Sunday, November 23, 2008

Shotgun Ammunition - General Types

The shotgun is the deadliest and most formidable firearm ever created for short range personal defense. No other firearm will devastate, disable, or discourage an aggressor as reliably as a shotgun and no other type of firearm is as likely to hit an intruder than a shotgun loaded with buckshot.

Three General Types of Shotgun Ammunition

Buckshot Loads

This is a shotgun shell loaded with large diameter lead balls. It is used for large game hunting and for self defense. For a standard 2-3/4-inch shell in 12 gauge, the number of balls or pellets ranges from eight .36-inch balls in "000 buck" to 27 .24-inch balls in "# 4 buck". Please note that "000 buck" is pronounced "triple ought buck" and "00 buck" is pronounced "double ought buck". These are the traditional terms for these types of shotshells. Avoid being perceived as a novice or “newbie” by using the correct terminology.

Birdshot Loads

This is a shotgun shell loaded with small diameter pellets used for hunting game birds and waterfowl. Stopping power is poor unless it is used at very close range, probably no more than 15 to 20 feet. This type is only recommended for personal defense in the home if there are adjacent properties that might be affected by the use of buckshot loads.

Rifled Slug Load

This is a shotgun shell loaded with a solid lead bullet. Slugs are huge hunks of soft lead, grooved on the sides to promote rotation and stability in flight. They have enormous stopping capability. Because slug loads must be carefully aimed like a rifle or handgun, their use eliminates the shotgun's main advantage of the probability of a sure hit in the majority of cases.

In spite of the tendency for pellets or balls in a fired shotgun shell to expand rapidly with distance traveled, producing what is known as a "pattern”. The benefit of the shotgun is its ability to produce multiple hits on any attacker and an incomparable ability to stop an aggressor in his tracks. It is important to remember that the shotgun must still be skillfully aimed and fired. Aiming is just not quite as precise as that required for a handgun or rifle. The massive firepower of the shotgun will most likely produce a favorable outcome in any self defense encounter.

This is a general overview of the different types of shotgun ammunition. If using a shotgun is new to you, it is highly recommended that you spend a little time learning the proper operation of your shotgun and how to safely use it.

Staying above the water line!



Grumpyunk said...

Patterning your shotgun with different types of loads and at different distances is an eye opener. It's surprising how little most guns spread in the typical distances involved in home defense.

Seeing a baseball sized hole with only a few holes on the periphery at 20 feet is impressive. So proper aim is still very important.

And if you've ever heard a shotgun blast in a small room, it's hard to imagine anyone advancing further, hit or not.

riverwalker said...

To: grumpyunk

The sound of a 12 gauge can be very intimidating!


Related Posts with Thumbnails