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12 Great 12-Gauge Loads for Defense

January 4th, 2011 1


Great shotguns are nothing without great defense loads. Here are a dozen of our favorite options for feeding your best backup buddy. We’ve limited this selection to buckshot or combination buckshot/slug loads for reason of limited space. Please note that prices are approximate, and velocities are factory figures that may differ from those found when fired in your gun.




Aguila Mini-Buckshot
Best suited for a pump or break action, this shorty load gives increased capacity and low recoil along with respectable performance. Just be sure to check for function in your gun.

• 1¾-inch hull
• Seven #4 buckshot
• 1,200 fps velocity
• Retail price: $18 per box of 20

www.aguilaammo.com

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Centurion Multi-Defense Buckshot
This unique load features a .65-caliber round ball and six #1 buckshot, providing dual characteristics of knockdown power combined with shot placement forgiveness.

• 2¾-inch hull
• One .65-caliber ball, six #1 buckshot
• 1,300 fps velocity
• Retail price: $10 per box of 10

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Estate 00 Buckshot
Packaged exclusively for Cabela’s, Estate Cartridge’s 12-gauge 00 Buck load does double duty as a defense load or as a game load.

• 2¾-inch length
• Nine 00 buckshot
• 1,325 fps velocity
• Retail price: $19 per box of 25 from Cabela’s

www.cabelas.com

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Federal Personal Defense Buckshot
This very consistent, effective load is piloted by FLIGHTCONTROL wads. It has been extensively tested and engineered for in-the-home use.

• 2¾-inch hull
• Nine 00 buckshot
• 1,145 fps velocity
• Retail price: $7 per box of 5

www.federalpremium.com

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Fiocchi High-Velocity Buckshot
An inexpensive high-velocity load featuring nickel-plated pellets, this load trades a bit more recoil for increased terminal energy.

• 2¾-inch hull
• Nine 00 buckshot
• 1,325 fps velocity
• Retail price: $6 per box of 10

www.fiocchiusa.com

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Hornady Superformance Buckshot
The new Superformance 12-gauge load utilizes ultraprogressive propellant for extremely high velocity and is loaded to ensure proper functioning in semiauto and pump shotguns. It also feature’s Hornady’s Versatite wad for tight patterns.

• 2¾-inch hull
• Eight 00 buckshot
• 1,510 fps velocity
• Retail price: $14 per box of 10

www.hornady.com

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Nobel Law Enforcement Buckshot
This load from Italy’s finest is not for the faint of heart. It coughs out 12 00 buckshot at 1,330 fps, resulting in high recoil and high terminal energy.

• 2¾-inch hull
• 12 00 buckshot
• 1,330 fps velocity
• Retail price: $7 per box of 10

www.nobelsport.it

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Remington HD Ultimate Home Defense
Drawing on the best of Big Green’s waterfowl shotshell technology, this load features a duplex mix of HD tungsten-bronze #2 and #4 pellets for excellent patterns and reduced danger of overpenetration.

• 2¾-inch hull
• 1¼-oz. 2×4 duplex HD tungsten-bronze pellets
• 1,250 fps velocity
• Retail price: $30 per box of 10

www.remington.com

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Rio Royal Buck Low Recoil
This is a nice low-r
ecoil option featuring a traditional nine-pellet 00 buck load that gives up very little in performance to full-power loads.

• 2¾-inch hull
• Nine 00 buckshot
• 1,200 fps velocity
• Retail price: $5 per box of 5

www.rioammo.com

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Sellier & Bellot Buckshot
By giving up a little velocity, this load provides 25-percent more 00 pellets than typical 2¾-inch hulls.

• 2¾-inch hull
• 12 00 buckshot
• 1,180 fps velocity
• Retail price: $7 per box of 10

www.sellier-bellot.cz

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Winchester’s PDX1 12
This 12-guage load combines the best of both worlds–double-ought buckshot and slugs–in one hull. The buckshot shoots a predictable cloverleaf pattern around the slug.

• 2¾-inch hull
• 1-oz. rifled slug, three Grex buffered 00 plated buckshot
• 1,150 fps velocity
• Retail price: $13 per box of 5

www.winchester.com

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Wolf Power Buckshot
For those wanting a good, traditional lead-pellet double-ought buckshot load for a good price, this is your ticket.



Click Here to visit the Defensive Shotguns Page!

 

• 2¾-inch hull
• Nine 00 buckshot
• 1,325 fps velocity
• Retail price: $170 per case of 250

www.wolfammo.com

  • m444ss

    Every other article I’ve ever read on the subject recommended #4 buck as the best option for 2-legged varmints (including Allan Jones’s article in the current ST), so I’m surprised that every one of these is some version of 00 buck. I tend to agree with the #4 for proponents for most lead on target coupled with reduced risk of over-penetration or wallboard penetration.

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