Types of shogun loads

A quick and dirty about your different options.

types of shot

Ahh, the choices.

Let's breakdown the different types of shotgun loads to give you a solid understanding of what each is used for.

Shotgun ammo is an essential component of any hunter's or shotgun sports shooter's arsenal. There are various types of shogun loads, each with its unique properties and intended purpose. Understanding the difference between these loads is crucial in ensuring your safety, maximizing your performance, and achieving your desired results. 

target loads
Target Loads

Target loads are designed for shooting at stationary targets or clay pigeons. Target loads typically contain smaller pellets than birdshot, ranging in size from #7.5 to #9. These pellets are designed to provide consistent patterns and are often loaded with lower amounts of gunpowder to reduce recoil and improve accuracy. Target loads are often used for practice or competition shooting, where precision and consistency are key. 


One of the most common types of shotgun shells is birdshot. Birdshot is usually used for hunting small game, such as birds, rabbits and squirrels. Birdshot contains small lead or steel pellets, ranging in size from #9 (the smallest) to #2 (the largest). The pellets in birdshot are designed to spread out quickly after leaving the barrel, making it easier to hit fast-moving targets. Because of their size, birdshot pellets don't penetrate very deeply, making them less effective for larger game or self-defense scenarios.


Buckshot is another popular type of shotgun shell. Buckshot typically contains eight to fifteen large lead or steel pellets, ranging in size from #4 to 000 (the largest). Buckshot is often used for hunting larger game, such as deer, as well as for self-defense. Buckshot pellets do not spread out as quickly as birdshot. which means they offer better accuracy at longer ranges. The larger pellets also provide greater stopping power, making them more effective against larger game or in self-defense situations. 


A slug is a single, solid projectile that is typically used for hunting big game, such as deer or bear, or for self-defense. Slugs are usually made of lead and are designed to provide greater accuracy and range than birdshot or buckshot. Unlike birdshot and buckshot, slugs to not spread out after leaving the barrel, which means they offer much better accuracy at longer ranges. They also penetrate much deeper than other types of shotgun loads, making them highly effective against larger game.

Specialty Loads

Specialty loads include a variety of shells designed for specific purposes. For example, low recoil loads are designed to reduce the amount of recoil felt by the shooter, making it easier to shoot for extended periods. Magnum loads are loaded with more gunpowder and are designed for shooting at longer ranges or for hunting larger game. Specialty loads are often more expensive than other types of shotgun shells but can provide significant benefits in specific situations. 

In conclusion, understanding the different types of shotgun loads is essential in ensuring your safety, improving your performance, and achieving your desired results. Whether you're hunting small game, shooting at clay pigeons, or defending yourself, choosing the right type of shotgun ammunition is crucial. By understanding the difference in between birdshot, buckshot, slugs, target loads, and specialty loads, you can choose the best ammunition for your needs and achieve success in the field or on the range.  

Dive deeper into shotgun knowledge by learning about the different types of shotguns HERE!




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