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In interior (not mixed interior/exterior) home defense situations, buckshot and slugs are totally out of the question, unless perhaps you are using them in a .410 shotgun.
In a shooting we had at my Sheriff’s Office several years ago, the offender, a man of average stature, was shot in the area of the navel square on with a Remington® 870 12 gauge pump loaded with Remington Reduced Recoil 8-pellet (yes, eight pellets – it eliminates the one stray pellet normally encountered in 00 buck shot patterns) 00 Buckshot load at a distance of about seven yards.
This load, by the way is excellent, one of the very best law enforcement loads, and one of the tightest patterning loads I have ever shot in any shotgun. It increases the safe usage of 12 gauge buckshot well out to 30 yards, and is great for headshots at seven to 10 yards, or a little further out in improved cylinder choke barrels.
Anyway all eight pellets blew through the suspect’s intestines and impacted in the dirt on the other side of him. He stopped his threatening actions but did not die. This means that if you hit an offender square on (facing you) with 00 buckshot, even with a lower velocity reduced recoil load, the pellets can and do punch right out the back, endangering others.
Remember, the load is called “buckshot” because it was originally used for killing large animals, like buck deer, and in places like India sometimes tiger. It is powerful stuff. Legendary in terms of its killing and stopping power, buckshot is the shotgun round that people fear the most.
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About the Author: Scott Wagner is a 32-year law enforcement veteran. Currently a police sergeant in Baltimore, Ohio, he spent 20 years with the Union County Ohio Sheriff's Office as a Reserve Deputy where he worked patrol, training and SWAT, and was the assistant SWAT team leader and a team sniper. Wagner has been a state-certified police firearms, fitness and defensive tactics instructor for 26 years, and has been a criminal justice professor and police academy commander for 20 years at a community college in the Midwest.He is the author of the Gun Digest books, "Tactical Shotguns,", "Own the Night—A Guide to Tactical Lights and Laser Sights," and Survival Guns.
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