Should I Choose Buckshot vs. Birdshot for Home Defense
If you are a shotgun owner, then you have probably considered using it for home defense. With using a shotgun for home defense you may have asked yourself, or friends, what type of shell to use. The common answer has probably been either buckshot vs. birdshot. But, which is better?
Most people when they say buckshot are referring to 00 which is nine .33 caliber balls in the shell. For birdshot, the common type to use is number 6 or 7.5. Well, this article is going to look at the advantages and disadvantages of each one and try to help you come to an answer of which one is best for home defense.
Pros And Cons of Buckshot and Birdshot
So buckshot is usually used for taking down larger animals, such as deer, which is where it gets its name. The rounds are bigger and do more damage. They also come out much faster and maintain their speed longer. Generally 00 buckshot comes out at 1250fps (feet per second).
This gives it plenty of penetration power and stopping power. Due to this extra power you don't have to be as close to your target to do the same amount of damage.
Another advantage to buckshot is, since it is less rounds coming out of the shell, the spread of each ball is less. This means you are more likely to hit what you are aiming at. The closer you are to the target, the less spread their will be.
Also, for a home defense shotgun you can have a custom choke made. The choke helps narrow the barrel which keeps the spread down. This can be used for any type of round you are using.
So less spread and more power are the main advantages to using buckshot.
The disadvantages to buckshot tie into the advantages. Since it comes out faster and has more penetrating power you can run into issues of over penetration. This is when the buckshot goes through the wall and into another room. This could put other bystanders in danger.
Your family that you are trying to protect might accidentally get hit with a stray round. Even worse is if the over penetration takes the round outside and you hit a neighbor.
Also, with the increased power comes more recoil. This means that if you need to fire multiple rounds it might be harder to re-aim or if you are a smaller person it might knock you back. If you get knocked back, then this could put you in harm's way and put you at a disadvantage against the intruder.
The recoil can be compensated for some with the type of shotgun you are using and the main issue with buckshot is the over penetration.
Advantages to Birdshot
So the advantages to birdshot are going to counter the disadvantages to buckshot. Birdshot pellets are much smaller and come out slower. They have decent force at closer ranges and can penetrate a person even through some clothing, but it will not go through walls.
They still have the issue of going through windows, but since they slow down slower they will not hurt someone outside as bad as buckshot would.
Also, since it comes out slower, there is a lot less recoil. This means a smaller person can fire birdshot with much more accuracy, which is important because since the pellets are smaller, you need more of them to hit the target to have stopping power.
Birdshot can also be fired faster though because you are using less time to re-aim.
Disadvantages to Birdshot
The main disadvantage to birdshot is it might not have enough stopping power to stop the intruder. If the intruder is on drugs, drunk, or out of their mind in some way, then some small damage may not phase them. This means you either need to be closer when you shoot them with the birdshot to have more penetration or hit them with more.
Also, bird shot may have a hard time of getting through thick clothing. If the intruder has a heavy coat or leather coat on, then the birdshot may not make it deep enough to cause real damage to stop the intruder.
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Which should you choose between Buckshot vs Birdshot?
So, which one should you use for home defense now that you know the advantages and disadvantages. Well, if you are a smaller person and can't handle the recoil of buckshot, then you should use birdshot because you want to make sure you hit your target.
If you live in a really busy area, then you may also want to consider using birdshot.
In most situations, though, you should probably use buckshot as long as you can be sure to hit what you are aiming at. This is because the stopping power it provides is important. You want to make sure you are able to stop the target as quickly as possible if you are trying to protect yourself and family.
Also, over penetration shouldn't be much of an issue because the intruder is probably near the door and not between you and your family. Stray rounds should not be going into rooms where your family is and neighbors houses should be far enough away that rounds should not go in. Especially if the homes are brick it will keep the rounds from going to far.
There is a reason the police use 00 buckshot in their shotguns. It is because it works to stop the person needing stopped and the reward for using it out weights the risk of it being used.
The last thing you want is to shoot the intruder and not stop them so for home defense in most situations 00 buckshot is the way to go.