0 Buck VS. 00 Buck: Which One Is Better?

It’s no secret that shotgun shells are a great tool for hunting and self-defense. But when it comes to choosing the right shell, it isn’t always easy. One of the most common debates among shotgun owners is whether to use 0 Buck or 00 Buck. Both are popular choices among hunters and self-defense experts, so which one is better? In this article, I’ll compare 0 Buck and 00 Buck to help you decide which is right.

What Is Buckshot?

Buckshot is a type of shotgun ammunition consisting of small lead pellets, typically around 0.24 inches (6.1 mm) in diameter. The shells are usually fired in a shotgun at a target. They are designed to spread out over a large area, making them ideal for hunting small game and birds.

What Does Mean By 0 Buck and 00 Buck?

0 Buck and 00 Buck refer to shotgun ammunition used for hunting and target shooting. 

  • 0 Buck is a type of shotgun shell that contains nine 0.33-inch lead pellets, while 00 Buck stops eight 0.33-inch lead pellets. 
  • The pellets are designed to spread out when the body is fired, creating a larger target area. 
  • The 0 Buck and 00 Buck shells are commonly used for hunting deer and shooting targets such as clay pigeons.

What Is 0 Buck And 00 Buck Used For?

  1. 0 buck and 00 bucks are the most common sizes of shotgun shells used for hunting, recreational shooting, and home defense. 
  2. 0 buck is a shotgun shell that contains eight pellets of .32 caliber lead shot. On the contrary, 00 buck is a shotgun shell with nine pellets of .33 caliber lead shot.
  3. 0 buck is typically used for hunting small game, such as rabbit, squirrel, and quail. It can be effective up to 40 yards. On the other hand, 00 buck is better suited for larger games, such as deer, and can be effective at distances up to 70 yards.
  4. 0 buck is also commonly used for home defense because of its ability to spread quickly, creating a wider pattern. In contrast, 00 single is commonly used for home defense because of its ability to penetrate more deeply than 0 bucks, creating a more concentrated pattern.

0 Buck VS 00 Buck: Key Differences Between 0 And 00 Buckshot

O Buckshot:  0 Buck comprises nine pellets, each measuring 0.33 inches in diameter. 

  • It is the smallest of the buckshot sizes and is usually used for hunting birds and small animals.
  • It is also the most common type of buckshot used in home defense.

00 Buckshot:  00 Buck consists of 8 pellets, each measuring 0.36 inches in diameter.

  • It is the largest of the buckshot sizes and is usually used for hunting large animals.
  • It is also the most common type of buckshot used in police and military operations.
  • The extra pellet size makes it more effective at longer distances, making it the preferred choice for tactical operations.

Main Difference:  The main difference between 0 and 00 buckshot is the ‘size of the pellets’

  • 0 Buck has a smaller pellet size than 00 Buck, which has a larger pellet size.
  • 0 Buck is more effective at shorter distances, while 00 Buck is more effective at longer distances.

A Short Table to Understand Quickly

Parameter 0 Buck 00 Buck
Size #7.5 or #8 lead shot, 0 buck is the smaller of the two. #9 or #00 lead shot, 00 buck is the larger of the two.
Weight 1/2 ounce (approx. 437 grains). 1 ounce (approx. 437 grains).
Strong Low recoil, suitable for recoil-sensitive shooters.  Higher recoil than 0 bucks, but still manageable for most shooters.
Travel (lethal range) Up to 40 yards. Up to 70 yards.
Home Defense 0 buck is suitable for close-range home defense. 00 bucks are better suited for home defense than 0 bucks.
For Hunting Not recommended for hunting Recommended for small hunting game.

What Size Is Buckshot Best?

The best size buckshot depends on your individual needs and preferences. 

  • For home defense, a larger size, such as 00 or 000 buckshot, is generally preferred. Because they have a greater chance of stopping an attacker.
  • For hunting, smaller sizes such as #4 or #6 buckshot can be used. They typically ensure a clean shot and minimize the damage done to the animal.

Ultimately, the best size depends on what you are looking to achieve.

Does 00 Buckshot Penetrate Walls?

Yes, 00 buckshot can penetrate walls. Depending on the type of wall, the thickness of the wall, and the distance the shot is fired, it can penetrate one or more walls. But shooting through walls can be dangerous. So it should only be done in a safe and controlled environment.

Is Buckshot More Powerful Than Slug?

Buckshot: Buckshot is generally considered more powerful than slugs, but it depends on the ammunition used. Buckshot comprises multiple small pellets. So it spreads over a larger area and is better for close-range shooting. 

Slug: Slugs, on the other hand, are large, single projectiles and are typically better suited for longer-range shooting. The larger, single slug also delivers more energy than the multiple pellets of a buckshot round.


  • High-powered buckshot rounds can provide more energy than low-powered slug rounds.
  • The power of the ammunition depends on the specific type, caliber, and size of the round.

What Is Better for Deer: Buckshot or Slugs?

It depends on the situation. 

  • If you are hunting deer at a short range, buckshot is the better choice. Because it can spread out and hit multiple targets. 
  • If you are hunting deer at a longer range, slugs are the better choice. Because they are more accurate and can travel further.

Slugs also have more stopping power and can penetrate further than Buckshot. But slugs are also more expensive than buckshot. And it can cause more damage to the animal.

  • Finally, it is up to the hunter to choose the best option for their situation.

What Size Is Buckshot Best for Deer Hunting?

This is a highly debatable topic, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Generally, the most common size of buckshot used for deer hunting is #00 (also known as double-aught). This size of buckshot is most effective at short to medium ranges and can deliver a lethal hit on a deer.

Some hunters prefer to use larger buckshot, such as #1 or #4, while others opt for smaller sizes, such as #4 or #6. 

Ultimately, it is up to the individual hunter to decide which size buckshot is best for their particular hunting situation.

How Far Can You Shoot A Deer With Buckshot?

The effective range for shooting a deer with buckshot is typically about 40 yards. Beyond that range, the shot pattern will be too spread out to be effective.

Do Military Shotguns Use Buckshot?

Yes, military shotguns use buckshot. Buckshot is a type of shotgun shell that contains several large metal pellets, typically made of lead. It is commonly used in hunting and self-defense. But it has also been used by the military.

Conclusion: Which Should You Choose?

00 buck is usually the better choice for self-defense due to its higher stopping power and increased accuracy. But 0 bucks may be the more cost-effective option, it is not as powerful and is more prone to shattering when fired. The choice between 0 bucks and 00 bucks depends on the intended purpose and the shooter’s preferences.