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How to Determine a Shotguns Effective Range?

Finding out your shotgun effective range can be important for a variety of reasons. No matter if the shotgun is being used for hunting or defense, it helps to know how far you can be from the target to have the result of putting the target down.

shotgun effective range

shotgun effective range

This is especially important when it comes to protection but you don't want that deer walking away either.

Their are a few factors that go into a shotguns effective range, and if you continue reading, you will find out what those are so you can figure out the effective range for your gun.

Things that Effect Range

Their are three main things that effect the effective range of your shotgun.

  • The first is the gun itself and the ammunition used
  • the second is the mental state of the target
  • And the third is your skill with the gun

Two of the three can be changed by you, so you can increase your effective range if needed, or create a set up that has a farther effective range. The mental state of the target can not be changed by you however.

You may be wondering how the mental state of the target effects the effectiveness.

You were probably thinking only the gun and ammo mattered, but that isn't the case.

If the target is angry or has an adrenaline high, then you will have to do more damage to it to bring it down.

This means having more of your ammo hit it. The situation is even worse if it is a home invader who may be on drugs.

Enviroment is one of factor impact weapon range

Enviroment is one of factor impact weapon range

What effects how much ammo hits the target though?

Well, that is where the type of shotgun and ammo comes into effect.

Bird shoot for example shoots out a lot of small pellets and because they are small means they spread more.

Buck shoot on the other hand doesn't spread as much and has larger rounds so you need fewer to hit the target.

Lastly a slug spreads even less, but because of this you need better aim to hit the right spot.

Having a chock on your shotgun can effect the spread though, and that is why it is not just the ammo that effects the effective range of a shotgun. A chock forces the load into a smaller compact area before leaving the gun. This means that the ammo doesn't have room to spread as far.

The last factor is your skill.

If you are a better aim or have a good sight, then you might be able to squeeze in a few more feet for your effective range.

Practicing with your gun and knowing how it handles is a good way to increase your skill.

A good rule of thumb though is most shots spread about one inch per foot back, so if you need a grouping that is thirty inches to hit the vital area of a person, then you should be at most thirty feet back.

This is just a basic rule though, and practicing with your gun can help you figure out how much spread your grouping has.

Best Set Up For Your Shotgun

Finding the best set up to increase range is hard.

Skill is a big part of it and practicing is the only way to importer that. Some other things you can do though is choose an ammo that doesn't spread as much.

Most peoples go to is 00 Buck Shot. This has a good spread pattern and has large enough rounds to do lethal damage. Their are some advantages to bird shoot though for home defense.

At close range it has enough little pellets to do a lot of damage. However, these little pallets have a hard time making it through doors and walls, so others will not get hurt.

The next thing is pick a shotgun that fits you.

You need to consider the compactness of it and also consider the type of chock it has.

If you are going to be hunting birds, then you want spread, but for larger things you might want the barrel to be reduced by a chock.

The best thing is to consider the primary purpose of the shotgun when you go to buy it. For home defense you will want a different gun than for bird hunting.

Their are a lot of reliable options on the market, and you can find one that meets your needs and gives you satisfactory results at the range you want.

Get for you best scope for shotgun also help you have best result when shooting​

Conclusion

Now you know that there are a few factors that goes into a shotguns range and they don't just start and end with the gun and ammo.

While the ammunition of choice and the chock and sights of the gun play an effect. The mental state of the target and your skill are also factors.

Effective range of a shotgun can vary from person to person and target to target. The key thing is that you have enough ammo hitting the target at vital points.

The spread of the ammo combined with your distance determines this and with practice you can learn the effective range of your shotgun.

How To Choose The Right Shotgun For You – Shotgun Buying Guide 2017

With the number of shotguns available, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you.

In this article, we will go over the key factors to keep in mind when choosing a shotgun, and we will make some recommendations for which shotguns will meet which needs best.

