Lets delve into the pros and cons of each one.
#4 Buck is the smallest of the buckshot. It has the highest pellet count at 41 per shot and the lowest pellet density at 20 grains. Each .24 caliber pellet has about 66 foot pounds of energy.
On paper this looks really good. The possibility of 41 .24 caliber rounds in a deer sounds absolutely devastating. What makes me worried is how little energy each pellet has. I’m worried that it will not have the penetration necessary to cleanly kill. Also, .24 caliber sounds big, until you take them out and look at them. They are quite small.
|They look even punyer in real life.|
#1 Buck can be hard to find. Most major manufactures no longer make it in 12 gauge. It packs 24 .30 caliber pellets into a 3” magnum shell. Each pellet weighs 40 grains and has about 96 foot pounds of energy.
This round seems to be a happy medium. It still has a high pellet count, but is much larger and more powerful (?) than the #4. I have read of #1’s passing through a deer. They are on the light side, but the more holes you have the higher chance of hitting something vital.
The granddaddy and most popular buckshot round. Each 3” magnum shell has 15 .33 caliber pellets. Each pellet weighs 54 grains and has about 175 foot pounds of energy.
This shell is popular for a reason. It is very powerful. Almost twice as powerful as #1’s with a little more that half the pellet count. The low pellet count is my only concern. This is where the balance between power and pellet count comes into play. Is it better to have lots of little holes or a few big ones?
With a decently placed shot, this will kill any thin skinned animal quickly. Each 3” magnum shell has 10 .35 caliber pellet. Each weighs 70 grains and has 233 foot pounds of energy.
No worries about penetration here. These have plenty of power. With only 10 pellets, you are loosing much of the benefits of a shotgun, while maintaining the lack of range. I don’t think these are best for deer. These would be a good for hogs I believe, although there is some debate on this.
Tri-balls are more of a novelty round. They have a great reputation on shotgun forums. They have three 315 grain .60 caliber pellets having 846 foot pounds of energy each.
|Wow, those are big balls! Tri-ball compared to 00 Buck.|
I need to decide between #1’s and 00. I believe in embracing your weaknesses and turning them to strengths. The strength of shotguns are in the amount of shot they spit out. So, for this reason I'm going to go with #1’s.
Now to find someone who makes them.