You've got two problems, and you are going to have to weigh your situation accordingly.
One is over-penetration and the other is under-penetration.
You are legally and morally responsible for every projectile that leaves the barrel of that firearm. This is where over-penetration come into play. The projectile that goes through the wall, the one that goes out the window...if they hit someone, you are responsible. And if that projectile goes through the ceiling and kills a family member, you will never forgive yourself.
Balanced against that is under-penetration of the attacker presenting a danger to your life or the life of others. Your mission once you have determined there is a threat to life and limb is to END that threat as quickly as possible. #7.5 scattershot gives you two inches of penetration...enough to injure, but not enough to stop a threat. You'll need a bare minimum of 8 inches of penetration from a lethal load...and that's 4 inches less than the minimum recommended penetration depth (12 inches).
So those are the variables that will determine which loads you feel most comfortable with.
Personally, I wouldn't use anything exotic. Police use 00 buckshot, no prosecutor can fault you for using the same. Slugs, just as good. IIRC, #1 buckshot is the smallest that will achieve 12 inches of penetration in a self defense load.
Are there any types of 12 gauge loads you shouldnt use for home defense?
Are there any types of 12 gauge loads you shouldn't use for home defense? I don't mean things like flechette or flamethrower loads, im not sure why anyone would use those types of loads. I mean like buck & ball or other loads that could seen as "overkill". My main area of focus is the inevitable court case that'll follow in the event of a self defense shooting. Could triple ought buck or buck and ball or slugs be used against you by the prosecution in the court case? Would scatter shot be a safer bet to use in a case like that?
- The biggest issue I have with 12ga for home defense is over penetration. I had no doubt at all that a slug or buck shot will exit my house wall and penetrate the walls of the houses across the street.
I live in Alaska. Yes, I could have a killer trying to enter the house....... we just had a cop shot several times from a young man who fired on him 'just because'. However, more than likely I would encounter a moose trying to stomp a family member. My solution - I keep the shotgun unloaded with slugs and buck shot on the stock holder for beasts and along the receiver holder several bird shot and a bean bag round for men. This allows me to start with bean bag or bird - and move heavier if I want.
Nice thing about a 12ga pump - you can quickly 'combat load' one by simply stuffing a live round into the ejection port and closing. You don't have to stuff them in and rack unless you wanna.
I don't mind keeping it unloaded. By the time I go from the gun safe to the front door I can have 3 stuffed in ready to go. Of course, once I get to the door I have the option of turning around and grabbing the AR with it's 40rd mags too. Its good to have choices!36
- Alternate between slugs and 00 buck04
- You'd want to stay away from "dragon's breath' it has incendiary in it that's designed to set things on fire, so indoors? except maybe as a last resort.20
- I go with 00 Buck I would not recommend any small shot or slugs.60
- Despite armchair lawyers trying to stir something up, it's all garbage. If you're justified in shooting somebody, what you shoot him with is immaterial. There is no justification for shooting somebody "just a little bit." The only time you should shoot is when it's a situation so desperate that you'll use whatever you have.50
- If you are confining your shots to inside the home. I would NOT use slugs! The best load is #4 lead duck and pheasant right off the Walmart shelves. At room clearing distances it will drop the biggest person and if you ended up in court no one is going to argue you were out to kill anybody.00
- If you shoot, you shoot to kill. Type of load doesn't matter as long as the attacker is dead. (As long as the load is legal in your country/state/region).
I would be slightly concerned about punching through the wall and causing collateral damage if you have neighbors close by.70
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