New one from Winchester


Winchester has brought out 2 new shotgun shell loadings for the personal home defense market… whether they were needed or not.

The 12 gauge loading is a 2 3/4" black plastic shell with a 1 oz slug and 3 plated 00 buckshot with Grex buffering. I have seen no explanation as to why a slug and buckshot is a better idea than a standard 9 shot buckshot load. They come in a rather flashy black, silver, red and gold lettered box with Supreme Elite on the outside.

There is also a .410 loading using 3 disc and some BB birdshot, intended for use in the Tarus Judge pistol. Again, can’t see where disc will be better than 3 000 buckshot, which is an older offering. Have even less knowledge of the reasoning behind the BB shot? I haven’t found a box of those yet but will. I hope to section both… sometime in the future.



That 12 ga. Winchester load brings back some memories of a project I did for an Engineering Applications course many moons ago. Looking to take the old concept of “buck and ball” and apply it to modern ammuniton, the idea was to develop an improved law enforcement load for the 12 ga. shotgun. I had interviewed the officer in charge of ammunition matters at the police department where I worked part time back then and he told me the standard shotgun loadout was alternating 00 buck and slug rounds in their 870s. That seemed rather awkward and random to me and I set out on my assigned mission to develop an “improved product for an existing application”.

My final product was a 1oz Foster type slug (cast Lyman without ribs) over 8 pellets of buffered #1 buck. Back then, “buffered” was more about aspirin…(Also worked up the same with 6 pellets of 00 buck but I liked the increased net payload weight of the #1). A special steel reinforced plastic disk was develped to keep the shot out of the slug’s base. I had tried to go with the buck over slug like Winchester seems to have worked out because it was much easier, but the buckshot patterns were terrible and the slug’s point of impact was all over the place. Interesting that Winchester went that way.

I can proudly say my patterns at 25 yards were as nice as the one shown on that Winchester box (with eight .30 cal. holes) and the presentation of that development (and two other specialty loads for enhanced barrier penetration) landed me an “A” helping to balance out the grade from another course I really didn’t like! And some think college is all about drinkin’ beer and chasin’ girls…



The whole point of the .410 load for the Judge was just to have a load that will be very likely to hit, albeit possibly a glancing wound from BB shot or one of the discs, it will probably hit well enough that someone using it for actual self defense will be able to get away in time while the perpetrator is wincing in pain or temporarily shocked into dropping his/her weapon. Of course if one of the discs hits you in the face or the heart at close range, you’re probably dead. Below is a pic from my drawer showing the copper-plated discs and pellets from the .410:


As for that Black Plastic slug from the 12ga - It must be cop killer “Black Rhino” loads!! Somebody get Chuck Schumer on the horn, STAT!


Thanks for the photos of the .410 load DK.

I just cannot understand the practicallity of those disc? Winchester previously came out with a loading of stacked 000 buckshot, 3 in the short shell and 5 in the 3" version, which to me would be a far more effective loading. The penetration capabilities of the buckshot must far exceed those of the disc and the BB shot would be to small (size & quanity) to really be effective. I’m beginning to think that the weirdness is intended to stimulate sales more than the effectiveness and that soon it will drop from their line. Which is good for us, so I will be one of those who will buy them just so I can have some.


Personally, I think the whole idea was to capture some of the market share of the “home defense” craze. With this “buck and ball” load, you get a little of both, but not enough of each. Certainly these loads are lethal, but to be realistic, are they any better than the traditional OOB or slug loads out there?



I can only guess that the reason for discs as opposed to buck balls is that you get maximum space use efficiency with discs, as opposed to buckshot which will have empty space around the balls. Using discs probably allowed for a little more room for more pellets. In the .410 load the pellets go in the bottom of the cup and the discs are stacked on top.