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Discussion Starter #1
Buckshot seems to be on the endangered species list locally.
I did find some Fetter #3 buckshot.
Anyone out there use this brand?
 

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No I don't use it, but it brings up the question of what you are going to use it for? If for Home Defense, it will certainly work and will be better than birdshot. It may not be as good as OO Buck but it will stop a home invader in his tracks. So if that is available to you, I say buy it. Just keep the amount you buy as small as you feel necessary.
 

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#3 And #4 should be fine in Home Defense situations for you . I've got #3 loaded up in a 20 gauge here at home, plus #3 is the most common buckshot i believe that you will find for 20 gauge. Got #4 in the 12 gauge. I do step up #1/#2 or 00 buck when outdoors.
 
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You'll need to pattern this shot yourself, with your unique gun - doubly so if you're intending this cartridge for defensive use.

If you are using this in a semi-automatic shotgun, you'll need to insure that it cycles/functions properly, too.

Hope you won't take offense if you're a seasoned gunner. :) It's just that there's a lot of new owners to every type of firearm out there, so I thought I'd better throw this up, in case you're new to shotguns. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, TSiWRX. I am new to shotguns. I will be using this ammo in a 12ga pump-action for HD. I know from reading other threads, some of you recommend #3 and #4 buckshot for HD.
Some of you recommend FEDERAL FLITECONTROL. Fetter #3 was the only buckshot I could find locally and I was curious about the brand.
 

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Yeah, these days, you get what you can get. Federal Tactical w/Flitecontrol is by far, the best 00 Buck out there, IMHO. Like any ammo, though, just make sure it works well with your firearm...otherwise, "the best" doesn't mean much :)
 

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Typed out a long reply the other day and then the computer crashed. :) Sorry I didn't have a chance to get back to this until now. :)

Thanks, TSiWRX. I am new to shotguns. I will be using this ammo in a 12ga pump-action for HD. I know from reading other threads, some of you recommend #3 and #4 buckshot for HD.
Some of you recommend FEDERAL FLITECONTROL. Fetter #3 was the only buckshot I could find locally and I was curious about the brand.
As others have noted, in today's market, unless you've already stocked-up or got lucky, you've simply gotta use what you've got.

And in-reality, neither #1 buck nor a pump shotgun is all that bad to have. In terms of HD, you could do a lot worse.

That said, conventional wisdom is that "Number 1 buck is the smallest diameter shot that reliably and consistently penetrates more than 12 inches of standard ordnance gelatin when fired at typical shotgun engagement distances" (taken from Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo) - but this arrives with a caveat: that the shot needs to be hardened. Given that the availability for this specific type of #1 buck isn't great even in the best of times, 00 and even 000 buck is typically recommended.

But failing that....

Buckshot is better than birdshot, and it's really as simple as that.

In terms of terminal ballistics, unfortunately, over-penetration with defensively capable shotgun loads remain as much of a problem as with any other cartridge that is deemed acceptable for HD/SD or duty/service use, and we see this time and again in even backyard testing: The Box O' Truth #3 - The Shotgun Meets the Box O' Truth - The Box O' Truth In-reality, there's not that much difference between #4 versus 00 buck - as with any shoot scenario, you'll have to watch the backstop/backdrop.

And that consideration is, of-course, why so many like the Federal FliteControl wad: it typically helps the shot retain a tighter patter farther downrange than other designs. The typical 18-or-so-inch barrel cylinder-bore defensive shotgun will be capable of maintaining a center-mass pattern with the 8-pellet "Tactical" Federal FliteControl all the way out to 25 and even 30 yards.

And therein lies the rub - you need to "pattern" your unique shotgun. While your 870 may pattern a certain way, my 870 may pattern differently....and each ours may pattern different versus, say, your brother-in-law's 870 and then again the 870 that belongs your favorite instructor:


I would pattern at "point blank" (3 yards), 7, 15, and 20 yards, at the very least. Add in the 25 and 30 yard lines if you have ammo to spare.

Note how your shot cone "grows" as your distance starts to stretch. At the same time, also note that at shorter distances, you're actually -NOT- getting the "You don't need to aim a shotgun, it'll sweep that entire side of the room!" lore that's passed-along by enthusiastic gun-shop clerks.

Understand that the inherent threat-stopping capabilities of the shotgun - when using "shot" loads - comes from the fact that there's so many pellets delivered in what is essentially a very small area each and every single time you pull that trigger: effectively, you're hitting the threat with (with 00-buck) something that's like 8 to 9 nine-millimeter bullets every time that trigger is pulled. That close-in, the shotgun is truly a most formidable weapon for this reason.
 

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As a beginning shotgunner, first figure out how you will "stage" the gun for ready-access. Typically, folks will stage the shotgun with the action locked, a full magazine ("tube"), and the safety engaged....all it takes to get the gun into action is to unlock the action, pump in a round, and take off the safety. Others prefer to keep the chamber loaded and the gun on safe. Yet others prefer to have the slide back on a fully loaded tube, safety engaged - allowing the gun to be ready to use when the pump is slid forward and a shell chambered. The vocabulary for these different staging methods vary, so instead of blindly following the "cruiser safe" or "cruiser ready" verbiage, instead seek to understand what the ready-state of the gun actually is, and both the weaknesses/compromises of staging in that manner, as well as the advantages of doing so.

