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Birdshot ammo for HD?

Discussion in 'Ammunition' started by Fwjoe817, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. oli700

    oli700 12g Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    9,268
    A pellet gun will penetrate two windows 22 feet apart and put someone’s eye out, hell one of those rubber slugs would do that.
    The thing with bird shot, it will, can and has taken human life. It does more wounding of people though. It will penetrate dry wall and windows but will not penetrate reliably far into layers of clothing, fat, muscle to end a fight as quick as possible.
    Although birdshot might be 1 oz of lead , depending on shot it can be hundreds of pellets just a couple grains each, very very low inertia and energy, but enough to wound people and sometimes end, god forbid, their life.
    Your shotgun has a cylinder bore, it is going to allow that birdshot to spread quickly as it departs the muzzle…..the only hope for birdshot to be effective in HD would be to keep a tight pattern and concentrate the energy into a smaller area, rinse and repeat…..Nothing you can buy is the magic shell, it’s all dangerous to collateral damage , even rubber could make an innocent bystander blind for life
  2. Nick Burkhardt

    Nick Burkhardt .270 WIN

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    119
    I am talking about BB shot, 50 lead .177 rifle pellets hitting a target in your home at 1500fps. That should do the trick just as well as 00 for HD distances under 7 yards. My question is for B, BB or BBB how much energy is bled off at 30 yard and how large would the pattern be out of a 18.5" cylinder bore 12 gauge barrel?
  3. oli700

    oli700 12g Supporter "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    9,268
    1 oz loads contain 50 pellets, roughly 9 grains each, roughly 44 ft/lbs of energy each, at the muzzle .

    I am not about to try to figure out how fast they scrub speed, not fast enough to prevent damage to neighbors 30 yard away but too fast to defend yourself without doubt, you might get lucky.

    As a comparison the average 40 grain 22lr is 138 ft/lbs, triple the effective energy

    9 grains traveling at 1500 fps looses energy fast but will still draw blood and put out eyes and such at 30 yards…..what are you trying to accomplish?

    A rule of thumb for a cylinder bore is 1 inch of spread per yard, dependent on ammo as well. I have seen 50 inch patterns at 30 yards with soft lead ammo and a cylinder bore
    Lead shot deforms on the trip down the bore. The softer the lead the worse it deforms. The worse it deforms the less ballistic prowess it possesses, the longer it flies through the air the more erratic it flies. Some pellets go wildly out of control at 30 yards, some at 15.More quality shells have harder lead alloys that deform les giving a tighter pattern


    Barrel length has no effect on pattern, it’s all in the choke and ammo

    I can’t really answer your question. You seem like you want to have your cake and eat it too….simply not going to happen. Nothing has zero compromises and there is always tradeoffs, firearms and ammo selection is no different

    Rubber ammo is great when law enforcement is doing riot control, and cops have killed people with rubber slugs.when it comes down to it its your ass, use it if you want, you have been informed of most of the concerns with its use as it pertains to defending your life.
    Real ammo powerful enough to successfully defend yourself is going to penetrate walls, windows, fly across the street…
    You are trying to fight your enemy where he is, try where he isn’t. Don’t try to find the answer to all your prayers through neutered ammo selections………Train, practice and train. You will never remove all the danger and possibilities that can come from the muzzle of a firearm. But what you can do is learn to harness the power……you know how you keep your neighbor safe? Don’t miss. You know how you don’t miss?, you practice develop muscle memory, you run scenarios mental training, run out the way you need to defend your particular property. You have a window that’s 22 feet from your neighbors window don’t shoot in that direction, you have to, don’t miss. Above all things you need discipline and focus, keep calm, think clear and act decisively.

    Bottom line you are not going to find any good solid information on using less than lethal ammo or birdshot as it relates to defensive gunfighting on this sight. If you can accept that we can help you, if not then you might keep looking for answers to your questions elsewhere
  4. Nick Burkhardt

    Nick Burkhardt .270 WIN

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    119
    I think I am going to have to spend some $$$ and try out several types of ammo on the range at "in house" and across the street distances to see what my wife and I feel comfortable with. My Father in law said it will be several weeks before he can take us shooting so it will be awhile before I can report back.
  5. Tim4k5

    Tim4k5 .270 WIN

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    379
    Knowing how your shotgun patterns is important......it gives you an idea of what you'll be dealing with as far as "flyers" go out of every load.

