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28 Gauge Ammo Uses & Background

28 gauge shotguns have a bore measuring .550" and are primarily used for hunting upland game and skeet shooting. Introduced in the US by Parker Bros in 1903, the 28 gauge is well liked for its dependable patterning. Shotguns in this gauge can be made quite light (about 6 or 7 pounds) and quick to point without letting felt recoil get out of control. This makes them ideal for long trips in the field. Both experienced shooters and novices can benefit considerably from the superb handling of the 28 gauge shotgun.

A typical 28 gauge skeet load packs 3/4 oz. of shot into a 2-3/4" hull and produces a muzzle velocity of about 1,200 to 1,300 feet per second. Hunting loads may contain 7/8 oz. of shot and will produce slightly more recoil. Available 28 gauge ammo generally fires smaller sizes of birdshot, producing dense patterns with limited penetration but excellent effectiveness against pheasant, duck, and other smaller birds as well as clay targets. Some loads are available that fire a full ounce of shot. While this theoretically improves terminal performance without the need to switch to a more powerful weapon, 28ga ammunition of this type can produce a surprisingly nasty kick in the light shotguns typically available for this gauge. The 28 gauge is generally not used for tactical or defensive purposes.

Shotguns firing 28 gauge ammo include the Browning BPS, the Ruger Red Label, the Remington 870, and a variety of over under and side by side shotguns such as the Browning Lightning Feather Citori and the CZ Ringneck.