View Full Version : What does Shotgun ammo info mean?

September 24, 1999, 10:56 PM
I am a new shotgun owner. I love my new Mossberg, but I do not yet understand everything regarding it.

Could ANYONE plz explain how the 00 (buckshot) 7 1/2 shot,ect works. Everything someone at the local gunstore (where I bought the Mossberg 590) says seems unclear.

I desperately need an understanding of the ammunition if I am to do further things with the shotgun (skeet, trap, ect...I have no idea what these things are, or the difference between them).

This concept may be to basic to find in a document intended for gun owners. I have looked to no avail.

Thanks in advance guys. I have always counted on you when I could not research it alone.

September 24, 1999, 11:37 PM
You can look at all the different sizes of shot on Federals web site http://www.federalcartridge.com/
Look in the Ammunition catalog, under classic lead shot.

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica;
"The sizes of shot used for small game hunting vary from about 0.08" to 0.15" (2mm-4mm) in diameter, and are identified by arbitrary number systems that vary from country to country."

Then it goes on further about buckshot sizes.


[This message has been edited by chucko (edited September 25, 1999).]

September 25, 1999, 11:07 PM
Thanks a heap Chuck

September 26, 1999, 02:13 AM
With Shotshells you are looking at 5 basic things. These are usually on the end flap of the box in large sized print:

GUAGE - Obviously tells you the guage. 12/16/20/28/410 are the most common. I am assuming you have a 12 ga. and most of my general comments are about that guage.

LENGTH - Tells you the length of the loaded round. Typical sizes are 2 3/4" and 3" although there is a 3 1/2" 12 ga. and the .410 comes in 2 1/2 and 3"

DRAM EQUIVELANT - Also written as DR. EQ. this tells you the power of the shell and this can vary depending on how heavy the payload is, size etc. Typical DR. EQ.'s are 2 3/4, 3, 3 3/4 and MAX. 2 3/4 is a standard power shell, 3 is is increased power and the 3 3/4 is a high base hunting load. I think the 3 3/4 is being replaced by MAX which is basically it is loaded as "hot" as possible within the cartridges' limitations.

OUNCES of SHOT - This tells you how much payload the shell is shooting. The standard loading for 2 3/4 12 ga. target loads is 1 1/8 oz. of shot. The heavy hunting loads typically are 1 1/4 oz and higher in a 2 3/4 hull. The 3 & 3 1/2 12 ga. hulls just give you a heavier paylod. On the ligher end of the spectrum there are 1 oz loads and 7/8 oz. loads that are sometimes called 24 gram loads. These have a small payload and get out to the target faster but they don't have as dense a pattern because they have less # of pellets.

SHOT SIZE - This just tells you what size your shot is. Chucko pointed you to the Federal site that shows you the different sizes. #9 is used for Skeet shooting, #8 & 7 1/2 is for trap and bird hunting, #6 and larger is for bigger birds like pheasant/


September 26, 1999, 04:54 AM
Thats exactly what I wanted to know (the basics). Thanks for the time it took you to type all that in. After reading what you wrote and the Federal site info it all makes sense now.