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Old 02-18-2009, 04:15 AM   #1
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Home defense shot size.

I always have been torn between #4 buck and #6 bird shot for a down the hall way presentation. Lets call it tactical hallway defense drills, that should get the operators listening. My hall way is 21 feet, average for the mid class working schmuck. At 21 feet #6 bird does a great job on a tactical target blowing a nice 3" hole in appropriate places. #4 buck left me unimpressed at that range, the only thing would happen is i would shoot through the garage wall and hit my new truck. I used a Mod 500 Mossberg I made into a tactical shot gun my shortening the 28" tube to 18" with a hack saw. They make one like mine its called a tactical something or other and costs 4 times as much as my old Goose gun, now tactical home defense shot gun did. I added a side saddle that holds 6 rounds and now im ready for the hords of home invaders that frequent the mags on a weekly basis. Low brass is the way to go my and my Wife like blowing the tactical bad guy targets away. I'm going to buy her a used 500 30"today. Soon to be tactical home defense shot gun #2.
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:40 AM   #2
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Re: Home defense shot size.

At the ranges you are discussing, either will do, many will claim nothing but 00 buck is acceptable, but having seen the results of a few shootings, at less than 5 yards, (measure from the end of your gun barrel to where someone would stand in the hallway, not the wall, pretty much anything you can load in a 12 gauge is going to punch a big hole in them.

finally, If you have to stop someone inside your home who has bad intent, forget about the truck, it will force you to delay long enough that bad things might happen. When its time to shoot, shoot. aim well and do not worry about what might have been.
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Old 02-20-2009, 03:36 AM   #3
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Re: Home defense shot size.

I checked my policy and im using #6's
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:16 AM   #4
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Re: Home defense shot size.

I keep my 8 shot Mossberg 500A loaded with 00 buck.
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:21 PM   #5
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Re: Home defense shot size.

A large dog loaded with teeth.

Backed up by a 357Sig.

Enhanced by an 870.
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:04 PM   #6
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Re: Home defense shot size.

Actually we have the large dog, too, and a Glock 22 and Ruger Gp100 (or at times a Taurus 669) on the stand beside the bed, to go along with the Mossberg.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:33 AM   #7
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Re: Home defense shot size.

bear in mind cops are running up on bad guys wearing body armor and while there will be considerable backface tauma from the foot pounds of energy you may achieve penetration. This is why at the Federal Law Enf. Tng. Center two to body and then go for head was the training scenario when I was there.
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:15 AM   #8
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Re: Home defense shot size.

Bear in mind cops are running up on bad guys wearing body armor ( I have seen it for sale in flea markets) and while there will be considerable backface tauma from the foot pounds of energy you may not achieve penetration. This is why at the Federal Law Enf. Tng. Center two to body and then go for head was the training scenario when I was there.
Shotguns make big holes and big holes leak faster. 30.06/308 will generally punch 2 and 2A level.
I have a friend who was sniper with Third Army during WW2 and he has had 47 surgeries to remove shrapnel. I asked him one day in all his combat and trips to VA for surgeries did he ever see or know of a guy that took a solid thoracic cavity hit from a 8MM or 30.06 and live to tell about it and he said they all died and most on the spot.
Knew Jimmy Cirillo was a friend of mine at FLETC (went to matches with him) and he told me the very first day of the NYPD stake out squad they had just turned on to a block going to a liquor store for a assignment when they got a call a silent alarm had been activated. They were on the scene in 30 seconds and getting out of the car before it stopped and there was this guy on the sidewalk with a handgun and he was tagged immediately with a 870 with 12 ga slug at about twenty feet and as guy swung on the second target he glanced back at first guy and he was still on his feet. He tapped the second guy who went down quickly and went back to the first and hit him again and this time he went down.
He walked over to him and both 12 gage slugs had hit dead center (2" apart). Thusly if you can't depend on a 12 gage slug to put a undesirable house guest down you might want to be prepared for ratcheting up an alternative arguement to help you achieve your goals.

Col Martin Fackler (Army Wound Ballistic Lab) is also a friend. He told me he was aware of a undesirable type (on two occasions) take a 12 gage blast completely removing the heart and both of these guys made it over 50 yards before falling. Lets see 21 foot hall and guys going over 150 feet before falling. The math is against you.

