The Best Shotgun Ammo for Defense & Sport

SHOT Show 2024 is in the books, and the annual event delivered once again. We ran all up and down the isles of the massive show, looking for the newest guns and gear for shooters and sportsmen. It’s a banner year for everything shotgun, so we’ve bundled up the best shotgun ammo for home defense, duty, hunting and sport to hit dealers’ shelves in 2024!

Best Shotgun Ammo for 2024

Apex Ammunition Mossy Oak Greenleaf Turkey TSS Blend 28-gauge

Offered in both 12-gauge as well as 20-gauge, these premium “Duplex” shells house a blend of No. 9 and No. 10 TSS. This combination results in an impressive payload of 1,096 pellets for 12-gauge shells and 774 pellets for 20-gauge. The Apex Tungsten Super Shot loads pack a powerful punch with devastating energy. Additionally, these shells are powered by clean-burning powder and a one-piece tungsten-grade wad system, designed to produce tight patterns while protecting your barrel.  (

Federal Premium Prairie Storm Bismuth Blend 12-gauge & 20-gauge

Federal Premium Prairie Storm Bismuth Blend 12g

For a lead-free option that makes no sacrifices, Federal has released their new Prairie Storm Bismuth Blend. Premium components include the  FLITECONTROL FLEX wad and Premium steel shot, with a hefty dose of HEVI-Bismuth pellets, all combining to deliver more energy at extended ranges. These new shells are available in six different blends for both 12- or 20-gauge. (

Federal Premium Freight Train Copper 12-gauge

Federal Premium Freight Train Copper 12g

Federal’s new Freight Train Copper 12-gauge slugs will leave that buck feeling like he got hit by a freight train! The polymer tip and aerodynamic profile of this copper sabot slug maximize downrange energy to produce groups of less than four inches at 200 yards out of a rifled barrel… well within “minute-of-deer!” This slug’s unique design provides consistent and devastating expansion on deer from 50 to 200 yards. (

Remington Low Decibel .410

Remington Low Decibel .410

With a muzzle velocity of 550 feet per second, Remington’s new Low Decibel shotshells effectively minimize both recoil and noise produced with each shot. This ensures a pleasurable shooting experience, especially for new shooters who may be a little “gun-shy.” Carefully crafted for reduction of noise and recoil, the shell maintains the ability to bust a clay pigeon mid-flight. (

Remington Nitro Pigeon 12-gauge

Remington Nitro Pigeon (12g)

Remington designed Nitro Pigeon loads to accurately take down quick-moving game birds such as pigeons, doves, quail, and many others. With a magic mixture of high-performance powder combined with Remington’s patented Power Piston wad and Premier gold hull, these rounds quickly arose as a pigeon’s worst nightmare. (

Hevi-Shot Hevi-Steel Upland 12-gauge

Hevi-Shot Hevi-Steel Upland (12g)

The Hevi-Steel Upland line sees an expansion in 2024. New additions include two different loadings, both built with an increased velocity to meet the challenge of fast-flying game birds. This increase in velocity delivers shot with a boost in energy, meaning that you can be confident that with each well-placed shot, you’ll be one step closer to filling your tags. (

Winchester XPERT Game & Target Steel Shot 12-gauge #7 Shot  

Winchester XPERT Game & Target Steel Shot 12g #7 Shot

Expanding upon the EXPERT Game & Target line of shotshells, Winchester releases new for 2024 a 12-gauge #7 shot option. Whether you send these rounds downrange at pigeons made of clay or those covered in feathers, this option proves itself to be a great universal option for both range and field. With the added benefit of being lead-free, compliance to restrictive ranges and hunting grounds is trouble-free. (

Winchester Long Beard Lok’d & Lethal XR 12-gauge #5 Shot

Winchester Long Beard Lok’d & Lethal XR 12g #5 Shot

Delivering laser-precise patterns at longer distances, the new Long Beard XR from Winchester expands your reach up to 60 yards from your blind. The new Shot-Lok technology delivers double the payload within a 10-inch radius, delivering a knock-down punch upon impact. Go into spring turkey season confident that you’ll have that gobbler in your sights and on your dinner table in no time flat. (

Hevi-Shot Hevi-XII .410 #5 Shot

Hevi-Shot Hevi-XII .410 #5 Shot copy

Expanding upon the Hevi-III, new for 2024 is a #5 and a #7 shot in .410. Packed with a healthy serving of tungsten shot, the tight-patterned hit delivered on an unsuspecting turkey is quite impressive. Outperforming steel with optimized cold-weather performance and the added benefit of being lead-free have many a hunter considering swapping over to .410, no longer viewing it as an “underpowered-shotshell.” (

Winchester E-Tech 12-gauge Shotshells

Winchester E-Tech 12g Shotshells

Winchester E-Tech shotshells incorporate innovative BioAmmo wads made from bio-polymers, mimicking traditional plastic in both appearance and performance. These environmentally friendly shells ensure consistent muzzle velocity by tightly sealing expanding gases with its bio-polymer over-powder wad. These wads can withstand extreme pressures and velocities, while guaranteeing optimal pattern performance, delivering uniform and consistent patterns similar to their traditional plastic wad counterparts. (

