Shotgun ammo differs from rifle ammo in three primary ways:

  1. Shot pattern – most shotgun ammo spreads out into a wide pattern as it travels, unlike a bullet fired from a rifle.
  2. Range – most rifle ammo has a greater effective range than shotgun ammunition.
  3. Purpose – shotguns are used most often for home defense or short-range hunting. Rifles, on the other hand, are used for long-range target shooting and hunting and are rarely employed for self-defense.

Let’s look at these three differences in greater detail.

Shot Pattern

A shotgun shell is packed with small metal balls similar to BBs. When the weapon is fired, these projectiles exit the weapon at high velocity and spread out into a broad pattern as they fly through the air.

In contrast, a rifle cartridge fires a single bullet that remains intact throughout its trajectory. This means that hitting the target requires greater skill on the part of the shooter.


The wide spread pattern of shotgun ammo gives the shooter a greater chance of hitting the target. However, it also decreases the weapon’s useful range. For example, a shotgun firing 00 buckshot becomes largely ineffective at distances exceeding 50 yards.

Rifle ammo, on the other hand, can have an effective range of 500 yards or more. For instance, a weapon firing Springfield 30 – 06 ammo can kill at distances exceeding 600 yards, or 12 times further than many shotgun shells.


This brings us to the third primary difference between shotgun and rifle ammo: the purpose that each is designed to fulfill. Shotguns are designed for close-quarter situations like home defense or short-range hunting. They’re also used in situations like bird hunting, where the target is small and hard to hit.

In contrast, rifles are used when the distance of the target is greater and the shooter can achieve high accuracy. Examples include:

  • Hunting large game like deer or elk
  • Battlefield combat
  • Sniper situations

What About Slugs?

A slug is a special type of shotgun ammo that resembles an oversized bullet. Slugs offer two advantages over conventional shotgun shells. These are:

  1. Extended range – for example, a 12 gauge slug can have an effective range between 100 and 150 yards, 2 to 3 times greater than 00 buckshot.
  2. Greater penetration – the greater mass of a shotgun slug allows it to penetrate deeper into the target, achieving terminal results more quickly.

Choose Powder Valley for All of Your Reloading Supplies

Here at Powder Valley, we carry an extensive selection of ammo reloading supplies at great prices. We also offer expert assistance to help you get exactly the right products you need.

Order your reloading brass or other ammo supplies today and enjoy fast shipping. Remember, we can help you to shoot more and pay less than before.

When it comes to self-defense, some types of ammunition are more popular than others. Four of the most common choices are:

  1. 38 Special
  2. 357 Magnum
  3. 9 mm
  4. 12 gauge 00 buckshot (for shotguns)

Are you wondering what type of ammunition is best for your needs? The experts here at Powder Valley are happy to assist you. For now, let’s take a closer look at these four types of ammo.

38 Special: The Classic Choice

The venerable 38 Special has been around for over 100 years. For decades it was the caliber of choice for law enforcement agencies across the country. It remains a popular round today, despite the growing popularity of alternative calibers such as 9 mm.

38 Special ammo offers both reasonable stopping power and low recoil, making it a great option for smaller or less experienced shooters. A revolver loaded with hollow point 38 caliber ammunition will stop a bad guy in his tracks now just as surely as it did more than a century ago.

357 Magnum: the 38 Special’s Big Brother

Introduced in 1934, the 357 Magnum is similar in appearance to the 38 Special. But, when it comes to stopping power, the 357 packs twice the muzzle velocity (1900 FPS versus 940 FPS) and pressure (35,000 PSI versus 17,000 PSI) as its older counterpart.

All of that extra power gives the 357 Magnum a substantially stronger “kick” than the 38 Special. For this reason, we recommend that shooters try both types of ammo before making their final choice. For those who can handle the extra recoil, the 357 Magnum is an excellent self-defense round.

9 mm: The New Kid on the Block

Available in a wide range of configurations, 9 mm handgun ammunition provides formidable stopping power along with excellent accuracy. This caliber has enjoyed explosive popularity since its introduction to the mass market back in the 1980s.

You’ll find plenty of revolvers as well as pistols that are chambered for 9 mm ammunition. With so much versatility, it’s no wonder that this is perhaps the most popular self-defense round on today’s market.

12 gauge 00 Buckshot

12 gauge 00 buckshot is the classic choice for shotgun owners looking for a self-defense round. Devastating at short distances, its limited range makes it less likely to penetrate the walls of the average American home. If you’re looking for a way to deter the bad guys without endangering your loved ones, then 12 gauge 00 shotshell ammunition will do the job admirably.

Powder Valley: The Shooter’s First Choice for Ammunition and Reloading Supplies

Here at Powder Valley, we carry a giant selection of ammunition and reloading supplies, along with excellent customer service.  We are happy to offer our expertise if you have questions about which products are best for your needs.

