Fallout Wiki
Fallout Wiki
For an overview of 12 gauge shotgun shell types, see 12 gauge shotgun shell.

Gametitle-FNV.pngGametitle-FNV GRA.png
Gametitle-FNV.pngGametitle-FNV GRA.png

The 12 gauge shotgun shell is a type of ammunition in Fallout: New Vegas originally manufactured by Purebore before the Great War.


This section is transcluded from 12 gauge shotgun shell. To change it, please edit the transcluded page.

"Gauge" is used to describe the bore size of a shot-firing weapon. Although bore sizes range incrementally from 1.5 up to 32 (with an aberrant 67.5 topping the scale), 10, 12, and 20 gauge (aside from the .410 shotgun that measures in caliber) are the most common bore sizes, with 12 gauge leading the group in popularity. Most civil, police, and military shotguns are 12 gauge weapons. A 12 gauge shotgun has a bore size of 18.53mm (.729", or 72 caliber).

The gauge number is the number of lead balls of that gun's bore diameter that would weigh a pound. The smaller the number, the larger the bore.

Sizes of shot is the individual lead or steel pellets that are fired from the weapon, which vary as well. The most common combat load is 00 shot, pronounced "double-aught." A typical 12 gauge shotgun shell loaded with 00 Shot contains nine to fifteen pellets (nine for standard, 12 or 15 for magnum shells). Each pellet is 8.4 mm in diameter (0.33" or 33 caliber) and weighs 3.45 grams.


The Purebore Buckslayer "Shure Shot" 12 gauge shotgun shell is a large bore shotshell available in various buckshot loads and slugs. A specialized beanbag shell also exists for pacifist player characters, as well as coin shotshells. The add-on Gun Runners' Arsenal introduces five new varieties: 4/0 buckshot, 4/0 buckshot magnum, flechette, pulse slugs and fire damage-dealing dragon's breath shells.


Standard buckshot, magnum buckshot, 4/0 magnum buckshot, coinshot and slug 12 gauge shotshell can be crafted at a reloading bench. A single shell requires the following ingredients:

Lead (40)
Repair: 10
12 gauge shotgun shell (1)
Lead (40)
Repair: 25
12 gauge, magnum (1)
Lead (45)
Repair: 25
12 gauge, slug (1)
Repair: 25
12 gauge, coin shot (1)
Lead (45)
Repair: 50
12 gauge, 4/0 buck magnum (hand load) (1)


Breaking down a standard 12 gauge shotgun shell yields:

12 gauge shotgun shell (1)
Repair: 10
Lead (37)

Weapons using this ammunition


12 gauge, bean bag

Bean bag rounds are less-than-lethal shotgun ammunition commonly used by law enforcement to quell riot situations. Bean bags inflict Fatigue Damage and stun a target momentarily. For soft targets, bean bag rounds can still drain their health and kill them with multiple shots.

12 gauge, coin shot

Coin shot is an improvised buckshot-like round using Legion Denarii as the projectiles. The end result is ammunition identical in damage to magnum buckshot round, but one which has a chance of leaving coins in targets it damages, as well as an extra "pellet" as shown by the damage indicator when using this type of ammunition. In V.A.T.S. Denarius can be seen leaving the barrel of the weapon in certain shots. Coin shot is regarded as better ammunition for trading, due to its dramatically increased value.

12 gauge, magnum

Magnum shells are standard buckshot shells with a higher powder load, increasing velocity, stopping power and -2 DT reduction. The downside is greater wear to a firearm due to the higher overall pressure, resulting in more regular maintenance.

12 gauge, slug

12 gauge slug compared to .22LR bullet.

Slugs use only a single large, solid projectile, unlike shot, meaning weapon spread is traded for greater range and accuracy. These rounds also function as an armor-piercing round, as one powerful shot will deal more damage through a high DT than multiple weaker rounds.

12 gauge, 4/0 buck

A sub-type added with the new add-on Gun Runners' Arsenal, this shot sacrifices quantity for quality, with fewer, larger projectiles that pack a bigger punch.

12 gauge, 4/0 buck magnum hand load

A sub-type added with the new add-on Gun Runners' Arsenal, these magnum shells use the larger 4/0 shot size, but with a greater powder load resulting in higher velocity, thus more firepower, at the cost of increased weapon wear due to the higher pressure generated.

12 gauge, dragon's breath

A sub-type added with the new add-on Gun Runners' Arsenal, these zirconium-based pyrotechnic shells function as a short-ranged flamethrower, having an incendiary effect on targets for 5 seconds; hence the name "dragon's breath".

12 gauge, flechette

A sub-type added with the new add-on Gun Runners' Arsenal, these shells have had their traditional shot replaced with tiny metal darts that are great for armor penetration but are not quite as damaging. Flechette rounds also greatly decrease muzzle flash, allowing for more accurate aiming.

12 gauge, pulse slug

A sub-type added with the new add-on Gun Runners' Arsenal, these slugs cause more damage to robots and enemies wearing power armor, and the target gets an extra kick from an electromagnetic pulse triggered by the impact.


