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My mother has always carried a .44spl Charter Arms bulldog for home defence and snakes when out and about. The first round that gets fired is a bird shot capsule. The theroy being that she can make a quick first shot and follow up with aimed shots (200grJHP). The bird shot is prety devistating at close ranges but would probably sting like hell at 25 meters. I was looking for shot capsule for my 45acp to load my own and can't find them. CCI has ready made bird shot cartridges but they case is full lenght like a blank. It seem to me that it would make for very unreliabe ejection. Untill I find the capsules for reloading I will stick to hollow points. Here is my qestions?
1. What are the tatical pros and cons of loading bird shot as the first round?
2. Where can I .45cal shot capsules?
 

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Lets see: bird shot out of a 1911 as the first round. It might be a good idea if you expect more snakes than goblins. The poor shot pattern and small shot load would not matter that much on creepy crawlies but it would on a 6 foot, drug/alcohol besotted, goblin who is bent on removing your organs just to get your wallet. Stick to JHP's.

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Shot out of a rifled barrel throws a pattern measured in feet within a couple of yards. Additionally, it may not have the power to cycle the action.

bkm...

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CCI's shot works fine in the 1911s I have tried. They have plenty of power to cycle the action.

I have yet to see or read of a situation where a person who tries to kill a snake does not have enough time to change ammo. If the crises is so pressing that you don't have time to change ammo, then my guess is that the snake is already between your feet and shooting with a shotshell will be stupid.

My guess is that Tagawichin's mom is scared of snakes, regardless of type. Her paranoia of snakes will not lend itself to making quick shots. If she is going to carry mouse shot shotshells, she might as well load up the whole gun with them. Why? Because if the snake is not dead after the first shot, in her excitement, she probably will not be able to produce a decent aimed shot due to adrenaline, heart rate bounce where the arms tend to bounce with the heart rate, etc.

For snakes, the first shot is not as critical as it may seem to be. If you shoot at a snake and miss, it doesn't actually comprehend that you are trying to kill it with a projectile(s), so you can make follow-up shots.

Where most idiots get into trouble with snakes is thinking the snakes are dead or close to it and trying to get closer to the snake for a better shot or to inspect their handiwork. Remember, a snakes effective range is no more than 3/4 of its body length, usually closer to 1/2. Just don't get close to it and it can't hurt you!

People are much more dangerous than snakes and more likely to attack you.
 

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I live in AZ and work at a desert (non-commerical) location at night. Out here rattlesnakes will strike without warning if surprised, so unless YOU do something really stupid (such as walking around the corner of a structure too close or not stepping well over/around large rocks and fallen cacti) a rattlesnake will give you PLENTY OF WARNING that you are getting too close to it regardless if you see it or not!!! Never had a NEED to kill one yet in 5 years. Alertness and caution will be of more value to you then special purpose ammo. (Humm....now THAT sounds familiar)
 

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Here in Fla. I live on a large pond and when my house was built there were many LARGE cottonmouths. If you know cottonmouths, you know they don't give ground at all. Since this was becoming a residential neighborhood , and I had three small kids who could easily come upon one of these snakes, I killed everyone I came across. I used a 410 with bird shot, and nothing could have been better. It's been a few years since I've seen any of any decent size and I still kill them when I see them. All other snakes get a free pass, I have no problem with them, but cottonmouths?? sorry,,they gotta go!

[This message has been edited by 173abn (edited 11-17-2001).]
 

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I've read of those who use bird shot - mostly shotgun - for inside apartments/houses - primarily, it seems, to reduce pass-through to neighbors.

Without experience in birdshot for autos, I won't comment. You don't say if you are anticipating birdshot as a defense against human subjects. If you are, I suggest you think carefully; the object is to neutralize - to stop - an attacker. It's taught that 21 feet is the prime point of no return. Beyond 21 ft there's time, under 21 there's virtually no time to draw, present and make the crucial decision to fire. I'd say that birdshot wouldn't stop an attack - unless it was a blast to face up close - by then there might not be a way to do a second effort. For my part I don't want a BG in close without my having stopping power.

Of course, this is opinion - and everyone has one.

I'd be interested to read the opinions and experiences of others.

AndyB
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How about a round that puts out a flag that says BANG!.LOL..Really, forget the bird shot capsuls. If you want devistation get a 12Ga. shotgun. You use a handgun for stopping an attack, I doubt a face full of #12 birdie shot on a doped up sunglass wearing felon is going to give you a second chance if your gun jams. Please stick with the proven loads that law enforcement uses....P.S. Leave the snakes alone.
 

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Before placing any faith in birdshot; take a 12-gauge, plenty of shells, some tomatoes, grapefruits, or some other soft targets and shoot at them through a variety of tactical barriers.

Barriers (fixed/weighted if necessary) like heavy clothing. An old mildewed sleeping bag will do well here simulating a heavy parka, other heavy cloth like wool, plus lighter layers. Leather to simulate handbags, belts etc. Various thicknesses of wood, paper (books, magazines, newspapers etc), sheet metal, glass, etc etc etc.

Use single and combinations of barriers - from various ranges.

Even very close up it does not take alot to stop, or render a hit marginal, with birdshot and even larger stuff. For defensive shooting I wouldn't use anything less than buckshot of some type.
 

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I read an article that mentioned something to consider about using birdshot in pistols for self-defense.

District Attorney: "You didn't think the situation was serious enough to warrant shooting the other person with a bullet that would kill them, but blinding them with a blast of birdshot in the face was OK? Is that correct?" Not a position I would care to try and defend in a courtroom.

Those who doubt the efficacy of close range birdshot wounds from a shotgun should read Ayoob's Stressfire II. Some of the pictures are quite illustrative, if gory.

I was a little skeptical myself until I tested out what a .410 birdshot round would do to a 2x8 at 10 feet. Punches through it quite cleanly.
 

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There is very little reduction in overall drywall penetration when using 2 3/4" shotgun ammunition between bird shot and #4 or 00 buckshot, the larger 00 pellets do penetrate more layers but the shotgun projectiles from any 12 gauge cartridge do penetrate standard interior walls with plenty of remaining velocity to cause injury or death to a person standing on the other side of the wall. Given the very low number of rounds actually fired in civilian self defense shootings one can argue that you really need to make "the first one count" and although it will make a very bloody surface/tissue wound with high skin trauma bird shot even to the face at virtually contact distance will not penetrate the skull let alone to rely upon torso penetration of the dust sized particles in handgun shot shells.
 

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CCI .45 acp shot shells function very reliable, I shot a full magazine while back and all loaded, fired, and ejected properly......but they probably wouldn't kill a cat 3 yards away though........
 

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I carry a Colt Defender every day. I work on water plants, sewage plants, and Lift stations in rural and suburban Florida.
Last year a CCI shotshell made short work of an aggressive "Water moccasin" . I've tried them out to about 10 yards, and they seem to patern effectively. This critter was about 15 feet, and was in a prepared to strike mode.
I endorse CCI shells for their intended purpose, but not for defense against two legged varmints. 230gr Hydroshocks for those.
 

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Fla Jim said:
I endorse CCI shells for their intended purpose, but not for defense against two legged varmints. 230gr Hydroshocks for those.
I'm with Jim's thinking.... I would use the CCI shells as the first and maybe second shot if I were in snake country.... any other time I have 230gr JHP at the ready. It makes sense to load what the percieved threat may be... would I carry the shot in a urban or day to day carry? No, but if I was in snake country I would.
 
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