Sunday, June 13, 2010

LTL (less than lethal) 12 ga. Ammunition and Warning Shots during Civil Unrest.

When shooting for self defense you shoot to stop, not shooting to wound like you occasional hear people asking,  shooting the arm, or leg.
One person even asked me once if you couldn’t just shoot the gun out of the hands of the bad guy, given that I knew how to shoot. I don’t even remember the person who asked but I remember the question and thinking, “ is there no limit to how stupid a person can be?”
Having said that there are shades of gray in between, that’s where OC Spray comes in and in some situations, LTL ammo.

You have a defendable position, you have a group of people closing in with clear intentions, you don’t see guns around but they are still closing in, maybe a round of LTL convinces them that you are serious and spares you the corpse in your lawn and the thousands worth of lawyers or even time in jail if you’re unlucky enough. So yes, backed up with lead buckshot, one or maybe two rounds of LTL may spare you a lot of grief in the right situation. 

Its really just another tool in the tool box so to speak. You keep the shotgun loaded (lead ammo) and handy with a “hole” in the magazine (full capacity minus one round). That way you can load a specialty round if needed. LTL or Slugs for more range and penetration.
Now, if you’re shooting LTL, it has to be a situation that makes it right to use a firearm against someone in the first place, and you do so as a last resort before shooting the real stuff, so it either stops the conflict with a bit of luck, or makes you look good in front of other if you end up using lethal force: You clearly tried everything within your means before using lethal force. 

During the riots, I saw on TV how a cop defended a supermarket, all alone, just with his shotgun. He stood in the front gate, between the supermarket and large group of looters. He didn’t have a defendable position or even basic cover so what he was doing was pretty risky.  When the looters came close, he shot a round into the air. The looters stopped moving forward but kept looking. He shouted “Get the fuck out of here! NOW!”  and shot one or two rounds into the pavement in front of the group, sending the plastic pellet spreading wide before hitting the looters. That got them hurrying away as requested. The cop didn’t look scared, he looked extremely pissed as if he was about to shoot them all down. You can see why the looters moved on, probably looking for an easier target or a less determined defender.

About the OC grenades, this same gunshop that was selling the LTL ammo I mentioned in the interview had some of these grenades available, sold them all out pretty fast too.
For the price, don’t even thing about it, get a box of LTL ammo, it may spare you a lot of problems one day. Just remember to train with the shotgun so as to have it ready that way, and use that hole in the mag as you’re supposed to. Just one round of LTL at a time, one round and you load one again if you want but get used to shooting one at a time so as to always have the rest of the magazine full with lead buckshot in case they rush in and you have to defend yourself. Its tricky business because if you get confused you may end up just pumping a round again and shooting lead when you don’t want to, so again. 1) only use when you would be in your right to use lethal force 2) Train and practice the drill until it becomes automatic to load and shoot the LTL round, or other specialty round you have a need for. 

Warning shots are a reality as well during civil unrest and can even become common practice in some places. In the Argentine country, ranchers and farmers routinely shoot warning shots to send trespassers and poachers away. It gets the job done. Yet another reason to use 22LR as a "work" gun: Cheap warning shots. Imagine shooting two or three warning shots almost on daily basis, the ammo cost goes up quickly.
After the quake in Chile, a man with a shotgun ended up shooting 2000 rounds, nearly all of them warning shots.
These are all different tools to use, different alternatives you may have given the situation you are in. There's no black or white answer, these situations are complicated and its best to use your head so as to resolve them with the least amount of violence, escalating according to the situation, in a way that you avoid further problems down the road.



Anonymous said...

For all I thought I felt about LTL ammo this article made me rethink it's usefulness. Especially considering the concept of using the last space to load as needed in the shotgun. Gotta admit, sounds like a really good idea.

DaShui said...

Any suggestions on affordable shotguns?

Ryan said...

