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Why choose 8 pellet 00Buck over 9 or 12 pellet 00Buck???


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I have been doing quite a bit of reading on defensive shots for shotguns and it seems that the majority of sources recommend 00Buck, with #1 or #4Buck coming in 2nd and 3rd.

 

Now i am only talking about 2 3/4" shells. What i cant figure out is why would one pick an 8 pellet 00Buck over a 9 or 12 pellet 00Buck. And in the same line of thinking why would one pick a 2 3/4" 8 pellet 00Buck over a 2 3/4" 8 pellet 000Buck? Is it basically just a recoil issue? I mean all else being equal would it not be better to have 8 pellets of 000Buck over 00Buck? And within 00Buck line why not have 12 or 9 over an 8 pellet shot? All inputs appreciated.

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One issue of consideration when speaking about pellet size is how much penetration you are looking for. Some people prefer smaller pellets in defensive loads so in a residential scenario you don't rip through walls endangering everyone in the house.

 

In other situations you probably want the all-out knockdown of 000 buck. If that's the case, try using some of Caligvla's tri-ball ammo that snapped his B&T rail in half :)

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Some of the better 2-3/4" defense rounds for the home (most are reduced loads):

 

Hornady TAP FDP (max load for max penetration and accuracy over a distance in 00)

Federal LE Tactical (inexpensive, general home defense 00 w/ FLITECONTROL)

Hornady LE Tactical (tighter manufacturing tolances than Federal LE Tactical)

Brenneke Tactical Home Defense (knock down slug for armored intruders)

 

shotshells.jpg

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Some of the better 2-3/4" defense rounds for the home (most are reduced loads):

 

Hornady TAP FDP (max load for max penetration and accuracy over a distance in 00)

Federal LE Tactical (inexpensive, general home defense 00 w/ FLITECONTROL)

Hornady LE Tactical (tighter manufacturing tolances than Federal LE Tactical)

Brenneke Tactical Home Defense (knock down slug for armored intruders)

 

shotshells.jpg

 

I've got 35 boxes of the TAP LE! LOL

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The whole thing with the 8 pellet "low recoil" LE buckshot is so people of smaller stature can shoot the 12ga. It's also really good in AOW, or SBS. Otherwise your better off shooting a 2 3/4" 00 or 000 buck with max dram of powder. 3" mag are actually slower velocity because they have the same amount of powder and more shot to push. Oh, and they have even more recoil. Recoil is not a factor when your defending your life. SMG, or carbines work better for smaller folks- smaller folks with big wallets. As far as the debate over 00 or 000, just see which size patterns the best in your shotgun and go with that one. Don't expect the el cheapo Wally World with crappy soft lead shot to hold a tight pattern for very far though. It might be just the ticket for close range though because the soft lead shot deforms on firing and gets "scrubbed" by the bore and creates flyers. For distance you need copper plated buckshot and you need to pattern your gun with Mod. Imp. Mod. and Full. In most guns the IM choke usually give me the tightest most concentric patterns. All gun are different though and this is a rough guideline. It's fun to try different loads and chokes. You will be amazed how much difference you find.

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I have been doing quite a bit of reading on defensive shots for shotguns and it seems that the majority of sources recommend 00Buck, with #1 or #4Buck coming in 2nd and 3rd.

 

Now i am only talking about 2 3/4" shells. What i cant figure out is why would one pick an 8 pellet 00Buck over a 9 or 12 pellet 00Buck. And in the same line of thinking why would one pick a 2 3/4" 8 pellet 00Buck over a 2 3/4" 8 pellet 000Buck? Is it basically just a recoil issue? I mean all else being equal would it not be better to have 8 pellets of 000Buck over 00Buck? And within 00Buck line why not have 12 or 9 over an 8 pellet shot? All inputs appreciated.

