Calculated Shotgun Shell Pellet Count
The pellet count in shotgun shells is useful information for hunters and reloaders. Sometimes manufacturers’ shot counts are hard to find. People commonly post on the DHC Shotshell, Reloading, Ballistics, and Choke Forum
requesting pellet counts for various loadings.
For my own use, I assembled the following tables which give the calculated pellet counts for various weights and sizes of steel, lead, and Remington HD shot. Perhaps this information will be useful to others also. I did not include Hevi-Shot because of pellet size variation within a shell and the different density products Environmental, Inc. now sells.
Here are the densities of the three different pellets:
The densities of steel and lead shot are those used by the Ed Lowry’s Shotshell Ballistics software. Of course, the density of lead varies with the amount of antimony used to harden it.
The simple calculation was done by dividing the weight of the shot loading by the weight of one pellet (pellet volume X density) and rounding down to the closest integer.
These tables should suffice for many users although some people may want to weigh the shot in their commercial shells and count the pellets. I’m not a steel shot reloader but apparently many people weigh the shot that goes into each shell. Assuming that manufacturers give accurate shot loading weights, actual data may still differ from these calculated results somewhat owing to other normal manufacturing variances (for example, shot diameter variability and using volume instead of weight in loading the shells).
You can easily make modifications to the table entries for different density materials and different weight loadings.
Let me know if you find any errors, preferably by a PM (private message) to J J Mac, and I will make corrections.