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Shotgun ammunition, also known as shotgun shells or shotgun cartridges, is designed specifically for use in shotguns. Shotguns are versatile firearms that can be used for hunting, sport shooting, self-defense, and law enforcement applications. Shotgun ammunition consists of a plastic or paper hull filled with various types of projectiles, depending on the specific load and purpose. Here are some common types of shotgun ammunition:

Birdshot: Birdshot is a type of shotgun ammunition primarily used for hunting small game and birds. It contains multiple small pellets, typically made of lead, which spread out upon firing. Birdshot is less lethal at longer distances and is effective for hunting birds, rabbits, and other small game.

Buckshot: Buckshot is designed for self-defense and hunting larger game. It contains larger lead pellets, usually ranging from 00 (double-aught) to #4 buckshot. Buckshot is known for its stopping power at close ranges and is commonly used by law enforcement for tactical purposes.

Slugs: Shotgun slugs are solid projectiles designed for accurate shooting at longer distances. They are commonly used for hunting larger game, such as deer or boar, and can be effective for self-defense at close to moderate ranges.

Bean Bag Rounds: These are non-lethal rounds designed for crowd control and riot situations. They consist of a fabric bag filled with lead shot or other materials, delivering blunt force impact without penetrating the target.

Less-Lethal Rounds: Less-lethal shotgun ammunition includes various types of non-lethal rounds, such as rubber pellets, bean bags, and tear gas rounds, used for law enforcement and riot control to incapacitate or disperse crowds without causing fatal injuries.

Slug/Buck Combo Loads: Some shotgun shells combine both slugs and buckshot pellets, allowing shooters to have versatility for different shooting scenarios.

Specialty Loads: Manufacturers offer specialty shotgun loads, such as home defense loads with reduced recoil or target loads designed for clay shooting sports.

Shotgun ammunition comes in various gauges, including 12-gauge, 20-gauge, 16-gauge, and 28-gauge, each having different diameters and shooting characteristics. 12-gauge is the most common and widely used shotgun gauge.

When using shotgun ammunition, it's crucial to select the appropriate load for your specific shooting needs, whether it's hunting, sport shooting, home defense, or law enforcement applications. Follow safe firearm handling practices, and always ensure that the shotgun ammunition is compatible with your firearm. Adhere to all local laws and regulations regarding ammunition usage and possession.

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