The decision to utilize buckshot as a defensive load should be based on a number of factors:
1) Context in which you will most likely utilize firearm. Will you ever be using the shotgun outside of the home? Are you LE, MIL?
2) Area in which you live. Is your house or apartment located in a heavily urban area or close to neighbors?
3) Construction of your home. Where will buckshot pellets go if you miss your intended target, the distance is great enough that a few pellets hit target but one or more pellets miss target or the pellets over penetrate the target and continue onward?
4) The performance of the buckshot itself combined the specific shotgun you will be running it through and the pattern it prints on target at various distances. What is the greatest distance you can shoot inside your home? Your property?
5) The shotgun, how it is set up. Is it modified in some way for better performance of your rounds.
6) Could I utilize a smaller size buckshot like #4 in my personal context or is 00Buck the way to go?
7) Do you know and have control of where your family members are inside your house at all times?
These are all factors that should be considered prior to selecting buckshot for personal defense and especially for home defense.
Last weekend in our Practical Shotgun Skills 1 course I saw a variety of buckshot loads perform in a variety of ways, which is pretty standard for shotguns. One that stood out which I had not had a chance to test out was Hornady Critical Defense 8 Pellet 00Buck. See pics below, both targets engaged from 3- 7 yards.
Both are acceptable out to 7 yards however the Hornady performs better, remaining together longer and printing a tighter group of pellets and wad. This tighter performance will allow shots from greater distance and more precision when combined with proper sight and trigger management.
My preferred 00 Buckshot round has been the Federal Flight Control load, it still is. However I was impressed with the performance of the Hornady Critical Defense load and will picking some up for testing and as a back up load in case I cannot get ahold of any of the Federal loads. So, just some things to consider when selecting your home defense load and a couple options to pick up and consider testing in your gun because what works well in mine may not work so well in yours.