    The problem with using birdshot in an HD situation is that while the overall mass of the load may be equal to slug or buckshot loads each individual pellet carries very little transferable energy. Upon contacting a target the load will tend to spread, with part of the energy going into the target and part being transferred from pellet to pellet. Gunshot wounds from birdshot tend to be large diameter, shallow wounds. Small shot rarely has the energy available to penetrate far enough in significant enough numbers to damage vital organs.

    Like Oli said......there is no free lunch in this game. If it will stop a bad guy it will go through a wall......if it won't go through a wall it may very well not be capable of stopping a bad guy. Practice, practice, practice until you are confident that you can hit what you aim at. Do a walkthrough in your home and see what would be your safest shooting lanes in regards to passthrough.
  6. Nick Burkhardt

    Nick Burkhardt .270 WIN

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    119
    Wouldn't the shot cup keep all those steel BBs in a tight enough ball to stop an intruder at HD ranges of 20' or less while having a significantly lower chance of being fatal at ranges over 100' (lucky eye shot excluded)?

    Yes, of course I am trying to have my cake and eat it too. As always I have the option to select the right shell for the threat. If shots are fired or multiple attackers are seen, then the 00 buck gets taken off the side saddle and slapped in the port. If a lesser threat is identified such as elderly neighbor with senile dementia walks in our house by mistake carrying a knife well than a Lightfield Star would be the round for the job if it becomes necessary.
  7. tcecil88

    tcecil88 .30-06

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    1,191
    If you try to plan for every possible scenario, you will spend all of your time planning and no time training. Your shotgun and gear will weigh a ton because of all the different kinds of ammo you have to carry to counter specific threats. Rubber and beanbag loads for the crazy old man across the hall, Dragon's Breath loads for human wave attacks, Starburst flare rounds to signal the all clear or summon reinforcments, and then there are the Bolo rounds to take down the mast of the pirate ship that pulled up along side the apartment building.
    I don't want to make light of your situation because I am not in it. My point is there are so many possible situations that you cannot possibly counter all of them with an individual plan for each. You plan for the worst and hope for the best.
    My HD weapons carry 00 buck, 1 ounce slugs, .55 gr. Ball, and 124 gr. +p hollow points. Why those? Because they work. They all have a proven, documented, successful record either on the street or in combat. Please do yourself the favor of listening the the advice given here that you solicited. There are Retired and Active duty Military, Law Enforcement, competition shooters and people who have been carrying and working on guns longer than I have been alive here, who are more than willing to help the less experienced with advice and answers to any question you can come up with. Use us to improve your situation, that's what we are here for.
    As a side note, get yourself a copy of the Gun Digest "Tactical Shotgun" by Scott Wagner. Very good read and he is also in the bird shot camp. The book details about everything you would want to know about tactical shotgunning.
  8. oli700

    oli700 12g Supporter "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    9,268
    Because that’s all any man should ever need ! Let’s roll! But I’m bringing some 180gr 10mm too, for good luck
  9. BryanForbes

    BryanForbes .410

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    87
    I'd suggest going to the range and patterning it out. My experience says that birdshot at 15' spreads fast. I was just at the range last week shooting bird shot at that range and I would not use it for HD. The 00 buck designed for HD patterns well at that range, though. I didn't measure the birdshot patterns, but from memory it seemed like it was a pattern that was a foot to two feet in diameter. Federal LE13200 or PD13200 barely spreads (3-4 inch diameter, again from memory) at 15'. With kids in the house and having neighbors and knowing that I'm responsible for every bullet/shot that comes out of my gun, I want as tight if a pattern as I can get. Again, go out to the range and pattern it out because I can tell you my experiences, but you're the one that had to be comfortable with your choice :).
  10. oli700

    oli700 12g Supporter "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    9,268
    now you’re talking steel shot, completely different animal than lead.....more BB's per load and even lighter per projectile, so less energy per pellet......good luck to you sir, I'm out
  11. nitesite

    nitesite Sheepdog Moderator "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    5,571
    Please don't fire more than three 10mm rounds directly westward in rapid succession. The effect on the Earth's rotation could mean it would stop spinning and we'd all just float off into space.....

