12 GAUGE 2 3/4" #4 SHOT GEL TEST

12 GAUGE 2 3/4" #4 SHOT GEL TEST

12 gauge #4 shot (not to be confused with #4 buckshot) is cheap, low recoil, and is available pretty much everywhere. Is it effective for home defense, compared to other options, or best utilized for target practice and hunting small game? Using Remington 2 3/4″ #4 shot, we’ll fire a round into a ballistic gel block at 10 feet and look at the results.

The key point I’m trying to illustrate is whether or not this mid-range 12 gauge load has the potential to produce sufficient penetration, in volume, that could stop a viable threat in the home setting. We should understand that simply conveying to a threat the presence of a firearm can be a deterrent (a highly preferred outcome), but unfortunately this isn’t always the case with an individual or group determined to commit bodily harm, or worse.

I’m using Remington 2 3/4″ shells, 1 1/4 oz. shot, 1330 fps; approximately 125 pellets. Product number is SP124. This particular shell can be purchased in bulk at WalMart and numerous sporting goods outlets, plus online. Test gun is a Mossberg 590A1 Special Purpose with a 20″ barrel, cylinder bore choke.

November 2011 00 buckshot test: http://youtu.be/dbFLY9OIqPA
January 2012 Foster Slug test: http://youtu.be/7HuVkXLreWE
May 2012 birdshot test: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIfilArIHlY


Please understand that these techniques are merely representations to indicate possible ballistics; they are not intended to replicate real-world street results. There are just too many factors involved in a self-defense scenario to offer a 100% degree of accuracy when compared to street results. It is essential to perform exhaustive research on your carry choice, which could yield actual use data. The law-abiding citizen bears ultimate responsibility for their ammunition choice and insuring reliability in their firearm.

CAMERA: Sony HDR-CX560, 60p, 28 mbps, 1920 x 1080 HD.
EDITING: Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11, MP4, 30p, 16 mbps.


  1. Jeff Johnson on November 13, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    Do these people not realize it takes. 13 Ar.15 bullets to put as many .22 rounds down range as a shotgun with a 4 shot high powered shell? Of course they don’t.

  2. Incog Nito on November 13, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    I watched this video twice. Not a wasted word. Absolutely great focus on the subject.

  3. River River’s on November 13, 2021 at 8:12 pm

    try doing shotgun shellls test with a big piece of pork ribs in front of the gel block???? starting from 8 birdshot,,,, to these same number 4 birdshot,,,,,, buckshots,,,,,,,, slugs,,,

  4. rDigital2A on November 13, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    You are missed on the interwebs. YouTube is a lesser place without your continuing tutelage.

  5. basket cas3 on November 13, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    13 gauge make your chest look like pizza. Jesus that’s some power.

  6. yetisuncle on November 13, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    what about using #2 shot instead of #4? do you think there would be a bit better penetration and still maintaining relative safety as far as over penetration thru walls and such?

  7. Eric Weis on November 13, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    Y is everybody so interested in the power of these shells to kill someone.

  8. Matt South on November 13, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    Sees critter.. Kills critter.. Tells self it was sick.. -Savage

  9. 7.62 x 39mm on November 13, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    God, 25 pellets in the buckshot?????

  10. James Smith on November 13, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    #4 shot, bb or 2 shot heavy field loads are all you need for home defense.

  11. IHC Terra on November 13, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    Flight control wad plated #4 penetrates probably twice as far.

  12. W M on November 13, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    Good video, want to see 3" shells vs 2 3/4

  13. Andrew Duis on November 13, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    Yes sir…#4 is my home defense load…wicked. Will Penetrate a hollow core door at 50 yards

  14. Dieter H. on November 13, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    Who is here, because, well, the . . . ?

  15. Akio Utsunomiya on November 13, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    thankyou very much from Canada

  16. jason keating on November 13, 2021 at 8:28 pm

    If that hits you in the chest That is not survivable we hear a lot about 12" plus but most of the vital stuff starts at about 5 inches

  17. William Ray on November 13, 2021 at 8:28 pm

    i go with 3 inch mag buckshot 15 pelletts

  18. AKBuilder762 on November 13, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    This would be good for crowd control on rioters.

  19. NorthShores on November 13, 2021 at 8:33 pm

    This is a great load for them that live in apartments or mobile homes. More effective if you hit the face/neck area.

  20. topturretgunner on November 13, 2021 at 8:33 pm

    tnoutdoors9. Good review. I keep number 4 shotshells handy for home defense. My prefered round indoors is number 4 buckshot but one has to be aware of what’s beyond the target and where any errant pellets may wind up stopping. Thank you for this good review. By the way as others here have noted you are missed on YT. Hope that you’re well.

  21. Jacob Kirby on November 13, 2021 at 8:34 pm

    Get er done baby!!!

