12 Gauge Shotgun Shells

The most popular shotgun gauge in the world is the 12 gauge. It is manufactured in a variety of loads that make it a great choice for hunting virtually any North American game. The 12 gauge is also effective as a home defense cartridge.
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  1. Winchester 12 Gauge Ammo - 10 Rounds of 1-3/4 oz. #5 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    Image For 10 Rounds Of 1-3/4 oz. #5 Shot (Lead) 12 Gauge Winchester Ammunition


    $23.50 Price
    In stock now
    • $2.35 Cost Per Round
    • Winchester SKU STLB1235
    • UPC 020892021365
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History of 12 Gauge Ammunition

The 12 gauge shotgun is the most popular shotgun in use today. This versatile and easily found gauge has been used by hunters, sport shooters, law enforcement and military users in its cartridge configuration since the late 19th century.

Originally, shotgun shells were either full length brass shells or paper hull shells with a brass base. They were sold either loaded or primed and unloaded so that the shooter could complete the shell on their own. In 1884, Frank Chamberlin patented a machine that could load 1,500 shotshells an hour, an astonishing feat at the time. By the mid 1890’s, Chamberlin was in direct competition with Winchester and Union Metallic Cartridge Company. Unfortunately, this proved to be Chamberlain’s undoing as the two companies he was competing against were also the companies that produced the hulls and wads he needed to manufacture his shotgun ammunition. He was out of the ammunition business by 1900 and shifted his focus to trapshooting devices.

The first half of the 20th century was a time of few changes in shotgun ammunition technology, the brass hull eventually gave way to the paper hull and black powder was replaced with the cleaner burning and more powerful smokeless powder. Remington led the way in new products for the shotgunner with the introduction of its Model 870 in 1951 and just under a decade later in 1960, Remington introduced plastic hulls for their shotgun shells. This not only made for a more robust case, but it also helped to keep the contents of the case dry when used in field conditions. One year after this, O.F. Mossberg & Sons introduced their iconic entry into the pump shotgun market, the Model 500.

Shotgun shells will commonly contain shot or slugs as the projectile. Shot is normally found as lead or steel pellets, tungsten and bismuth loads are also available. Shot pellets range in size from 0.36” (000 Buck) to 0.8” (#9 shot). Shotguns are very effective for hunting birds from dove to turkey. Some jurisdictions even allow for large shot sizes to be used to take game up to and including deer.

Shotgun slugs are one piece projectiles that are designed to hunt larger game at ranges normally under 100 yards. Slugs are very effective to due the large size and high energy transfer into the target. Some shotgun barrels are rifled to impart spin to the slug, while other slugs are actually covered in a sabot and are specially designed to have a longer range and increased accuracy at the cost of projectile weight.

Specialty ammunition, such as low recoil and buck and ball combinations, are becoming more common as the popularity of the 12 gauge in the self defense arena is returning. The inherently more accurate long gun platform requires a generally shorter time to become proficient with the shotgun for defensive use as compared to a pistol. Plus the greater energy and decreased over penetration issues are definite positives for the 12 gauge.

The 12 gauge shotgun ammo will continue to be popular into the foreseeable future. The variety of applications and different guns and barrels available make the 12 gauge a good choice for any close range hunting or defensive use.

Discuss 12 Gauge Shotgun Shells by adding your comment to the 5 comments below or by asking a new question

