Testing #4 Buckshot, Part II

One of the more popular post on the blog is THIS ONE, about pattern testing #4 buckshot. I figured I would revisit, and keep the series going. Current leader is Hornady’s #4 buckshot load with the Versa-Tite wad, so it is back to defend its title. This time against a generic #4 buck load from Remington. The shotgun is different though. This time it is an 18.5” barreled Mossberg 590a1. The Hornady load is shot with a Cylinder choke. The standard #4 buck load from Remington is shot through the same shotgun, but with a Modified choke.

I fired two rounds of each. One at 7 yards at the head of the target, and one at 15 yards. These are fairly reasonable distances for use inside the home. If your house would allow a shot longer than 45 feet, then you should be patterning your defensive use loads at a further distance. Also, nice house.

The Hornady load actually did better than I remembered it doing. The head shot was pretty tight, just a 2-3 inches. At 15 yards it spread out to fill the -0 on an IDPA target, plus one pellet outside of the -0. The pattern itself was very consistent, and evenly spread. If #4 buckshot is what I wanted, I would be okay with this pattern.

The Remington was not nearly as impressive, even through a modified choke. The 7 yard shot was acceptable, the 15 yard shot not as much. I really like 8” or less at 15 yards. I think an 8” pattern is about where the usefulness of the pattern ends because of the potential for engaging at oblique angles, or obstructed targets. With the Remington load, 40% of the pellets were outside of the -0. The pattern was also not very dense. The total spread of the pattern was about 12”.

With the Hornady load still in the lead, what should I try next? If I can find any, I plan on at least trying the Federal Personal Defense #4 load. It is the only #4 load I have seen with hardened shot. If you run across any, point me in the direction.

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