Paul Harrell

disturbed1970

Well-known member
Brass Subscriber
#2
I've personally responded to six incidents of guys getting shot with birdshot (12ga), who went on to kill their shooters. All six lived, one took a full blast to the face at less than 3 yards. Blinded him, peeled most of the flesh off his face, but he took that one extra step and drove an 8-inch butcher knife into his shooter, repeatedly.

Birdshot is for birds. #4 buck and above is for humans. Dr. Gary K Roberts has some awesome pics of xrays of dudes hit with birdshot. Really impressive surface damage, with negligible damage to anything important.
 

NoFlyZone

Well-known member
Brass Subscriber
#6
Some people are worried about over penetration from larger/heavier projectiles going through multiple walls and hitting family members. Hence the lighter projectiles.
That's the problem with modern home design.
They want the master bedroom at the opposite end of the house from the kids rooms, so the kids won't be traumatized by "maritial noises" coming from mom and dad's room.
This puts the kids in danger when the bad guy is between parents and kids.
If you miss the bad guy, you may hit the kids!
 

Optimist

Old Grouch, deplorable & reprehensible.
#7
Me, I just want smaller holes in the sheetrock.... Disturbed, what range were these guys shot at? Makes a considerable difference. At ten feet from the muzzle, you get a bloody rat-hole with just about any shot charge.
 

Optimist

Old Grouch, deplorable & reprehensible.
#10
Info, definitely. It is biased toward a conclusion that is in place before the framework is laid down. I take www.ar15 with a considerable dose of salt.... I've used the smoothbore for a lot of years now, and shot all kinds of things with it at a considerable difference in ranges and circumstances. From experience, I know that the bloody rathole effect inside ten yards is a real thing. I had to put down an injured horse with the shotgun one time, and all I had with me was light quail loads. So I know what the wound looks like up close. Given that ranges in my cabin will run six yards maximum, I would wager that my choice of load will suffice.

I"d not commend the notion to others, necessarily, but it worked for me when I needed it to. Disturbed70, I"d still like to get some details on those six shoots of yours, details concerning ranges, shot sizes and loadings. In any shoot, the devil is invariably in the details.... And, NoFlyZone, I haven't run across that 'snowflake effect' description before. Interesting.

Of the various shooting boards, I favor Gunboards and The High Road. Have usually gotten better information on those two.
 
Last edited:

NoFlyZone

Well-known member
Brass Subscriber
#11
I was in the local Coroner's office a while back, leafing through one of his books.
I saw an X-ray of some poor schmuck that had taken a load of bird shot to the chest.
The pattern had spread across his entire trunk with what I would call an even pattern.
Each individual pellet showed up as a brilliant white speck on the film.
I mentioned it to the Coroner and he said that was called the "snow flake effect"

Did the guy survive?
Well, the pic was in a Coroner's book, not a first aid manual!
 
Last edited:

240Geezer

Well-known member
Gold Subscriber
#13
What little I have for the one pump gun is buck or slug.
I do have some bird or sleet shot but only because someone gave it to me. That would only be for persistent yard pests.
Don’t tell Walter.
 

disturbed1970

Well-known member
Brass Subscriber
#14
Me, I just want smaller holes in the sheetrock.... Disturbed, what range were these guys shot at? Makes a considerable difference. At ten feet from the muzzle, you get a bloody rat-hole with just about any shot charge.
One guy was close enough to take one to the face, take one step, and repeatedly stab his shooter with an 8-inch butcher knife. He ended up permanently blind, and wasn't going to win any beauty pageants (shoot was basically centered on his face), but he lived, and the dude with the birdshot did not.

All of the others were inside of 4-5 yards. These were all home invasions. Two took hits to the upper chest, and the sternum stopped everything that would have been "fatal" if it was able to penetrate. One of those took the shotgun from the shooter, and beat him to death with it. The other shot his shooter with a handgun, and killed him.

One took the majority of the shot to his left scapula (he kicked a door, saw a shotgun pointed at him, and started to turn away). He also shot his shooter with a handgun, and killed him.

One took a side shot, most of the shot failed to penetrate completely through his upper arm (although it did peel the flesh off of it). He returned fire with his own sawed-off 12ga, loaded with 00, and hit his shooter in the face with it, one-handed. Dude shot with birdshot lived. Dude shot with 00 did not.

Final guy took most of the shot to his abdomen. The surgeons worked overtime to save him, and succeeded. The guy who shot him still got hit with a bat to the skull, and ended up dying.

I've also seen folks killed with birdshot. What I have not seen is guys hit anywhere in the torso or head with #1, or 00 buck continue to fight back. Birdshot is a subpar defensive solution all the way around, especially when other loads that work better are every bit as available.
 

disturbed1970

Well-known member
Brass Subscriber
#15
BTW, none of the above count the failed suicides I have seen with birdshot. I'd say there are easily five of those.

In terms of specific loads, or shot size, no idea. I'm a road monkey, and unless I go looking for medical reports, or autopsy results, I don't get them.
 

Optimist

Old Grouch, deplorable & reprehensible.
#16
Appreciate the detail. Would appreciate a really good study of the various phenomena with details that usually get left out. I have been through Hatcher, years ago and DiMaio's stuff. Fackler has too many ideological axes to grind to suit my taste, and prefers to pontificate rather than to describe.

Of the different studies of what actually goes down, Marshall and Sanow did a good layman's job with the data they had. But there was no clinical data. And most of the loads they discussed are off the market these days.

The problem is complex, on some levels.

Disturbed, how does one manage to fail a suicide with a shotgun? Press it to the belly? Eesh!
 

disturbed1970

Well-known member
Brass Subscriber
#17
Disturbed, how does one manage to fail a suicide with a shotgun? Press it to the belly? Eesh!
Painfully, and in a very ugly manner. A surprising number of people don't get the barrel deep enough into their mouths. The guys that go for chest have a tendency to actually pull the trigger a second time, if the first doesn't work.