Remington Express #2 birdshot out of an 18 inch barreled Remington 870 Marine Magnum.
Average penetration of 9.5 inches was observed.
Perspective on the entrance holes and wound tract.
More perspective on the entrance hole.
Closeup of the entrance hole.
Tested was a 2¾ inch load of #2 Remington Express Birdshot fired from an 18 inch barreled Remington 870 Marine Magnum.
Small sized birdshot such as this #2 express load is a poor choice for deployment with a tactical shotgun. Wounds inflicted from birdshot tend to be gruesome yet shallow as they lack the penetration required to reach vital cardiovascular or central nervous system structures. For ultra close range applications (ie: inside your home) this load would likely be effective, however an operator should be prepared to follow up with larger shot in the event that additional force is required to stop a threat.#1 Birdshot
2¾ Kent Tungsten Matrix #1 Birdshot
Closeup of the shot cloud and temporary stretch cavity. The dark area on the right side of the photograph respresents totally shredded gelatin.
Slightly more perspective on the shallow yet massively shredded entrance tract.
The three primary temporary stretch cavities were large; one tearing beyond the boundaries of our 9x9 test block.
Closeup of the shredded gelatin at the entrance hole.
Designed as a better performing alternative to steel wetland bird loads, Tungsten Matrix is an exotic shotgun projectile material that has an even higher density than lead. It's high density was what interested us in it's possible application as a tactical shotgun load.
While approaching our minimum recommended penetration standard for an all around tactical shotgun load, this birdshot load just does not quite measure up. Consideration of this load should be limited to an application where an engagement is guaranteed to be very close range and overpenetration is a significant and unacceptable risk. In mitigating these risks it is important to recognize that birdshot loads are significantly handicapped as compared to buckshot loads in their capacity to create the deep permenant cavities required to damage either cardiovascular or CNS structures. Lead BB
2¾ Remington Express Lead BB
For close range applications possibly the perfect balance between pellet count and pellet size?
Aspect putting into perspective the entrance wound and the temporary stretch cavity tears
Entrance hole illustrating the 6 lobed temporary stretch cavity.
Large amounts of crushed tissue visible at the entrance wound extend approximately 6.5 inches into the block. The entrance hole from the calibration bb is also visible.
Cross section illustrating the spread of the shot as it travels through target media.
Cross section of shot cloud.
Cross section of shot cloud.
Closeup of the cross section. Visible are the individual wound channels created by the bbs. Likely a very effective close range tactical load.
Before lead shot was banned throughout most of north america for use on waterfowl, Lead BB was the load of choice for long range goose hunting. The same performance charracteristics that made it so well suited for that application merit consideration when evaluating short range loads for your tactical shotgun. We feel lead BB has it's place, being a reasonable balance of penetration and pellet count. That being said, it is not recommended for medium range work. #4 buckshot is the minimum pellet size we recommend for general tactical applications.