High Speed Shotgun Footage

I have a healthy fear the mighty 12 Guage. These high speed videos have done nothing to ease my fears.

12 Gauge Shotgun Winchester 2 ¾” 1oz Rifled Slug …

12 Gauge Shotgun Federal Premium 3 inch magnum 000 plated buckshot …

The penetration of the 3″ 000 plated buckshot is incredible.

[ Many thanks to jdun1911 for emailing me the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Supersonic

    Which would have a more effective kinetic energy-to-penetration ratio, that slug or a .458 SOCOM?

    • Giolli Joker

      I’d bet on the slug…
      Wider contact surface and softer material.
      With the SOCOM, given a similar muzzle energy, you’re more likely to have more penetration… better for hunting maybe but no advantage against a two legged assailant, imho.

    • bbmg

      If both projectiles go through the target, then the shotgun slug with its almost 2 and a half times greater frontal area compared to the 458 even before expansion wins hands down.

    • Lord Cthulhu

      Kinetic energy-to-penetration ratio doesn’t kill people. Wound channels kill people.

      • KenFoulks

        I thought guns killed people… j/k

        I like the 12ga slug as the winner of this duel, but at about 65 yards, the tables turn in favor of the SOCOM, IMO.

      • bbmg

        The SOCOM would be better in that it can be used accurately to a much greater range, but in terms of tissue damage, at the range where both projectiles can reliably penetrate more than 12 inches then the advantage lies with the slug.

  • JoeBob


  • JoeBob

    Do they have a similar video for the Winchester Supreme Partition Gold slugs? I’ve been thinking about using them.

    • Partizan1942

      Typed your question in the wrong box there JoeBob, the one you want to use says Google. I asked the chap for you says not yet but hopefully soon.

  • Matt

    I’ve come to the conclusion, through lots of research and much science, that if you get hit anywhere on your torso with that slug, you’re not surviving. I’ve seen lots of high speed video on handgun and rifle calibers but that is the first time I’m seeing a slug and it’s devastating.

    • Avery

      Part way through the video, I said to myself, “I bet that gelatin’s going to pop like a balloon. There’s no way the block will keep together that wound channel”. And, by the time I said that, you could see the impact end just shred open.

      The pellet shot was pretty interesting as well, just to see the pellets just scream through the block and out the other end. I also think the red plastic thing that pops out is the wad, flattened from impact, hopping out of the gelatin along with some of the pellets.

    • W

      slugs are one of the most fearsome anti-personnel weapons american civilians have access to.

      …and they say shotguns arent versatile. LOL.

  • Zee

    See how just for a second there, as the cavity was closing up, and the slug slowed to a stop it looked like a penis? That’s to let you know you’re fucked.

    • Noodles

      So we’re doing zombies and dick jokes here now? :/

      • Nicks87

        Lol, yep welcome to the year 2012, just zombies and dick jokes.

        So much for that theory of evolution.

      • bbmg

        As long as women find assholes who make dick jokes attractive, the theory of evolution is unchallenged 😉

  • Southerner

    “The penetration of the 3″ 000 plated buckshot is incredible.”

    Yeah, the penetration is OK for small pellet buckshot like 000.

    • bbmg

      Permanent would channel in a human torso would be pretty much equivalent to being hit with a 10 round burst from a 9mm submachinegun, not something you’d expect to shrug off.

    • Southerner

      “Yeah, the penetration is OK for small pellet buckshot like 000.”


      Today’s best buckshot loads are indeed underrated by those with limited or outdated experience. As a Southerner, I am very familiar with the effectiveness of buckshot within its working range. Cutting edge buckshot loads technology is as far removed from the buckshot loads of the past as today’s slug ammunition is from pre-WWII ammo.

      The fact remains, 000B (.345″ to .350″ actual pellet diameter) is no longer the largest or most penetrating buckshot ammo available.

    • akim

      000 buck is 0.360 cal ball 12 of them out of a 3” high brass magnum is too small you need a rpg.

  • akim

    shotguns get no respect from some but we who use them for birds & bears and robbers do respect the tool

  • Now that would make an excellent screensaver video. Slugs on one side buckshot on the other.

  • Nadnerbus

    Just guessing, but I’m betting impact velocity was pretty much muzzle velocity, with not much space between the shotgun and gelatin. I would be fascinated to see this experiment repeated at increasing ranges, maybe at ten yard intervals. Both the dispersion on the buckshot and the reduction in terminal velocity would be interesting to see.

    • Southerner

      “I would be fascinated to see this experiment repeated at increasing ranges, maybe at ten yard intervals. Both the dispersion on the buckshot and the reduction in terminal velocity would be interesting to see.”

