Home defense: Bird shot, Buck shot or Slugs ?

Tactical, combat, military, law enforcement and home defense use of a Remington 870 shotgun.
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Synchronizor
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Re: Home defense: Bird shot, Buck shot or Slugs ?

Post by Synchronizor » Sun May 05, 2013 9:53 pm

Wax slugs and ringed shot have a big following on the internet, but much like other exotic ammunition, I think these improvised loads are given too much credit. If you get treed by a bear while bird hunting, or stuck in a survival situation where you need to hunt big game with birdshot, ringed shot may be a good trick to know. However, improvised loads aren't usually very accurate, and often have to be loaded and fired one at a time. If you're in an actual combat or SHTF situation, just use real slugs - cast and load your own if you have to. Even with very rudimentary equipment, you can recast birdshot into simple slugs or large balls, and reload them back into the already-charged birdshot shells to make ammunition that will be far more effective and useful than ringed shot.

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Re: Home defense: Bird shot, Buck shot or Slugs ?

Post by DaveC » Mon May 06, 2013 2:31 pm

Yes. Actually, the old British Home Guard manual makes the recommendation to make slugs if time permits. I've been told that a "broad arrow-marked" 12-gauge shot shell I have seen a picture of is a Home Guard issue buckshot shell, and that these began to be produced during the "SHTF" post-Dunkirk period when Operation Seelöwe/Sea lion and German Fallschirmjäger dropping on the heath seemed a real possibility... :shock: Some Home Guard weapons were pretty nutty: "The Northover projector" for instance, which was intended to propel molotov cocktails, erm, "petrol bombs" with black powder! :o
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Re: Home defense: Bird shot, Buck shot or Slugs ?

Post by Automag » Thu May 30, 2013 7:56 am

I like a little bit of a mixed load for my "by the bed" shotgun. I call it my combat load. I load a specialty slug first (last shot in order), then 4rds 00 Buck Shot, and the first round to come out is #4 Buck Shot. My reasoning for this is that the #4 will deliver 27 projectiles and if that does'nt stop an intruder, my next four are 00 Buck, and if all that fails, my last shot will be a well aimed hollow point rifled slug. I figure that give me options w/o having to think things over if i have an intruder(s) coming at me. I keep 4 rds 00 Buck and 2 rds slugs on my sidesaddle. Thats just me though, if i had to just pick one load to have in my mag, i guess it'd be either all 00 Buck, or all #4 Buck (all of this in 2 3/4 shells). Thats my HD load recipe. 8-)
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Re: Home defense: Bird shot, Buck shot or Slugs ?

Post by Kentactic » Fri May 31, 2013 6:43 pm

Automag wrote:I like a little bit of a mixed load for my "by the bed" shotgun. I call it my combat load. I load a specialty slug first (last shot in order), then 4rds 00 Buck Shot, and the first round to come out is #4 Buck Shot. My reasoning for this is that the #4 will deliver 27 projectiles and if that does'nt stop an intruder, my next four are 00 Buck, and if all that fails, my last shot will be a well aimed hollow point rifled slug. I figure that give me options w/o having to think things over if i have an intruder(s) coming at me. I keep 4 rds 00 Buck and 2 rds slugs on my sidesaddle. Thats just me though, if i had to just pick one load to have in my mag, i guess it'd be either all 00 Buck, or all #4 Buck (all of this in 2 3/4 shells). Thats my HD load recipe. 8-)
If you find 00 buck to be more lethal than why bother with the #4 buck? Do you really believe youll know your on the last round in your magazine to make this "well-aimed" shot? Further more you should be feeding the magazine every chance you get from your side saddle. Now do you think youll have a clue if you just chambered a slug or not? Mixing ammo in the tubes a horrible idea. In not picking on you as many do this. Just making other readers aware.

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Re: Home defense: Bird shot, Buck shot or Slugs ?

Post by Automag » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:35 am

Yes for some , maybe most people it is a bad idea to have a mixed load in your mag, however i practice with this loadout at the range and in the woods w/random tagets w/my Brother, and yes i know when i have my last shell (a slug). But like i said, i practice a lot, so i know what i'm shooting. I could probably change the #4 for 00 buck, but anyway i feel comfortable with my loadout, and i have my reasons for this mix of ammo, but that's just me.
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Re: Home defense: Bird shot, Buck shot or Slugs ?

