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shotgun ammo

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by High Altitude, Sep 16, 2006.

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  1. High Altitude

    High Altitude Member

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    I just purchased a new 18" 870 with the factory +2 mag extension, my first shotgun.

    I am planning on taking it out this Sunday to shoot it for the first time but since this is my very first shotgun, I need some help when it comes to ammo.

    I was going to buy some ammo today but when I started to look at what was available, I got pretty overwhelmed, because I don't know what all the different specs mean and what is good for practice ammo, HD ammo etc..... I understand the shell size, 2 3/4-3" etc... and guage but after that I had no idea what to get.

    When you guys go to the range do you always shoot your HD ammo, say 00, or do you shoot lighter loads that are meant for hunting or trap shooting?

    Any suggestions on what I should pick up for my first outing.

    I am not new at all to firearms. I have ownded handguns and rifles for 15 years, but believe it or not, this is my very first shotgun. :eek:
     
  2. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    target loads- whatever is cheapest, valuepacks, etc.
    and for the time being, lighter is better.
    enjoy!
     
  3. BozemanMT

    BozemanMT Member

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    Assuming you are just going out to bust clays and not shooting slugs or something.

    2 and 3/4
    1oz
    #8 shot (or 7.5 shot) will break any clay you need

    It will also help you pattern the shotgun and it's cheap
    Estate's, Federal, any of those cheapie loads work fine. Do not go buy the AA, STS', $5 a box loads just yet, get used to the shotgun.

    if you can't find 1 oz loads, get the 1 and 1/8oz loads, but you'll like the 1oz loads better.
    Ignore all the dram stuff for now.
    HTH
     
  4. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    Start with the lightest loads you can find. You'll see boxes with 3- 1- 8 or something like that on them- 3 is the amount of powder measured in 'drams equivalent', an archaic formula that's supposed to equate to black powder. BTW, just look at the 2 3/4" shells. That's all you need, ignore the 3" stuff for now (and later too for that matter). The 1 means one ounce of shot. 12 ga. loads come as light as 7/8 ounce, get those if you can find them for starters. The last number is shot size, which doesn't matter too much.

    Be sure to field strip and thoroughly clean your new 870 before you shoot it. Especially the chamber and barrel.

    And take time to read the following:
    http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=11646
    http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=141509

    Stay safe,

    lpl/nc
     
  5. High Altitude

    High Altitude Member

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    What about steel vs lead shot?

    Is one better to shoot vs the other?
     
  6. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    Use lead unless steel is mandatory. Lead performs better due to heavier weight.

    And read those threads Lee recommends. Those guys know their stuff....
     
  7. BozemanMT

    BozemanMT Member

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    Lead
    steel is really only for hunting waterfowl.
    Lead is 99% of the ammo out there, just go in and ask where the Estate shotgun ammo is.
    you'll see from there.
     
  8. The Deer Hunter

    The Deer Hunter Member

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    Steel shot scores the inside of your barrel. So if you have lots of spare change or dont really care about the quality of your barrells dont use steel. And if you must use steel make sure your choke tube (if applicable) is steel rated.
     
  9. mswestfall

    mswestfall Member

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    If you are shooting into a berm you can probably shoot any shot size you want.

    If you are shooting clays your club may have restrictions on shot size. My club limits shot to 7 1/2 or smaller.

    Enjoy.
     
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