The Best Shotgun Ammo for Home Defense: Buckshot, Birdshot, Slugs?
A novice shotgun user might think that shotgun ammo is all the same. They figure you just purchase shotgun shells from the store, load them in the shotgun, and then fire. Now it is true that all shotguns are predominately a short range weapon that can do loads of damage to your target. However, the type of ammo in your shotgun will be helpful in the amount of damage you want to do versus the preciseness of your aim.
There are three types of shotgun ammunition; buckshot, birdshot and slug. The best type of shotgun ammunition for home defense is buckshot. These are basically large lead balls inside shells that get loaded into the shotgun. Most people use buckshot for hunting big animals, but they are suitable for self defense purposes as well. The standard buckshot has eight .36 inch diameter balls, but they go up to 27 .24 inch diameter balls. The bigger the balls, the more damage the buckshot will do to your target. As for birdshot, these are shells filled with small pellets in them. Normally people will hunt birds and small animals with birdshot ammunition in their shotgun. However, it has great stopping power and it will be able to incapacitate any intruder from up to 30 feet away. Finally, slugs are shells loaded with solid lead bullets with grooves on the sides. If you seriously want to destroy your target and cause the most damage then slugs are the way to go. Slugs are also very accurate when fired. You can shoot a target up to 75 yards away and still keep up a reasonable amount of accuracy.
Any one of these three shotgun ammunition types will be sufficient for stopping an intruder. It’s not like there is one that won’t do any damage. Remember, this is a shotgun! No matter which ammunition you use to shoot your target, it will cause serious injury or death to the person when used up close. But if you have a lot of property and are thinking that you’ll need something better for longer range then look into purchasing birdshot or slugs. Remember though that you should never shoot someone running away from you. The legal consequences of shooting someone in the back are quite severe. So only shoot someone long range if they are hurting someone else or trying to shoot at you from far away. Otherwise, stick with some simple buckshot and shoot the intruder when they come into your home.