12 gauge Birdshot Wound Profiles (56k beware)
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12 gauge Birdshot Wound Profiles (56k beware)

This is a discussion on 12 gauge Birdshot Wound Profiles (56k beware) within the Shotguns forums, part of the Gun Forums category; i barrowed this from the basement of SW: Taken from http://www.tacticalshotgun.ca/ballistics_shotgun.html Before you begin to read this realize that all of these shots were taken ...

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  1. #1
    Gunatic Loyalist (Bow down) MrMcCrackin's Avatar
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    12 gauge Birdshot Wound Profiles (56k beware)

    i barrowed this from the basement of SW:


    Taken from http://www.tacticalshotgun.ca/ballistics_shotgun.html

    Before you begin to read this realize that all of these shots were taken from a known distance and angle into bare Ordinance Gelatin is a controlled enviroment.

    This does not take into consideration the effects clothing, weather, range, tempurature, cover, or body structure.

    YWMV, IANAL, not valid in Guam or Puerto Rico, only driven on Sundays by a little old lady going to church and back.

    #8 Birdshot


    #8 Remington Heavy Dove out of an 18 inch barreled Remington 870 Marine Magnum


    First three inches of permanent wound cavity were completely destroyed. Little to no temporary stretch cavity effects were observed.

    Small sized birdshot such as this #8 heavy dove 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.

    #5 Birdshot


    2¾ Kent Tungsten Matrix #5 Birdshot


    Closeup of the shot cloud and temporary stretch cavity. The dark area on the left side of the photograph respresents totally shredded gelatin.


    Shallow yet massively shredded entrance tract.


    Entrance hole


    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 this load's penetration looks impressive as compared with the much larger #1 shot tungsten matrix load, it needs to be interpreted in the context of the calibration bb's greater penetration. Temperature outside was a little warmer than it should have been when we shot this block and it was the last block of a relatively long string. As a result, this gelatin block exhibits slightly more elasticity than our standard blocks and consequently deeper penetration.

    Small sized birdshot such as this #5 Tungsten Matrix 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.

    #4 Birdshot


    #4 Remington Heavy Dove out of an 18 inch barreled Remington 870 Marine Magnum


    Significant crushing of tissue evident as with all birdshot, however miniimal penetration limits the effectiveness of small shot as a tactical round except at ultra short range.


    Perspective of the shredded gelatin block.


    Slightly more perspective.


    Closeup of the entrance "hole".

    Small sized birdshot such as this #4 heavy dove 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.

  2. #2
    Gunatic Loyalist (Bow down) MrMcCrackin's Avatar
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    #2 Birdshot

    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.

  3. #3
    Gunatic Fanatic DaButtKraken's Avatar
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    Its also important to keep in mind that these would be the affects on a naked assailant. Bird shot looses a lot of energy penetrating fabric. A jacket will significantly reduce the penetration.

    Bottom line = Bird shot = Bad choice for defense.

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