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Old 09-29-2009, 10:33 PM   #1
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Default Effectiveness of a shotgun

I've been wondering, how effective is a shotgun? What I mean by that is, it seems to me that a shotgun wouldn't have a lot of stopping power because it fires beads, not bullets. I think beads wouldn't go in very far compared to bullets. I'm referring to a double barrel 12 gauge shotgun firing buckshots. Do you think that shotgun would do a lot of damage? I've never fired a shotgun before, so I obviously don't have any experience. Or are the beads like lots of bullets being fired out at once?

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Old 09-29-2009, 10:59 PM   #2
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I've been wondering, how effective is a shotgun? What I mean by that is, it seems to me that a shotgun wouldn't have a lot of stopping power because it fires beads, not bullets. I think beads wouldn't go in very far compared to bullets. I'm referring to a double barrel 12 gauge shotgun firing buckshots. Do you think that shotgun would do a lot of damage? I've never fired a shotgun before, so I obviously don't have any experience. Or are the beads like lots of bullets being fired out at once?

Thanks!
Shotguns are extremely effective. I wonder why you want a double barrel, though. The pumps can hold many shells at once. Still shooting one at a time.

The home defense rounds are not beads, so to speak. 00 buckshot is no joke. At 40 yds, shot from #4 on up (in size) can do plenty of damage.

If you have a range near you, go and rent a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500. Shoot the different loads.

You can shoot slugs through shotguns as well. That's what I use to drop big whitetails with one shot. If it drops a large adult deer, it will drop an intruder. It will also penetrate walls.

Shottys are a good choice for home defense, but you need to know what it will and will not do. I hope I answered some of your questions. If you have more, feel free to ask.


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Old 09-29-2009, 11:02 PM   #3
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I've never fired a shotgun before, so I obviously don't have any experience.
Well the simple answer is to try it. Fire a shatgun with 00 buck one time and that will answer a lot of your questions.

But if you want to get technical i'll give you some examples...

.38 Special
110gr bullet x 980 fps = 235 ft/lbs of energy
158gr bullet x 770 fps = 208 ft/lbs of energy

.45 ACP
185gr bullet x 1075 fps = 475 ft/lbs of energy
230gr bullet x 830 fps = 352 ft/lbs of energy

00 Buck
54 gr pellet x 1250 fps = 187 ft/lbs of energy

So it's fairly clear by the numbers above (provided by Federal Cartridge) that the .45 ACP takes our little competition easily, followed distantly by the .38 Special, and the 00 buck comes in last...

That is until you think about the fact that with 00 buck there are generally 9 - 15 pellets per shot.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:06 PM   #4
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Well, effectiveness is relative, to be honest.

If you are shooting a shotgun at a target that is 100 yards away, with buckshot, and you have a barrel of 18" - You probably aren't going to hit a damn thing.

Now, take that same shotgun, point it across your garage at a bad guy, pull the trigger. Instant hamburger.

A shotgun is a plain bore tube that has no rifling ( lands and grooves that cause a bullet to spin, and therefor, become more accurate.

A shotgun makes up for that with two factors: 1) The shot, or beads as you refer to them, are many. They are made of lead and they travel quite fast. They also spread out, so it's like a lot of small projectiles all at once. 2) The shotgun has a choke, which is a device that will limit how much the shotgun pellets will spread out, in distance from the barrel. The tighter the choke, the less pattern spread. Remove the choke and you get more pattern spread.

Now, as an example:

A 12 gauge shotgun shell that is rated at 00 Buck ( Double Aught Buckshot ) - there are approximately 9 of these lead pellets. Each one is about 1/3 of an inch in diameter. That is 9 pellets coming at you that are about .33" each.

Now, you could get a lot more pellets, but they would be smaller, so they wouldn't penetrate as far. That is important when you factor what a shotgun could do to an interior wall, like particle or sheetrock.

Here's a 12 gauge versus a poor little cantaloupe.


Now, you can Google a ton more videos on your own. But from an in context standpoint, the shotgun can do a TON of damage, if applied correctly and equipped correcty.

JD
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:08 PM   #5
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I know it only holds two at a time, and that doesn't bother me at all. I'll just keep extra's in my pocket. It looks easy to load and unload. The reason i'm looking at the double barrel is because "It's a double barrel shotgun". I've always revered the double barrel as a, well I can't think of the right words, so i'll just say "really cool". Here's a link to the one i'm looking at. Please share any comments you have about this particular gun.

Marlin Model LC12-DB

Thanks!

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Old 09-29-2009, 11:10 PM   #6
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Ummm, 1/3" is .375. I'm just saying.

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Old 09-29-2009, 11:13 PM   #7
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This is great information i'm getting. Thanks!

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Old 09-29-2009, 11:15 PM   #8
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Ummm, 1/3" is .375. I'm just saying.
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Each one is about 1/3 of an inch in diameter. That is 9 pellets coming at you that are about .33" each.
Entry level question..... Do we REALLY have to get out the sliderule and the abaccus???
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:18 PM   #9
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what skullcrusher said is correct. A shotgun will do a lot more damage than most handguns. The pellets they fire are lead, not plastic beads. A shell of 00 buckshot fires 9-10 .30 caliber pellets. each of those are about the same diameter of a 9mm. The range on buckshot is a lot longer than you would think too and will easily penetrate interior walls. The way that movies and video games depict shotguns as point blank weapons is very inaccurate. I would not get a double barrel shotgun unless you plan on doing some competition skeet shooting, pump and semi-auto shotguns have much more utility. Hope that helps.

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Old 09-29-2009, 11:19 PM   #10
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ummm, 1/3" is .375. I'm just saying.
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