Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Choosing the correct shotgun ammunition.

    These were posted over the last two weeks by Lucky Gunner who does some excellent ammunition testing on the products they sell. I was thinking this is a good time to share it since so many people are out buying or recommending shotguns for self/home defense to many new buyers and beginners. Poplar to contrary belief shot guns are not just a point and shoot ( I am sure most of us know this) and require some thought and training especially when it comes to ammo choices and patterning. These videos are a great useful tool to those who are getting into the platform especially when ammunition becomes available again.

    I learned a lot watching this and it furthered my decision to stick with what I know and have tested instead of going out and loading a bunch of 00 into my shotgun and putting into the rotation.

    PART 1:


    PART 2:
    Last edited by Hodgie; March 24th, 2020 at 07:00 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Choosing the correct shotgun ammunition.

    Nice thing about shotguns is you have so many good choices of ammo out there. To say tight patterning buckshot is the only viable option fails to account for everyone's situation. He wanted the tightest patterning buckshot and lower penetration, I want wide patterning buckshot and keep mags loaded with slugs if I need a tight pattern. The threat of over penetration is the same or possibly less than an AR by the bedside and nobody bats an eye about that, me included. What it comes down to is knowing what's beyond your target and the host never once mentioned that one rule of gun safety that would have totally dismantled his theory and rationale for his position.

    From what I gather OP I think you pretty much agree with this and the above wasn't at all directed at you. Just my thoughts after considering my situation and my needs. Someone else may feel differently because of their needs, but that's what's so great about the humble shotgun. OPTIONS!
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
    μολ ν λαβέ
    What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Choosing the correct shotgun ammunition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Gixxer View Post
    Nice thing about shotguns is you have so many good choices of ammo out there. To say tight patterning buckshot is the only viable option fails to account for everyone's situation. He wanted the tightest patterning buckshot and lower penetration, I want wide patterning buckshot and keep mags loaded with slugs if I need a tight pattern. The threat of over penetration is the same or possibly less than an AR by the bedside and nobody bats an eye about that, me included. What it comes down to is knowing what's beyond your target and the host never once mentioned that one rule of gun safety that would have totally dismantled his theory and rationale for his position.

    From what I gather OP I think you pretty much agree with this and the above wasn't at all directed at you. Just my thoughts after considering my situation and my needs. Someone else may feel differently because of their needs, but that's what's so great about the humble shotgun. OPTIONS!
    Paul Harrel did an excellent youtube video on that exact subject; over penetration of shotgun ammo compared to AR.
    Without watching the video from beginning to end.
    I think the result was that #00 buck is only slightly less over penetrating than AR ammo; but still goes through outside walls of a home.
    While buck #3 or #4 do not go through outside walls; but are still good enough to stop a home intruder.

    "Shotguns don't suck for Home Defense!!"
    --ET

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Choosing the correct shotgun ammunition.

    Fuck.

    Just realized that the 250 rounds i ordered is #3 steel bird shot, not #3 steel buckshot.
    Fuck.
    Website wasnt loading right with all the craziness.
    Guess im turning half of them into a poor mans slug or something.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Choosing the correct shotgun ammunition.

    Quote Originally Posted by icp4life162005 View Post
    Fuck.

    Just realized that the 250 rounds i ordered is #3 steel bird shot, not #3 steel buckshot.
    Fuck.
    Website wasnt loading right with all the craziness.
    Guess im turning half of them into a poor mans slug or something.
    Even a 1 oz #8 trap load will make a hole in a bad guy at close range. That's the nice thing about using a 12 ga for home defense.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Choosing the correct shotgun ammunition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Gixxer View Post
    Nice thing about shotguns is you have so many good choices of ammo out there. To say tight patterning buckshot is the only viable option fails to account for everyone's situation. He wanted the tightest patterning buckshot and lower penetration, I want wide patterning buckshot and keep mags loaded with slugs if I need a tight pattern. The threat of over penetration is the same or possibly less than an AR by the bedside and nobody bats an eye about that, me included. What it comes down to is knowing what's beyond your target and the host never once mentioned that one rule of gun safety that would have totally dismantled his theory and rationale for his position.

    From what I gather OP I think you pretty much agree with this and the above wasn't at all directed at you. Just my thoughts after considering my situation and my needs. Someone else may feel differently because of their needs, but that's what's so great about the humble shotgun. OPTIONS!
    I agree with the videos when it comes to being responsible for every projectile thatís leaves the end of that barrel and doing the best to know where itís going to go long before your in a SD situation.

    For me itís a no go without a lot of ammo testing because the way the interior of my home is set up and where my kids bedrooms are located. Itís another decision everyone has to make once being informed on how different loads work.

    Making suggestions on the easiest firearm to put in the hands of the average person but not having them understand the way they operate in different circumstances with different loads seems illogical to me especially when safety is the number one concern. Yet itís done all the time in gun shops and on the internet everyday.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Choosing the correct shotgun ammunition.

    For the house I have winchester low recoil 00 buck shot loads .
    recoil is that of a light bird shot load and lets the wife fire it without hassle.
    The pattern is just what i want from it.
    It's standard 3 buck by default for her 20ga

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Choosing the correct shotgun ammunition.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Choosing the correct shotgun ammunition.

    I have an old H&R single shot that I scoped and use for slug hunting. The length of a shell is determined by the fired hull. Before I scoped it, I had used buckshot in it and the empties got stuck in the chamber. Turns out that the empty shell was just a little longer than the chamber and the tip of the shell literally melted to the barrel. Just a heads up for people with older shotguns. I don't remember the brand, but think it was Federal or Winchester. All the different lead slug brands worked fine.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Choosing the correct shotgun ammunition.

    The Federal buckshot with their special Flight Control wad keeps the pattern together for the longest distance. Lucky Gunner has very little ammo if any at all at this time. No matter which brand you choose don't use a full choke with slugs especially with older fixed choke shotguns. My Winchester 1300 is very accurate out to 50 yards with Remington 2 3/4" Slugger ammo with a modified choke and a plain bead sight but the Winchester slugs are more accurate in my Remington 11-87 SP. You have to pattern a shotgun because no two shoot alike.

    Just realized that the 250 rounds i ordered is #3 steel bird shot, not #3 steel buckshot.
    There's no such thing as steel buckshot but #3 steel shot would be adequate for home defense. It's slightly larger than #4 lead that's used for turkey but less energy than the #4 lead. The ammo companies now say they use special coatings and wads to prevent rusting but keep your steel dry. For hunting steel shot is required for waterfowl but tungsten is a better choice. Also do not fire steel shot out of older guns that weren't designed for steel.

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