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12 Gauge Ammo
About 12 Gauge Ammo
The 12 gauge shotgun ammunition has a long and rich history, dating back to the mid-19th century. The first 12 gauge shotgun shells were made of brass, but later, paper shells were developed that were cheaper to produce and had better ballistic characteristics.
The 12 gauge shotgun became popular for hunting, sport shooting, and military and law enforcement use.
During World War I, shotguns were used extensively by American troops in trench warfare, and in World War II, shotguns were used for close-quarters combat.
In the 20th century, technological advances led to the development of new materials for shotgun shells, including plastic and other synthetic materials. These materials allowed for more consistent performance and improved reliability.
Today, 12 gauge shotgun ammunition remains one of the world's most popular and widely used ammo types. These ammunitions provide various options in close quarters but could perform better at long-distance shots.
It is used for hunting, sport shooting, self-defense, and law enforcement and is available in a wide range of loads to suit different applications and preferences.
Because the projectiles quickly lose their velocity, they require a close-range target, typically 45 yards or less.
The versatility, reliability, and stopping power of the 12 gauge shotgun ammunition continue to make it a favorite of shooters worldwide.
Common Names for 12 Gauge Shotgun Ammo
Since its initial production, 12 Gauge Ammo has had many different name variations. Some of the most common include:
- 12 Gauge Shotgun Ammo
- 12 Gauge Shotgun Ammo
- 12 Gauge Shotgun Shells
- 12 Gauge Shells
- 12 GA Ammo
- 12 GA Shells
Regardless of your preferred terminology, 12 Gauge shotgun ammo has maintained high popularity over the years and are available from nearly every major American ammo manufacture.
Components of a Shotgun Shell
A shotgun shell is a self-contained cartridge filled with metallic 'shots' - small spherical projectiles contained in a plastic or paper tube called a hull.
Located beneath the shot is the wad or wadding. Usually constructed from paper or plastic, the wadding creates a barrier between the shot and the powder.
Although original 12 Gauge Shotgun Ammo used black powder, today's 12 Gauge Ammo utilizes smokeless powder.
The Shot: A shotgun shell is a self-contained cartridge filled with metallic 'shots' - small spherical projectiles contained in a plastic or paper tube called a hull.
Most shots are made from metal (lead, steel, tungsten, or bismuth). However, non-lethal shotgun shells can be loaded with rubber, rock salt, or small bean bags.
The Wad: Located beneath the shot is the wad or wadding, usually constructed from paper or plastic. The primary purpose of the wad is to prevent the shot and powder from mixing and provide a seal that prevents gas from blowing through the shot rather than propelling it.
The Powder: Original 12 Gauge Shotgun Shells initially used black powder. However, today's modern 12 Gauge Ammo utilizes a far more efficient smokeless powder that takes up far less space.
The Hull: Usually made from paper or plastic, the hull is a tube often capped at the base by a metallic head cover that retains a primer, and a wadding inside the case typically contains the shot charge.
12 Gauge Shotgun Shell Features
12 gauge ammo is extremely versatile and is commonly used for a wide range of applications, including hunting small game, shooting clay targets, and even home/personal defense.
RANGE OF LOADS
12 gauge ammo is available in a wide range of loads, including birdshot, buckshot, and slugs. This allows shooters to choose the best type of ammunition for their specific needs.
12 gauge shotgun shells are known for delivering effective stopping power, making it a popular choice for home defense and law enforcement.
12 gauge shotgun shells are effective at short to medium ranges, making it ideal for close quarters combat and hunting in dense brush or wooded areas.
RELATIVELY LOW RECOIL
Some 12 gauge shotgun ammo loads have relatively low recoil, making them easier to shoot and more comfortable for some shooters.
12 gauge ammo is widely available for purchase online, at gun stores, or sporting goods stores, making it easy to find and purchase.
Additionally, 12 gauge ammo is relatively affordable compared to other types of ammo, making it accessible to a wide range of shooters.
12 Gauge Ammo FAQ
QUESTION: What does 12 gauge ammo mean?
ANSWER: Shotgun shells are measured in gauge, representing the total number of bore-size lead balls it takes to make one pound.
12 gauge shotgun shells have a bore of .73 inches containing 12 lead balls, each with a diameter of .73 inches, to make a pound of lead.
QUESTION: How many pellets are in a 12 gauge shotgun shell?
ANSWER: The number of pellets inside a 12 gauge shotgun shell depends on the type and size of the shot within the shell itself. There are six pellets in a 1oz 000 12 gauge shell and 585 pellets in a 1oz #9 12 gauge shell.
The heavier the cartridge, the more pellets the shooter can expect. The largest shotgun shell is a 000 shot (pronounced triple aught) and measures .36 inches in diameter. The smallest is a #9 shot with a diameter of .08 inches.
QUESTION: What is the best 12 gauge ammo for shotgun skeet and target shooting?
ANSWER: The best 12 gauge ammo for shotgun skeet, trap, and target shooting depends on the type of shotgun and the shooter's preference. 12 gauge shotguns push out a lot of power, and many owners opt for a load that offers reduced recoil.
Skeet shooters use a variety of shot sizes ranging from #8, #8.5, or #9, which are known for their short, high-density patterns.
Trap shooters prefer shot sizes ranging from #7.5 or #8. Consider options like Winchester, Remington, or Federal loads.
QUESTION: What is the best 12 gauge shotgun ammo for home defense?
ANSWER: When selecting 12 gauge ammo for home defense, owners need to consider factors such as penetrating power and overpenetration.
Although 12 gauge buckshot and birdshot ammo can cause significant damage to an intruder during a home invasion, many manufacturers produce specialty rounds designed exclusively for home defense.
Examples of home defense 12 gauge shotgun shells include:
- Federal Personal Defense
- Hornady Critical Defense
- Winchester Defender
QUESTION: What are the different types of 12 gauge shotgun ammo?
ANSWER: 12 gauge ammo is available in various configurations and can differ in size or amount of pellets. Standard options available in 12 gauge buckshot include 000, 00, 0, #1, #2, and #3.
12 gauge birdshot include: #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #7.5, #8, #8.5, #9, and slugs. 12 gauge shotgun shells also come in different lengths (primarily 2.75 through 3.5-inch shells) and have different weights.
Another popular type of 12 gauge ammo is self-defense, which includes .4 buckshot and is made by manufacturers like Remington, Hornady, and Sellier & Bellot.
QUESTION: What is the shelf life of 12 gauge shotgun ammo?
ANSWER: Properly stored 12 gauge shotgun ammo can have a shelf life of many years, but it is important to check for signs of corrosion or damage before using any ammunition that has been stored for a long period of time.
QUESTION: What is the cost of 12 gauge shotgun ammunition?
ANSWER: The cost of 12 gauge shotgun ammo varies depending on the type of load and brand, but it is generally less expensive than other types of ammunition such as rifle cartridges.