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Connor Susag

Mrs. Stevens

Physical Science

12 December 2018

How Many Cinder Blocks Does It Take To Stop 3 Different Types Of 12 Gauge Shotgun Slugs?

Did you know that slugs are prefered over shot for home defense? Also, slugs can be

used for hunting. Shotguns also are used in war.For example, the Benelli M4. So, knowing the

versatility of the shotgun, I wanted to test its ammunition, mainly slugs. So I thought if I took

three different slugs Federal,Winchester, and Fiocchi and shot them at cinder blocks, then the

Federal slug would go through the most walls.

How Does a Shotgun Work?

The stock, trigger, sear, hammer, pistol grip, bolt assembly,firing-pin, cartridge, chamber,

barrel, magazine(tube), Fore-end( pump), and sight are all parts that make up a shotgun.A stock

helps you hold and sturdy the weapon while firing it.The trigger is connected to the sear and the

hammer. The hammer then makes the bolt assembly move making the firing pin which is resting

on the primer to hit it making the weapon fire.The chamber once the round is fired will push out

the spent casing and push in a new one. Then once the new shell is in you will look down the

sights and line them up with your target and fire(Coustan).

What Are Shotguns Most Commonly Used For?

Shotguns are mostly used in hunting when rifles are not legal to hunt with or do not want

to be used .Slugs and buckshot are the preferred ammunition for large animal hunting when rifles

are not permitted(Specter).Marines use shotguns for mainly close combat situations.Marines and


other military or public defenders( SWAT) will use it to breach and clear rooms with

it.(Mizokami).Shotguns for a civilian purpose of use are mainly intended for home defense.They

are also used for hunting but for birds or smaller animals(Jon).

What Is Muzzle Velocity and What Is the Muzzle Velocity of Each Type of Slug?

Muzzle velocity is the speed at which an object (bullet) leaves the barrel of weapon.

Muzzle velocity also causes the entry hole of a bullet to always be smaller than the exit

hole.Cartridges with more gunpowder are built to handle more pressure sending the bullet out of

the barrel at a faster muzzle velocity. However for a shotgun it would be shells not

cartridges.Barrel twist also comes into play because the barrel makes the slug spin as it goes

through the barrel so that when the slug leaves the barrel it is more accurate(Hoober).A 12 gauge

shotgun has a muzzle energy of around 2000 to 3000 ft/lbs depending on what is fired out of the

weapon whether it be a slug or shot.“The 12 gauge 2 3/4″ load has a MV of 1550 fps and ME of

2935 ft. lbs.”(Ted). For ammunition used in the experiment I had Federal (1610)

,Winchester(1600), Fiocchi (1150).

What Is the Difference between shotgun shells and slugs?

“12-gauge means you can make 12 lead balls, each of equal diameter to the gun barrel,

out of 1 pound of lead.”Shot is little balls made of zinc and other soft metals. Those are the little

balls you see come out of a gun when shot.Shot is soft and that is the reason shot has such a

spread out pattern when fired.Slugs are chunks of metal made out of nylon,plastic, or a formable



slugs can be rifled this helps the slug be more accurate and shoot a farther

distance. Slugs can be shaped in many shapes the most common shape however is like more of a

crude bullet(Coustan).


When Are Shells Or Slugs Typically Used?

Birdshot- Birdshot gets its name from its main purpose which is hunting birds. Buck

shot- is used for home defense and for large game hunting when rifles can not be used. Slugs- are

used for home defense because they will not do as much damage to the interior of a house

compared to a rifle or other shotgun loads. Buckshot is a hunting round that depending on brand

can be effective up to 40 yards and cause severe injury at 50 yards(Bourjaily).Slugs are also used

for hunting turns your shotgun into something like a brush gun.Slugs if that is the ammunition of

choice used for hunting, will be usually for larger game(Specter).

How Does Weight Impact How Deep a Projectile Can Penetrate a Object?

According to Jon, weight will have a impact on how deep a projectile will go into a

object. Weight and mass make up how hard or fast the slug will hit the target. A larger bullet will

penetrate further into a target because of mass. A slug which is heavier than shot, will hit harder

(Jon).”The mass of an object and the acceleration due to gravity determine the weight of an

object”.The factors that affect the bullet once it leaves the barrel will be mass,surface

area,acceleration, (because of gravity),spin, and wind( if there is any)(GCSE).

After conducting my experiment with the Remington 870 and the three mentioned slugs,

I learned my hypothesis was wrong. I made my hypothesis based on grain load. So I chose the

federal slug, which had the highest grain load. Instead it was the winchester slug which had a

grain load of ten less. The winchester slug averaged 3 walls per shot as to the federal slug, which

was inconsistent.



Works Cited

“Ammunition Demystifier - Types Of Shotgun Ammo.” The Well Armed Woman, 25 July 2018,


Bourjaily, Phil. “A Few Words About Buckshot.” Field & Stream, 2018,

Coustan, Dave. “How Shotguns Work.” HowStuffWorks Science, HowStuffWorks, 28 June


“GCSE Bitesize: What Affects Falling?” BBC, BBC, 2014,

Hoober, Sam. “Muzzle Velocity And Why It Matters.” Bigfoot Gun Belts, 12 July 2018,

Jon. “Shotgun Questions.” 19 Nov. 2018

Specter, Harvey. “What Is Shotgun Slugs And When Is It Better To Use A Slug?” Daily

Shooting | Shooting Tips And Reviews, 15 Jan. 2018,

Ted. “Shotgun Muzzle Energy.” The Fixer, 3 Mar. 2013,