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Most popular shotgun loads

The popularity of shotgun loads can vary depending on the intended use, shooting activity, and regional preferences. However, here are some commonly used and popular shotgun loads:

1. Birdshot: Birdshot is typically used for hunting birds and small game. It consists of multiple small pellets (shot) packed in a shotgun shell. Birdshot is available in various sizes, such as #7.5, #8, and #9, with smaller numbers indicating larger shot sizes. It offers a wide shot pattern, making it effective for hitting fast-moving targets while minimizing the risk of over-penetration.

2. Buckshot: Buckshot is commonly used for self-defense, hunting larger game at closer ranges, and law enforcement purposes. It consists of larger pellets compared to birdshot, typically ranging from #4 to 000 (pronounced "triple-ought"). Buckshot offers more stopping power and penetration, making it suitable for close-quarters engagements or situations where a single projectile is preferred over a shot pattern.

3. Slugs: Shotgun slugs are single, solid projectiles that provide increased accuracy and greater range compared to shotshell loads. Slugs are commonly used for hunting big game, such as deer or wild boar, or for self-defense when increased penetration and stopping power are required. They are available in various designs, including foster slugs, sabot slugs, and solid copper slugs.

4. Target Loads: Target loads, also known as light loads or low recoil loads, are commonly used for clay target shooting sports like trap, skeet, and sporting clays. They typically feature low recoil, moderate velocities, and smaller shot sizes, allowing for better control and follow-up shots in competition shooting.

5. Specialty Loads: There are various specialty shotgun loads available for specific purposes. These can include specialized loads for home defense, such as reduced recoil or frangible loads, as well as non-toxic loads like steel shot or bismuth shot, which are used in areas where lead shot is prohibited for environmental reasons.

It's important to note that the selection of shotgun loads should align with the specific shooting activity, intended target, and local regulations. It's recommended to consult with experienced shooters, instructors, or local authorities to determine the most suitable shotgun load for your needs and to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

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