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12 Gauge Home Defense Load Evaluation - Gun Test. no advertising

triathloncoach

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From Gun Test Magazine. The Consumer Reports of the Gun Mags. Accepts no advertising, tells it as they see it.

I have never seen a bad word in a gun review in any other magazines. These guys rip some guns apart.


November, 2011

Shotgun Defense Choices: We Pick Two Fiocchi Loads

Fiocchi’s soft-shooting buckshot load was easy to handle and offered devastating patterns along with a super-low price. The slug had plenty of penetration, good accuracy — and a low price.


In this installment of our continuing tests of personal-defense loadings, we had to don our thinking caps. Shotgun shells are far different in performance than a handgun cartridge or rifle round. The standards are different as there is no X ring or group to measure. The density of the pattern is the primary consideration. Measuring the effectiveness of buckshot is simple as regards measuring a pattern, but a buck-and-ball load would be another matter. Slugs are


Our raters included this young soldier we drafted in between active-duty tours. She preferred the Federal reduced-recoil PD loads shown in the target silhouette. However, our entire test team preferred two well-performing and affordable loads from Fiocchi. Top is the Fiocchi Reduced Recoil Ammunition 12 Gauge 2.75-In. 00 Buckshot, only $6.29 for a box of 10 at Shop Shooting Supplies | Reloading | Gunsmithing | Hunting gear — MidwayUSA (#482134). Middle is the Fiocchi Low Recoil 1-oz. Exacta Aero Slug No. 12LRSL, also affordable at $7.95 per 10 shells. Bottom: The Fiocchi slug was the first tested. We got wet shooting it into water jugs. It was a real eye-opener that provided impressive results.
another area of concern.
Recoil is an important consideration as well. In the past, the primary problem with shotguns for personal defense was recoil. Even big burly police officers reached their limit quickly with full-power buckshot loads. The solution for many was to engage in tactical training with birdshot loads and deploy buckshot for duty after a modest familiarization. This was not the ideal program. Then came the reduced-recoil buckshot loads. By reducing the payload from nine to eight buckshot balls (in some cases) and reducing velocity by several hundred feet per second, a buckshot load that was both effective and controllable was invented. These loads are controllable, and as a bonus, usually produce a dense and effective pattern at close range. They are intended for use at ranges inside 15 yards. The full-power or even stronger Magnum shotgun shell loads are intended for tackling deer-size game out to 50 yards or so — a very different scenario than home defense. The homeowner in search of an effective shotgun load for his personal-defense shotgun does not need this type of power. They need a load that is about as powerful at 7 yards as the Magnum loads are at 50 yards. Citizens are better served with a dense pattern and moderate velocity at close range. Public safety is served with less penetration.

A relatively dense pattern is desirable for effect on the target. However, there are trainers who tell us that the greatest advantage of the shotgun is seen at about 15 yards. At this range the pattern has spread to the point that you are more likely to get a hit without a perfect sight picture. If five or six of the pellets strike the target,


you will probably have a stopping shot. Experienced trainers commonly refer to the different viable shotgun ranges as A, B, and C range. A range is the distance at which the shotgun must be aimed as carefully as a rifle. B range is the range at which the shotgun’s spread is most profitable. C range is the range at which the pattern is so broad it is no longer useful. C range is usually 20 yards with an open choke shotgun. C range is slug range.
There was some discussion concerning the selection of the loads to be tested. We left much of the testing to the primary rater by dint of his extensive law enforcement experience. We noted that while these loads are reduced-recoil and lower velocity than full-power buckshot loads, they are no lightweights. These loads produce respectable power. We tested one full-power buckshot load, as an example, and the total package gave an energy count lower than some of the personal defense loads tested. Even the least powerful 12-gauge load tested exhibited about 1200 pounds of energy. This is about three times the energy of the standard handgun loads we have tested. No wonder the shotgun has such a reputation for effect! The raters agree that the 12 gauge is by far the superior option. No other gauge offers the versatility and effect of the 12 gauge.

