Russian 12ga by Fetter

Here is a 10rd box of 12ga buckshot by the Russian brand Fetter. This brand is very uncommon in the U.S., but is probably common stuff in Europe / Russia. The buck size is something around #2 or #3, but is larger than #4 anyway. Maybe an F designation, or something. and Ventura Munitions are the places in the U.S. that I have come across this.

fetter%2012ga%20hs unnamed unnamed3

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I like the “… for civil shotguns” line!

Yes, they meant “civilian”. Talking of “civilian” vs “military”, is there any use of shotguns by the military anywhere? I don’t mean “police”, I mean real military use.

Usually spec ops units have shotguns in their inventories.

The first to issue shotguns were the US no?
And I guess they still have them in inventory or?

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The US military used shotguns extensively in WWI & WWII [generically called “Trench Shotguns”], and through Vietnam. There were several companies that made the military issue shotguns, primarily Winchester [mostly Model 1897], Remington [Model 12], and Savage [Model 520-, 520-30, and 620].
The US military still uses shotguns for both guard detail, and special forces use [one version mounted beneath the M4/M16 rifle in place of the grenade launcher for breaching and CQ combat roles], Mossberg and Benelli, possibly still Remington, and I would presume other military organisations have similar uses.
I believe the German engineer [airborn?] and special forces units are issued a version of the Remington 870 pump shotgun.

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During WWI the Geman Government called the use of shotgund “inhumane” on the grounds of teh Hague Convention.
“The German Government protests against the use of shotguns by the American Army and calls attention to the fact that according to the law of war, every U.S. prisoner of war found to have in his possession such guns or ammunition belonging thereto forfeits his life. This protest is based upon article 23(e) of the Hague convention respecting the laws and customs of war on land.”
Which is an interesting statement considering they developed flame throwers and mustard gas, among others… and despite those threats, I do not recall any records of Americans captured with shoguns who were executed, as that was the last ‘civilized’ and ‘honourable’ war…

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Unofficially, I was issued a WWII era Savage shotgun in the late 1970s, and, as an aside, there were still many M3 and M3-A1 .45 ACP ‘Grease Guns,’ that were still in inventory.

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Just to keep the record straight: the position of the German government regarding the use of shotguns in military conflicts is unchanged since WW1.
German special forces have 12 ga shotguns stricly for “door opening”, firing zinc pellets (I know of cartridge models DM 199 and DM219). Not to be used against human targets.
I simply state the fact and do not imply any judgement on who is right.
I fully understand your astonishment in view of flame throwers, mustard gas, nerve gas, city bombing and other technology of war. The sad fact is that common sense is pointless in the dicussion of laws, may it be the law of war or, as we all have experienced, the local gun law.


Dear forum members!

In accordance with Russian legislation, weapons are divided into civilian, service, and military. Accordingly, cartridges are divided into cartridges for civilian, service and military weapons. However, it is not at all required to indicate on the package of cartridges that these are civilian cartridges. I am also surprised by this marking.

At that, military 12 gauge cartridges for smoothbore military weapons for the US Army has been manufactured for many decades. To exclude the possibility of using such cartridges for firing civilian guns, cartridge cases with a cylindrical protrusion on the metal base were used.


I do not follow… Can you explain that statement?

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Over the years Russia used several designations on ammunition boxes other than military and police.
From “service cartridges” over “hunting cartridges” and “sporting cartridges” to “civilian cartridges”.

Here a Barnaul 9x18 box which is saying:
Pistol cartridges for civilian (sporting and hunting) guns.

You can see:


pp. 2-9, 2-11

Mikhail, what you are referring to is just a very unfortunate drawing. The real cases have only a tiny recess there which is about 0.2mm high.
These here are just regular 12GA.

But speaking of altered 12GA which shall not be interchangable you may look at the Greener design and also at the late Chinese 12GA service loads (for LE I assume) which have a thicker rim.

In Russia, cartridges 9 mm Makarov are cartridges for military weapons. Such cartridges can be certified as civilian cartridges only if these cartridges are loaded with lead core bullet and with the presence of other restrictions. In this regard, the marking on the package that these cartridges are cartridges for a civilian weapon is explicable.

As the Barnaul 9x18 above were normal FMJ (lead core) the designation should be correct.

Indeed, the quality of the drawing is very low. High quality drawings only in my book. But the construction features of the cartridge case with a central cylindrical protrusion on the base of the cartridge case are shown correctly.
And here is a high quality photo:

The height of the central cylindrical protrusion on the base of the cartridge case should be several tenths of a millimeter. This is enough to eliminate the possibility of a shot.

Military cartridges are designated as 9 mm pistol cartridge, while civilian and service cartridges are designated as 9 mm Makarov in accordance with the designation indicated in the C.I.P. Table IV.
But this is not the only difference. Different markings on the base of the cartridge case and technical characteristics, including the kinetic energy of the bullet.
Designation 9x18 should not be used; it is a different cartridge (9 x 18 Ultra, 9mm Police), Country of Origin: DE/AT.

Mikhail, the US 12 ga. M19 cartridge use commercial production brass cases made by Remington and Winchester that can be used in any 12 ga. shotgun, military and civilian. I don’t know what is your source for making that statement, but it is incorrect.



I will concur with Fede, this method of production was very much the standard on early cases. My understanding is that is was done as a means of ensuring a good fit of the cartridge in the chamber as at this time holding exact tolerances was “not” readily achievable, so the head was given an inner raised area (ring). This was the high point so that when the gun was shut with a maximum depth chamber flange the cartridge was at worst a slightly lose fit in the chamber but on a minimum depth the breech face would compress the rim and deflect the base enough that the gun would still close properly. It had a secondary use too, in that it helped to seal the cap chamber and to some extent stop the flash back onto the breech face and achieve a better gas tight seal.




Shown are a few variations of this on some Kynoch cases.

Whereas the Greener Police Gun had two pins that protruded from the breech face this would certainly stop the gun from closing on a standard headed cartridge but the Greener principle had a large grove in the cartridge head to allow the pins to fit into the face and therefor let the gun close.


With it being a grove the orientation of the cartridge didn’t matter either.

As Fede states current production is a standard shell, nothing raised of the base. Judging the headstamp of the brass shells you show are not current issue and are probably 50 or more years old. They would also chamber and fire (maybe?) in a typical / standard 12 bore commercial or military issue.