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 Post subject: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:40 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:38 am
Posts: 62
Location: NC
This has probably been asked before, however I missed seeing it.
I don't have a 12 Gauge shotgun anymore, but have a Hi-Standard 20 Gauge
semi-auto, modified barrel which has never let me down.

I've seen posts and articles about the 20 gauge buckshot loads for home defense,
and the #3 buckshot seems to be the favorite.

Is that most people's opinion? In time I will have another shotgun for home defense, but
for now I want to get the right load until I can do so.

Thanks.




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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:01 am
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Location: Newton Kansas
Nothing larger than Double Ought. 000 is too big for a 20-bore.

Beyond that you will get 50 opinions for 100 answers, and none of them will be especially "wrong".

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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:43 pm 
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The largest buckshot size you can get in 20 gauge is #1. It is the best choice against dangerous "game" in the 200 pound class. Anything smaller does not offer adequate penetration.

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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:04 pm 
Shooting Instructor
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Posts: 884
Location: Alabama
The most common commercial buckshot ammo for the 20 bore is #3B American Standard, (also known as #9 Western Buck). These nominal .25" / 23.4 grain pellets will work quite well at average "hallway distances." These are 20 pellet loads weigh in a nominal 468 grains or roughly 1.06 ounces at 1200 fps.

Federal, Remington and Winchester all manufacture this 2.75" 20 gauge buckshot round. Any of these will serve you well.


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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:10 pm 
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#1 is available in 20 gauge though it is a little harder to find. As I understand it, #1 is the smallest buckshot size that will adequately penetrate 12" of ballistic gelatin, which is the minimum standard set by the FBI. The smaller, lighter sizes may not make it to the boiler room of a large human wearing heavy clothing.

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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:02 am
Posts: 26757
Location: Plainfield, IL
Uwharrieman wrote:
This has probably been asked before, however I missed seeing it.
I don't have a 12 Gauge shotgun anymore, but have a Hi-Standard 20 Gauge
semi-auto, modified barrel which has never let me down.

I've seen posts and articles about the 20 gauge buckshot loads for home defense,
and the #3 buckshot seems to be the favorite.

Is that most people's opinion? In time I will have another shotgun for home defense, but
for now I want to get the right load until I can do so.

Thanks.

Quote:
The Firearms Tactical Institute reports:

"Number 1 buck is the smallest diameter shot that reliably and consistently penetrates more than 12 inches of standard ordnance gelatin when fired at typical shotgun engagement distances. A standard 2 ¾-inch 12 gauge shotshell contains 16 pellets of #1 buck. The total combined cross sectional area of the 16 pellets is 1.13 square inches. Compared to the total combined cross sectional area of the nine pellets in a standard #00 (double-aught) buck shotshell (0.77 square inches), the # 1 buck shotshell has the capacity to produce over 30 percent more potentially effective wound trauma. In all shotshell loads, number 1 buckshot produces more potentially effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck. In addition, number 1 buck is less likely to over-penetrate and exit an attacker's body."

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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:44 pm 
Shooting Instructor
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:35 am
Posts: 884
Location: Alabama
Ezra,

The testing you mentioned was based on anticipated maximum ranges for law enforcement use. At 10 ft. inside a house, even smaller #4B (.24" nominal, 20-21 grains), will reach or exceed 12 inches in 10% gelatin.

Indeed, even though my preference for deer hunting with buckshot is a minimum .30"/40 grain* pellet, I have seen too many whitetail deer taken cleanly by youth hunters with 20 gauge #3B - usually under 25 yards- to doubt the effectiveness of the 20 bore at home defense ranges.

http://www.brassfetcher.com/Ballistic%2 ... latin.html

*All of the current US made #1B shells, that I have checked, have been loaded with pellets averaging .286"/ 33-34 grains each.


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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:28 pm
Posts: 315
The truth is - contrary to the use buckshot or die camp - ANYTHING you can buy over the counter and stuff in a 20 gauge and employed center of mass will discourage so badly any hoodlum, dope fiend or rapist wannabe you might encounter in some doorway of your household that their efforts will instantly and immediately focus tightly on survival rather than getting his hands on your tv or jewelry to fence or his other parts on your wife for whatever. I'd bet your life on it. But not mine.

I keep my bazooka by the bedstead.


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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:47 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:07 am
Posts: 71
#3


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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:02 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:26 am
Posts: 9
Location: northern compound
I like the Monarch 20g no. 1 buck from Academy Sports. It patterns fairly tight up to 7 yds in my shockwave. I’ve tried the Spartan brand from Cabela’s, also no. 1 buck, and it fans out about twice as wide for me. YMMV.


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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:06 pm 
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I have also used Monarch #1 with good results. It is loaded in my wife's 20.

