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The Firing Line

Birdshot vs. Buckshot for home defense.

Uploaded on January 23, 2009

What is your prefrence? I prefer birdshot in my shotgun. In a defensive sitituation your more than likely going to be in a hall or small room. Probally less than 7 yerds. The birdshot has plenty of power to get the job done. You don't have to worry about over penetration like you do with buckshot. This is really great, espically if you live in an apartment or have a wife and kids in the next room.

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from Blue Ox wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I'd go with a larger diameter birdshot, like TTT for the first round, second & third rounds would be buckshot just to let the intruder know I'm serious.

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from timmy2bears wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I keep Thor (that's my black 870 pump) loaded with 00 buck. I'd rather have the power to drop someone Right Now in such a situation. I figure if it ever comes to that, the s**t must have hit the fan so we not go big

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Before my children came along, I kept a Rem 870 12 gauge with an 18.5 inch barrel available, and the four 2-3/4 inch 00 Buck cartridges were in the magazine. In my opinion, any issue that requires an armed response requires adequate and decisive firepower.

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from summit229 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Could you imagine the police, military, or SWAT team entering a house with birdshot in their pumpguns?
Birdshot is for birds, stick with the buck.

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from herbie57_57 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I think when it comes down to it either will get the job done. As long as you have a couple shots to fire it should take down an intruder. Has anyone tried the Hornady TAP ammo, they have a 12 ga load that is for situations like this but I have no experience with it

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from bobby tee wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Consider this, just the forceful working of a shotguns action to chamber a round is like the ultimate attention getter and evacuation drill you can ring.(especially a pumpgun)

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from bobby tee wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

From koolpics57 Consider this, just the forceful working of a shotguns action to chamber a round is like the ultimate attention getter and evacuation drill you can ring.(especially a pumpgun)

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from mutt wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

close range both will get your point through, but bird shot is less likely to go through the wall if you miss.

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from jlfreeborn wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

When i took my concealed carry class, the instructor told us that if we ever found ourselves in a situation where we had to shoot someone, to make sure he is down for the count (with one shot, of course). I'd stick with the buck.

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from mattreney wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

im not sure if rubber bullets are legal for the public but you can either just cause them a lot of pain (legs and arms) but with a head shot itll do the job. only if your unwilling to kill. better then nothing but if youve exepted the fact that you may need to protect yourself and your family and are willing to do so....buckshot

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from texasfirst wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

OK, check this out. Some poor fella just killed a guy he THOUGHT was stealing his mama's palm trees down here in south texas (www.themonitor.com), with a shotgun loaded with buckshot. Now they've got him for murder, and though castle laws are TOUGH in Texas, this guy is in serious trouble. I'm a former Marine grunt with a family ranch to look after, and I believe in escalation of force (even if it's REALLY, really rapid escalation). If that poor fella had had two loads of birdshot loaded first, he coulda gotten his point across without killing anybody. But when there's a nutjob INSIDE your house, whatever will do the job without any blue-on-blue. SITUATION ALWAYS DICTATES. I keep a couple birdshot shells in and the rest buckshot, although I do not believe in shooting to disable.

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from Carney wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

mattreney,

My opinion is that if a person is unwilling to kill, they really shouldn't have a gun for self-defence. I believe that an attacker has made the decision to "be put down" by somebody who knows how. In other words the decision to attack an innocent person equals a decision to take the risk that the innocent person may be prepared to fight back with lethal force.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

Although #4 Buckshot is the #1 choice for Law Enforcement, you must remember what’s beyond the target. You are liable from the squeeze of the trigger to the final resting point of that projectile/projectiles and hope nobody slips and falls on it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

I've noticed a lot of guides in the great northwest who carry shotguns to protect their fishing clients start the party off with a load of #4 buck and slugs afterward. They seem happy with its effectiveness.

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from Sportsman Matt wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

Pass on the buckshot, go with a 1 oz. slug. One hit, no chance of spread, and definately will put something down.

