Top 5 Shotgun Ammo Options For Home Defense

Choosing the right home defense shotgun ammo can be the difference between life and death. When it comes to home defense the ammo you choose is widely considered to be more important than the gun you choose. The main decision you will face will be choosing between 12-gauge, 20-gauge, or 410 bore. 12-Gauge is the most popular bringing more power with more recoil. 20-gauge is a good low-recoil alternative to 12-gauge. 410 bore is best kept to revolvers like the Taurus Judge. The next decision will be deciding between buckshot, slug, or a combination of the two. While a slug has more energy potential it is only a single projectile while buckshot has less energy potential but spreads multiple pellets. Below is a list of our most popular home defense shotgun ammo.
1

Hornady Critical Defense Ammunition 12 Gauge 2-3/4" 00 Buckshot Box of 10

"When Performance is Critical, You Need Critical Defense"

Hornady Critical Defense Ammunition was purpose built for personal protection to ensure proper functioning in semi-auto and pump shotguns every single time .. Critical Defense Buckshot Ammunition is loaded with Hornady's Versatite wad technology that delivers tight patterns every time the trigger is pulled without any modification to your gun.

This ammunition is new production

What Customers Are Saying

Much tighter pattern then standard 00

I did some pattern testing today comparing the Critical Defense 12 gauge to a standard military 00 round. I was using a Mossberg 500a with an 18.5" cylinder choke. At 7 yards the Critical Defense punched through the target making a single hole, the shot and wad had not yet separated. The Mil 00 created a 5" pattern at the same distance. At a distance of 10 yards the Critical Defense opened up to a 3.5" pattern. So if you have an 18" or 20" home defense shotgun that you want to pattern like it was fired from a longer barrel this is a good round. Keep in mind what you are going to be using your shotgun for, if you are likely to be in a close quarters confrontation you may prefer a standard pattering round. In a situation where you may need to take a 10 yard or longer shot this round should be more effective, especially if you are using a shotgun with actual sites.
- Jon, 9/25/2013

About Hornady

“Ten bullets through one hole” is the philosophy that brought Hornady® Manufacturing from a two-man operation in 1949, to a world-leading innovator of bullet, ammunition, reloading tool and accessory design and manufacture today. Change is their constant and daily challenge. They outperform their competitors by ensuring the products they make are the ones their customers need right now, and accurately predict what they’ll want in the future. They recognize trends, and respect when to leave well enough alone. Their workforce includes an ample number of hunters and competitive shooters, as well as veterans and former law enforcement officers. At Hornady® Manufacturing, ammunition is more than their livelihood. It’s a major part of their daily life.

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2

Hornady Critical Defense Ammunition 410 Bore 2-1/2" 41 Caliber FTX Slug over two 35 Caliber Lead Round Balls Box of 20

"When Performance is Critical, You Need Critical Defense"

Hornady Critical Defense Ammunition for the 410 was purpose built for defensive handgun use and is designed to deliver maximum energy and reliable and controlled expansion regardless of the target every time. Critical Defense 410 ammunition is loaded with a 41 caliber  slug which has a soft polymer insert that delivers superior controlled expansion and large, deep wound cavities over a wide range of velocities, this slug is designed to engage the rifling of the pistol so the nose of the slug will engage the target nose-on. Underneath the slug are two 35 caliber high antimony lead round balls which resist deformation and provide enhanced penetration.

Critical Defense Ammunition is:

  • Unaffected by thick and heavy clothing, including denim and leather
  • Loaded with a  slug that actually engages the rifling on the firearm to deliver superior controlled expansion and large, deep wound cavities over a wide range of velocities over two 35 caliber high-antimony lead round balls
  • Loaded with clean burning and efficient propellants that reduce recoil in lightweight handguns, and perform consistently at all temperatures
  • Exhibits minimal muzzle flash to protect night vision
  • Effective, consistent, reliable self-defense ammunition
  • This ammunition was designed by Hornady to deliver greatly enhanced terminal performance. This ammunition is new production, non-corrosive, in boxer primed, reloadable brass cases

What Customers Are Saying

Critical Defense .410

I bought this ammo for home defense. It shoots great at 7yards (ideal indoor range) out of a Tarus Judge. The Federal premium 410 handgun 2 1/2" 000buck shoots good also. I like both but I choose the Hornady because the FTX slug contacts the rifleing & helps with accuarcy. Personally I believe the unjacketed FTX slug will expand quickly and will transfer maximum shock into the intended target.
- J.Dunlap, 3/14/2013

About Hornady

“Ten bullets through one hole” is the philosophy that brought Hornady® Manufacturing from a two-man operation in 1949, to a world-leading innovator of bullet, ammunition, reloading tool and accessory design and manufacture today. Change is their constant and daily challenge. They outperform their competitors by ensuring the products they make are the ones their customers need right now, and accurately predict what they’ll want in the future. They recognize trends, and respect when to leave well enough alone. Their workforce includes an ample number of hunters and competitive shooters, as well as veterans and former law enforcement officers. At Hornady® Manufacturing, ammunition is more than their livelihood. It’s a major part of their daily life.

