Distinguishing Slug & Buckshot

Slug and buckshot are terms used to describe different types of ammunition used in shotguns. Due to their large caliber, shotguns can accommodate various types of ammunition, with slug and buckshot being the most common. Despite both having significant impact on a target, there are key differences between slug and buckshot that are important to understand when deciding which to use.

Key Takeaways

  • Slug and buckshot are different types of shotgun ammunition.
  • Buckshot contains multiple small pellets in a shell, while slug contains one large, heavy pellet.
  • Slug is used for hunting larger game, while buckshot is designed for hunting smaller game like deer.


Buckshot is a type of shotgun ammunition that contains numerous small pellets within a shell. These pellets are usually made of lead, although some modern alternatives also exist. The name “buckshot” derives from its original purpose, which was hunting deer (buck). Buckshot is still widely used by law enforcement authorities today. Interestingly, a larger number signifies a smaller shot, while a smaller number indicates a larger shot. When buckshot is fired, the pellets spread out to increase the likelihood of hitting the target. However, due to this dispersal, many pellets miss the target, but this is considered acceptable when using buckshot in a shotgun, as only a few pellets need to hit the target to be effective.


A slug is a type of shotgun ammunition that contains a single, large-sized pellet within the shell. Slugs are used for hunting larger game and feature a lead pellet coated with copper. A slug is heavier than a typical rifle bullet, and when used in a shotgun, it provides similar performance to that of a bullet in a rifle.

Slug vs Buckshot

  • Slug and buckshot are distinct types of ammunition used in shotguns.
  • Buckshot contains multiple small pellets in its shell, while slug features a single, large, and heavy pellet made of lead and coated with copper.
  • The term “buckshot” was derived from its original purpose of hunting deer (buck).
  • Upon firing, the pellets in buckshot spread out, with most missing the target, while slug is used for hunting larger game with a single heavy pellet.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles