Explaining different shotgun ammo to newb [Archive] - Glock Talk

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jamesbern
02-21-2011, 14:31
So i'm considering getting my first shotgun, a Mossberg 930SPX :supergrin:.

My confusion comes when looking at different ammo for 12 guages.

Is this a good explanation of the different types and what they are good for?

http://www.wikihow.com/Choose-Shotgun-Shells-and-Chokes

http://www.zombiesurvivalwiki.com/page/Shotgun+Ammo

At one range I would use it at it specifies "lead only" for shotguns.

So I would take that to mean I can use any 12 guage shotshells as long as the balls are made from lead right? The difference is just the size of the balls inside the shell correct?

Also what is high brass and low brass?

Also, for the 930 SPX, for slugs I would need rifled slugs because the barrel is a smooth bore correct?

This seems confusing to me :whistling:

Glockin21
02-21-2011, 16:59
The Wiki link looks right.I wouldnt go by anything that has the words 'zombie survival'.

jamesbern
02-21-2011, 17:02
The Wiki link looks right.I wouldnt go by anything that has the words 'zombie survival'.

:rofl: Yeah, I just linked that cause it had the chart for the different sized shot.

I also found a 930SPX locally, basically new for $450. It only had 15 rounds put through it.

mixflip
02-22-2011, 21:57
Try reading up over at www.shotgunworld.com (http://www.shotgunworld.com) and hang out in the tactical shotgun section called "the basement" since you are planning on getting a 930SPX?

You are correct, rifled 1oz slugs can be shot out of almost all chokes (technically) except for the tightest turkey chokes. The birdie shaped rifled slug will conform to improved cylinder chokes which are the most common tactical chokes out there. I know it sounds wierd but rifled slugs dont normally go with rifled shotguns. Sabots go with rifled shotguns.

I am no expert but like I said, there are some seriously die hard shotgunners over at shotgun world that can answer every single shotgun question imaginable.

GAFinch
02-22-2011, 22:18
At one range I would use it at it specifies "lead only" for shotguns.

So I would take that to mean I can use any 12 guage shotshells as long as the balls are made from lead right? The difference is just the size of the balls inside the shell correct?

Yes. Some hunting loads use steel shot, or some exotic metal, so lead doesn't contaminate the food chain. Indoor ranges that allow shotguns prohibit bird shot, as it tends to hit the overhead cable that moves the target.

Aceman
02-23-2011, 07:44
So i'm considering getting my first shotgun, a Mossberg 930SPX :supergrin:.

excellent choice

Is this a good explanation of the different types and what they are good for?

http://www.wikihow.com/Choose-Shotgun-Shells-and-Chokes

Yes


At one range I would use it at it specifies "lead only" for shotguns.

So I would take that to mean I can use any 12 guage shotshells as long as the balls are made from lead right? The difference is just the size of the balls inside the shell correct?

Shot size is shot size. Unless otherwise specified, the shot is lead. Other materials are used for differences/preferences in penetration or environmental reasons (lead in water), or to avoid sparks against a steel stop inddors.

Also what is high brass and low brass?
High brass means more powder, low brass means less powder. More kaboom/recoil. Birdshot is usually low brass, buck is usually high brass. There are exceptions.

Also, for the 930 SPX, for slugs I would need rifled slugs because the barrel is a smooth bore correct?


As always - check the choke recommendations. I generally avoid slugs from anything less than cylinder. That's just me and not necessarily needed. Slugs can be used with chokes - to a point - depends on the slug and the choke.

Correct. You CAN shoot smooth bore slugs, but accuracy will drop as range increases.

Do a search here for shot size chart.

jamesbern
02-23-2011, 08:05
Thanks guys!

fatty
03-09-2011, 20:23
Very informative thread actually.

I like the Wiki How link.

For a person looking at getting a tactical shotgun this is good stuff.



Well done!

mixflip
03-10-2011, 02:56
Here is a fun video for you if you want to see what I have collected as far as 12 gauge ammo versatility goes?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J18_Y2r3zAs

vafish
03-10-2011, 06:27
The Wiki link looks right.I wouldnt go by anything that has the words 'zombie survival'.

It's not too bad of a page for shotgun info.

It could have some more discussion on gauge and shell length.

MacG22
03-10-2011, 11:37
What would happen if you shot a 12 ga slug out of a tight choke?

Big Bird
03-10-2011, 14:04
The gauge of a gun is an old english system of measurment. In theory the gauge of your gun is the number of lead balls in that bore diameter that are required to egual 1 pound. For example, you take 12 lead balls .73 inches in diamter and you get 1 lb of lead. Therefore, a 12 gauge bore is .73"... That's the concept anyhow.

Shotgun shells vary tremendously because there are different metrics used to describe a shell. For example--you will see three distinct things listed on most shell boxes. Shot Size, Weight of Shot load, powder charge equivilent. Shot size is simply that. Shot is numbered based on the size of the lead pellets with the smaller pellets having a higher number. Second is the weight of the shot loaded--usually this is expressed in ounces or fractions of ounces. For example a pretty standard field hunting load for the 12 gauge is 1 1/8 ounces of shot. It could be smaller 9 shot used for quail or clay targets or it could be larger #6 shot used for rabbits or squirrels etc. Finally you have the powder charge which is based on the EQUIVILENT pressure generated by a certain volume of black powder. Of course we use modern smokeless powders in shotguns now. But interestingly enough modern shotgun shells still operate in the same rough pressure ranges of old black powder guns. And the volumetric unit of measure for black powder back in the day was a "dram" (think something about the size of a thimble). So you will see shells marked 3 dram equivilent...or some such.

