Ammo Question

Tactical, combat, military, law enforcement and home defense use of a Remington 870 shotgun.
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John A.
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Re: Ammo Question

Post by John A. » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:19 am

You are correct, but my analogy of comparing them to nine 357 bullets come from the diameter being ~.33 caliber and moving about 1200 fps.

I don't know if you're going to be able to tell the weight difference at the time they're traveling through you.

I know that I hope I never could describe the difference between the two.
When people ignorant of guns make gun laws, you have ignorant gun laws.
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DaveC
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Re: Ammo Question

Post by DaveC » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:09 pm

Agreed. Excuse my being pedantic. :oops:

Certainly in the very, very old British survey of 9 pellet 00 buck ("LG/SG" shot in UK parlance) in the triple-canopy jungles of Malaya during the anti-communist counterinsurgency there, it was found to be supremely devastating, and there were apparently many cases where even a few pellets incapacitated the MRLA rebel hit with them.

Certainly if there is dense furniture and so on in the house to contend with, the "aught" sizes will do better on cover.

Our resident Pacific Northwest sensei Synchronizor has some online vids about various shot sizes and whatnot that are very informative,
Alle Kunst ist umsonst, wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst.

DaveC
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Re: Ammo Question

Post by DaveC » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:26 pm

I hesitate to repeat something without further research, but in comparisons to handgun bullets, I have read that the 12-gauge 00 buck load with its well-proven "fight stopper" reputation is akin to four simultaneous .45 acp hits. M. Ayoob and some other gun writers have claimed the 20-ga 3-in. magnum #2 buck load as along the lines of two simultaneous Dirty Harry .44 mag hits.
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Synchronizor
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Re: Ammo Question

Post by Synchronizor » Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:50 am

Comparing individual buckshot pellets to handgun bullets can be a good analogy, but you have to make sure you're comparing similar projectiles. Comparing 00B pellets to .357 Magnum bullets is really optimistic, since even if you're not looking at expanding or deforming bullets (which any good defensive load would be), the .357 Mag is greatly superior in energy, mass, sectional density, and so on. Not to mention that a .357/.358" bullet is much more dimensionally akin to .36" 000B (the mass of a sphere scales with the cube of the diameter, so even a .03" difference is pretty significant). A much better comparison for buckshot would be lighter FMJs from typical pocket-pistol calibers like the .380 ACP, .32 Auto, or .25 Auto. Even then, you kind of have to find the compromise between comparing similar diameters and similar masses, since you're comparing round balls to elongated bullets. And on top of that there are velocity differences to throw off kinetic and specific energy figures, with typical buckshot loads (1150 - 1350 FPS range) chucking lead a lot faster than typical pocket pistols (generally 700 - 1000 FPS).

I find comparing buckshot & handgun bullets to be more useful for understanding in a broad-strokes sense what makes buckshot work, rather than accurately predicting the performance of any specific load.

I'll attach some visual aids I came up with awhile ago that help show what I'm talking about, and also link to my shot sizes guide, which gives detailed weight & mass figures for the various sizes.
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Goodgun
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Re: Ammo Question

Post by Goodgun » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:34 am

A solid blast of 00 or any buck for that matter..is gonna be a fight stopper. I use Hornady #4 Varmint Express. Hopefully I don't get major over penetration issues. Would like to roll with my Federal 00 Personal Defense, but I can see that load entering the neighbors house?...

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Synchronizor
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Re: Ammo Question

Post by Synchronizor » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:25 am

Buckshot has pretty poor sectional density compared to other bullets of the same diameter. There may be cause for concern if you have friendlies in the next room, but I doubt you have much to worry about in another building altogether. That's at least two exterior walls and probably one or more interior ones, which is a lot for buckshot - especially smaller sizes like #4B - to go through while still maintaining a dangerous pattern density and kinetic energy.

If you want some more insurance, I've heard it suggested that you position some sort of backstop such as a full bookshelf opposite your safe room, so that there's something to reliably stop any stray projectiles.

I like to say that the safest thing to do in a gunfight is to end it as quickly as possible. A well-performing buckshot load is excellent at doing just that.

Toamaius
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Re: Ammo Question

Post by Toamaius » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:40 am

Mt_Walt wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:56 pm
I am a new 870 owner and wanted to see what everyone suggests for home defense ammo. I have 00 buckshot in it now, and have a box of slugs handy. I am considering changing to a buck, slug, buck, slug, buck set, but wanted some opinions on that.

Does anyone have a suggestion on a good buttstock extra shell pouch?

Thanks!
I am probably going to echo a couple of other replies to a post that is almost a few weeks old. I will however give my two cents in the matter.

Candy cane loads (alternating buck, slug ect) in the magtube sounds good in theory, for hitting a target hard with various loads, but.... Thinking you may keep track of what is coming out of your gun during a high stress life or death situation is optimistic at most. You need to know exactly what is coming out of your gun and had have spent the time patterning that particular load at various distances. Legally and morally, you are responsible for every pellet/projectiles that come out of your shotgun.

I think slugs are an important load to have at the ready but will serve you better on a side saddle shell carrier or similar buttstock shell holder.

Here is how and why my shotgun is loaded, take it with a grain of salt...

My 870 is a Vang Comp Systems modified Remington 870 Tactical 7 shot model(single solid extended magazine tube 2013 and newer model, I believe. )

I keep my shotgun in what is called cruiser ready, chamber empty, magazine fully loaded and trigger pulled and the safety on. All that needs to be done to bring my shotgun into action is rack the pump, and deactivate the safety and pull the trigger if given no choice.

