The Shotgun in the Home Armory, Part 1
My son went to a small training session last night with about 10 friends. A guy in the neighborhood who works at a very large sporting goods store is the one who taught the training session. He grew up in an area where hunting was the norm and is an expert on shotguns. I think he owns about six or seven. After, I talked with my son about how the training went. He mentioned that he didn’t know there were so many different size shotguns as well as different size shells for each one. We talked about it for quite a while. It was a great refresher course for me–and I think for many people, it would be new information. So this post is dedicated to the basics of the shotgun and why it deserves a place of honor in the home armory.
The shotgun is available in several different designs, gauges, as well as sizes. Let’s talk about designs first. You can get a shotgun in a break barrel, a lever action, a pump action, a semi automatic, a bolt action as well as a few other less common type designs.
A break barrel is the old school type shotgun that you actually “break” the barrel open and take out the old shells and put in new ones to take another shot. For a long time, this was the most common type of shotgun and came as single shot, side by side, or over and under. A single shot held just one shell. A side by side had two barrels that could be fired separately. This gave the shooter the advantage of having two shots in case the first missed. An over and under was the same concept with one barrel just below the other. In some of the over and under shotguns, the individual barrels were set up as different gauge guns. Meaning the proud owner could actually hunt for various types of game with the same shotgun (small birds as well as large game) and would use the different barrels depending on what they happened to run across.
A lever action shotgun are much less common and can be cocked by using the lever below the trigger.
Bolt Action shotguns are very uncommon but they do exist. Mostly they exist outside the US in an effort to comply with strict gun laws of various countries.
A pump action shotgun is the one most commonly seen in movies. They can hold several shells and after firing, when the gunman pumps the gun, the old shell kicks out and a new one takes the place of honor–all ready to be fired. This is the type of shotgun the Terminator used. These guns are used commonly for hunting and are extremely popular with police agencies, military groups, and those interested in self defense.
|Size||Diameter||Pellets/10 g Lead||Pellets/10 g Steel|
|FF||5.84 mm (.230″)||8||12|
|F||5.59 mm (.220″)||10||14|
|TT||5.33 mm (.210″)||11||16|
|T||5.08 mm (.200″)||13||19|
|BBB||4.83 mm (.190″)||15||22|
|BB||4.57 mm (.180″)||18||25|
|B||4.32 mm (.170″)||21||30|
|1||4.06 mm (.160″)||25||36|
|2||3.81 mm (.150″)||30||44|
|3||3.56 mm (.140″)||37||54|
|4||3.30 mm (.130″)||47||68|
|5||3.05 mm (.120″)||59||86|
|6||2.79 mm (.110″)||78||112|
|7||2.41 mm (.100″)||120||174|
|8||2.29 mm (.090″)||140||202|
|9||2.03 mm (.080″)||201||290|
|Size||Diameter||Pellets/10 g Lead|
|000 or LG (“triple-aught”)||9.1 mm (.36″)||2.2|
|00 (“double-aught”)||8.4 mm (.33″)||2.9|
|0 or SG(“one-aught”)||8.1 mm (.32″)||3.1|
|SSG||7.9 mm (.31″)||3.4|
|1||7.6 mm (.30″)||3.8|
|2||6.9 mm (.27″)||5.2|
|3||6.4 mm (.25″)||6.6|
|4||6.1 mm (.24″)||7.4|