I'm a terrible impulse-buyer. I will retire at age 77 because Uncle Larry at MidwayUSA always has a sale on something I "need". Yesterday, that thing was a Lee Load-All 2, which is a reloading press for 12ga (there's also a 20ga model). Yes, for $43, I gained the ability to produce 9-pellet 00 buckshot for roughly half of what even the cheapest cheap stuff costs.
On that note, all there is left during this latest round of panic-buying of ammunition and guns is shotshells. Pretty much anything you want at only slightly inflated prices. I picked up some Remington Gun Club #8 shot for about $6 per box of 25, which isn't awful. The upside is that I can turn those empty hulls into fairly inexpensive and very powerful buckshot rounds.
So today, some friends and I gathered at my sister's place to bust some clays. I brought along a couple of cardboard silhouettes and a box of Sellier & Bellot 9-pellet 00 buckshot just for fun. I came away with a new home-defense plan, and a new respect for Benelli.
You see, I have been using my 20" frankengun AR15 as my bedside gun. It's a familiar platform in a capable caliber, so what the hell. Today, I ran through a couple of scenarios, just for fun, to see what my Benelli Nova would do at realistic distances with that cheap buckshot.
My house is older, and has a choppy floor-plan. The rooms aren't very big, and the longest shot I would ever have to take would be about 30 feet. The distance from my bed to the bedroom door is just a little over half that distance. So I stood back at the seven yard line (21 feet for those of you who don't do math) and let each of my cardboard zombies have it. Results below:
As we can see, at that distance, the pattern is very small, but large enough to not just be one large hole. Also, we learn that buckshot could be used to make a relatively accurate shot at home-defense distances. So, the Nova is now at my bedside, full of much better made Nobel Sport 12-pellet 00 buckshot. I really like the idea of being able to shoot a bad guy 12 times with one trigger pull.
While we were out there, I got to wring out a Benelli M2, which I've lusted after for some time now. I just can't bring myself to write the rather hefty check for one. I'm happy to report that they are indeed worth the premium. The M2 is recoil operated, so there's no gas system to foul, and it is very light. The lightness made the muzzle pretty lively when cycling heavy loads (those cheap 00 buckshot rounds) but was really nice to use on clays. It even cycled some Winchester "reduced recoil and noise" #8 shot. It even said on the box "will not cycle semi-auto shotguns, you asshole!" (well, it said most of that). Oh, and that muzzle flip from the buckshot rounds is something you could probably train your way around. The Nova and Supernova just have enough weight on the front end that there is a noticeable difference in muzzle flip. I had just finished my buckshot experiment with my Nova when I started shooting the M2.
So I guess I'm going to be into shotguns until the madness stops and I can once again buy centerfire components and .22LR. Now to get my nerd on with some reloading recipes for 12ga. Keep your stick on the ice.