The test team leader remarked that buckshot is misunderstood. The pattern has advantages in more than one dimension. Few shooters realize that buckshot travels in a string. We see only one dimension in the target. As an example, if the target is moving, part of the string may miss, but the target may run right into the latter part of the string. It takes a lot of shooting to get a good


This is a typical buckshot pattern at the common defense range of 7 yards. It was fired from a shotgun with Cylinder choke. Below right: The buckshot tended to dent when penetrating water jugs, but they did not lose any weight. These buckshot all performed in a similar fashion, whether plated or unplated, nickel-plated or copper-plated. Below: One of our test guns was the H&R riot gun, which along with the 870, offeredgood function.
handle on buckshot performance. Once you do, you will have a great respect for the performance of buckshot. You will also understand the limitations of range.
We included one "Law Enforcement Only" load for comparison and really had only a few shells on hand. As far as the LE-only loads, most are available through one distributor or the other or at gun shows. When comparing LEO loads to standard fare, our conclusion was that there is no need to haunt the gun shows and pay through the nose for LEO shotgun shells. The readily available personal defense loads do at least as good a job, as you will see in the comparison tables. Some may even be the same load under a different label. The test shotguns were three Remington 870 shotguns and one H & R Pardner-type defensive shotgun, basically a copy of the 870 with a humpback. The barrels were 18 inches long with rifle sights and open choke. While shotguns are often individualistic with patterning, there wasn’t a nickel’s worth of difference between these, as our raters noted. We fired the shells and rated the apparent recoil of each. We noted whether they struck to the point of aim and noted if the pattern was centered on the front post or front bead.

Recoil was treated subjectively. Since these loads are designed to be used by anyone interested in personal defense, we enlisted two interested shooters. These fine young women were invaluable raters. One is a Criminal Justice Major and the other is a young soldier. Their perspective on the differences in recoil was keener than those of battered old cops that have fired a few thousand 12 gauge shells in their day. We fired the shotguns at 7 yards, the generally-agreed upon range that personal-defense engagement most often occurs. The old rule that a pattern spreads 1 inch per yard is probably applicable to these loads. Just the same, a 21-foot gun battle inside the home would be rare. Most battles would be closer. The 7-yard distance was chosen to give a good impression of the pattern to be expected.



Here’s how our load selections performed.
Hornady Critical Defense Ammunition

12 Gauge 2.75-In. 00 Buckshot

No. 86240, $11.79/10 (Midway #151704)

This had a payload of eight buckshot balls and was the most powerful loading tested by a slight margin (11 foot-pounds of energy over the Winchester PDX load). Its Versa Flite wad is designed to trap air in a special section of the wad and rip the wad away in the air and deliver an effective pattern. This is exactly what happened.

The load dispersion at 7 yards averaged 2.75 by 2.5 inches during the testing. This is a good, tight pattern and the tightest demonstrated. Our raters with LEO and deer-hunting experience were favorably impressed with the Hornady loading. Despite the 300-fps advantage in velocity over other loadings, the Hornady load was not rated as a hard kicker. The pattern struck the point of aim, and, interestingly, the wad struck the paper at 7 yards, usually about 6 inches from the main pattern and to the right. The Hornady load is designed to be reliable in modern automatic shotguns such as the Benelli, the FN patrol shotgun, and other types.

Our Team Said: The Hornady Critical Defense load is rated a top performer on several counts. First, performance was excellent. The tight pattern delivers the load’s energy in a finite area. Second, the price for ten shells was reasonable. And if you use a self-loader that demands full-power energy for function, there is no other choice.


