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What shotgun ammo for home defense?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by MissJ, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. MissJ

    MissJ Clackamas County Active Member

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    Hi there. We have a 12 gauge "pump style" shotgun that holds 6 shots. It is our primary self defense/home defense (after our dog, motion-activated security lights and deadbolts of course!)

    My question is, for home defense purposes what type of ammo should we keep the gun loaded with?

    I have purchased target load to practice with, but I doubt if that would have much stopping power for a bad guy.

    I was thinking about having the first shot be target load, and then the remaining 5 shots buckshot?

    The purpose of the first shot being target load is if I have to fire a warning shot or if for some godawful reason the gun accidentally went off, then there would hopefully be less damage.

    Also, at what range is target shot lethal? and how about buckshot?

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. MarkSBG

    MarkSBG Beaverton Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to NWFA!

    IMO, birdshot is not a good choice to use for home defense.

    Buckshot will be lethal at any residential range, unless you live in a stadium or sompin'

    Firing a warning shot is not a good idea. If you are not in fear for your life, there is no need to fire at all. If you fear for you life, shoot for the center of mass.

    If you have not already, I would strongly advise you to take a class in the use of your HD shotgun. A good course train you in the proper use and control of your gun. Proper trigger control and training will minimize the chance for a negligent discharge. Check out the OFA ad at the top of the page. I trained with them and they are good teachers and experts.
     
  3. ORBrit

    ORBrit Eugene Member

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    +1 on not firing a warning shot.
    Don't give the invader in your home any more warning than they deserve, or any more time to react and attack you!
    That warning shot and pump may be all the time it takes for them to aim and fire.

    Oh and on ammo, I'd probably advise on #1 buck shot as a minimum.
    Some go with 00 buck, but make sure you train - it kicks a whole heck of a lot more than target ammo.
     
  4. badazzelanore

    badazzelanore Silverdale, WA Member

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    Deff buy a couple box's of 00 and maybe even 000 buck. Take it to the range and practice shooting targets at 10-20 feet depending on how big the rooms in your house are. See how the recoil suits you and possibly buy yourself a nice pad for it.

    When your at the range practice keeping the weapon on your shoulder while reloading and possibly even combat loading (where you throw a round through the ejection port). Set up some drill's and practice is the best pointers I can give you. Also figure out where your going to set up your "last stand". For our family it is in the master bedroom closet, its easily defendable and has a great vantage point to set up the bad guy in a fatal funnel.

    I am by no means an expert but if you have any questions feel free to pm me.
     
  5. timbernet

    timbernet Boring, Oregon Member

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  6. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Ammo depends on your home...I would recommend against some types if you lived in a trailer than if you lived in a condo. None of those recommendations would include Bird Shot...bird shot is for BIRDS.

    Also, never fire a "warning shot". That crap is for the movies...
     
  7. glockguy

    glockguy Albany Oregon Well-Known Member

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  8. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Unless you have formal training with Less-than-Leathal ammunition, I would suggest against that.

    Guns are used for leathal threats...if you want to start shoving rubber bullets and bean bag rounds down your guns you might as well get a pepper-ball gun or a TASER.
     
  9. glockguy

    glockguy Albany Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Well I was kidding about the bean bag rounds. Cause from what i have heard people have been sued by the intruder for them getting hurt or something really stupid like that. Iv just been told.. Dead men dont talk. and they cant sue you
     
  10. willseeker

    willseeker N. Portland. Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum Miss J. +1 on training with OFA! A lot of this is mental preparation.





    Will
     
  11. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I would say 000 buck if you live away from people, but 00 will do better. Will do a lot of damage and will not go as easy through walls as 000.
     
  12. NoAim

    NoAim Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    But their family can.

    Some fun things about shotgun rounds and walls: http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot3.htm
     
  13. itgoesboom

    itgoesboom Hillsboro Member

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    I keep 00 Buck loaded in my shotgun for HD, and I have never seen any evidence that would convince me to do differently.
     
  14. Wenis

    Wenis Tri-Cities, WA Member

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    To those suggesting to NOT use birdshot, I would say, it depends on where you live. In an apartment building, you can literally have people in every direction making collateral damage much more plausible, not to mention your own kids in the next room. Apartments generally don't have large open spaces and have minimal structure between units, so birdshot would be applicable in such case.

    Know your target and what's behind it.

    Just my two cents.
     
  15. John Gault

    John Gault clackamas county Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    My warning is the first shell going into the chamber. Everybody knows that sound and if they stick around after that sound comes past them they are dangerous, crazy or dead already.

    For the home I have 3" doubleOO
    On a lighter note: Doesn't matter what type you use for protecting the home from those pesky moles, concussion impact alone kills most of them :<)
     
  16. MarkSBG

    MarkSBG Beaverton Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I have had a discussion about this with a friend. He makes the same point that you do. The rack of a shotgun is a universally known sound that will scare off many. My point is that if the sound does not scare him off, you have just announced to the world and the perp where you are and how you are armed. Also, if you have kids, that noise will likely wake them and complicate matters greatly.

    Anyhoo, just my 0.02...
     
  17. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    For in home self defense a lot well depend on the living conditions. Do you share a wall with another house hold? Do you have children or family in an adjoining room? If you live in an apartment, No3 buck shot is a good choice. Ball diameter is .250, No1 buck is .300, 00 buck is .340 and 000 buck is .360. 00 and 000 buck can penetrate sheet rock walls and still be lethal.
     
  18. NoAim

    NoAim Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    FYI, ALL can penetrate sheet rock walls, including birdshot and still be lethal. It's more of a question of how many walls. 00 Buck is about 3 walls. #4 is about 2.

    Any round that is going to do damage to an individual, and penetrate deep enough to get to vital organs is obviously going to go through a couple of pieces of paper and powder. Even shot cups will go through drywall.



    I am also of the belief that I don't need a device or sound to scare off an intruder. If I need to pull a gun, it will be prepared to be used. It's the definition of self defense. If I need to scare off an intruder, I have a loud voice to tell them so (and a light).


    My load of choice for my home is reduced recoil 00 buck. I have hardly any property to speak of, so distances are all pretty close. And with the reduced recoil, I can get back on target quickly if necessary. I also use a semi-auto for this purpose, one that I've made sure is reliable.