Shotgun barrels and ammunition: specifications & performance

Jonathan Spencer (, copyright © December 2001

This document is available as in Adobe Acrobat format here. (You will be able to open, print at low resolution, and copy material from this page, but you will not be able to alter it.)

Here are some shortcuts to what is in this document:

NOTE: English lead shot is presumed throughout this document unless stated otherwise. There is a mix of Imperial and SI units, so you need to pay attention. The Imperial diameters in Table 1 are from The Shot Gun by TDS and JA Purdey; all other values in Table 1 were calculated by the author (me). The mass and shot counts are based on pure lead shot whereas most shot is lead alloyed with other metals which means that either:

Normal manufacturing tolerances mean that what is marked as Number 6 shot may, in fact, be Number 5½ shot. Many of the shot sizes given in Table 1 are not presently commercially loaded in ammunition.

Go to the top of this page, or back to the firearms reference page