In my own guns I run 2 slugs, 1 #4 Buckshot, and the rest are slugs. The buckshot is incase I see some rather large item that I can't get on the fly with the slug.

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from kolbster wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

go with some good 00 buckshot.

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from Nick Jensen wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

Hopefully looking down the barrel of a 12 gauge will be enough to get an intruder to back down. If not i would go with bird shot, lower penetration because your kid may be on the other side of that wall.

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from teufelhunden wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

Either, Just make sure that when the police arrive you are the only living person with an account of the events that took place in that hall.

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from hnestle wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

I think I will stick to the 000 buck I kept in mine. My thinking is that a person more or less is about the size of a deer or larger, and there is no why that I would take birdshoot deer hunting. The other points is that it is illegal to hunt that sized animal with birdshot, it would be only hurt the deer. Therefore I believe that birdshot would only hurt an intruder and not put him down. My life is worth more to me than an intruders, so the less shots I need the better.

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from rabbitpolice88 wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

Buckshot always, you never have to wonder of the intruder has enough left in him to squeeze off a shot.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

If you choose not to use a buckshot load at least use #4 shot or bigger.

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from s-kfry wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Do you intruder a favor and load with at least OO Buckshot and make sure he goes down and stays down.

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from Max Barker wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Bird shot or buck shot doesn't matter. At the 10 yards or less you have in your house, Pattern is about the same, both are going through your drywall, and shots to the vitals are going to keep them down. If you live in the city or have really close neighbors you'll be lucky if a slugs not inside your neighbor's house. People keep comparing load results to game animals and it doesn't apply. They are tougher and stronger than we are.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

ZzzzzzzzZzzzzzzzz

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from barnhllo wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

#4 Buck...Might be difficult to find, but it will do the job!

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from Turkey lurkey wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

If a robber breaks in i wont really care for over-penetration. I would use 00 buck.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Have you ever seen what a 12ga 2 ¾” with 1¼ oz #8 does to a car door? ENOUGH SAID!

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from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

#4 Buck for me. It will kill through walls but should not overpenetrate to the neighbor's house. It will put someone down instantly at 20 yards. As a matter of fact, you will be able to see daylight through them. Both do the same thing at 7 yards but they are really different at 20 yards. I've been shot dead center in the chest with a hot 2 3/4 hunting load of #4 shot at 25 yards. The pattern was about the size of a basketball. It lifted me off my feet and callapsed my lungs but only one piece of shot penetrated. I had on a parka, multiple sweat shirts and long johns or it would have been nasty. However, I would not be here today had that been #4 Buck. Home intrusions call for extreme measures as far as I am concerned. If someone is shooting at me, I intend to end it quickly.

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from art6555 wrote 47 weeks 5 days ago

At fighting ranges this, to me, is splitting hairs. I have #4 birdshot in my Mossberg 500 and Winchester 1300 (both 12 ga and both combat shotguns). I do not in the least feel that any booger man will walk away if hit solid inside my house. Now if I have to shoot past 10-15 yards, that means the fight is outside.....things have really gone south!

Now I was an infantry grunt who spent 14 months in the Sunni Triangle in Iraq and can testify to the effectiveness of 00 buck (all we had). I can also testify that Hollywood has it all wrong, you can miss with these things across the room. It doesn't blow someone through a window, even at ranges when you can "grab their belt". But a solid hit at normal (10-15 yards) ranges, it stops them in their tracks.

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from jhjimbo wrote 47 weeks 5 days ago

Home shotgun is loaded with two #4 birdshot followed up with OO buck.

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from Roy Dowd wrote 31 weeks 1 day ago

Have you ever shot something up close with #6 birdshot? If you have, you know that it makes a large hole. There is no time for a load of birdshot to open up into a string. Sure, maybe it's not as deadly as buckshot up close, but who cares, it's deadly enough and going to cause traumatic injury. Having kids myself, over penetration is a serious consideration. My wife I wouldn't miss so much, but I digress. Over penetration is where the beauty of birdshot comes in. I know that any errant shot will quickly lose energy and I don't have to worry as much about taking a family member down with the bad guy.

