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Buckshot vs. Birdshot for Home Defense

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  • Buckshot vs. Birdshot for Home Defense

    The home-defense load for shotguns has traditionally been 00 buckshot. In a 12-gauge shotgun, this is generally a load of nine .33-caliber balls traveling at nearly 1,250 fps when they leave the muzzle.

    Of course, some magnum shotshells increase both the number of pellets and the velocity. The downside of this increased performance is an increase in recoil and recovery time. A person is just not going to shoot his best with a load that really smacks him every time he presses the trigger. There is much justification for going the other way when considering buckshot vs. birdshot for home defense.

    A real problem for the homeowner who is defending his home and family is over-penetration. Rounds fired inside a house may break through walls and into other rooms that could be occupied by family members. Furthermore, it is quite possible for heavy defensive bullets to completely exit the house, placing neighbors in danger. One thing is for sure: The legal system is going to hold a person responsible for each and every shot he fires, regardless of his good intentions.

    A while ago, I participated in an interesting buckshot vs. birdshot experiment. Ed Head, operations manager at Gunsite Academy, had his staff build targets from construction materials. They were made of two pieces of sheetrock with insulation between, but one had an additional layer of outdoor siding. These three targets were placed about 20 feet apart to simulate three walls of a house.

    We began by firing standard 9 mm and .45 ACP defensive loads. These sailed right through all three walls. A 55-grain bullet from a .223 Rem. round showed improvement because it stopped in the second wall. Then it was time to try the shotgun loads.


    Read the results here...

    https://www.shootingillustrated.com/...OUj6VY.twitter



    Why do I carry? Somebody else will pick the day I need my gun, not me.

  • #2
    Good write up. Looks like they done their home work and it all makes good sense.
    The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his/her rifle.

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    • #3
      A better choice would be either bigger birdshot (like #2) or smaller buckshot (like #4)

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      • #4
        I wish they tried frangible .223 rounds since that is what I have in my AR in the house. The 12ga always has #7&1/2 shot. When testing reloads when I was a lot younger I remember removing tree limbs with it. Always seamed like a great close quarter's round.
        Sense, Courtesy, Decency-
        What ever happened to common?
        ----------------------------------

        If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

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        • #5
          i use #4 buckshot

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