Shot is a general term for projectiles launched from firearms, or possibly rockets, which are made of solid material rather than a filled warhead. Shotguns, while they can fire solid slugs, usually fire multiple pellets from one propelling cartridge. Larger artillery pieces may also fire solid projectiles; this was the first type of ammunition for artillery, and still has a role in certain applications against armor.
The term is also used to refer to a single firing of a firearm, and as a measure of alcoholic beverages (e.g., a "shot" of tequila).
While shot ammunition is most commonly spherical, various dart-shaped variants are used in certain modern ammunition types. Armor-piercing, fin-stabilized, discarding-sabot solid projectiles are the main round fired by tank guns of production tanks of all nations except the U.K. Flechettes are small darts used in antipersonnel ammunition.
In the U.S., the number of pellets in a given type of shotgun shell is defined by a shot number. There are two series, birdshot and the larger buckshot. In general, the larger the number, the smaller the pellet.
|Shot number||Diameter in inches (caliber)||Number of lead pellets per pound||Number of steel pellets per pound|
|Size||Diameter (caliber)||Number per pound|