12g 00 buck for HD... 2 3/4" vs 3"?

Discussion in 'Tactical Shotguns' started by sharpshooter, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member
    Millennium Member

    Why is 2 3/4" 00 buck more popular for HD? 15 pellets is better than 8 or 9, right? Almost double the pellets!

    Is this the same argument as buying a .357 magnum and downloading to .38 special?

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  2. Buffering

    Buffering The Cooler

    To extend your argument to the logical conclusion, why not use 3.5" shells?

    If your purpose is to fire a single shot from a stationary position then swing for the wall however in terms of the number of rounds you have available to you, movement of the gun itself, training and so on, the 2 3/4 has been proven to be very capable. In fact, the po-po use reduced recoil rounds because they do not see a marked decrease in performance. They, like you, could always use a high base load if necessary but it isn't.

    Just go with 2 3/4 buck in 00 or #1. No worries, sleep like a baby.

  3. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member
    Millennium Member

    "The police" use what they are told to use. Often it's one desk jocky that makes a decision about weapons and what everyone else is allowed to use. Sometimes it's a well judged decision based on a committee's recommendation, sometimes it comes down to one man's personal preferance. The chief doesn't like Glocks? Sorry, try a S&W sonny! Sometimes it's a budgetary decision. Sometimes it's purely political.

    I would not base my decisions on "what the police use".
  4. Buffering

    Buffering The Cooler

    OK, use what you like however in this case you'd very hard pressed to find a more universally accept load in either civilian or police, FBI or whatever resource you choose, to top reduced recoil loads.

    If you can find for me a source that says Fed FC is a horrible round then I'll study it earnestly but I doubt you will. If the police and other LEO sources are using FC because some committee said use it, they'd among the luckiest people around.
  5. In my opinion you should always give consideration to what your local LE departments carry in their weapons. The reasoning is not really for the criminal action that may or may not occur as a result of a shooting but more for the civil side that will more likely occur.

    I can say without a doubt that my local department buys the best they can based on the budget and "politics" has nothing to do with it.

    All that aside. 2 3/4 buck is more than sufficent for HD.
    #5 B Glover, Jan 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  6. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan

    I've always counted on 2 3/4 OO buckshot
  7. I've never shot a man with buckshot but I've shot quite a few deer with various types over the years. We have to use buckshot in a certain area of my county.

    2 3/4" OO buck full power will knock an animal down inside 30Y reliably.
    3" OO buck will do the same out to about 40Y reliably.
    3 1/2" OO (out of a full choke 30" Benelli) will pattern well out to about 50Y

    This past season I patterned the Benelli with 3 1/2" OO loads, out of 18 pellets, 4 to 5 were hitting the vital zone at 50Y. The 3" was doing about the same. The 2 3/4 was getting one or two in the zone. I shot a doe at 55Y with a 3 1/2" round this year and at least 4 pellets went into the chest, one in the neck and one in the hind quarters.

    So to answer your question imo. If you are expecting to take long shots, over 30Y with your shotgun go with a bigger more powerful load. For most HD situations 2 3/4" rounds will do the job. Personally I use 2 3/4" OO buck and keep my shotgun cruiser ready with a few slugs in the side saddle just in case.
    #7 Hedo1, Jan 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  8. Buffering

    Buffering The Cooler

    I practice civil litigation and I or any decent attorney, could, without breaking a sweat, turn the use of that 3" shell into an inference of compensability. No problem at all. And the funny thing is, I don't need the shooter to do it.

    There are good reasons to use what the po-po use.
  9. I use Federal LE 13200 or Winchester RA1200 as my SD loads out of my 18.5" 590A1.
    Both 9 pellet low recoil.
  10. I use 2 3/4 shells in either #4 or 00 buck. Mostly because the scattergun is older than me and will not accept 3 or 3 1/2" shells. Most of my rooms here are not more than 20' away, so the difference is not worth the expense.

    I would consider the improved effects of using 3" over 2 3/4" with the increase in recoil, flash & sound. It is the same argument I thought of when choosing whether to use a .357mag or a .45 or home defense. The 00 buck is my first choice and the .45 is a back-up or a way to fight my way back to the scattergun. I chose the .45 because the flash and noise of a .357mag is considerable and in a darkened home at night the flash and noise, rated ~160 decibels, could be disorientating. A shotgun is ~154 decibels. A stun grenade is 170-180 decibels. Pain threshold is 130.

    It doesn't sound like much in print, but it will to our ears. I have, stupidly, shot a 2 3/4 shell with 7 1/2 shot without ear protection, once. The sound bounced off a shed behind me and rang my one ear good. Also, my buddy in a streak of mischievousness, replaced the .38spl rounds in his .357mag I was shooting with .357mag hunting rounds. I was wearing those foam ear plugs, but it wasn't enough! I found myself checking if I HAD any protection at all.

  11. ScrappyDoo

    ScrappyDoo Tacticool brah!

    Absolutely right and as simple as that.

