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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I keep seeing alot of people saying that they use Birdshot for Home defense, which really makes me cringe. Id like everybody to look at these pictures and tell me which one you would rather protect your life with....




You see, every projectile acts alone, so even though you fire a bunch at one time, so even if you are firing 100 pellets at a guy, you are only really firing 1 pellet 100 times. So, if you are going to rely on the energy of each projectile, why not rely on 9 rounds of 00 buckshot?
 

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Birdshot creates skin deep wounds that dont penetrate far enough to stop an assailant. He will still be in the fight.
So what you are saying is, if I shot you with birdshot, you would walk away with nothing more than a tattoo and a need for a box of band-aids? I'm not buying it.

At best, you are looking at a maximum of 25 feet distance between you and target inside your home. The pattern would be concentrated enough and powerfull enough to do some real damage. Hell, the flash and bang alone would probably send him back out the way he came in.

Bottom line: If I can drop a duck at a few hundred feet, I can drop an intruder at 20. And with birdshot, you'll still have neighbors to brag to in the morning:)
 

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Here is the result of my own investigation. I shot my twenty gauge loaded with birdshot then buckshot at approximately fifteen feet from the cardboard. The red dots show where the wadding hit.
 

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No question, you want buckshot for home defense. But use your head and consider overpenetration issues. #2 buck is very likely to make an intruder settle down quickly and may be less likely to cause problems for innocents in the next room or house than 00.

As always, use what you're comfortable with, but consider the effects consequences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So what you are saying is, if I shot you with birdshot, you would walk away with nothing more than a tattoo and a need for a box of band-aids? I'm not buying it.

At best, you are looking at a maximum of 25 feet distance between you and target inside your home. The pattern would be concentrated enough and powerfull enough to do some real damage. Hell, the flash and bang alone would probably send him back out the way he came in.

Bottom line: If I can drop a duck at a few hundred feet, I can drop an intruder at 20. And with birdshot, you'll still have neighbors to brag to in the morning:)
So what you are saying is that a duck is the same as a cornered human male with a gun fighting for his life.... right. Well then, I hope I dont encounter any ducks inside my house. Please, read this article and come to your own conclusion:
http://www.tacticalshotgun.ca/ballistics_shotgun.html


Also, read this:
FMD said:
I’m going to bow out of the debate with this:

Newgard, Ken, M.D.: "The Physiological Effects of Handgun Bullets: The Mechanisms of Wounding and Incapacitation." Wound Ballistics Review, 1(3): 12-17; 1992.

This article examines the physiological mechanisms of the human body to provide a medical answer to the question: How many times is it necessary to shoot an assailant before he is incapacitated?

Newgard reviews the physiological mechanisms of gunshot wound trauma incapacitation:

"The only method of reliably stopping a human with a handgun is to decrease the functioning capability of the central nervous system (CNS) and specifically, the brain and cervical spinal cord. There are two ways to accomplish this goal: 1) direct trauma to the CNS tissue resulting in tissue destruction and 2) lack of oxygen to the brain caused by bleeding and loss of blood pressure."

Newgard discusses the body's blood loss sensory and compensatory mechanisms (venous constriction, increased cardiac output and vascular fluid transfer), and the degree in which these mechanisms respond to, and compensate for, hemorrhagic shock. He reviews clinical tests of human tolerance for blood loss, which "demonstrate that adequate blood pressure can be maintained with minimal symptoms until a 20% blood deficit was reached." Newgard provides the following example:

"For an average 70 kg (155 lb.) male the cardiac output will be 5.5 liters (~1.4 gallons) per minute. His blood volume will be 60 ml per kg (0.92 fl. oz. per lb.) or 4200 ml (~1.1 gallons). Assuming his cardiac output can double under stress (as his heart beats faster and with greater force). his aortic blood flow can reach 11 liters (~2.8 gallons) per minute. If one assumes a wound that totally severs the thoracic aorta, then it would take 4.6 seconds to lose 20% of his blood volume from one point of injury. This is the minimum time in which a person could lose 20% of his blood volume.... This analysis does not account for oxygen contained in the blood already perfusing the brain, that will keep the brain functioning for an even longer period of time.

