September 25, 2020

12 Gauge Shot Patterns (Various Loads, Chokes & Distances)

There are literally hundreds of various 12 gauge shotgun loads. The various loads serve a variety of purposes. Then, if we add shotgun chokes to the equation, things can become even more confusing rather quickly.

12-gauge shot patternsShotguns? There is more to it

Many shooters like the idea of having a 12 gauge shotgun. A shotgun is a multi-faceted firearm. Being used for hunting, competition, home defense or range excitement, a shotgun is the most versatile firearm in the gun world. When we look deeper into what a shotgun offers, it can get quite confusing. There are literally hundreds of various 12 gauge shotgun loads. The various loads serve a variety of purposes. Then, if we add shotgun chokes to the equation, things can become even more confusing rather quickly.

Shotgun Myths – yes there are many

There are also several shotgun myths that some people view as facts. A popular shotgun myth is to “just shoot close” to the target and the shot load will make contact. That mindset is dangerous as it gives false hope that anyone could use a shotgun for defensive purposes by just shooting close to an intruder. In terms of self-defense, I’ve heard many people confidently say that racking a pump-action shotgun will make an intruder run away. If it was that easy, we could all have pre-recorded shotgun sounds to play when we hear a bump in the night. 

Ok, give me proof

I made this video to show the spread of a 12 gauge shotgun pattern using various loads, chokes, and distances. The video is intentionally short and simple. I wanted to dispel several of the ridiculous myths by educating people what a 12 gauge shot pattern actually looks like on paper. The loads used were #7 ½ high-velocity birdshot and a 000 buckshot with eight pellets in each shell. Using three separate chokes at both eight and 16 yards, I demonstrated how the 12 gauge shot pattern actually looked. 

Check out the video and let us know your thoughts and opinions on 12 gauge shotgun patterns with various loads, chokes, and distances.

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