Per Fackler the object of the exercise is to drop them whether they want to be dropped or not and he said if you did not have a round capable of crushing/severing the spinal cord after penetration of outer garments or achieve evacuation of the cranial vault a bad guy may be fully operational as long as three minutes. Body armor would absorb alot of energy from a 12 gage but a 30.06 is likely to punch armor, exit the body and go through the back section looking for the guy behind him.

Case in point I had occasion to make a shot on a dead horse a day after he expired with a round of 30.06 AP. Shot him through the chest cavity aligned to see if it exited near the tail and it not only gave a clean penetration but it continued on another 75 yards and threw dirt five feet in the air. About any full size horse you find is going to have about five feet of meat from breast bone to stern section.

I do know cop friend who to took a 8MM Mauser round in lower abdomen at a angle from his belly button exiting his side and he lived to tell it. I had just talked to him about ten minutes before it happened. He weighed about 265 so there was a lot of fat and the round had already come through a door and traveled forty feet before it tagged him. He told me he was in no condition to continue to do anything even though nothing vital was hit.

Bottom line is you can't always believe what you read in gun magazines as to the effectiveness of the shotgun.
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Old 05-10-2009, 06:32 AM   #9
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Re: Home defense shot size.

My goodness... you have traveled in some fine circles.

Sadly I am no longer on Dr. Fackler's Christmas card list because I disagreed with him on something but think he is almost always right in his opinions.

The bottom line is that the only sure way to end a confrontation is to "turn off the switch" by disrupting the central nervous system.

I believe it was Dr. Fackler who said (paraphrasing): even if cardiacput put is stopped the subject can have 30 seconds or more of [b]voluntary, purposeful activity[b] before they are rendered unconscious by lack of oxygen to the brain.
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:38 PM   #10
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Re: Home defense shot size.

He and I were speakers at a PD in Florida many years ago. That is how he wound up living in Florida. He came in on TDY from the Presidio and liked the area and he was thinking of getting out about that time so the TDY trip turned into a house hunting trip for him.

The PD called FLETC Firearms and said they wanted someone to do a lecture and they got forwarded to me. I asked them what they wanted it on and they said weapons selection criteria and wound ballistics and I told them right quick the best in the country on wound ballistics was Fackler so they wrote SECARMY and here he came. The local ME gave his opinion and when Fackler got up and laid it out chapter and verse he realized he wasn't just dealing with a Colonel but a surgeon who was very interested in the subject.

We went to dinner and talked guns and shooting until late.

When he started the Int. Wound Ballistic Association he called me and asked me to join and I did so. He said I had already been approved by the board based on his sponsoring me and I got the membership card. It was funny there was this other certified prick in my agency who wanted to get full membership and he wrote Fackler and applied. Fackler called me and had his application in hand and wanted to know who in hell this guy was and that he sounded like a prick. I confirmed his suspicion. It was tremendously funny in that Fackler wrote him and told him the credentials committee had reviewed his submitted application and that he did not meet the minimum criteria and thusly was not elegible. He sent me a copy of the letter with a hand written note on the bottom saying the membership committee had determined that he would never meet their requirements and was blacklisted until something like two weeks after the end of the world.
Ain't friends nice? haha.

I remember his being asked in the Q&A portion of his presentation and he said they were extremely dangerous for 30 seconds and if they had the adrenalin going and had just taken in a big breath before (as the Brits say) getting the good news, they could be expected to last maybe three minutes and he told them he recommended shooting them and remaining under complete cover until the world arrived and under no circumstances approach a shootee until the situation was well in hand.

I got a call from I think it was Arvada, Colorado and they told me about a officer shooting they had and witnesses said when officer walked up to drivers door one shot was fired and shooter exited vehicle on passenger side and took off running with officer in foot pursuit. He said they measured the distance with a wheel tape later but they found the cop on top of the bad guy. One shot had been fired from the cops weapon and the bad guys weapon. The cop had a single shot through the heart and the bad guy had one in head and both were dead. They were just over a mile from the stopping point.

