Shotgun Buckshot Ammo Test (Federal, Rio, Remington, Personal Defense)

Shotgun Buckshot Ammo Test by Jonathan Paul

I would like to start off this review with a big thanks to Steven at BulkAmmo.com and Vitaly of Rem870.com for the opportunity to do this review. Vitaly put me in contact with Steven who provided most of the buckshot used in this review.

Shotgun Buckshot Test
Shotgun Buckshot Test

There are five types of buckshot that were evaluated for this review. Four of them were provided by Steven of BulkAmmo.com and one was from my personal stash. All 12 ga ammo shells tested were 2 ¾” 9-pellet 00 buckshot, the details of each are as follows:

Shotgun Buckshot Ammo Test (Federal, Rio, Remington, Personal Defense)

Brand Muzzle Velocity* Model
Federal Premium Buckshot
Federal Premium Buckshot

Federal Ammunition – Buckshot**

1325 fps XM127 00AC
Royal Buck Low Recoil
Royal Buck Low Recoil

Rio Ammunition – Royal Buck Low Recoil

1200 fps RBLR129
Royal Buck
Royal Buck

Rio Ammunition – Royal Buck

1345 fps RB129
Remington Buckshot
Remington Buckshot

Remington – Buckshot

1325 fps 12B00
Federal Personal Defense
Federal Personal Defense

Federal Premium Ammunition – Personal Defense

1145 fps PD132 00

*muzzle velocity as listed on packaging, no chronograph data was collected
**this was from my personal supply, all other ammunition was provided by BulkAmmo.com

Overview

Opening these boxes of buckshot immediately put a smile on my face. Having recently only been shooting cheap, bulk pack, birdshot it was refreshing to see the tall, shiny brass these manufacturers use for their buckshot hulls. Despite how pretty they looked, I knew there would be two factors that would be weighed more heavily than all others: extreme spread at various distances and felt recoil.

Extreme Spread

I tested the five loads at 3 different distances, 7 paces, 14 paces, and 25 paces. My target was a large piece of cardboard, covered with waxed paper when necessary to extend the usefulness of the target. The shotgun used was a Remington 870 with 20” improved cylinder barrel. The following table shows the results of firing one round of each type at each range and measuring the extreme spread:

Load 7 Paces 14 Paces 25 Paces
Federal Premium Buckshot
Federal Premium Buckshot

Federal Ammunition – Buckshot**

4 inches 6.75 inches 14.8 inches
Royal Buck Low Recoil
Royal Buck Low Recoil

Rio Ammunition – Royal Buck Low Recoil

4 inches 9.5 inches 10.6 inches
Royal Buck
Royal Buck

Rio Ammunition – Royal Buck

4.8 inches 10.8 inches 16.25 inches
Remington Buckshot
Remington Buckshot

Remington – Buckshot

3.3 inches 9.3 inches 14.2 inches
Federal Personal Defense
Federal Personal Defense

Federal Premium Ammunition – Personal Defense

1.5 inches 3.1 inches 5.75 inches

As you can see the Federal Personal Defense with the FliteControl wad dominated the extreme spread test with 25-pace results that were better than any other type’s 14-pace result. Also of interest is the tighter pattern produced by the Rio Low Recoil when compared to the full-velocity Rio Royal Buck load.

Felt Recoil

While obviously very subjective, I feel confident making a few comments on felt recoil as I was one shooter, shooting the same gun over the course of about 1 hour, the only change was the loading and the distance I was shooting at. Once I got home and started working on this article I found that the perceived recoil of each load directly corresponded to the velocity listed on the ammo boxes. Which considering they were all 9-pellet 00 buck loads makes sense. The Royal Buck had the most perceived recoil and was maybe 5% harder than the Federal Buckshot (which I used as my baseline). The recoil produced by the Remington shell was indistinguishable from that of the Federal baseline load. The Rio Low Recoil had considerably less recoil than any of the three full-velocity loads. The Personal Defense, moving 55 fps slower than the Rio Low Recoil, had the lowest perceived recoil.

I can see from BulkAmmo.com’s offerings that another buckshot roundup will be in order, but until then I think I’m going to stock up on Federal Premium Personal Defense buckshot to keep loaded for home defense and probably a bunch of Rio Low Recoil buckshot for matches or practice. Keep in mind my Remington 870 is a pump action shotgun and doesn’t have a problem cycling these low recoil shells. Always test your chosen ammunition for cycling and patterning before relying on it for competition or personal defense.

Federal Personal Defense
Federal Personal Defense

Thanks to the http://www.bulkammo.com/ for ammunition for the test.

Useful links:
Low Recoil Ammo by Rio Royal – 00 Buck
2ga Ammo by Rio Royal – 00 Buck
12ga Ammo by Remington – 00 Buck
12ga Ammo by Federal Law Enforcement with FliteControl Wad- 00 Buck

Related Post:

Exotic 12 Gauge Ammo Review, Part 1

Exotic 12 Gauge Ammo Review, Part 2

Exotic 12 Gauge Ammo Review, Part 3

Vitaly Pedchenko

My name is Vitaly Pedchenko, I started this blog and forum to share information, tips, photos, and advice about the Remington 870 shotgun, accessories, and upgrades. Now I also own AR-15 rifle and MP5 pistol caliber carbine. I am firearms instructor, competitive shooter and IPSC Range Officer. I participate in practical shooting and 3-Gun competitions because they are the best way for me to test equipment and upgrades under stress. I am member of the PRACTICA shooting club. I also participate in REAGO, which provides Tactical Combat Casualty Care training. The main purpose of the Rem870.com blog and forum is to have a compilation of information about the Remington 870 shotgun in one organized, accessible place.

6 thoughts on “Shotgun Buckshot Ammo Test (Federal, Rio, Remington, Personal Defense)

  • 20.02.2012 at 21:01
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    I do believe Remington 2 3/4 has 12 pellets.

    Reply
  • 11.05.2016 at 20:37
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    Tried Royal Buckshot today in a Mossberg 12 gauge. 50% of the shells jammed in the chamber. Had to hit the side of the receiver to get them to eject. No other brand jams. Went to Cabelas, and they immediately knew the problem. The Royal Buck has a roll crimp, causing the jams. Check with several rounds before you rely on that stuff.

    Reply
      • 08.06.2016 at 18:08
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        Called Mossberg, and they said they have had a number of complaints about Royal Buck ammo jamming in Mossbergs

        Reply
  • 06.10.2017 at 19:05
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    Rio royal Works fine in my stevens 320

    Reply

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