. I too, have ghost ring sites on my Mossberg, as well as a side-saddle, and a shorter buttstock. In the combat courses that I took for tactical shotgun, I found out that I was reaching too far out there with my weakside hand for the pump. The shorter buttstock helped me with that and improved my accuracy and handling also.

              By the way, I hope that you never have to use a shotgun for home defense. But, if you do, I hope that you win the altercation and defend your family well. Good luck!


              • #8
                Shotguns are made to be pointed. I don't like to use ghost ring sights on mine. But then I don't shoot slugs.

                #6 for home defense (20" side by side).


                • #9
                  i think the arguement for a home intruder is valid. if a thug is btwn me and my family the last concern i have is over penetration. granted i lived on 300 acres so it is not much of an issue. i have to agree it is a point and shoot, not an aimed precsion piece. at the average insinde home distance i really dont see getting a perfect sight picture and sqeezing a well aimed shot. amybe its just me.
                  Don\'t be late, Don\'t be light and Don\'t be last. Most of all, don\'t quit.....<br /><br /><br />excuse typos,<br />Semper Fi,<br />Shawn


                  • #10
                    I picture a shotgun as more of a homefront defense, not indoors. I can see from the porch into the driveway if necessary, but I'm sorry, I can wrap corners and crouch around in the dark and "slither" if you will up and down stairs with a pistol. With a shotgun, either way, if you're wrapping a corner, etc, the Road Warrior shotgun pistol is the only shotgun that is practical. My home, is defended by a .45acp pistol, and an AK. Those are the go-to's. The rest are the rest...

                    ...and by the way, I'm a good shot with a pistol, an instructor for rifle, shotgun, and handgun, but...

                    ...even with the tight pattern of a 12ga. 00 buck anywhere in the house distances, I've always hit the hostage (on papaer) with a pellet or two while trying to pick off the bad guy. This is where a shotgun does you no good at all. There is no "headshot". Since I have a family to share my home with, a shotgun would be the worst gun of choice for me.

                    I'll go with the pistol and rifle combo.

                    If I could only have a shotgun for home defense, it would be the 18" Mossy 590 with ghost rings, folding stock,a few slugs to make use of the sights, and a few rounds of 000 Buck, the VangComp system or similair to it to keep the pellet pattern a little tighter, and the ever-important flashlight. Point shooting is a useful technique, and it is not hard to learn, but it can only be used when appropriate. It is much easier to point shoot with a shotgun, this is true.


                    • #11
                      THS: I couldn't agree more.

                      The mossy 500 beside the nightstand is for hunker down use only. When I go down the hall to retrive the kids it'll be with a .45. Way too narrow to try a navigate properly in my home (and most homes for that matter).

                      SOUTHER SHARK:

                      Be aware of the dangers of using a light load on 2 legged creautes... hit somebody cracked up and your just gonna piss them off, it'll be hours before someone hit with #6 or #8 will subcum to that.

                      I've delt with several almost point blank shotgun blasts from #6 and #8, gory and painful but NOT a stopper by any means.

                      You need #4 buck or better. Seriously, your aim is to stop them in their tracks, not leave a nasty scar.


                      • #12
                        I used to buy number 4 buck until we shot at some Oak pallets from average shotgun distance. I was surprised how many #4 pellets bounced off. I also think that # 1 buck is the best overall load available, decent penetration with good pattern density.
                        "some people never let their given word interfere if something they want comes along"
                        The real problem with the world are laws preventing culling.