#4 Buckshot Ammo: #4 Buckshot Explained

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by OldDude49, Mar 11, 2020.

  1. OldDude49

    OldDude49 Just n old guy

    This is something I was unaware of... interesting... and somewhat more lethal...

    #4 buck, not to be confused with #4 shot, is one of the most popular home-defense buckshot sizes on the market today for 12 gauge shotgun owners. The reason? It’s devastating at close range, but doesn’t penetrate nearly as much as 000 or 00 buck. #4 buck will definitely kill a large deer, so humans wearing normal clothing won’t stand much of a chance at close range. At longer ranges, #4 buck may not be ideal for bringing down or neutralizing a threatening human or other large animal.
    Home Defense Use

    What makes #4 buck so popular for home defense? Penetration versus power is the scale of balance in home defense. Too much penetration, and you’re going to go through your target and damage property or the people behind it. Too little power, and you’re less likely to stop someone if they are set on reaching you.

    There are many different buckshot sizes and uses, so it's good to know that #4 buckshot caliber offers a good balance between number of pellets, pellet size, penetration and stopping power. With a pellet count commonly between 21 and 24 of .24-inch lead balls traveling at about 1,200 feet per second, a serious impression will be made on your target. When comparing 4 buckshot vs. 00 buckshot, #4 is somewhat less powerful than 00 buck, which is used by most law enforcement agencies in their shotguns. However, they are more likely to engage their targets at longer range than the average homeowner.

    Hunting Use
    Number 4 buckshot is most commonly used for deer, coyote and other similar sized game and predators. The whole idea of hunting game with shot is debatable to some, and a given to others. Because while there are hunters who feel that shotguns using buckshot is a poor choice for hunting (as it is less likely to produce a quick kill), there are others who claim that buckshot is more likely to make clean kills versus a rifle shot.

    It all comes down to what you like best, as opinions vary widely. Some people prefer fewer large pellets that can cause massive damage and have supreme penetration, while others prefer a vast amount of smaller pellets that inflict more damage to more surface area with less penetration.

    For the hunter as well as the home defender, 12 gauge #4 buckshot is a great choice to eliminate predators (whether it's the two or four legged kind). And it's easy to find, available from manufacturers like Remington, Hornady, and Sellier & Bellot.

    .4" Buck Shot Ammo at Ammo.com: .4" Buck Explained
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  2. apache235

    apache235 Monkey+++

    #4 buck in a 3" magnum is 41 pellets - some serious stopping power. However as with all shotgun loads, you MUST pattern them with YOUR gun to see how they perform. I like Federal Flite Control in 00 buck as it will keep all the pellets on a human target at 25 yards with my 1301 Beretta
  3. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    You use #4 if you want a serious blood trail
    Dunerunner likes this.
  4. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    #12 is easily lethal at home defense range.

    I would like BB or T shot lead. It would be as deviating as 4buck up close and shred coyotes at front or back yard range, with out too much risk of ricochet or over travel.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
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  5. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Monkey+++

    00Buck is by FARRRR the cheapest most effective overall 12g loads for a prepper to be stockpiling for defense and heavy mammal >>> pricing is 2:1 or even more depending on brand ....

    #4 birdshot for bigger fowl - that's it

    not enough difference from 00Buck to be wasting $$$$ by special buy of #4Buck ....
    mrghostwalker and Gator 45/70 like this.
  6. Oddcaliber

    Oddcaliber Monkey++

    #4 buckshot is also loaded in 20 gauge as well.
    Tully Mars, VisuTrac and Gator 45/70 like this.
  7. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    One thing I ALWAYS warn folks using Buck of any kind is to have a look at how it performs in side a house! It WILL penetrate walls and exit a home, and can still be lethal on the other side! The Smaller shot sizes like "F" and "T" or even BB work almost as well, with out the risks of over penetration! I cringe every time some one tells me that they use Slugs or Buck for H.D. use, I'm glad i'm not their neighbor! Having seen what Buck is capable of, I would NOT ever use it for H.D. use!
  8. Oddcaliber

    Oddcaliber Monkey++

    Paul Harrell did a video on buckshot through walls. Worth the watch.
    Dunerunner, Idahoser, wideym and 2 others like this.
  9. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I have seen shot gun slugs hit a house from the outside and go straight though.
    About the only thing that stops slugs in a house is a water heater, the shitter and tub if its cast iron.
    They'll rip a 2x6 in half no problem.

