Shotgun

The Box O’ Truth #20 – Buckshot Patterns

On a recent post about sight off-set, we discussed using 00 Buckshot at close range. My friend dport wrote me and said, “I believe that the new “Reduced recoil” loads will pattern smaller than what you shot. Also, I’ve heard that they pattern smaller at longer ranges. If I sent you some ammo, could you test it and see?” My answer: Sure! So, we compiled some different 00 Buckshot. We tried [...]

The Box O’ Truth #22 – 20 Gauge Shotgun

I have had several friends write me to ask, “My wife doesn’t like the recoil of a 12 gauge. How about a 20 Gauge for home defense?” Well, let’s see what we can determine. We will use the Waterbox O’ Truth to measure penetration. According to a recognized expert, DocGKR, “Be aware that water generally reveals the maximum upset which can occur to a projectile in soft tissue -your actual [...]

The Box O’ Truth #35 – A Load of Dimes Vs. The Box O’ Truth

Well, I guess it’s time we finally put this one to rest. People are steadily asking me to try a load of dimes in a 12 gauge shotgun as a defense load. I guess all the westerns that use this load have created a myth that needs to be busted. First a little education. One of the ways old timers used to test an unmarked shotgun barrel for choke, was to try to insert a dime in the muzzle. If it would not go, it was a [...]

The Box O’ Truth #25 – Breaching Rounds

My friend Darkmage sent me a note asking, “Have you ever shot Breaching Rounds? How would they work as anti-personnel rounds? Would they be “safer” for use in a home?” Well, I didn’t know. But Darkmage offered to send me some rounds to test. He ordered them from The Sportsman’s Guide. They are listed as “military over-runs” and that’s what the package looked like. We [...]

The Box O’ Truth #33 – Rock Salt in a Shotgun

Lots of folks ask me, “Have you ever tried rock salt in a shotgun shell? Would this be a good load for personal defense?” We have seen it done in the movies. I remember an episode of “The Rifleman”, where Lucas McCain shot some bad guys with a load of rock salt. I never understood why, but guess it had something to do with script writers needing a new story line every week. I’ve also heard [...]

The Box O’ Truth #42 – Precision Shooting With Buckshot

Okay, I know that title might be a misnomer. The words “precision” and “buckshot” don’t usually go together. But at Thunder Ranch, in the Defensive Shotgun Class I recently attended, we discussed and did some drills about this subject. A 12 gauge shotgun, loaded with 00 Buckshot, is a devastating weapon at close range. As Clint Smith reminded us several times, “It will remove meat and [...]

The Box O’ Truth #43 – Buckshot in a Rifled Shotgun Barrel

I had a friend ask me, “O_P, could you shoot buckshot through a rifled barrel and a cylinder bore barrel and post the differences on your website?” Well, as is sometimes the case, I do not presently own a shotgun with both a cylinder bore barrel and a rifled slug barrel. But I started looking for one. I finally remembered that my friend Vern had such a set-up that he used for deer hunting. I gave him a call [...]

The Box O’ Truth #44 – Shotgun Chokes and Buckshot

Shotgun barrels have the last few inches of the barrel sized in various diameters to allow the shotgunner to choose a choke, or restriction, which will cause the shot to spread to a desired amount. For instance, when shooting birdshot at birds in flight, it can be helpful to have a slightly larger pattern diameter to help the shooter hit a flying bird. These chokes are the most common ones, from the largest to the [...]

The Box O’ Truth #45 – Shotgun Chokes and Buckshot Part Two

I have seen a few fellows say, “When using a shotgun for home defense, with buckshot, Modified Choke is best, because it will give the best patterns. Besides, Cylinder Bore spreads too much.” Is this true? Let’s see. I measured three of my shotguns today. One is my Mossberg Maverick that I sawed off to around 19.5 inches. It therefore has no choke at all, and is a true Cylinder Bore, or Open Bore. This [...]

The Box O’ Truth #46 – Shotgun Slugs, Sabots, and Smooth Bore Barrels

I have had a few folks ask the question: “I know sabot slugs are designed to be used with rifled shotgun barrels, but can they be used effectively with a smooth bore barrel?” That is the question we will try to answer today. First a little terminology education. A solid, single projectile fired from a shotgun is called a “slug”. In years past, the most common type was called a “rifled [...]
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