12 ga.: What is "Magnum" ammo?

Reviews and discussion of shotgun ammo.

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Bang
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12 ga.: What is "Magnum" ammo?

#1 Post by Bang » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:20 am

I just bought a new semi auto shotgun, a Rock Island VR60, and the instructions say to break in the mechanism with 50 rounds of magnum loads before using target loads. Now, target ammunition seems to be pretty well marked and usually lists expected FPS out of whatever test gun they used. But I've only found one brand marked "magnum" and it did not list a velocity.

Marked velocities have been anywhere between 1150 and 1650 FPS, I would assume magnum is 1400 and above, but I don't know. What kind of loading or velocity should I be looking for?

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Re: 12 ga.: What is "Magnum" ammo?

#2 Post by Darwinchip » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:05 am

Standard 12 gauge shells are 2.75 inches long. Magnum loads generally refers to 3 inch shells that, by virtue of their extra length, can be loaded hotter than a standard shell. There are also super magnum shells at 3.5 inches long but your VR60 isn't chambered for those.
Last edited by Darwinchip on Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 12 ga.: What is "Magnum" ammo?

#3 Post by Mason » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:06 am

Buy some turkey loads. Be ready to feel abused.
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Re: 12 ga.: What is "Magnum" ammo?

#4 Post by shinzen » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:26 pm

Yeah, that's gonna hurt.
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Re: 12 ga.: What is "Magnum" ammo?

#5 Post by atxgunguy » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:24 pm

What everyone else said. I'd try to find the lowest FPS in 3" shells. Winchester Super X is fairly cheap, but...ooof, might want to wear a heavy coat while dumping that stuff through it.
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Re: 12 ga.: What is "Magnum" ammo?

#6 Post by SubRosa » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:56 pm

3" 00 buck or slugs & old car in the sticks....

Might as well get some fun fer yer pain!

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Re: 12 ga.: What is "Magnum" ammo?

#7 Post by Bisbee » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:15 pm

Don’t wimp out! Your gun is watching you. Buy the strongest, baddest 3” loads you can find then go to town. If the manufacturer is telling you to do this it’s because they consider this to be the final “fitting” where all the flashing and other metal parts are going to rub off until everything in your action become butter smooth. Hell, I’d even lather some polishing compound into your gun’s receiver before you start. Note that I’d do that to YOUR gun, not necessarily mine. But I’m full of good advice these days...
:thumbup:

Anyway, nobody said you had to shoulder the damned thing. Shoot the first 50 rounds from the hip at a large object (like an old car). Just make sure to hold onto the gun so you don’t lose it behind you when it jumps into the bushes.
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Re: 12 ga.: What is "Magnum" ammo?

#8 Post by spara » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:10 am

You can also use 2 3/4 shells with an FPS of 1300 or higher or a dram equivalent of 3 1/2 or 3 3/4. They should cycle the action just fine for break in purposes.

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Re: 12 ga.: What is "Magnum" ammo?

#9 Post by TrueTexan » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:30 pm

Bisbee wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:15 pm
Don’t wimp out! Your gun is watching you. Buy the strongest, baddest 3” loads you can find then go to town. If the manufacturer is telling you to do this it’s because they consider this to be the final “fitting” where all the flashing and other metal parts are going to rub off until everything in your action become butter smooth. Hell, I’d even lather some polishing compound into your gun’s receiver before you start. Note that I’d do that to YOUR gun, not necessarily mine. But I’m full of good advice these days...
:thumbup:

Anyway, nobody said you had to shoulder the damned thing. Shoot the first 50 rounds from the hip at a large object (like an old car). Just make sure to hold onto the gun so you don’t lose it behind you when it jumps into the bushes.
Also make sure you place the buttstock on the outside of the hip, so when it slips you don’t lose anything important. Guy in high school was shooting this sawed off hog leg 12 ga and he didn’t put the stock on the outside of the hip. He fired not having it tight to his leg it slipped inward on recoil. We don’t know what was louder his scream or the 12 blast?
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Re: 12 ga.: What is "Magnum" ammo?

#10 Post by eelj » Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:18 pm

High based shells are magnums, low based shells are field or target loads. I always used high based 2 3/4 inch no 4s which was considered magnums before they made 3" loads for ducks. If the hunting was good I would have a very sore bruised shoulder after a hunt.

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Re: 12 ga.: What is "Magnum" ammo?

#11 Post by NuJudge » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Actually, "Magnum" 12 gauge 2.75" shells may have a relatively low muzzle velocity, but there's a heavy shot charge.

A lot of target loads, especially European ones, have light shot charges but sky-high muzzle velocity.

Regarding the comments about sore shoulders above, in general, my shoulder feels much worse with a significant increase in shot charge, than it does with a significant increase in velocity.

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Re: 12 ga.: What is "Magnum" ammo?

#12 Post by Bang » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:44 pm

Mason wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:06 am
Buy some turkey loads. Be ready to feel abused.
"Chiappa Golden Turkey." Shells are a dark Olive Drab green with golden markings. $9.99 per box of 10, so a little expensive, but they seem to be what the doctor ordered.

No I just need to find some turkeys...

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Re: 12 ga.: What is "Magnum" ammo?

#13 Post by MikeRossi » Fri May 17, 2019 5:04 pm

I pretty much addresses your question in someone else's post about shell length. In rifles and pistols "magnum" is different. But in a shotgun it refers to how many ounces of pellets. The terminology varies manufacture to manufacturer and person to person, but roughly a shell containing one ounce it is called a "light load". If it contains 1/4 most brands dont call it anything special, some do say "light game loads" or something similar. Shells loaded with 11/2, 2, or rarely - slightly over 2 ounces are called "magnum' or some brand specific name like "super x" double x, or super double x.

With rifle and pistol ammo the velocity often denotes magnum. But with shotgun ammo, more shot usually lowers the velocity, which is actually good in a shotgun. Shotgun slugs, which really just make a shotgun a rifle might be different, but I am not sure. They do sell ammo that are heavier (more grains) just like with rifle ammo. But I have not hunted deer in decades so I cant speak to the subject of slugs. You might want to take a look at my reply in that other post for more insight into this topic.

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