    My grandfather would go "hunting for pheasant" with high brass 2-3/4 number 4 shot and blast a deer if it stood up in front of him. So it's definitely deadly to something people sized.

    Yes it was number 4 bird shot so if he ran into a game warden he just had "bird shot". I found some of these shells at his house years after he died, they were 1.5 ounce high brass 2-3/4.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
  10. 3cyl

    3cyl Monkey++

    Remember that #4 bird shot Is tiny compared to #4 buckshot
  11. Merkun

    Merkun furious dreamer

    Which is why it is usually referred to as 0000 buck. (4 aught)
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2020
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  12. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Monkey+++

    that's why it's left for the birds - load up to confront a man >> be the best you can - it won't be like on TV or the movies - be lucky to catch a shoulder or leg left sticking out - need to drill down thru to the bone and take out everything in between - a big man all leathered up isn't some Tweety Bird
  13. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    I witnessed a tango take a round of 00 to the face at point blank range, wasn't pretty one bit, and it didn't kill him ether! Besides amped up on what ever chems those guys were taking, it took a few rounds of 5.56 to finish him off!
    Nasty business, and extremely painful) disturbing to watch!
  14. john316

    john316 Monkey+++

    I see quite a few visitors searching for information on the size of shot in the various shotgun shells, such as 00 buck, #1 buck, #4 bird, etc., and the number of pellets in a one ounce 12 Gauge shell This article provides that information for lead shot.

    Shot Size Pellet Diameter (inches) # of Pellets in a 1oz Shell
    000 Buck .36 6
    00 Buck .33 8
    0 Buck .32 9
    1 Buck .30 11
    2 Buck .27 15
    3 Buck .25 19
    4 Buck .24 21
    BB .18 50
    2 Bird .148 90
    4 Bird .129 135
    5 Bird .12 170
    6 Bird .109 225
    I would recommend 00 Buckshot for self defense, since it tends to be the smallest shot size that will reliably penetrate deeply enough to stop an attacker right away. Birdshot is generally not recommended for self/home defense. A balance needs to be struck between the number of pellets and the size of each pellet, and for home/self defense, that balance is properly struck with 00 Buckshot.

    Also, for those who are newer to guns, some pronunciation tips:
    “000 Buck” is pronounced “Triple Ought Buck.”
    “00 Buck” is pronounced “Double Ought Buck.”
    “0 Buck” is pronounced “Single Ought Buck.”
    “4 Buck” is pronounced “Number 4 Buck,” and the same is true for the other buckshot and birshot numbers.
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  15. john316

    john316 Monkey+++

    Lead shot comparison chart
    Below is a chart with diameters per pellet and weight for idealized lead spheres in USA.

