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What Is The Best 12 Gauge Shotgun Load for Home Defense?
Me ^ | November 5, 2001 | NoControlling LegalAuthority

Posted on 11/05/2001 5:07:23 PM PST by NoControllingLegalAuthority

I would like opinions on the best shotgun shell load for use in a 12 Gauge Shotgun when being used for home defense. I have heard of using bird shot, buck shot and slugs - standard or magnum loads. I have heard of progressive loading such as first round-bird shot, second round-buckshot, third round-slugs.

Considerations seem to include whether you want to blow the door or wall down in the process of stopping the intruder.


TOPICS: Editorial; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: banglist; homedefense; shotguns
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What say Ye?
1 posted on 11/05/2001 5:07:24 PM PST by NoControllingLegalAuthority
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
I'd go with a Mossburg 500 series.
The 590 is nice.
2 posted on 11/05/2001 5:14:50 PM PST by error99
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
Home defence? Bird shot! If you ever have to use it, afterwords, you only have to spaakle and paint.

If you use 00-buck, yer talking about re-building...FRegards

3 posted on 11/05/2001 5:15:02 PM PST by gonzo
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
Slugs are out, in my book. They have a bad habit of going through walls and such. I'm sure others have their favorites, but mine has always been 3" XX Buckshot.
4 posted on 11/05/2001 5:15:30 PM PST by ABG(anybody but Gore)
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
Get one that makes a nice loud noise when you cock it.
5 posted on 11/05/2001 5:16:25 PM PST by zook
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To: gonzo
Bird shot! If you ever have to use it, afterwords, you only have to spaakle and paint.

Urban Myth. Birdshot at close range is like a slug. It will handily penetrate sheetrock like it isn't there.

6 posted on 11/05/2001 5:17:51 PM PST by Nov3
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To: zook
Remington 870 is best in that department. No burglar can mistake the sound of a shell being cycled into the chamber. Nice, distinctive, and loud.
7 posted on 11/05/2001 5:18:44 PM PST by ABG(anybody but Gore)
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
I'd go for a light load of bird shot. The shorter the shell, the more rounds you can load.
8 posted on 11/05/2001 5:19:49 PM PST by Born to Conserve
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
A few ammo companies make "tactical" buckshot loads, with reduced recoil. They work for me.
9 posted on 11/05/2001 5:20:02 PM PST by cayuga
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
There is no need for the slugs. At the ranges you use a shotgun indoors it has about a 1.5" pattern max.

Get one with a stock. Most people can't hit squat with a pistol grip and can point naturally with a real shotgun.

10 posted on 11/05/2001 5:20:39 PM PST by Nov3
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
I have a Mossburg 500 with a 8 round magazine, loaded with squirrel shot.
11 posted on 11/05/2001 5:23:25 PM PST by aomagrat
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
My favorite is the Remington 870 slide-action. You can buy mag extensions to up to 10 rounds, counting one in the hole. I sawed mine off to 18" (min. legal barrel length), and added a pistol-grip buttstock. Min legal overall length is 26" overall, so it's well within the limit.

Leave the chamber empty; if you find a burglar busily loading up your stuff, you will have fun watching him load up his pants when you rack the slide. But don't laugh too hard - he may be armed as well, so be ready to introduce him to his Maker.

12 posted on 11/05/2001 5:24:19 PM PST by Marauder
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
My favorite is the Remington 870 slide-action. You can buy mag extensions to up to 10 rounds, counting one in the hole. I sawed mine off to 18" (min. legal barrel length), and added a pistol-grip buttstock. Min legal overall length is 26" overall, so it's well within the limit.

Leave the chamber empty; if you find a burglar busily loading up your stuff, you will have fun watching him load up his pants when you rack the slide. But don't laugh too hard - he may be armed as well, so be ready to introduce him to his Maker.

13 posted on 11/05/2001 5:25:45 PM PST by Marauder
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
If you live alone;ie:no collateral damage; go with the first two 00buck,slug,slug,slug.

If there are others in the home,with drywall,or paneled walls. Go with all #6 birdshot. No big penetration past what your target is.

