14 February 2021
Shot Pellet Information and Recommendations
By Chuck Hawks
Most of the major ammunition catalogs, specifically including those published by Federal, Remington and Winchester, as well as a number of books about arms and ammunition, publish general information about steel and lead shot and make recommendations concerning the appropriate shot sizes for various purposes.
Perhaps it might be worthwhile to start by listing the nominal diameter of the various common sizes of shot as manufactured in the U.S. Here they are, courtesy of the Federal Ammunition Catalog:
BBB .190" (4.83mm), BB .180" (4.57mm), 1 .160" (4.06mm), 2 .150" (3.81mm), 3 .140" (3.56mm), 4 .130" (3.30mm), 5 .120" (3.05mm), 6 .110" (2.79mm), 7 .100" (2.41mm), 7-1/2 .095" (2.35mm), 8 .090" (2.29mm), 8-1/2 .085" (2.16mm), 9 .080" (2.03mm).
Here is the average pellet count in one ounce (28.35 grams) of 3% antimony, 97% lead shot of various selected sizes, courtesy of the Winchester Ammunition 2004 Product Guide:
You will need to add some tin to this alloy. Also you might have some difficulty melting it down as it is coated with graphite and if an oxide has formed on the shot, you may have to crush the hard coating and then reduce and flux to remove the graphite residue for casting. Most will add some soft lead just as they would when casting with clip on wheel weights.