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How powerful is the average bird shot shell?


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Old 08-13-2011, 05:00 AM   #1
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Default How powerful is the average bird shot shell?

This is my first post on the forum, I just singed up today.

I've been hearing multiple myths about bird shots. People Say that they will not kill a person even when they're like 20 feet away. What? That just sounds completely fake to me... I mean, I have a Mossberg 500 and I just bought a box of 12-ga 7-1/2'' shot bird shots, so it has about 350 pellets inside of it, and these people are telling me that if I shot someone in my house with it, they would survive and still be able to attack me? It just sounds completely fake to me.

I know they're generally weak, yes, but they can't be THAT weak, c'mon. It's 350 pellets of hot lead going at an extremely fast speed. I'll go out and shoot 'em at some 2 liter water bottles tomorrow to see what they do to 'em, but you can't be telling me that these things aren't going to stop someone from attacking me, right?
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:18 AM   #2
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At what range? Within 10 feet it can be devistating.
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:25 AM   #3
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I tend to agree with you. There is almost no actual shooting data to back up all the suppositions as to what you need. People are not deer - they are nowhere near that tough. I have seen what a #8 dove load did to a 400 pound hog that was hit by a car shot at 15 feet, and believe me I don't think I have ever seen anyone who could have survived that. I am of the opinion a whole lot of people are just into the baddest thing they can find is all, or what they think is baddest.
I live in a frame house with siding. If someone gets in the door, in spite of the dogs, if my duck gun doesn't stop them with the first shot of #3s, if they keep coming the second shot will. If their compatriots aren't discouraged by the bloody mess blown back out the door, I have more shells and several handguns. If they decide to stand out in the yard and rake the house with a full auto AK-47 I'm dead anyway, and all the lights on the fore end, pistol grips, shells in elastic on the butt, lasers, and extended magazines in the world ain't gonna help.
The doctrine for true home defense says to wait behind a barrier, but then they also say you need a short barrel to maneuver around corners and a light. I think they are playing mall ninjas, but that's okay, to each their own. I still like single action revolvers and fast draw. Just don't confuse need with want.
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:37 AM   #4
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Bird shot, 00 Buck or rock salt, I would not want to be hit with it at any distance. But the smaller the shot, the nearer to target to increase lethality. Hell, you could load beach sand in a shot gun load and it would be lethal at close range (a couple of feet). If it is point blank - muzzle contact, you do not even need shot if you are not going through thick clothing. Blanks can be lethal. And if that fails, hit them with the buttstock really hard
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virginian View Post
I tend to agree with you. There is almost no actual shooting data to back up all the suppositions as to what you need. People are not deer - they are nowhere near that tough. I have seen what a #8 dove load did to a 400 pound hog that was hit by a car shot at 15 feet, and believe me I don't think I have ever seen anyone who could have survived that. I am of the opinion a whole lot of people are just into the baddest thing they can find is all, or what they think is baddest.
I live in a frame house with siding. If someone gets in the door, in spite of the dogs, if my duck gun doesn't stop them with the first shot of #3s, if they keep coming the second shot will. If their compatriots aren't discouraged by the bloody mess blown back out the door, I have more shells and several handguns. If they decide to stand out in the yard and rake the house with a full auto AK-47 I'm dead anyway, and all the lights on the fore end, pistol grips, shells in elastic on the butt, lasers, and extended magazines in the world ain't gonna help.
The doctrine for true home defense says to wait behind a barrier, but then they also say you need a short barrel to maneuver around corners and a light. I think they are playing mall ninjas, but that's okay, to each their own. I still like single action revolvers and fast draw. Just don't confuse need with want.
Thanks for the reply.

Yes, I too assume that even tiny birdshot pellets would be lethal at close range, and I mean like 10-30 feet.
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDbeej View Post
Bird shot, 00 Buck or rock salt, I would not want to be hit with it at any distance. But the smaller the shot, the nearer to target to increase lethality. Hell, you could load beach sand in a shot gun load and it would be lethal at close range (a couple of feet). If it is point blank - muzzle contact, you do not even need shot if you are not going through thick clothing. Blanks can be lethal. And if that fails, hit them with the buttstock really hard
Yeah, I'm with you on that one... shotguns are very powerful, and it's more about velocity and numbers rather than just weight and size... but hey, we'll see what bird shots are really capable of tomorrow, I should have a video uploaded to YouTube of it by then...
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:31 AM   #7
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Google "Box o truth"
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:38 AM   #8
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I used to work with a guy that was shot in the stomach with a single barrel 12 gauge loaded with #6 shot from across a small bedroom. He lost half his stomach and part of his intestines but he took the gun away from the guy that shot him and beat him to death with it before he called an ambulance.
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:59 AM   #9
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I have seen people use bird shot to defend with and it worked for them at close range. I like #4 shot for in home use.
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Old 08-13-2011, 02:11 PM   #10
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I would not consider using anything smaller than #4 shot in a 12 gauge. Because of decreased payload, #2 in 20 ga and buck in .410.

I good 1 1/2oz load of #4 will definately incapacitate. I saw one that took a blast at about 20 yards. Most pellets penetrated the chest/heart/lungs and lodged in the far side of the chest cavity. Pretty effective judging by the autopsy I attended.
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