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Old September 4, 2001, 08:44 PM   #1
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Remington shotgun guide part 3

Shotgun shells, like shotguns, are classified by gauge. Shells are designed to be fired in a matching gauge gun (ex: 10 gauge shells are made to be fired in 10 gauge shotguns only). Therefore, you will find shot shells available in 10, 12, 16, 20, 28 gauges, and the .410 bore. For safety, it is extremely important to remember that shot shells can only be used in the gauge of gun for which they were intended. For example: placing a 20 gauge shell in a 12 gauge gun can result in the shell becoming lodged in the bore. If the gun is then fired with the smaller shell still lodged in the bore, the barrel could explode - thus causing serious injury or death.
Within their respective gauge designations, shot shells are available in different lengths. Common lengths are 2-3/4", 3" and 3-1/2". The longer the shell, the greater the amount of shot that it delivers. Remember, your shotgun chamber must be able to accept the length of shell you wish to shoot (see Chapter 1, "Chamber Length"). 3" or 3-1/2" shells cannot be safely used
in guns with 2-3/4" chambered guns. However, 2-3/4" shells can be used in 3" or 3-1/2" chambered guns.

The measured amount of smokeless gunpowder in a shot shell is known as the "dram equivalent." Dram equivalents are a measure of the velocity the powder will generate. They match the velocity of today's new smokeless gunpowders with old-time measurements of black powder. In effect, a shot shell with a
2-1/2 dram equivalent would be equal in velocity to 2-1/2 drams of black powder - making the assumption that both measurements are pushing the same amount of shot. Overall, the most important thing to remember is that the
higher the dram equivalent, the more powerful the charge and, as a result, the higher the velocity.

Remington manufactures shot shells with two different kinds of shot - lead and steel - as well as special lead slugs and Copper Solid sabot (pronounced say-bo) slugs for hunting deer and other medium sized game. Each type of shot has unique characteristics that affect its overall performance.

LEAD: Ever since the first shotgun, lead has been the material of choice for making shot shell pellets. Today, that still holds true. Lead is dense, easy to work with and inexpensive for use in making shot shells. Ballistically, it is also generally recognized as the time proven standard due to its ability to deliver even patterns and its proven lethality on game. Pouring molten lead through a sieve forms Remington lead shot, and then it is dropped 140 feet into water. During the fall, the drops of lead
form round pellets. Because lead is a fairly soft material, lead shot may also be copper-plated or nickel-plated for added hardness in certain loads. Shot cups for lead shot are molded from flexible, low-density polyethylene plastic that compresses when firing as well as seals powder gases for optimum performance.

STEEL: After much research that documented lead poisoning among waterfowl that had ingested lead shot; the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service mandated the use of non-toxic shot for all waterfowl hunting. Since then, steel shot has become the recognized standard for water fowling and is now also required to
hunt upland birds on just about every federal and state wildlife area where waterfowl share the habitat. From the beginning, Remington has led the industry in the development and improvement of steel shot shells.

Remington steel shot is created by cutting steel wire into short lengths, grinding and forming it into highly-concentric pellets, then
zinc-galvanizing it to prevent corrosion. Because steel is harder than lead, the shot cups used for steel shot are designed from higher density polyethylene with thicker sidewalls to prevent the pellets from scoring the bore. (Please refer to "Steel vs. Lead" on page 12.)

SABOTED SLUGS AND RIFLED SLUGS: Saboted slugs and rifled slugs are generally used for shotgun deer hunting in areas where rifles are not permitted, but are often the preferred choice for any deer hunting at close ranges. For a saboted slug (like the Remington Premier Copper Solid), the slug is enclosed
in a polyethylene capsule that falls away when the slug exits the muzzle. This type of slug can be extremely accurate when fired from a fully rifled shotgun barrel - capable of producing very tight 2-1/2" - 5 shot groups at 100 yards. A rifled slug (like the Remington Slugger) has helical ribbing around its circumference to enhance its stability when traveling through the bore and is recommended for shooting in smoothbore, open-choked shotguns.
BUCKSHOT: Buckshot is used for close-up deer hunting situations in tight quarters and is also very popular for varmint hunting (coyotes, foxes). Like other shot shells, buckshot contains pellets. However, the pellets are much larger in size and fewer in number - sometimes as few as 8 or 9 large pellets per shell.

SHOT SIZES: Shot, whether lead or steel, is available in a range of sizes suited for different types of hunting.