Also;if you live alone there is some very nice home defence ammo for scatterguns.(shrapnel rounds,razor rounds,flare rounds,........;)

Also shorten up the barrel(to the legal limit) for ease of movement in hallways etc....

14 posted on 11/05/2001 5:25:45 PM PST by porte des morts
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
If you live alone;ie:no collateral damage; go with the first two 00buck,slug,slug,slug.

If there are others in the home,with drywall,or paneled walls. Go with all #6 birdshot. No big penetration past what your target is.

Also;if you live alone there is some very nice home defence ammo for scatterguns.(shrapnel rounds,razor rounds,flare rounds,........;)

Also shorten up the barrel(to the legal limit) for ease of movement in hallways etc....

15 posted on 11/05/2001 5:25:51 PM PST by porte des morts
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
Remington 870, about $320. A very reliable and maint. free weapon. Loaded with #1 or #3 buckshot. #00 and #000 has too few pellets. Personally, I have a Remington 1100 loaded with #1 buckshot.
16 posted on 11/05/2001 5:25:58 PM PST by Pern
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To: Nov3
Yup. Seen it done in a demo. Not pretty. Buck shot is worse. Birdshot loses a lot of momentum in a collision where buck shot's weight will carry it farther.
17 posted on 11/05/2001 5:26:49 PM PST by AppyPappy
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
Slug, buckshot, slug and so on. Drywall is cheap. My family isn't. If the compound is ever invaded, hopefully I can keep my cool enough to aim and hit what I'm looking at. Otherwise, everyone in my family knows how to duck.
18 posted on 11/05/2001 5:28:52 PM PST by BigBlueJon
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
Rock salt.

At the likely ranges inside a house, it has the same punch as lead or steel bird or buck. At longer ranges it won't kill, but the perp will never, ever forget you shot him, either.

[Only mildly tongue-in-cheek... :-)]

19 posted on 11/05/2001 5:28:56 PM PST by logos
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
Wow, my first post. Howdy all.

IMHO, the best choice is Federal Premium #1 buckshot 2 3/4 inch tactical loads. Forget 3 inch shells. Shot recovery is quicker after the smaller load and you get one extra shot. #1 buckshot is the optimum balance between pellet size and number.

As far as bet gun, HK Bennelli M-1 is the only autoloader to trust with your life. Remington 870 rules as a pump.

WW1999

20 posted on 11/05/2001 5:30:58 PM PST by WilliamWallace1999
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
low brass no 8 field loads. Little or no colateral damage, low recoil and hits a primary target like a chain saw. Very effective.
21 posted on 11/05/2001 5:31:28 PM PST by Adrastus
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
A strong argument can be made that OOBuck is the best load for protection. Think about it. Each shell contains 9 projectiles each of which are 33 cal. If you shoot from 10 to 15 feet away (which is likely in your home), the pattern should be sufficiently close to do real damage. The muzzle velocity is also very good.

I would also recommend that you have only one type of load in the shotgun at any given time. That way you will always know what is coming out of the business end next.

Just for what it's worth.

22 posted on 11/05/2001 5:33:13 PM PST by PrairieFire
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
If you have wife/kids, I'd recommend the first 3 as #7 shot then the last two at 00buc. If he doesn't go down after being turned to minced meat by the bird shot, he is probrably on drugs and you should try to remove a limb with the 00 buck. The bird shot looses "most" of the force going through the two pieces of sheet rock.

If you live alone, I'd recommd the first 3 be Remingron Hypervelocity bird shot and remove the birdshot and replace it with 1" flechettes. Great spread, great penetration and very little clean up except for the blood!!!!!!!!!
23 posted on 11/05/2001 5:34:20 PM PST by borntodiefree
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To: logos
Ouch!! Good one.
24 posted on 11/05/2001 5:34:56 PM PST by Pern
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
If you can find it, there's a "Law Enforcement Only" Remington load that is very low recoil, but I found that it cycled in my Benelli Super 90 with no problems (notorious for jamming on reduced loads). It's 00 Buck shot, which may be too much... I've been told that #4 Buck is a good load & doesn't overpenetrate.