Winchester Super-X

12 Gauge 2.75-In. Buffered 00 Buckshot

No. XB1200, $4.99/5 (Midway #337006)

This is a traditional 9-ball full-power loading that was included for comparison. The Super X has an advantage in price because these shells are affordable, if not as high-tech as the Personal Defense

loads. The Super X exhibited the greatest recoil, typical of full-power buckshot loadings. This is the reason the loads were developed. The pattern was wide at 6.75 by 5.5 inches. In our experience these full-power loads do much better in tighter chokes than the PD loads.
Our Team Said: While we prefer the purpose-designed PD loads, bad guys would be well advised to stay out of the way of the Super X loading.


Winchester Supreme Elite

Self Defense Ammunition

12 Gauge 2.75-In. Bonded PDX1 S12PDX1,

$14.49/10 (Midway #932564)

Here is a load with almost a ton of energy. In addition to the three pellets of Grex-buffered 00-buck copper-plated pellets (0.5-ounce total for all three), this load also features a 1-ounce rifled slug loaded in black hulls with a black-oxide high base. There are three wads protecting the shot column and ensuring efficiency. These include a quarter-inch hard-plastic wad over the powder charge, a 5/16-inch cushioning wad next, and a harder 3/16-inch wad. While the wads have a ballistic purpose, they also pattern on the target along with the payload up to about 5 yards or so. For those who prefer a slug but like to have the backup hit probability of buckshot, this is a winner. It is similar in purpose to the old buck-and-ball loads used in blackpowder rifles as late as the War Between the States. A lead ball and smaller buckshot was used in smoothbore muskets. The theory was you would surely hit something at short range, but on the other hand, if you needed a long shot, the heaviest ball would carry the distance. The modern Winchester load

The Winchester Supreme Elite Self Defense Bonded PDX1 S12PDX1 had both a slug and three buckshot, making for a enormous payload. One tester cheekily commented that it’s the hands-down choice for the shooter who can’t make up his mind. Our testers gave it an A grade in both groups. The Winchester PDX cut interesting holes in the target’s head—one slug and three buckshot makes for a lot of air going in and blood going out. The PDX, like many other loads, featured multiple impacts, with not only the payload but also the wad (arrows mark wad impacts) striking the silo target’s center mass inside 12 feet.
offered interesting performance. The slug and two of the balls usually were dispersed by 4 inches horizontally but only an inch vertically. So, the pattern was 4 inches wide by 1 inch high for three projectiles. The third ball brought the measurement to 4 inches wide by 6 inches high, still perfectly acceptable and very consistent.
Our Team Said: While the number of projectiles was the least of any load, the total weight was the greatest with the 1-ounce slug included. Striking to the point of aim, this load is consistent. The PDX load will be effective at short range, while the slug would be effective to 50 yards or more without attempting to change the load for a long-range shot. That is versatility. A winner on innovation, the PDX is pricier than the other loads but much more difficult to produce considering the multiple projectiles and special wadding. As such, the price is reasonable, we believe.


Winchester WinLite Low Recoil Ammunition

12 Gauge 2.75-In. 00 Buckshot

WL1200, $4.99/5 (Midway 620922)

Winchester’s WinLite offering is simply a reduced-recoil loading. This nine-buckshot load predates the buck-and-ball load. For personal defense in the home and general chores, the WinLite works just fine. The WinLite is about half the price of the Winchester PDX load.
Our Team Said: If the WinLite is a completely effective load, why bother with the heavier PDX? Sometimes we like greater energy and power, and the PDX has it. But our shooters said that WinLite offered the lightest recoil of any load and acceptable performance.

