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Old August 31, 2005, 12:42 PM   #1
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Join Date: July 22, 2005
Location: Newark, DE
Posts: 256
general 12ga ammo question...

I have an Ithaca Model 37 12ga shotgun (which I'm keeping - thanks for all your opinions on that issue, TFL members!). I want to take it to the range and test it out, but have no idea what ammo to get. It says '2-3/4" chamber' on the gun, so I am guessing I should buy that sized ammo. But what KIND? I've seen all sorts of "shot" sizes, types, number designations, etc. So, specifically:

What to use for target/practice that won't break the bank?
What to use for personal protection at home (apartment)?

Thanks in advance.
Dave -=|=- Please visit my Gun Stuff page (my tiny speck on the 'Net)

1. Springfield Armory XD-9 sub-compact (1110 rnds as of 06/18/05)
2. Springfield Armory XD-9 sub-compact (w/ blue & silver GK, gift for fiancee)
3. Ithaca Gun Company Model 37 12ga shotgun (from Grandfather)
4. Future: AR-15 build
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Old August 31, 2005, 01:50 PM   #2
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Shotgun ammo is picked depending on what you are going to shoot.Target load 7 1/2 shot is good for sporting clays. trap and skeet. Home defense is best with 00 buckshot reduced recoil loads. Other shot sixes are picked for the gam ,the bigger the game the bigger the shot . Turkey and squirrels#4-6.Ducks #4, geese BB. Chokes also make a difference ,The farther the shot is taken the tighter the choke .ALWAYS pattern your loads so you know exactly what you have. This is done by shooting into a 30" circle at 40 yards. If your gun has a 2 3/4" chamber never shoot a larger shell in the gun.
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Old August 31, 2005, 02:59 PM   #3
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Just for a test out trip to the range I'd get whatever is cheapest at wallyworld. Well as a matter of fact I shoot whatever is cheapest all the time unless I'm hunting turkey or something else that will take a specialty shell.
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Old August 31, 2005, 04:06 PM   #4
Death from Afar
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Could I suggest you start off using the weapon with a mild game or trap load ( say #7 or #8 shot). Its cheap, and most importantly doesnt have a recoil. If you bang away with a case of #8 trap loads, you will be very familier with the weapon before moving onto the heavier shot. You will learn to use the weapon, handle the weapon, but not gain a flinch in doing so. If you start off with 000 buck or slugs, you will find your forst shot is not a pleasent experince.

The notes about shot are dead on. I use #6 on rabbits, #4 on birds, bb on goose, and #4 Buck shot for SD. There is a lively debate as to what shot is best for home defence. If your walls are thin and neighbours close, use a smaller shot to avoid hitting an innocent.
"Beware of the Man with one gun...he probably isnt into guns enough to be safe with it".
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Old August 31, 2005, 04:44 PM   #5
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Any light game loads in 7 1/2 or 8 shot will do just fine. Should be lots at good prices right now since hunting season is getting ready to start.
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Old August 31, 2005, 09:10 PM   #6
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2 3/4 is the measurement in inches of the length of the shotgun shell. Considered by most as the most common size. A very good thing because most common also means cheapest. It will say on the barrel what size shotshell you can use

If you are only wanting to shoot the shotgun and have no specific purpose I personally would use light loads suitable for trap because they are inexpensive. More expensive loads are usually special purpose....such as self defense and turkey loads.

If you are truly inexperienced with your shotgun make sure your shotguns barrel has the choke tube installed if it has one. Not all barrels use them.
Its also important to use the correct choke with a slug. Simply go to a gun shop and ask to see a choke tube. It will help you understand. There are no stupid questions concerning firearms. Anyone that would make you feel bad for asking a question is a jackas*.

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