Either way, if the range is going to be less than 20', try to use an open cylinder (no choke).

Mark

25 posted on 11/05/2001 5:35:12 PM PST by MarkL
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
My personal preference is #4 shot--good tradeoff of lethality and avoiding over-penetration.
26 posted on 11/05/2001 5:35:26 PM PST by Poohbah
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
The current issue of Guns & Ammo (pg. 36) states that between 5 & 7 yards ("A" zone), it's all about the same from 000 buckshot to No. 9 birdshot..."virtually a solid projectile".

This means AIMING IS VERY IMPORTANT!

I don't have any rooms in which I would be situated more than 7 yards from the target!

27 posted on 11/05/2001 5:35:50 PM PST by GlesenerL
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To: Adrastus
Single, double, buckshot. Could back it up with a slug, but a slug will just go through a guy. Buckshot will do the same at close range but still have lots of room for error out to 40 yards.
28 posted on 11/05/2001 5:36:40 PM PST by Vision
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To: Adrastus
Rottweill magnum 12 gauge Deer slugs in a Remington 870 will open em up like a can of cat food.
29 posted on 11/05/2001 5:37:05 PM PST by tom paine 2
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: WilliamWallace1999
As far as bet gun, HK Bennelli M-1 is the only autoloader to trust with your life. Remington 870 rules as a pump.

As the owner of a Benelli Super 90 Defender, you may want to keep in mind that it's recoil operated, which means that the felt recoil is actually a bit greater than that of a closed breach (i.e. pump or single/double barrel), and it's very sensitive to light or even field loads.

Mark

31 posted on 11/05/2001 5:38:45 PM PST by MarkL
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
A BARREL FULL OF NICE THIN AMERICAN DIMES WILL DO NICELY IN A PINCH

AND THEY MAKE A WONDERFUL SOUND AS THEY FLY THROUGH THE AIR TO THEIR TARGET !!

32 posted on 11/05/2001 5:39:19 PM PST by ATOMIC_PUNK
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
Shotgun fighting is an art, and the guru of the shotgun is a South African fellow named Louis Awerbuck. With a pump shotgun such as the Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 he stresses the importance of being able to used different types of ammo as conditions require. For home defense I would load one or two birdshot rounds on top of a couple of 00 or 000 buckshot rounds. If I lived in SA I would add extra buck and slug shells in a six-round "sidesaddle" carrier mounted on the receiver.

The beauty of this system is that you can just rack the slide and eject a birdshot shell if it seems inappropriate for the moment.

33 posted on 11/05/2001 5:40:19 PM PST by SBprone
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
Never, ever tried that. Do the dimes fly all over the place, or do they keep a nice pattern?
34 posted on 11/05/2001 5:42:07 PM PST by BigBlueJon
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
Check out www.deltaforce.com and www.firequest.com. Both have great selections of home defense ammo for the 12ga.
35 posted on 11/05/2001 5:43:06 PM PST by thorshammer
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To: aomagrat
I have a Mossburg 500 with a 8 round magazine, loaded with squirrel shot.

That would be nice if you wanna piss me off if you wanna stop me you better get a barrel of deer slugs

36 posted on 11/05/2001 5:43:10 PM PST by ATOMIC_PUNK
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
Here's my favorite shotgun home defense article, posted a while back by Willie Green. It's an oldie, but goodie.

For me, the ONLY thing that matters is stopping power and not killing my neighbors. IMHO, any damage that might be done to the house while repelling an intruder can be easily fixed and is not terribly important.

37 posted on 11/05/2001 5:43:25 PM PST by LibWhacker
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
You want it for protection against a perp that wants you dead or are you more concerned about saving the paneling and drywall?

A Mossberg 12 gauge Maverick Security 88 (http://www.mossberg.com/maverick.htm) with pistol grip and 00 buckshot can help save you and your family. Something smaller may end up scratching the paint but cost a funeral - yours...

