To the new shooter, the variety of shotgun ammunition available can be overwhelming. There are so many different brands, and so many different combinations of shot size, payload and velocity that is can be troubling, even for the seasoned shooter.
It is our hope that this segment will demystify the shotgun ammunition selection process.
The size of the individual shot pellet is described in the form of a number. For target shot shells, the most common pellet sizes are 7-1/2, 8, 8-1/2 and 9. 7-1/2 is the largest of the group, and 9 is the smallest. Shooters must decide whether they want a dense pattern (smaller shot) or more energy per pellet (larger shot). The general rule is that closer targets warrant smaller pellets while longer-range targets require the larger pellets.