Shotgun Shells for Home Defense
The chief reason is stopping power. It’s estimated that a single 00 buck shell can convey as much force as 10-15 .380 handgun rounds at close range. That’s a lot of stoppage from a single shot, making shotgun shells for home defense an excellent option in today’s world.
Another reason to choose a shotgun is because of its ammunition. A typical shell contains multiple round pellets, similar to BBs, and the force of the blast is spread out among them. Any of them that miss your target will probably lodge in the walls of your home – annoying, but not tragic.
Compare this to a high-powered handgun or rifle, in which all the force is focused behind a single round. Now imagine that bullet passing through the structure of your house or apartment and entering the one next door, possibly lodging in your neighbor’s skull while he’s watching TV. Things like this have happened many times.
For most people, the best shotgun is a pump action with a short barrel, preferably 18”, the shortest allowed by law. This allows for easy maneuverability around the home and in tight quarters. Fortunately, there are several models available in a variety of gauges that fit these guidelines.
Of course, not all shotgun shells for home defense are equally effective. The one you choose will depend on many factors. Here’s a look at the major options available:
- Birdshot – This refers to shells loaded with pellets smaller in diameter than .24”. This type of ammo is normally used for small game animals, such as pheasants, turkeys, and squirrels. Its ability to stop a larger animal (such as a human) is limited.
However, some of the larger sizes, such as #4, can provide decent stopping power. In general, when used on a person, they will create a wide but shallow wound pattern that can cause horrific pain, disfigurement, and blood loss. However, they will not reach vital organs such as the heart, making it unlikely that they will stop a determined attacker who is psychotic or on drugs.
By the same token, though, birdshot is much less likely to go through interior walls than heavier loads, making it the ammo of choice for those in apartments, trailer parks, or other places where residences are close together.
- Buckshot – This refers to pellets that range in diameter from .24” to .38”. The classic choice for home defense use is 00 buck, which measures .33” across. A typical shell holds about eight of these pellets. They’re intended for hunting larger game, such as deer, making them ideal for use against humans.
Due to the larger size of 00 loads, some avoid them for home defense use. In recent years, however, companies such as Remington have come out with low-recoil loads that pack less punch compared to additional rounds, while still offering plenty of stopping power. Rounds like these are commonly used by law enforcement, but can be purchased by the general public as well. Most experts agree that reduced-power 00 buck shells in 12 gauge are the best overall choice for home defense.
- Slugs – These are essentially oversized bullets designed to be fired from a shotgun. They offer the advantage of tremendous stopping power. However, they’re not generally recommended for home defense, due to the danger of them passing through residence walls. Persons who live in isolated rural areas and/or by themselves may not be limited by this concern, however.
If home defense is one of your concerns, then contact the good people at Dury’s Guns. Their knowledge of firearms and decades of experience in the shooting arts can help you in picking the right weapon for their needs and the best shotgun shells for home defense. They also offer a huge selection of top quality pre-owned guns for great prices. All of them can be shipped to your nearest FFL dealer, no matter what part of the US you live in. Check out their online catalog now.
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