To correctly make the best use of cover, I engaged the first three targets with the shotgun on my left shoulder (mirror image). As I moved forward, I transitioned to the right shoulder and engaged the remaining targets.
I was firing Fiocchi 9-pellet buckshot on this stage. The Fiocchi 9-pellet buckshot load weighs 486 grains. At 1325 FPS it has a muzzle energy of 1895 foot pounds. The targets are AR400 steel 2/3 size IDPA silhouette targets and weigh about 40 lbs. As you can see, the impact of the 00 buckshot really rocks these targets.
The most distant potential engagement distances in Steve's house vary from 7-12 yards. We placed the first set of targets in this scenario at eight yards, the next set at 10 yards, and the final set at 12 yards.
Multiple projectile loads require particular attention to what is behind your target. YOU are responsible for every pellet you fire and every pellet can maim or kill. This is where target distance and the pattern of a particular load in your shotgun comes into play.
The Fiocchi 9-pellet 00 buckshot load from my Beretta 1301 shotgun at 15 yards generally puts all nine pellets within a 10 inch circle. As you can see from the video below, all pellets from my 1301 likely struck the steel target even though I did not always have a perfect center hit.
Would I be comfortable using the Fiocchi 9-pellet 00 buckshot load? If necessary, yes; however, there are better loads available. The Federal 8-pellet 00 Buckshot loads with the
wad, the Speer Lawman with
the same wad, or the Hornady 00 Buckshot load with the Versatite™ wad all seem to perform well in most shotguns. These loads typically throw an an 8-inch spread within 20 yards—the absolute outer limit for most urban
home defense scenarios. This is
an acceptably tight pattern for home defense scenarios.
I am convinced that the 12 gauge shotgun is the perfect home defense firearm. I have always been impressed with the shotgun’s effectiveness and power and the work I have done recently with the platform has reinforced my belief in the shotgun as a defensive tool. When employed correctly and within its proper range envelope the shotgun is very effective.
We periodically have shotgun matches at Cedar Ridge Range in San Antonio.
For more information go to: www.sensibleselfdefense.com
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