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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi, i am new to this forum and i am curious to how powerful a pellet out of a shotgun shotgun is in ft pounds like:

and the biggest sized buckshot
Just curious :lol:


285 Posts
To determine the answer to you question you will also have to determine what ***** shotgun you are referring to: ie 12ga, 20ga, etc. Also, each ***** shell can be loaded differently, generally somewhat 'soft' (ie 1000 feet per second--the velocity MarlandS referred to) up to almost or over 1500 FPS.

So, lots of variables need to be stated before the answer is determined.

29,315 Posts
Yes, see Lyman's Shotshell Reloading Handbook, 4th Ed. or the recently released 5th edition.

An absolute must for anyone interested in shotguns and shooting; a great stocking-stuffer as well.

4,626 Posts

E is energy in ftlbs
M is mass of the projectile in pounds
V is the velocity in feet per second at the instant the energy is being measured.

Since the mass of a shotgun pellet varies from lead 000 buck (about .35 inch in diameter) to a lead #9 pellet (.08 inches in diameter) and the velocity can vary from the subsonic "metro" loads to 1500fps or more, you can see that there is a good deal of variation. Throw in the different materials used (i.e. lead, steel, tungsten compounds, bismuth, etc) and you can begin to get an idea of the broad scope.


305 Posts
Taken from the Technoid:

"Pellet energy: A #7 1/2- pellet starting out at a "light" load speed of 1135
Feet Per Second has 1.2 foot pounds of energy at 40 yards. Start that
same pellet out at a whopping, shoulder busting 1330 fps and it only has
1.4 foot pounds of energy at the same distance. Most pundits consider
two 1.2# hits enough to break a bird with 80% reliability. Three 1.2#
hits give 95% reliable breakage. Increasing single pellet energy to 1.4#
does not change the number of hits required, but it does increase the
percentages very slightly.

At 40 yards a #7 1/2- starting out at an ultra mild 1135 fps has the same
energy as a #8 starting out at a less comfortable 1275 fps. There is no
meaningful difference in energy at 20 yards for #9s whether they start at
a "light" 2 3/4 dram 1150 fps or a "heavy" 3 dram 1200 fps. The #9s
lose velocity so quickly that both speeds register 1.1 foot pounds of
energy. You have to go to a second decimal place to see the difference.
The target cannot do second decimal place calculations and does not care
a whit.

What about those loooong 60 yard crossers? #7 1/2 s started out at a mild
recoiling 1135 fps are doing 540 fps at 60 yards. The same pellets
started at a neck snapping 1330 fps are going 580 fps when they whack
that 60 yard target. The difference is only 40 fps at the target. The
difference in energy is an tiny .1 foot pound."

Not sure if that is part of what you are looking for but, it is fun to talk about.

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