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Buckshot vs. Birdshot For Home Defense


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http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/14/buckshot-vs-birdshot-for-home-defense/

 

"The shotgun is not as glamorous as a tricked-out AR or a custom-tuned fighting handgun, but it’s a great fight stopper nonetheless. Make the wide variety of shotgun loads work for you by selecting those that will do the job without needlessly endangering those who don’t deserve to be hurt."

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Either one will stop a bad guy. Bird shot will mess a person up and kill them graveyard dead.

Really? Go tell Harry Whittington that... he was the 78 year old that Dick Cheney shot. Pretty sure he is still alive, even though he probably is around 90.

 

People always act like birdshot will do the job... it will not. It will not kill the person outright, being you aren't connecting with the central nervous system or draining enough blood out of the threat. People don't usually die from birdshot wounds. I forget which forum I was in a thread regarding this subject, and a guy said he knew of someone who almost died from it, and the only reason he didn't was because of the close proximity of a hospital... well, the guy didn't die (it was drug related and, if I remember correctly, self inflicted).

 

Google dogs being shot by birdshot. There are countless examples of dogs taking 100+ pellets of birdshot, and while they may be blind and look horrible, many survive.

 

Birdshot was designed to take birds... obviously. Lots of small pellets for a fast moving target, which is small enough that the pellets can take it out. Shy of putting the muzzle on the target or within a few feet of the muzzle, you are not getting this "massive" wound. You may get something that looks nasty, but likely isn't life threatening.

 

People aren't birds. We don't have the same body makeup, and have a lot more fat surrounding our organs. Go with buckshot or slugs if you are planning on meeting a human threat. Better chance to put the threat out of the equation (sorry, but I'm not pissing someone off with birdshot if I am using deadly force to defend myself). If you are worrying about a flock of birds, birdshot will work for you in that limited circumstances.

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Really? Go tell Harry Whittington that... he was the 78 year old that Dick Cheney shot. Pretty sure he is still alive, even though he probably is around 90.

People always act like birdshot will do the job... it will not. It will not kill the person outright, being you aren't connecting with the central nervous system or draining enough blood out of the threat. People don't usually die from birdshot wounds. I forget which forum I was in a thread regarding this subject, and a guy said he knew of someone who almost died from it, and the only reason he didn't was because of the close proximity of a hospital... well, the guy didn't die (it was drug related and, if I remember correctly, self inflicted).

Google dogs being shot by birdshot. There are countless examples of dogs taking 100+ pellets of birdshot, and while they may be blind and look horrible, many survive.

Birdshot was designed to take birds... obviously. Lots of small pellets for a fast moving target, which is small enough that the pellets can take it out. Shy of putting the muzzle on the target or within a few feet of the muzzle, you are not getting this "massive" wound. You may get something that looks nasty, but likely isn't life threatening.

People aren't birds. We don't have the same body makeup, and have a lot more fat surrounding our organs. Go with buckshot or slugs if you are planning on meeting a human threat. Better chance to put the threat out of the equation (sorry, but I'm not pissing someone off with birdshot if I am using deadly force to defend myself). If you are worrying about a flock of birds, birdshot will work for you in that limited circumstances.

Really?! Go tell that to the lady that I, along with 11 other Grand Jurors, refused to indict after she blasted a softball size hole in her husbands chest from across the bedroom with a 12 gauge loaded with bird shot. The POS was dead before he hit the ground. I remember those pictures as if I saw them yeasterday. A shotgun from across the room loaded with anything will freak you up.

 

And Harry Whittington wasn't standing 15 feet from Dick Cheney either. Whittington was 40 yards away when Cheyney shot him.

 

I personally don't have a shotgun for home defense, but if I did, it would probably be loaded 3" magnums with #4 shot.

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Birdshot is a poor choice for self defense. While it will work at bedroom distances, you open that up to the width of your bedroom plus the hallway, and you wind up with a gruesome looking wound, but maybe not even incapacitating. I've seen several attempted suicides with birdshot at contact distances. One used two to blow both sides of his face off, he lived long enough to bleed all over a friend of mine, and then all over his ambulance. Another contact shot blew one guy's side of his face apart, blinding himself in one eye, but after a dozen reconstructive surgeries, he's not too horrible to look at.

 

If you're going to shoot them at 5-10 feet, any shotgun load will work. But if you could shoot any more than that, birdshot spreads fast, and there's not enough energy in each pellet to do much.

 

My house load is 2.75" 00 buckshot, with 1oz. slugs in a stock sleeve. There's going to be nothing within my house that it can't handle, and if it's not safe to shoot towards with 00 buck, then it's not safe to shoot even a .380 handgun. Since we have critters and occasionally there are cougar sightings in the area, that's a good load for messing up a big cat in a hurry.

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Really? Go tell Harry Whittington that... he was the 78 year old that Dick Cheney shot. Pretty sure he is still alive, even though he probably is around 90.

 

People always act like birdshot will do the job... it will not. It will not kill the person outright, being you aren't connecting with the central nervous system or draining enough blood out of the threat. People don't usually die from birdshot wounds. I forget which forum I was in a thread regarding this subject, and a guy said he knew of someone who almost died from it, and the only reason he didn't was because of the close proximity of a hospital... well, the guy didn't die (it was drug related and, if I remember correctly, self inflicted).

