7 Best Home Defense Shotgun Ammo

Double-barreled shotgun barrel | Best Home Defense Shotgun Ammo | Featured

Cracking your shotgun should stop an intruder in their steps. But if you have to shoot, here are is the best home defense shotgun ammo for your firearm.

RELATED: Top 5 Rifles For Home Defense

7 Best Home Defense Shotgun Ammo You Need to Invest In

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12 gauge caliber color cartridges hunting shells Best home defense shotgun ammo SS

1. Winchester Super-X 12 Gauge 00 Buckshot

Though more popular and readily available than #1 buckshot, 00 buckshot is more likely to over-penetrate than #1 buckshot.

Also, 00 buckshot pellets are larger than those in #1 buckshot. As a result, most 12 gauge 00 buckshot shells can only hold up to nine pellets.

However, even with larger pellets, the 00 buckshot does minor damage than the #1 since it has fewer pellets. Still, its wide variety and availability make it practical and reliable.

2. Winchester Super-X 12 Gauge #1 Buckshot

The #1 buckshot features 16 pellets that travel at 1200 feet per second and have a 16.5 inches penetration—making it ideal in hitting an attacker's vital organs without risking overpenetration.

Note: Though it has a large stretch cavity, the #1 buckshot can be hard to find in stock.

3. Federal Power Shok 12 Gauge #4 Buckshot

Though #4 buckshot shells are less likely to over-penetrate, they fall below the FBI'S recommendation for self-defense ammo. However, if all the 27 pellets of the #4 hit a target, they guarantee larger wound cavities than the #1 and 00 buckshot.

4. Federal 5 Rounds 2 ¾ ″ Rifled Slug

Though a classic, this slug is ready and more than capable of stopping any threat standing up to it. As mentioned earlier, it is, however, overkill for human targets.

5. Winchester 5 Rounds 2 ¾ ″ Rifled Slug

The Winchester 5 Rounds 2 ¾ ″ Rifled Slug is a cheaper option for slugs, but that does not mean that it is not as accurate or reliable. You will still have to consider your neighbors as it is capable of penetrating multiple walls.

6. Fiocchi 10 Rounds 2 ¾ ″ Slug (Low Recoil)

You will love this defense shotgun ammo if you are looking for ammunition with a little less shoulder-breaking kick.

7. Winchester 20 Gauge Super-X #3 Buck

Since 1922, Super-X ammo has provided exceptional quality and outstanding performance, and #3 buckshot is no different. Shooters and hunters can rely on its timeless dependability and legendary excellence.

RELATED: Top 3 Home Defense Shotguns You Should Own

Types of Home Defense Shotgun Shells

1. Birdshot

12-gauge-shotgun-shells-on-wood best home defense shotgun ammo

Like buckshot shells, these shells have multiple pellets loaded in each shell and are designed to hunt birds and other small game animals. However, birdshot pellets are smaller than the buckshot ones meaning that you can load more pellets into a shell.

According to ballistics, however, the small birdshot pellets cannot penetrate at least 12 inches to reach vital organs. The FBI recommends 12 to 18-inch penetration for ammo to qualify for home and self-defense.

Note: Birdshot shells have a practical self-defense range of 15 to 30 yards.

2. Buckshot

reloading-process-shotgun-shells-special-reload best home defense shotgun ammo

Buckshot is the most popular type of ammo for home defense. According to gel test ballistics, #1 buckshot can achieve a penetration of 16.5 inches which is in range with FBI recommendations.

It, therefore, has the suitable penetration to reach vital organs and neutralize an attacker while reducing the right of overpenetration. It has an effective range of 30 to 50yards which makes it ideal for home defense.

3. Slugs

top-front-view-variety-twelve-gage best home defense shotgun ammo

These are the only types of shotgun ammunition with only one solid projectile. Slugs are powerful and capable of neutralizing an attacker, especially during self-defense. However, due to their incredible power, you risk over-penetration through a target and even walls.

Some slugs have been seen to penetrate up to 30 inches in gel tests, even with reduced recoil. While slugs may be overkill against human threats, they are the best protection against bears and other large animals.

Depending on the type of slugs you use, you can expect a range between 70 and 200 yards.

Note: Even when you might not plan on using slugs for your home defense shotgun, you might still have to buy them for practice. This is because most shooting ranges do not allow birdshot and buckshot shells.

Here’s an infographic guide. Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy infographic for reference:

Shotgun Ammo Types | infographic

There you go, fellow guns men. Your home defense shotgun ammo is as vital as the shotgun itself, hence choosing the best ammo. Luckily, most home defense shotguns have 12 gauge barrels which narrow your search to the best 12 gauge buckshot or slug ammo.

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Which shotgun ammo do you prefer for your home defense shotgun? Let us know in the comment section below! 

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3 Responses to :
7 Best Home Defense Shotgun Ammo

  1. Raymond Miller says:

    American Gun, thank you for great info for us newbees to shotguns. I had an issue printing the article that did not define each page so lines were not printed and left off my print. Again, thanks for a great information article, blessings M Miller.

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