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  #1  
Old 02-09-2018, 10:53 AM
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Default Bird/Buck/Slug what does LE use

in their shotguns?

taking into consideration spread, penetration, distance - im trying to decide what i want to use as HD shells for my home - im leaning toward birdshot mainly because i figure any real threat to me will be close range in my home - i don't consider my shotgun as my primary go to gun for HD, but, if the situation ever did arise i wouldn't hesitate

i'd also like to hear what kind of loads LE use and WHY?

what do they take into consideration when deciding what loads they want in their shotguns? i get the fact the situation(s) may be totally different, one reason i'd like to know why

for me, birdshot seems like it would deliver at close range just as well as 00 buckshot, with maybe just a little less penetration - 00 is doable for me, but my fear is over penetration, possibly thru walls, into other rooms, etc.

im not really considering slug rounds, unless maybe a bear breaks in, they seem a bit overkill for HD, unless im given a viable reason for their HD use besides the bear theory - the threat of a bear in my neighborhood is pretty miniscule

what's LE's take on shotgun loads for self defense
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:14 AM
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The search function will show you a lot of threads with videos and pictures on this topic.

Standard load in vehicles in OO buck.
Some departments use standard velocity 9 pellet.
Some will use low recoil 8 or 9 pellet.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:21 AM
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I’m a big fan of low-recoil, flight-control, 00-Buck.


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Old 02-09-2018, 12:55 PM
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slugs.

Last edited by Hairball; 02-09-2018 at 12:59 PM..
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:57 PM
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My department used #4 shot for patrol.
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Old 02-09-2018, 1:33 PM
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OO buck in the tube, Slugs in the side saddle is what my department used to use. Now that we all have AR15s, the only shotgun rounds our cars are equipped with are beanbag rounds.
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Old 02-09-2018, 2:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hermosabeach View Post
The search function will show you a lot of threads with videos and pictures on this topic.

Standard load in vehicles in OO buck.
Some departments use standard velocity 9 pellet.
Some will use low recoil 8 or 9 pellet.
yeah, i did a little of that, but i also wanted some fresh opinions
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Old 02-09-2018, 3:25 PM
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I would not use birdshot for home defense. If I was super concerned about overpenetration I would go with number four Buck, but even that is substantially less effective than 00 buck.
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Old 02-09-2018, 3:43 PM
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Nowadays??? Beanbags/less lethal stuff. Maybe ferret rounds of whatever flavor depending on the agency. The tool has gotten kind of obsolete in modern urban environments. Now special teams folks get lots of stuff and plenty of options. I'm sure they're running 00 out of their Benellis.

Some agencies are only doing the POST mandated minimums for shotgun, but have added AR-15 carbines as a part of their academy curriculum. It makes sense considering the current state of the nation.

Last edited by code_blue; 02-09-2018 at 5:16 PM..
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Old 02-09-2018, 5:07 PM
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My department no longer uses the shotgun as a lethal option (which I don’t like). Our department ran 00buck Federal LE tactical flite control and slugs which I also run at home.

Federal flite control is a fantastic round and extremely accurate.

Birdshot is a poor choice to use as a defensive round, IMO.
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Old 02-09-2018, 8:02 PM
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I think it’s sad when people say the shotgun is irrelevant. I think that’s based on ignorance of what it can do. Why would you bench a firearm that delivers nearly twice the energy on target as the rifle and doesn’t give a damn about auto glass and other intermediate barriers? Then inevitably someone says “The rifle doesn’t overpentrate like the shotgun” and they are carrying a bonded rifle round. Shenanigans!

We use Federal’s LE132 flight control buckshot. It’s amazing. We are also allowed to use the F127 slug. Dealer’s choice, we provide training on both.

Hornady makes a really nice Critical Defense buckshot. It patterns just as well if not better than the LE132. They also sell a reduced recoil slug. Reduced recoil is silly, but people seem to like it.

Everything overpentrates if you miss. I think it’s more advantageous to be concerned about accuracy and making hits (add lights, sights, training) since projectiles are designed to do magical things in soft tissue. If you put them there, they’ll do their job, so long as you do yours.

My HD shotgun is loaded with LE132 “00” buck in the mag tube and half F127 slug and half LE132 “00” in the side saddle.