 

Google dogs being shot by birdshot. There are countless examples of dogs taking 100+ pellets of birdshot, and while they may be blind and look horrible, many survive.

 

Birdshot was designed to take birds... obviously. Lots of small pellets for a fast moving target, which is small enough that the pellets can take it out. Shy of putting the muzzle on the target or within a few feet of the muzzle, you are not getting this "massive" wound. You may get something that looks nasty, but likely isn't life threatening.

 

People aren't birds. We don't have the same body makeup, and have a lot more fat surrounding our organs. Go with buckshot or slugs if you are planning on meeting a human threat. Better chance to put the threat out of the equation (sorry, but I'm not pissing someone off with birdshot if I am using deadly force to defend myself). If you are worrying about a flock of birds, birdshot will work for you in that limited circumstances.

 

From what I have seen a 12 gauge with # 6 shot at close range would make for effective stops.

Having said that, I won't use "birdshot" for self defense. There is simply no reason to, IMO.

Having said that, I don't use a shotgun as my first or second choice for home defense.

There is simply no reason to, IMO. More negatives than positives for me.

Having said that, there is really nothing to debate. There are few things more personal than your choice of a weapon with which to protect your life, and the lives of your loved ones.

 

Shoot what you like, like what you shoot.

 

If you are able bodied and are not using a weapon with adequate terminal ballistics,

and not choosing ammunition well suited to the task of stopping a bad guy, I figure it's just natural selection at work.

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Really?! Go tell that to the lady that I, along with 11 other Grand Jurors, refused to indict after she blasted a softball size hole in her husbands chest from across the bedroom with a 12 gauge loaded with bird shot. The POS was dead before he hit the ground. I remember those pictures as if I saw them yeasterday. A shotgun from across the room loaded with anything will freak you up.

 

And Harry Whittington wasn't standing 15 feet from Dick Cheney either. Whittington was 40 yards away when Cheyney shot him.

 

I personally don't have a shotgun for home defense, but if I did, it would probably be loaded 3" magnums with #4 shot.

Hulka, IMHO, I suggest getting away from the #4 and into 00 or maybe 000 buckshot and slugs.

When I was a newbie, one of the veterans suggested I use the shotgun (unconscionably loaded with # 4 shot)

to dispatch wounded deer from car accidents.

When I was out on my own, I had to dispatch my first on duty deer.

After the second ineffective shot, I put the deer down with one round from my sidearm. All at close range.

The only good thing was that no one could see me.

First and only time I used my duty or any shotgun with #4 to dispatch a deer.

 

Humans out to do you harm are harder to kill/stop than a deer, IMO.

A good friend of mine caught all kinds of hell for taking 5 rounds to dispatch a deer with a #4 loaded shotgun..

People were making fun of his marksmanship, but I knew it had more to do with the size shot they were making us use.

 

I will leave this information here for your consideration.

 

John

Edited by Retcop
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Really?! Go tell that to the lady that I, along with 11 other Grand Jurors, refused to indict after she blasted a softball size hole in her husbands chest from across the bedroom with a 12 gauge loaded with bird shot. The POS was dead before he hit the ground. I remember those pictures as if I saw them yeasterday. A shotgun from across the room loaded with anything will freak you up.

Got to love reading comprehension... how about you go back and reread the last sentence you bolded, and then the fourth paragraph quoted?

 

I never said birdshot, even in very limited circumstances, won't kill someone. Hell, beanbag rounds can kill if used improperly (why it is called less-lethal opposed to non-lethal). Problem is that you are not guaranteed to make a contact or close contact shot in any home defense scenario. Your original statement said it WILL stop a threat... no mention of distance, or any other restriction. So, Whittington proves your statement to be false... as does countless numbers of cases that did not result in death. Because you sat in on one Grand Jury that had one of the few limited deaths by birdshot, doesn't mean departments should start swapping out their buckshot for it.

 

All your posts do is show there isn't any consistency in birdshot effectiveness in defensive situations. It is like saying .22 will kill you... yes, it can, but in very limited circumstances. Robert Kennedy died from it, but not five other people that were hit in the same incident. Ronald Reagan didn't die from it, nor anyone else involved in that attempt (four total... being I don't call someone dying 33 years later a testament

to lethality). It doesn't have the track record or capability to fill in for my 9mm SIG P938 or S&W 642-1 (converted).

 

At close range (same distance we are talking about possible fatal birdshot wounds), buckshot will do a similar wound... if not better. If the wad opens up, you have smaller pellets going a similar speed as larger pellets of buckshot. If speed is identical (more or less... even if we consider 1,200 FPS target loads verses 1,325 FPS, I'd call it the same; there are faster birdshot loads), a pellet with smaller mass will not have the energy to penetrate as deep as one with a larger mass. Just because of a Glaser slug type situation up to close range may be devastating, once the pattern opens up, you aren't getting any serious penetration (Whittington, for example). Switch out the birdshot for buckshot, the mass of the pellets will penetrate considerably deeper... increasing the likelihood of a wound that will stop the threat.

 

With a similar wound at close range, and less effectiveness at further distances, the role of birdshot is extremely narrow in defensive situations. It is not a guaranteed threat stopper, nor should be acted like it is. It works great for birds and little clay targets, though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Let's put this into perspective a bit: some folks maintain that 'birdshot is for birds'. That sounds reasonable, but I can think of a couple big, dangerous birds that would rate buckshot like Ostrich & Cassowaries.

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