Birdshot

The smallest lead birdshot is #12, which has a diameter of 0.05 in. (1.27 mm); the largest, commonly encountered, is BB shot — 0.18 in or 4.57 mm

Table 8.1B Standard Steel Birdshot

Diameter

Approximate

No.

(in.)

Number per ounce

7

.10

422

6

.11

315

5

.12

243

4

.13

192

3

.14

158

2

.15

125

1

.16

103

BB

.18

72

BBB

.19

62

T

.20

52

F

.22

37

(Table 8.1A). BB shot should not be confused with the copper-coated steel BB's used in airguns. Airgun BB's have a diameter of 0.175 in. (4.44 mm).

The size of the shot in a shotgun shell usually is printed on the side of the tube. In shells where there is an overshot wad, the size of the shot may be printed upon this wad. Some shells are also marked with the weight of the shot charge and the dram equivalent. The number of pellets in such a shell can be determined by consulting tables such as Table 8.1A and B. Thus, a shell loaded with 1 oz of #7 1/2 lead shot contains approximately 350 pellets.

Theoretically, a shot shell loaded with #7 1/2 shot should contain only pellets of this size. However, if one cuts open enough of these shells, one will find an occasional shell inadvertently containing a few pellets of a different size, either one shot size larger or one size smaller. The vast majority of the pellets, however, will be #7 1/2. Remington produces what are called Duplex® shotshell cartridges. These are loaded with birdshot of two sizes e.g., BB and #2; #2 and #6; #7 1/2 and #8, etc.

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