39 posted on 11/05/2001 5:45:31 PM PST by Libloather
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To: tom paine 2
I like 3 inch "T" shot in my 870. I would stay away from the slug rounds, U gotta aim them. Also, remove the plug. Oh BTW "T" shot is steel and not lead so U don't have to worry about all those after action EPA reports.
40 posted on 11/05/2001 5:49:02 PM PST by govols
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
Texans use a Mossberg 550, Riot gun with sawed off barrel and stock,VEG~


41 posted on 11/05/2001 5:49:07 PM PST by Bad~Rodeo
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
Use #4 or #6 bird shot in 2 3/4 in hunting loads. Not skeet loads. At home defense ranges (<30 ft) the shot will not spread more to than a few inches in diameter (unless you have an open or spreader choke or something). You don't need the 3 in rounds at close range and the extra round in the mag can make the difference between living and dying.
42 posted on 11/05/2001 5:49:50 PM PST by athiestwithagun
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To: WilliamWallace1999
I have owned a Benelli and it is a wicked looking and perfect functioning weapon. It's only drawback is really bad recoil. BTW it is no longer being imported by H&K. I forget which company is importing it now but according to the "American Rifleman" Benelli is a wholly owned subsidiary of Beretta.

I diasagree that it is the only one. The old Browning Auto five is also reliable as is the Remington 11-87. I personally would choose a Remington 11-87 if it were set up like a Benelli.

The 870 is the best ever, but the Mossberg and Winchester 1300 are perfectly usable.

I live in a rural area and keep a pump loaded with 2 3/4 inch short magnum BB loads. I would probably only use it outside so overpenetration is not a problem. I like the BB load as it is heavy enough to do damage yet has enough pellets to insure a hit. Number 4 buck would be about as good. 00 Buckshot is an awsome load but only 9 pellets leaves possible holes in the pattern.

43 posted on 11/05/2001 5:50:54 PM PST by yarddog
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
1) Use a pump, I just love the sound. 2) Remove the plug. 3) First two OO buck shot followed by three slugs. 4) Get low and fire upward to prevent shooting those you don't want to in the next room.
44 posted on 11/05/2001 5:52:02 PM PST by HoustonCurmudgeon
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
"A BARREL FULL OF NICE THIN AMERICAN DIMES WILL DO NICELY IN A PINCH

AND THEY MAKE A WONDERFUL SOUND AS THEY FLY THROUGH THE AIR TO THEIR TARGET !!"

LOL!!! FDR's contribution to homeland defense? Is it morally acceptable to sharpen the edges?

Perhaps a blunderbuss with a barrel full of broken glass...

I like the way you think, AP!

45 posted on 11/05/2001 5:52:30 PM PST by Joe 6-pack
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
Benelli M1/M3 or the Beretta equivalent, alternating 2 rounds of buck (any size will do; I prefer #4) followed by a slug. Use the Federal tactical buck and reduced-velocity/recoil slugs available from either Federal or Remington. Birdshot lacks the stopping power you may need against a heavily clothed intruder, and magnum loads are overpowered and reduce your magazine capacity.

A light mounted on the shotty is also very helpful if you are properly trained in its use. A tactical sling like the Giles is also a must-have.

46 posted on 11/05/2001 5:54:37 PM PST by Give Piece A Chance
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
12 Gauge, 3" magnum 00 lead buckshot is the best, in my opinion.
47 posted on 11/05/2001 5:56:59 PM PST by ableChair
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To: Bad~Rodeo
This Texan still has a Street Sweeper loaded with Pirana and Terminator's. If it comes out no one will walk away. I'll try and be there tomorrow at 4:30
48 posted on 11/05/2001 5:59:20 PM PST by thorshammer
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
Mossberg 590, although make sure that your load will fire a full 9 shells without stopping -- mine has shown some problems feeding Sellier & Belloit shells. If you're just looking for loads, I'm fond of #4 shot -- it tends not to penetrate two layers of drywall. Anything down to #6 will pack a huge punch and tend to remain in a nice group for any kind of home defense distance.
49 posted on 11/05/2001 6:00:23 PM PST by FateAmenableToChange
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
1-1/4 ounces of #7-1/2 shot turns an intruder's guts into hamburger so that all the King's men won't be abled to put it back together again.

Plus you can use it on any quail that happen to fly through your house.

50 posted on 11/05/2001 6:00:41 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum
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