    Size Type Mass (gr) Diameter (in) Diameter (mm)
    0000 Buck 82 grains 0.38 9.65
    000½ Buck 76 grains 0.37 9.4
    000 Buck 70 grains 0.36 9.14
    00½ Buck 59 grains 0.34 8.64
    00 Buck 53.8 grains 0.33 8.38
    0 Buck 49 grains 0.32 8.13
    #1½ Buck 44.7 grains 0.31 7.87
    #1 Buck 40.5 grains 0.30 7.62
    #2½ Buck 36.6 grains 0.29 7.37
    #2 Buck 29.4 grains 0.27 6.86
    #3½ Buck 26.3 grains 0.26 6.6
    #3 Buck 23.4 grains 0.25 6.35
    #4 Buck 20.7 grains 0.24 6.1
    FF Waterfowl 18.2 grains 0.23 5.84
    F (or TTT) Waterfowl 16.0 grains 0.22 5.59
    TT Waterfowl 13.9 grains 0.21 5.33
    T Waterfowl 12.0 grains 0.20 5.08
    BBB Bird 10.2 grains 0.19 4.83
    BB Bird 8.50 grains 0.18 4.57
    BB (air gun) Bird 8.10 grains 0.177 4.5
    B Bird 7.40 grains 0.17 4.32
    #1 Bird 6.15 grains 0.16 4.06
    #2 Bird 4.40 grains 0.15 3.81
    #3 Bird 5.07 grains 0.14 3.56
    #4 Bird 3.30 grains 0.13 3.3
    #4½ Bird 2.90 grains 0.125 3.18
    #5 Bird 2.60 grains 0.12 3.05
    #6 Bird 2.00 grains 0.11 2.79
    #7 Bird 1.50 grains 0.10 2.54
    #7½ Bird/Clay 1.29 grains 0.095 2.41
    #8 Bird/Clay 1.09 grains 0.09 2.29
    #8½ Bird/Clay 0.97 grains 0.085 2.16
    #9 Bird/Clay 0.75 grains 0.08 2.03
    #9½ Bird/Clay 0.63 grains 0.075 1.91
    #10 Pest 0.51 grains 0.07 1.78
    #11 Pest 0.32 grains 0.06 1.52
    #12 Pest 0.19 grains 0.05 1.27
    Dust Pest 0.10 grains or less 0.04 1.02
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  16. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Every deer I shot with 00 buck back in the day was 10 to 40 yards away. I think every single time all the pellets went straight through the deer every time. I never shot a deer in the ass or walking straight towards me, they were all broad side.

    Yeah I have sacks of lead #2 bird shot, #4 bird shot and a few boxes of #4 buck as I reload shot shells. I will probably add lead BB and lead T shot.
    That number 2 lead is pretty brutal.
    I loaded up a bunch of high velocity 1-7/8 ounce, 3 inch number 2 birdshot around 20 years ago. Gave a big box to my friend and he tested some at the range and keeps them for home defense.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
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  17. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Monkey+++

    you need to keep in mind - already previously mentioned - this is a prepper site and not some Guns Guns Guns site or self defense/CCW site >>> we are looking to prep in depth and for special circumstances where it's "no limits - no bar - anything goes" conditions prevail >> where the law would normally permit a defense to a home invader only to an interior of a home - the SHTF might be 100% field battle and likely include combat against vehicles ...
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  18. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Guns, guns guns, self defense sites are probably 80 to 90% hand gun centric.
    Where shot guns are a dirty slobs weapon.

    The shot gun the preppers gun especially for bug in and bug out by vehicle people.

    I would have to say my most versatile shot gun by far is my winchester model 1300. One of my starter weapons from over 20 years ago so it's pretty much maxed out. It's on a tax stamp so it can literally be a pistol grip pump with 14 inch barrel and 24 oal. I also have its original politically correct 28 inch upland game barrel. And a 22 inch rifled barrel.
    The rifled barrel cuts groups roughly in half at 100 yards, 6 to 8 inch groups with the pipe drop to under 4 with the special twisty barrel. Using the same ammo of course.
    Ura-Ki and Gator 45/70 like this.
  19. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    My personal choice for home defense 20 gauge loads. Great flesh and tissue penetration , not so great wall and door penetration.
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  20. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I have been collecting used up tungsten tig welding electrodes from work. 1/8 inch diameter and about 3/4 of an inch long.
    Density greater than lead, harder than steel and sharp on both ends.
    It's probably a war crime to use something like that on a battlefield.
    Gator 45/70 and Ura-Ki like this.
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