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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks:

After doing some researching, I purchased a Remington 870 yesterday.

I'm having a harder time deciding on which BRAND of Buckshot to purchase.

Info:

1. The Buckshot/load is only going to be used for in-home self-defense.
2. The largest room in my house is about 21 feet across.

Many of the sites where I tried to find information already posted seemed more aimed at folks wanting to shoot at longer distances.

For example, One brand (Federal Premium I Think) uses a special shot cup to keep all the buckshot close together.

I want just the opposite: Which brand of Buckshot will SPREAD out the most? Which Brand is going to give me the largest pattern at say 6 or 7 yards (I know most are still going to be pretty tight at that distance). If I can choose between a Brand that has a 4 inch spread or one still in the 'shotcup' at 7 yards, I want the larger spread.

Thanks for any help,
Matthew

P.S. I've already decided on the size of buckshot...
 

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First, welcome to NGF – glad you stopped by.

Think about the aerodynamics of the shot in the shell and then coming out of the barrel. They ‘want’ to stay together but once they emerge from the barrel they have no choice but to separate, due to the air between them. Once separated, they each have their own trajectory. While the wad holds them together at first, it drops off inches from the end of the barrel.

The short answer is that no shotgun shell, regardless of make or even size of shot is going to spread out anywhere close to 21’ (which I’m sure you don’t want, anyway) in as short a distance that you describe. In olden times folks would shorten their barrel to improve the spread (“sawed-off” shotguns) but I’m sure you know that that is now illegal. The barrel may be no less than 18” per BATF regs.

The other thing I would mention goes to the tactical situation you partially describe. Do you really want to spread shot that widely? If so, why? I doubt whether you’d want to face a Grand Jury and tell them that you just wanted to “spread lead” over the entire area to kill whatever was in there. Bad policy. Also you mention that you’ve already decided what size shot you want to use. OK, the choice may or may not go with your plan. Larger shot will travel straighter, longer than smaller shot.

Don’t know whether this info helps or not, but it’s the best I can offer at such short notice.
 

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Use reduced recoil tactical, 9 pellet, OO buck rounds - Federal makes a good one, so do most of the other majors. Look for those words on the box - tactical and reduced recoil - these are similar to or identical to the rounds the police use for CQs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Gunrnr and 32 magnum for the advise. I like the idea of the reduced recoil... my wife wants to practice with it and the less it kicks her the better (she wasn't raised around guns. She, at least for now, feels more comfortable with the Remington 870 12 guage then the new S&W M&P .45 I just purchased).

By the way Gunrnr... no I didn't want the shot to 'spread' 21 feet (the largest room in the house is only 21 feet from one corner to the other). I'll just have to improve my aim. My wife has agreed to go with me to the range this coming weekend for a little practice. Hopefully it will ease her anxiety alittle.

Thanks, Matt
 

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Matt,
Thanks for thanking. ENJOY, get the wife comfy with it, don't force the issue. Good luck!
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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For "practice", purchase birdshot. Its considerably less expensive and has less recoil.
 
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If you want to gain an inch or two of additional spread at such close distances (a room in your house), purchase a "spreader" screw-in choke tube for your 870. I don't think Remington makes one, but you should be able to find an aftermarket brand. The way this choke tube works is that it's inside diameter is MORE than the inside diameter of the barrel, allowing the buckshot (I hope you're using 00 buck - you didn't say - if you're not, you should) to begin so spread, or upset, before it exits the muzzle. Also, don't use premium, copper-plated buckshot. Use the cheapest, major-brand, all-lead buckshot you can find. This will spread a little faster because the lead pellets will deform quicker. All this in truth, however, won't make much difference in a bona-fide home defense situation, I don't think. Maybe you could talk to a police tactical guy off-line and ask him.
 

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For "practice", purchase birdshot. Its considerably less expensive and has less recoil.

I agree completely with Popeye - birdshot is easy on the shoulder and fun to down some clays at the same time.

One suggestion is to take a couple of brands of Buckshot and set up targets at practical distances say 7, 15 and 21 (based upon your room) feet. Shoot a few rounds of each brand at targets to see the spread and your aim points. Use a plywood backer so you can see the effect of the Buckshot and understand what will happen in your house if you ever need to use it.
 
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