How Far Is Buck Shot Effective?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

This seems like a fair test for a run of the mill shotgun with offhand shooting.  I don’t think it’s a fair test of more expensive shotguns or guns that have been modified and adjusted for distance.

Most shotgun manufacturers have much longer barrels, and trying different chokes would have helped with his shot spread.  Beretta has a longer barrel “forcing cone” than other tactical shotguns, and using different ammunition might have helped (e.g., Federal FliteControl).

So if I wanted distance versus a more portable close quarters battle shotgun, I’d install a 32″ competition barrel and use different ammunition.  I’m willing to bet that he could land pellets at 100 yards.  I wouldn’t want to get hit by a 9mm bullet at any range, including 100 yards.

By the way, I think he meant to say Vang Comp.


Comments

  1. On June 5, 2023 at 10:55 pm, Dan said:

    The take away from this is that unless you are within a fairly short distance to your intended target you better KNOW for sure how the gun you are using will pattern.

  2. On June 6, 2023 at 6:32 am, jrg said:

    My brother killed a feral boar hog at approximately 40 yards with 12 Gauge Flite Control Buckshot (Federal). One put it down in place but it took another round to be sure it would not get up and run away (It was at night and he didn’t want to risk it getting away). Standard Remington Wingmaster with 20″ rifle sighted barrel meant for deer hunting.

    Another lesson learned. He wanted to make a 3rd shot from his Walther PP .32ACP. Bullet did not penetrate the skull – you could still see bullet base in hole in hide. Lesson learned.

  3. On June 6, 2023 at 1:00 pm, Frank Trappist said:

    Flitecontrol, when it works, basically adds 10-15 yards to the spread pattern. Basically it gets you 15 yards closer. It doesn’t do much more than that. I’ve experimented extensively, and there are videos on Youtube showing the pellets coming out of the wad. So nothing you can do will make it a reliable 60 yard patterner… unless you have some trick barrel that doesn’t seem to be a COTS part. Vang comp doesn’t claim improvement with FC… it just seems to make other wads perform more like FC.

    Something no one but me ever seems to mention is that FC doesn’t always “work”– a lot of shotgun/choke combinations strip the wad, and you get no benefit. I sold a brand new Beretta 1301 because of this– no choke, IC choke, cylinder bore choke– 8″ at ten yards, same as ordinary shells– I got tired of wasting precious FC shells and sold the thing. They’re overrated anyway; cheap plastic parts, bad trigger, and rattling stock. Wouldn’t hold a decent group with slugs either but I digress.

    I think Flitecontrol is so expensive, and so hard to get, that most folks don’t fire enough to find out that it doesn’t work, or doesn’t work consistently in their shotgun.

    FC is great when it works in your gun. 16 of 16 #1 buck pellets at 25 yards, in 6″ is the norm from my shotgun, and centered at POA. But it’s still down to 13 out of 16 on a silhouette at 40 yards– the group falls apart quickly, just further away than with normal shells.

    Test your Flitecontrol before you rely on it!

  4. On June 6, 2023 at 1:56 pm, BRVTVS said:

    I think Paul Harrell did tests that are more thorough. https://odysee.com/@paul_Harrell:a/buckshot-for-hunting-and-home-defense:c

  5. On June 6, 2023 at 2:08 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @Frank Trappist,

    You seem to do a lot of complaining. I don’t think anybody ever said you can turn a shotgun into a precision rifle.

    As for the 1301 stock being cheap, I agree with you. But you can easily put a better one on it, or just get the guys at Langdon Tactical to outfit yours with a new stock, a tube mag extension, etc.

  6. On June 6, 2023 at 4:23 pm, Paul B said:

    Shot guns are close quarter weapons. Highway patrol loaded one slug flowed by two buckshot. IC choke is the most common without some change. I use #3 buck shot in a twenty and like how it works. But you need to think it through. We can’t use buck shot in this state so I don’t do much with them. Slugs I have some experience with.

  7. On June 6, 2023 at 11:31 pm, Pdx r3 said:

    Slugs have decent 100M performance, with improved accuracy using various spinning and aerodynamic features. Buck shot is just round pellets needing fancy tricks to not spread.
    Does anyone have a source for the choke that looks like a W that concentrates the pellets more on horizontal axis? This results in shot pattern about 50% more pellets at critical 4′ off the ground and fewer over head or in knees.

  8. On June 7, 2023 at 2:46 am, Aesop said:

    Effective?
    No.

    Dangerous?
    Absolutely.

    Wishcasting is not marksmanship.

    The “effective” range of the M-16 bullet launcher is listed as 460m.
    But everybody knows a 5.56 pellet of any size would be more than a mere annoyance, to ranges that greatly exceed the “effective range”.

    Thus also with .33 caliber buckshot pellets.

    And a pattern is merely a snapshot, not a prediction.
    No one knows how a shotgun will pattern; they only know how it has patterned.

    The uncertainty is fine for pheasants and geese.
    Not so much for two-legged coyotes and skunks.

  9. On June 7, 2023 at 2:05 pm, Latigo Morgan said:

    Garand Thumb did a really good presentation on the subject using ballistic dummies to give a real world idea of the damage that can be done at various distances.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published June 5th, 2023 by Herschel Smith.

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