"Most wounds will not bleed at this rate because: 1) bullets usually do not transect (completely sever) blood vessels, 2) as blood pressure falls, the bleeding slows, 3) surrounding tissue acts as a barrier to blood loss, 4) the bullet may only penetrate smaller blood vessels, 5) bullets can disrupt tissue without hitting any major blood vessels resulting in a slow ooze rather than rapid bleeding, and 6) the above mentioned compensatory mechanisms."

Newgard investigates the survival times of persons who received fatal gunshot wounds to determine if the person who was shot had enough time to shoot back. He concludes:

"Instantaneous incapacitation is not possible with non central nervous system wounds and does not always occur with central nervous system wounds. The intrinsic physiologic compensatory mechanisms of humans makes it difficult to inhibit a determined, aggressive person's activities until he has lost enough blood to cause hemorrhagic shock. The body's compensatory mechanisms designed to save a person's life after sustaining a bleeding wound, allow a person to continue to be a threat after receiving an eventually fatal wound, thus necessitating more rounds being fired in order to incapacitate or stop the assailant."

* italicized text added for clarity.
This above article analyzes the effects of a single projectile penetrating deep enough to transsect the Aeorta. If anyone belives that birdshot will be able to trump a .38-.45 caliber hole in someone's heart... :?

And watch this:
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUReB32qaU4[/ame]


Maybe your thinking that when shot, people automatically retreat, which is not always the case. If a man that happens to be on PCP decides to break into your house and you blast him with birdshot, do you really think that its going to be near enough to stop him?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No question, you want buckshot for home defense. But use your head and consider overpenetration issues. #2 buck is very likely to make an intruder settle down quickly and may be less likely to cause problems for innocents in the next room or house than 00.

As always, use what you're comfortable with, but consider the effects consequences.
This is true for time when penetration is a factor, Id go with #1 Buck though as it seems to work the best in that situation.
 

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And watch this:
QUOTE]

Judging by the spread pattern on this poor fellers face, they were quite a bit farther apart then in a close quarters situation. I am still not for certain that a 6 shot to the chest at 20 feet wouldn't be enough to stop an intruder.

I do not personally use a shotgun for home protection. I instead use a .32 pistol.
 

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I was shot in the back, by a friend no less lol, while hunting with #6 shot at about 20 yards and it was enough to send me to the ground and I aint no little feller, did it keep me down? No it did not, hurt like a muther and went to ER and had pellets dug out of my back, any closer and I believe it would do anybody in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I was shot in the back, by a friend no less lol, while hunting with #6 shot at about 20 yards and it was enough to send me to the ground and I aint no little feller, did it keep me down? No it did not, hurt like a muther and went to ER and had pellets dug out of my back, any closer and I believe it would do anybody in.
Nor were you full of adrenaline and trying to survive a gunfight.
 

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Nor were you full of adrenaline and trying to survive a gunfight.
Amen. There is one reason and one reason only that you should EVER use birdshot for defense: because that's all you have. I am sure birdshot would hurt like a *****, but if you're shooting a person with any gun, you have an obvious, desperate need to STOP and INCAPACITATE them. Relying on pain compliance to deter someone you have determined is enough of a threat to warrant deadly force is a bad idea from both a logical and legal perspective. Sure, at close enough distance an empty wad could feasibly incapacitate someone without the risk of overpenetration, but I wouldn't bet my life on it. Buckshot is used in l/e and military shotguns (generally) for a reason, it is the best (again, generally) load for the job.
 

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In a Home Defense role one should look at the expected ranges you will have to fire. Inside the typical apartment, 20 feet may be a long shot. At 20 feet of less, bird shot will work just fine for MOST intruders. Heavy clothing may be sufficient to stop the shot though. A decent leather jacket would likely stop #7 1/2 shot at 20 feet. It will not stop 00 buck though.

