doc66 wrote:Here's the problem with shot; it is a round ball with no expansion properties and limited penetration due to size and weight.
What makes buckshot effective are the number of those round balls that you can put on target and as often as possible. One load of buckshot is not as effective as three loads. Just like one 9mm bullet is not as effective as three, or four, or eight. What makes the 9mm more effective is that you have fifteen on hand to put on target and it is more controllable and loads a hell of a lot faster than fifteen rounds of buckshot. Plus the penetration, the expansion of the round, the distance it will shoot... and on and on.
Can buckshot be effective? It sure as hell can. When you use it within the close confines that the round retains it maximum effective pattern, it can be devastating on a good COM hit. But like everything else out there, you have to place it on target where it will do the most damage.
I agree with everything you've said, but I take a different analysis of the same facts.
Shot doesn't expand. However, at typical home defense distances - muzzle contact to 10 yards - the expanding nature of the pattern of shot may provide preferential results to expanding JHP bullets. A muzzle-contact shot would not be unlike leaving a 12 gauge hole, as it would strike as a single mass. At 10 yards, the pattern will typically spread anywhere from 3" to 6", possibly more. The ability of a shot like this to perforate multiple bodily organs with a single discharge of the weapon, and will undoubtedly be more effective in putting an end to the hostility of one's assailant than a single JHP bullet.
Penetration of most buckshot loads equals that of a 9mm JHP load in typical home defense distances, and both are equally ineffective against an armored assailant.
9mm doesn't recoil as much, but with a semi-automatic shotgun, I can put lead on target as fast as I can with my Glock. For me, there's no practical difference between the two in terms of speed.
Yes, the shotgun is more difficult to reload than a handgun. However, I've always taken a certain amount of issue with the equation that a weapon that is easier to reload is somehow better at resolving a fight. If the shotgun is chosen for home defense, learning how to properly keep the weapon loaded to capacity is a requirement.
A lot of people seem to believe that somehow the shotgun will be "easier" to put lead on target than a handgun or rifle. This simply isn't true. It might be a little more forgiving to minute imperfections of sight alignment, but every bit as much aim is required to make a good center mass hit.