What if...

Reviews and discussion of shotgun ammo.

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Hynes57
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What if...

#1 Post by Hynes57 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:47 pm

So i will be a little funny and borrow a scenario from one of the folks in a more...right leaning gun forum. This gentleman asked what shotgun and ammo would you load up one for an end of the world as we know it scenario...crazy but it made me think. I currently own 1 shotgun that i was given by my grandfather (late 70's Wingmaster 870) so the what shotgun would you use question was answered. However, what about the ammo..? A ton of people put up all these schmancy "black cloud" ammo and this and that. It made me wonder if that is needed. My question is this. I have been told to avoid the huge cheap ammo packs at Wally World for hunting. However, i find the cost for these huge packs of shells to be awesome. Would these be good enough to load up on? I mean our forefathers shot pretty crappy shot for a long time and the lived. This stuff has to be better than that...Right? It has to be good enough to take down turkeys and other fowl when trying to feed a family....thoughts?

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Re: What if...

#2 Post by retrojoe » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:58 pm

The main failings with the Wally-World value packs are:

-Inability to reload (the crimps are often melted together on the center and the basewads are fibre). I've reloaded the non-melted kind once or twice but they don't last like AAs and otehr premium hulls. A moot point for this discussion.

-Lack of consistent patterning, caused by several things:
-Inconsistent production
-Unnecessarily high velocity, especially for the shot column design
-those damn melted crimps
-inconsistently skived hulls

But for EOTW purposes, they aren't bad. I've fired probably 1,000 of them in my lifetime. I'd worry about ambient humidity with fibre base wad. Conceivably they could expand and cause the hull to swell. The ideal for EOTW would be the old all plastic hulls with no metal head.
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Re: What if...

#3 Post by gendoikari87 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:01 pm

Anything? AA12 with the mini grenade rounds they make for it that can take out light armor.
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Re: What if...

#4 Post by wlewisiii » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:04 pm

Biggest problem is that different things require different sized shot. And those sizes are different for lead, steel or "other non-toxic (bismuth, tungsten-matrix, etc). Is this soley to be set aside for "emergency use only"? Or do you intend to shoot it down and rotate new purchases into your stockpile?

Here's a good basic article on shot size selection. http://www.chuckhawks.com/shot_info.htm It's not a matter of buying a flat of something. It's deciding what you want to do, where you want to do it, and how much you can afford to spend. At a minimum you'd want #4 & #6 in tungsten alloy for small game and bird (to include duck) and slugs and #00 in lead for large game or self defense but the more options the better, I find :)
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Re: What if...

#5 Post by Yossarian » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:16 pm

For HD, most people suggest 00 shot. I haven't seen any 00 at Walmart. I did buy box of 100 field loads there for training someone else with my shotgun. I just buy multiple packs of 00 wherever I find them on sale.

I've also seen the newer square and hexagonal steel shot now marketed to hunters. I haven't personally used these, but these are supposed to be good for hunting, perhaps because they can pack more shot into the load than compared to round shot. I don't know.

You also may have a longer barrel than is ideal for HD. It might be completely effective, but a shorter barrel is easier to use in small spaces. With an 870 it is easy to change barrels to suit your purpose.
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Re: What if...

#6 Post by Elmo » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:17 pm

By cheap Wallyworld you mean packs of 100 shells (four boxes of 25) in small birdshot sizes like 7.5 or 8, usually Winchester, Remington, or Federal?

Those are marketed primarily with high volume clay shooting in mind (trap shooters routinely blow through 100 shells or more in a morning of practice), although I'm sure they can be used for some small birds and very small game as well. You would want larger shot for the turkeys in your example.

So I think you'd want a variety of shells for emergency (or EOTW, if you will) situations. Small game, medium game, buckshot and slugs. The Wallyworld bulk pack stuff will come in handy if you need to shoot rats for dinner.
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Re: What if...

#7 Post by goosekiller » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:24 pm

I assume your target will be humans - but at what range?

Anyone suggesting Black Cloud for humans must want them to bleed to death.
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Re: What if...

#8 Post by retrojoe » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:26 pm

Another consideration (if we're talking HD purposes) is choke. You said you were using a 70s era 870. Is the choke fixed or replaceable? Buckshot doesn't go through chokes very well, deforming the pellets and ruining patterns. If you have a fixed choke any tighter than an IC you'll get better patterns with shot.

