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Vintage Video: Shotgun Shells

Shotgun shells have five components: the case, the primer, powder, wad and shot. A primer and powder are the first things to
go in the case. Next the wad goes in on top of the powder,
followed by the correct amount of shot. Next, the end of the shell is formed and then
crimped closed. When a shotshell discharges in the chamber,
the firing pin strikes the primer, the primer ignites the powder, forming the expanding
gases that force the wad and shot forward. This forces open the crimp as the wad and
shot continue out of the case and down the length of the barrel. Shot comes in various sizes from number twelve
to triple “aught” buckshot. The larger the number of the shot, the smaller
the actual size of the shot. Shotshells can also be loaded with slugs for
hunting big game. Selection of shot size should match the target. Be sure to consult a shotshell guide for proper
recommendations. When shot leaves the muzzle, it travels in
an ever widening stream that impacts the area of the target. Sizes of shot differ in how far they will
shoot an effective pattern. Matching the proper shotgun shells to the
type of hunting conditions is crucial to effective performance in the field. (gunshots) [Narration]
Hunters should test the pattern of their shotgun at varied ranges so they will have a better
idea of the gun’s performance. Steel shot has been required throughout the
United States for use in waterfowl hunting. Some studies have shown that many waterfowl
die each year from lead poisoning. Lead pellets from traditional shot are picked
up by feeding birds and ingested. Lead is toxic to the birds as well as the
predators that feed on them. To diminish this impact steel shot has been
developed as a replacement. Waterfowlers need to pattern and shoot their
shotguns with steel shot, just like they do with lead shot because steel shot does shoot
differently. The ranges are shorter and the hunter must
learn the differences. (gunshot)

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