#4 Buck Explained

#4 buck, not to be confused with #4 shot, is one of the most popular home defense loads on the market today. The reason? It’s devastating at close range, but doesn’t penetrate nearly as much as 000 or 00 buck.  #4 buck will definitely kill a large deer so humans wearing normal clothing won’t stand much of a chance at close range. At longer ranges, #4 buck may not be ideal for bringing down or neutralizing a threatening human or other large animal.

Home Defense Details

What makes #4 buck so popular? Well we touched it above but let’s get into it a little more. Penetration vs power is the scale of balance in home defense. Too much penetration, you’re going to go through your target and damage property or people behind it. Too little power, you’re less likely to stop someone if they are really set on reaching you. There’s no doubt that 00 buck will annihilate someone coming at you down a hallway but will #12 bird shot? 00 Buck v 4 buck

#4 gives a pretty good balance between number of pellets, pellet size, penetration and stopping power. With a pellet count commonly between 21 and 24 of .24 inch lead balls traveling at about 1200 feet per second, will make a serious impression on your target.  This is somewhat less powerful than 00 Buck that is in use by most law enforcement agencies in their shotguns, however, they are more likely to engage their targets at longer range than the average homeowner. 

Hunting Use

#4 buck is most commonly used for deer, coyote and other similar sized game and predators.  The whole idea of hunting game with shot is debatable to some and a given to others.  While there are hunters who feel that shotguns using buckshot is a poor choice for hunting as it is less likely to produce a quick kill.  There are others who claim that buckshot allows them to make clean kills where a rifle shot would be unlikely to let them do the same thing. 

Really, it comes down to what you like best and opinions vary widely. Some people prefer a couple large pellets that can cause massive damage and have supreme penetration while others prefer a vast amount of smaller pellets that inflict more damage to more surface area with less penetration. For home defense keep in mind how large your rooms and hallways are, as well as what rooms are likely to be occupied more than others.

So the hunter as well as the home defender can use #4 Buck with great efficacy.  When used to eliminate predators of the two or four legged kind, #4 Buck can get the job done.