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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a total beginner with no firearm experience.

I own a 870 Police Magnum (state trooper trade-in), and I need some help with ammo selection.

Here are my choices as I see them -

Option 1 - 2 ¾-inch #1 buck shotshell (16 pellet payload) - From firearmstactical.com: "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."

Option 2 - Standard 2 ¾-inch #00 lead buckshot

Option 3 - Managed or Reduced recoil 2 ¾-inch #00 lead buckshot

Option 4 - HD Ultimate Home Defense Shotshells from Remington - 2x4 shot or BB

Since I'm a beginner, my ability to aim in a high stressed situation should come into play.

Option I seems to be the default at this point. My only concern is the recoil in the #1.

Option 3 is something to consider... Managed or reduced recoil would be beneficial for someone with my skill set (or lack there of...)

Option 4 is birdshot, I know... and way way way overpriced, I know... I think they are thinking someone in the market for these shells (me for example) doesn't need to be blasting huge holes through walls with #00 when something goes bump in the night.

So what are your thoughts?
 

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Try your various HD loads on a pattern board and see what works the best in YOUR gun....Most will do just fine, but some MAY do better than others. Calculate your longest HD scenario - example, in MY house it is almost 50' in one straight line - or about 16-17 yards. That means I'll set up targets at various ranges with MY max being that distance.....if yours is longer or shorter, adjust accordingly HD loads as well......
 

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I use the federal tactical reduced recoil w/ flite control wad. It should give nice useable patterns out to 20+ yds. It also makes follow up shots faster.
 

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The recoil from the #1 buck shouldn't be any more or less than recoil from the #00 or #000 if they're all standard 2 3/4" loads.....the reduced recoil #00 will probably be quite costly to practice very often with.....and I'd believe that the "practice VERY often" part is the most important part .....I think Oneounceload gave you very good advice about distances......I would only add/iterate that familiarization would be the key factor........I personally would never consider the birdshot in any guize....regardless of what big green calls it.........That's my story and I'm sticking to it.......Art
 

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liljake82 said:
I use the federal tactical reduced recoil w/ flite control wad. It should give nice useable patterns out to 20+ yds. It also makes follow up shots faster.
This.

Pattern your gun with the Federal loads then use cheap bird shot for practice.
 

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tallhat said:
I'm a total beginner with no firearm experience.
Forget for now about loads at all. Make yourself familiar with the gun with ANY loads. Learn how to operate it - safety, tactical situations, extreme situations.

BTW, IMHO, just working action on the 870 will send all bad guys away :)
 

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I agree with midgems-You need to spend a lot of time with your gun, shoot the heck out of it, find and enroll in a home defense or any other class you can find, shoot the heck out of it some more, clean it after each outing, become totally familiar with every inch of it, THEN concern yourself with what type of lead to push down the barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
yes yes yes... practice practice practice... that's a given...

Any reason they don't make a managed recoil in #1?
 

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tallhat said:
Any reason they don't make a managed recoil in #1?
From what I've been told, its due to barrier penetration and public perception. Going to a smaller, lighter pellet at a lower velocity decreases penetration and, as this type of load is more for the police than civilian market, those minimums need to be met. On the other end of the equation, too many civilians are concerned about pellets penetrating into other rooms and/or residences and percieve any buckshot loads to be a great hazard in this regard.
I personally feel these managed recoil loads are the best choice for defensive use and are what I would use if my wife were not so comfortable with the function anduse of her 20 ga. As has already been mentioned, become very familiar with your gun by shooting it regularly and standard birdshot loads work well for that. One must burn powder to become proficient and that cancost a fair bit of money so spend it wisely when purcasing ammo. You will be further ahead if buying and using 100 rounds of inexpensive birdshot than 10 rounds of buckshot and be no further ahead. At inside the home distances one will basically be shooting a single projectile as the shot charge will have had little opportunity to expand. This means one must beable to place their shots accurately as accurately as possible as "close" is not good enough. Actually, this is no different than any other usage of a shotgun.
 

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I use the Federal 00 with Flitecontrol wad. It patterns very tight at in the home distances. If they made it in #1 Buck I'd use that. Test several loads in your gun to see which one patterns best (I'll bet it's the Federal with Flitecontrol). I do most of my training with birdshot and shoot a few rounds of 00 at each session.

It can't be said enough so I'll say it again: Training and practice are the most important investments you can make in a home defense gun.
 

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Law Enforcement regularly use #4 Buck for tactical applications inside buildings.

That would be my choice. It balances teminal penetration (body) and over-penetration (walls).

It is my choice.
 

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quartering said:
ask a cop
ask a lawyer
ask a combat soldier back from iraq
the consensus will be oo buck
good luck with it
It's 00buck from me! (although my primary go to gun for HD is in 5.56)

:mrgreen:
 

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Excellent visuals on the performance of different shot sizes:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=109958

Think about your situation: if you KNOW you'll only be in a short-range situation -- apartment dweller, for example -- it might make sense to go with something smaller than 00. Everything's a tradeoff. If someone makes an INFORMED decision to accept more risk for himself in order to minimize the risk to others I can't fault him for that.

A lot of the experienced folks here using the Federal reduced-recoil 00 have said they'd use a #1 reduced-recoil Flitecontrol load if one was available.

The Remington 2x4 HD load seems pointless -- if you've decided that birdshot with all its limitations is still the best option for you, why pay a fortune for it?
 

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Unless I am wrong The 2x4 Hd is buckshot #2 and #4 I use this and on a target it looks impressive as far as size # of shot . I think a lot of people get confused with the bb version..Remington's marketing can be confusing on this
 

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Option 2....................and lot's of practice!
Also rule number (what ever it)that is: Be sure of your target and whatever is behind it!
 
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