There are many information compile on the internet about the maximum range of slugs and buckshots. The information are based on mathematical data as a gee whiz thing. What about for real-world maximum practical ranges? Yes, the idea of using that big equalizer to thwart the would be home robber is all good, but its a good idea to know the limitations.
Many facts on the load’s maximum range is useless to know in a home invasion scenario. But knowing the maximum effective range is important. Some factors includes the shotgun, load and the shooter’s ability (training experience).
Finding your Maximum Effective Range
The shotgun that you choose will differ, but what you should look for are compactness, handling and capacity. Look into a Mossberg or Remington. The buckshot rule of thumb to follow is “pattern spread 1 inch for every yard”. So at 40 yards the spread will be 45 inches with a couple of pellets in the vital zone. This would be your maximum range that you should consider.
The maximum practical range should be at 30 yards for home defense with buckshots. Sure there are some shotgun chokes that you can use that only spreads 15 inches at 30 yards. But the idea is that inside 10 yards which is the ideal home defense distances – is that we want the inch-per-cylinder spread.
What’s your home defense shotgun and loads?
Sources: Personal Defense, Shooting Illustrated, Jeff Johnston
Shotguns can kaboom just like any firearm can.
Faulty loaded ammunition can be the death to a fine shotgun.
These seven shotgun kabooms send these weapons to their doom.
This skeet shooter had a nasty surprise waiting for him…
A seasoned duck hunter evidently had a dud (squib) shotgun shell jam a wad in his shotgun barrel. The next shot made this work of destructive art.
Well that was once a really nice classic shotgun…
This shotgun was a total loss from a badly loaded shell.
Now that is indeed a sad and scary sight.
Where there’s smoke…
Never fire modern smokeless shotshells in a Damascus or twist steel barrel. This is certainly what happened here in a black powder only vintage shotgun.
The shotgun wad never made it out of the barrel.
In the end many shotgun kabooms can be avoided. Never place a 20 gauge shotshell into a 12 gauge weapon. That smaller shell will lodge in the barrel and a 12 gauge shell can fire into that live shell. Then you have a hand grenade.
Also, any barrel obstructions from squib ammunition must be addressed before you fire again.
Never fire reloaded ammunition unless it is your carefully constructed loads or from a very reputable source. Be careful and that shotgun will survive generations and you will keep your fingers. Now that is certainly a win.
Sources: Photobucket, The Truth about Guns, EndofDay, Eric Nestor, Houston Chronicle, DoubleGunShop