SHOT CHARGE (OUNCES OF SHOT): The shot charge of a shell is simply the weight of the pellets inside the shell, displayed in ounces. You will find this designation on the top of every shot shell box. The ounce-weight of the pellets inside a shotshell can vary considerably - from light 1/2 oz. loads for .410 bore to heavy 2 or 2-1/4 oz. 12-gauge loads. The higher the weight, the greater the charge. It is important to remember that higher weights do
not necessarily mean more pellets. You should also note that with large steel shot loads like "T" and "BBB," as well as with buckshot, the shot charge is determined by pellet count rather than weight.
Because steel shot is both lighter and harder than lead shot, there are some important factors you should consider in order to maximize your success with steel shot. By studying the following easy-to-use charts, you can get a better handle on these differences and use them to your advantage when shooting steel.

Note: The following specifications apply to choke tubes and choke tube barrels only. Steel shot can be used in improved cylinder or modified choke tubes without any special notation on the tube. However, steel shot can only be used in full choke tubes that state "lead or steel". Steel shot cannot be used in a fixed full choke.

Steel shot has a higher initial velocity than lead when it first exits the muzzle. However, due to its lighter weight, it can lose knockdown power at longer ranges. By using larger steel shot sizes you can maintain a comparable velocity and retained energy to that of lead - even at long distances.

Hunting & Shooting with a Shotgun
Different species of game and their unique habitats and characteristics require hunters to vary their approaches. By selecting the proper choke, shot size and shot shells for the particular game you are hunting, you can increase your chances for success and, perhaps more importantly, make clean, quick kills. Use the following chart as a guide.

As a rule of thumb, use steel shot two sizes larger than you would for lead. Since steel is less dense than lead, the larger shot size allows you to have the same "weight charge" load with roughly an equivalent number of pellets - therefore maintaining comparable pattern performance and pellet energy to your lead loads.
Target shooting is not only good practice, it can be fun competition and an excellent way to become thoroughly familiar with your shotgun while honing your shooting skills. Shotgun target shooting is usually performed in four common ways: trap, skeet , sporting clays and informal shooting. Specialized
target loads (such as Remington Premier STS) are designed specifically for breaking clay targets and are often the preferred choice for sport shooting.

TRAP: In trap shooting, a single trap ("launcher") throws clay targets away from the shooter at varying angles. There are five shooting positions. Shooters stand 16 yards behind the trap and rotate positions after shooting. In "handicap" trap shooting, shooters stand as far back as 27 yards (having to break targets at up to 50 yards or more). With every increase in distance, the game becomes more difficult. Shot sizes for trap include 7-1/2, 8 and 8-1/2.

SKEET: In skeet shooting, two traps inside "houses" - one "high house" and one "low house" - throw clay targets. There are eight stations placed in a semi-circle between the two houses. Shooters rotate between stations. Single target shots are taken at high-house and low-house clays from all eight stations. Double target shots (two clays thrown simultaneously) are also taken at stations 1, 2, 6 and 7. The most common shot size for skeet is 9.

SPORTING CLAYS: Sporting clays is the newest shooting game and probably presents the truest hunting scenarios and can be extremely challenging. Shooters walk a course and stop at different stations - each having unique terrain and representing special hunting situations. Clay targets are thrown at varying angles and speeds at each station to specifically simulate the flight of birds and, in some cases, running rabbits and squirrels. Shot sizes used for sporting clays are 7-1/2, 8 and 8-1/2.
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Old September 5, 2001, 08:31 AM   #2
Coop de Ville
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Join Date: April 14, 2000
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newbie questions

Thanks for the info, I enjoy learning about shotguns since I am new to them.

The sabot slug is in a plastic cup so this means that there is no copper to rifling contact, and therefore no copper fouling?

I have a smoothbore, so I shoot the rifled slugs. Does anyone make these with plastic cups so I don't get leading in my bore. The Brennekes I have don't have a cup I believe?

Thanks for the info, regards,

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Old September 5, 2001, 09:24 PM   #3
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As far as I know no one makes a foster type slug with a plastic cup, i.e. wad around the slug itself. I believe this would defeat how these slugs are designed to function - by their skirt expandign (obturating??) and getting a good seal to the bore.

If leading is a concern in your smoothbore while shooting these types of slugs why not try a saboted slug? They probably will not give you the best accuracy but then again they may be acceptable for your needs.

I have shot numerous conventional foster type slugs through smoothbore guns with various chokes and not had any problems with leading.

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