If you are concerned about overpenetration, consider too the angle of your shot. If you fire from a position of cover (behind the bed) you will be firing at an upward angle. Is overpenetration an issue now?

Consider also every probable scenario. Will there be a gunfight that lasts longer than 1-2 shots? Will it potentially carry over onto the street (or porch)?

Perhaps you should consider loading so that the first shot is something like #4 or #6 and the followup shots are buckshot.

I saw a car burglar got zapped in the back with #4 shot at about 20 yards. Pattern was about 14 inches across. Modified choke. Shot penetrated light clothing, through ribs, heart/lungs and lodged in ribcage on far side of chest cavity. DRT (Dead Right There).

General rule of thumb for open choke (IC) barrel is 1 inch of spread for every yard from target.
 

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Buckshot

I agree man, i'd go with the buckshot, the bigger the better. I've 00 buck in my pump, i've actually been shot with number 4s before and it didn't penetrate my coveralls (we were rabbit hunting).
 

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I once had the opportunity (or misfortune) to witness the results of a shotgun shooting, the shootee taking a load of #8 shot (1 1/8oz) at about 6 feet in the upper chest from a sawed-off single barrel 12; it bored a half-dollar sized hole clean thru the chest wall and out the back! Based on my experience of shooting thousands of shotshells over the years, it is my opinion that in a situation where a shot would be taken across a room, say a distance of 12-16 feet, I don't think it would make a whole lot of difference what size shot the shell contained; a solid hit would inflict a massive wound. Should the drug crazed fellon be able to get up after that first shot; then shoot him again!
As for me personally, in the gosh-awful event that I should ever be unfortunate enough to be blasted at relatively close range with a scattergun (far enought away for the pattern to start opening up), I would hope that it would be with buck-shot; and that I would be humanely dispatched. Can you imagine someone trying to find/pick several hundred pellets out of your carcass in the event you survived? But for those who doubt the ability of 4 & 6 shot to kill humans at distances beyond 20/25 yards, let me remind you that such loads routinely kill a few unfortunate hunters every year during turkey season.
As to home defense, obviously a short barreled pump or semi would be a solid home defense weapon; but even a compact shotgun can be a bit unwieldy for a lady, a fact even more true in a panicked situation. Given that fact, I selected a Charter Arms 44 Special revolver as my wife's home defense weapon. It has a 3" barrel, no hammer spur (to avoid hanging on clothing, etc), is compact, is relatively light, and has no confusing safety for her to worry about. It is loaded with Winchester hollow-points for maximum shock; and all she has to remember is to just pull the trigger.
Finally for those who prefere a shotgun for home defense, my shot size of choice would be #4 buck. Depending on shell length and load, 18 or more .22 caliber sized pellets are delivered on the target (43 in a 3 1/2" 10-bore!). I have witnessed the effects of #4 buck loads on deer, and it is devastating. Additionally, #4 buck will pattern much better than 00 buck in most shotguns.
My hope would be that none of us ever have to face down an intruder, but it sure sounds like you guys are ready.
 

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Last night there was an episode of The First 48 that showed an X-Ray of a murder victim shot with bird shot from less than 10 feet. Nearly all of the pellets were in the middle of the chest cavity, including a group of about half of them close together in one of the lungs.
 

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I'd prefer not to get shot with any shotgun, regardless of shot size. I believe the effectiveness of birdshot depends more on the subjects desire to stay and fight instead of finding the nearest hospital. A good friend of mine was shot in the face with birdshot at close range at which time his handgun was dropped. He was chased back to his patrol car in an attempt to retrieve his shotgun when he was finished off with buckshot to the head. IMO, I don't think the majority of burglars will stick around after getting shot with birdshot, however, I personally prefer the proven stopping power of buckshot. If overpenetration is that much of an issue, why not choose a different type of firearm loaded with Glasers. I'd rather patch one hole in the drywall than several hundred! LOL
 
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