  22. Ernest Walden on November 13, 2021 at 8:36 pm

    Even if someone was to get shot with this stuff and survived the wound would be devastating. The surgeons would have to put in overtime to save them. 😬😨😱😂

  23. Laughing Dragon88 on November 13, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    So #4 shot will fuck you up at a distance, good to know.

  24. River River’s on November 13, 2021 at 8:39 pm

    OHYEA doo a video on 3 inch remington nitro magnums 4shot…. the oz shot is 1 7/8 ,,,, and they kick soooo hard, i wanna see the gel block penetration and damage.. PLEASE lol

  25. Bill Nott on November 13, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    You have incredibly informative really great videos, I really appreciate and love them , but if you used clear ballistics gel in all you’re testing it would be sooo much more visually stimulating and informative from a " see it for yourself " point of view… just imo. But thank you for all your time and effort in your great video s =)

  26. Craig Robertson on November 13, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    Did tnoutdoors9 ever do any testing on 12 gauge BB shot?

  27. Robert Costello on November 13, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you… Thank you very much

  28. Mike Williams on November 13, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    On Facebook, a guy who was shot in the back with birdshot. He lived, but a lot of holes

  29. sha6mm on November 13, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    Would be nice to see BB size shot Hornady has a Coyote load should be a great self defense load.

  30. A J.B.C. on November 13, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    Flan de caramelo, 😃😁😁

  31. Chance Blevins on November 13, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    I see its express long range im curious to see 3" magnum express #4

  32. NoMiss Outdoors on November 13, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    Those armadillos are gonna be sorry they tried diggin my yard up…..

  33. red_array on November 13, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    I really needed to figure out which shot to use for my home defense loads so I did a ton of meth and had my wife shoot me at 10 feet with #4 buckshot. It didn’t even phase me. 000 it is.

  34. RON BYER on November 13, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    I know a guy put down a polar bear with number for shot

  35. M Nim on November 13, 2021 at 8:52 pm

    #4 IS birdshot. Not to be confused with #4 Buckshot…. which obviously isnt birdshot. Youn should have also tested it with some thing leather to represent skin and some denim or cloth clothing to see how.much penetration that takes away. It will be significant.

    If I couldnt find buckshot, #2, BB T etc would be my first choice.

  36. Karl Hans on November 13, 2021 at 8:52 pm

    is 4 buck the same as 4 shot?

  37. Ernest Walden on November 13, 2021 at 8:53 pm

    I freaking love how the milk jug just litterly exploded. That’s cool. I think in a wilderness survival situation 4 shot and slugs is all ya need. And if I only had one I’d take the 4 shot over slugs. If I needed to kill a deer I could make cut shells like they did during the depression. ☺👍🇺🇸

  38. John Kizziah on November 13, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    Shoot um in the face with birdshot Thayer gonna stop messin with you

  39. sapnu puas on November 13, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    I don’t think I would care about my walls if someone was trying to rob or kill me.

  40. Dodd Garger on November 13, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    Just picked up 4 boxes of fiocchi 2 shot 3" magnums

    10 in a jts m12ak and the fireball alone will deter most it doesn’t run slugs that well but don’t need em close up at all

  41. James Smith on November 13, 2021 at 8:59 pm

    Average person is 9 to10 inches thick. A hit on a persons body will be devastating with this load, across the room or across the yard.

  42. Christer Hauknes on November 13, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    The 12 guage 2 3/4" #4 is my go to load for geese and capricaille.

  43. Alex on November 13, 2021 at 9:01 pm

    Can’t wait for the riots to come to my house!

  44. uncreativename on November 13, 2021 at 9:03 pm

    Awesome video, short and to the point with a good test instead of just speculation.

  45. Nat Wolins on November 13, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    People might be deader with buckshot, but I think the intruder would be dead enough for most purposes with this load.

  46. M C on November 13, 2021 at 9:05 pm

    It will make for a very bad day up close for social work

  47. Brandon Serpa on November 13, 2021 at 9:06 pm

    No. 4 buck shot is 24 Cal that’s just regular #4 shot he is shooting most people use it for turkey and pheasant

  48. James Smith on November 13, 2021 at 9:07 pm

    Could be effective? You tag someone across the room or the yard with that load and they are going to be in a world of hurt.

  49. pravoslavnik on November 13, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    Quick question. The shells you used were marked "Express Long Range." What do those words tell me about the character of the loads or performance? Are Express Long Range shells more powerful and faster than standard loads?

  50. fenrar36 on November 13, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    I keep 4 rounds in my pump tube aka cruiser configuration. 1st shot is a Winchester #4 and the other 3 rounds are Winchester Defender (the slug/00 mix). The idea being hopefully the 1st round if it doesn’t kill the intruder will incapacitate them enough to end the threat and if it doesn’t well that’s what the 3 slugs are for.