How to choose a shotgun

How to choose a shotgun

What Gauge you should choose for your shotgun

When someone talks about the gauge of a shotgun, they are talking about the diameter of the barrel. In turn, this also means that they are talking about the size of the shell that the shotgun can shoot. 12 gauge and 20 gauge are the most popular, but there are actually quite a few different gauges available.

Here’s a list of the most common shotgun gauges, from smallest to largest:

  • 410 bore – one of the smallest shotgun shells ever made. It is often used for small game and defense purposes. There are revolvers available that are able to shoot this shotgun shell, and they are popular for defense purposes
  • 28 gauge – this is a small shotgun shell. The weapons are lightweight, and are commonly used for pheasant hunting or any other type of upland bird hunting
  • 20 gauge – second most common in the United States. It is popular for hunting and target shooting alike due to its light weight and the fact that it has less recoil than 12 gauge. As far as hunting purposes, 20 gauge can be used for most bird hunting
  • 16 gauge – not all that common. It is somewhat of a jack of all trades, but there are not many 16 gauge shotguns around anymore
  • 12 gauge – by far the most common. They are on the heavy side, but recent technology has improved this. 12 gauge is excellent for waterfowl, turkey, and any other number of animals. It is also popular for home defense
  • 10 gauge – another shell you don’t see much. It used to be very popular for waterfowl, but it is very heavy, and recent improvements to 12 gauge weapons have decreased the popularity

There are other shotgun shells that exist, but are extremely uncommon. Often, these shotguns will require custom ammunition.

Action

When it comes to shotgun actions, it essentially boils down to pump action, semiautomatic, and double-barreled shotguns.

Pum action shotgun: Pump action shotguns are the most common. They are inexpensive, reliable, and easy to use. A pump shotgun will excel in almost any use.

Semiautomatic shotgun: It don’t have a pump. They function using gas blowback, meaning that all you have to do is pull the trigger. They allow for much faster shooting, but are more expensive, and their reliability is questionable.

Double-barreled shotgun: whether over under or side by side, are breech loaded weapons. They are extremely reliable, but can also get expensive. Due to the fact that you only get two shots, these are popular weapons for shooting skeet.

Other Factors when buying a Shotgun

Barrel length.

Longer barrels will be better for shooting skeet, while shorter barrels are very popular for home defense and tactical applications.

Generally speaking, hunting shotguns have a barrel in the neighborhood of 26 to 28 inches long.

Rifled barrel.

Some folks will buy a shotgun for deer hunting, as they are unable to shoot rifles in their area.

If you’re buying a shotgun with the sole purpose of shooting slugs, it would be in your best interest to buy a shotgun with a rifled barrel.

Fit with you

Due to the size, weight, and recoil of a shotgun, it becomes very important to have a shotgun that fits you well.

Make sure that the stock is comfortable, and you are able to easily sweep the barrel.

Which Shotgun Is Right For you

For home defense, we recommend a pump action 12 gauge with a shorter barrel.

For waterfowl hunting, a 12 gauge is an excellent option. Both pump action and semiautomatic will perform well, but semiautomatic will allow for faster shots, which may be helpful.

For upland bird hunting, we recommend a 28 gauge. It is extremely lightweight and fast to shoot. However, many other gauges will work well for this use. 20 gauge is another great choice. As far as action, any will work.

For deer hunting, we recommend a pump action 20 gauge or 12 gauge with a rifled barrel will perform well. This is good shotgun for deer hunting, you should choose the best shotgun scope to have best target. 

For skeet and trap shooting, 12 gauge is extremely popular. A 12 gauge double-barreled shotgun with a longer barrel will perform exceptionally well.

For general shooting, a pump action 20 gauge is a great choice. It is lighter and kicks less than 12 gauge, making it more enjoyable to shoot.

Conclusion

Hopefully this article has taken some of the guesswork out of buying a shotgun for you.

There are a few factors to consider, but having this knowledge and comparing it to your desired use will make it easy to select a shotgun.