Kent Fasteel 2.0 Precision Plated Steel Waterfowl 12-gauge

Kent Fasteel 2.0 Precision Plated Steel Waterfowl 12g

This new release from Kent was carefully crafted to ensure high velocities and reliable performance for waterfowl hunting despite what mother nature may throw your way. Constructed from top-quality components made to resist corrosion and guarantee functionality in modern semi-auto shotguns. Custom blended propellants maximize the velocities of the zinc-plated steel shot housed within the hull while maintaining consistent pressures across temperature variations. (

D-Dupleks Broadhead Hexolit 32 – 12-gauge

DDupleks Broadhead Hexolit 32

An innovative design meant to take down large game, this shotshell imparts a devastating blow to its target. Built with a 495-grain slug flying at 1,400 fps from the muzzle, the magic of this shell can only be appreciated upon impact. Once making contact with the intended game, the innovative hollow-point ogive gives way to six breakaway petals. So, not only do you have a solid slug penetrating deep into the target, but six additional wound channels from the fragmentation of the aforementioned break-away petals. Safe for use in all barrels and lead-free for restrictive hunting grounds. (

D-Dupleks Kaviar Slug 12-gauge

D-Dupleks Kaviar Slug 12g

Ideal for personal defense, this fragmenting 12-gauge slug offers up reliable and trustworthy knock-down performance, all while minimizing the risk of overpenetration and ricochet. This unique design also lends itself as a safer option when engaging steel targets. Suitable for rifled and smoothbore shotgun barrels. (

Fiocchi Flyway Series 12-gauge Line Extension

Fiocchi Flyway Series 12g Line Extension

The new additions to Fiocchi’s Flyway series of steel shotshells provide ample knock-down power at distances both far and near. The combination of plated steel shot, protective wad, and matched powder housed within each hull pair together to deliver tight patterns and optimal performance. Additionally, these shells are lead-free for any hunting land that happens to ban lead shot. Both new 12-gauge additions are 2 ¾ inches in length with your choice of either #4 shot or #6 shot. (

Federal Premium Personal Defense Shotshell 20-gauge

Federal Premium Personal Defense Shotshell 20g

Expanding upon their line of personal defense ammunition for use in shotguns, Federal has released a new 20-gauge personal defense shotshell. This new loading is packed with 10 pellets of a #2 copper-plated buckshot. The patented FLITECONTROL wad produces tight and reliable patterning, essential when being used indoors for home defense purposes, especially when overpenetration is a concern. (

Remington Nitro Steel Duplex

Remington Nitro Steel Duplex

Loaded with two different shot sizes for maximum effectiveness at ranges both far and near, the new line of Nitro Steel Duplex shotshells from Remington undoubtedly presents itself as a versatile option for waterfowl hunters this upcoming season. Dense patterning with the smaller shot delivers devastating blows while the larger shot maintains impressive velocity at distance resulting in a quick, clean, and ethical harvest. There are currently four different payloads for 12-gauge shotguns offered in the new lineup. (

Hevi-Shot Hevi-Metal Xtreme 12-gauge #2 Tungsten & BB Steel

Hevi-Shot Hevi-Metal Xtreme 12g #2 Tungsten & BB Steel

Using their patented Pattern Density Technology, Hevi-Shot built their new 12-gauge shotshell to deliver 30% of its payload via #2 tungsten shot with the remaining payload of BB steel housed neatly beneath. The load as a whole is backed by Hevi-Shot’s uniquely designed FLITECONTROL FLEX wad which keeps the pattern tight while flying at high velocities. (

Winchester AA 12-gauge #8 Shot

Winchester AA 12g #8 Shot

Winchester’s new release of their AA 12-gauge #8 shotshells caters to those with a passion for trap, skeet, and sporting clays alike. The lead shot contained within the high-strength reloadable hulls keeps a tight pattern as it flies downrange in part due to the patented AA wad technology that has made this brand a favorite amongst clay shooters for many years. Consistent performance and clean burning, what more can you ask for?  (

Fiocchi Golden Waterfowl Bismuth 28-gauge #4

Fiocchi Golden Waterfowl Bismuth 28ga. #4

Fiocchi’s Golden Waterfowl Bismuth ensures unmatched performance for waterfowl hunting. New for 2024 is the addition of a 28-gauge #4 shot to the already existing all-star lineup. Features that make this shotshell popular amongst hunters are its high velocity, tight patterns, and performance during longer-range shots. With precision-loaded 9.75 g/cc bismuth in a sealed, moisture-resistant hull, you can count on consistent performance with every shot you take. (

Remington Premier Nitro Sporting Clays 12-gauge #7.5 Shot

Remington Premier Nitro Sporting Clays 12g #7.5 Shot

These target loads are now a staple at trap, skeet, and sporting clay ranges across the country. Easily recognized by their distinctive gold hull, they have gained a reputation as one of the most user-friendly options for reloaders available in the market. The latest addition to the lineup is a 12-gauge, 1-ounce, No. 7.5, 1,290 fps load. The increased velocity of this load aids shooters in longer shots on the clays as they cross mid-air. Try a box on your next trip to the sporting clays course, and you’ll quickly see why this classic has become an all-time favorite of shooters across generations. (

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