What Are 12-Gauge Shotgun Shells?


Quick Answer

The 12-gauge shotgun shell is a cartridge designed to be fired from a shotgun with an internal barrel diameter of just under 3/4 of an inch. The cartridge often includes pellets, slugs and other projectiles.

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Full Answer

As of 2014, the 12-gauge is a popular shotgun, and is often used in sport, the military, hunting and home defense. The 12-gauge buck shotgun shell, also called a shotshell, offers an equal balance between the number of shots and projectile power. It simultaneously fires nine approximately .32-caliber pellets. As of 2014, other popular loads include birdshot, which is designed for fowl hunting and contains dozens of much smaller pellets. The most powerful 12-gauge cartridge is the slug format. This round launches a single, solid shot with a .727-inch diameter.

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