best 12Ga load for HD?

kfriddile

Member
Aug 27, 2008
68
16
I recently bought an 870 with 18.5" barrel for HD. I live in an apartment so wall-thickness should be taken into consideration, but I want to make sure it still does the job. What do you guys recommend?
 

Rifleman55

Member
Jul 17, 2008
142
16
I recently bought an 870 with 18.5" barrel for HD. I live in an apartment so wall-thickness should be taken into consideration, but I want to make sure it still does the job. What do you guys recommend?
At close range #4 birdshot would work, buck shot will penetrate too many walls.
 

tower59

New Member
Nov 23, 2008
6
1
Central Texas
Buck versus field loads

Hello! (My first time here to Texas Gun Talk.) I stumbled on a great web site that actually tests various firearms against all sorts of targets to answer these questions. Based on their tests, light field loads simply do not penetrate into a man-sized target deep enough and reliably enough to provide adequate stopping power. Buckshot does, as do #4 loads. The problem, of course, is your goal of penetration (into your target) means that these loads can also sail through something as thin as a layer of sheetrock. The good news is that in an apartment, shot will not pattern out into a large area since you will be firing at such close range (likely well under 20' max). So, if you load with buckshot like most people recommend, be sure to truly aim and hit the bad guy. If you load with #8, you can fire with much less worry of actually hurting someone in the next apartment, but you may not stop the assailant with your shot. Good luck-----


The Box O' Truth #3 - The Shotgun Meets the Box O' Truth - Page 1
 

Vellcrow

Active Member
Aug 8, 2008
406
18
Pflugerville
Inside an apartment, the Federal Tactical 00 Buckshot loads have a very small spread out of an 18" barrel. I have exclusively used this load for several years in my scatterguns. You will not find a better round to use in yours. Pace off your apartment, find the longest distances you can reach. Even most houses cannot provide an engagement distance larger than 15 yards inside.

Make sure that the buckshot you use is the standard lead, not the copper plated. The copper plated buckshot does not deform and does penetrate walls much more effectively if you do miss.

Here is a pic of my 930 patterned at 5 yds (that's 15 feet) with the 9 pellet load:



Here is the same gun and load at 10 yards (30 feet...you generally will never engage a dirtbag further than this indoors):

 

bonehead1185

Member
Oct 20, 2008
65
16
San Marcos/Lake Dallas, Tx
I recently bought an 870 with 18.5" barrel for HD. I live in an apartment so wall-thickness should be taken into consideration, but I want to make sure it still does the job. What do you guys recommend?

I am in the same situation as you in an apartment. I have my Mossberg loaded with 00Buck because I have plenty of walls around to slow it down if by some chance I miss. The only place it would be risky is if i confront them at the front door, then it would only be one wall behind them. In any other room there is about 3-4 walls before it would get to a neighbor. I guess it kinda depends on your layout and how you would be placed. I just know that if someone does break in and is armed, I want them stopped and I trust the 00Buck to do it.
 

txinvestigator

TGT Addict
May 28, 2008
14,119
113
Ft Worth, TX
A shotgun at across-the-room distances is only a concern if you miss. Aim as you would any firearm. My Mossberg with a 20 inch barrel and Remington Reduced Recoil keeps all pellets on a man-sized target at 25 yards.

020105moss5003.jpg




That is 75 FEET! What apartment has rooms that large?

More realistic distances;

020105moss5001.jpg



I agree that Bird Shot is just not reliable on a man.
 

kfriddile

Member
Aug 27, 2008
68
16
Based on what I've heard here and read elsewhere, it looks like non-plated 00 buckshot is the way to go...thanks
 

tower59

New Member
Nov 23, 2008
6
1
Central Texas
Another option...

Well, here's another option you may want to consider: less than lethal ammunition. This is certainly not your typical answer, but if you load with 00 buck you really could shoot someone in an adjacent apartment. Let me see if I can find some options...
 

tower59

New Member
Nov 23, 2008
6
1
Central Texas
Less Lethal Rounds

Ok, I found a few options. I have not personally used them, but I think it makes sense as an option. I bet at the very close ranges in an apartment that you would stop an intruder on the first shot, and quite probably injure him, too, since most 12 gauge less lethal rounds are designed for 5-7 yards at a minimum. So, by hitting him at a likely distance of say 3 yards, I'd anticipate concussions, rib fractures, etc. (That's good, from the defender's perspective.) It would be highly unlikely that these would penetrate very far through walls, and if they did, they'd have very low energy at that point. If you wanted to, you could consider making your first round a less lethal round and then follow it up with a more damaging round if need be. Maybe someone who has used these against a motivated bad guy can comment on effectiveness?

DeltaForce.com

AMM-836 - Ammo 12 Gauge ALS Pen-Prevent Bean Bag Tail Stabilized Less Lethal Animal and Riot Control Package of 5
 

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