A loaded shell out of the box is a little shorter. That probably goes without saying if you’ve been around shotguns for a while, but not everybody knows that. So, an ideal choke would be a cylinder bore (the loosest) as the hunter wants the shot to spread out as quickly as possible.
These guns are especially effective inside of barns and sheds, as the snake shot will not shoot holes in the roof or walls, or more importantly injure livestock with a ricochet.
 The shots have traditionally been made of lead, but steel, tungsten and bismuth are frequently used due to restrictions on lead. Eventually, this also led to the introduction of one-piece plastic wads in the late 1950s through the early 1960s, to add additional wad volumes, in order to maintain the same overall shotgun shell length. But as the shot moves farther away, the individual pellets increasingly spread out and disperse. #1 is .30 inches and #4 pellets are .24 inches.
The wad design may also encompass a shock absorber and a cup that holds the shot together until it is out of the barrel.
Lead shot in waterfowl hunting was banned throughout the United States in 1991. I fired four rounds of each (the tube capacity of most guns) in short barrels with cylinder, modified and full chokes. I obtained samples of all available 12-gauge buckshot loads (from No. But I hope you’ll consider the fact that I probably didn’t just make it up. For hunting game, the range and penetration needed to assure a clean kill is considered.
Pace off that distance and add a couple of yards just to be on the safe side and use that as your maximum distance. The shot must reach the target with enough energy to penetrate to a depth sufficient to kill the game. The reasoning behind this archaic equivalence is that when smokeless powder first came out, some method of establishing an equivalence with common shotgun shell loads was needed in order to sell a box of shotgun shells. For example, a shotgun is called "12-gauge" because a lead sphere that just fits the inside diameter of the barrel weighs 1⁄12 pound (38 g). Steel, being significantly less dense than lead, requires larger shot sizes, but is a good choice when lead is not legal and cost is a consideration. Several mechanical factors contribute to the effectiveness of the various buckshot sizes and chokes. The resulting answer is the diameter of the shot in hundredths of an inch. The standard definition of shotgun gauge assumes that a pure lead ball is used.
The resulting 150 four-shot IPSC targets were carefully tabulated for distribution of pellets in the various scoring rings.
Furthermore, "dram" equivalence only came around about 15 years after smokeless powder had been introduced, long after the need for an equivalence had started to fade, and actual black-powder loaded shotshells had largely vanished. In an effort to determine what size buckshot and what choke are best-suited for defensive work, I once did a very elaborate series of patterning tests. The .410 bore is the smallest shotgun size which is widely available commercially in the United States. #4 will have around 21 to 28 pellets. The British system for designating buckshot size is based on the amount of shot per ounce. You have to hit your intended target, but that is the nature of using fightin’ iron. Intentionally deformed shot (hammered into ellipsoidal shape) or cubical shot will also result in a wider pattern, much wider than spherical shot, with more consistency than spreader wads. Follow Lucky Gunner Lounge from your Inbox!
While there is much to be said for the shotgun slug, the best all-around choice is probably buckshot—a number of large lead balls, sometimes alloyed with tin and antimony or plated with copper or nickel. A compliance report must be issued for each production lot and archived for later verification if needed. There are a ton of options out there and more than any other type of firearm, ammo selection for shotguns is critical for making sure that gun does what we want it to do. After the powder comes the wadding or wad. 2¾-inch #00 buckshot comes with either 8 or 9 pellets. One is avoiding, as much as is possible, the deformation of those big buckshot pellets in their journey from the hull to target. A rifled slug uses rifling on the slug itself so it can be used in a smoothbore shotgun. Besides pressure testing, shotshells containing steel pellets require an additional Vickers hardness test. Spreader wads are wads that have a small plastic or paper insert in the middle of the shot cup, usually a cylinder or "X" cross-section. Most of the #4 loads are more like 1300 or 1400 feet per second. For example, a shotgun shell containing a 3 or 3 1/2 dram load of black-powder was a common hunting field load, and a heavy full power load would have contained about a 4 to 4-1/2 dram load, whereas a shotgun shell containing only a 2 dram load of black-powder was a common target practice load.  This contrasts with rifles and handguns, which are almost always measured in "caliber", a measurement of the internal diameter of the barrel measured in millimeters or inches and, consequently, is approximately equal to the diameter of the projectile that is fired. Those longer shells will give you more velocity or more pellets.
In metric measurement, it is easy to remember that #5 shot is 3 mm; each number up or down represents a 0.25 mm change in diameter, so e.g.
Wednesday, June 19, 2019. Number 11 and number 12 lead shot also exists. The primary purpose of a wad is to prevent the shot and powder from mixing, and to provide a seal that prevents gas from blowing through the shot rather than propelling it. Each pellet of #00 is about .33 inches in diameter. That’s pretty normal. This is everything (at least the first half of everything) you should and would ever want to know about using buckshot in a home-defense shotgun. A modern wad consists of three parts, the powder wad, the cushion, and the shot cup, which may be separate pieces or be one part. The powder wad acts as the gas seal (known as obturation), and is placed firmly over the powder; it may be a paper or plastic part. They are plenty sufficient for that job. The use of multiple pellets is especially useful for hunting small game such as birds, rabbits, and other animals that fly or move quickly and can unpredictably change their direction of travel. “Who is this guy and why should I listen to anything he has to say? Now do me a favor and go buy it from LuckyGunner.com because my kid is gonna need braces soon. Snake shot is generally used for shooting at snakes, rodents, birds, and other pest at very close range. In fact, the laws are so complex that some hunters in Europe prefer not to risk getting into problems for firing lead pellets in the wrong places, so they opt for composite pellets in all situations. Shotguns have an effective range of about 35 metres (110 ft) with buckshots, 45 metres (150 ft) with birdshots, 100 metres (330 ft) with slugs, and well over 150 metres (490 ft) with sabot slugs in rifled barrels.. So I’m going to go over just about everything you could want to know about using buckshot for self-defense. I’m splitting this one into two videos. . The way Tim puts it is that even though it’s counter-intuitive to the way we often think about shotguns, a wider pattern means you have to be more or less perfect when you mount the gun, sight it, and press the trigger.
These shotgun shells using paper hulls were nearly always roll crimped, although fold crimping also eventually became popular.