Shotgun ammo

Discussion in 'Caliber Zone' started by Fourboxes, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. Fourboxes

    Fourboxes Member

    I'm about to buy my first shotgun (A lefthanded 870), and I've been trying to figure out what kind of ammo to stockpile for a SHTF situation. I know slugs are on the list, but beyond that I don't really understand the different grades of ammo.

    Can someone explain to me what the different numbers mean on a package of shells, what the various types are good for, and what kinds of exotic loads are useful? (Besides the chinese dragons, how could that possibly be anything but useful)
  2. Strangerous

    Strangerous Member

    a slug of lead, ditto on this one.
    "Shot" Shells:
    It's an old system, and it's like comparing cubits (biblical unit of measurement) to inches... here's a breakdown...
    Size - Nominal diameter - Pellets/oz
    000 ("triple-ought") - .36" (9.1 mm) - 6
    00 ("double-ought") - .33" (8.4 mm) - 8
    0 ("ought") - .32" (8.1 mm) - 9
    1 - .30" (7.6 mm) - 10
    2 - .27" (6.9 mm) - 15
    3 - .25" (6.4 mm) - 18
    4 - .24" (6 mm) - 21

    #7 and up shot are your target/sissy birdshot loads.
    #4-6 shot will kill animals that fly
    0-000 will kill animals that have thick hides
    Slugs will kill just about anyting, as long as you can place it on target.

    Based on this info, I'll let your preference be the deciding factor on what to stockpile for shtf... Just my $.02: Dont take a shotty for SHTF... a 100 round brick of 12ga is so heavy and so large. a 100 round brick of .22-45acp is so much lighter, and smaller package. YMMV though.

  3. p7196

    p7196 Guest

    +1 on what Strange said. But if a shotty is all you got or you want it shtf home protection then by all means stock up on several different rounds. The shotty was designed as a hunting weapon not a shtf. But if it is something you will be slinging around in the middle of the night double ought is great. As a paramedic I have seen some home invasions stopped by "bird shot" or #7 & ^. In a close quarters situation bird shot will make a helluva mess, stop a bg and piss off a trauma surgeon. It does the last one real well. At close range say in an area of 15' or less bird shot makes a nasty hole and will throw a few pellets around the body as well. The worst I ever saw was a bg taken out by a 12ga the home owner had loaded the shell with steel BBs instead of the lead shot. Man at a distance of 25 feet this bg had a nice hole and could not be helped by the trauma surgeon. Not counting the homeowner got a 2nd shot into the bgs face and half of it was gone.
  4. Thayldt21

    Thayldt21 Senior Member Member

    just me, i got ton of 00 buck as it was cheap 100 rds at 45$ shipped from
  5. JMcDonald

    JMcDonald Member

    Ive heard of people buying birdshot shells (because they are like 25% as much standard defensive loads), and just replacing the small shot inside it with larger shot (maybe like .22 or .25 caliber pellets). It is probably not all that accurate without the pellets oriented like they would normally be, but it is still surely more effective at relatively close ranges (maybe like 15 yards) than birdshot.

    At least if you did it like this you could have the cost of shells be like .25-.30 each instead of like .60 each for average buck prices.
  6. p7196

    p7196 Guest

    Oh heck go for the serious gusto if you can find them. I bought some shells one time that were a slug backed up with triple ought in same shell. Haven't seen them since I bought that 1 case.
  7. Strangerous

    Strangerous Member

    Buck and Ball Shells are killer, in the literal sense, too!
  8. I don't use the 3 " mag shells , The 2 3/4 shells have a faster recovery time and you can usually put 1 more in the mag . We stock only OO buck for defense . We also have a lot of bird shot.

    SHOOTER Z Well-Known Member

    Yup only carry 00 buck and some bird shot myself I also have 2 Walmart ammo belts I can use as bandoliers if I need them :wink:
  10. Fourboxes

    Fourboxes Member

    Yeah, that's pretty spendy. I think I might pick up some of the red/green flares though.

    The more I read, the more amazed I am that some of that stuff is still legal. "WHEN THE PROJECTILE STRIKES AN OBJECT, THE COMPOUND PRODUCES A BRILLIANT FLASH OF LIGHT AT A TEMPERATURE IN EXCESS OF 3,000 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT" Yeah, the 15 year old in me wants to buy about 200 of these. And a stockpile of Barney stuffed animals/barbie dolls/baseball cards of teams I don't like.

    Thanks for the help guys. I think I'll be stocking up on slugs, 00, and flares. This won't be my only SHTF gun, it will be supplimenting my C9, 995, 22 (and perhaps future something in 223 or 5.62).
  11. condition1

    condition1 Member

    I hope the 15 year old in you has a good job...that stuff is expensive. I keep 00 and some slugs, also bird shot for skeets and, well, birds. I love me some doves.