 

Your standard LE round is usually 2 ¾" 00BK 9 pellet. That is load I generally use in Hornady TAP red hull. I do also run the Federal Flitecontrol 2 ¾" 00BK 8 or 9pellet depending on where I can get and whats available at the time. Both shoot the same from I have shot of them. I fired Federal flitecontrol 00BK 9pellet at 25yds into a solid piece of cardboard out of a Benelli M4 and the wad was stuck in the cardboard no pellets on the target at all. The reason I've run the Hornady is because I've been able to load more rounds in the tube. The Tap is just a tad smaller than the Federal loads. Sometimes I can fit the same in Federal as not all their hulls are to spec. I've also heard some people say to run the 8 pellet as when compared to the 9 pellet you always tend to get 1 pellet that strays away from the group. Now is it way off, I doubt it. It's more of a personal choice to what load you decide to use and also depends on where you are going to be using it inside or outside! I'd ask the guy who sold you the gun and see what kind of input he could give you on this stuff! :D

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For home defense only, perhaps the answer is the 00 buck round that you can handle the easiest. For many people the 3" or 3+1/2 inch loads, even under stress situations, are not going to be manageable. Practise at the range and find out what is comfortable for you. I've spent a life time practising at 25 yards on the LE shotgun course, but the course is designed for outdoor confrontations. At 25 yards, all brands of 00 buck have kept the pellets on target and covered the human paper targets with a nice spread. I certainly would never want to take a load of 00 buck at 25 yards! We also shoot at 7 yards in a "quick shoot" type scenario and all loads end up in about 3 inches or less on target. Just can't see an intruder getting up after a blow to any part of the body with 00 buck at 7 yards or under. For me, it still comes down to what 00 buck rounds I can fire repeatedly before I can't keep the muzzle on target. That also means, lose the pump gun and get a reliable semi-auto such as a Benelli M4. At the end of an afternoon of shooting 00 buck on the LE range, the pump guys are having problems getting off a second round and I'm still firing 3-4 rounds before the whistle blows. We also shoot slugs at 25 yards and with my Benelli, it's like shooting a rifle. Most all modern 00 buck ammunition is reliable, so find out what brand is the easiest for you to handle, practise as often as you can and use a semi-auto. Of course some people will say "I live in a mansion and 80 yards shots down the hallway or between bedrooms will be common". After a life time of shooting at my local friendly ranges, I've learned that somebody will always want the absolute peak performance at extreme range under the most bizzare situations. It makes all shooting fun. In my shotshell collection, I have an 3+1/2 inch 10 guage, 00 buck round. I'm told THAT is the ultimate home defense round :eek:

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...I've learned that somebody will always want the absolute peak performance at extreme range under the most bizzare situations.

What if you were hanging off a cliff, upside down with three BGs closing in and you had to shoot a rock under a boulder at 75 yards with sight screws fast unthreading to save your life? What ammo and choke would be best for shooting out of your one free hand? Hmm?

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Hi there Adamlau !

 

Strangest thing... I was involded in almost the exact situation just last week. I was hanging upside down by a rope underneath a twin turbo prop airplane that was starting to take off. I was carrying my trusty Marlin bolt action "Goose gun" with holo sight and 3 inch 00 buck loads. Three guys with M16's were chasing me and bullets were flying every where. My holo sight got smashed up against the plane. I quickly placed the 36" barrel with full choke between my feet to help aim and with my free hand shot and worked the clumsy, long bolt. Reloading was tough with the magazine only holding three rounds and I did drop a few shells, but after a brief firefight with me actually taking out two bad guys at 90 + yards (love that goose gun with 36" tube) the plane lifted off and I was safe. Then a seagull flew into me and I was killed....DARN :( Next time I'll take my own advice and get a M4 :rolleyes:

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Hi Tucker,

 

I apologize for the brief moment of levity. After a life time of LEO work, us older folks tend to develop a big sense of humor. I've heard it can be caused by breathing Break Free CLP, over many years. It will happen again. :rolleyes:

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its just my opinion, but for distances of 75- 500yds, i,ll use my 7.62x54mm. but at close range, an intruder coming through my front/back door and i hit him/her full in the chest with a 2 3/4 00 mag round @ point blank range, and it does not take him/her completly off their feet. im going to throw the gun at them and RUN!!!!! because chances are that the TERMINATOR just come in my house.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I used to have one of the Ithica 10 ga roadblocker shotguns. Thing was a beast, with the 3 1/2 inch 00 buck loads. Don't have it anymore, but wish I still did....just for the heck of it. In a word, brutal......ya, I would stop at that roadblock....

 

Paul

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I'd just do any 2 3/4 defensive 00 buck load. It doesnt matter what other little nuiances it has.

 

Because you're going to be under stress and the regular round vs. the managed recoil load WON"T be felt by you.

 

The body's flight/fight/or freezey response will not let you feel that difference. You feel the difference when you're calm and evaluate it and shoot a lot of rounds in training.

