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What is the Best 12 Gauge Shotgun Ammo for Home Defense?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by 9mm guy, May 9, 2015.

  1. 9mm guy

    9mm guy Tualatin Active Member

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    I'm sorry to be asking such basic questions on this forum, but that's what happens when you're a beginner to firearms. I live in a 2 story house with my wife & 2 very young children in a suburban area. I have a 12 gauge Mossberg 590 shotgun for the primary purpose of home defense. What is the best ammo for self defense? Researching this on Google and on YouTube has been majorly confusing. I do want something strong enough to stop the offender but not over-penetrate where it may kill my neighbor in the house next door. Right now, I have guessed/estimated/settled on 2 3/4in 4 buck maximum 27 pellets buckshot (Federal) to hit this balance but I'd love to hear your opinions. Thanks in advance for all your feedback.
     
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  2. blackadder

    blackadder Everett Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I would recommend birdshot if you want to reduce the chance of over penetration. #4 pheasant loads are good if you want something a little stronger than standard bird/target loads.
     
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  3. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    2-3/4" OO-Buck, 9 or 12 pellet load.
     
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  4. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Vancouver Well-Known Member

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    Dragons breath.
     
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  5. filsonhand

    filsonhand In the Silicon Forest Smooth as a Rhino 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    #4 buck for 1 & 2
    00 buck for the rest :s0155:
     
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  6. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    you will find many opinions. I prefer goose loads, high velocity lotsa pellets #4 shot (not buckshot)turns meat to hamburger at close range. nothing left to stitch up.
     
  7. Raidingtime

    Raidingtime SE Portland Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I second this. Mossberg 590 great gun. I like the 870 a lot too.:cool:
     
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  8. Flopsweat

    Flopsweat Slightly right of center Well-Known Member

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    This gets debated a couple times a year on every gun board. If you poke around here and on other gun forums you'll find hours of reading and lots of "lively" debate. There are articles on Box o' Truth, Ballistics by the Inch and other places that may help you better understand terminal ballistics with regard to birdshot and buckshot.

    As far as I can tell, in the end it's really a matter of preference. Birdshot is designed for animals a lot smaller than burglars, but some tests have shown that at close range it can be effective. Buckshot is effective against just about any kind of assailant in any kind of gear and any kind of mental state, but it will go through several layers of drywall. Typical shot spread at home defense distances just a couple of inches, so if you aim properly, all of the shot will be slowed substantially by the time it exits the bad guy.
     
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  9. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    You guys may not like my approach but I have a thought pattern that makes me want to stay out of the justice system.

    Defense shotgun is loaded so first round at someone coming through the door is rubber buckshot. If he is smart enough to run off then I don't have to spend time and money in court. Hate to kill a drunk that came to the wrong door.

    Second round is bird shot and from across the room it will devastate anyone and the small shot will be less apt to hurt neighbors.

    Third shot and all those after are buckshot in case it's more than one and they are determined.
     
  10. Raidingtime

    Raidingtime SE Portland Oregon Well-Known Member

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    yes.... this is another 9mm vs .45 nonsense type of thing. However, it seems to be pretty evident that #4 buckshot (basically the last buckshot before bird shot) straddles the lethal/safe for suburbs line. It really comes down to how close are you to your neighbors. If you live in a duplex you probably ought to be carrying bird shot for at least the first round. I believe in any other case, very subjectively, that #4 buck ought to be used for the first 2-3 rounds in the magazine followed by 00 buck for the rest of the load in case things got hairy. I believe slugs attached to the side for possible range is a good idea as well.

    However, anyone can make up a different story as to what the best load is for a pump. I tend to side with the people that have done a proportionally large amount of ballistics research, tactics, knowledge, and good sense. If you don't feel like this is good advice then do the following:

    if you're absolutely terrified of shooting through a wall then go with bird shot for everything

    if you want to go to war then load 00 buck and or slugs

    if you want to be in between see above....


    Good luck and stay safe:cool:

    Raidingtime
     
  11. bolus

    bolus Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    How common are reports of neighbors getting shot with stray bullets that go through walls in a home defense situation? I imagine that it is pretty unlikely regardless of the firearm.

    I imagine at my house it will be extremely unlikely I will ever see an intruder who is planning to do harm knowing someone is in the house. That vs the very unlikely chance I will hitting the neighbors in a firefight with any of my firearms. So I chose firearms and ammo that will hopefully bring the fight to a close very quickly.
     
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  12. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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  13. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I believe that Just Jim makes a short but well argued case for the different loads in his shotgun.

    My own thoughts are: if I see a need to use deadly force then it will be, "deadly force." In my case Federal OO buckshot loads.
     
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  14. Martini_Up

    Martini_Up NW USA Well-Known Member

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    FPNI
     
  15. Nutty4Guns

    Nutty4Guns Portland ADHD Superstar

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    Unfortunately, I live in close proximity to my neighbors. This is how my HD shotgun is loaded as well. And the drunk coming to the wrong door is a very real scenario. I've had it happen here. He was walking across the deck towards the patio door when the motion light switched on. He then made a 90 degree turn and proceeded to the garden shed to hide and wait for the cops to arrive. :s0037: He was very drunk and very confused. :confused:
     
  16. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much a 9mm HP putting out 500fpe.. kinda handy though an elephant rifle (slug gun) is nice at times. good luck with that though
     
  17. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    I keep these upgraded 500's stuffed with OO and on deck for me and my wingmen...

    image.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
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  18. Nick Burkhardt

    Nick Burkhardt NE Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Rio Royal has a #4 Buck with only 21 pellets that is easier on your shoulder than the Remington or Federal 27 pellet load.

    If you are not worried about your neighbors, then #1 Buck offers good penetration and more surface area than 00 Buck.
     
  19. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Another #4 Buck guy here. A 3" #4 buck round has forty one .24 caliber pellets on the way. You could use them for felling timber!;) I'm not sharing walls with neighbors (shudder) so this works for me, in your situation I would indeed consider larger birdshot.
    Fact is, I own a number of different defensive 12ga loads, BB, all the Buck's and every sort of duplex load, kind of a freak for duplex loads, but the 3" #4 Bucks are in the 870 and slugs/ 00 in the side saddle!
    Good luck picking what works for you!
     
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  20. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Aww, Stomp, yore just ashowin' off yore purrdy , matchin' shotguns!
     
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