    SHOOTER Z Well-Known Member


    :doh: :doh: :doh: nuff said
  13. Silicon Wolverine

    Silicon Wolverine Well-Known Member

    i try to stockpile something of everything. mostly slugs and 00 buck for shtf use and all sizes of birdshot for hunting etc. most of mine i loaded myself for savings but with the price of shot unless you cast it yourself it costs and arm and a leg (and possibly maybe a testcle as well).

  14. Having grown up hunting with shotguns I always found the following loads most useful and all in 2 3/4" length....

    Slugs and 00 Buck: Big Game and Defense.
    #4 Shot: Turkey and Duck.
    #7 or #7.5: birds like dove and quail, rabbit and squirrel.
    #9: Skeet/Clay or for training purposes.

    If Grouse and Pheasant are abundant in your area you may want to use #6 shot instead of the #7 or #7.5's.

    I have never had much use for 3" or 3.5" Magnum shells in 12ga, but if you hunt the Northern Geese at extreme ranges they may be worth keeping around.

    For SHTF purposes the shotgun should be your stationary gun, something to keep at the house, farm or retreat or as a vehicle carry gun. Because ammo for the shotgun is bulky and heavy, especially when carried in quantity, it would be my last resort bug out on foot weapon of choice.
  15. Jettster

    Jettster Member

    That website is awesome, I'm going to try and order the incendiary rounds and the bean baggers. Sounds like fun to me!
  16. Jettster

    Jettster Member

    Also, I use my Saiga 12 with my AGP 10 round mag loaded with one round Fiocchi rubber shot and 9 rounds Federal Tactical 00 Buckshot. Hopefully the racking sound will scare off any intruder, if not, they get a warning with the rubber, then it's all over with the Federal. I know the Fiocchi can be lethal at close range, I'd rather not kill someone unless it is absolutely necessary, I'm a Democrat.
  17. HPHooked

    HPHooked Member

    If you can find them, get 500 rounds of #1 buck shot, about 200 rounds of slug and a bunch of your favorite flavor (I suggest #6) birdshot.

    The 00 buckshot rounds are good rounds. However, you get 16 .30 caliber pellets with #1 buckshot versus 9 .32 caliber pellets with the 00 buck. Basically it's like having a .30 caliber machinegun in each round. More projectiles means a greater chance to hit the BG and stop the encounter.

    YMMV - :dance:
  18. I have slugs, #00 buck and #1 shot for HD. I have #4 shot for practice, I would use it for HD if I had to but would prefer larger pellets.
  19. JMcDonald

    JMcDonald Member

    #1 buck I agree is better than 00. They are still about 40gr, and moving at 1200+ FPS they have plenty of energy to likely penetrate all the way through your target. And, with twice as many pellets you are more likely to do more damage. Even more so at distance. I know shotguns arent usually associated with distance, but at, I dunno, 75 yards, a single #1 BS pellet is still probably almost as lethal as a .22LR round, meaning at such higher distances you still have a greater chance of dropping or wounding an enemy (or hell, even multiple enemies).
  20. bull1861

    bull1861 Guest

    IMO A shotgun in a great SHTF tool, because its not only applicable to the woods but to urban settings as well, you dont want to be shooting thru walls and wounding civys. I myself train with a Mossberg 590 tac. 12gauge pumpgun, but as they are a 45 meter max weapon unless your shooting a slug, wich Id rather not, I also carry a Mosin Nagant M44 on my pack for some reach out n touch someone power. What Ive taken away from reading up on Veitnam, most engagements outside of trenches take place at 25 meters, wich is a perficlty comfterble range for a shotty. So I carry some buckshot, and some birdshot. You can buy a brick of 100 rounds of birdshot at Wallyworld for 20 bucks, and in my experaince with a nice tight choke, more of my rounds end up in the target shooting birdshot than with buckshot, the only differance is penetration and weight. One thing you have to remember is when your shotting a shotty, a wound is still a kill, its just a matter of time, but even at that a wound is more often than not going to take a tango out of the action long enough for you to bug out, wich is EXACTLY what you want to do. The whole notion of stand and deliver, to the last man and all that guff is completely irrational. The most effective guirrilla forces operate in the exact same fashon, hit and run, no pice of ground is worth your life, and you can always come back to it.

    Wow, that was a tangent, anywhoo, take up training with birdshot to keep it cost effective, carry buckshot and bird shot and your situation may dictate how powerful a load you will require, and think about loading some "less than lethal" rounds. One inexpensive way Ive heard of that being done is to cut up some old tires, take the lead out of the bird shot, and reload it with rubber chunks. Loads like that are perfict for personal defense in a home invasion type scenario, afterall, death is a sweet release compared to some broke ribs and time behind bars, leave killing people to the criminals.