Shotshell shot size table

When searching the internet for shot size tables, it is surprisingly difficult to find a decent one that is both thorough, and of decent resolution quality. Today I received some S&B 12ga 10rd packs in their most recent graphics style however which had a great table on the back of them. It shows the table describing the American, English (and South African), and Italian size nomenclature. Despite being only 3" x 2", it came out ok in this image scan:


Here are some old time shot sizes from 1883 (for what it’s worth).


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There were all kinds of different shot sizes. I think I’ve seen a good number of older British makers charts & lot’s of differences.
I suppose with CIP & SAAMI today things are more standardized. but…

The chart is noce, but not quite correct s=for Amwerican Standard sizes.

In the U.S. there is no No. 7, and in the lower half, BB, 6 & 5 are not Buckshot.
No. BB, BBB, T, F [not shown], 6, and 5, are Duck and Goose loads, and only in steel shot to be legal.

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Jack, it probably was absolutely correct for the time or where it was made/printed. Part of what I alluded to in my above post. Every one was somewhat different.

The impression I got was this is a NEW chart printed on current production S&B Ammo, that is why I made the difference comment and posted the American standard shot sizes for comparison.

Ah sooo

Also, as I’ve been reading up on shotshells lately, it seems that there were actually two different tables for American shot sizes. One was “Eastern” sizes and the other was “Western” sizes and they were not the same for some sizes. For some they were. If I recall properly (always chancy, at best) the Eastern sizes were standardized into what we now know as American sizes.

Greener, in The Gun and its Development (1910), lists 9 different American shot makers. For the number 7 shot one finds 7 different sizes between 209 and 323 pellets to the ounce.

There was a chart posted on IAA [sometime in the last 4~6 months] that had Eastern and Western U.S. shot sizes listed, and, if you look at the “Comparative Sizes of Shot” charts above, there are different sizes from St. Louis, Chicago, and Baltimore, but that is just U.S. shot maufacturers sizing before standardization.

The “Comparative Sizes of Shot” chart from above shows Dust, Fine Dust and Extra Fine Dust. What would these have been used for?


Before 1950~1960 I could not say for certain, but lead “dust” has been loaded into shotshells for Military & Police to pulverize hinges and locks on doors for forced entry.
I was issued some of them in the late 70s’, but everywhere we went there were huts & hovels that you did not exactly need a shotgun in order to gain entry… they were, however, pretty effective on various parts of automobiles and drug processing equipment.