Exclusive: An Over/Under and Birdshot for Self Defense?

We’re not solving the “which gun is best for self defense” issue today but we can address one related issue, namely, whether a good ’ole over/under shotgun and birdshot can be as effective defending your home as it is in hunting dove and quail.

For super helpful insight on the matter — including first hand experience — let’s see and hear from His Editorship Roy Huntington as he tests a few shotgun loads at five yards from his over/under and from a typical police riot gun.

Check it out…

Now, for a deeper review of using buckshot vs. birdshot, Roy gives a quick look at the differences and what you need to keep in mind about each for self defense in your home. Check it out; you might be surprised at what happens. And watch until the end for some summary tips.

Defending your home with a shotgun? Tell us about your setup in the comments below.

— Mark Kakkuri

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6 thoughts on “Exclusive: An Over/Under and Birdshot for Self Defense?

  1. Paul eldridge

    I use a Mossberg 500 w/ 18″ barrel Loaded with 5 rounds as follows.
    #6 , # 4 Buck, Rifled slug,#4 Buck, Rifled slub

  2. Mike

    We have, among other things, a Mossberg 930 with a mounted light loaded with pheasant loads – #4 shot. I wanted a bit more penetration than #8, but also to avoid over-penetration as well as the stigma associated with a load clearly intended to shoot people with, should it come to that.

  3. HankB

    Certainly birdshot can be lethal – nobody is going to willingly stand in front of a shotgun shooting it. But consider – the #8 loads in the videos aren’t even recommended for pheasant, let alone ducks and geese. So if they’re not really good for medium and larger birds, do you REALLY want to depend on small birdshot to stop a 300 pound, 6’5″ steroid pumped biker in full leathers with a handful of PCP up his nose? Not me. Moreover, the maximum distance I might encounter an intruder in my house is over 20 yards, not the 5 yards of the videos – and I’m not waiting for the bad guy to close the distance! So if I’m using a shotgun, it will be loaded with 00 or 000 buck. And as for overpenetration – I think that ANY effective firearm will penetrate sheetrock walls, so keeping aware of what’s on the other side is essential no matter what you use.

  4. Joe

    I like the idea of an over under but the issue of follow up shots is important. Cowboy action shooters can reload fast but their targets aren’t running at them or shooting back. Home invasions can have more than one or two perps. I’ve read about instances of trios working together so you’d be one shot short. I have a 7+1 shot Mossberg Persuader but I’m thinking a semi-auto might be better if it has excellent reliability. If one arm is injured you can keep shooting and with less recoil it would also be easier to shoot one handed.

    1. Mark Kakkuri Post author

      Thanks, Joe, for your comment. All valid points and we appreciate you making them. One of my points, however, was simply this: Sometimes all we have available is a trusty bird gun. Seems Mr. Huntington has shown us how to make it a viable defensive tool. To your point, maybe we should ask him to give us some instruction on how to reload it — quickly!


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