Federal Premium Personal Defense Ammunition

12 Gauge 2.75-In. Reduced Recoil 00 Buckshot

No. PD13200 $5.49/5 (Midway 121561)



Offered in a five-round box, the Federal personal defense load is a simple solution to the problem of wielding a shotgun effectively. The buckshot pellets are copper plated and are loaded nine to the shell. Here is what the Federal load has going for it — among the lowest subjective recoil of any load tested. One rater asked, "Are you sure we are getting the advertised horsepower?" The Chrony confirmed we were getting the full 1126 fps. The pattern was more than acceptable at 4 by 3.5 inches
We included the famous Federal law-enforcement eight-shot reduced-recoil loading primarily as a reference load, wondering if the PD was simply the LE under a different logo. Perhaps it is. A handful of the LE shells were supplied by one of our cop friends. The LE ran slightly faster than the PD load, likely a function of having one fewer shot in the payload, but it could also mean that it was simply put up in a different lot. The LE pattern was marginally larger than the PD loading, which may mean little.

Our Team Said: The Federal PD load burns cleanly and offers a low-recoil solution for homeowners. It is certainly enough for the job, and the lower recoil of the load gives every advantage in rapid backup shots. All in, our raters said the Federal LE shell was a good load, but it was not something worth traveling to the gunshow and paying top dollar to obtain.


Fiocchi Reduced Recoil Ammunition

12 Gauge 2.75-In. 00 Buckshot No. 12LE00BK,

$6.29/10 (Midway #482134)


This young criminal justice major found the 870 shotgun offered plenty of recoil, but she was also impressed by the effect on the target.
These nine-pellet loads are a relatively new addition to the Fiocchi line; at least we have not been previously aware of them. The Fiocchi load demonstrated a clean powder burn and low subjective recoil, as may be expected from a load generating a modest 1090 fps. This load has a lot going for it. First, the buckshot is plated. Some like plated shot; some do not, but the difference in recovered pellets and in penetration was not a consideration. The pattern was tight enough for a solid recommendation. As an experiment, we fired the Fiocchi load at 10 feet and measured a 2 by 3-inch pattern — there is still dispersion even at this close range.
Our Team Said: Plated shot doesn’t seem to offer any practical advantage, but here it is at a great price. And the price point is important. The Fiocchi load is a certified Best Buy. After some research, we found the load for even less at Cheaper Than Dirt ($5.39/10). That is the same price as five rounds from other makers. That is real economy with quality thrown in.
 
Last edited:

Gunsmith

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The load dispersion at 7 yards averaged 2.75 by 2.5 inches during the testing. This is a good, tight pattern and the tightest demonstrated. .

This is a very important thing to look at !!
7 yds is 21 feet this is a distance that is basicly equivalant to a marine sniper shooting out to 1000yds , the outer limits of where they are expected to use that weapon. In a typical "home defense" situation that range will be cut in half. Now realize that you are launching 8 round balls not desgined to expand in excess of 900fps (with reduced load) this is a projectile way smaller in diameter (.330") than a 45 ACP ball round moving close to the same speed , these little bastards WILL exit a body and WILL pass through interior walls of your home.
These rounds (buckshot-slugs) are commonly used by LE in general Patrol situations where they may need to shoot through auto glass or at ranges WAY past that of inside a home so the fewer pellets that penitrate deeper are a great asset , TO POLICE!!

All shotguns will pattern every type of load differantly even some guns of the same desgine , i have seen two rem 870's that did not like the same ammo what so ever. the choke is a big factor in patern density the bigger the shot size the bigger the choke , for example a very tight choke like a .640" is desgined for very fine shot like #8 or #9 and is desgined for "card shooting" it will hold super dense patterns with very small shot but shooting buckshot through it will give poor performance , the very tight restriction causes the pellets to get smashed together and deform , these now od shapped will not fly strait called flyers. a normal full to modified choke is great for buckshot at extended ranges.
now INDOORS where the ranges are measured in feet the choke realy doesnt matter even with a strait bore the shot wont have enough time to get out of the shot cup and expand so "pattern" doesent realy have any merrit but shot composition does.
a payload of hundreds of tiny pellets will expand and deposit all of their energy in the target very very fast with minimal if anything exits , this will result in a very quickly stopped bad guy. Buckshot will result in the same for the most part but their will more than likely have some shot exit the body. either way the bad guy loses BUT if you miss and that shot hits a wall that leads to a room with other possibly good guys in it you want a payload that will have little to know energy if it makes it to that room. Buckshot will pass through several interior walls where finner #6-#4 birdshot will not.

