Shot Count megaConverter #14

Introduction and Overview

This megaConverter is intended to provide a number of measurements for various shot types. For many years the only type of shot used for hunting purposes was chilled lead. Recent concerns over lead poisoning in waterfowl has lead to the development of alternative shots. The most common alternative is steel shot, but steel has several drawbacks. Steel is extremely hard, which causes damage to shotgun barrels. This forces manufacturers and reloaders to use extra thick wads and sleeves. This makes the room for the shot less and the possible shot loads also less. Steel is also much lighter, making the ballistics of individual pellets worse. To gain shot range equivalent to lead, steel loads must use larger diameter shot. This further lowers the possible pellet count in a given load. One new alternative is bismuth. It has slightly less density than lead and is non-toxic. It is more costly than either lead or steel but avoids the problems inherent in both.

This megaConverter provides shot count per ounce and per hectoliter (100 grams), as well as diameter in inches and centimeters. The sizes of large shot 0 through 000 are pronounced "aught", such as "aught buck" or "three aught buck."

Steel shot comes in a limited range of sizes because the very large and very small sizes have no practical function. Bismuth can be made in all sizes, but are as yet only made in a few select sizes for waterfowl loads.

There are two other types made, tungsten and a molybdenum polymer. These are not covered yet because they are very expensive and of limited availability and no discernible benefit over bismuth. Tungsten is rumored to be used to a slight degree in Europe, and molybdenum is still brand new.

Shot sizes 6 through 0 buck are used for waterfowl and upland game birds. 00 and 000 buck are used occasionally for deer. Sizes 9 through 5 are used in trap and for light bird such as quail and snipe. Sizes 11 and 12 are used in 22 shot cartridges(birdshot). Dust hasn’t been used for many years. Size 7 isn’t normally available. Size 7.5 is the standard for trap loads (I have no idea why). Many trap and skeet shooters use size 8 or 9 for higher pellet density, at the price of reduced range and effectiveness.

* Much of our written history still refers to things in common units. The Bible does not refer to meters or kilograms, but to cubits and stadia, or shekels and drachma. Wouldn't it be nice to know what they were talking about way back then? Now you can use megaConverter! For a more complete listing of ancient, foreign, and obsolete measures, download our 'megaSpreadsheet' of conversions in MS Excel format.

Note: Because of round-off errors, converting from very large units to very small units or vice-versa may not be accurate (or practical). Conversion factors can be found by converting a quantity of 1 unit to another unit several steps above or below the first. You may need to string several conversion factors together to find the factor from a very large unit to a very small unit, and then you can use a calculator with sufficient digits to find your answer.