12 gauge ammo

Reviews and discussion of shotgun ammo.

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sikacz
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12 gauge ammo

#1 Post by sikacz » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:45 pm

I know very little about 12 gauge ammo. The max shell length for my soon to arrive shotgun is 3 inches. So I know the box of shells I bought is 12 gauge and what do the rest mean? What else do I need to know about different loads? Different uses?
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Louis
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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#2 Post by Louis » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:00 pm

There's bigger shotgun experts than me, but basically the shells you bought will fit the 3" chamber as well as a 2 3/4 chamber...it doesn't work the other way around. Of course the weight is the weight of the shot. I don't know exactly how they came up with the numbers for shot, but the larger the number the smaller the pellets. A target load like your box is for shooting clay pigeons. Usually larger shot, like #4 or #6 is used for duck hunting and buckshot like 0 or 00 is used for self defense.

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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#3 Post by CDFingers » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:02 pm

Following.

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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#4 Post by SubRosa » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:22 pm

Those are poopy target loads for killing clay pigeons. Commonly called trap.

Done such so that you can choot 'em all day and not suffer much recoil from the practice.

Poopy by comparison to 00 buck max dram.

Usually the best deal is to wait for dove season, and load up a case or two of #7 bird loads.

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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#5 Post by sikacz » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:50 pm

What is most commonly used in competitions? Is there a specific load? So the box above is a "#8" load? "Poopy" :roflmao: being a technical term does that mean underpowered?
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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#6 Post by Rickoshay » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:02 am

sikacz wrote:What is most commonly used in competitions? Is there a specific load? So the box above is a "#8" load? "Poopy" :roflmao: being a technical term does that mean underpowered?
Generally speaking, Skeet wants more pellets so they like to use #9. Trap wants longer range so 7 1/2 is more prevalent. You need to use a pattern board with each load and each choke. Any change will possibly affect your pattern. With my O/U I get the best results with #8 1 oz load going 1290 fps. The lighter the shot load the lower the recoil.

Like the .22 shotguns will always have their favorite loads.
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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#7 Post by eelj » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:10 am

Low base target loads, thats all I shoot. High base shells have longer brass bases because they have more powder in them. What you showed is not only good for trap but also good Grouse hunting ammo. Very little recoil.

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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#8 Post by sikacz » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:28 am

What exactly does the 9, 8 or 7 1/2 mean?
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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#9 Post by Bucolic » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:48 am

sikacz wrote:What exactly does the 9, 8 or 7 1/2 mean?

Probably more than you need to know: http://www.rem870.com/2016/01/25/shotgu ... hot-slugs/


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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#10 Post by eelj » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:50 am

It's the size of the shot, the smaller the number the heavier the shot. Up here where I live the most common sizes have been #4 for ducks, fairly heavy so it holds a pattern at longer distances. #6 for upland game like pheasants which is a little lighter and throws a wider pattern quicker and #8 for woodland fowl which is shot at a much closer range. I think that you can buy some ammo with #12 shot that isn't much bigger than table salt.

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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#11 Post by Larch » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:04 am

sikacz wrote:I know very little about 12 gauge ammo. The max shell length for my soon to arrive shotgun is 3 inches. So I know the box of shells I bought is 12 gauge and what do the rest mean? What else do I need to know about different loads? Different uses?
I have a book I'll pass along to you next time I see you. It's Shotgunning: The Art and the Science by Bob Brister. It should answer just about any question you have regarding ammo, gauges, chokes, barrels, shot strings, ballistics, etc. Very well-written and considered a masterpiece on shotgunning. Or it's available on Amazon in either digital or hard copy.
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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#12 Post by sikacz » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:05 am

Bucolic wrote:
sikacz wrote:What exactly does the 9, 8 or 7 1/2 mean?

