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As I recall Rio ammo is made in Mexico or South America somewhere.
It is reported to be reasonable quality, but I've heard a few reports of some feeding problems.

Personally, with all my defense guns I may buy budget ammo for practice or plinking, but for personal defense I only buy premium quality American made defense grade ammunition.
My life is worth more then the few cents saved on budget or foreign made ammo.

Defending your life is chancy enough as is. I always followed the standard of buying the best quality gun, magazines, and ammo that i could afford, even if I had to eat candy bar lunches to buy them.
 

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As I recall Rio ammo is made in Mexico or South America somewhere.
It is reported to be reasonable quality, but I've heard a few reports of some feeding problems.

Personally, with all my defense guns I may buy budget ammo for practice or plinking, but for personal defense I only buy premium quality American made defense grade ammunition.
My life is worth more then the few cents saved on budget or foreign made ammo.

Defending your life is chancy enough as is. I always followed the standard of buying the best quality gun, magazines, and ammo that i could afford, even if I had to eat candy bar lunches to buy them.
As a new gun owner, what would you recommend in that premium quality for HD? Like you, I'd like to get the good stuff for it when it matters.
 

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The other factor for Buck is pellet count. Most #00 comes with 9 pellets. Some reduce that to 8 for “tighter pattern”, seems to be marketed as more accurate. I have both 8 & 9 count but haven’t patterned KS7 yet.

This is an easy read. I like this guy’s reviews though I’d never buy anything from the site based on shipping costs.
Part 2 gets into pellet count.

As far as brands I like: Federal, Hornaday, S&B, Fiocchi. Winchester gets a bad rap but I’d buy it.
 

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What size shot makes little difference at actual home defense ranges. 00 is preferred for longer ranges.
Ballistically, the "best" is number 1 buckshot. It offers more pellets then 00 for more potential hits, and better penetration then #4. However, it's hard to find due to 00 being the default standard.

Reduced recoil shells either drop the number of pellets, reduce the powder charge, or both.
Again at actual HD ranges reduced recoil works perfectly and allows less pounding recoil and faster follow up shots.
A 12 gauge shotgun load of buckshot is already over-kill so "blow down the barn door" magnum loads are unnecessary and may reduce speed on other targets.
Remember, in shotgun shells magnum means more shot, not necessarily more power as in rifle and pistol ammo.

Any American made premium brand of shells work perfectly, and other then possibly tighter patterns they're all so close as to be the same.
As with pistol ammo, the top defense brands and types are as close to 100% as can be, so hunting for "the best" is a useless pursuit.

Best advice is to determine what buckshot size you want to use, then buy any premium American brand.
At actual home defense ranges even the tighter patterning Federal Flite Control may not be a real advantage since the pattern diameter inside the typical home is surprisingly small.
 

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I am still figuring out premium american brands from foreign brands.

I was looking at some more budget stuff for the range but after reading this and another post it seems like Black Aces Tactical 2-3/4" 00 Buckshot is a Turkish brand? Just read some terrrible reviews about Turkish shotguns, does this lend itself into their ammo as well?

EDIT: looks like this ammo I was looking at is made in Italy. lol wtf, I am so confused.
 

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Turkish shotguns universally are derided as bad probably because they tend to be budget oriented and just like any $200 shotgun, U get what U pay for.
- Exception granted for Mossy Maverick 88 pre-pandemic price From eons ago my dad bought Turkish shotguns made to his personal measurements that he competed and won many a skeet shoot. They worked for decades. These were over-under break action though, not pump.
A ton of brands import Turkish guns. I found a website for one company that had 6(!) other brands that were basically same guns rebranded. Very confusing and basically turned me off all of them. Go into your LGS and look at most bullpup shotguns, 80% will be Turkish. Descent post about what I’m saying:

Turkish Ammo, if there is such a thing, may or may not be good but I would spend my $ elsewhere.

Nobel Sport Italia low recoil ammo works fine in my KS7. It has a descent following. Not necessarily my 1st choice for HD but great for practice and if it’s all I had, then HD. Berretta is a fine brand from Italy. Benelli, also from Italy, makes some of the best shotguns, M4 being most revered.

None of that is meant to say “Buy Italian”. I’m all for American Made but I wouldn’t poo poo Italian shotgun industry. Case in point, I will gladly trade anyone my KS7 for an M4 pistol grip pump !!!

Kel-Tec itself has a shaky reputation across its lineup. I trust my KS7 for HD only as far as the ammo I have shot. Mine failed with American Federal and Mexican Aguila mini’s which sucks because I intended to employ my shotgun with 12+1 mini’s but now have settled for 7+1 regular 2 3/4” shells.

As usual, YMMV.
 

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@Charlie Bravo thanks for the response. This is all new to me so just trying to figure out some budget ammo to buy bulk and get comfortable at the range and plinking. I have a decent idea of good HD from what I read here and generally the prices I see at the LGS.

That being said, I don't want to buy something too cheap that is going to be more hassle than what it's worth.
 

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I have never had a problem with Rio Buck shooting/feeding through a variety of guns including a couple semi autos.

I would just buy a 25 quantity box to try....Although that does make it tougher to get to the $100 free shipping.

Prices on ammo is pretty fair at Rogers and they had stock on things even during the pandemic shortages when I first found them. They have been my number one go to for the last few years- when I need enough to hit the free shipping mark.
 

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I have never had a problem with Rio Buck shooting/feeding through a variety of guns including a couple semi autos.

I would just buy a 25 quantity box to try....Although that does make it tougher to get to the $100 free shipping.

Prices on ammo is pretty fair at Rogers and they had stock on things even during the pandemic shortages when I first found them. They have been my number one go to for the last few years- when I need enough to hit the free shipping mark.
Yup I am coming to the conclusion that I need to sample some rounds before buying bulk.

My challenge is that most of the bulk ammo is not available locally to get a small box (California problems).

Do you a link for Roger's?
 

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Same link as the original thread starter except you click on the 25 count box instead of the case quantity. They are a few cents more expensive buying the 25 count but atleast you won't be stuck with a case worth if you don't like them....But, I did a test checkout to get a shipping estimate to me in Michigan and the wanted $13.50 (ouch), so you might not want to go that route for a single box.
 

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Well sure, plenty of places have lower free shipping levels but the original OP was asking about the low cost Royal brand Rio shells. I don't think Midway, Cabelas, Bass Pro etc. carry Rio or anything close to the price.
 

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I only suggested it as the $49 free shipping just started and discussion shifted to ways to grab smaller volume of different brands. If Rio still desired your link is good.
I personally consider shipping into the $/rd costs, so I try to get what I want when it is free shipping. I am also prone to "oh just $9 more for free shipping? Toss in that $25 thingy!" which of course is more than shipping would have been!!!
 
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