Home Defense Shotgun Ammo – [What You Need to Know]

For years, people have referred to shotguns as a form of defense in residential areas, farming land, and neighborhoods. Even though there are great developments in home-defense methods, the Shotgun is still on the top list of the ideal weapons for home defense. 

If you guard your home with a lovely deadly shotgun, this article will give you the latest information on the best home defense shotgun ammo. Stay calm and fire it up.


Home Protection – Why Shotgun?

A shotgun has multiple benefits compared to other weapons when the playground is within the house, explaining why this kind of weapon favors many shooters.

Firstly, a shotgun fires several objects every time you pull the trigger. Many people misunderstand that the main benefit of scattering shots is that you do not have to aim accurately to attack the target. However, when the Shotgun is fired at a close distance (your bedroom, your living room), the shot spreads are minimized.

As a result, the bullet pattern stays concentrated in a small area, making several projectiles attack the target and cause destructive consequences. In short, the real advantage of a shotgun is that it can pin many projectiles on the target with just one shot.

In addition to concentrated bullets, shotguns are trusted for home defense purposes due to their rapidity, accuracy, and destructivity. Sometimes, the attackers are determined to move on even when they are shot. Hence, having a shotgun that can rapidly fire multiple shots increases your likelihood of restraining the attackers. 

Shotguns- The Best for Home Defense

Shotgun Shell For Home Defense

There are three common types of shotgun shells, including Birdshot, buckshot, and slugs. Let’s get into the details of these shells.


Compared to the other ammo types, Birdshot consists of the smallest pellet size, coming with several advantages. As the pallet is small, each ammo shell consists of hundreds, sometimes thousands of small objects.

As the projectiles are so small, they can not guarantee the lethality of each shot as the other two shot loads. Moreover, tiny shots also diminish the weight and power required for serious penetration. Instead, Birdshot wounds can be painful but don’t typically cause many internal injuries. However, Birdshot can take down an attacker at close range, so it is still fatal.

Regarding the pros of Birdshot, it will cause less damage to the inside walls as it has shallow penetration. Let’s imagine your kid is sleeping in the next room; the Birdshot cannot reach that room because the wall penetration of Birdshot is low. 

The Pallets in the Ammo Shell (Via wikimedia.org)


The next name on the list is buckshot load. This kind of shell gets its reputation from causing devastating wounds when fired at close range on thin-skinned beings. 

Generally, buckshot pellets are greatly larger compared to Birdshot. The larger size of buckshot supports more significant shooting power, leading to deeper penetration in a bigger area. 

Hence, buckshot load is more deadly than Birdshot, explaining why those fighting against horrendous criminals bring a shotgun with buck load with them. These people include police officers when dealing with dangerous beings.

Buckshot load is in the middle of Birdshot and slugs. Hence, most people favor buckshot for home defense. 


The third type of ammo shell is slugs, which has only a massive metallic projectile. As slugs go with a big and heavy projectile, the bullet can penetrate deeply and cause extreme corruption to internal organs. In addition, slugs overtake Birdshot and buckshot in long-distance shooting accuracy

As said, shotgun slugs penetrate deeply, thus favored by the police when dealing with extreme criminals. Their high penetration is ideal  for shooting in or around vehicles. For instance, a standard slug can break right through a car door in the blink of an eye.

Even though slugs come in big size and heavyweight, they are not often picked for home-defense purposes. Here is our explanation. Most of the time, a slug messes up everything before it ends up pinning in the attacker. Hence, walls, doors, windows, furniture, and people are on the mark. Slug shotgun can fire through exterior walls and still have a serious internal effect, which is strong enough to take the life of anyone on the other side. Moreover, shooting a slug shotgun around your home can pose danger to the neighborhood.

Home Defense Shotgun Ammo

Photo by Travis

As mentioned, the best home defense shotgun ammo is buckshot. Now, let’s discover some of the most prominent nominees of the buckshot shell.

Hornady Critical Defense 00 Buckshot 

The first name of the list is Hornady Critical Defense 00 Buckshot. Going with a novel versatile wad, these shotgun loads can fire out concentrated shot patterns. Moreover, the loads are pushed out from the muzzle at a skyrocketing 1500 feet per second, resulting in serious wounds on the target. In addition, the Hornady brand designs this Critical Defense 00 buckshot to work smoothly in semi-automatic and pump shotguns.

There are eight pallets in a shell, which are enough to cause severe internal damages, according to the FBI’s recommendation.

Remington TAC 8 Buckshot

Not to be overtaken, Remington Express also shows itself as a reliable brand when it comes to ideal buckshot for home defense. The model Remington TAC 8 Buckshot serves several benefits, such as reduced recoil options and tighter shot patterns. Moreover, the speed of the pallets going out of the muzzle is astonishing- roughly 1250 feet per second.

Winchester Super-X #1 Buck

The Winchester Super -X #1 buckshot offers 16 pellets, which leave the muzzle at the speed of roughly 1250 feet per second and have a 2.75 inches penetration. With this massive destruction, the Super- X#1 is recommended for attracting intruders’ important organs without risking over-penetration.

Winchester Super-X 00 Buck 

Next on the  list of best home defense shotgun ammo calls out Winchester Super-X 00 Buck – the sibling of Winchester Super -X #1 Buck. Even though the model 00 Buck is more popular and widely available than the #1 buckshot model, 00 buckshot has a higher likelihood of over-penetrating than #1 buckshot.

In addition, many may notice that the pallets of 00 buckshot are bigger than those in #1 buckshot. Consequently, almost all 12 gauge 00 buckshot shells can only include nine pellets.

Nevertheless, even when firing with bigger pellets, the #1 buckshot overshadows 00 buckshot because the latter cause less severe damages than the #1. Why? That is because the 00 buckshot has fewer pellets. Yet, 00 buckshot can be reliable in speed and shooting power.

Winchester PDX1

Even though this section is for buckshot load only, we think the following ammo will fit with home-defense purposes. 

Besides the two models- 00 buckshot and #1 buckshot, Winchester has recently introduced the PDX1 Defender. Talking a bit about this ammo, firstly, it falls into slug shot, meaning it can break through barriers at ease. However, once the projectile pins into a softer surface, such as the flesh, the slug is divided into three different pieces. This feature admittedly not only diminishes the internal damage but also leaves out the over-penetration factor. As a result, it is much safer to fire this slug shot on a home intruder without worrying about harming furniture and people.

Federal Power Shok 12 Gauge #4 Buckshot

Federal Power Shok 12 Gauge #4 buckshot is the final name in the list of the popular buckshot bullets we are discussing. Though we favor our first nominees, the #4 buck is worth considering for its benefits.

In detail, the #4 buck consists of 27 pallets, which are enough to bring trouble to any intruder. If you successfully fire all 27 #4 buck pellets exactly at your target, the wound is much more serious than both #1 or 00 buckshot.

However, penetration depths of #4 buck are shallower than its counterparts, making it harder to over-penetrate.


Hopefully, this article has provided you with useful information on the home defense shotgun ammo topic.

Admittedly, protecting the safety of people in the house is the priority when choosing a suitable shotgun and ammo. However, several situations require different types of ammo, which takes you time to figure out the best of them.

Thanks for reading!

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