Lead shot sizes for shotgunning


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Q
 Can you tell me what the designations for shot sizes LG, MG, SG and SSG actually mean? Also, can you tell me how many pellets there are in a 36 gram charge of AAAs and BBs? Also, what is the greatest number of pellets contained in a 36 gram charge?
– Ralph Meaker

A
 LG – Large Grape; MG – Medium Grape; SG – Small Grape; and SSG Shaved Small Grape. These are old designations stemming from “Grape” as in “Grape Shot” that used to be fired from muzzle loaded cannons. A charge of 36 grams of BB usually contains 88 pellets, or twice as many as the 44 pellets contained in the same payload of AAAs. Number 10 shot which sees use on the very smallest of game birds such as quail, carries the greatest number of shot – 1,062 pellets on average.


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Nick Harvey

Nick Harvey is one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He has been writing about firearms and hunting for more than 65 years, has published many books and uncounted articles, and has travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject is unmatched. He has been Sporting Shooter's Gun Editor for longer than anyone can remember. Nick lives in rural NSW, Australia.

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