A 12 gaugeshotgun has a bore of about .73 in (18.5mm) and (depending on the model) fires shells measuring from 2-1/2″ to 3-1/2″, with 2-3/4″ being the most common middle ground. 12ga shotguns are a useful and popular tools for any defensive or sporting purpose, and the 12 gauge ammo available reflects this versatility.
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More than half of all shotguns are chambered for 12 gauge ammo. The popularity of the shotshell is a result of its versatility. 12 gauge shells are appropriately sized for a variety of hunting activities like bird hunting and even ground game, defensive scenarios, and of course competitive shotgun shooting like trap or skeet. While it generally delivers light to moderate felt recoil, 12 gauge shells are also available in hard-hitting magnum loads.
The contents of the shell vary depending on the design. Some manufacturers load 12ga ammo with either lead or a lead-free material like steel or tungsten. On paper, a 12-gauge target shell by Winchester Ammunition weighing 1 ounce and measuring in at 2.75-inches in length will deliver a muzzle velocity of 1,180 feet per second.