There is no question that a 12 gauge shotgun can be a devastating defensive (of offensive) weapon. A 12 gauge slug weighs in at about an ounce (437-ish grains) and carries aover 2400 ft/lbs of energy. By comparison a .45 ACP round generates between 400 and 600 ft/lbs of energy. the muzzle energy of buckshot is a little harder to calculate but with eight or nine .30+ caliber rounds impacting with each shot it too is a formidable defensive round. So, how about birdshot?
Some would have you believe that birdshot is also a formidable man-stopper. Others would argue that isn’t the case (I tend to fall into that camp, BTW). Fortunately, Greg Ellifritz has seen fit to weigh in on this subject with a post over at the Active Response Training blog.
One fact really stood out to me:
Birdshot (all types)- 17% of shots led to an immediate incapacitation
That appears to be lower than most if not all handgun rounds in the study…
I encourage anyone who is betting their life on birdshot to give the article a read. It can be found here: http://www.activeresponsetraining.net/bird-shot-for-self-defense