Post by Synchronizor » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:59 am

Automag wrote:Yes for some , maybe most people it is a bad idea to have a mixed load in your mag, however i practice with this loadout at the range and in the woods w/random tagets w/my Brother, and yes i know when i have my last shell (a slug). But like i said, i practice a lot, so i know what i'm shooting. I could probably change the #4 for 00 buck, but anyway i feel comfortable with my loadout, and i have my reasons for this mix of ammo, but that's just me.
Practice at the range is not a gunfight. if you're in a life-or-death shooting, it doesn't matter how much time you spent at the range, you will not be counting your shots accurately, if at all. That only happens in movies. Police officers and soldiers with years of combat experience can't count their shots past the first two or three in the heat of a gunfight.

I'm not trying to bash your preferences and assert my own opinion here; this information comes from people who have experienced and studied firsthand how the human mind and body react to the life-and-death stress of armed confrontations.

Load your magazine with one thing, and in the very unlikely event that you're in an extended confrontation with enough of a break for you to do it safely, keep it topped off. If you want to have slugs handy, keep them on your sidesaddle, and practice changeovers. If you have the time and engagement distance to realistically make a precise, aimed shot with a slug, chances are you'll have time to perform a changeover (not to mention, a changeover will leave your magazine loaded, while your current dutch-load setup would require you to empty the entire thing to get to the slug in the back).

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Re: Home defense: Bird shot, Buck shot or Slugs ?

Post by wheres the bears » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:58 am

My 870 holds 7+1 and it's loaded with alternating 00 buckshot with slugs for home defense. Hope I never need it.

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Re: Home defense: Bird shot, Buck shot or Slugs ?

Post by Automag » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:26 pm

Practice at the range is not a gunfight. if you're in a life-or-death shooting, it doesn't matter how much time you spent at the range, you will not be counting your shots accurately, if at all. That only happens in movies. Police officers and soldiers with years of combat experience can't count their shots past the first two or three in the heat of a gunfight.
Ok, i'm gonna defer to your good advice and some wise comments. You're right about soldiers not being able to keep up with different ammo past the first few shots (i was a soldier). I think i'll just go all 00 buckshot and have my dif ammo on my sidesaddle. It does make sense especially for a HD weapon. Good advice Synchro!
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Re: Home defense: Bird shot, Buck shot or Slugs ?

Post by Kentactic » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:16 pm

Automag wrote:
Practice at the range is not a gunfight. if you're in a life-or-death shooting, it doesn't matter how much time you spent at the range, you will not be counting your shots accurately, if at all. That only happens in movies. Police officers and soldiers with years of combat experience can't count their shots past the first two or three in the heat of a gunfight.
Ok, i'm gonna defer to your good advice and some wise comments. You're right about soldiers not being able to keep up with different ammo past the first few shots (i was a soldier). I think i'll just go all 00 buckshot and have my dif ammo on my sidesaddle. It does make sense especially for a HD weapon. Good advice Synchro!
Good job bro! Glad to see guys who are open to their opinions being changed.

My 870 has a full side saddle of slugs and a full tube and chamber of 00 buck aswell.

If you need a slug, you need a slug and having access to inserting one at any time is the only way to go.

Practice resetting the shell in the magazine after a half stroke of the action. Then slam it to the rear to eject the one chambered. Only under rare circumstances would you bother retaining that round.

Let me add my experience here though. Dont over practice slug changeovers. Youll start to naturally turn the gun on its side at odd times. I now focus mostly on feeding the magazine from my chest rig at any lull. Now thats not a HD thing to train for. But if obe were in a "combat" situation, keeping the tube fed is top priority. Anyone can make hits with buckshot. but keeping the gun loaded is where the skill comes in. Ammo manipulation is the art of a shotgun.

In an HD situation you really only need worry about potentially doing a slug changeover. If your tube goes dry i doubt its a HD fight.

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Re: Home defense: Bird shot, Buck shot or Slugs ?

Post by Automag » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:56 pm

Yeah i've thought about it all, ammo choice and changovers. I hate to admit it, but i'd forgot some of the important lessons learned in the Military. We only used shotguns for breaching and close quarters situations, otherwise we carried an M4 or M16A2 w/wo M203's and some heavier weapons. But maily it's all kinda the same, keeping your weapon loaded, and if necessary, doing ammo changes. So yeah, i appreciate ya'll kinda tellin me to think about it, and i did. If i ever do have a HD situation, i want all 00 Buck in my mag, and a couple slugs and then 00 Buck on my sidesaddle. I'm goin shooting this weekend with my brother and get some much needed trigger time.
Thanks for all the advice, i took it well--lol.
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