Slug doesn’t care about body armor.
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  #12  
Old 02-09-2018, 8:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairball View Post
slugs.
So your department's designated primary ammunition for duty shotguns is slugs?
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  #13  
Old 02-09-2018, 9:45 PM
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We are issued slugs and 00 low-recoil buckshot for our 870's. I usually carry slugs in side saddle, and 00 buck in the tube when going out on a op.
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Old 02-09-2018, 9:48 PM
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When I was a Reserve Deputy back a looong time ago (1970s) it was 00Buck and Slugs.
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  #15  
Old 02-09-2018, 9:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gorn5150 View Post
My department used #4 shot for patrol.
Probably #4 Buck, not #4 shot. Big difference. #4 Shot is for game, not defense.

For several years, LASD issued #4 Buck because you get more pellets than #00 Buck. They’ve gone back to #00 Buck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalDep View Post
I would not use birdshot for home defense. If I was super concerned about overpenetration I would go with number four Buck, but even that is substantially less effective than 00 buck.
Bird shot is for birds, NOT HOME DEFENSE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by esy View Post
My department no longer uses the shotgun as a lethal option (which I don’t like). Our department ran 00buck Federal LE tactical flite control and slugs which I also run at home.

Federal flite control is a fantastic round and extremely accurate.

Birdshot is a poor choice to use as a defensive round, IMO.
Too bad. The shotgun helped save my life in a gunfight against three suspects. All were armed and one had an AK-47. He shot first. The shotgun is still a great self defense tool.
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  #16  
Old 02-09-2018, 10:02 PM
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My department was using Benelli M1 S90 loaded with buckshot. Every patrol car also had a box of slugs.

A few years ago, the Benellis were removed and replaced with the 870, loaded with less lethal.

It came down to training and maintenance costs.

The Benelli shotguns are not very user friendly for those that don't shoot much. For that reason they were not deployed often. The only way to change that was with training, which the department could not do for a number of reasons.

I was not thrilled to see this change but I understand it is how things are going.

I was very fortunate to buy one of the Benellis just as I retired. I think our boys and girls in blue really lost a great weapon.
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:23 PM
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00 Buck and 1 oz foster slugs.

The Federal Flight Control loads give you additional accuracy at longer 12G ranges.

FWIW there are some 12G slug loads that have 3000 ft-lb of muzzle energy whereas the low recoil stuff is at 1400 ft-lbs.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:09 PM
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00 Buck and/or 1oz slugs; Winchester Ranger seems to be what we are gonna stick with for now.

Like others have already mentioned; my agency may be moving away from the shotgun except for "less lethal" configurations. A group of us were asked by training staff what our thoughts were on getting rid of the shotguns and going to just AR-15's for patrol... it was about 90% in favor of getting rid of them. The only ones who were adamant they stay were those who had used them in shootings (and none of those shootings were particularly recent in our group).

Personally, it is a great tool but in my opinion we don't train to shoot enough so we might as well focus on a rifle platform that is easier to shoot for most folks and provides a better all around utility (especially when compared to how we have our shotguns setup). In a perfect world I think we would certainly have both rifles and shotguns and loads of training on each; but alas, I don't work for the Perfect World Police Department.

I would be perfectly comfortable having one for self defense at home; I choose not to have one setup for self defense at this time.
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Old 02-10-2018, 1:13 AM
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I still believe in having all tools available in the vehicle to combat the ever changing climate of scenarios:

Carbine and Shotty in the rack with less lethal in the trunk. The two in the cabin are there for emergency encounters with the less lethal in the trunk as needed.

You just never know what you'll come up against and frankly, I'd much rather have my options. Alas, the general public and council thinks along the same lines as "rack the shotgun and it'll deter the criminal" mindset. Shotguns are demonized despite their effectiveness and versatility of less lethal, scatter, and rifle capabilities.
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Old 02-10-2018, 6:33 AM
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1oz slugs (low recoil tends to be more common) and 00 buck. No agency I know of issues or authorizes bird shot for defense. Bird does not have the range or penetration to make for a good LE round.

Standard shotguns still have their place. LEOs spend a good amount of time working problems around vehicles and a 1oz slug has a much higher probability of addressing issues inside and behind cars.
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Old 02-10-2018, 8:54 AM
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We are carrying magnum OO buck (Winchester Ranger) in the mag. tube and slugs in the side saddle.

I love my 870 and have pulled it from the rack more often than my AR. My department has had a couple of shootings were the officer bounced buckshot under the vehicle that the suspect was using as cover and it was effective.
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Old 02-10-2018, 4:03 PM
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Federal Premium high velocity 00 buck. GREAT shotshell, the cup keeps the shot very tight, and has a much further range than standard buck.

Also have 00 in my home gun. Would absolutely not even consider birdshot.
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Old 02-10-2018, 4:22 PM
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00 buck and slugs.

