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New to SG's - ammo suggestions?

Discussion in 'Tactical Shotguns' started by Burns, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. Burns


    Jan 23, 2005
    Hi folks,

    I just ordered a Maverick 88 through Gallery of Guns; it's the 20" 7+1 model. I bought this gun to figure out whether or not I like shotguns. The Mossberg 930 SPX is appealing to me, but I don't want to spend that much only to figure out that I'm not a shotgun guy anyway. I've been good with rifles since I was a child, so I've never taken the shotgun plunge. I figure for a little over $200, I can see how I like it, then either trade it, sell it, or keep it.

    Anyway, I want to go ahead and get some ammo because the thing should arrive pretty quickly and I'll want to get to the range. Is Wal-Mart the best bet for practice ammo? If so, which loads are the best value? If not, where should I look, AIM surplus?

    Also, if I decide to keep it, what are some good HD loads including buckshot AND slugs?

    Thanks in advance for the advice. I'm a real noob on shotguns, so I don't know the difference between various #'s of buckshot or anything.


  2. Depends upon what type of practice you want to do.

    I usually buy cheap target stuff from Walmart or Dick's for most of my shotgun shooting.

    For home defense I prefer OO buckshot.

    As for shot sizes, the smaller the number the larger the shot. In bird shot #9 is the smallest you will usually see in 12 Ga. That's for clay targets and little birds like quail. shot around #6 is good for bigger birds like partridge and squirrels, #4 is a good choice for bunnies and what I used to use on Ducks when lead shot was allowed. #2 was a good goose load in lead shot. I'm not going to get into steel shot here. Then you start getting into Buck Shot. Buck shot starts at #4 (not to be confused with #4 bird shot) and goes to OOO with OO being the most common. By the way OO is pronounced Double Aught.

    For slugs, you are using a smooth bore barrel so get some plain old foster style slugs or Brenneke's.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010

  3. Burns


    Jan 23, 2005
    What about birdshot for most range practice and #00 or hardened #1 for defense (I've been reading on this subject for the last couple hours)?
  4. Birdshot allows you to work on technique, such as gunhandling, which is the shortfall of most. But in addition to technique you need to learn what the gun does with various rounds, so you will still need to get some fighting ammo. I like any of the reduced recoil 00 Buck rounds for home use. Find the one that patterns best for your gun. I also like the reduced recoil slugs, and the same caveat...find one that shoots well with your gun.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2010
  5. AKJD


    Dec 3, 2004
    Fairbanks Alaska
    Try the Federal 00 Buck with Flight Control Wads. It is amazing what a difference it can make in some guns. In over 40 870P's it shoots good patterns in all. I've shot a lot of Winchester, Remington, and Federal over the last couple years and for now am staying with Federal Reduced Recoil slug and 00 buck. Federal is turning out some really good shotgun ammo right now.

    When I teach shotgun I sometimes start shooters out with birdshot for initial manipulation drills. Less recoil and cheaper.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2010
  6. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

    Jun 14, 2005
    I've been stockpiling the Remington economy packs from walmart a while, still 60c slugs and 75c 00 buck (2 3/4" full power) .. and they go bang. Not tasked as primary HD I keep it full of slugs, which in a pinch aren't terribly survivable at close range, but also penetrate supposed cover, specifically vehicle body panels, quite nicely. IMO low training costs and adequate performance beats extreme performance at uncomfortable prices. If you won't train, the best pedigreed ammo on the market is dubious value.. and if you WILL, shoot what you're familiar with, why fix what ain't broke?
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2010
  7. mixflip


    Mar 4, 2009
    Yeah its not too hard to choose ammo with shotguns.

    00-buck for self defense.

    Buck & ball if you want to get all exotic with your self defense ammo.

    Slugs for longer distance shots (50 yards) if for what ever reason you HAD to take one?

    Birdshot for training and drills. (reloading and pumping correctly are the biggest issues with shotguns)

    I am no expert like most here but I dont neglect my shotguns at the range like most do. You hear it all the time. Guys will bring all their guns to the range but for some reason the shotgun gets left untouched many times then gets sold. Then they regret not having it when the SHTF.

    Very common story.

    I love having a pump and semi as a resource and I will never leave my family without certain resources (shotguns being one of them).
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2010
  8. inzone


    Aug 20, 2009
    I really like the Centurion Buckshot and Ball shotshells made in Italy, this is a great defense/cqb round.....
  9. Burns


    Jan 23, 2005
    This looks like a great load. However, I would think over-penetration would become more of an issue with that heavy .650 ball.