What were 12 gauge shells like in WWII?


March 27, 2010, 08:51 PM
What were the military shotgun shells like in WWII?

In particular, were they 2 3/4 inch long, how many pellets, and what were the hulls made of?

How much would 50 brass hulls weigh compared to today's plastic hulls?

Thank you

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March 27, 2010, 09:13 PM
Those that I have from that era are 2.75' with brass hulls. I don't know how many pellets are in the 00 buck loads as I've never tried to open one. I want to save them as they are and opening one would destroy the flat paper on the end.

March 27, 2010, 09:32 PM
Is the paper at the end waxed for waterproofness?

March 27, 2010, 09:49 PM
Well, the rounds were made about as water-resistant as was considered "standard" for the day. I think the glue stuff was called "isinglass" or something like that.

Rain, brief dunking, was the limit of the water resistance. Mishandling or abuse leading to cracks in the top wad's seal put a soldier into the "keep your powder dry" territory.

March 27, 2010, 10:20 PM
I believe by WWII they were using the brase based paper hull which was waxed for moisture sealant. The 2&3/4 inch 00 buckshot held 9 pellets as I recall. They would have been roll crimped onto a end wafer .

Pretty much like commercial/civilian ammo of the time.

Fred Fuller
March 27, 2010, 11:36 PM
The military started out in WW2 using wax impregnated paper hulled buckshot, but ran into the same problems that had been discovered in WW1. Paper hulls swelled when exposed to moisture and gave problems in cycling and chambering in the guns.

As a result the brass hulled M19 9 pellet 00 load came back into use. This load lasted until the late 1960s, when it was replaced by the plastic cased M162 load from Winchester/Western and other manufacturers. This was still a 9 pellet 00 load.

See http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=162672051 for a box (10 rounds) of M19...


For M162 see http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=162208116


Fred Fuller
March 27, 2010, 11:45 PM
And as far as I know Winchester is still loading the issue buckshot load, if what I see offered for sale is in fact contract production ammo. I don't know that it is, or that it isn't, but it's been showing up a lot lately.

See http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=162699567 and various other web vendors if interested...



March 28, 2010, 12:35 AM
I've got a couple boxes of M19 brass-hulled buckshot.


Here's some data I just took:

Plastic hulls - Winchester Super X 2 3/4 00 Buck
Loaded - 44.3g (1.565oz)
Empty - 8.3g (0.290oz)

Brass hulls - Remington M19 00 Buck
Loaded - 59.3g (2.095oz)
Empty - 19.3g (0.680oz)

Paper hulls - Winchester Super Speed 2 3/4 Magnum 00 Buck
Loaded - 56.7g (2.000oz)
Empty - not available

I had to use a Winchester low-brass AA target shell to get the empty plastic data as I couldn't seem to find any high brass buckshot empties lying around! Should be close enough, however. I only have a handful of paper hulled shells, none fired.

Here's a comparison photo I took of some various 12ga shells.


March 28, 2010, 07:47 AM
Never seen the OD/black shells in .mil service. In the Marines in the late 80s and early 90s and today in the USAF, the red hulled Winchester 9-pellet buckshot loads are what I've seen.

Winchester Wal-Mart bulk pack and shell on the left, USGI shell and box minus the plastic wrapper on the right.

The 160 round ammo can our ammo comes issued to us in.

March 28, 2010, 07:57 AM
Wonderful information here. Thank you all for sharing.

March 28, 2010, 01:39 PM
I have some Vietnam era GI loads still left I liberated.

Red plastic ribbed hull, high-brass, roll crimped, fiber wad, red lacquer primer seal, 9 pellet 00 Buck,
Just Super-X commercial as far as I can tell.

It came in steel 50 cal ammo cans just like Grunt posted the picture of.
Stacked loose in two rows with corrugated cardboard dividers in the middle to take up space in the can near as I remember.


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