 

In the gun fight, your vision will narrow to a tunnel and focus on the enemy. Someome or both or no one will fire and it will be ever in literally seconds. I'd be surprised if a gunfight lasted even 1 minute.

 

The fight will be over in 1 or 2 shells.

 

The average civillian distace for encounters mirrors the police distance.....that is under 7 yards.

 

 

Everything else is an exception.

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Absolutely nothing takes the place of hauling your shotgun to the range with a variety of ammunition and actually shooting patterns with the loads you are thinking about using. Personally I use silhouette targets at 15 yards because I am most interested in where the gun is patterning as opposed to where I am aiming. Secondly, I want to know if the pattern is consistent and covers the silhouette target well. I ended up a reduced recoil load of #4 buckshot from WW as my standard defensive load in a Benelli Nova Tactical. It patterns the load on the point of aim and every one of the 27 pellets is on the silhouette. Your gun may perform completely different, and you won't know until you shoot some patterns. Reading about it and listening to opinions is OK, but it really doesn't tell you anything about your shotgun and its capabilities

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...
I have been doing quite a bit of reading on defensive shots for shotguns and it seems that the majority of sources recommend 00Buck, with #1 or #4Buck coming in 2nd and 3rd.

 

Now i am only talking about 2 3/4" shells. What i cant figure out is why would one pick an 8 pellet 00Buck over a 9 or 12 pellet 00Buck. And in the same line of thinking why would one pick a 2 3/4" 8 pellet 00Buck over a 2 3/4" 8 pellet 000Buck? Is it basically just a recoil issue? I mean all else being equal would it not be better to have 8 pellets of 000Buck over 00Buck? And within 00Buck line why not have 12 or 9 over an 8 pellet shot? All inputs appreciated.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The 8 pellet round enables more buffering material to be used, and so in theory, will maintain the shot in a tighter group over a longer distance, at of course the cost of one projectile. Personally I like both 9 and 8 pellet offerings. I do not think a goblin will no the difference between 8 or 9 30 caliber projectiles slamming into their face or chest at 1100 feet per second.

The one problem I see is the usage of body armor vs the good guy during home invasions. Although blunt trauma would be present, would 1500 fps 00 be more efficient in stopping an armored goblin? A 1600 fps Brenneke KO slug? Hmm.

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This is not a direct answer to your question as I cant speak for the subtleties regarding pellet amount(s). However, as mentioned several times before, just try out different rounds and see what works best for you. I personally use the Federal LE 00-Buck (Low Recoil) as I find that it patterns well for my needs and considering I am using a pump shotgun, allows for faster recovery vs full power rounds. I tend to concentrate on patterning at 7, 10 and 15 yards. Since my shotgun is primarily for HD, I consider distances beyond that (for buckshot) somewhat impractical. And I certainly have never considered the nuances of an 8 pellet round vs 9 or otherwise.;)

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  • 11 years later...

I have heard star crimped 8 shot 00 buck has less chance of a “fly away” pellet as you sometimes see in 9 pellet shells.  It doesn’t always happen, and when it does it doesn’t always miss, but if you have family or neighbors who can be hit by a “fly away”, why risk it?

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On 7/2/2008 at 12:18 PM, MikeyZ said:

One issue of consideration when speaking about pellet size is how much penetration you are looking for. Some people prefer smaller pellets in defensive loads so in a residential scenario you don't rip through walls endangering everyone in the house.

 

In other situations you probably want the all-out knockdown of 000 buck. If that's the case, try using some of Caligvla's tri-ball ammo that snapped his B&T rail in half :)

Very much this ^^^ One needs to always be conscientious about what lies behind every shot that is fired. One isn't going to likely be able to remember that in the heat of the moment situation, so analyzing this in advance and picking the firearm and its load ahead of the time is the most logical. 

The responses about patterning your gun is very valid as well. Seems every gun has particular loads that it does not like, an occasionally one that it loves.

I use the same suggestion even with my handgun choices for CCW. I carry a Glock 29 for my CCW duties in town or at home. In it, I feed it 135 grain hollow points for maximum expansion but less penetration. Conversely, I carry a full size G20 magazine loaded with 180 HP's on my belt. Around our place in the country, or anytime I am in the woods hunting or fishing, I carry the G20. I alternate 180 HP's and 220 RN solidcast projectiles. It takes a little practice to be able to shoot the rounds with a little different recoil quickly and accurately. But, that way I have both the expansion of the lighter hollow point projectile and the penetration of the 220 grain round nose.

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