Remington Arms recently released their new Ultimate Defense line of shotgun shells. Initial offerings are in 12-gauge and .410 gauge, though it is likely a 20-gauge version is in the making. The BlueSheepDog Crew are big advocates of officers taking a long-gun into a deadly threat encounter. Handguns are convenient, but they are truly defensive weapons with shorter effective and accurate ranges.
When officers take a shotgun or patrol rifle into the fight, they are extending their range of accurate and effective fire, which often allows them greater options in cover and concealment. The power of the shotgun and patrol rifle is also much greater than any handgun an officer takes into the fight.
Police Long Guns – Use Them!
When Richard, Randy, and I were beginning our careers in law enforcement the tried and true Remington 870 pump-action shotgun was a standard issue firearm in almost every police car. Many officers have attested to the “game changer” response to armed or violent offenders when the very distinct sound made when the 870 is racked into action. A shotgun may only be a medium range long gun with buck shot, but the damage and threat-ending power of those pellets cannot be understated.
Add in a rifled slug, a saboted slug, or some of the combination shotgun rounds (slug and a few buck shot pellets) that are available on the market now and the shotgun is even more effective now. One of my early firearms instructors praised the shotgun as being “the only firearm that can tear flesh from the bone”.
Today’s police officer is more likely to field a patrol rifle or sub-machine gun than a shotgun. I’m not at all opposed to this, as the patrol rifle can be very effective in short, medium, and even some long-range engagements. However, the shotgun still has a place in American law enforcement, just as it did over 150 years ago! When up close and personal, when entering confined structures, a shotgun is much more likely to be devastating than a patrol rifle – though an AR-15 can make up for that with the larger capacity of ammunition.
Remington Ultimate Defense Shotgun Rounds
Remington’s launch of the Ultimate Defense shotgun rounds includes options in 12-gauge and .410 gauge. Within the 12-gauge selection are two 00 Buck options. One is a 9-pellet full power round, and an 8-pellet reduced recoil round. The Ultimate Defense shotgun rounds specifications are shown in this graph from Remington:
However, I’m wondering if the Ultimate Defense shotgun rounds are simply a repackaged and marketed box of the same old Remington Express Buckshot rounds that have been around for years. The 9-pellet 00 Buck rounds seem to have the same features, though the 8-round reduced recoil is not comparable. Here are the Express Buckshot specifications:
The ballistics appear to be identical, even chambering the Ultimate Defense in 2 3/4 inch like the Express Buckshot. A quick check of prices at Midway USA found the Ultimate Defense rounds are $0.50 more expensive per box than the older Express Buckshot in the plainer box. The Express rounds are also in green or yellow casings, while the Ultimate Defense rounds are in the “tacticool” black casings.
With advancements in shotguns, including the increased chambering in 3 inch and 3.5 inch, one would have thought this new line of buckshot rounds would separate itself more. It may be Remington did a market study and found the 2 3/4 inch chambering is still dominant, and therefore desired to design the Ultimate Defense to more consumers – law enforcement and civilian alike.
When I first looked into the Ultimate Defense rounds I was excited and hoping for something new, more powerful, and maybe more accurate with the Power-Piston one-piece wad. My department switched to Remington shotgun rounds for the Power-Piston feature alone (we have had amazingly good groups) over our previous Federal rounds. I couldn’t even confirm if the Ultimate Defense rounds have the Power-Piston wad – though I can’t imagine Remington abandoning this feature.
In the end, you might just save yourself some money and stay with the Express Buckshot. If anything comes out to distinguish the Ultimate Defense further I’ll let you know, but right now it appears to be a marketing ploy.