Shop our one-stop online megastore for all your ammunition needs and enjoy top-quality merchandise at the most competitive prices. Remember, we can help you to shoot more and pay less than before.

When it comes to firearms, nothing is more important than understanding the meaning of important terms. Take the word “bullet,” for example. What does it mean exactly?

Some people use it as a collective term for a fully assembled firearm round. But the correct phrase in this context is “cartridge,” or, to use a less formal term, “ammo.”

The term “bullet” refers specifically to the projectile at the tip of the cartridge, the part that flies out of the firearm’s barrel towards the target.

The part left after the bullet is fired is referred to as the “casing.” This is the cylindrical brass shell that held the gunpowder prior to discharge.

Bringing new life to old casings

Some shooters throw away their spent casings, but many reuse them if at all possible.

That in a nutshell is what reloading is all about. Here’s why every gun owner should learn how to reload:

  • To save money: Ammunition gets more expensive all the time. Why spend a fortune on new cartridges when you can reuse your old casings at a fraction of the cost?
  • To learn exactly how guns work: Reloading your own ammo takes you deep inside the inner workings of your firearm. You’ll know exactly how it functions and gain a new appreciation for the skill that goes into its design.
  • To understand the art of gunsmithing: Few of us have the time and money needed to become a professional gunsmith. But all of us can develop critical gunsmithing skills by reloading our own ammo.
  • To promote firearm safety: Owning a gun is a serious responsibility. Nobody knows this better than the person who reloads his or her own ammo. Understanding the care and precision that goes into the process will inspire you to treat any weapon with greater respect.

Not every used casing is reloadable, of course. That’s why one of the first things you’ll learn as a reloader is how to evaluate spent ammo. It’s important to reject any casing that’s damaged or defective.

Want to know more about bullets and ammo? Here’s where to begin.

As you can see, bullets, ammunition, and reloading is an in-depth topic that takes time and patience to master. But the benefits you will gain make the effort more than worthwhile.

Not sure where to start? Begin by investing in a reloading manual, which is an absolute must for every reloader. Follow its instructions to the letter.

For premium reloading equipment and supplies at the lowest possible prices, rely on Powder Valley.

Anyone who keeps tabs on the gun industry knows about the woes that have beset the Remington Firearms Company in recent years.

Fortunately, the firm’s ammunition division is still going strong, albeit under new ownership. But the company’s travails have a lot of shooters wondering about the reliability of its cartridges. They want to know if the company’s brass is a good choice for their reloading supplies.

With that in mind, here are answers to some of the most common questions we hear about this venerable old company.

Is Remington’s Core-Lokt ammo any good?

Remington started a revolution in ammunition design when it introduced its legendary Core-Lokt line way back in 1939. The brand still holds the affection of millions of hunters worldwide.

What set Core-Lokt apart from other ammo of the time is the way that the tapered copper jacket holds fast to the cartridge’s lead center, even as the bullet enters its target. This ensures maximum expansion, deep penetration, and, more often than not, terminal results.

Things have changed a lot over the past 81 years, of course. So is ammo designed before World War II still useful today? In the case of Core-Lokt, our verdict is “yes.” It gets the job done, and that’s the bottom line.

What about Remington’s other ammo?

Remington’s ammunition has undergone a serious streamlining process as of late. Its current offerings include:

  • Premier Scirocco Bonded: This polymer-tipped projectile uses a progressive copper jacket that, when combined with the bonded core, gives it exceptional accuracy and integrity.
  • UMC Rifle Ammunition: Priced to sell, UMC is best reserved for training, target practice, or other activities in which high-volume shooting is the order of the day.
  • Ultimate Defense Compact Handgun: Designed for maximum expansion at modest velocities, the product is known for its enhanced stopping power, even when the assailant is wearing multiple layers of clothing.

At Remington’s official website, you’ll find the full list of Remington’s existing lineup.

Where is Remington ammo made?

Vista Outdoor bought Remington’s Lonoke, AR, ammunition plant during its acquisition of the brand. The facility is in operation, and management recently brought 300 laid-off owners back onto the payroll. They’re staying very busy.

This means that Remington ammo is made in the USA by American workers, which is reassuring news indeed.

The best cartridge for you is the one you load yourself

At the end of the day, the chief concern with Remington’s ammo is the same as for any other factory-built brand. It’s made for the masses, not for the individual sportsman or sportswoman.

It may perform perfectly according to someone else’s standards. But your opinion is the one that counts.

That’s why here at Powder Valley we sell only the finest reloading powder and reloading primers on today’s market. We want you to enjoy the best possible shooting experience every time, so we carry only premium products. Our stock sells out fast, so browse our site and place your order right away.