CCI Expands Handgun Shotshell Offerings – Now Serving No. 4


CCI, popular manufacturer of high performance rimfire rounds, announced a new product line of centerfire handgun shotshells called the Big Four. As the name Big Four suggests, these are loaded with #4 shot.

Until now, CCI made similar shotshells, but these were loaded with either #9 or #12 shot depending on the caliber. While effective for pest control, the loads had very limited ranges. In theory, moving to a heavier shot will increase the effective range of these shotshells.

However, I would not classify them as being self defense loads in anything other than a “I’ve ran out of conventional ammunition” situation. They simply aren’t designed for stopping large predators like a violent human being. Additionally, the company warns users that the plastic capsule that contains the shot can move forward in lightweight revolvers, causing the cylinder to lock up.


The new Big Four will be available in the following calibers: 9mm, .38 Special, .44 Special and .45 Colt. The muzzle velocity for all of the loads except the .45 Colt is listed as 1,000 fps. For the Colt, 800 fps is listed.

Big Four loads are clearly labeled and use a red plastic capsule. They should not be easily confused with the existing loads with the smaller shot.

Ten cartridges come in a box. Depending on the caliber selected, a box of Big Four will set you back $14.95 – $19.95 (suggested retail prices.)

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • Wolfgar

    Excellent, I carry these for grouse and now they even got better.

  • Ian Wolfe

    I’d be very interested to see patterning tests and gel shots at various ranges for the 9mm and .38SPL. If the heavier shot can maintain a tighter pattern, it might finally make for worthwhile snakeshot. Would be even sweeter if the 9mm actually cycled properly.

    • nova3930

      I second that. I carry a GP100 loaded with CCI shells when I’m riding the mower for rats but the range limitation of the small shot makes employment far harder than it should be…

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      I bought a box of the 9mm shotshells a while back and they ran through my P250 without issue and really surprised me. I haven’t run them through my M&P though, so it could have been a fluke.

      • may work for some semis while others it won’t. just don’t expect it to work.

  • Pete – TFB Writer

    I’m in!

  • gunsandrockets

    I want a .44 Magnum version loaded with #4 buckshot!

  • Tim

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just ‘pay’ the rats to leave my barn?

    • DIR911911 .

      I bought some of the old style for rats in the garage , but the good old fashioned rat traps got’em in 2 days. still good to have around for snakes though

  • AK

    These make just about as much sense as a shotgun loaded with .357 Magnums. And I don’t mean the round, but the revolver itself.

  • Sunshine_Shooter

    I’ll wait until ShootingTheBull410 has tested them before I’m in or out.

    • Ian Wolfe

      Since these aren’t defensive loads, you are most likely going to be waiting a very long time. tnoutdoors9, on the other hand, is on par with STB410 and he has tested the old #12 shotshells. With any luck he’ll do the new ones, as well. Seriously, if you aren’t watching his stuff as well as STB410, you are doing yourself a disservice. They are both fantastic.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Shouldnt you be concerned about damaging your rifling?

    • Duray

      A copper jacket doesn’t harm your steel barrel, but a plastic capsule will?

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I wasnt aware that the shot stayed inside of the capsule until exiting the barrel.
        Never mind.

  • Jim

    I’ve used the .44 and .38 CCI shotshells on snakes with good results. Just a word of caution with any of the CCI shotshells: Always check your barrel for obstructions after shooting them, I’ve had several instances where part of the shot capsule has stayed in the barrel. It seems that the shot will ‘shoot through’ the capsule, leaving the hollow plastic sleeve in the barrel. Definitely check before shooting real bullets in your weapon.

  • Earl

    Good idea. Have used the older style CCI shot loads in .357 S&W Mag. and .44 S&W Mag. Not surprised at the good results w/ the .44, but was very pleased with results using the .357. Would thing that using heavier shot like the No. 4 will only give better results for larger snakes, etc. No complaints with what have used. Fully expect new load will be equally useful. Try ’em! I’ve taken boys and girls from the church I pastor and carried them out fishing down on the creek, out around ponds, etc. Always carry a revolver. Load it w/ snake loads and JHP’s… 3 and 3. Never had occasion to use the JHP’s. Have used the snake shot. Never needed to fire a second round. Very effective. Much easier to fish, run herd on 15 kids with a revolver than to try to do it with a shotgun in hand. JMHO. sincerely. bruce.

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    I’ve often hoped they would make a larger shot size round like this. Up close this would probably be a reasonable deterrent if the hit was in the right place (somewhere not clothed or with a thin layer like t-shirt weight).