Rhodesian "Jungle" shotgun cartridge?


My son saw a reference to a special type of shotgun shell used by Rhodesia for jungle fighting. Apparently it consists of birdshot over buckshot, with the theory that the birdshot clears the way through foliage so the buckshot can get to the target. Sounds fishy to me. Anyone ever heard of something like this?



I did a quick search on the web and found this.
They apparently do exist.
Comments I’ve seen on other sites about them lead me to think they are mostly a gimmick. A vidio showing some young folks ‘experimenting’ with this so called Rhodesian Jungle load is concerning, at best. The site linked above shows a variety of ‘special’ rounds.


Ballistically, I can see no reason why that could be true. Punching some small holes in leaves wouldn’t help buckshot get through it any better. However, if shot of various sizes with carefully selected diameters are used (a process is called “grading”) it is possible for small shot to fill in much of the void space between larger shot, allowing more projectile mass to occupy the same case volume. This is also called “Increasing the bulk density.” That may or may not be advantageous, but at closer ranges it could be effective in filling in the pattern and enhancing hit probability.


It’s one of those stories that gets exaggerated over time. There probably were at some point, some mercs or whatever in Rhodesia who might have used/made this type of load and who talked to Soldier of Fortune magazine about it (back when S.O.F. magazine used to live for Rhodesia), but it’s mostly a case of the gun-show loaders making a neat looking and neat sounding 12ga load these days. Firequest sells it, among others: http://www.firequest.com/G12-023.html


It seems vaguely familiar. I think I read about such a load many years ago, but what I recall is that it was to increase hit probability, not to clear foliage for the buckshot.

The best place I can suggest to check is The World’s Fighting Shotguns, by Thomas Swearengen. That had a chapter covering a variety of combat shotgun loads.


There are other 12-gauge rounds loaded with mixed sizes shot.

Some italian makers load this kind of cartridges for hunting purposes. A mix of large and small pellets increases hit probability


Just a modern day renaissance of the old “Ball and Shot” Muzzle loading Cartridge, used in the French and Indian Wars ( 1757-1763). Only there the “Ball” was close to the Musket calibre.
The principal was the same…increase the Hitting Density in Forested areas at close range.

Nice one, even if “Faked” alot these days…

Doc AV


Remington introduced their “Multi-Range Duplex” line of shot shells in 1987 using this principle of two different sizes of shot in one load. They made a lot of combinations (BBx4, 2x6, 4x6, etc.) but no buck shot combinations.