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The purpose of deadly force....

..is to STOP an attack immediately, not to inflict a fatal injury that will kill the assailant at some indeterminate time after you engage. In that light, I'm sure that a load of high-brass six shot would shred a person's stomach and intestines an definitely cause their death. One British Army officer, describing the effests of shotgun wounds inflicted during WW I described them as "bloody ratholes." But you want to stop the attack immediately, and there are only two ways to do that: Destruction of a critically vital organ (there are only two, the brain and heart), or causing a sufficient drop in blood pressure through immediate, catastophic blood loss (aorta, the pulmonary/coronary arteries, carotid artery, etc.) With the exception of the carotid artery and jugular vein, none of the other targets mentioned will be reached by birdshot. (God designed us so that the most critical systems are the most protected by skulls, ribs, etc.) It simply doesn't have the needed mass to penetrate deeply enough. So if you aim at center mass or even an assailant's face, you will likely kill him, but you may not stop him immediately. (A wild shot from a guy you just blinded can kill you just as dead as one he aimed.) I recommend a 100% reliable, short barreled shotgun (pump or automatic) loaded with alternating loads of slug and #4 buckshot. If you're in a location where you have to worry about over-penetration or shoot-throughs, I'd recommend a short carbine in 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45ACP, loaded with lightweight hollowpoints or one of the several rounds designed specifically to preclude over-penetration. Of course, it's all about what weapon/ammo you know best - I have both shotgun and carbine available, but know that if I have to confront a burglar in my home, his greatest fear will be the .45 ACP 230 gr +P hollowpoints that will DEFINITELY penetrate to destroy a vital organ.

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