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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.

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  1. That's "One Shot, One Kill." The irony, of course, is that the Corps drills this into your head while teaching you to shoot a weapon chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO.

  2. "with a large column of air that triggers organ liquefaction," Uhmm… Ehrr….. Could you please provide a bit further information on the liquefaction of organs? especially liquegaction caused by pneumatic pressure.

    Not watermellons but mammilian organs such as lungs, liver, kidneys, etc….. Or is this just a marketting ploy by the manufactorer?

    I am interested in this shotgun round but this sounds like marketing BS. The sad thing is that I believe that prefragmented roundswith large fragments may have distinct advantages for self defense but BS makes me less interested in trying this ammo out in 20% gelatin.

    Hopefully I am wrong and will 1)learn something new and 2) get a new home defense load for my Mossberg.

    Hoping for more OBJECTIVE data ( or if you prefer "The Truth About Ammo" not so much marketing hype.


    • That's why we're awaiting the actual ammo – so we can do a real-world review. We've got a source for ballistic gelatin, and a produce cart handy. Hell, I may try and talk RF into buying a whole pig, just for grins. But you're right – TTAG is here to separate the product "wheat" from the marketing "chaff." If I can direct you, however over to a video shot by our friends at the FBI, you'll see that a rifled slug DOES do some dandy liquefaction of organs (at least from the looks of the gelatin. Bottom line, anything that a 12 ga. slug hits ain't gonna be doin' the mambo any time soon. I'm eager to test these, as I have a (somewhat morbid) fascination with wound channels and exit wounds. It will be REALLY interesting to see what kind of damage these guys really do.

  3. "If I can direct you, however over to a video shot by our friends at the FBI"

    1) I'll be happy to do so what is the URL or where is the link?

    2) Gelatin is NOT an organ. I can liquefy gelatin by heating it. Organs are a bit more difficult to liquefy.

    I am sorry if I seem to be giving you a hard time, this blog is on my list of favorites and I have and will recomended it to others. But when you use the title "The Truth About Guns" I hold you up to your title. Marketing hype I can get from any gun rag and many websites sorry but I prefer factual, verified (preferably quantified) data not marketing hype. Go ahead and REPORT the marketing claims that is your job but to repeat them or talk about evaluationg terminal ballistics effects on humans from shooting watermelons does not seem to follow your title.

    Not that I have any objection to shooting watermelons Glaser Silver or MagSafe ammo can both provide a fun and interesting afternoon of shooting watermelons, but messy , very very messy and not realy relevent to SelfDefense.

    Looking forward to reading your tests, if you can get ahold of some old Triton Ammo Quik-Shok slugs you might find those intersting as well.

    Best wishes


    • Fair enough – consider me properly chastised. I saw this slug at the NRA show, and brought back the one in the picture. I was pretty impressed. I'd like to test with a pig carcass (hear me, RF?) because it's supposed to be the next best thing, results-wise, to shooting a human – and fortunately, I have nobody around that I'd choose to point a gun at (but bad guys be warned – invade my home, and you'll be eatin' lead). So…soon as the slugs come in, we'll be testing (as meaningfully as possible) and reporting our results back here.

  4. While you're testing, run down to Home Depot and pick up some 1/2" sheetrock. See how may layers of sheetrock it'll take to stop one of these slugs.

    One of the things I've always heard is that bird shot is deadly, at 10 ft. Still in a very tight group, and has all the mass of a slug. Plus it'll shed energy very rapidly – either all in the perp, or all in the sheetrock. Very little chance of it going into adjacent rooms.

    Specialty shells are cool, but the other side of the story is the aftermath. Do you want to appear to the court as a gun nut with specialty rounds specifically designed to instantly kill someone, or are you just a sportsman using a bird hunting gun in self-defence?


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