Just some food for though
a reduced velocity light weight "Trap" load 1.25ounce of #7 shot launched at only 1000 fps will have very light recoil and still have 1200+pounds of kenitc energy , thats close to shat a good 44 mag load would have but the actual projectile will act like a grenade when it hits the body and have no worry of over penitration if the target is missed
 

TheTank

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This is a very important thing to look at !!
7 yds is 21 feet this is a distance that is basicly equivalant to a marine sniper shooting out to 1000yds , the outer limits of where they are expected to use that weapon. In a typical "home defense" situation that range will be cut in half. Now realize that you are launching 8 round balls not desgined to expand in excess of 900fps (with reduced load) this is a projectile way smaller in diameter (.330") than a 45 ACP ball round moving close to the same speed , these little bastards WILL exit a body and WILL pass through interior walls of your home.
These rounds (buckshot-slugs) are commonly used by LE in general Patrol situations where they may need to shoot through auto glass or at ranges WAY past that of inside a home so the fewer pellets that penitrate deeper are a great asset , TO POLICE!!

All shotguns will pattern every type of load differantly even some guns of the same desgine , i have seen two rem 870's that did not like the same ammo what so ever. the choke is a big factor in patern density the bigger the shot size the bigger the choke , for example a very tight choke like a .640" is desgined for very fine shot like #8 or #9 and is desgined for "card shooting" it will hold super dense patterns with very small shot but shooting buckshot through it will give poor performance , the very tight restriction causes the pellets to get smashed together and deform , these now od shapped will not fly strait called flyers. a normal full to modified choke is great for buckshot at extended ranges.
now INDOORS where the ranges are measured in feet the choke realy doesnt matter even with a strait bore the shot wont have enough time to get out of the shot cup and expand so "pattern" doesent realy have any merrit but shot composition does.
a payload of hundreds of tiny pellets will expand and deposit all of their energy in the target very very fast with minimal if anything exits , this will result in a very quickly stopped bad guy. Buckshot will result in the same for the most part but their will more than likely have some shot exit the body. either way the bad guy loses BUT if you miss and that shot hits a wall that leads to a room with other possibly good guys in it you want a payload that will have little to know energy if it makes it to that room. Buckshot will pass through several interior walls where finner #6-#4 birdshot will not.

Just some food for though
a reduced velocity light weight "Trap" load 1.25ounce of #7 shot launched at only 1000 fps will have very light recoil and still have 1200+pounds of kenitc energy , thats close to shat a good 44 mag load would have but the actual projectile will act like a grenade when it hits the body and have no worry of over penitration if the target is missed

This is a hot topic on Shotgun Forums, Buckshot vs. Bird Shot for Home Defense. The Buckshot proponents always say that birdshot doesnt offer enough penetration. They also say that humans make great bullet traps, so try not to miss the bad guy. I believe getting hit with just about any 12 guage round at very close distance is going to be lethal. I really dont know what to use, so I have my shotgun loaded with 00 buck, and I will try hard not to miss my intended target, and hope that if I ever have to use it that nobody is going to be harmed from the overpenetration.

I have heard that 12 inches of penetration is the minimum amount of pentration neccessary to reliably stop a bad guy, and Number 1 buck shot is the smallest shot able to penetrate 12 inches.

What I have read would lead me to think that number 1 buck shot would be the best mix of adequate penetration with the least chance of overpenetration.

You (Gunsmith) obviously have far more experience than most people when it comes to this topic, and you are reccommending #7 birdshot for home defense, so now I am even more unsure of what to use. I do know that 00 buck is definately overkill, and the cleanup from shooting a bad guy with it in your house wouldnt be fun, the guy would most definately not make it to the hospital alive.

