Shotgun Shells and What They’re Used For


Holden Wolfe

The 3 main types of shotgun shells typically used for hunting.

Different Types of Shotgun Shells and What They’re Used For

By: Holden Wolfe


There are many different types of shotgun shells to use for hunting. The first is a birdshot shotgun shell. As its name suggests it is used for hunting birds. Birdshot is also used for shooting clay pigeons for target practice as it has a lot of spread for less penetration to do less damage and making it easier to hit your intended target. Some birds that are hunted are wild turkeys, quails, pheasants, geese, and ducks.When a shotshell is fired from a shotgun, the pellets leave the barrel and begin to spread or scatter. The farther the pellets travel, the greater the spread of the group of pellets.


For medium to big game buckshot is more useful because it has larger and heavier pellets. It has a tighter spread with less projectiles. With higher velocity comes more penetration, making buckshot good for hunting medium to large game. That includes deer, elk, caribou and even moose, usually from less than 50 yards. Buckshot is also a good self defense round, as it provides a combination of  stopping power and spread. 

Chesney Funderburk, a student at MHHS said, “Although it’s still very expensive, I get my ammunition from Cal Ranch.” At Cal Ranch, a box of 20 shells for targets is 12.99$. A box of 25 shotgun shells for hunting are 19.99$. The price of ammunition has gone up a lot over time and varies a lot.

A shotgun slug is a bigger single solid round so it has no spread. It has even deeper penetration as all of the energy is focused into one smaller area. Like buckshot, slugs are useful for hunting medium to large game, just at further distances. They are effective from 70-150 yards. They are a very good “man stopper” as they are very powerful with they’re increased velocity. Making them more lethal at a longer range.