The FBI recently issued a warning indicating that drone attacks could be imminent. Not military drones but civilian, hobby type drones. The question arose concerning the best way to defeat them, or IF we could defeat them in the absence of electronic jamming equipment.
There's a lot of country to cover here so I'll give you my opinion on a number of issues concerning the shotgun for drone defense. Is it feasible? Is it even possible? Well, yes and yes but there are some things to consider...
Opinions on the shotgun vary widely as it is a grossly misunderstood weapon. I am a huge fan of the shotgun, within its limitations, and I have many, many years experience to back me up.
Before we get too carried away. this entry from my blog is particularly interesting concerning the shotgun for self-defense purposes.
Now, on to the matter at hand...
When I figured out that they were talking about civilian drones, that changed things dramatically from what I first thought. A first, I assumed they were talking about light duty military drones. Yo know, something between a Predator and a Radio Shack special.
Most civilian drones can be taken down pretty effectively at 100 yards or maybe a little more with anything from #2 birdshot to #4 buckshot out of a modified or full choked shotgun. Smaller than #2 would lack energy at that range but would probably be fine inside of 50 yards or so. 00 or 000 would have oodles of energy at that range but pattern density would be too sparse. Most civilian drones are pretty fragile so high velocity for this particular purpose is pretty insignificant except for the slight increase in range. Steel shot will be faster out the gate but loses steam quickly due to both a lower ballistic coefficient and sectional density of steel. Steel offers much better penetration on SOME targets but that will not be a factor on civilian drones.
What will 00 buck do at that range? My cylinder bore, Mossberg 590 with 20" barrel puts all 9 pellets in a 12" circle at 25 yards with good quality ammo. That's 4' at 100 yards. With only 9 pellets in the standard 2.75" shotshell, the chances of lucking even a single pellet into an 18-24" wide drone are not great. However, 2 or 3 shots or 2 men shooting together will have a much better chance. Obviously, #4 buck or #2 birdshot would offer a much denser pattern.
I did some testing on man-sized targets back in about 1999 or so. I placed 3, FBI B-27 targets shoulder to shoulder at 100 yards and shot at them with a Rem 870 with a 20", cylinder bore barrel. If I aimed about head high at middle guy, I would put 3 pellets in the upper torso of the middle guy and 2 in each of the other guys with monotonous regularity. That would leave 2 or 3 pellets addressed to "Whom it May Concern". What that tells me is that during the Zombie Apocalypse (or any high density, hostile crowd situation) you could start thinning them out pretty rapidly starting at about 125 yards or so, depending on your ammo supply.
So...if you have taken the time to read all this mess, it should probably answer most questions that might have about this subject. One of the biggest issues I see with most weapons is people trying to over think the answer to what usually turns out to be a software problem instead if a hardware problem. I try to keep about 90% of my training based around the KISS concept with the notion that we will, at some point, be forced to use what we can find, not the latest, greatest stuff you see in Guns & Ammo.
With that last sentence in mind, you might also be interested in this video...