At self defense range bird shot is adequate to kill. Not being satisfied with success, I broke out some of the ½” plywood sheets and put two of them out, one behind the other and tried the “common” #7 ½ shot. Right after the much beloved 1911 pistol versus Glock handguns argument, maybe no other firearms topic enjoys as much debate as shotguns for home defense. From 15 feet, the bulk of the pellets penetrated about 4 inches with a range of two to six inches overall.

00 buckshot from 15 feet. Those who chose smaller shot for these situations maintain that buckshot tends to have too much penetration and will endanger others in the house when it shoots through walls. The four inch penetration depth was a bit of a surprise after seeing what the birdshot did to fairly tough plywood, but that’s why we’re testing this whole theory. Virtually none of the No. Again, the shot went right through both sheets and left a single large hole.

If some hypothetical scenario gets repeated enough, it becomes the truth. The ability to blow large holes through plywood was far more consistent at 10 feet than 15. This week’s Mad Gun Science experiment has to do with the idea of using birdshot for home defense. The walls were framed in 2×4 pine lumber with studs in the middle, spaced 16 inches on center, and rolled fiberglass insulation between the studs. Too much assuming, too little proving.

Those are the most commonly available “birdshot” loads. Thank you! Range matters with bird shot, even a difference of just five feet. He spent the night in his chicken house and shot the chicken thief full in the face. guest • 6 months ago

Using birdshot against an attacker will likely make a huge mess. Will a 28 gauge shotgun shoot 20 gauge ammo?

This one has two “hearsay” truths.

Since the theory is kinda based on the concept of the shot acting more like a solid projectile at short range, I figured it was a good idea to measure pattern sizes before I started blowing things to pieces. Join Yahoo Answers and get 100 points today. From the 10 foot distance, most of the pellets penetrated about 4 ¾ inches. At 10 feet, shot size didn’t seem to matter a whole lot. Aided by my able assistant, shots were fired into the first wall from 5, 10, 15 and 20 feet.

The wad penetrated about 1 ¼ inches. Lethal to humans, 12 gauge birdshot fired from a short barrel shotgun. The short range performance was certainly devastating to plywood, but the gel tests showed nowhere near the level of penetration that a traditional handgun bullet would achieve. Some were murders, some were intruders in homes and a lot were hunting-related shootings — both people being mistaken for game and accidental discharges. Rather than discuss the theoretical merits of each argument, I decided to go shoot some stuff with birdshot at very short ranges. The #7 ½ and #8 shot did not penetrate the ⅞” plywood sheet.

It’s a perfect home defense gun and features an 18” cylinder bore barrel. So shooting at boards showed that there is a benefit to the “closely packed mass of pellets” theory.

I built two walls, double-sided with drywall or sheetrock, whatever you call it in your part of the country. Saw a body where to guys had argued about the after life and an "accidental" shooting occurred where the * 7.5 shot at 7 feet took his aorta off his heart and you could see through the chest.

And just because I knew it would come up in the mind of someone — maybe everyone — reading this, I fired one round of Remington No.

Obviously within self defense distance. 00 buckshot as the ammo of choice, and within the effective yardage boundaries of buckshot, there’s no doubt it is effective.

Dick Cheney was about 30 yards away from Harry Whittington (78 at the time) when Cheney shot him and Whittington is still alive and kicking with 30 pellets still in his body. Since the theory is kinda based on the concept of the shot acting more like a solid projectile at short range, I figured it was a good idea to measure pattern sizes before I started blowing things to pieces.Here’s what I found. Still have questions? Six major concealed carry insurance programs are now available to the millions of Americans who carry concealed. Another important point is the big difference between birdshot and No. From 10 feet, all four pellet sizes blew single large holes right through a single sheet of ⅞” plywood, as the “mass of pellets at short range” theory indicated.

Hg SAAMI data and functions Horizontal Distance (feet) 536 557 574 Law enforcement agencies have long used No. Blowing stuff up with shotguns is fun, even though I get strange looks at the range. The shot then struck the Clear Ballistics gel and the second wall. Larry Case is a contributor to Gun Digest the Magazine. How do you think about the answers?

7½ shot.

