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Best shot size for 20ga. defense rounds?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by emt1581, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. bmoore


    Jan 15, 2006
    Under a regime.
    It amazes me that people say birdshot. If I had a 20G I would run 000 buck or #4 buck in it and I would not feel under armed. 20G is a great option.
  2. lethal tupperwa

    lethal tupperwa

    Aug 20, 2002
    While it is indeed possible to load 00 buck into a 2 3/4" or 3" 20 gauge shotgun shell with the proper components, it is not an efficient way to deliver maximum killing energy to the target for this gauge, and it just isn't worth the trouble. This is because 20 gauge has a bore of about .615", 00 Buckshot is about .33" in diameter, so they will not "stack" evenly into "tiers" in the shell and in a shot cup (and therefore don't pattern well), and you can't fit enough 00 into the shell to make for an effective load. Most factory 20 gauge buckshot shells are loaded with either #2 (about .27") or #3 buckshot (about .25").
    What I find odd is that you can't find them in 20 ga. but you can find 000 buckshot .410 loads 3" with 5 pellets.

  3. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

    Jan 16, 2005
    Yep. Last time I saw birdshot used for self defense in real life, it was about #6. The 2 guys who were shot only agreed to go to the hospital to avoid being arrested to being drunk. Mostly, the pellets just fell out of their skin. If #6 was seriously dangerous, we'd have a lot more dead rabbit and bird hunters, because getting shot isn't uncommon at all for them.

    Birdshot only works at distances so close that anything you put in the gun, including the plastic wad/cup, will penetrate.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  4. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    Thank you
    That was my point inside of an average size house. Your average shot is measured in feet not yards.
  5. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    Why would you NOT use 00. It has enough pellets and a decent weight. Given a choice that seems logical.
  6. Oh-oh... better wear my hearing aids if I go rob a house...
  7. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

    The IWBA research states #1 buckshot is superior to 00 buckshot. That's what I load and use for defense.

  8. I keep my 870 stoked with these.

    Bought these several years ago, so thought I'd show the price tag. Have no idea what these goes for now, or if one can even buy any at this time.

    I feel confident that if I did my part, the BG is going to have a very bad day.
  9. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    [ame=""]12 Gauge Birdshot For Home Defense??? - YouTube[/ame]
    [ame=""]SHOTGUN 00 BUCKSHOT Ballistic Gel Test - YouTube[/ame]
  10. Gunnut 45/454

    Gunnut 45/454

    Jun 20, 2002
  11. dkf


    Aug 6, 2010
    Molds arn't expensive. Maybe they will custom make a mold.(like a #3 and #1 buck combo)

    Birdshot has poor penetration, I won't use it for SD.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013