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So you’ve decided to use a shotgun for home defense, but you’re unsure what load to use in your scattergun. Double ought buck, one ounce slug, 2 ¾ inch or 3 inch, there are so many options. While this article won’t tell you which ones to use, it will show you the ones you should avoid. Here are the top 5 worst shotgun shells for home defense.

Dragon’s Breath Dragon’s breath, the best round to test if that professional sprinkler system you bought actually works. (Photo Credit: Toptenz.net)

Dragon’s Breath shotgun shells are filled with Zirconium alloy powder pressed into pellets or flakes. When the primer is struck, the Zirconium ignites and is propelled from of the barrel, turning your shotgun into a short range flamethrower. Which is awesome, if you live in a concrete bunker. For inhabitants in more flammable domiciles, Dragon’s Breath is a liability nightmare. Plus, can you imagine trying to explain to a jury that you had no option but to light your attacker on fire?
Dog Poppers Dog Poppers are blank 12 gauge rounds used to acclimate hunting animals to the loud noise of a shotgun blast, without endangering anyone. Using one of these in your home may work if your goal is to scare an intruder. You might be able to call their bluff, but that’s an awfully big gamble. Especially if the attacker is armed; he may reply to your loud bang with a few of his own. Odds are, his aren’t blanks. If you’re going to own a gun for self defense, my advice is to load it with bullets, not noisemakers.
For the homeowner who wants an intruder to rob him in court as well. (Photo Credit: Rio Shotshells)

Rubber Buckshot The legal justification for use of deadly force is that the victim felt their life was in such great danger that it was a matter of life and death between the victim and the attacker. If a non-lethal round is used in self defense, the prosecutor may argue that the victim shot the suspect, because they wanted revenge. Additionally, people utilizing this ammo and believing it is non-lethal, might want to ditch the shotgun; even rubber projectiles can kill at short range.
Flechette Rounds Robin Hood’s shotgun shell of choice (Photo Credit: ENM Sports)

Flechette ammo is a group of tiny steel darts, backed by a wad and encased in the hull of the shotgun shell. These were originally designed to penetrate jungle foliage and negate light cover that enemies may be hiding behind. In other words, the ammo is effective at penetrating intruders and any perceived cover. Making your shotgun equally as dangerous as firing a volley of .308 at the attacker. While certainly effective at stopping the intended target, you might want to consider your proximity to neighbors and how much you are willing to spend on house repairs.

Confetti Rounds Sometimes you read something and your brain automatically corrects it, because it just sounds so ill-conceived that your mind rejects it. This is one of those times. The very notion that loading a shotgun with confetti would be a good idea to anyone is mind-boggling. Especially since someone will inevitably think it’s hilarious to point a shotgun loaded with this stuff at a person and ‘harmlessly’ fire confetti at them. Aside from an obvious violation of the 4 firearms rules, the ammo is anything but harmless. Don’t believe me, ask Brandon Lee. Oh wait. You can’t, because he’s dead. The business end of a shotgun firing any ammo type is anything but harmless as there is still a massive concussive blast.

Read more: 5 worst home defense shotshells
 

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I think I'd use the flèchets and dragon breath in alternating fashion. If he don't die, he will burn. Hahahhahhahahhahha- that is some crazy ammo.
 

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Dragon's breath and Flechette may not be good for intruders in your home, but a violent mob on your lawn; that is a different story. :x
 
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Perhaps the 12 gauge flechettes loaded back in Viet Nam were different but today's flechette rounds are a complete and utter joke.

1) You can have 8 or 9 Double-ought buckshot rounds or approximately 18-20 flechettes loaded in a shell. Right away this tells you that an individual flechette 'arrow' is roughly half the mass of a 00- pellet. Right off the bat you are throwing less mass downrange.

2) The 'mini arrows' are made of mild steel, which is going to weigh even less than an identical shape from lead. Again less mass going towards your target.

3) Flechettes have fins, fins take up space. If you want to pack 20 flechettes into an area the size of a 12 gauge you're gonna have to load half of them fins first and the other half points first. I think most of us have a good idea what happens when you try to throw an arrow backwards, but just in case... As soon as the flechettes are past the muzzle one half of them are going to try to become aerodynamically stable by flipping around in mid air. That does weird things to ballistics, even worse than shooting heavy bullets in a 1:12 barreled M16.


4) Flechettes have fins, fins do not increase penetration. Although that needle nose of the flechette may slip between the fibers of soft armor, the fins don't. The flechette comes to an immediate halt as soon as the fins reach any sort of resistance. Here's a flechette that penetrated a level III vest from Seven Yards. That's about 3/4 of an inch sticking out. It might kill you, but only from tetanus or gangrene.


5) Back to ballistics... as the half of the flechettes going downrange are being buffetted and trying to go nose first, they are flying off course. How far off course? In the lackadaisical testing we did (15 yards distance, a used police vest and a butcher paper backer to test patterning) the pattern was roughly a 6 foot diameter circle. Six. Foot. Diameter. Circle.
In round numbers that's about 28 square foot to be covered by 20 flechettes, half of which are still flying sideways in the air (according to the nice keyholes they made in the butcher paper.


6) Flying sideways. Tested against a used IIIA vest strapped around a Home Depot bucket, and a 1/2 piece of plywood led to dozens of flechettes laying on the floor as they bounced off of almost everything they hit. If I recall ONE flechette struck the plywood with enough force to stick in and it was pulled out with bare fingers and no real effort.

Even in that thousand to one chance that a lightweight, keyholing, mini arrow managed to hit someone, and further managed to penetrate farther than the fins, it's not going to pin anyone to anything. It's a freaking inch long finishing nail with tabs on the end to act as fletching. You think you're going to nail someone to a tree with finishing nails?

If anyone is feeling masochistic, they can real the whole thing here on GeorgiaPacking.Org
 
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