What you need to know about shotgun ammo

The shotgun is among the most reliable companions for any hunter. However, a newbie can be easily overwhelmed with options as soon as they walk into the store. Why are there so many types of shotgun shells? The reason is it is a gun meant to serve multiple purposes. No matter what kind of firearm you carry, it can serve several purposes depending on what you loaded into it. 

Here is everything you need to know about shotgun shells and how to choose the right one:

Type of shells 

Shotguns are popularised as very short-ranged weapons but they can still be dangerous at a long distance. A standard 12-gauge can be lethal up to 38 yards away but other types of shells have an optimum range of up to 160 yards. Different shotgun shells are used for specific types of hunts and they are divided into three. Here’s what you need to know about each one when shopping at Outstanding Munition:


The name ‘buckshot’ is derived from the word ‘buck’ referring to reindeers, antelopes, and other creatures like them that can run fast and with horns. These have large pellets inside the shell and are great for hunting or defending yourself from large animals roaming the wilderness of the United States. Even if you don’t plan on hunting, this is a reliable ammo to keep in stock for your shotgun for self-defence but not so much for target practice as it has a relatively short range. 


The birdshot has smaller pellets designed for a more focused fire and longer range than the previous type. It is named ‘birdshot’ as it is designed for hunting birds at long distances, allowing you to snipe them while they are roosted. Birdshot shells are also ideal for hunting small animals like rabbits and squirrels without worrying about damaging their bodies too much. Ultimately, it’s great for hunting small game to serve as a quick dinner.


Shotguns are also capable of single projectiles called ‘slugs’. They are a lot heavier and bigger than most bullets, making them inaccurate past 100 yards max in their trajectory. Depending on the gun and shot you are using, some effective distances are only up to 75 yards. You will need special barrels and a choker to minimise their deviation. Slugs are also designed for hunting big games like deers and boars with the advantage of travelling longer distances than a buckshot. 

Size and length

All shotgun shells are classified by gauges between 28 to 10 identified by the circumference of the shell’s base. Lower number means the shell is bigger and has a lot more gunpowder. 12 gauge is the standard in and most popular size in the United States but there are 10 gauges which are a lot more powerful albeit packing a lot more recoil. 28 gauge is the lowest but there are.410 bores which are smaller but a lot weaker meant for pests and varmints. Outstanding Munition has all that you need so come by and get your shells.

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