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from Carney wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

mattreney,

My opinion is that if a person is unwilling to kill, they really shouldn't have a gun for self-defence. I believe that an attacker has made the decision to "be put down" by somebody who knows how. In other words the decision to attack an innocent person equals a decision to take the risk that the innocent person may be prepared to fight back with lethal force.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jlfreeborn wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

When i took my concealed carry class, the instructor told us that if we ever found ourselves in a situation where we had to shoot someone, to make sure he is down for the count (with one shot, of course). I'd stick with the buck.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hnestle wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

I think I will stick to the 000 buck I kept in mine. My thinking is that a person more or less is about the size of a deer or larger, and there is no why that I would take birdshoot deer hunting. The other points is that it is illegal to hunt that sized animal with birdshot, it would be only hurt the deer. Therefore I believe that birdshot would only hurt an intruder and not put him down. My life is worth more to me than an intruders, so the less shots I need the better.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

ZzzzzzzzZzzzzzzzz

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from timmy2bears wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I keep Thor (that's my black 870 pump) loaded with 00 buck. I'd rather have the power to drop someone Right Now in such a situation. I figure if it ever comes to that, the s**t must have hit the fan so we not go big

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Before my children came along, I kept a Rem 870 12 gauge with an 18.5 inch barrel available, and the four 2-3/4 inch 00 Buck cartridges were in the magazine. In my opinion, any issue that requires an armed response requires adequate and decisive firepower.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from summit229 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Could you imagine the police, military, or SWAT team entering a house with birdshot in their pumpguns?
Birdshot is for birds, stick with the buck.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bobby tee wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Consider this, just the forceful working of a shotguns action to chamber a round is like the ultimate attention getter and evacuation drill you can ring.(especially a pumpgun)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

Although #4 Buckshot is the #1 choice for Law Enforcement, you must remember what’s beyond the target. You are liable from the squeeze of the trigger to the final resting point of that projectile/projectiles and hope nobody slips and falls on it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from teufelhunden wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

Either, Just make sure that when the police arrive you are the only living person with an account of the events that took place in that hall.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rabbitpolice88 wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

Buckshot always, you never have to wonder of the intruder has enough left in him to squeeze off a shot.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Roy Dowd wrote 31 weeks 1 day ago

Have you ever shot something up close with #6 birdshot? If you have, you know that it makes a large hole. There is no time for a load of birdshot to open up into a string. Sure, maybe it's not as deadly as buckshot up close, but who cares, it's deadly enough and going to cause traumatic injury. Having kids myself, over penetration is a serious consideration. My wife I wouldn't miss so much, but I digress. Over penetration is where the beauty of birdshot comes in. I know that any errant shot will quickly lose energy and I don't have to worry as much about taking a family member down with the bad guy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I'd go with a larger diameter birdshot, like TTT for the first round, second & third rounds would be buckshot just to let the intruder know I'm serious.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from herbie57_57 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I think when it comes down to it either will get the job done. As long as you have a couple shots to fire it should take down an intruder. Has anyone tried the Hornady TAP ammo, they have a 12 ga load that is for situations like this but I have no experience with it

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bobby tee wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

From koolpics57 Consider this, just the forceful working of a shotguns action to chamber a round is like the ultimate attention getter and evacuation drill you can ring.(especially a pumpgun)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mutt wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

close range both will get your point through, but bird shot is less likely to go through the wall if you miss.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mattreney wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

im not sure if rubber bullets are legal for the public but you can either just cause them a lot of pain (legs and arms) but with a head shot itll do the job. only if your unwilling to kill. better then nothing but if youve exepted the fact that you may need to protect yourself and your family and are willing to do so....buckshot