From there, practice being aggressive but smooth pumping action. The rhythm should be "shot-pump-shot-pump-shot-pump" until the threat is no longer present or, as a beginning shotgunner, until you literally run out of ammo in the magazine. Short-stroking that pump/slide is typically going to be the biggest issue that beginner shotgunners can come to face when actively shooting: as with the slide of your pistol, treat it with-authority: rack it like you mean it. If you short-stroke the pump and cause a stoppage, it will likely be time to sling the weapon (more on this in a minute) and transition to your handgun, right then and there. But assuming that you're running that pump like you mean it, that "shot-pump-shot-pump-shot-pump" rhythm and pace is what you're going to want. Don't pause after the shot: use the recoil of the gun to help you rack, and treat that rhythm just as how you would reset the trigger of your pistol while the gun is still in-recoil. This way, you'll be back on target and ready to take the next shot as soon as the gun has settled from recoil (again, just like the handgun). Realize that pumping after the gun has completed recoil and the sights have settled back on-target just means that you'll now be disturbing the sight picture as you pump in the next round - so you might as well have this done while the gun is still in-recoil.

Ammo management is the true "art" of the shotgun (the R1VUX YouTube Channel hosts rips from the old but still relevant Magpul Dynamics Art of the Dynamic Shotgun DVD series, and is linked here: R1VUX), but as a beginning shotgunner, this is probably going to be the least of your worries, particularly if you do not currently own any dummy-rounds/snap-caps to dry-practice and/or if your ammo supply is limited. While a devastating defensive weapon, the shotgun is VERY ammo-limited: the traditional adage is "if you're not shooting it, you should be feeding it" - but this is something that takes a bit of diligent work to truly master, particularly under stress. Given that you're new to the platform and looking to get a jump-start on it in terms of vital home-defense, this aspect of the gun really may not be worth the squeeze at this very moment, but when you get a chance - when ammo is more plentiful or when you've been able to procure some snap-caps or dummy-rounds, it's something that you're going to want to practice.

With the typically small ammo capacity of traditional pump-action shotguns - failing good ammo management (and even arguably with, as even with a side-saddle, you're still going to have well less than 20 rounds onboard) you're going to want the ability to quickly transition to your handgun when the shotgun runs dry (or encounters a malfunction). Go get yourself a two-point sling as soon as you can - the ones that work well for AR15s typically also work very well with modern tactical shotguns (i.e. Blue Force Gear Vickers Sling or the Viking Tactics VTAC Sling). The old saying that "a sling is to a long-gun as a holster is to a handgun" applies in spades here, and unless you're just planning on dropping that shotgun when you run out of ammo or encountered a stoppage, the sling will allow you to keep your shotgun with you while you quickly access your holstered handgun (i.e. "transition" - note from R1VUX's rip how awkward it is to transition to the handgun, when the shooter does not have a sling).

Hope this helps!
 

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Some free online resources:

Matt Graham on the "shoot-pump-shoot" -

Rob Haught on the "push-pull" technique -

"Short stocking" technique of mounting the gun for close-quarters, via LuckyGunner -
 

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Picked up these (150 rds) the other day.
Will find out tomorrow how they function in my pump.

Gonna be on the soft side I know due to short brass case.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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@LV3 -

Magpul's been putting out some excellent novice-to-beginner info. lately, to help all the new gunowners and those who've come to firearms that they may not be familiar with.

The first set they'd put out over the last months was with regard to the AR15 platform, understandably, and as luck would have it, they posted the first of their series with respect to shotguns just yesterday:


Keep your eyes peeled for more from them in the weeks to come. I really thought that their AR intro videos were excellent, so I have high hopes for these, too.

-----

Some additional concerns/clarification, now that I've had time to reflect on what I'd written above:

Regarding short-stroking the slide, it's not so much the stoppages you can cause that'll require that you go to your handgun for the remainder of the fight. Certainly, that's a concern, but truthfully, shotgun stoppages - particularly with pump-guns - tend to either be very simple to reduce or completely catastrophic. While a trained shooter can easily fight through the former, as a beginning shooter, that may not currently be "worth the juice" for you to pursue. Similarly, engaging with buckshot places a certain set of assumptions on the physical distances involved in the fight, and with this in-mind, transitioning to your holstered sidearm is typically going to be the more efficient solution.

Regarding staging the gun as well as its safe operation, be sure to first of all understand how your gun's control surfaces interact with your chosen stock format. For example, the top-of-tang/receiver location of the safety on the Mossberg 500-series pairs very poorly with vertical pistol-grip type stocks, as having your dominant hand in shooting position makes accessing the safety virtually impossible without having to break that grip.

And finally, regarding ammo selection, while most of us are reasonably comfortable with having patterned our own guns with X or Y or Z make/model of ammo, the more serious shotgunners will tell you that you should even pattern different lots of the same ammo. For range and training, this is not something that I worry about, but I certainly do abide by this rule with my defensive load, and I think that if I competed, I would also do due-diligence here, too.
 
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