      I agree! Buckshot remains a very popular and effective deer hunting round for in many areas of the country. Buckshot patterning has so improved that Hornady rates their tight patterning Twelve gauge 3″ 12 pellet 00B loads with Versatite wads as a 50 yard load for game with vital areas as small as coyotes

  • Nathaniel

    My biggest issue with shotguns is that they generally don’t produce much better terminal ballistics at the muzzle than rifles, and it falls off greatly from there. To make things worse, shotgun ammunition is very heavy compared to rifle ammo (one round of 1oz 12 gauge rifled slug ammunition is about as heavy as one round of .338 Lapua).

    So shotguns are fine for niche roles, or if you don’t have a lot of money, but beyond that, rifles are much better.

    • bbmg

      The problem lies with the use of spherical projectiles with a relatively high drag coefficient and poor sectional density.

      At 0.729″ diameter for a 12 gauge shotgun, you can easily fit five 0.223″ diameter cylindrical projectiles. Make them out of steel, shape them like a shorter version of this: http://media.iwm.org.uk/iwm/mediaLib/194/media-194046/large.jpg

      Weighing about 4 grams each, and adding a 4 gram wad, that’s a mere 0.85 ounce load total – a 2.75″ shotshell could easily push that out at between 1,500 and 2,000 fps. A well shaped projectile made of a suitably dense material will retain that out to a significant distance.

      Also worth mentioning though that in some cases, the lack of verlocity retention in shotguns is a desirable trait.

      • RocketScientist

        I’m not sure, so someone please feel free to correct me, but I seem to remember something about flechette projectiles not being BATFE legal? A few years back my buddy and I saw a huge lot of surplus flechettes at a gun store, and toyed with the idea of loading them in shotshells, or as a subcaliber projo with a plastic sabot in pistol or rifle rounds (a la 6.5 CBJ). My vague memories tell me we abondoned the idea due to legal restraints, though like I said, I’m not real sure about that.

    • jdun1911

      Shotgun is the best firearm for self/home/civilian defense. It is the closest thing to the mythical “one shot stop” against unarmored opponents.

  • gunslinger

    to anyone who says shotguns are crap and shouldn’t be used…. would you want to get hit with one? would you let a guy with a shotgun get the first shot off? didn’t think so.

    it’s one thing to say another firearm is better in certain conditions. yes i wouldn’t want to attempt a shotgun shot at long range. but 5-10 feet?

    either way. it’s a bad day

  • MrSatyre

    I think I just peed myself. Anyway, watching the ballistic gel wobble all over the place made me wonder: what would it take (besides a grenade) to actually explode a block of ballistic gel? Those things take an outrageous amount of punishment and yet never seem to fly apart in any video I’ve ever seen. Anyone here ever seen or painted a wall with one?

  • Mike Knox

    Tryin not to be some “terminology nazi” but it’s ‘external ballistics’. ‘Exterior’ means something on the outside of something.

    For this video, I’m more interested on custom shell loads..

    • Avery

      Could go either way. Doing a quick search, exterior or external gets swapped out a lot. Either one works, as they both describe ballistics dealing with outside conditions that would affect a bullet’s flight.

      Of course, what we’re seeing is strictly terminal ballistics, the ballistics of what happens to a bullet when it ends its flight.

      • Mike Knox

        Look at it this way: External means something outside that’s not in physical contact with the item, while Exterior means on the out side and in physical contact. Just like a car’s, house’s, plane’s exterior or external view, outline, or proximity..

  • jdun1911

    We/the US military stop using flechettes rounds because it suck at killing people. There is no federal law preventing the selling of flechettes shotgun rounds.

    Stick to #1 for Home defense.

    • bbmg

      The thing with the flechettes most commonly seen is that they need to be travelling very fast on impact in order to cause significant damage, and be present in large quantities. This is why they are feasible for something like the M255E1 warhead for the Hydra rocket with 1,180 x 60 grain flechettes travelling at something like 2500 fps but not so much in a shotgun with 19 x 8 grain flechettes at less than 2000 fps, you just cannot compare.

      Loading a fewer number of heavier flechettes in a shotgun though would cause more viable levels of damage, albeit with less hit probability.

    • bbmg

      Another thing I find rather silly with flechettes in shotguns is the fact that many of them are packed with the darts tail first:


      This means that they start to tumble as soon as they reach the muzzle which makes no sense whatsoever. The tumbling means velocity is lost at a dramatic rate, removing any benefit that might have been gleaned from having an aerodynamic projectile in the first place.

      It does increase spread, and makes sense if they are packed in this way in a “beehive” artillery round thousands at a time, but for a shotgun which is “marginal” in this respect, a complete waste of energy.

      • Mike Knox

        I wonder how long it took you to google that up..

      • bbmg

        Less than it took you to read it 😉 attempting to belittle the value of research doesn’t make you big or clever, on the contrary it is the worst sort of ignorance. If people only knew what they themselves experienced the life they would live would be a poor one indeed, but it’s nice to see folks who are OK with that 😀

  • Partizan1942

    That was a lot of penetrating… And why is it that they never use protection? Don’t they know that they can get an STD (Slug Transmitted Disease) like lead poisoning?

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