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Old 08-20-2019, 02:30 PM
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Shot size for home defense



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Got all my other bases covered and thought I might want to include shotguns! Never thought about it before specially regarding different barrel lengths.
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Old 08-20-2019, 02:39 PM
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00 buck in 12ga and #3 buck in a 20ga. Plus a couple slugs in the side saddle. I know others will say #4 or #6 shot will work that close or some of the Turkey loads. Probably will. But if I ever really have to use one I want a proven load. jmho.
I'll add in my case it's just my wife and I. 1930s single family with plaster/lath wall interior. 1x6s with clap board over it exterior. Neighbor homes the same. Not the modern drywall interior and flake board/vinal sided exterior.

Last edited by scooter22; 08-20-2019 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 08-20-2019, 03:07 PM
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Depends on where you live and the size of your family. 00 buck is devastating but has too much penetration. 12 gauge #4 buck has 27 pellets, less penetration and is still devastating. 20 gauge #3 buck has 20 pellets that are slightly larger than #4 buck and a very good load. I am not fond of bird shot but in an apartment it could be a necessity. You dont want to accidentally kill the next door neighbors even if you dont like them. BB is the smallest pellet size that will reliably penetrate to 12" in gel.
Do you have a wife or other small shooters? If yes consider them in your choice of gun and gauge. While I have a 12 I keep a 20 gauge coach gun in the RV. Fast to load, unload and switch ammo. I keep a Mossberg 410 pump in the house. 9 #4 buck pellets in each load with a back up of 4 .40" balls in each load. I also have loads with 4 000 buck and 5 000 buck. Less noise and recoil. Small shooter friendly.
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Old 08-20-2019, 03:45 PM
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I'm not talking about "intruders", I'm thinking about defending my home. I've got several different shotguns(one like a Shockwave) and would like to purchase one round for in bulk, I'm leaning towards #4 but not smaller.
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Old 08-20-2019, 04:26 PM
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There is a good website called the Box o' Truth that has done extensive research on penetration from different shotgun loads for purposes of home defense.

https://www.theboxotruth.com/
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Old 08-20-2019, 04:49 PM
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While 00 buck is arguably the best performing, it penetrates walls like crazy. FBI tests found #4 buck works well and has much less over-penetration while indoors.

Last edited by squirrelsniper; 08-20-2019 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:12 PM
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My agency issued 0 buck, twelve 30 caliber pellets. A little less penetration than 00 but a little more than # 4 Buck shot. We transitioned to low recoil Flight control Federal 00 Buck with 8 pellets. The velocity is lower which tends to reduce penetration in barriers.

My 870 has low recoil 8 shot 00 buck and a couple of 1 ounce slugs in the side saddle. I liked having a few number 6 shot for dispatching sick or injured animals in built up areas when I worked patrol.

If your at home late at night and hear a possible burglar. You go out at night with your shot gun with mounted tactical light and you find a masked unwanted intruder (Mr Raccoon) in the garage pilfering your cat food, #6 shot in the side saddle is very handy.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:21 PM
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OH your talking about outside your home. I'd still use the same as in my first post but get a 100 rounds of rifled slugs. Most shotguns will hit a person at 100 yds with one. Accurate ones more. Then the hybred slugs like sabots will extend the range close to 300 yards. My son's 22" rifled barrel, scoped Mossberg 500 will put 3, 45 cal, 300grn sabot slugs in 1 1/2 at 100 yards. Trajectory is less than a foot out to 300yds.
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:04 PM
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I have patterned waterfowl loads with "T" tungsten shot . 90% patterns at 30 yards on a 30 inch circle 55 , .20 cal very hard projectiles in a 1.5 oz load . Good bounce factor for clearing pavement ares . Just saying I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end . Load them so they are in the stack first then transition to buck and slugs if you feel the need . Any further than that just work on your 3 gun skills , practice makes perfect .
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:22 PM
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:25 PM
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I think am having deja Vu......
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:40 PM
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Sorry Solphia, can I just say that I'm concerned about the world in general.
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:51 PM
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shot

Thought from a simple mind.
If one is protecting their home, seems like 00 buck is the best choice. Protecting your home should be considered if threat is outside trying to get inside. Thin ice here, think Castle Law.

Now once the threat makes it past the buckshot then the situation changes, smaller shot should do the trick without too much collateral damage.
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:15 PM
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We shot some different ammo from an 18" cylinder bore shotgun at the range. The bird shot as well as 00 buck behaved like one big slug out to the 15 yard range we tested to, which is what I would call typical home defense distances. The wad was still with the shot column.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:01 PM
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My 18.5" cylinder bore 12 gauge patterns 6" at 7 yards with 00 buck. #4 bird shot will double that. My 20 gauge coach gun improved cylinder is 5" and modified is 4" at 7 yards with #3 buck.
For outside the house 00 to 30 yards. That can be extended with a choke. Rifled slugs past 30 yards is probably the best choice. Sabots require a rifled bore which does not work well with shot. Rifled slugs are amazingly accurate in a smooth bore if you have sights which would be a good idea for your purpose. Foster slugs are designed to expand radically and dont have a lot of penetration. If you want penetration go with Brenneke slugs. They are used for dangerous game like grizzly bears. Federal Truball Penetraters will also work but are hard to find. Most Truballs you find are hollow points.
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