Total shotgun n00b here. I have been reading a TON on the intrawebz. I think I am pretty Ok at telling the wheat from the chaff when I open google, but kinda feeling my way in the dark on this one.
What I am after is dependable instant incapacitation out to 20 feet using 12ga for home defense. But I like my neighbor OK, and I like his dog just fine too. I measured the distance from the side of my house to our common fence, and then eyeballed across his lawn to the side wall of his house, I get 22-25 feet of lawn between our buildings.
Test barrel is a 20" Remington smoothbore with remchoke system, rifle sights, I used an improved cylinder choke and a full choke today. Test ammunition is remington part number 12B1, 12ga, 2 3/4", 1250fps velocity (Too cold to get my chrono out today. It says 1250 on the box, OK?) 16 pellets, #1 buckshot.
FWIW Sportsmen's in Fairbanks is sold out of this. It took me three trips, but I cornered the market on this stuff right now, and I don't have that many boxes. That right there is why this thread is in the handloading section. I can buy all the components, the real question is do I want to duplicate this load for HD.
First I patterned the barrel and load at 20 feet into a cardboard box. I measure "about" eight inches with the improved cylinder choke, and "about" six inches with the full choke. The ammunition box says "works best with full choke". The package my choke came in says "works best with size #4 shot and smaller." I got the smaller pattern with the full choke and stuck with it for the rest of the day.
I see I am currently limited to two pictures per post. I am going to have to reserve some posts before I get back to the story...