So here’s the deal. One of the questions we ponder here at TTAG is stopping power. How to takedown a bad guy with one shot. You know – like the Marines. One bullet, one kill. I mean, there’s not much point in having a gun for self-defense if you have to keep pulling the trigger to stop your assailant. The question is, what kind of projectile is gonna work best, and in what weapon? Conventional wisdom holds that the weapon of choice is a shotgun. The reason? Most people believe you don’t have to aim precisely; it’s the original “point and shoot” concept writ large. Right weapon. Wrong logic. You see, there’s a huge difference – a life and death difference, as it turns out – between a 12 gauge loaded with birdshot, one loaded with double-ought buckshot, and one with a slug. You might, as your mom used to tell you “put someone’s eye out with that thing” if you load your shotgun with birdshot, but the likelihood of stopping them are alternately “slim” and “none.’ And as they say, “Slim left town”.
Much of this comes down to physics. The more mass you can throw in the specific direction of the bad guy, and the bigger you can make that mass expand, the better the chance you have to taking down said bad guy. Then you have to consider things like pneumatic shockwaves, organ liquefaction, and such. Essentially, once you get down to the point where you are past the medium-size entry point versus a great big exit wound.
Consider this little literary bon mot from Ddupleks Products regarding their DUPO 28 expanding slug (pictured above):
A slug with a fast and powerful stopping effect. During the first moments of hit, it expands to a maximum diameter of 3 cm and provides strong impact within the whole expansion area. Meanwhile, the slug blows a huge portion of air through the entrance hole, causing a powerful pneumatic shockwave on vital organs – respiratory, circulatory and neural systems. The internal pneumatic blow is the strongest effect of Dupo 28 slugs. Increased initial velocity allows using these slugs in driven hunting for shooting fast-moving targets without an especially large forward lead. The straight flight path allows long-distance slug shooting without vertical correction. Dupo 28 is a highly accurate slug ensuring fast and effective impact energy transfer, and an additional pneumatic shockwave inside the animal body.
In English – 12 gauge entry hole, followed almost immediately by doubling the size of the slug, with a large column of air that triggers organ liquefaction, while still allowing the slug to penetrate in a straight line, transferring as much kinetic energy into the target as possible. Sounds to me like the target is pretty much dead within a few seconds. Not just stopped, but dead. As in “assuming room temperature” or “taking a permanent dirt nap” dead. Imagine the damage that little steel and plastic thingy would do to, oh, say . . . a bad guy.
Now, of course, this means you gotta be able to hit something a little smaller than the side of a barn. But for take-down power, this has gotta be right up there at the top. So shotgun for home defense? Sure, as long as you’re confident you can hit where you aim.
The proof of the pudding is in the splattering. Coming soon: the TTAG field test of the Ddupleks slugs. If you’re a watermelon, you should be afraid. VERY afraid.