There’s been a lot of interest in shotguns recently, so we decided to test two popular home defense rounds -- 00 buckshot and BB shot at 7, 15, and 30-yards.

There’s been a lot of interest in shotguns recently, so we decided to test two of the more popular home defense shotgun rounds - 00 buckshot and high-velocity steel BB shot. We wanted to see how these rounds spread at 7, 15, and 30 yards when fired from an 18.5-inch barrel.

We also tested the impact of the rounds on 1/4-gallon water bottles at the same distances. Although not entirely scientific, it does give an idea of the power these rounds offer.

OUR TEST GUN

Mossberg 500 SPX Tactical 12-gauge shotgun. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)
The gun we used is one of the most popular 12-gauge shotguns on the market, a Mossberg 500 series SPX tactical. It’s a pump-action 12-gauge with an 18.5-inch barrel and no choke.
 

AMMO

Ammo used was Federal 2 3/4-inch 00 buckshot and Winchester 2 3/4-inch BB shot. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

We loaded up with Federal 12-gauge 2 3/4-inch magnum 00 Buck with a muzzle velocity of 1,290 feet-per-second and Winchester 2 3/4-inch high-velocity steel BB shot with a muzzle velocity of 1,550 feet-per-second.

RESULTS

Spread pattern at 7 yards. Red is 00 buckshot, while green is BB shot. The black + measures 7x7-inches. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)
Spread pattern at 15 yards. Red is 00 buckshot while green is BB shot. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)
Spread pattern at 30 yards. Red is 00 buckshot while green is BB shot. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)
All three targets together. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)
Impact on 1/4-gallon water bottles at 7 yards. Left is 00 buckshot and right is BB shot. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)
Impact on 1/4-gallon water bottles at 15 yards. Left is 00 buckshot and right is BB shot. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)
Impact on 1/4-gallon water bottles at 30 yards. Left is 00 buckshot and right is BB shot. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

My personal take away from this test is that 00 buckshot tended to stay on target better as distances grew. The balls also seemed to retain more power. The BB shot spread much more and, being smaller, had less impact power at greater distances. Of course, as noted by many recently, including the iconic Paul Harrell, while sometimes deadly, birdshot should not be used for self-defense. 

What do you think? What round do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.

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