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from texasfirst wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

OK, check this out. Some poor fella just killed a guy he THOUGHT was stealing his mama's palm trees down here in south texas (www.themonitor.com), with a shotgun loaded with buckshot. Now they've got him for murder, and though castle laws are TOUGH in Texas, this guy is in serious trouble. I'm a former Marine grunt with a family ranch to look after, and I believe in escalation of force (even if it's REALLY, really rapid escalation). If that poor fella had had two loads of birdshot loaded first, he coulda gotten his point across without killing anybody. But when there's a nutjob INSIDE your house, whatever will do the job without any blue-on-blue. SITUATION ALWAYS DICTATES. I keep a couple birdshot shells in and the rest buckshot, although I do not believe in shooting to disable.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

I've noticed a lot of guides in the great northwest who carry shotguns to protect their fishing clients start the party off with a load of #4 buck and slugs afterward. They seem happy with its effectiveness.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kolbster wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

go with some good 00 buckshot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nick Jensen wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

Hopefully looking down the barrel of a 12 gauge will be enough to get an intruder to back down. If not i would go with bird shot, lower penetration because your kid may be on the other side of that wall.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

If you choose not to use a buckshot load at least use #4 shot or bigger.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from s-kfry wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Do you intruder a favor and load with at least OO Buckshot and make sure he goes down and stays down.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Max Barker wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Bird shot or buck shot doesn't matter. At the 10 yards or less you have in your house, Pattern is about the same, both are going through your drywall, and shots to the vitals are going to keep them down. If you live in the city or have really close neighbors you'll be lucky if a slugs not inside your neighbor's house. People keep comparing load results to game animals and it doesn't apply. They are tougher and stronger than we are.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from barnhllo wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

#4 Buck...Might be difficult to find, but it will do the job!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Turkey lurkey wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

If a robber breaks in i wont really care for over-penetration. I would use 00 buck.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Have you ever seen what a 12ga 2 ¾” with 1¼ oz #8 does to a car door? ENOUGH SAID!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

#4 Buck for me. It will kill through walls but should not overpenetrate to the neighbor's house. It will put someone down instantly at 20 yards. As a matter of fact, you will be able to see daylight through them. Both do the same thing at 7 yards but they are really different at 20 yards. I've been shot dead center in the chest with a hot 2 3/4 hunting load of #4 shot at 25 yards. The pattern was about the size of a basketball. It lifted me off my feet and callapsed my lungs but only one piece of shot penetrated. I had on a parka, multiple sweat shirts and long johns or it would have been nasty. However, I would not be here today had that been #4 Buck. Home intrusions call for extreme measures as far as I am concerned. If someone is shooting at me, I intend to end it quickly.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from art6555 wrote 47 weeks 5 days ago

At fighting ranges this, to me, is splitting hairs. I have #4 birdshot in my Mossberg 500 and Winchester 1300 (both 12 ga and both combat shotguns). I do not in the least feel that any booger man will walk away if hit solid inside my house. Now if I have to shoot past 10-15 yards, that means the fight is outside.....things have really gone south!

Now I was an infantry grunt who spent 14 months in the Sunni Triangle in Iraq and can testify to the effectiveness of 00 buck (all we had). I can also testify that Hollywood has it all wrong, you can miss with these things across the room. It doesn't blow someone through a window, even at ranges when you can "grab their belt". But a solid hit at normal (10-15 yards) ranges, it stops them in their tracks.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jhjimbo wrote 47 weeks 5 days ago

Home shotgun is loaded with two #4 birdshot followed up with OO buck.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sportsman Matt wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

Pass on the buckshot, go with a 1 oz. slug. One hit, no chance of spread, and definately will put something down.

In my own guns I run 2 slugs, 1 #4 Buckshot, and the rest are slugs. The buckshot is incase I see some rather large item that I can't get on the fly with the slug.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report

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