#7 birdshot could very well stop someone in their tracks, but let them get taken to the hospital and actually live to see another day, which would make things easier when it came to the legal issue of using lethal force.
 

heavydeadlifts

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I keep my 12guage loaded under my bed (Remington 1100) first round with bird shot and last 4 rounds with 00 buck shot

Bird shot to cripple the intruder without needing good aim as it will probably be dark and the buckshot to do more damage if need be
 

Gunsmith

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This is a hot topic on Shotgun Forums, Buckshot vs. Bird Shot for Home Defense. The Buckshot proponents always say that birdshot doesnt offer enough penetration. They also say that humans make great bullet traps, so try not to miss the bad guy. I believe getting hit with just about any 12 guage round at very close distance is going to be lethal. I really dont know what to use, so I have my shotgun loaded with 00 buck, and I will try hard not to miss my intended target, and hope that if I ever have to use it that nobody is going to be harmed from the overpenetration.

I have heard that 12 inches of penetration is the minimum amount of pentration neccessary to reliably stop a bad guy, and Number 1 buck shot is the smallest shot able to penetrate 12 inches.

What I have read would lead me to think that number 1 buck shot would be the best mix of adequate penetration with the least chance of overpenetration.

You (Gunsmith) obviously have far more experience than most people when it comes to this topic, and you are reccommending #7 birdshot for home defense, so now I am even more unsure of what to use. I do know that 00 buck is definately overkill, and the cleanup from shooting a bad guy with it in your house wouldnt be fun, the guy would most definately not make it to the hospital alive.

#7 birdshot could very well stop someone in their tracks, but let them get taken to the hospital and actually live to see another day, which would make things easier when it came to the legal issue of using lethal force.

at the ranges encountered in the home the size of the shot has nothing to do with the rounds effectivness it all may as well be a slug for accuracy sake because your "projectile" as many as it may because the "pattern is only gonna be about 2" wide at the most so if its 8 double ought or 800 #8's the energy is going to impact the same spot.
now some food for thought
the size of the shot cup for a buckshot load and that of a moderate to heavy birdshot load are going to be able to hold about the same volume wise , now the smaller the shot the heavier the payload will be due to the shot being more densely packed this is going to increase the actual weight of the payload , we'll revisit this in a min

the idea that a round needs 12" of penitration is utter nonsense , on a big man you can reach his vitals from the front of his chest with 6-8" penitration. the idea that you need to get deep into or even exit the body comes from the line of thought that you want exit holes to aid in more rapid blood loss and that idea is accurate for an edged weapon that kills from hemorage.
A man is "stopped" by either mechanical breakdown as in breaking major bones like the major leg bones , pelvis , buy hemorage from a massive blood loss or by central nervous system failure as is brain , spine or multi system failure.
a gunshot SHOULD kill from CNS failure as we are relying on kenitic energy to disrupt the body brain function , we want to hit the body with as much energy as possible. If a bullet exits the body then it did not deposit ALL of its energy thus wasting it. So we want our bullet to stay in the body , this reduces liability of a stray slug hitting sombody else and ensures complete energy deposit.
Now back to the shot size and load weight.
the more dense smaller shot will weigh more , if we shoot the buckshot and the birdshot at the same velocity then the smaller heavier load will carry way more energy (velocity X velocity X mass=KE) so now we have much smaller shot which is carying more energy due to it heavier weight that is not going to over penitrate the body due to its small size , this equals a much more effeciet and effective "stopping" round that is safer for everybody but the bad guy.
I have seen men shot with several differant rounds and seen their effectiveness on stopping and what what i have seen and the test i have run i will tell you that speed kills , i saw a man who was drunk and pissed off take 3 rounds to the chest (3 round burst from MP-5) the load was a sub sonic (under 1000fps) federal hydroshock. 2 bullet exited , He stood up right looked puzzled and ran off dieing some 15-20 seconds later the heart and both lungs were affected. Then i saw a man agan drung with meth and extasy in his system , take a marginal hit with a very fast bullet (Hornady TAP 223 round), the round hit about the bottom of the sternum but off to his right side almost below the nipple. He flentched then his knees buckled and he fell , after rolling to his side and curling into the fetal position we approached slowly maybe 10 second and he was dead on our arriavial. Only one lung was affected. the smaller faster bullet basicly blew up on contact and dumped all its energy and shut down the CNS
 