I remember seeing a interview of a former governor of South Dakota? who manned a M2HB on Guadalcanal when the first banzai was launched across a creek on the Marine line. In the lead was a Jap Imperial Marine with a sword leading the charge and his sergeant leaned up to his ear and said "get that son of a bitch first". He said he tagged him first time in middle of stream at 50 yards and he kept coming and dropped 17 yards from muzzle and later count revealed 37 fifty cal holes in him.
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:26 AM   #11
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Re: Home defense shot size.

Buck and ball, and a good pistol followed by an ugly wife and a mean dog. Thats my recipe
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Old 06-05-2009, 11:53 AM   #12
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Re: Home defense shot size.

I wouldn't want to stand in front of a shotgun firing even a light skeet load, but if I were to use one defensively, I would choose 00 or 000 buck. African hunters I've spoken to said that the traditional English load of SSG (roughly #3 buck) was terribly over-rated as a stopper on things like wounded leopards, which, despite their strength and speed, are relatively small. With my luck, the bad guy I'd be facing would be a 6'5' steroid-pumped biker in full leathers with a handfull of angel dust up his nose, making HIM hard to put down, too . . . probably just as hard as the kitty. So if I'm using a shotgun, I want something that will hit hard and pentrate well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
I remember seeing a interview of a former governor of South Dakota? who manned a M2HB on Guadalcanal when the first banzai was launched across a creek on the Marine line. In the lead was a Jap Imperial Marine with a sword leading the charge and his sergeant leaned up to his ear and said "get that son of a bitch first". He said he tagged him first time in middle of stream at 50 yards and he kept coming and dropped 17 yards from muzzle and later count revealed 37 fifty cal holes in him.
He covered 33 yards? I find that very hard to believe . . . I'd expect 3 dozen hits from a .50 to scatter big chunks of Jap all over that range, not for him to run that far . . . in fact, I'd expect his legs and torso to part company early in the burst.
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:23 PM   #13
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Re: Home defense shot size.

Don't know, wasn't there but I would suspect that somebody who was there would have spoke up and said it didn't happen. I just remember the interview and the number of rounds he said he counted in him.
I did see a ambush film captured from NVA type where they used a M2Hb on a ARVN patrol. They tagged two guys with it when the balloon went up and they went flying.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:04 PM   #14
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Re: Home defense shot size.

I have some home video taken by a friend in DS2 where three Jihadists tried to rush a bradley vehicle with some sort of satchel charge. The bradleys were at rest on a Iraqi street and the guys were relatively at ease until the trio of bad guys got nervous and started running toward the vehicle. Lead guy took three .50 cal and lost an arm and collapsed, the second guy took two COM and was DRT, the third took on hit in the leg and everything from his mid thigh on down was gone. He was still trying to detonate the package when he was hit by several small arms rounds. The post mortem pics are as gruesome as anything you can imagine, and I shall not be convinced that any human could absorb more than just a few .50 rounds and live.

I do not believe any living creature, None, could take 37 hits from a .50 BMG and live.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:20 AM   #15
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Re: Home defense shot size.

I don't want to join the Fackler, Marshall debate because they are both teriffic researchers. My own research is that when I shot someone with a 7.62 NATO they died, With a 45ACP I only did it twice and emptied the mag both times from 4-5 feet. (I was trying to sky out in the back of a Duece and a Half) they died.
I saw the 5.56 made a nasty ugly hole but I never saw anyone with only one in him.
Claymores were the best.

I never saw anyone hit with a shotgun because no unit I was ever with used them in any numbers for anything except guarding prisoners or payroll (remember the days of lining up in Garrison) Gad.

So, after attending LFI I and II and talking to lots of LEO buddies I've decided that I will have my son's and students folow Mas Ayoob's advice. #4 buckshot in either a 12 or a 20 gauge. Then if necessary assess the situation and have slugs ready to go.

But the handgun should be the go to weapon in a home.

That said I live along the border and there is a film on a home attack that the home owner used an AR-15 to drive off the invaders. It worked.
So for me it's Glock 19 with CT laser. Loaded with Winchester 127 grain +P+.
Mossberg 930SPX with #4 buck.
SOCOM16 to get serious.
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:23 PM   #16
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Re: Home defense shot size.

