There’s a lot of crappy gun advice out there.  One example I hear all the time is, “Load your home defense shotgun with birdshot. It’ll mess up the home invader, but it won’t go through the walls and endanger your children.”

Let me get this straight. You can put your fist through sheetrock, but try as I have on occasion, I’ve never been able to put my fist through a human opponent. And if what you’re shooting will go deep enough into a large, aggressive human male to stop him, what makes anyone think it won’t go through sheetrock, and in any case what are they doing firing in a direction where their children’s bedrooms are the backstop?


Go read. Mas knows his stuff. And don’t forget to read Greg Ellifritz’s article that Mas links in his post. The video alone is worth your life.


Birdshot (all types)- 17% of shots led to an immediate incapacitation
Buckshot (all types)- 54% of shots led to an immediate incapacitation
Rifled Slugs- 67% of shots led to an immediate incapacitation

All of the above results were from shootings with 12 gauge shotguns only.

‘Nuff said.

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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

8 thoughts on “About them shotgun loads for home defense”
  1. The birdshot thing is second only to “just work the action and you’ll scare them away” in the Gun Derp Hall of Fame.

  2. The Box of Truth is a good reference for wall penetration also Loose Rounds has done some experiments with walls and appliances.
    Like Joe in PNG said, there’s a lot of BS spread about home defense shotguns. Personally I’d go with 1.75″ mini shells with buck or slugs for reduced recoil and more rounds. That said I consider a pistol more useful indoors.

  3. Speaking of “stuff that doesn’t penetrate sheetrock”, there’s also the Glaser safety round, which according to tests I’ve seen will go through 4 or so layers of sheetrock. “Safety”, my a**.

    1. Don’t you know that the Glasers are the best thing evar.

      With their #12 birdshot and “liquid Teflon” with a guaranteed one shot stop.*

      *One shot stop guarantee not valid in reality.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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