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Shotgun Penetration With Various Rounds

There is an interesting compilation of shotgun load tests. The article does not mention it, but the FBI's bare minimum requirement for penetration is 12" in ballistic gelatin. Many of the loads tested didn't even come close. Others did. Just passing it along in case others find it interesting: Shotgun Penetration With Various Rounds
 
I've seen this someplace before. My own experience said #4 Buckshot, backed up by Sabot Slugs.
I do remember there was a stickied thread in the now thoroughly decayed Shotgunworld forum that had the same.
 
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Thanks for the link to this information. I have a number of loads on hand for 12 gauge. Not so many available for 28 gauge so I have a hand reloading outfit for making specialty loads for it. Like #4 buck loads, round lead ball loads, Foster slug loads (for which I can no longer get the slugs from Ballistic Products), etc.
 

AndyinEverson

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Some good solid information there in the link for sure...
With that said...
We know just what the loads tested will do with that shotgun not yours.

Try out different loads at the ranges found in your house...see what works best for you , your shotgun and your situation.
Also be sure to practice with your chosen defensive load...it may shoot and feel different , than the more often used # 8 and # 7 1/2 bird shot used for general shotgun fun.

My "You picked the wrong house " shotgun prefers #4 buck...but also due to a short shooting range in my house and being close to my neighbors...#4 bird shot..will do , in a pinch.

I say this not to advocate the use of bird shot for defense , but to show that with practice and research , you can have other options than just curling up and waiting to die , 'cause all you have on hand is bird shot.
Andy
 
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Don't discount the impact of the wad at extreme close range :p. Common thinking for any shotgun round is the heavier the individual pellet up to slugs, the deeper the penetration. High velocity or magnum shells will penetrate more than standard shells.

Somehow this knowledge got lost over the decades I'm guessing by folks (mainly hunters in shotgun only regions) thinking that since they loose velocity so fast, they don't get much penetration. I always found the surprise that 00 magnum rounds can go through so many interior walls curious. Physics FTW.
 
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I say this not to advocate the use of bird shot for defense , but to show that with practice and research , you can have other options than just curling up and waiting to die , 'cause all you have on hand is bird shot.
Andy
As you yourself said, "in a pinch" anything will do. When I was with my grandson Anthony the other day, I picked up a hefty rock and said, "You know what this is? This is the first weapon invented. If you have to use one, it's better than nothing."

At close range, bird shot is pretty effective, not only physically but psychologically. And this is a perfect lead-in to the next quote.

Don't discount the impact of the wad at extreme close range
When I've fired 28 gauge hand loads of Foster slugs and round lead balls, they leave two holes in the paper target. One is from the actual projectile, the other is caused by the wad. In some of those gelatin test loads, you can see the wad following the slug into the wound channel.

At close range, the concussion of the blast can cause huge wound damage. Anyone who has read a novel or two by Erle Stanley Gardner may have been exposed to some of his graphic explanations of wound damage caused by concussion. All that gas has to go somewhere and at close range, it can balloon a wound to rather gruesome proportions.

Back in the 1980's, there was a Hollywood actor, Hexum, I think his name was. He was fooling around with a prop .44 Magnum that was loaded with blanks. In his extreme ignorance of science, he held the revolver to his head and pulled the trigger. No bullet was fired, of course, but the concussion of the blast blew a piece of his skull into his brain and killed him. Accidental suicide.
 

turq

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Go to Luckeygunner and see his tests on disbursement at 100 yrds
00Buck? As I remember a pie plate was safe.
I’m rural so when the 6.8 doesn’t get you the 00buck will; semi auto. Not full auto and not automatic. But damn deadly.
 

Pete F

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My go to load is Federal Vital Shock copper plated #4 Buck. Great penetration, good pattern and little deformation. Federal uses a proprietary plastic shot cup, unlike plastic buffering or no buffering. It is getting hard to find, but I have a good stock of 23/4 and 3".
 
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I can't figure out why you don't find #4 Buck, #4 Low Recoil Buck (Remington, Federal ) ETC. on the shelf locally.... big box stores to smaller specialty shops. Tried last year for month's but could never find much of anything other than OO Buck, varieties which are not a good idea for populated areas.

I've always ended up having to mail order it.
 
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Always a fan of #4 (not buck) shot in a high base waterfowl load at close range. Pretty hard to stitch together hamburger. Massive trauma beats penetration imho. Just went through the data again, I still go with "gruesome" wounds. And actually I shoot a 24" skeet barrel, which probably offers a slightly tighter pattern and a bit more velocity than the barrels used in this test.

Side note: for home defense I like to keep my shotgun "sporting" if I wind up in court and my shotgun winds up an "exhibit", a nicely blued shotgun with walnut furniture doesn't look quite as "evil" to a jury. Same can be said for the ammunition i use.
 
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Go to Luckeygunner and see his tests on disbursement at 100 yrds
00Buck? As I remember a pie plate was safe.
I’m rural so when the 6.8 doesn’t get you the 00buck will; semi auto. Not full auto and not automatic. But damn deadly.
I'm rural and that is why my home defense gun is a shotgun.

I have neighbors, but they are generally 100+ yards away, with trees in between us, but thinned. If I have to shoot someone or something, I don't want a rifle or handgun projectile that makes it thru the trees to hit anyone or another house. Buckshot stands much less chance or hitting someone at a distance, and if it does, then less chance of it being lethal. Up close, it is lethal - especially from an open cylinder 14.5" barrel which seems to spread one inch for every yard of distance.
 
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Commercial 00B usually runs about .323" / 50 grains in current domestic buckshot ammo with a plastic shotcup. Most #1B runs to .286" / 33 grains.

SAMMI standards are +/- .015" from nominal. Thus a .315" pellet could be correctly labeled as 00B, 0B or #1B using the currrent American standard designation, (formerly Eastern standard).

Under the former Western standard, what we call 00B would be 3 buck, 0B would be 4 buck and #1B would be 5 buck.

This 1930s vintage Remington buckshot cartridge shows both period designations.

0B Eaat 4B West.jpg
 
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In a different medium:

Several years back I tested Dixie TriBall Buckshot against a soaked newspaper medium.

At a range of 7 yards the maximum penetration of the .60" / 315 grain hard cast buckshot pellets @ 1100 fps was 26 inches.

By comparison Winchester 00B @ some1300 fps penetrated just over 5 inches.
 

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