I keep a 12 gauge 500 in my closet with 5 shells of lightly loaded #7 shot and a modified choke. At any interior range in my home (longest possible distance I could shoot) it will group tight enough to end someone's criminal career. But that shot loses energy fast and I feel better knowing that it will do little past the exterior walls.
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Re: What if...

#9 Post by goosekiller » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:33 pm

retrojoe wrote:But that shot loses energy fast and I feel better knowing that it will do little past the exterior walls.
I dunno. Some genius was trying to tell us a while back that shotgun pellets could go through a concrete block.
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Re: What if...

#10 Post by retrojoe » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:40 pm

goosekiller wrote:
retrojoe wrote:But that shot loses energy fast and I feel better knowing that it will do little past the exterior walls.
I dunno. Some genius was trying to tell us a while back that shotgun pellets could go through a concrete block.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Didn't you hear? Federal "Glow Cloud" ammo, coming out later this year. It's made with depleted uranium shot! ;)
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Re: What if...

#11 Post by IndigoSix » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:59 pm

wlewisiii wrote:Here's a good basic article on shot size selection. http://www.chuckhawks.com/shot_info.htm It's not a matter of buying a flat of something. It's deciding what you want to do, where you want to do it, and how much you can afford to spend. At a minimum you'd want #4 & #6 in tungsten alloy for small game and bird (to include duck) and slugs and #00 in lead for large game or self defense but the more options the better, I find :)
+1

Spending some time patterning is the final part of the equation. If it's the right size for the purpose and shoots well out of my 500, that's good enough for me.
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Re: What if...

#12 Post by Hynes57 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:23 pm

So i am glad i asked this question. I have never even fired my shotgun yet (i believe it was only shot twice in its life...literally two loads...) and am not very familiar with the ammo and chokes and all that jazz. I believe gun has a fixed choke...what does this mean for me? Also, i think it maxes out at 2 3/4 shells.

Come to think of it i have only ever fired a shotgun once (i shot about 10 slugs through it). My friend brought his Mossberg 500 to the range and we shot it there. I did not find it to be a good fit for me. We had to shoot the gun in the seated position which made grabbing the gun difficult as i do not have long arms. Because of this i did not like the jump of the slugs. Don't get me wrong i am a big guy and am not afraid of recoil but i did not like shooting that seated. My 870 has a longer front grip area.

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Re: What if...

#13 Post by IndigoSix » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:46 pm

Hynes57 wrote:So i am glad i asked this question. I have never even fired my shotgun yet (i believe it was only shot twice in its life...literally two loads...) and am not very familiar with the ammo and chokes and all that jazz. I believe gun has a fixed choke...what does this mean for me? Also, i think it maxes out at 2 3/4 shells.

Come to think of it i have only ever fired a shotgun once (i shot about 10 slugs through it). My friend brought his Mossberg 500 to the range and we shot it there. I did not find it to be a good fit for me. We had to shoot the gun in the seated position which made grabbing the gun difficult as i do not have long arms. Because of this i did not like the jump of the slugs. Don't get me wrong i am a big guy and am not afraid of recoil but i did not like shooting that seated. My 870 has a longer front grip area.
I don't know anyone who enjoys shooting slugs from a bench.

Fixed choke means that you can't swap it out. The choke size is independent of the choke being fixed or interchangeable. Some information on chokes:

http://www.briley.com/understandingshot ... riley.aspx
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Re: What if...

#14 Post by Yossarian » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:55 pm

Hynes57 wrote:Also, i think it maxes out at 2 3/4 shells.
2 3/4 is perfectly adequate. Some folks will like the magnum or super mags, but a bigger bang and a few more shot isn't going to add much, especially considering you might be able to pack an extra 2 3/4 shotshell into the tube than you could the mags or super mags. You could always fill a tube with 2 3/4 and chamber a larger shell, but that requires a bit more thinking on your part before you fire the gun. Your receiver however isn't sized for the mags.

Don't worry about getting larger shotshells. Try the 2 3/4 first with some buckshot on some plywood or something solid, and you will see they do the job.
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Re: What if...

#15 Post by goosekiller » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:39 pm

Odds are the choke is modified. The vast majority of fixed-choke shotguns were in that era.

2-3/4" shells will kill just as thoroughly as 3-1/2" shells.
You have eliminated some variables.
We still should think about killing vs wounding and range.
Last edited by goosekiller on Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What if...

#16 Post by eelj » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:42 am

Is this end of the world biblical mythological or due too natural disaster due too an asteroid or comet hitting earth?
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