Nowadays, you also get into specialty loads with shot made out of steel or bismuth etc. These shells only came about in the 1990's when the US Fish and Wildlife Service adpoted regulations banning the use of lead shot for federal migratory birds (except doves). The hunting community adopted steel shot as a substitute for lead shot. The problem with steel shot, however, is lit lacks the density and ballisitic advantages of lead and in order to make up for the lack of killing power inherent in steel shot shells most hunters went to 3" (magnum) shells which allowed larger payloads and enhanced steel shot killing power.

Now that's not to say that 3" magnum shells didn't exist before the use of steel shot was mandated. They did and their primary use was by goose hunters who often make long passing shots. However, most people don't remember that goose hunting 30 years ago was NOTHING like it is today. The huntable populations of geese were much smaller back then and the seasons were shorter and big limits more restrictive. Not many people shot geese and therefore 3" guns were not at all common and considered a specialty gun. There were a good number of duck hunters 30 years ago but when I was a kid growing up the VAST majority of duck hunters used plain ole 2 3/4" shells with 4, 5. or 6 size leadshot. Today I hunt ducks with 3" magnum shells throwing #2 or #3 shot. Of course the marketing arms at most ammunition companies and the gun makers all jumped on the magnum band wagon 20 years ago and made lots of hunters believe they simply cannot effectively hunt game unless they have a 3.5" magnum--which of course if poppycock. I've killed wild turkeys for the better part of 20 years using plain ole 2 3/4" shells with 1 3/8 ounce of #5's.

There are a lot of other things thrown about in the shotgun world that are really nothing more than old marketing gimmicks. One is high base vs. low base brass... High base brass does nothing for a shotshell. People will tell you it indicates the shells have higher pressure and thus more velocity. Poppycock. The only thing a shotshell does is provide an container for the powder, wad and shot and a holder for the primer. The steel wall is the ONLY thing that contains the pressure. The plastic hull and VERY thin metal base only act as a gasket and container but they provide no real structural pressure control.
I've seen Mag Dram Equivilent loads in low brass and that's as high pressure as it gets in a 2 3/4 shell.

Lastly is shell length. When shotgun shells were initially invented--maybe 130 years ago the 12 gauge standard shell came out as 2.5". In fact many fine British doubles were made as 2.5" guns well into the 20th century. Over time steel quality improved and barrels could be made stronger/better and withstand higher pressure and the 12 gauge standard shell became 2 3/4" Of course you will see modern guns in 3" magnum chambers and also the recent 3.5" magnum. Keep in mind these are shell lengths measured from the empty case mouth to the rim. a 2 3/4" loaded shot shell is NOT 2 3/4" long. If you doubt this measure one for yourself! Magnum shells may mean more shot in the load and or more velocity. But rarely do you get both velocity and bigger payloads with magnum shells over the standard 2 3/4 loads. This is for the very simple fact that all shotguns operate at the same maximum chamber pressures.

vafish
03-10-2011, 20:33
What would happen if you shot a 12 ga slug out of a tight choke?

Modern gun, nothing bad. Old shotgun weaker steel you might mess up the end of the barrel.

Big Bird
03-10-2011, 21:35
Modern gun, nothing bad. Old shotgun weaker steel you might mess up the end of the barrel.

Actually a modern gun with screw in chokes is more likely to be damaged by shooting slugs through a tight choke than an older gun with fixed chokes. Damascus Steel barrels being the exception.

But lead slugs are generally very forgiving...

MacG22
03-11-2011, 12:03
Actually a modern gun with screw in chokes is more likely to be damaged by shooting slugs through a tight choke than an older gun with fixed chokes. Damascus Steel barrels being the exception.

But lead slugs are generally very forgiving...

So would it just make the slug inaccurate or would it tear up/destroy the choke/barrel?

Big Bird
03-11-2011, 14:19
So would it just make the slug inaccurate or would it tear up/destroy the choke/barrel?

Its not that it would make the slug inaccurate per se. But probably less accurate than if it were fired through a Cylinder choke.

It would not tear up anthing really. Lead slugs are very soft and will easily swedge down a few thousandths which is really the diff between a full and IC or c choke...

jamesbern
03-11-2011, 14:35
This thread helped me out a bunch. I'm glad I posted it.

I ended up going with a Remy 870 Express. I put Federal and Winchester 7.5 and 4 birdshot, 00 Buck, and 1oz Slugs through it. Had a few failure to eject (only on the Federal birdshot) fully out. The lip on the shell got hung up on the edge of the ejection port. Being my first time it may have been the way I was racking. IDK. Had a blast shooting it, but man was my arm sore for days afterwards :)

Jeff82
03-11-2011, 14:46
Some basic reading:
http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs10.htm
http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=109958
http://www.chuckhawks.com/home_defense_shotgun_ammo.htm