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 Post subject: Best Tactical Ammo for Remington 870
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 6:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 5:34 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Bethlehem, PA
Which specific ammo (buck, birdshot, slugs?) and manufacturer makes the best home defense and tactical ammo these days? Which do you trust best? I have a Remington 870 and need to purchase quality buckshot.

I always gravitate towards Federal, Hornady, and Winchester but I am open to your best ideas.




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 Post subject: Re: Best Tactical Ammo for Remington 870
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 7:40 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:11 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Western Tampa, FL
All the brands you mention make good stuff, but I think Hornady is making some superior HD loads from some reports I have seen. However, nowadays with all the ammo shortage, you should grab whatever is available in your area.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Tactical Ammo for Remington 870
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:56 am
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Location: Long Island, NY
When buying buckshot, I’d recommend 8-pellet as opposed to 9-pellet. 9-pellet 00B tends to not group as well, often sending one pellet wide of the rest.

Federal FliteControl buckshot is great stuff, very tight groups - but it’s unlikely you’ll find any at the moment. I’ve been doing fairly well buying from private sellers over on AR15com. Some good deals to be had, and some guys that are just plain dreaming. Buy what you can when you can, get a good stash going.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Tactical Ammo for Remington 870
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:25 pm 
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Location: Kentucky
For the short term get some 00 Buckshot, don't be too picky. You will be very limited in just which brands etc... so just get something for now and get the long term buckshot later.

I have and like the Federal Flight Control 00 Buckshot. I have plenty of 9 pellet shells on hand, but when they run low I will replace them with 8 pellet. I compared them in a defensive shotgun class and I agree with Chief Brody that the 8 pellet groups better. For me the 9 pellet almost always had one flyer while the 8 pellet rarely had that same problem.

When I buy 00 Buckshot for defensive purposes I buy a "flat" that is a case of 250. It is expensive, but I get plenty from the same production run. This allows for several to test to make sure that they work. Several to use for classes. Several to replenish the shells in the gun when I shoot those off every few months. And, several to have on hand for times like right now when supply is difficult to come by.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Tactical Ammo for Remington 870
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:15 pm
Posts: 989
Location: Kentucky
Oh, I forgot to mention that birdshot works OK at short distances, but can have penetration problems if the bad guy is wearing a thick leather jacket for example, or is not at up close and personal distances. Slugs have the opposite problem. They can go right through a bad guy at close distances, and then through a wall or two, or three, or four, etc... Buckshot either 00 or #1 works pretty well for bad guys at reasonable home defense distances and while they will certainly go easily through walls if you miss they are less likely to go through those same walls if they have to go through the bad guy first.

Slugs are better at distance, but even then they are not accurate enough for me to be comfortable beyond 75 to 100 yards. For longer distances I prefer a rifle, but for me the shotgun rules the inside the house distances.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Tactical Ammo for Remington 870
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:05 pm
Posts: 480
00 and 1 buck if ranges are beyond household. #4Buck at really close range and slugs are a good option if the others don't work.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Tactical Ammo for Remington 870
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:38 pm 
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#1 Buck is the best compromise between pellet count and pellet diamiter. I have posted extensively on this in the past and will try to recover that information when I get back home.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Tactical Ammo for Remington 870
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2021 5:45 pm 
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Found it:

Look at the third sticky down, 12 gauge Wound Profiles.

The reason #1 works so well in the 12 ga shells is that the pellets stack in more efficient groups of 4 so that they have less dead space between them than 00 which stacks in groups of 3.

00 pellets are .33" in diameter and weigh 54 grains each. A standard load contains 9 pellets stacked in 3 groups of 3 for a total payload of 486 grains.

#1 Buck is only slightly smaller at .30" in diameter and weighs 41 grains each. Because of the more efficient size they can be stacked in 4 groups of 4 for 16 total pellets at a whopping weight of 656 grains.

00 = 9 pellets at 486 grains.
Vs.
#1 =16 pellets at 656 grains.

This is why many people prefer #1 as it makes nearly twice as many holes. Of course recoil is stout but so is the blow to the target. Now, that being said, this data is for STANDARD loads without any form of shot cup to protect the pellets from scrubbing down the sides of the bore and deforming out of round. As you know this causes patterns to spread erratically.

Federal has developed technology that ameliorates this problem by protecting the shot in a cup that works much like modern birdshot wads do plus they figured out a way to put petals on the rear of the wad so that it gradually pulls away from the shot without tumbling and blowing the pattern. This has resulted in fantastic patterns that double the effective range of buckshot. This is not without sacrifices though. The shot cup takes up room in the shell like a sleeve and reduces the volume of shot that will fit in the shell.

