Other uses for #8 Shot?

Discussion in 'Ammunition Reports' started by Ambidextrous, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. Ambidextrous

    Ambidextrous G&G Addict


    I inadvertently picked-up some #8 shot the other day, and wondering if it will suffice for short-range varmint-control as the #6 that I meant to grab?

    I'm talking possum, groundhog, skunk, raccoon - usually within 20 to 30 yards.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor

    #8 is a bit light but should do fine for the critters your talking at those ranges. You may burn most of it up on clay birds, which it will work fine with. You could shoot varmits for a lifetime with a 25# bag of shot.

  3. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Evangelist

    over the years, ive shot quite a few critters with #8 shot, and to be perfectly honest terminal ballistics from it suck. its not even 100% reliable at killing squirrels at close range.
  4. Ambidextrous

    Ambidextrous G&G Addict

    Thanks for the reply - I'll see how it goes (while keeping something heavier/larger on hand) ... otherwise, I suppose it's good for targets (which I don't much do, but have a nine year-old son who's coming-along now, so).....

    Thanks again.
  5. Ambidextrous

    Ambidextrous G&G Addict

    Thanks for the reply!

    I don't do clay birds (though perhaps I should start?).

    Anyway, I'll see how it goes, and keep some larger/heavier shot on hand, just in case.

    Oh, by-the-way, I'm not exactly clear what you meant in your last sentence there; "You could shoot varmints for a lifetime with a 25# bag of shot". ?
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  6. M14man

    M14man I don't take prisoners... Forum Contributor

    Birds OK, varmints like that need somethoing heavier. Heck, it is not expensive, go get the right stuff. I think #4's would be better than #6.
  7. Mooseman684

    Mooseman684 G&G Newbie

    #8 shot is great for Dove and Quail , and I use it for squirrel shooting up here.
    Also good for Trap shooting.
  8. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor


    If you bought the bag of shot in a typical 25# bag, that will load alot of shells, that's alot of critters. Like Lefty said, results may vary. Iv'e used it and 7.5's in a pinch.
  9. coons, woodchucks and possums are pretty tough critters...I would use #4 shot instead of #8, no use injuring an animal.
  10. Ambidextrous

    Ambidextrous G&G Addict

    Thanks folks - really appreciate the input - but now I have a couple more questions...

    1. Are there any brands that have been rather notoriously bad (poor quality) that anyone knows of? This old 12-gauge has basically only-ever seen three brands of ammo: Remington (because that's what the local shop carries), Federal, and of course Winchester (it's a Winchester shotgun).

    2. When I look online to buy ammo, I'm having trouble understanding a lot of the "jargon" (gibberish, some of it looks like to me!), and am not always sure how many shells are going to be in a particular box for a particular price (what with all the numbers, and the "#'s" here and the "#'s" there)??

    I absolutely MUST "shop" for good deals, as I am working with a disability budget to fund my purchases, and this box of 100 #8's, though I got a good price for them (about $21 for 100), still just about shot my budget for ammo for the month... I guess I'm asking for advice on a good site to buy ammo from, please.

    Thanks again, and in advance,
    PS ~ And OH, I think I saw some #5 shot (I didn't even know they made such a beast) - would this be a decent size compromise for the type of small varmint elimination that I do, please?
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  11. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Evangelist

    try to give you a quick tutorial. with shotgun shells, the first number to be concerned with is the shell length. 12ga come in 3 sizes, 2 3/4", 3", and 3 1/2". somewhere on your gun will tell you what size it is chambered for (usually stamped on the barrel). if you have a 3 1/2" chamber, you can use any of the 3 sizes in it. a 3" chambered gun will shoot the 3", and 2 3/4". a 2 3/4" chamber can only shoot the 2 3/4" shells. second is shot size, the smaller the # the bigger the shot is. then there is how many ounces, this is telling you how much lead shot is loaded into the shell. last is the speed, either listed in FPS (feet per second) or dram equivilent. dram equivilent is how they compare performance of modern smokeless loaded shells to black powder loaded shells. usually shells listed with dram equivilent on them will be "max dram equivilent" which means they are a high performance load. for fairly tough critters like coon, #5 shot would be my minimum, and would prefer 4 shot. game loads, and target loads come in boxes of 25 shells, however shells loaded for turkey typically come in boxes of 10 shells, and buckshot usually comes in boxes of 5 shells. unless your buying shells by the case (10 boxes) shipping will pretty much kill any savings, and therefore you might want to head to walmart and see what they have for shells.
  12. Ambidextrous

    Ambidextrous G&G Addict

    Thanks Lefty...I knew the first half of that (but thanks just the same), and the 2nd half is excellent info - and I thank you very much for it !
  13. AOM1Carbine

    AOM1Carbine G&G Newbie

    I have also seen some 2" shells out there but I think they might cause problems in some shotguns, I would have to assume you could use them for HD cause the powder load is smaller and they wouldn't over penetrate. As well as the added benefit of increasing ammo capacity
  14. My 3" turkey loads are #5 shot...they work great.
  15. I've found #6's to be a do all shotgun shell. Though we don't have phasents here I have used high brass #6's phasent loads for dove, coon, possom and squirrel. If your going to shoot fox's, coon's and possoms that are'nt treed, at furthur range's use 4's or 5's or a 22 rimfire, better yet a 22 magnum around the homestead is best and thats really all it's good for.
  16. I was just looking around and found this thread, and felt I HAD to add something.

    Avoid the Winchester Universal shells at W-M. Your shotgun will have sticky bolt from these crapshells.
  17. hemingway89

    hemingway89 G&G Evangelist

    ive gotten #8 for christmas a few times i only buy the cheapest shells becuase i use them for everything from pest control to target, it depends on the brand and the gun my mossberg500 didnt seem to mind em and my pardnwer pump seems to like all of them. ive killed plenty of animals with #8 from 10 to 40 yds but thats pushin it. it works good in the brush enough bb's a few are sure to find thier way threw
  18. hemingway89

    hemingway89 G&G Evangelist

    if i were you id stick to remington or winchester thier the cheapest and run from 5 to 9 dollars depending on lenght and shot size. i usualy pick mine up at walmart