If you are an avid hunter or shooter in Canada, you must be familiar with shotgun shells. A shotgun shell is a cartridge that contains gunpowder and shot, which can be used for hunting or shooting purposes. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about shotgun shells in Canada, including their types, sizes, laws, and more.
A shotgun shell, also known as a shotshell, is a self-contained cartridge loaded with shot or slug. The shell usually consists of four components: the brass or plastic case, the primer, the powder, and the shot or slug. When the trigger is pulled, the primer ignites the powder, which in turn propels the shot or slug out of the barrel of the shotgun.
Shotgun shells can be classified into several types, including birdshot, buckshot, slugs, and specialty rounds.
Birdshot is the most common type of shotgun shell used for hunting birds and small game. It contains multiple small pellets that spread out as they travel, making it easier to hit moving targets.
Buckshot is a type of shotgun shell used for hunting large game, such as deer. It contains larger pellets that can penetrate deeper into the animal’s body, causing more damage.
Slugs are a single projectile that is designed to travel long distances accurately. They are commonly used for hunting larger game or for self-defense purposes.
Specialty rounds include less-lethal rounds, such as rubber bullets or beanbag rounds, as well as exotic rounds, such as incendiary or explosive rounds. These rounds are not commonly used for hunting or shooting but can be used for specific situations.
Sizes of Shotgun Shells
Shotgun shells come in different sizes, known as gauges. The gauge of a shotgun shell is determined by the number of lead balls with a diameter equal to the inside of the shotgun barrel that can be made from one pound of lead. The most common gauges are 12-gauge, 20-gauge, and .410-gauge.
The Canadian government has strict laws regarding the use of firearms and ammunition, including shotgun shells. In Canada, it is illegal to possess or use any shotgun shell that has a projectile diameter greater than 20 millimeters. The maximum shell length is also restricted to 89 millimeters, and the maximum shot size is BB.
Where to Buy Shotgun Shells in Canada
Shotgun shells can be purchased at most sporting goods stores or firearms dealers in Canada. However, you must have a valid firearms license to buy or possess shotgun shells in Canada. You can apply for a firearms license through the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
Tips for Using Shotgun Shells Safely
Using shotgun shells can be dangerous if not handled properly. Here are some tips for using shotgun shells safely:
- Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
- Always treat every gun as if it is loaded.
- Wear eye and ear protection while shooting.
- Do not shoot at hard surfaces or water.
- Keep the shotgun unloaded until you are ready to use it.
- Do not shoot without a proper backstop.
Shotgun shells are an essential component of hunting and shooting in Canada. Understanding the different types, sizes, and laws can help you choose the right shotgun shell for your needs and ensure safe and responsible use of firearms. Always follow the safety tips and guidelines provided by the Canadian government to avoid any mishaps.