Originally Posted by weagle
Bird Shot at home defense distances is a game stopper. No handgun would even come close with the exception of a CNS hit.
Based on my experience dispatching various animals at close range there was no reason to believe that bird shot would not have a similar effect on humans. That theory was supported by a buddy of mine who is the chief radiologist at the largest level 1 trauma center in the southeast US. The number of gunshot injuries they see each year is unreal. In over 30 years he has never seen a single individual that has survived a shotgun blast to the torso at room distances. I asked him if it matter what type of load was used and he said no. He said at room distances the shot acted as a single frangible projectile and the trauma and blood loss was "not survivable"
On the other hand, they patch folks up regularly with multiple shots to the torso from all flavors of handgun rounds. Some of these have been on the receiving end of local law enforcement shooting .40 and .45 ACP glocks fed with Remington bonded Golden sabers, Winchester Ranger T, Speer gold dots etc.
I keep #4 turkey loads in mine, but I have no reason to doubt the opinion of my friend especially since it mirrors what most of the EMT, trauma center type folks have related in this thread.
You make very sounds points if your ER friend is telling the truth and I believe he is. That is why my first line of defense is a shotgun(18" pump). However if I have to defend myself with a handgun, do I use a .22 or a.40? The .40 of course, imho. Therefore , if I am going to "eliminate a threat", do I use large shot or small shot in a shotgun? Large shot, no question. Many out here may confuse what bird shot is. There is a "skeet" load(low powder), "game" load(medium powder), and what we use to call "high brass"( for duck and pheasant) or heavy powder. If you use bird shot, get the "high brass"(excuse my ancient terminology, I only reload pistol cartridges).My SD cartridges are factory high grain rds, I would not prefer to shoot my low grain reloads for "eliminating a threat". I keep my pistol as close as my pump in my bedroom.
Shotguns are more accurate for most people and studies I've read, say it is the best "one shot stop". I use 00 buck, if it will bring down a 160 lb deer, I trust it for my needs. I've never seen a seasoned deer hunter deliberately load with "bird shot" to kill a deer. Debate this all you want, but for a little more money per round, WHY USE BIRD SHOT?