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All About Buckshot

Buckshot Feature

Table of Contents

Hey all, we here at True Shot Academy are going to go over buckshot ammo today. Our goal with this blog post is to provide a brief overview of buckshot ammo while delving into traits, features, and use cases. Without further ado, let’s talk all about buckshot.


What is Buckshot?

In the context of firearms and ammunition, the term “buckshot” refers to a specific type of shotgun loading. Buckshot loads feature a number of pellets which most commonly feature diameters of .32” to .34” depending on the specific loading. There are multiple buckshot loadings which feature smaller pellets and some which include larger sized pellets. The number of pellets in a given buckshot loading is determined by the length of the shell and size of the shot. For example, 00 buckshot ammo will generally feature 8 pellets in a 2.75” shell.

As there are multiple pellets in a buckshot loading, projectiles will spread as they travel downrange. This spread is influenced by things such as barrel length, chokes, wadding, and projectile types. Some buckshot loadings feature purpose-built waddings which are designed to promote tighter flight patterns. These are evident with the Federal Flite Control and Hornady Versa-Tite wads found in some of offerings from these companies. These larger projectiles are capable of imparting a high level of energy, allowing them to be utilized for purposes such as hunting and self-defense.

Modern day buckshot loadings are most commonly found in the form of plastic shotshells. These hulls feature prominent rims and are capable of being reloaded and reused for future loadings. Historically, paper and brass were used to produce shotgun shells, with modern advancements in plastics making synthetic shells the norm. Buckshot loadings are also available in a variety of lengths. For example, 12 gauge shells are available in 2.75”, 3”, and 3.5” sizes. Longer shells allow for more propellant and projectiles to be utilized in loadings.

Winchester Buckshot
Winchester 00 Buckshot

Buckshot Supported Gauges and Bores

Shooters will be able to find a variety of buckshot loadings available in different gauges and bore sizes. Popular buckshot offerings can be had in 12 gauge, 20 gauge, 10 gauge, and .410 bore ammo offerings. Simply put, common and popular shotgun chambers will generally see support with buckshot loadings.


Is Buckshot Good for Hunting?

Buckshot loadings have been commonly employed by hunters for generations. The word “buck” in the name of the type of loading is derived from the animal as it is among the game commonly dispatched with the round. In the United States, there are states and localities which restrict the use of standard rifle ammunition for hunting use. In these restrictive areas, hunters generally use straight-walled cartridges or shotgun loadings to dispatch game.

Buckshot loadings, specifically in the form of 12 gauge ammo, are well-suited for hunting medium and large sized game. Companies produce specialty loadings which further optimize the loading for hunting use, often increasing the velocity of the pellets and promoting tight patterns. Additionally, there are a number of copper plated offerings from a number of companies which are purpose-built for hunting use. These lead-free offerings allow hunters in areas which restrict lead ammunition to continue to hunt in compliance with restrictions. Smaller buckshot loadings, such as #4 buckshot, tend to perform quite well in smaller game hunting applications and are well-suited for predator hunting applications.

Buckshot loadings have been trusted for hunting applications by many shooters throughout the years. These types of loadings are still viable and well-suited for hunting work today, especially with some of the optimized loadings on the market.


Is Buckshot Good for Self-Defense?

Buckshot is well-known for its potency in the realm of self-defense and home-defense. Armed professionals have utilized buckshot loading in their duties in a variety of law enforcement roles. These end users have effectively employed buckshot loadings in patrol capacities, SWAT applications, and other roles. As it has worked for these professional end users, it is more than suitable for use by civilians defending their home or their person.

There are a number of buckshot loadings which are purpose-built and tailored for defensive use. There are even some loadings that combine solid slug projectiles with buckshot pellets. These loadings are most commonly found in the form of 12 gauge, 20 gauge, and .410 ammo offerings. Of these offerings, buckshot ammo of the 12 gauge variety tends to be the most common and popular. This is mainly due to the fact that 12 gauge ammunition in various forms is employed by law enforcement and other personnel for their duties. Buckshot loadings are exceptionally effective at self-defense due to their large projectiles and tight patterns. Multiple sizable projectiles impacting across a concentrated area imparts a considerable amount of kinetic energy. This translates to a considerable effect on target and often provides more than sufficient fight stopping capability.

Buckshot loadings, like in hunting roles, have long been used in duty and defensive roles. With specialized options and standard buckshot loadings, one will be able to effectively defend their home and property.

Lambro 12 Gauge 00 Buckshot
Lambro 12 Gauge 00 Buckshot

Who Makes Buckshot Ammo?

Buckshot ammo is currently produced by a wide variety of ammunition manufacturers. Established companies such as Remington, Winchester, Aguila, Federal, and Rio are just some of the producers of buckshot ammo. These companies and more produce buckshot ammunition for uses such as hunting and self-defense use.


How Available is Buckshot Ammo?

The availability of buckshot ammunition is ultimately dependent upon the specific gauge or bore they are looking for. Standard buckshot loadings in the form of 12 gauge ammo tend to be some of the most commonly encountered forms of buckshot. Prospective buyers will also encounter 20 gauge and .410 ammunition in the form of buckshot loads, but they will be less common than their 12 gauge counterparts. As far as buckshot loadings go, 00 (pronounced “double-aught”) buckshot loadings tend to be the most common buckshot loadings on the market.



All in all, shooters today will find buckshot loadings to still be viable for a number of use cases. These loadings continue to be well-supported by a number of companies with offerings which further optimize buckshot loadings for hunting and defensive use. Whether you are after buckshot or some other form of ammo, we here at True Shot Ammo carry a wide range of ammunition for sale. Regardless of whether you need 12 gauge ammo or another caliber we carry, we have got you covered. As always, happy shooting.


Need bulk ammo? At True Shot Ammo, we have a wide variety of handgun ammo and rifle ammo available to purchase. Please visit our website, call us at (888) 736-6587, or you can email us at [email protected] for more ammo options.


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