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Before I retired I wrote a Special Report about our Agency 12 gauge buckshot Duty Load of 00 Buckshot. The bosses Approved a change to #4 Buckshot. Our former 00 load had 9, .33" pellets while the #4 Buck had 27,.25" pellets. Go to the range with both and SEE what I mean.

Webley
 

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+1, AGREE on the #4.
Federal makes these 2 types in 12 GA, and out of an 18" unchoked barrel, which would you prefer for in home, garage ... ?


2 3/4 @ 27 pellets
3" @ 41 pellets

Have to test recoil, pattern at HOME type range but thought I would ask!
 

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I have considered how close an encounter might be, in my small home. Even if someone is breaking down my door, it will only be maybe 15 feet. 7.5 birdshot at the range will keep pretty close together. That will be very nasty. So anything,in home size ranges ought to do. I also keep slugs in case i have to shoot thru a wall inside the home or someone is attacking my horses in the barn. Otherwise....
 

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True that, at 10 or 15 feet almost any shot column is still a relatively solid wad.
The problem starts when it encounters the target, the lighter shot may be deflected by heavy clothing and may not penetrate enough to stop the adversary.
Yes, it will make a nasty, ugly wound but may not hit anything vital.
#4 has been my goto for many years, after my own range tests showed that double or triple aught buck was a bit much for this type of close encounters.
But then, that's just my view..........
 

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Guys,

Few shotgunners ever Pattern their guns and loads. I suggest they put up two silhouette targets at 50 yards and fire an 00 Buck at one and a #4 Buck at the other. Nuff said.

Webley
So what is more buckshot critical to you at 50 yards?.. More hits? Or more misses whistling who knows where down the street. You gotta be outside firing at 50 yards.
 

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Home defense suggests defending against someone (s) who is in or trying to break into your home.
Someone 50 yeards away from your home may present a situation that is not defensible as self defense of the person in the home. Pretty far away to claim self defense ( unless they are shooting at you). While I have a shotgun for 'home defense' my first choice is a pistol in 38S&W. It will do the job and since I am in my home the amplified report will not damage my ear drums as much as a shotgun would. I want to survive without blowing out my ear drums.
I don't see the need to defend against a horde from outer mongolia coming down my street to me.
If that becomes a problem, then I do go to my SKS with 30 rd magazines.
 

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While this is an old thread I will give another reason to use #4 and one against using it.

I do have bears literally in my backyard and there are hogs about and for sure being florida there could be an alligator in my creek. Alligators will climb fences and even go on dry land.
While I think for an aimed shot 00 or even better triple 000 for bigger critters. But I have houses on two parts of my property line. Number 4 buck has lesser range and at a distance a privacy fence would take a lot of the velocity out of a small pellet. The shotgun is more intended to deal with 2-legged predators, the four legged critters are out there also.

 

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I use Federal 00 copper pated lead BBs - IF I were to use in my home and need to be totally deaf.They are close to 1200 fps which is my max for home use.,outside the front door ,the great outdoors and in my rig(which is where the Maverick 88 lives)-the load is Federal 00 tungsten steel at 1500,
 

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I use Federal 00 copper pated lead BBs - IF I were to use in my home and need to be totally deaf.They are close to 1200 fps which is my max for home use.,outside the front door ,the great outdoors and in my rig(which is where the Maverick 88 lives)-the load is Federal 00 tungsten steel at 1500,
I need to know more about Tungsten steel. Does it bounce back from hard objects. I wonder how it does on car/pickup sheet metal relative to penetration?
 

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The LAST place I would personally use a shotgun for self defense would be inside any structure-especially my home. I would never consider using a #4 buck with 25 pellets inside my home. I know many people that get a shotgun for home defense do so on the premise they don't have to aim but just point shoot when in fact aiming is more critical(especially where the innocent are concerned) with defensive shotgun use.#4 is better used for tactical-aka offensive use. I don't base all my ammunition needs on what law enforcement or military uses-but they definitely have a lot more insight when it comes to human threats-so I always pay attention to what they say and make my own decisions..
I can well imagine 00 steel type pellets going through car doors-especially at 357 magnum speeds at close range with an unchoked shotgun-but this is more of a tactical situation that law enforcement or the military would use.
 

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I think tungsten “steel” is a misleading description. They are not a steel tungsten alloy like an AP core but a pellet of tungsten iron matrix I believe. Maybe a compressed powder thing?. I’m trying to get the exact lowdown.
The goal was to get a lead free buckshot..not increased armor penetration

edit: Federal calls the pellets “tungsten alloy”, no mention of steel. They leave at 1600 FPS as the pellets and payload are lighter than steel. The pellets have a band around their circumference and look to be compression formed.
 
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