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· Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I keep hearing about "tactical" shotty loads. As I just got my shotty going again after about 2 years down (yeah, I know) my shoulder has become "unconditioned."

How effective is a reduced - recoil load compared to a similar full house, 2 3/4" , Federal 00 buck load? Also, 000 buck interests me but I've not found any locally. What's it like, recoil - wise, with 9 pellets?

Recoil isn't really the problem. I can recondition my shoulder. However, if I can get faster follow - up I'll take it in a heartbeat as long as it isn't so underpowered as to give up wounding potential.

A 20 gauge feel in a 12 gauge would be nice, but not necessary.

My only concern is that these loads are "sissified" for the new age of law enforcement.


Josh <><

So just as effective for defense?
Effective yes. Decent tight patterns, well depends on the gun.

I patterened several brands to buckshot in my HD shotgun, a Western Field with a 18.5" tube. My gun did so-so with everything I tried but it really likes the Federal Magnum 2 3/4" buck, the kind with 12 bb instead of nine. I am not sure what they do to it, but the spread was about the size of a grapefruit at 15 yards as opposed to patterns from other brands that were from 18" and up at the same distance. I wouldn't use this stuff for practice, but It sure would work to re-educate bad guys.

If the reduced recoil stuff patterned good in your gun, use it. I chose to look for the best patterns for inside-the-house defensive scenarios. The Federal stuff was the best I could find.

This is my opinion. Your opinion may vary.


The patterning tests I did with Remington Reduced Recoil 8-pellet buck compared with Federal 9-pellet buck revealed a much denser pattern at 15 yards. From an 18 inch barrel it cut the spread down from about fifteen inches across to about eleven inches. The recoil was much milder, too. I saw a test shooting through thick Lexan where I thought the RR buck would not go through, but it did just fine.

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2,617 Posts
Couple of observations if I may.

In general, lower velocities tend to give tighter patterns with shotshells.

The traditional 9 and 12 pellet loads of 00 tend to pattern poorly. They're loaded with 3 pellets per layer; there isn't any 'squeeze' room when the pellets hit the forcing cone and choke. The pellets exiting the barrel aren't round anymore.

The advantage of 000 over 00 (besides a much higher sectional density of the pellets) is that they're staggered in the shell, and can move around some when they hit the constrictions. In patterning 000 I've found that they typically have two fliers (I assume the first and last pellets in the string) with the rest clumped into a very tight pattern. The 2.75" 000 loads are basically magnum loads and kick a little more.

I'm guessing here, but I suspect the 8 pellet 00 loads have a shotcup or wrapper taking up a little space, and alows the pellets to be staggered. This would also account for the tighter patterns with this load. It would be interesting (to me anyway) if someone who has a few of these shells would cut one apart and report the internal construction.

Hope this helps a little. :)


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