Probably more than you need to know: http://www.rem870.com/2016/01/25/shotgu ... hot-slugs/

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Cool! Thanks!
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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#13 Post by spara » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:22 am

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In addition to what's been posted, check the the dram or muzzle velocity of the shell if you are running a semi-auto shotgun. From experience, I know that this won't run reliably in my Stoeger M3000 despite all the polishing and the light spring I've installed. However, this may run well in a gas, pump, SxS, or OU gun.

For the games I play (3gun, occasional 5 stand/skeet/trap), weight of shot hasn't mattered for me. I usually shoot #8 shot, unless there's clay targets, then #9. I use an IC choke on most everything, but if the targets are a bit further away or there's a spinner I might switch to a LM because it has a slightly denser pattern than IC.

Fitment is really important to me because shotgun in 3gun is about shooting long strings quickly. I've cut down my stock and installed a kick-eeze pad for my length of pull. In addition to the regular 3gun mods, I've polished the mag-tube, chamber, action bar and installed a lighter spring to lighten the action. I also installed a recoil reducer to help balance the gun since it has a +8 mag extension and of course reduce recoil. Shotgun is the gun I shoot the least, but the gun that's most customized to fit me and it has made a big difference.

Brands that I shoot are Fiocchi for practice or local matches, Clever for mid level matches, and Winchester AAs when I want to go all out. Choice of ammo is really dependent on the game you hunt or the games you play. Buy a box to see what runs reliably, buy a second box to pattern with chokes if you like it.

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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#14 Post by lurker » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:18 am

but pink ribbon?
:wacko:

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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#15 Post by sikacz » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:41 am

lurker wrote:but pink ribbon?
I found the pink ribbon box appealing, but my most important reason is I just wanted to buy at least one box of a target load that might work. I've never had a shotgun so, it's baby steps. I hope the ribbon means they support breast cancer research. My wife before she retired was a cancer researcher at MD Anderson in Houston.
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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#16 Post by sikacz » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:47 am

spara wrote:Image

In addition to what's been posted, check the the dram or muzzle velocity of the shell if you are running a semi-auto shotgun. From experience, I know that this won't run reliably in my Stoeger M3000 despite all the polishing and the light spring I've installed. However, this may run well in a gas, pump, SxS, or OU gun.

For the games I play (3gun, occasional 5 stand/skeet/trap), weight of shot hasn't mattered for me. I usually shoot #8 shot, unless there's clay targets, then #9. I use an IC choke on most everything, but if the targets are a bit further away or there's a spinner I might switch to a LM because it has a slightly denser pattern than IC.

Fitment is really important to me because shotgun in 3gun is about shooting long strings quickly. I've cut down my stock and installed a kick-eeze pad for my length of pull. In addition to the regular 3gun mods, I've polished the mag-tube, chamber, action bar and installed a lighter spring to lighten the action. I also installed a recoil reducer to help balance the gun since it has a +8 mag extension and of course reduce recoil. Shotgun is the gun I shoot the least, but the gun that's most customized to fit me and it has made a big difference.

Brands that I shoot are Fiocchi for practice or local matches, Clever for mid level matches, and Winchester AAs when I want to go all out. Choice of ammo is really dependent on the game you hunt or the games you play. Buy a box to see what runs reliably, buy a second box to pattern with chokes if you like it.
Thanks for the explanations, info and pic edit!
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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#17 Post by Maccabee » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:32 pm

I’m considering an o/u for sporting clays, and this has been a very informative thread. Thanks, LGC!

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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#18 Post by Bacchus » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:29 pm

Same as Macabee! Thanks to all- great info here.
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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#19 Post by CDFingers » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:41 am

Good thread. Thanks for the links and knowledge.

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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#20 Post by NuJudge » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:14 pm

Things are a little more complicated regarding shot sizes. There are several different shot size systems. If you are not buying ammo for waterfowl, deer or home defense, the above comments regarding bird shot cover matters. Amongst the other shot size systems, which in some cases overlap, are waterfowl/swan shot, and buckshot.