Gunsmith

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IBird shot to cripple the intruder without needing good aim as it will probably be dark and the buckshot to do more damage if need be

Shoot to kill with the first shot or dont shoot at all , crippling a man could lead him to fight harder , or possible live.

Dead men can't lie in court!!
and dead guys dont fight back
 

heavydeadlifts

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Shoot to kill with the first shot or dont shoot at all , crippling a man could lead him to fight harder , or possible live.

Dead men can't lie in court!!
and dead guys dont fight back

True well I guess I'll change it to all 00 buckshot haha
 

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at the ranges encountered in the home the size of the shot has nothing to do with the rounds effectivness it all may as well be a slug for accuracy sake because your "projectile" as many as it may because the "pattern is only gonna be about 2" wide at the most so if its 8 double ought or 800 #8's the energy is going to impact the same spot.
now some food for thought
the size of the shot cup for a buckshot load and that of a moderate to heavy birdshot load are going to be able to hold about the same volume wise , now the smaller the shot the heavier the payload will be due to the shot being more densely packed this is going to increase the actual weight of the payload , we'll revisit this in a min

the idea that a round needs 12" of penitration is utter nonsense , on a big man you can reach his vitals from the front of his chest with 6-8" penitration. the idea that you need to get deep into or even exit the body comes from the line of thought that you want exit holes to aid in more rapid blood loss and that idea is accurate for an edged weapon that kills from hemorage.
A man is "stopped" by either mechanical breakdown as in breaking major bones like the major leg bones , pelvis , buy hemorage from a massive blood loss or by central nervous system failure as is brain , spine or multi system failure.
a gunshot SHOULD kill from CNS failure as we are relying on kenitic energy to disrupt the body brain function , we want to hit the body with as much energy as possible. If a bullet exits the body then it did not deposit ALL of its energy thus wasting it. So we want our bullet to stay in the body , this reduces liability of a stray slug hitting sombody else and ensures complete energy deposit.
Now back to the shot size and load weight.
the more dense smaller shot will weigh more , if we shoot the buckshot and the birdshot at the same velocity then the smaller heavier load will carry way more energy (velocity X velocity X mass=KE) so now we have much smaller shot which is carying more energy due to it heavier weight that is not going to over penitrate the body due to its small size , this equals a much more effeciet and effective "stopping" round that is safer for everybody but the bad guy.
I have seen men shot with several differant rounds and seen their effectiveness on stopping and what what i have seen and the test i have run i will tell you that speed kills , i saw a man who was drunk and pissed off take 3 rounds to the chest (3 round burst from MP-5) the load was a sub sonic (under 1000fps) federal hydroshock. 2 bullet exited , He stood up right looked puzzled and ran off dieing some 15-20 seconds later the heart and both lungs were affected. Then i saw a man agan drung with meth and extasy in his system , take a marginal hit with a very fast bullet (Hornady TAP 223 round), the round hit about the bottom of the sternum but off to his right side almost below the nipple. He flentched then his knees buckled and he fell , after rolling to his side and curling into the fetal position we approached slowly maybe 10 second and he was dead on our arriavial. Only one lung was affected. the smaller faster bullet basicly blew up on contact and dumped all its energy and shut down the CNS

Thanks, and that is definately true about the bullet needs to dump all of its energy into the bad guy without exiting. I have heard that bird shot will just hit someones chest and make them bleed alot on the surface but not penetrate through their muscle and ribs into their chest cavity and organs. Lets say someones face was shot with birdshot and it totally destroyed their face and eyes yet didnt penetrate their skull and into their brain.

