What is the best shotgun ammo for home defense?
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Thread: What is the best shotgun ammo for home defense?

  1. #1

    What is the best shotgun ammo for home defense?

    What is the best shotgun ammo for home defense?
    By: Ben Marquis
    When it comes to home defense, there is a never-ending debate about which caliber of handgun is most suitable. Many people will even say that a rifle is the best tool for the job. But one firearm that stands out above the rest with a majority consensus as the best weapon for home defense is the shotgun. While some may have valid differences of opinion over gauge size (12 or 20), or prefer an automatic instead of a pump, without question the pump action short-barreled 12-gauge is the most popular weapon for defending one’s home.
    However, just because there is widespread agreement that a 12-gauge pump is the superior tool, the debate does not end there. Within this agreement rages an ongoing argument about what type of ammo is the best to use. There are a number of different types of ammunition for shotguns, each with their own pros and cons. Let us look at a few of them.
    A slug is a 1 oz. hunk of lead. It is quite possibly the most devastating type of ammo for a shotgun. Since most shotgun barrels are smoothbore, a majority of slugs have rifling along the sides, which act to grip the barrel and give the slug some spin as it is fired. This mimics a rifle round, and gives slugs tremendous power and accuracy up to about 100 yards. A slug will bring down nearly any target it hits at close range, even if they are behind cover, while ripping a hole through them as it does so. Bear in mind, the slug will also keep going through multiple walls or doors if it hits one. If using slugs inside of a home, one must be aware of everything behind the intended target, especially children, family or pets in other rooms, and even neighbors next door or across the street.
    Buckshot is arguably the most popular ammo load for home defense. It comes in various sizes, such as 0, 00, 000 and #4 or 5. The 0, 00, and 000 sizes contain anywhere from 8-12 pellets that are approximately the same size as .32 caliber handgun rounds. There are around 20 pellets, give or take, in #4 and 5 buckshot shells that are similar in size to .22 caliber rounds. They offer incredible knockdown power and can create significant damage in the intended target. Because of the slight spread of the shot and the number of pellets, buckshot can somewhat compensate for imperfect aim by covering a wider area than a single bullet and by inflicting multiple wounds on the target. That doesn’t mean one can just randomly point and shoot though, as buckshot can also travel through walls like slugs, and precautions should be taken that errant pellets do not hit innocents.
    Birdshot, also known as small-game or target loads, are similar to buckshot, except that the size of the pellets is much smaller and there are many, many more of them. Some people recommend birdshot for home defense, since the small pellets are much less likely to travel through walls and endanger innocent family members or neighbors. However, the small pellets also lack the stopping power of a slug or buckshot. A determined attacker may be able to shake off a hit of birdshot, unless it is a well-placed shot at close range. Multiple hits of birdshot may be required to repel or stop an intruder.
    Non-lethal rounds
    For those who are extremely averse to taking a life, even of someone who is threatening your own or your family’s life, there are a number of less than lethal rounds for shotguns. These include things such as beanbags, hard rubber pellets, soft spiky balls, or pepper-spray loaded pellets. Police often use these rounds for crowd control during riots. They will most likely not kill the target (except in rare circumstances), but can cause severe injury, pain or discomfort. These types of rounds are not typically recommended for home defense, as they are not nearly as effective at stopping a threat as the previously mentioned ones. About the only practical use of these deterrent rounds would be inside of a small apartment, where there can be no acceptable risk of any pellets traveling through walls and endangering innocent neighbors.
    Now that we have covered some of the various types of shotgun ammo for home defense, I ask you, what is your preferred load? Please share what type of ammo you use and why. My preferred load is Winchester PDX1-12 Defender. They have a 1 oz slug along with three 00 pellets in each shell.
    What is the best shotgun ammo for home defense? - Little Rock gun rights | Examiner.com
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  3. #2
    I keep my shotgun filled with alternating rounds.
    buckshot, slug, buckshot, slug, buckshot, slug

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Louisville Ky.
    I live in a condo apartment so I load mine with #2 shot.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    West Jordan, Utah
    The kind that shoots and kills. Any of them will do the job.

  6. #5
    I keep 00 buckshot in one tube, and slugs in the other tube on my Kel-Tech KSG, and I use a tac light and a reflex sight on it for sighting.
    No statement should be believed because it is made by an authority.
    Robert A. Heinlein

  7. Double 00 in the tube and Slugs on the side saddle.

  8. #7
    Pdx1s loaded and slugs hung on the side with taclight and center of mass laser targeter. 870 Rem. 12 ga.


  9. #8

    What is the best shotgun ammo for home defense?

    Hornady Tap 00. Slugs are way over kill IMO. 00 Buck has way more stopping power than any handgun that we carry for self defense and it won't go through your next three neighbors houses either. Shotguns, IMO, are best suited to defend a designated choke point in your home. If you designate this choke point in advance you can plan ahead to always know what lies beyond said choke point. Ideally, if you live a two story home you can use it to defend a stairwell. In my case my stairwell faces an exterior wall so all my shots will go into the ground should they pass through the wall (after passing through the intruder).

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    South Carolina/Charleston
    Was this a question or the publishing of a treatise that answers the question? Even the published piece offers the answers when this question is asked (and it has been asked before and all you have to do is "search" for the answer on this forum) in the title. Personally, from what I can understand, if you do not want unacceptable penetration through walls and unacceptable destruction of furniture etal in your home, #4 buck gives you more than enough to stop anyone with a "coverage spray" of pellets that do not require exact aim and use of the shotgun--if you read the article--that is their answer.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    The Lowcountry of South Carolina
    I have "low recoil" rounds, both Remington 00 and the Winchester PDX1 12 Defender "slug-ball" home defense shells. I was not worried about the actual recoil, but with less velocity I think it would be better for inside use.

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