75 yards is about the best “lethal range” for a shotgun, but depending on the load, choke, barrel config and the like, it varies. There has been an error with your Email Subscription. I used to 6x6x16” Clear Ballistics gel blocks, one set up at 10 feet, and the other set up at 15 feet. Remington Sportsman Hi-Speed Steel #1, 1 ¼ oz, 3”, 1,400 fps, Remington Premier Hevi-Shot Buffered Waterfowl, #4, 1 ¼ oz, 2 ¾”, 1,325 fps, Federal Target Load, # 7 ½, 1 ⅛ oz, 2 ¾”, 1,145 fps, Winchester Universal, #8, 1 ⅛ oz, 2 ¾”, 1,200 fps.

? The Warden is a tactical-home defense model and the latest of this line.

Be more specific. Since I couldn’t find anyone willing to get blasted with birdshot, I found some substitute materials in my garage. The wad penetrated about 1 ¼ inches – about the same as the 10 foot gelatin block.

I had a good bit of ⅞” and ½” plywood collecting dust, so I nailed some to a target stand and shot it with all four shot sizes from both 10 and 15 foot ranges.

lnitial range: 0 feet Gunsite Altitude: 0 feet above the impact area. Get 12 Issues a year of the country's best firearms writing. This is not any test of specific brands or loads of shot shells, just what I had on hand that represented a cross section of sizes of birdshot pellets. Video: 7 Carp-on-human Attacks Caught on Video, 10 Gun Tattoos That Will Make You Do a Double-take, 13 Guns That Are Way More Popular in Video Games Than Real Life, Video: Watch These 5 Men Clean and Gut Deer in Just Minutes, How We Treat Heroes: Soldier Injured in Fort Hood Massacre Takes Dream Elk Hunt, A Profile of a “Hipster Hunter,” the Next Generation of Conservationists, Experience the Ultimate in Volume Wingshooting This Spring, Video: 5 Insane Archery Trick Shot Compilations, Selecting the Best Turkey Choke for Your Shotgun, The Best Places for Spring Fishing in the South, 5 Expert Turkey Hunters’ Favorite Turkey Calls. At 100 yards, the odds of getting hit by a pellet of 00 buckshot aimed at you is minute. You principle conclusions aren’t supported by your testing, particularly the claim that birdshot will penetrate as well as a slug at close range, and that fine shot will be “very lethal.” If I had to guess, I’d say maybe ⅓ of the shot pellets made it through. I prefer not to be shot with any of these. As to effectiveness for home-defense, you have to make your own call.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.

Birdshot is effective at short range because the shot acts like one big projectile before it has a chance to spread out too much. Each wund is different as pellet strikes are different.

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Since the whole idea of this experiment is to test the effectiveness of birdshot, I elected to use 7 ½ size shot pellets.

Knowing where others are located in the home is very important if you ever find yourself in a home defense fiasco. Look at the pattern sizes of the accompanying images: In home defense situations in close quarters with adrenaline running full blast, missing is very easy to do. The #4 shot did penetrate the plywood, sort of.

So at least there is anecdotal evidence for a distance that it is not lethal.

Mad Gun Science: Is Birdshot Effective for Home Defense? Though the pattern of the shot had acquired some spread, often some of the shot would find its way to the victim’s vitals … and it was lights out.

If in a home alone, buck might be a more potent option. This is somewhat intuitive information, but a payload of fine shot, delivered from close-range tends to pattern very close together and will leave a wound much like a shotgun slug.

Lethal to what or whom?? Birdshot is not effective for home defense because the small and light pellets won’t penetrate enough to stop a determined home invader. Buyin pistol ammo for carbine/rifle under 21. Tom McHale is the author of the Insanely Practical Guides book series that guides new and experienced shooters alike in a fun, approachable, and practical way. I cannot address this fact without reminding shooters that sights on a tactical or home defense shotgun are very important. For example .22lr can be very lethal, but it might take several minutes for a person to bleed out. Buckshot will over penetrate and possibly kill your kids or the neighbors. Also when one considers lethality one also has to consider the time between being shot and actual death.

I would think it’s clear that an assailant at any of the ranges noted (and somewhat beyond) has had a very bad day if shot with birdshot of any size.

From 15 feet away, I started to see the effects of a spreading shot pattern.



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