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Shotgun barrels are typically stamped with the maximum length shell the chamber is designed to fire. Shells of the same gauge, but shorter than the maximum length stamped on the barrel, can be used in that shotgun.

  • Never use shells longer than the maximum length stamped on the barrel of a shotgun.
  • With shotgun ammunition, always check the gauge, the shell length, and whether it is a magnum load to ensure it matches the data on the barrel.

Carry only the correct ammunition for the firearm you are using. A common mistake involves putting a 20-gauge shotshell into a 12-gauge shotgun. The smaller gauge shell will slide through the 12-gauge chamber and partly down the barrel, causing an obstruction.