Review: Fiocchi 12 Gauge Rubber Buckshot and Rubber Slugs

    Rubber Buckshot and Rubber Slugs are far from easily available where I live, and it kind of makes sense as the market must be very limited.

    But as my local ammunition’s dealer is a very pro-active and innovative person he had some Italian made Fiocchi Rubber Bucks and Slugs. I knew I had to buy them and try them out.

    (If you think this test involves any kind of shooting at people you will be disappointed, I don’t do that kind of stuff. There are plenty of videos of people doing it already.)

    Luckily I didn’t look at the price tag before my mind made itself up, and I can’t remember what I pay for them. (The brain is a wonderful thing when it comes to purchases like this!)  But they were more than very expensive. So expensive that I was reluctant to shoot them. If you’re shotgun was loaded with diamonds, you wouldn’t pull the trigger would you?

    I had already made the assumption that the Molot Vepr 12 I was going to use wouldn’t reload, as the loads are very light. In fact I wonder if there’s much more than a primer doing the work?

    Upon shooting, the bolt didn’t even make an attempt to move. Shooting these rubber bucks and slugs leaves less recoil than an airsoft, but don’t expect them to reload in any semi auto gas system.

    Normally, I can shoot light 12/70 24 g loads without problems, so these are way under.

    I would say that they fit a pump action much better, if you’re going to use them for any live situation where you depend on being to fire more than once.

    Of course you can manually operate your semi-auto shotgun, but you’re going to have to clear it for every shot. And yes, I know the intended use is for pump-action shotguns.

    Below: Rubber slugs in the hand and rubber bucks in the magazine ready to do some testing.

    A very uncommon target, the IPSC Universal Target for Rifle. It’s larger, longer than the normal one. But it provided the extra amount of paper (“indicator”) I needed to see the hits.

    This is the effect of one shot of the Fiocchi Buckshot from about 15 yards. I would say that is going to hurt like hell.

    Below: Fiocchi Rubber Buckshot #00 Buck from about 15 yards. I spot 8 hits. There’s supposed to be 15 in each round, so it’s not too impressive unless your goal is to hit a lot of targets at the same time. I am sure that these will spread out a lot more than normal buck shots.


    A closer look at the same target.

    Now with a Fiocchi Rubber Slug added. Thumb for size comparison.

    A few shots more, of both Rubber Slugs and Rubber Slugs.

    Note: This rubber slug hit the paper, with wood behind. No penetration, but a rather deep hit. That is going to hurt like hell.

    It also made an impression on the wood itself.

    Fiocchi’s own description:

    Fiocchi Rubber Buckshot delivers a staggering punch to protect your family and home. Loaded with a rubber substitute, this ammunition still delivers excellent knockdown power without over-penetration.


    Rubber bucks and rubber slugs in a Molot 12 magazine. There’s a reason the slugs are called “baton”.


    …and after. Note the size of the gigantic cup.

    Below: Rubber buckshot directly on wood from around 15 yards. A few millimeters of penetration, so it’s going to leave a bruise for sure.

    Shooting rubber bucks from the 50 yard line.

    Below: The Extreme. Shooting rubber bucks from the 50 yard line. You need to aim really high, they drop like crazy and are very sensitive for wind. 3 hits in the left target and one hit in the right.

    It’s like throwing dice, you never really know what’s going to happen with bucks and rubber projectiles don’t help. Nevertheless, 4 hits out of 9.

    The Muzzle Velocity is specified as 790 fps, but at this distance it’s going to be a lot less. I would say that the effective range is 25-30 yards, maximum.


    Below: The back side of the paper, there’s still enough power to penetrate paper.

    I imagine this ammunition would be pretty good in a situation where you want to be “less lethal”, i.e. dogs, wild life etc. where you for some reason don’t want to, or can’t, use lethal ammunition. A lot of people seem to use it to deter black bear with them.

    It is important to remember that a light projectile made out of rubber with a relatively soft load is going to be extremely inaccurate at distance. Beyond 25-40 yards you’re definitely not going to hit where you aimed, if your sights are zeroed for normal ammunition. And the wind will take the projectile.

    As mentioned, there are several videos on YouTube with various people trying to shoot each other with rubber bucks, it’s just painful to watch. In any case, it seems difficult to stand up after being hit.

    This video is a little bit more scientific, if you have more interest.


    You can find the ammunition at Midway: Fiocchi Exacta Ammunition 12 Gauge 2-3/4″ 00 Rubber Buckshot 15 Pellets Box of 25

    Fiocchi Less Lethal ammunition provides a non-lethal action to protect yourself and your family. Loaded with a rubber substitute, this ammunition still delivers excellent knockdown power without the fatality. Perfect for law enforcement or military use.

    and the “Rubber Baton” Slug: Fiocchi Less Lethal Ammunition 12 Gauge 2-3/4″ 4.8 Gram Rubber Baton Slug Box of 25

    Have you tried these products from Fiocchi or any similar products i.e. rubber bullets? What’s your experience and what do you use it for?

    Eric B

    Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics, thermals and suppressors. TCCC Certified. Occasionaly seen in a 6×6 Bug Out Vehicle, always with a big smile.