Frank Klein ( Sun, 23 Dec 2012 01:37:25 +0000 ) : what does high brass mean?
Daniel Kellar ( Thu, 21 Feb 2013 00:52:37 +0000 ) : Shotshells with heavier powderloads and more shot.
Edward Serrano ( Fri, 09 Aug 2013 01:45:34 +0000 ) : Anyone know a supplier for Shells, Shots, wads, and primers?
Edward Serrano ( Sun, 11 Aug 2013 17:59:00 +0000 ) : yes got it. if you need the supplier there you go. http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/browse/reloading/_/N-1100193/Ns-CATEGORY_SEQ_104761080?WTz_l=DirectLoad%3Bcat104792580
JJ Omalley ( Mon, 28 Jul 2014 00:45:23 +0000 ) : Can you shoot 23/4 inch shells from a shot gun with a 3inch chamber?
12 Gauge Shotgun Shells Ammo Customer Reviews
  • Click To Purchase This 12 Gauge Rio Ammunition Ammunition
  • dakitan said: "shoots great holds a good pattern would buy again. but then i already did"
  • Dave said: "Good ammo at a fair price worked well in my pump and semi auto. The only down fall I see is I wish the wad covered the shot so the lead wouldn't dirty the barrel as much. Over all very happy. "
  • Tazz said: "Great Ammo, I am looking forward to buying more in the future!!!"
  • Dave said: "I bought this ammo for a good price, Shot a few boxes shot and cycled flawlessly. Would recommend to a friend."
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  • Click To Purchase This 12 Gauge Federal Ammunition
  • Bang-Bang Tazzzmanik said: "Will order more products in the near future. Very happy with service and product and price. Thanks."
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  • Click To Purchase This 12 Gauge Federal Ammunition
  • sixftmoose said: "I have always trusted Federal ammo to be good quality and this 12 gauge ammo once again proves to me that Federal knows what they are doing when it comes to making ammo! I have had no problems what so ever with any of the ammo I purchased from Ammo.net and I'm a life long customer after dealing with them, the ammo arrived quickly and has surved its purpose. I used the ammo in my brand new Mossberg 500 and it cycled properly with no problems, consistent pattern, reasonable recoil and came in a handy little ammo can in great shape (Nice little bonus if you ask me!) I would recomend this ammo to anyone looking for a good quality 00 Buck."
  • Hondobob said: "I've gone through two cans of this excellent shotgun ammo without complaint. It cycles just fine in my old Winchester 1897, High Standard Supermatic, and a Norinco clone of the Colt 1878 side-by-side. Good patterns and power with manageable recoil. Some ammo cans are loaded with 25-round boxes, others with smaller boxes, but always a total of 175 rounds. An excellent choice for hunting or defense. I'm buying more when it's available."
  • Click To Purchase This 12 Gauge Rio Ammunition Ammunition
  • Bascat said: "I purchased the ammo for use in 3 gun matches. The ammo shoots well considering the price, The drawback is the crimp. This ammo has a roll crimp instead of a normal crimp which makes it too long for the shoot shell carriers used in 3 gun and cuts down on the capacity that can be loaded in the shotgun tube."
  • Rusty said: "Useing ammo shooting hogs from helicopter works great Thanks Rusty"
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  • Ronald said: "Researched 12 ga 00 Buck ammo. availability and price locally and on-line before finding Ammo.net. (refered by a friend). Pleasently surprised by the stock and price of this and other cal. of ammunition at Ammo.net. Order arrived super fast and I am very pleased with selection, price, and delivery of my order. How pleased? Well I sent a link to all my friends and associates about Ammo.net. Great to know that 1% of my sale went to a 2nd Ammendment - Pro-Gun organization of my choice too! Keep up the great work Ammo.net."
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  • CB said: "Purchased 500 rounds of this ammo, shot 25 rounds without any problems. With the discount from facebook this purchase per box was cheaper than any other place I could have purchased this ammo. I have shot this ammo before with no problems, cycles well in my Saiga 12."
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  • Ariel said: "This is great low recoil buckshot, it's perfect for pistol grip only shotguns because of its low recoil. The pattern is also very tight. The crimp is also better than what I usually see on other brands so the buffer wont leak out into the magazine tube. You can't go wrong with this ammo and I plan to order more when its back in stock."
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  • Tinacn said: "When I bought a used Mossberg-manufactured12ga fully rifled slug barrel for my Remington 870, I bought several different brands and loadings of slugs to pattern from the bench. These slugs shot the tightest groups of ANY I tried, had manageable recoil and were among the least expensive per round. I had Brenneke-style slugs, plain rifled Foster unsaboted slugs, as well as a couple of the newer saboted, all copper and copper hollow-point types costing $3-$4 or more per round. Some 2 3/4" and some 3". I see no reason to sue any other brand or load in my particular shotgun."
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  • bogertw said: "Took my new Benelli Nova Pump to the range and the first 4 shells in a row (from 2 separate boxes) fired fine, but jammed the fore-end so I couldn't eject the shell without very forcefully yanking back. I assume the brass casing expanded way more than it should have. I then tried 4 different brands and each worked flawlessly. Put the Rio back in and it jammed immediately. I ended up switching to an over-under gun and they performed fine in that. So, they may work fine for you in a different type of gun, but I wouldn't recommend them for a Benelli pump."