I keep my magazine tube loaded with Remington 27 pellet #4 buckshot. I have additional 6 shotshell side saddle where I keep 4 more of the same load that I have in the magazine tube. Additionally, I keep 2 rounds of Remington or Winchester 1 oz slugs, just incase I find myself in need of making a precision shot or have to punch through a hard barrier.

Most people who advocate 00 buckshot for a defensive load in one's home, either only do so because they heard it from some instructor or do not know buckshot doesn't end at 00/000.

00 buckshot in most loadings has a velocity of 1325/1350 fps. 00 buckshot also has a penetration index of 33"+ in ballistics media which is way over the 12-18" slstandard. 00 buckshot, though very effective anti-personal load is a horrible over penetrator through dry wall, studs(2×4) and plywood/partical board.

People miss under duress and high stress life or death situations, to completely ignore the consequences of a missed pellet could prove a costly mistake. Unless one lives alone, chances are you have loved ones who live with you. Buckshot doesn't end at 00/

Consider #4 buckshot, 27 pellets .24 cal in most cases 1100/1325fps which performs to both FBI and IWBA 18" of penetration. If you must have bigger sizes, there is always #2 buckshot which is usually around 20 pellets of .27 cal. There is also always #1 buckshot is usually 16 pellets of .30 cal pellets.

All of these do more damage at home defense ranges in quality loads than 00. 00's advantage is at longer distances, where 00 buckshot shouldn't even be an option.

I hope you found this info helpful.

Faacop
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Re: Ammo Question

Post by Faacop » Tue May 01, 2018 7:58 pm

Wow, has no one ever taken training on operating a shotgun? When I was in the Border Patrol, another lifetime ago, they told us that #7 shot does more tissue damage than 00 buck up close. Have one of those 00 buck pellets miss center mass and now you have a liability issue downrange. What about doing a slug exchange. Install a side saddle and keep a couple of those rounds ready to go. I can do a slug exchange in under 2 seconds for that 100 yard shot if needed. My 12 inch Wilson scattergun is only dependable with 00 buck to 15 yards. Then I take a chance on a pellet going off the target even with a center mass hit. Last Hurricane that was coming, the ARs stayed in the safe and the 870 was loaded cruiser ready with some slugs in the side saddle. Hell of a weapon if handled by a trained operator.

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Re: Ammo Question

Post by redgoat » Wed May 02, 2018 5:30 am

You can learn a tremendous amount just from reading various Internet forums regarding the ballistic performance of various shotshell load combinations. The necessary information is readily available. But that is only one portion of the information you need to select the “correct” load for your situation and your gun.

I will echo the advice given frequently: Pattern your gun with your chosen loads. No matter what load you choose, take a supply of that load to the range and get familiar with your chosen load’s pattern at various distances. For home defense, know the maximum distance that YOUR chosen load from YOUR gun and barrel will keep all pellets within an 8 inch circle, and where that pattern centers relative to your aiming point. Once you start seeing pellets stray beyond that 8 inch circle, consider that as “too far” for your gun with that given load for defensive purposes. Yes, you might still get some pellet hits on target at that distance or even farther, and yes, the pellets will still probably have enough energy to penetrate to do damage to essential parts and plumbing. But you are also responsible for those pellets which did NOT connect with your intended target.

For any given combination of shot size and velocity range you might choose, you need to try several different brands to find the one that your gun “prefers.” Everyone who has made recommendations regarding their favorite load, if they’ve done the necessary testing, is likely 100% correct in their recommendation: for THEIR gun and THEIR situation. But even if everyone made the SAME recommendation for shot size X, brand Y, loaded to velocity Z, they could all be wrong with regard to YOUR gun.

For example, in one of my guns, I have found that Winchester 00 buckshot loads spread out much more rapidly than Federal 00. But Remington low recoil 00 loads produces far tighter patters at longer distances than either the Winchester or Federal loads. So, I keep it loaded with the Remington loads. The Federal 00 loads are also acceptable in the event that my supply of the Remington loads get low or unavailable, but I would not consider using the Winchester 00 loads in that gun except under the direst of circumstances. I learned this from spending a very pleasant (who doesn’t enjoy an outing to go shooting?) afternoon at the range with a roll of brown shipping wrapper actually shooting those loads at various distances.

The bottom line is to decide on what size of shot and velocity range you can live with with regard to terminal ballistic performance. Then pattern several brands of loads which meet your criteria to find a particular loading that patterns well at your anticipated max distance and centers very close to your point of aim. You cannot make that determination just from advice given here or on any other forum. You must actually go out and test your load with your gun.

Once you have nailed down a good performing load, practice enough to get good solid hits quickly. You will be very dangerous to your intended target and pose minimal danger to anything or anyone else. There is no magic to effective use of your shotgun.

Just do the work: find a suitable load that patterns well in your gun, know your distance limitation, and practice.

Goodgun
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Re: Ammo Question

Post by Goodgun » Mon May 07, 2018 1:43 pm

All shotguns pattern loads different!?! All ammo patterns different out of shotguns. You got to experiment and see what's best for you. I like 00, #4 buck and #1 buck. It just depend?. #1 buck is a Awesome load, but so hard to find..if you can locate some, give it a try? I'm sure you would like it? Don't candy cane load in the city though...

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