Speed definately does kill, that is why Rifle bullets are so superior to handgun bullets, the rifle bullets are travelling at near triple the velocity.

The shotguns strength is the weight of the lead it can throw in a single shot. A
1 oz. slug is going to go through a person, and the wall behind them, and into the next house or a car etc. I want something that is going to go through a persons chest muscles, ribs, lungs, heart, yet stop inside the muscles and bones of their back. The question is which load is the best one to do that with? Which would you recommend for that? Too small of pellets is not going to go deep enough and too big will go through them, so we are looking for the in between. I have seen small birdshot go through a sheet of drywall but not penetrate into the wood backing behind the sheet of drywall.

What is in your HD shotgun, is #7 shot what you would recommend?
 

PMCCHRIS

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For home defense I won't use anything besides salt rounds. Over penetration with a shotgun is something to worry about to an extreme. And yes with bird shot too.
 

Gunsmith

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At close range anything coming out of a shotgun is going to enter like a slug due to the super dense pattern . What happens after the impact is what counts. A small size shot is going stay n the object and cause the shot pattern to expand violently.
I can assure you that a load of birdshot will penetrate into the body cavity plenty deep enough to destroy the vital organs even when the subject is wear heavy winter clothing like t-shirt, sweater and denim jacket.

I personally do not use a shot gun for home defense , I'm more comfortable with my pistol. But when using a shotgun at work INDOORS it is loaded with a magnum load of copper plated #6 shot , it's generating over a ton of kinetic energy and even if this load was stopped due to body armor the fight is going to at very least have a good pause as this kind of trauma if going to knock you down literal and likely cause some internal bleeding due to the force , with no body armor though winter clothings the shot penetrates well into the chest cavity giving the appearance that the suspect swallowed a hand grenade. Main entrance wound was about 2" in diameter

With velocity comes energy a rifle bullet kills bether than a pistol only if the projectile is constructed properly.
A 308 generates say 4x the kinetic energy that a pistol bullets dose but if you shoot somebody with a good 9mm bullet and another with a full metal jacket from a 308 the slower lighter pistol will kill faster because the bullet will likely stay in the target where the hard fast rifle bullet will pass through leaving very little energy. But take the rifle and load it with a fast expanding bullet like a 110g V-max and all that energy will stay in the target and aside from physically knocking the target down the damage with be horrendous
 

drwost

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I saw a tv program aways back about this topic. If you are face to face with a perp, any shotgun load is enough to do damage but If you are going to shoot an intruder, my feeling is put him down! buckshot or slugs are my choice ...and birdshot will barely go through two sheet of drywall (a wall) and not go through a wooden door. I want something that can go through doors and walls!
 

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I want something that can go through doors and walls!

Unless you live in a very very very defense friendly state , if you shoot somebody through a wall you are going to have a very had time proving you were "defending" your self and will possibly be charged with as much as pre meditated murder but likely negligent homicide.
In most cases you will need to proove that you were in direct danger of body hard to death , that's hard to do
 

PMCCHRIS

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I saw a tv program aways back about this topic. If you are face to face with a perp, any shotgun load is enough to do damage but If you are going to shoot an intruder, my feeling is put him down! buckshot or slugs are my choice ...and birdshot will barely go through two sheet of drywall (a wall) and not go through a wooden door. I want something that can go through doors and walls!

Thats exactly what you don't want. You don't want rounds going through walls. This is how family members etc get hurt. This is a huge issue we have to deal with and we are all very well trained in regards to tactical scenarios but you never can be 100% certain where someone is in an adjacent room.

Big problem I noticed too with our enlisted guys overseas, get nervous... full auto... light up a room only to kill a friend or two searching an adjacent room when they get nervous.
 

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