I see quite a few visitors searching for information on the size of shot in the various shotgun shells, such as 00 buck, #1 buck, #4 bird, etc., and the number of pellets in a one ounce 12 Gauge shell This article provides that information for lead shot.
|Shot Size||Pellet Diameter (inches)||# of Pellets in a 1oz Shell|
I would recommend 00 Buckshot for self defense, since it tends to be the smallest shot size that will reliably penetrate deeply enough to stop an attacker right away. Birdshot is generally not recommended for self/home defense. A balance needs to be struck between the number of pellets and the size of each pellet, and for home/self defense, that balance is properly struck with 00 Buckshot.
Also, for those who are newer to guns, some pronunciation tips:
“000 Buck” is pronounced “Triple Ought Buck.”
“00 Buck” is pronounced “Double Ought Buck.”
“0 Buck” is pronounced “Single Ought Buck.”
“4 Buck” is pronounced “Number 4 Buck,” and the same is true for the other buckshot and birshot numbers.