note: article first appeared in August 2015
Some years ago I came to the conclusion on what combination of guns that I wanted to have. They were; 1) pistol, 2) shotgun, and 3) tactical carbine. I felt that was the right combination of defensive weapons to deal with any disaster, emergency or “grid-down” situation. Today, more than ever, I am convinced that I am right. I even wrote about “Choosing the Right Gun” in three separate articles.
And then I wrote an article about tactical vests to carry the right equipment, and that included the magazines and
ammunition for the “right gun.” Yes, I know, shotguns don’t have magazines. Well, unless the shotgun is a Siaga 12 and then you have magazines😉
But the focus of this article is putting together a very specific “load” of ammunition to have assembled for your shotgun. And, just for the record, I am not talking about your quail hunting shotgun. I am talking about your defensive weapon, a tactical shotgun. Or at least a shotgun that you will use as your defensive weapon.
I have talked about shotgun ammunition before. Essentially I believe in three types of ammo for a shotgun; 1) 00 buck, 2) 1oz slugs, and 3) Hornady SST sabots. Just a quick explanation…
00 Buck is probably one of the best rounds ever made. It is unreal devastating when it comes to personal defense. Remember, for a round to be effective it must create significant shock and a debilitating wound channel. The shock stops a person’s mind from continuing to function. The wound channel creates physical trauma to prevent the person’s body from continuing to function. Those two things combined stops the bad guy from hurting you or your family member. 00 Buck comes in a two basic options 7 and 9 pellet. Obviously the 9 pellet version is better generally speaking. That is 9 rounds of .31 caliber balls heading down range to stop the bad guy.
1oz Slugs are a pretty amazing round. They transfer a massive amount of energy to whatever it hits. The little dimple in the nose ensures that it expands, transferring even more energy with expanding mass. It is a good hunting round; it can bring down large white tail deer without any problem. It can also breach a door nicely. They are a little limited in range. Most slugs, in the hands of the average person, are good for 50 – 100 yard shots, not much more.
Hornady SST is a fairly recent newcomer to the shotgun ammo scene. It weighs in at 2/3oz, making it 2/3 the weight of the slugs mentioned above. But the nice thing is the ballistics and performance of the SST. You can get sub-2” groups at 100 yards, and 4” – 6” at 200 yards with plenty of energy in the round to bring down medium sized game. So, for a little less weight you get very decent accuracy. And can you imagine getting hit with a 300gr / .68oz round? Ouch!
Those are the three basic type of shotgun rounds that are appropriate for defensive purposes for the average person in an emergency, disaster, or grid-down scenario.
OK, moving right along…But how do you store your shotgun ammo and is it ready to go at a moments notice? Do you have the right number of each type of rounds and are they ready to be picked up and carried off without searching, scrounging and praying?
Well, I have a suggestion for you and one worth considering. I spent a whole lot of time thinking through what the different kinds of defensive encounters that the average person might encounter during the scenarios mentioned above. I then thought through which round would be best suited for dealing with the threat that each encounter might produce.
Once I accomplished that then I started thinking about the best way to store the right amount of ammunition that an average person could reasonably be expected to carry. And here is my suggestion:
- 145 rounds of 00 buck
- 30 rounds of slugs
- 25 rounds of Hornady SST
And to store them…a .50cal ammo can.
Yup, that simple. Those rounds fit perfectly in the space that a .50cal can has. The can seals out water, air, dirt and dust. A perfect environment for your ammunition. There is a bonus…it has a built-in handle that you just grab and go. Then there is the whole stacking thing if you have multiple cans.
The ammo can only weighs in at 24 pounds with the ammo listed above. That is well within the capability of any adult and many children. You can store it just about anywhere and never worry about the ammo “going bad.” It just won’t.
Here are some brands and types of ammunition I use –
- 00 Buck Federal Law Enforcement 2-3/4″ w/ Flight Control – LE127
- 00 Buck Winchester Ranger 2-3/4″
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