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What You Should Know | How Guns Fire | Cartridges | Shells | Choosing Type & Size | Handling | Trajectory | Final Quiz

Common Shotgun Shell Sizes

The length of a shotshell is normally given in inches and is based on the length of the spent hull. Common lengths for 12 gauge are 2 3/4, 3 and 3 1/2 inch. Some European shells give the shotshell length in millimeters.

You must know the correct length of the shotshell, gauge and shotsize when selecting shotgun ammunition. Go on to learn more about shot.

Magnum for Shotguns

With shotguns the term "magnum" refers to shells containing more shot and powder than standard shells. A 12-gauge 2 3/4-inch magnum shell, for example, will normally contain 1/4 to 1/2 ounces more shot than a standard shell of the same size and gauge. Magnum shells are often longer than standard shells.

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