Miscellaneous Shotgun Ammunition

Shotgun Shells Loaded with Rubber or Plastic Pellets. Fiocchi, a major European ammunition manufacturer, produces shotgun ammunition loaded with hard-rubber pellets. The ammunition, now available in the United States, is sold as a self-defense loading that is non-lethal except at close ranges. The 12-gauge shell has a transparent hull closed by a plastic disk and contains 15 rubber pellets, a felt wad, and a plastic over-the-powder wad. The pellets measure 8.4 to 8.5 mm in diameter and weigh an average of 1.016 g. On X-ray, they have a metallic density. Muzzle velocity is 302 m/s. Experiments by Missliwetz and Lindermann on corpses revealed that the pellets can cause fatal wounds at distances of 4 to 5 meters if the individual shot is wearing only light clothing.12 These authors concluded that these pellets required a velocity of 130 to 140 m/s to perforate skin.

Brass Shotgun Shells. Brass shotgun shells are now relatively uncommon in the United States. Remington, the last manufacturer of them, stopped production in 1957. Brass shotgun shells have been imported into the United States.

Winchester Tracer Rounds. Winchester tracer rounds were introduced in 1965 in 12 gauge only. The 12-gauge tracer load was intended for use by skeet and trap shooters so that they could see where the shot had gone. This round contains a spherical aluminum capsule with a short hollow tail. The capsule containing the tracer compound lies above the filler wads among the shot (Figure 8.39). The tracer is ignited by powder gases through an opening in the center of the wad column that communicates with the lumen of the tail. When fired, the tracer appears as a glowing dart of yellow-white flame.

Figure 8.39 Disassembled Winchester tracer round.

Remington Modi-Pac. The Remington Modi-Pac refers to the Modified Impact Shotgun Shell. This round, which apparently was produced in the late 1960s, used an SP tube with a rolled crimp. It was intended by law enforcement agencies for riot control. Only 12-gauge shells were manufactured; these shells contain 1/4 oz of 0.120-in.-diameter plastic pellets. Approximately 320 pellets per load were used. The muzzle velocity was 1600 ft/sec. Loss of velocity was extremely rapid because of light weight of the pellets. Thus, at 15 yd, muzzle velocity was only 200 ft/sec. Maximum range was 25 yds. Given the low pressure generated in these shells, they would not function in auto-loading shotguns.

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