Being that 00 buckshot is stacked in threes, there is no way to get it to properly fit inside a reduced diameter plastic cup without reducing the size and weight of the individual pellets. Therefore what Federal calls “00 Buck” is really the slightly smaller and lighter size “0” (Sort of like a 2x4 piece of lumber is not really 2” by 4”). If federal does develop a #1 load you can expect the pellets to be smaller and lighter and probably fewer than what you can get in a standard load but you can expect it to pattern about twice as tight.

If you think that you might have to take a long shot or need a golf ball sized pattern to solve a close range hostage problem this might be the load for you. If you are looking for a load that will do the maximum amount of damage within indoor distances of 10 yards or less, you probably need to stick with the current factory offering in #1.

Also, let me add that #4 Buck is just too small and light to consistently meet the FBI minimum pentation standard of 12" in ordinance gelatin.

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Last edited by Ezra Smack on Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Tactical Ammo for Remington 870
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 7:33 pm
Posts: 1510
Location: Michigan
I kind of chuckled when I read the 8 pellet vs. 9 pellet reasoning. You get one flier with 9 pellet, so you use the 8 pellet. Seems to me you still got 8 pellets on target either way. I know, a better pattern is a better pattern. Fliers bother me too. Just strikes me as amusing.

I am also a devotee of #1 Buck. I have a stash of Federal #1 Flite Control LE stuff that patterns extremely tight out of my Nova. I mean like one ragged hole at 15 yards tight. I also have a substantial pile of Winchester Super-X XB121 and Remington Express BK1 16 pellet #1 Buck. I think its the best combination of pellet size/count for defense.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Tactical Ammo for Remington 870
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:17 pm 
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Location: It is the tradition that a Kentuckian never runs. He does not have to. (1931)
You have Remington 870 and Mossberg 590A1 tactical pump shotguns so the low recoil Federal LE133 00 8 pellet buckshot with FliteControl is excellent. I wish that I had bought some now that I have read the posts above. I do own sufficient Federal LE132 00 9 pellet buckshot. The civilian equivalent is Federal PFC154 00 12 gauge Vital-Shok Flite-Control 2.75" 9 pellet buckshot. Avoid Federal LE127 00 9 pellet buckshot with FliteControl because it is full powered for semi-automatic shotguns.

Similarly, avoid Hornady TAP 86275 full power red hulls which are for SA guns. For you, the Hornady TAP 86265 8 pellet reduced recoil blue hulls are excellent, licensed from Chris Billings the same as is Federal Flite-Control.

For slugs, I prefer Federal Tru-Ball PB127 LRS low recoil rifled slugs for accuracy. Although I own none, I can also recommend Hornady TAP 86285 reduced recoil blue hull rifled slugs.

Let me know if you need me to look for lowest prices. Good luck, sir.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Tactical Ammo for Remington 870
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:29 pm 
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Anytime shotgun ammo is marketed as "low recoil" it also means low impact on the target. Mr. Newtons laws of physics still apply.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Tactical Ammo for Remington 870
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:21 am
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I've shot some of the Winchester Ranger 1oz slugs (1200fps) and they printed a ragged hole above my bead at 25 yards. Yes, lower delivered energy, but the shooter may not be as apt to flinch.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Tactical Ammo for Remington 870
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:45 pm 
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Everything in ballistics is a trade off. Recoil vs impact on target is no exception. That being said, hits only count in the real world and if lower recoil means better hits for you by all means use the low recoil stuff. Just don't expect the same level of immediate incapacitation as the heavy magnum hog stopping loads.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Tactical Ammo for Remington 870
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:52 am
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Ezra Smack wrote:
Anytime shotgun ammo is marketed as "low recoil" it also means low impact on the target. Mr. Newtons laws of physics still apply.



But the "low recoil" slugs will still have more than enough energy to be effective at any reasonable self defense range. There is an infatuation with velocity that is all out of proportion with what is needed that I, too, once fell under. Experience and education has taught me that there is a threshold for energy needed and that more tends to become a liability in many ways. I have heard it described as, "...putting a bigger divet in the ground after passing through.." and pretty much agree with the sentiment.

A 72 caliber, 428 gr hunk of lead at 1200 fps is still a very formidable projectile. It will be a more than adequate "man-stopper" well beyond the range most can regularly hit with a smooth bore shotgun, especially with a plain bead sight. I certainly wouldn't wish to get hit by one. I will grant that "standard" and "high velocity" slug loads will make the miscreant "deader" and "deadest" respectively though.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Tactical Ammo for Remington 870
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:26 pm 
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Factor this into the equation:

Human bodies are not all that thick. Once the slug has passed through all the remaining energy is wasted penetratingly walls and endangering neighbors. Breneke shotgun heavy slugs, .45-70 and other such heavy large game rounds are manufactured to be tough enough to rake a buffalo from end to end and are not really designed to dump all their energy into thin skinned predators in the 200 pound class. The best hog stopping round and the best stopping human round are not the same.



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