Semiautomatic shotguns that are gas operated are sometimes not tolerant regarding shotshell length being shorter than the chamber. My brother has a 12 gauge 3 inch Remington 1100, and it will rarely function correctly with 2.75" ammo, and then only 2.75 ammo loaded to the highest pressures. With pumps, doubles and singles, cartridge length being shorter than the chamber is rarely a problem. With pumps, doubles and singles, a chamber being shorter than the cartridge case is a huge problem always.

CARTRIDGE LENGTH IS MEASURED AFTER FIRING UNDOES THE CRIMP. THE UNCRIMPED CASE IS USUALLY CONSIDERABLY LONGER THAN THE UNFIRED CARTRIDGE. A UNFIRED 3 INCH SHELL WILL FIT IN A 2-AND-THREE-QUARTERS CHAMBER AND FIRE, AND BLOW THE GUN UP. There are commercially available 12 gauge shotshells longer than 3 inch: I don't know if a unfired 3-and-a-half incher will fit in a 3 inch chamber, but LOOK at case lengths. Look also for 20 gauge shells getting mixed in with your 12s, as they can blow you up also.

Sometimes a shotgun will allow you to do lots of different things, each with different attachments or ammo. I have had several Mossberg 500 shotguns. Homely as a mud fence, but I had interchangeable-choke barrels for Skeet and Waterfowl, rifled barrels for ammo with slugs, I even have a muzzleloader barrel. With a 500, I get away with less forward allowance than any other shotgun I've used. Specialized ammo lets me also do things such as tighten or loosen shot patterns, as needed.

The mention of drams is a archaic weight measure for black powder, which for a long time was the only powder used. A particular number of drams of black powder, with a particular weight of shot, was generally associated with a particular muzzle velocity of the shot. Try to look at velocity, not Drams. Velocity of the shot, together with the size of the shot, is usually what determines what use the ammo is intended for. For close-in clay targets which you see in Skeet, velocities of 1100 feet per second are fine, and you want fine birdshot somewhere between #9 and #7-and-a-half, and 3/4 oz to a bit over an ounce will do fine. For most Trap games, the range is a little longer, so that 1100 fps may be a little low, you'll want more shot because your pattern is spreading over distance, and you'll want heavier shot to combat pellet energy loss with distance. For Pheasant, I need to force pellets through feathers, skin, and meat and break light bones, and for that I need much heavier shot (#6, or the more coarse #5), higher velocities yet (1350 fps is typically what I want). For a really tough bird like a Turkey I want a coarse birdshot like #2, but ranges are close so velocity is not that important. For ducks and geese, everything is different as the shot required is usually the less-dense steel shot, which does not penetrate and smash things as well, so extraordinary things are done to increase pellet energy, such as much larger pellets, and much higher velocities (I load mine to 1800 fps).

There is rarely a free lunch in anything. A light gun is a delight to carry all day, but if you shoot the kind of high volume of shells one does in Skeet/Trap/Clays, your shoulder will tell you things the next day. A heavy gun will be much more comfortable to shoot duck loads in, but if you take that gun grouse hunting all day, your arms will fall off at the end of the day. My experience has been that increasing velocity only increases recoil a little, but even small increases in shot weight dramatically increase felt recoil.

Some shotshells are made with cases that are not really intended for reuse. They are typically cheaper than those that are really intended for reuse. Those that you purchased can be reloaded, but typically are not. Those intended for reloading a lot of times typically cost something approaching twice as much.

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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#21 Post by CDFingers » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:42 pm

Really detailed post, NuJudge. +1

Pink Box Federal shot shells:
Support breast cancer research with these limited-edition, pink-hull loads. Federal will donate a portion of the sales of these Hulls for Healing shells to support the fight against breast cancer and find a cure.
https://www.cabelas.com/product/Federal ... 188669.uts

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Re: 12 gauge ammo

#22 Post by Maccabee » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:09 pm

Thanks, NuJudge. Great post.

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