    :D
  12. oli700

    oli700 12g Supporter "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    9,268
    lol, I actually get a little younger every time I shoot one
  13. Rossignol

    Rossignol The Original Sheriff Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator Sponsor

    Messages:
    12,760
    With birdshot, yes its possible it can be lethal. At close ranges its possible it will go through walls too, the wad itsself is potentially lethal.

    The density of birdshot isn't enough to continue propelling it through barriers like 00 buck. The penetration is dependant on the weight of individual pellets as opposed to the weight of the pellets as a whole.

    I agree with TCecil that you can't prepare for every situation, personally I plan solely to stop a threat in my home should one present itself. I have to operate under the belief that should an intruder enter my home while we are here that each of us are at risk until the threat is neutralized.

    I load for that purpose. Each of us have an obligation to weigh the pros and cons of what we choose to load as well as the obligation to pattern and know the limitations of each load and where it may excel.

    Birdshot is at best a gamble and if you're willing to pull the trigger to employ lethal force, it makes no difference to a jury what load you used but it may make a life or death difference to you and yours.
  14. tcecil88

    tcecil88 .30-06

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    1,191
    I want to be younger too!!
  15. Frank Castle

    Frank Castle .270 WIN

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    219
    Nick,

    I am going to try to sum this up for you in as little amount of words as possible.

    The Shot Gun is a great weapon because of its versatility with rounds. It is also the hardest weapon to manage/master because of its versatility with rounds. Kind of an Oxymoron but true none the less.

    1). Your gun will perfer and pattern any round different than any of our guns (Nature of the beast).
    2). Only way to know is personal experience. Buy several differnet boxes of rounds, and go shoot them.
    3). Base your decissions off your experience from shooting said rounds and share. (That is what we have been doing)
    4). Only through shooting do you get better with accuracy (Practice/Training). Accuracy reduces the chance of overpenetration from a missed shot.
    5). If you pull the trigger, you are responcible for every projectile that comes out of the barrel. Wether it is a single slug, 9 00 Buck pellets, or 100's of bird shot. You choose your liability.
    6). Guns are designed to KILL. Plain and simple. If you pull the trigger, Less than Leathal or not, that is the decision you are making.

    Sure there is a round for every sittuation (hence the versatility of the shotgun). And you are more than welcome to prepare for those. 00 Buck is the best single round for multiple threats, that is why it is recomended.

    Frank
  16. Nick Burkhardt

    Nick Burkhardt .270 WIN

    Messages:
    119
    I have not had a chance to shoot either yet which is why I am asking. BB and BBB waterfowl steel is all I could find in large bird shot at my local Walmart and I think I know why.

    Seen in our McDonalds parking lot:




    What are the pros & cons of steel vs lead?

    Attached Files:

  17. Water Monkey

    Water Monkey The man, the myth, the monkey Moderator Supporter

    Messages:
    3,806
    Steel is commonly used for duck hunting as it won't pollute the ponds from my understanding.
  18. GunnyGene

    GunnyGene Racist old man BANNED

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    4,005
    Correct. It was an EPA decision based on pressure from various environmental groups. Who, btw, were never able to prove that lead shot in the environment caused any damage or illness to anything whatsoever. They got this from the old leaded gasoline, which is a totally different form of lead. They've also been trying to ban lead fishing weights. These people get some buzzword in their heads and think it applies globally to every form of whatever it happens to be. Just like CO2. Which, by the way, is absolutely essential for life on this planet.
  19. Nick Burkhardt

    Nick Burkhardt .270 WIN

    Messages:
    119
    Thanks for all the replies and not getting too annoyed by my questions. As I am a new shooter I freely admit that "I know nothing" and am going to have to try out different ammo until I find something I feel comfortable with.

    Here is a test of #4 birdshot at HD ranges http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GqZaVQW7O4 I am presently considering the larger BB size.
  20. Rossignol

    Rossignol The Original Sheriff Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator Sponsor

    Messages:
    12,760
    Yep, the BB loads are commonly duck and goose loads, #4 bird is often used on turkeys.

    I know your concerns and why you ask about birdshot, but as you increase in shot size you are negating any percieved benefit with regard to limited wall penetration.

    I really feel if you're goin to larger shot, really go ahead and give buckshot a try.

    You say you will have the option to select the right load for the threat. If you have that option and decide you have to use lethal force, I can't imagine why you would consider something like any bird load that is substandard, doesn't meet minimum penetration requirements, and is a gamble.

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