Is Buckshot Lethal At 50 Yards?

I am sure many dead deer would argue that yes buckshot is lethal at 50 yards. If you need proof, Brass Fetcher tested buckshot against ballistic gelatin at 50 yards and then managed to chronograph it at 50 yards (no small feat).

Thanks to Jim for 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.


  • percynjpn

    Well done – thank you.

  • dp

    Superb presentation. It confirms to what I basically knew for some time.

  • Michael Pearce

    Dead deer don’t argue.

  • LRB

    I killed a buck at 65 yards with 2 3/4″ OOO buck out of 24″ fixed full choke Browning A5. That being said though, he ran about 50 yards and had 3 pellets in the vital zone and 2 in the neck. If not for the two in the neck he would have ran further and wouldnt have left a massive blood trail to follow. Shot placement is the key, and shot string opening up the further the range. I knew it would be a long shot when i took it, but he was pretty nice 8 point.

    • Renato H. M. de Oliveira

      Lethal at 65, more lethal at 50. Nice job!

  • Asdf

    Now if only video game manufactures would watch this.

    • Mark

      Finally! I thought I was all alone.

    • sianmink

      Warframe has a few shotguns that will hold a torso-sized pattern at 50 yards. They’re niiiiccceeeeee.

  • Ensse

    What, no 0 buckshot, or #1 buckshot?

    • Renato H. M. de Oliveira

      00 or larger shot, they say. That video was a heck of work already, the conclusions do seem to hold water – the gallon behind the screen does not anymore…

      • Ensse

        Oh, I know, but you just don’t hear much about #1 or 0 (aught/single-aught) buckshot, and I’ve heard that #1 buckshot is some of the best.

        • Renato H. M. de Oliveira

          No doubt about it, but 00 seems to be the cheerleader…

          • Ensse

            I’d say that, given the results of this test, 00 buckshot is probably the most versatile and effective across a wider range of shooting distances.

          • Renato H. M. de Oliveira

            That alone would explain the popularity

    • gunsandrockets

      Yeah, but what about the #4 buck shot test results? Pretty surprising. More lethal at 50 yards than I would have expected.

  • Alex Nicolin

    Buckshot very lethal. In Romania, where I live, the hunter’s association had them banned a few years back (bird shot smaller than T size and slugs are legal), because they considered they had an erratic path, and thus would only wound an animal, instead of killing it outright. They also pose a danger due to the method of hunting employed. Usually hunters set up in a semicircle and coursers chase the quarry to the firing line. Over the years there have been many accidents where hunters and coursers where hit by the “three-at-the-bottom” – a popular name for buckshot in Romania due to the way the balls sit in the cartridge. Many of those accidents were ultimately lethal. Despite the ban, some hunters still use them, and accidents still happen.

  • 12gaugelove

    don’t know if it is lethal at 50 yards but it is definitely lethal at navy yards.

  • gunsandrockets

    Excellent video. And answered some of the very questions I have been pondering about long range fire with buck shot.

  • Southerner

    Buckshot sizes run from T (.20″) to Tri-Ball (.60″).