If you want to add some excitement to your shotgun shooting, consider giving a few of these exotic shotgun rounds a try.
I have seen exotic shotgun rounds here and there for years now. The descriptions always sound cool, but I've always been hesitant to give them a try. The risk of damage to my shotguns and the high prices were my main turnoffs. There is also the headache of having exotic shotgun rounds shipped.
However, they are available to buy and use for any shooter who doesn't mind a little risk and has a safe area to shoot.
Here are the top five most interesting exotic shotgun rounds that you can actually buy and use for yourself.
Flash Thunder Grenade Ammo
These exotic shotgun rounds are claimed to produce a blinding flash and an 182 dB blast when fired. YouTube videos seem to prove this feat. This particular round does not fire a projectile, so they should be one of the safer exotic rounds to try. If that decibel claim is accurate, that makes the Flash Thunder Grenade Ammo louder than a jet engine taking off and would cause permanent hearing damage if proper ear protection was not worn.
Firequest, the company that sells the exotic shotgun rounds in this list, claims that this ammo is used by some Special Forces units around the world. I'm not so sure about that, but I wouldn't be surprised if these rounds were similar in power to flashbang grenades that are used in military operations.
The Dragon's Breath may be the coolest exotic shotgun rounds on this list. They may also be the most dangerous with a fairly high risk of starting a fire if used near anything dry and combustible. I must admit that they have an impressive effect that would be particularly impressive at night.
According to the Firequest website,
The 'Flame Thrower' round as pictured produces an enormous wall of fire for 100+ feet. The incendiary metal compound contained inside burns when fired at over 4,000 degrees fahrenheit, showering your target in a momentary wall of flame. Because magnesium is an ingredient in this payload you will need to clean your gun after you use this round. The magnesium won't scratch or melt your barrel it will foul it. For instance one Fireball will foul your barrel as much as 25 skeet loads.
Make sure to have a fire extinguisher or two handy if you decide to try these rounds out for yourself!
Get in touch with your inner Argentinian cowboy with the Macho Gaucho round. Argentinian cowboys, or gauchos as they are more widely known, are famous for using bolos to both hunt game and capture cattle. A bolo consists of two weights that are connected via some sort of rope that is usually a foot or two long. The bolo is then twirled above the head and thrown at the target's feet or legs. When it hits the target, the bolo wraps around whatever it was thrown at, effectively immobilizing the target.
The Macho Gaucho contains two steel balls connected by a steel cable. The design of the load is really the only similarity between it and a bolo. This round is claimed to cause devastating damage on target, which is something a real bolo does not do. The round appears to be cheaply made and several online videos have shown that the steel balls do not even stay connected when fired. This probably does not happen every time, but the uses of this exotic shotgun round beyond being a gimmick to shoot once or twice appear to be limited.
Armor Piercing Incendiary
Another exotic round that would be handy to have a fire extinguisher ready for upon firing, the Armor Piercing Incendiary round is claimed to be able to penetrate through two car doors and still have stopping power on the other side. That is some serious power and the incendiary nature of the round only adds to it.
I've never personally found myself in a position where I needed to shoot through two car doors (or even had two car doors to shoot at). If you decide to buy a few of these exotic shotgun rounds to try for yourself, make sure you have a sufficient backstop behind targets.
I could actually see these rounds serving a practical purpose for hunters carrying a shotgun in the backcountry. The name explains what these rounds do in a nutshell. They simply fire a flare from a shotgun. This can be used for signaling if you ever found yourself lost. However, they do still have their limitations as they don't seem to shoot very high or far and can only be shot out of a shotgun with no choke. There is also the little matter of the much more user-friendly and portable survival flares that already exist for inclusion in survival packs. Perhaps these exotic shotgun rounds would be best utilized for some sort of celebration or some light entertainment at the range.
If any of these exotic shotgun rounds tickled your fancy, or you want to see all the different varieties available, you can head over to the Firequest website.
One thing to keep an eye on are the restrictions that some of these rounds carry. Many are illegal in several states and some also have additional shipping charges due to hazardous materials. It is also worth saying again to be sure to be safe if you decide to buy and shoot any of these rounds. Basic gun safety is important when doing any kind of shooting, but these exotic shotgun rounds warrant even more caution than that.