Nobody likes #1 Buck? I like 16 holes almost as big as the 0 or 00 buck. None of the local shops has had any for a while...

Seem to remember some IWB types tested #4 Buck and it was light on penetration after only 10 feet or so out of a cylinder or IC tube.
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Old 07-23-2009, 05:25 AM   #17
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Re: Home defense shot size.

Grump, I like #1 Buck better than #4. It is an often overlooked size, and not as commonly available as 00 or #4 in typical shops and big-box stores.

My two cents on shot size is that patterning is more important to me than the size. My recent experience is that tactical loads, notably well-buffered and eight-pellet 00 loads, pattern tighter. I've seen patterns with tac loads from plain cylinder bore barrels that rivaled patterns from Vang Comp'ed barrels.

Once I find a load that patterns well I tend to buy it in bulk and stick with it. My favorite was the Estate Tactical 00 load that I used to buy cheap from Natchez. Haven't seen it in years, though I've squirreled-away a few boxes. Now I tend to go with the Federal LE132 00 load or the Rem LE RR 8-shot 00 load--whichever I can find more cheaply.

As for inside the home, and #4 buck vs. #6 bird shot, consider that Federal has a Personal Defense Shotshell that uses #2 bird shot. Seems like a fair compromise for short ranges as would be found in a home-defense scenario when over-penetration of common building materials is a concern. I have a few boxes and I think it suits its intended purpose. I would not use it outside the home, where I prefer buck with slugs on standby.
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:12 PM   #18
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Re: Home defense shot size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by threefeathers
I don't want to join the Fackler, Marshall debate because they are both teriffic researchers. My own research is that when I shot someone with a 7.62 NATO they died, With a 45ACP I only did it twice and emptied the mag both times from 4-5 feet. (I was trying to sky out in the back of a Duece and a Half) they died.
I saw the 5.56 made a nasty ugly hole but I never saw anyone with only one in him.
Claymores were the best.

I never saw anyone hit with a shotgun because no unit I was ever with used them in any numbers for anything except guarding prisoners or payroll (remember the days of lining up in Garrison) Gad.

So, after attending LFI I and II and talking to lots of LEO buddies I've decided that I will have my son's and students folow Mas Ayoob's advice. #4 buckshot in either a 12 or a 20 gauge. Then if necessary assess the situation and have slugs ready to go.

But the handgun should be the go to weapon in a home.

That said I live along the border and there is a film on a home attack that the home owner used an AR-15 to drive off the invaders. It worked.
So for me it's Glock 19 with CT laser. Loaded with Winchester 127 grain +P+.
Mossberg 930SPX with #4 buck.
SOCOM16 to get serious.
How do you like your SPX? I find mine is really accurate with slugs, but it will not cycle bird shot for beans. Buckshot, it will, but not birdshot. Great gun, though. Much better than the 9200 I had.
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:31 PM   #19
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Re: Home defense shot size.

I shot a deflated basket ball at 10yds with my brother's coach gun stoked with S&B 00bk, and it put just about every pellet into the ball. 20" barrels, mod choke. The other barrel was Imp. Cyl, and loaded with a .690cal round ball. I don't think anyone hit with that combo would be dancin afterwords.

I have a hard time believing anyone could take a single .50bmg round and not be scattered into the breeze. I got into a debate with a guy at a gun shop about the .50bmg and we were dabating whether it'd be a big hole, little hole, etc, and I asked my good buddy later, and he said neither. It'd be an explosion. He said his brother sent him video from the sandbox. Maybe it was special bullets, I don't know. But something tells me that if a gun can hurt or kill you even if the bullets pass by you, you're probably not going to know what hit you if it hits you because you will have popped like a water balloon... Just my theory, anyway.

Has anyone ever tried 2oz. turkey loads as a s/d round? I'd think that'd be nearly ideal as wall overpenetration would be mitigated, but you'd still have a big pile of lead going down range. And you can get em in 6's, 5's, and 4's.
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:54 PM   #20
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Re: Home defense shot size.

Could that .50 BMG that put 37 holes in the leading Jap charging have been AP rounds simply going through leaving 1/2 inch holes??
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