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Shotgun shells factsheet


Gauge refers to the number of lead spheres of equal diameter and equivalent to one pound (0,454 Kg.) that fit inside a shotgun’s bore.
The most common shotgun gauges are: 12-16-20-24-28-36 (.410). There are also non-standard gauges: 8-10-14-9 mm.
According to the height of the metallic base of the case or cartridge, the gauge types are:

  • Type 1= 8mm
  • Type 2= 12mm
  • Type 3= 16mm
  • Type 4= 22mm
  • Type 5= 27mm

Less commonly used types have heights of 10,14 and 25 mm.
The most commonly used cartridges are 70 mm (2 ¾ inches) in length, but there are other lengths: 65, 67.5, 76 and even 89 mm (3 1/2 inches).
When buying a shot shell, the most important aspects are the load and the shot size, which have to correspond to the type of hunting you’re doing.

Maximum pressure

presionThe following maximum pressures for shot shells were set by the C.I.P., the body that oversees user safety:

Normal proof fressure 900 bar
12 gauge and bigger 650 bar 747 bar
16 gauge 680 bar 782 bar
20 gauge and smaller 720 bar 828 bar
Proof over 1200 bar
All gauges 900 bar 1030 bar

Lack of compliance with this norm can lead to serious consequences.


postasBuckshot is lead shot that weighs 2.5g or more. Under this standard, the following measurements are buckshot:

  • 9,10 mm Ø shot = 4.54g
  • 8,65 mm Ø shot = 3.80g
  • 7,65 mm Ø shot = 2.57g