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Guide to Shotgun Ammunitions

Shotgun Ammunition : What is it?

Shotgun Ammunitions

Shotgun ammunition are the bullets or shells used in shotguns. They are driven out of their shells when the shotgun is fired. They are usually available in the form of big, lead slugs or as cartridges made up of hundreds of tiny, lead pellets ideal for hunting birds. A single projectile contained in a shotgun shell is called a slug, while a shell filled with multiple pellets is called a shot.  

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Types of Shotgun Ammunitions

Shotgun AmmunitionsShotgun Ammunitions

Kinds of Shotgun Ammunitions include the following:

Buckshot loads

Buckshot loads are shotgun shells that contain lead balls with a large diameter.
They are commonly used for self-defense and big game hunting.
They can contain up to up to 27 balls or pellets measuring .24 to .36 inch.
They are considered all-around defense shots because of their large lead pellets.
They come in different diameter sizes with 000, 00, 0, #1, and #4 being the most popular.
The larger models offer effective penetration and a greater range.
Those used by law enforcers offer fast follow-up shots instead of full power.



Birdshot loads

Birdshot loads are shotgun shells that contain pellets with a small diameter.
They are commonly used for bird and waterfowl hunting.
They are considered field loads.

They usually have poor stopping power, but they work well at close ranges, usually from 20 to 30 feet.

They are usually recommended for self-defense.
They behave like buckshot loads when shot at close range—they tend to be locked into the shotgun’s shot cup.



Rifted slug loads

Rifted slug loads are shotgun shells that contain bullets made of solid lead.
They are single projectiles similar to rifle bullets.
They have ridged sides that provide stability and rotation during flight.
They offer excellent stopping capabilities.
However, they do not offer accurate hits because they require carefully aiming.
They come in different types including sabot-type slugs, Foster, and Brenneke.
They are ideal for targeting shots in long distances.

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Choosing Shotgun Ammunitions (Buying tips)

Length: For a more powerful and accurate shooting, choose shotgun ammunition with a length of three-and-a-half inches or more. As a rule, the longer the shotgun ammo, the more powerful they are. The length of shotgun ammunition is measured in inches based on the firearm’s hull length.

Non-toxicity
: Due to environmental issues, many states and areas prohibit the use of lead ammunition in waterfowl hunting and upland bird hunting. For environment-friendly shotgun ammunition, choose those made with non-toxic properties such as steel, tin, bismuth, tungsten-matrix, tungsten-iron, and tungsten-polymer materials.

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