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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:19 pm
Posts: 1398
Location: NSW Australia
I find the ballistics tests a little misleading, having seen foxes and other similar size game die at 45-50m to BB's it really makes me question the buckshot debate.
I'd go BB's myself for the safety of not shooting through your house, and I've killed goats, lots of goats out to 40m with with a load of BB's.

Now I know gane doesn't wear clothing etc, but at indoor ranges I've killed pigs wi5h BB's and little sows but propped boars and they are way tougher then a junkie in jeans and a jacket.

I would go either the s smaller buckshot or BB's for a home defence, I'm more worried about killing a member of my family or a neighbor then I am about BB's killing an intruder.

If your really really worried buy slugs or a .45 and you will have reall stopping power.
But 9/10 × a gun pointing at someone's face is more important then what's in it and BB's or #4 will do the trick if that doesn't work.
The trouble I find with ballistic medium is it's too consistent, we have a layer of clothing, semi hard skinn, hard bones and then a mix of week organs, air cavities and some more muscular organs like the heart and 2" of penetration will usually hit the heart.

I'd like to see tests done on pigs in various clothing with an actual autopsy done then to rely on ballistics gel alone.

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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 2:18 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 10:34 pm 
Shooting Instructor
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:35 am
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Location: Alabama
Any discussion of lead alloy buckshot effectiveness must of necessity revolve around pellet size. However, this type of analysis often leaves out "...the rest of the story."

Take the size moniker 00B for instance. Commercial shotshells containing pellets as small as .285" have been sold as 00B in 20 gauge cartridges. And, there are currently produced big name 00B 12 gauge cartridges loaded with pellets as small as .305".
On the other hand there are several brands of imported 12 gauge 00B cartridges that contain pellets measuring a very uniform .340" diameter.

Perhaps one could describe it thus:
00 Buckshot "...is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get next."


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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 10:57 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:03 pm
Posts: 88
Any size buckshot will probably penetrate more than one interior wall.
There are several YouTube examples.

You would be surprised at how effective no. 4 or even no. 6 lead bird shot is at the range you are talking about (10 yards / 30 feet) and at that range the pattern is still devastating. Now if you want to shoot thru a wooden door or thru several walls go with the buckshot. #4 Buck is plenty.


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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 7:30 pm 
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simslax wrote:
Any size buckshot will probably penetrate more than one interior wall.
There are several YouTube examples.


It has been said here before, ANY defensive round capable of meeting the FBI minimum penetration of 12" in ballistic gelatin will sail through multiple layers of sheet rock. In other words, if it can make it to the boiler room of a human your bedroom wall will not stop it.
Your best option is to take low cover so that when you shoot at whatever enters your door way any misses or over penetration will be going at an upward angle and hopefully pass over the heads of people sleeping in the next room. Another important tactic is to teach your children to hide under the bed if there are strange noises in the night.

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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:24 am
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Location: Arkansas
I would probably worry less about shot size and more about pattern size. The best way to minimize the downrange risk of over penetration or going through walls is to hit your backstop. A tighter pattern, at any given range, makes it easier to not have an errant pellet that misses the intended target.

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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 6:02 pm 
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Food_Truck wrote:
I would probably worry less about shot size and more about pattern size. The best way to minimize the downrange risk of over penetration or going through walls is to hit your backstop. A tighter pattern, at any given range, makes it easier to not have an errant pellet that misses the intended target.


This is true provided that you get a good solid hit on the bad guy. What might be an easy shot on the range might not be so easy when you are jarred from a sound sleep at zero dark thirty and what limited brain function you have is stymied by the fact that you are scared shitless, it is pitch black dark and your wife is screaming at you.

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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:24 am
Posts: 4
Location: Arkansas
Ezra Smack wrote:
Food_Truck wrote:
I would probably worry less about shot size and more about pattern size. The best way to minimize the downrange risk of over penetration or going through walls is to hit your backstop. A tighter pattern, at any given range, makes it easier to not have an errant pellet that misses the intended target.


This is true provided that you get a good solid hit on the bad guy. What might be an easy shot on the range might not be so easy when you are jarred from a sound sleep at zero dark thirty and what limited brain function you have is stymied by the fact that you are scared shitless, it is pitch black dark and your wife is screaming at you.



100%. That is why it is on us to be that good.

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 Post subject: Re: RE:What Size Buckshot For Home Defense For A 20 Gauge?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:47 pm 
Shooting Instructor
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:35 am
Posts: 884
Location: Alabama
Frankly all readily available 20 gauge buckshot cartridges are sorely in need of technical performance upgrades.

Indeed all 20 bore buck loads are simply gas seal and filler wad designs. Although some have coarse buffer added.

Even with the current crop of near obsolescent commercial 20 gauge buckshot offerings, pattern performance can still be substantially improved by using choke fitted 20 gauge youth length barrels.*

Something to consider.

*18.5" to 22"




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