Home-Defense Buckshot: Choose Size, Material, and Speed


I fall for it when keyboard commandos discuss the intricacies of combat flashlights and tourniquets, handgun calibers, and batteries for red dot sights, but when it comes to charging their custom shotgun for home defense, they just say “buckshot”. It’s like saying “surprise me” when the waiter asks you what kind of beer you will have.

“Buckshot” is a broad term that historically refers to any pellet shotgun load where the individual pellets are large enough to kill medium sized game such as deer. However, more modern uses of the term “buckshot” generally mean $ 00. It is true, “double thing”. If you want # 4 buckshot behind the counter type, specify “Number 4 dollars” – otherwise you might end up with 00 dollars.

That’s really all there is to know about buckshot because you can’t go wrong with any version of 00 buck at full power, but if you want to get technical – that’s what we’re doing here at IF – let’s go. There are many varieties of buckshot, and here are a few things to consider:

Pellet size
Of course, buckshot is classified by granule size. The larger the pellet, the higher its energy, but the fewer pellets there are in the pattern. The number of pellets that can be stuffed into each shell is often, but not necessarily, determined by the gauge and length of the shell. (For simplicity’s sake, let’s stick with caliber 12 for now, and US shot sizes, not UK ones, which he calls SG.)

Granule material
Not all buckshot are round pellets of pure lead. Some companies clad the pellets in a material such as copper. This keeps them round so they fly better and stay together better as a uniform pattern, but it also keeps them from expanding or flattening out so much on impact. The firing column pad protects the pellets from each other so that they do not warp as much indented, which also produces more uniform patterns. Different styles of wads do the same.

Charging speed
Then there is the speed of the shell, which, combined with the weight of the shell’s payload, dictates its energy and, therefore, its recoil. If it weren’t for recoil, everyone would be pulling $ 000’s 2.5-ounce loads at 1,700 fps. But, from an 8-pound gun, that theoretical load would produce 158 foot-pounds. of energy – almost three times as much as a .416 Rigby elephant pistol – it would probably shatter your shoulder and tear your retinas off the first time. Therefore, shooters should choose a reasonable round that they can handle. Still, I tend to lean towards the magnum end for home defense, as the recoil isn’t going to hurt me as much as that extra energy penetration and tissue shock is going to hurt an assailant. Some people argue differently; they say even a reduced recoil shotgun charge is devastating so why do so many follow-up shots Stronger. Many people say that the average charges of 2¾ inches at 00 dollars are perfect. Me? I like 3-inch shells at around 1300 fps or better when it’s “time to go”.

My Buckshot Load
Much like my concealed shotgun ammo and hunting bullets when I go on an expensive elk hunting trip, I don’t get cheap with my buckshot. I love the powerful, buffered, brassy, ​​waterproof loads that I can rely on every time.

For the size of the granules, it is undeniable that the larger the granule, the more it penetrates and the more energy it delivers. I prefer penetration over expansion when it comes to larger, slower projectiles, so I like the big pellets for my bedside pistol. It’s my life and my choice. But, at some point, you can start reducing the force of a shotgun – its model – if you go too big with its pellets. While there are valid arguments for the # 1 and 0 buck, 00 is an excellent balance between density and individual pellet energy. If you have to shoot through a barrier, you can. It’s so common and proven and I’m not convinced that anything is better. When it comes to shot count, the 00 12 shot rounds provide a balance of full pattern, excellent downstream energy, and recoil that I can handle, especially when toned down via the use of a Heavy semi-automatic shotgun with good recoil pad.

Specifically, I like a 2 ¾ or 3 inch, high speed, 00 buckshot, 12 pellet, copper-plated, buffered load such as the Double X Hi-Velocity buckshot from Winchester. At 1450 fps it kicks like a mule even in my heavy Remington Versa Max Tactical, but I would hate to be on the other side. For training, I prefer a new 2 inch pellet which is inexpensive. While this is my choice, the reality is that any $ 00 charge should work just fine for home defense.

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