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3

Remington Ultimate Defense Buckshot Ammunition 20 Gauge 2-3/4" Reduced Recoil #3 Buckshot 17 Pellets Box of 5

Remington is an industry leader in both firearms and ammunition manufacturing. This has made them realize that an exceptional firearm requires even higher quality ammunition to perform at its best. Remington uses the best components along with the newest technology and manufacturing techniques to manufacture some of the best ammunition available. Customers have trusted Remington ammunition since its infancy, so choosing a box of their ammunition when it comes time to protection is an easy decision. These rounds deliver dense, devastating patterns and massive knockdown power when the stakes are at their highest. Short-range patterns in smoothbore barrels are tight and effective for one-shot confidence.

What Customers Are Saying

This product is excellent and not easy to find!?

I will buy from Midway again I don't understand what this product isn't in stock everywhere but is extremely hard to find! Thanks Midway!!
- Bluesmen, 3/26/2019

About Remington

We’ve been here since 1816. Together, Remington and America have fought and won wars, put food on millions of tables and brought countless generations together at the range and in the field. We are proud of each and every round that rolls off our factory line. Bringing a renewed focus to ammunition, innovation, and quality, we are reinvigorating our company so you can continue to trust our brand and our products – all while staying true to Remington’s legendary heritage and stature as an American icon.

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4

Winchester PDX1 Defender Ammunition 12 Gauge 2-3/4" 1/2 oz 00 Buckshot over 1 oz Bonded Slug Box of 10

Winchester PDX1 Ammunition was tested by the FBI to see if it can stand up to real world, life threatening situations. This ammunition has impressive expansion and notable velocities at various ranges thanks to Winchester's proprietary bonding process. In PDX1 ammunition, Winchester engineers have created a self defense load that exhibits controlled expansion and a higher weight retention.

In addition to the 3 pellets of Grex buffered 00 buckshot, this load also features a 1 oz rifled slug which creates a tight pattern for extra protection. Loaded in black hulls with a black oxide high-base.

What Customers Are Saying

Not bad at all

I had my reservations about these rounds due to the low velocity rating and was worried about the accuracy of the slug with buckshot, but I saw them at a local shop and purchased a box just to test at a range. Fired two shells from my 20in Maverick 88 at 20 meters and had both slugs right on top of each other and the buckshot spread just over 7 inches at the furthest points of impact. Needless to say I was pretty impressed and decided to load the rest of the shells and let loose just to see if my first two shots weren't a fluke. Slugs all stayed in a nice group and the buck shot never strayed past a 7 inch spread. This is now my round of choice when it comes to home defense, and I might even try it the next time I go hog hunting to check its knockdown power.
- Mike, 8/28/2013

About Winchester

A world leader in delivering innovative products, Winchester is The American Legend, a brand built on integrity, hard work, and a deep focus on its loyal customers. Considered one of the world’s leading ammunition manufacturers, Winchester has built its reputation on delivering innovative ammunition products, providing top-shelf customer service and demonstrating industry leadership. Our legacy in servicing hunters and shooters, law enforcement and U.S. warfighters runs deep, with decades of support at the highest levels including delivering technologically advanced products. From our research and development efforts to our manufacturing processes, we understand the value of product quality and performance. With a reputation steeped in tradition, we have earned the moniker, ‘The American Legend’ by delivering on our commitment to excellence in everything we do.

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5

G2 Research R.I.P Ammunition 12 Gauge 2-3/4" 303 Grain Fragmenting Brass Slug Box of 5

G2 Research is a premium self defense, and environmentally conscious defense/hunting ammunition manufacturer. G2 Research's vast understanding of material properties and utilization of complex geometries renders predictable and consistent results that maximize the effectiveness of its projectiles. The G2 Research R.I.P. (Radically Invasive Projectile) features a unique petaled-trocar design which gives it the ability to not only penetrate deep into a target but also fragment in fluid. Upon entering a gel or fluid the petals break from the base and create individual wound channels as the base continues on course. This penetration and separation delivers not only a maximum shock wave but wound path as well. In years of ammunition design there has always been a trade off between mass and velocity to accomplish the goal of effective stopping power. G2 Research added a third variable with the patented trocar design. The surgically designed trocars offer better barrier penetration thus maintaining a higher velocity when hitting a target, transferring more energy into the target.

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