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Buckshot is an effective load for shotguns, and just like the design of shotguns has evolved, so too have buckshot loads.

Federal Premium Personal Defense offers two 2¾-inch 12-gauge rounds. One round is traditionally composed of nine pellets of 00 buckshot. It clocks muzz-le velocity at 1,145 fps (feet per second) and uses Federal’s FLITECONTROL wad. These wads are engineered with two design features: petals and windows. Petals at the rear of the wad open to create an airbrake to separate the wad and shot at the optimum moment; windows open on the side of the wad to help separate the wad from the shot. The effect delivers a dense payload of shot on target. Federal also has a load with 34 pellets of #4 buckshot. Through testing, Federal ballisticians combined #4 buckshot with a wad for 15-foot patterns to control penetration and shot spread. At 15 feet, the extreme spread is 5 inches. Penetration in ballistic gelatin was slightly over 11 inches, and this is from a blast at 15 feet. (http://www.federalpremium.com; 800-379-1732)

Hornady’s Superformance 00 Buckshot uses Hornady’s VersaTite wad technology to deliver tight patterns and a muzzle velocity of 1,600 fps in a 2¾-inch shell (http://www.hornady.com; 800-338-3220).

Winchester’s PDX1 Defender shells are unique in that they are loaded with three pellets of 00 buckshot loaded on top of a 1-ounce rifled slug. It has a velocity of 1,150 fps. The buckshot and slug combination is designed to provide optimal performance at short and long ranges. (http://www.winchester.com).

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