I think some kind of OC/ CS/ Teargas spray (the big bear spray that shoots a stream maybe) or grenade would be the preferable method. Less than lethal ammunition is still very dangerous and opens you up to a litigious nightmare for a civilian. OC doesn't really hurt anybody but it makes them really want to leave the area.

If I was going to employ less than lethal shotgun ammunition I would entirely unload (or have a second dedicated one) a shotgun and employ it while covered by someone with a gun that had real bullets.

FerFAL said...

DaShui, Mossberg 500 series or Remingotn 870, both are good, get the one you like the most. Some come with two barrels, a long one for hunting and a shorter one for slugs/home defense.
Eucalyptus, you can also use the "hole" for deploying slugs, breeching rounds, OC rounds, or sabot ammo with more reach and better penetration up to 70 or 100 yards if you shoot well and calculate the drop.


Joseph said...

A slightly off topic you know of any reliable data, that gives the distance a bullet will travel before falling to the ground when fired parallel to the ground? I know it has to be out there, but not sure what data to trust.

David said...

SHTF use may be a different story, but generally in the US firing a "warning shot" incurs a huge legal risk.

In fact, just pulling out a gun but not having to use it is fraught with legal risk. Say some clown visibly pulls a knife and walks toward you; having a CCW license you draw a pistol and he turns around and runs. He tosses the knife, then places a 911 call and claims you pulled a gun on HIM, purposely raining all over your day as you now may face charges of "brandishing" and will probably lose the CCW license you paid $$$ for.

The US is overrun with lawyers and overzealous prosecutors. We risk almost as much from the "legal" system as from their freelance competition, career criminals. Just realize you're on your own.

Conservative Scalawag said...

I have to argree with Ryan. Not a fan of LTL options, unless they are my only option due to laws or other restrictions.

Other than that, I favor lethal mutitions to stop bad guys.

However, I would use a LTL against a bear or other wild life that I rather not kill.

FerFAL said...

Hey Joseph, varies a lot depending on caliber and other tihngs, bbut mostly 2 miles is safe unless oyu're shooting a 50 BMG.
The exact distance will depend on its velocity. All objects (give or take a very minimal margin) take the same ammount of time until they rech the floor when dropped, given that they have somewhat similar shape, the difference is that some calibers are fasters than other and go further away in the same amount of time.
Of course, again its very rare to fire perfectly perpendicular to the ground, so all this varies terribly. Again, 2 miles is considered ok for most small arms.


Joseph said...

Thanks, FerFAL. I am speaking of test situations, for determining range purposes, not real world situations. Given how even .30 cal battle rifles are sighted for, say, a 1,000 meter shot, I am doubtful a shot fired parallel to the ground would go 2 miles. However, for SAFETY purposes (and always be safe, folks) I agree that 2 miles is a good number.

Anonymous said...

What if it is folks you know? You told them about prep but they ignored you . Will you shoot to kill then. How about your neighbors? I like the idea of an escalating response. A face full of beanbags or gas is easier to work through than a face full of buck-shot.

Jason said...

Would Bird shot be considered LTL ammunition? I could imagine myself firing bird shot into the air or ground to scare off looters. It is cheap (100 rounds for 20-22$ at walmart)I don't think bird shot is lethal unless you are pointing it directly at a person at close range. I wanted to get your take on bird shot.

FerFAL said...

Christ Jason, Birdshot is lead and yes it is lethal VERY VERY lethal.
Guys, the only thing that is LTL are the shotshells clearly marked as such, and even that can be lethal at close range. That's why its LTL and not non lethal.


FerFAL said...

Guys, I've rejected a couple of comments becuase they adviced improper use of firearms and ammunition. Please, if you have no idea, get your info right.
a) LTL is NOT for practice, it actually bounces a lot (much more than lead) and would very easily injure you if you use it for range practice and trainig.
b) lead buckshot is lethal folks, end of story.

Hate doing it but I don't want someone getting hurt.