    And without getting into a fight over 00 vs 000 va 0000 vs slugs vs birdshot for HD - let me say this UN equivocally: there is NO REASON to use bigger than 2 3/4" shells for HD. I mean unless you get a phone call that the person says Hey beeeyatch I'm coming to invade your home right now bring it on!!!! And you're literally gearing up for combat right then and there to preplanned fight with your gun to shoot people close range from your defended stationary position ( good luck with that btw) the kick of the 3" overrides any " additional benefit " if there actually is , of the extra few pellets that make the 3" shell. And 3 1/2" are really not combat loads at all are they ? I thought they were for turkey hunting at 40 yds , please correct me cause I don't hunt but I thought that was the general idea.

    2 3/4" 00 Buck is fhe absolutely ideal load for HD - lethality and controllability. Yin and yang coming together to provide protection to you. I know other loads have specific merits and I wouldn't want to chuck my gun in the garbage cause I o ly had various different buck loads or whatever avail ST the time , but otherwise given preparation time , plain jane buckshot wins the war.
  12. Also greater recoil(making it harder for smaller/weaker family members to use, and slower follow-up), lessened magazine capacity, and the possible civil liabilities mentioned in other posts.


    If I need to take a shot past 25y, then I either brought the wrong weapon (shoulda brought the carbine) or I need to do a quick change to slugs.

    I load LE low recoil, buffered, 8 pellet 00 in my 590. If I had a reliable source of good #1 loads, I would likely switch. Until then, though, I'll keep 00 in the tube and side saddle, with slugs in the SpeedFeed stock.
  13. I just fired off 4 rounds of Winchester 3" 15 pellet buck today at the range and the recoil was excessive and a quick follow up shot near impossible. I'll save the 3" and 3.5" Buck for the 4 legged foe.
  14. ScrappyDoo

    ScrappyDoo Tacticool brah!

    Exactly right David ely , well said. 3" rounds are for specific uses and the 3.5" rounds are for extremely specific hunting applications. Tactical use of a shotgun in combat or home defense etc is not hunting.
  15. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    2 3/4" 00 Buck is the Gold Standard of manstopping cartridges. As someone just posted 3" and 3.5" magnum shells generate excessive recoil and slow you shot to shot recovery for very little gain in effectiveness.

    If you need Buckshot out to 40 yards consider Federal's offerings with the Flite Control Wad technology. The FCW holds very tight patterns and with my shotguns I can usually keep three pellets on a standard man size target out to 40 yards.
  16. 2 3/4 00 Low recoil:

    #1 Low recoil = faster back on target
    #2 Low recoil at indoor social distance is just as nasty.
    #3 2 3/4 = more rounds in the tube

    If you have a better reason to use something else indoors, I'd like to hear it. Not saying this is perfect...but I don't think you can come up with something practically better, or legit reasons for it. We can argue a shot size here or there, but overall...this does the job IMO best overall.

    Just saying as you stray from this round, time back on target goes up, damage is not significantly increased, and round count goes down. The BG doesn't get more likely to be dead.
    #16 Aceman, Jan 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  17. I too once thought that 3" shells might be good for HD. I was sadly mistaken. The recoil screwed up my aim by increasing the muzzle rise, made followup shots harder, and frankly HURT. I am not one to complain about recoil, I don't shoot reduced recoil rounds, but fire off an entire box of those 3" shells and you'll find yourself with bruises on your shoulder even with a recoil pad.

    2 3/4 shells are really preferable for fighting two legged foes due to greater usability. 3" and upward are for hunting. If you insist on firing larger rounds, you'd be well advised at least not to fire them out of anything too light. You'd best have a heavy barrel and wood furniture to soak up some of that recoil because the charge in those magnum shells tends to want to launch lighter shotguns as hard backward as it does to send the projectiles forward.
  18. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member
    Millennium Member

    The recoil argument is understandable. The civil liability argument is laughable. Else why don't you use a single shot 12g for HD if you're worried about liability? Lawyers will argue ANYTHING in the courtroom for the right price, which is why they're hated. A 3" shell is no different than any other 3" hunting round, that argument is shot down easily.
  19. You're right, assuming you or your defense attorney had the ability and knowledge needed to make that argument in court. That doesn't always happen.

    Edit to add: Anything you use in a SD/HD role should be something you can articulate WHY you used it. Not just your weapon of choice, but even type of ammo, capacity of magazine, caliber, etc.
    #19 WoodenPlank, Jan 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  20. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member
    Millennium Member

    Balogna. That's old internet mythology. Show me a case where that actually played a role in anything...

    If you used the same model firearm with the same duty ammo as your local PD, a lawyer could just as easily argue that you're a gun nut rouge wanna-be cop looking for a chance to shoot somebody.

    In a "what if" world, lawyers could argue anything. That is not a valid reason to use or not use a specific reasonable type of ammunition. If you use "Extreme Murder" brand or "Zombie" brand ammo then you might want to consider switching brands, but it won't matter because a good shoot is a good shoot no matter what color or size your ammo is.

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