We did at times use birdshot for training, but for the most part we used 00 buck.
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Old 02-10-2018, 4:35 PM
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ok, great - thanks to everyone who took a minute to respond

i went ahead and ordered 10 boxes (50 rounds) of 00 Federal buck shot and i also ordered 6 boxes of Federal #8 birdshot

im going to familiarize myself with both loads, i haven't fired a shotgun in over 20 years, it'll be fun - i'll set aside a couple of boxes of 00 Buck for HD and i'll shoot the rest for the fun of it

hope my shoulder holds up
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Old 02-10-2018, 8:25 PM
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In my personal home loads I have Winchesters in the side saddle with Federal 00 Buck in the tube. My shotgun is a Winchester SXP Defender in 12g.



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Old 02-10-2018, 9:08 PM
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ok, great - thanks to everyone who took a minute to respond

i went ahead and ordered 10 boxes (50 rounds) of 00 Federal buck shot and i also ordered 6 boxes of Federal #8 birdshot

im going to familiarize myself with both loads, i haven't fired a shotgun in over 20 years, it'll be fun - i'll set aside a couple of boxes of 00 Buck for HD and i'll shoot the rest for the fun of it

hope my shoulder holds up
Just be certain you're setup in behind the gun in an A frame type of stance. A weaver stance won't help you get behind the gun. I can shoot a couple boxes of magnum loads without feeling any effects of the recoil.
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Old 02-11-2018, 3:09 AM
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Originally Posted by esy View Post
Just be certain you're setup in behind the gun in an A frame type of stance. A weaver stance won't help you get behind the gun. I can shoot a couple boxes of magnum loads without feeling any effects of the recoil.
my issue is i suffered a brachial plexus injury to my right shoulder many years ago that caused some nerve damage in that area - to this day i still have a slight loss of feeling in my tricep region and the back of my shoulder - the area is very sensitive though

it's one of the reasons i didn't shoot rifles or shotguns for a very long time

bought an AR15 a few years ago and shot it without really having the kind of lingering pain i used to get doing things like that after the injury - previously the recoil was just too much for my shoulder to handle

im hoping i don't have any issues with the shotgun recoil - if i do i'll probably have to stop, but, im sure my son will get loads of enjoyment out of it

maybe i just have to suck it up - i don't think i can do anymore damage, i could be wrong about that though
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Old 02-11-2018, 5:22 AM
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I see. Ever try one of those Knoxx type stocks or thicker buttpads? That may help lessen the recoil. I learned not to shoulder the shotgun in the traditional sense. I start by putting the stock at the top of my sternum, place my chin on the stock, and then slowly move the stock to my shooting side and the moment I have a good cheek weld and can line up my front bead, that’s when I have found where I mount my shotgun. Sometimes you may have to slightly cant the shotgun inward. Then I just develop muscle memory of that point and go there every time I bring my shotgun up.

This places the stock on the outer edge of your chest/pec rather than on your shoulder.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fS1_nmSMGy0

This video gives a slight explanation, just not how to get there. Couple that mounting position with a different stock and/or pad and maybe even some of the low recoil Federal loads and you should be good.

Worse comes to worse, learn how to shoot lefty.
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Old 02-12-2018, 8:18 AM
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When I went on a ride along with my city's pd I learned they use only slugs for their 870 that is in the car. They also had the ar there too.
I feel like 00 buckshot would be better for HD since you are probably not going to need to reach out as far as LE may have to. You also have the benefit of tailoring your ammo choice to your specific home. Are there neighbors nearby? Do your hallways have perpendicular spots where people live? Do you live out in the boonies where the only house is a mile away?
I think the slugs offer a good option of high impact, semi long range lethal options. But I don't think it would be chosen as a HD gun, since that's not the usual situation for patrol weapons.
I load some Winchester 00buck for my rounds. They seem the most appropriate for my needs.

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Old 02-13-2018, 1:27 PM
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Shotguns dedicated to slugs are simply large caliber rifles for engaging targets out to 100 yards.

Shotguns with 00 buck are short range/rapid threat immobilization tools, with 8 or 9 32 caliber "bullets"/pellets hopefully 1 or more hitting various terminal areas of that threat out to 15 yards.

Depending on the loading you can have more energy in a 12G load than a 30-06 cartridge.
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Old 02-14-2018, 4:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Ricigliano View Post
So your department's designated primary ammunition for duty shotguns is slugs?
More or less. While we also used 00, slugs are used more often and when we go to the range we are given slugs to practice with but not 00. When we did our qual shoots we only used slugs.
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