Ammunition type Damage modifier Damage Threshold modifier Condition penalty Spread modifier Bonus effect Craftable Percentage chance of empty casing
12 gauge, standardx 1.2x 1x 1x 17 projectilesYes40% chance
12 gauge, bean bagx 0.05x 1x 1x 1Fatigue +250No0% chance
12 gauge, pulse slug Gun Runners' Arsenalx 0.7x 1x 1x 0.351 projectile
+50 EMP robots
+25 EMP power armor
No30% chance
12 gauge, flechette Gun Runners' Arsenalx 0.9- 6x 1x 15 projectilesNo40% chance
12 gauge, dragon's breath Gun Runners' Arsenalx 0.9x 1x 1x 1+8 Fire for 5sNo40% chance
12 gauge, slugx 1x 1x 1x 0.351 projectileYes30% chance
12 gauge, 4/0 buck Gun Runners' Arsenalx 1x 1x 1x 14 projectilesNo40% chance
12 gauge, coin shotx 1.3- 2x 1x 18 projectiles
10% chance of Denarius or
15% chance of mangled Denarius
left in damaged targets
Yes0% chance
12 gauge, magnumx 1.3- 2x 1.15x 17 projectilesYes25% chance
12 gauge, 4/0 buck magnum (hand load) Gun Runners' Arsenalx 1.3- 2x 1.15x 14 projectilesYes25% chance



  • The 12 gauge shotshell has more subtypes in Fallout: New Vegas than any other ammunition type.
  • The full barter value of 12 gauge coin shot is equal to the value of the Legion Denarii used to craft it.
  • Flechettes have substantially less muzzle flash.
  • 4/0 buck rounds only have a x1 damage multiplier, yet standard 12 gauge shells have a x1.2 multiplier and magnum shells have x1.3, including the 4/0 magnum shells (these multipliers were added as part of patch 1.5 as an incentive to use them over slug rounds). As a result, 4/0 buck actually inflicts less damage than standard shells while inflicting more damage per projectile as the damage is divided evenly among them.
  • While in Fallout: New Vegas you can use dragon's breath with the riot shotgun, in real life, this would be impossible because the round is very low power and does not produce the recoil energy necessary to load the next round, and trying to use this round with a semi-automatic or automatic shotgun would cause it to jam.[1]
  • The 12 gauge coin shot can leave denarii even when shot into a dead body.
  • Despite being the same rounds, 12 gauge shells have differing appearances based on what weapon they are loaded into (see gallery for a comparison).

Behind the scenes

One ammo type I liked in particular is the coin shot for the 12 gauge shotgun. Although I never really use/used it, it's a special kind of creativity the way your team implemented a way to reuse the open wastefulness of metal used in making Legion Denarii
Joshua Sawyer: It's really just a rip-off of old western legends about putting shells full of dimes in shotguns. When I was writing Chief Hanlon, I went back and watched some early Kris Kristofferson films since he was going to be playing the role. One of the first I watched was a Peckinpah film called Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

There's a scene in it where an overzealous guard threatens Billy (played by Kristofferson) with a double-barreled shotgun filled with dime shot. Naturally, Billy eventually blows the guard away with the weapon. There's a slow-motion shot of all the dimes flying out of the barrels; mass destruction ensues.

I read the comprehensive report on (poor) dime penetration at theboxoftruth.com but decided to create coin shot anyway. It's mostly included for novelty/flavor value. Fun trivia: historical denarii were about the right size to fit into a 12 ga. bore, though they probably wouldn't fit inside of a shell.
Joshua Sawyer Formspring answers

Coin shot was made by Joshua Sawyer, after he watched the Kris Kristofferson film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, in anticipation of Kristofferson voicing Chief Hanlon. In the film, Kristofferson's character kills a guard with a shotgun full of coins, with a slow-motion shot of the dimes flying out of the barrels. He also drew inspiration from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, in particular Episode 14, where Fem, a cyborg communist assassin, loads a shotgun in her arm full of a stack of coins. During an October 2020 livestream, Sawyer highlighted a penetration test performed by YouTuber Paul Harrell, which showed that coin shot is something that could work in real life, even if it would not be very effective.[2][3][4]


  • Icon pc.png Icon ps3.png Icon xbox360.png Although 12 gauge bean bag ammunition specifies that it causes 250 points of fatigue damage, in practice each shot will only induce 50 points of fatigue. Furthermore, all shotguns inflict a minimum of 12.25 points of damage, regardless of damage penalties or effects of Damage Threshold or Damage Resistance. These two issues mean that attacking a target with bean bag shells will most likely result in the target's death before it is ever knocked out due to Fatigue.[verified]
  • Additionally, bean bag shells can inflict fatigue damage on robots, something which the boxing gloves and Golden Gloves specifically avoid. This makes it possible to "knock out" robots, most of which can endure no more than 100 points of fatigue before being rendered unconscious.
  • Icon pc.png Icon ps3.png Icon xbox360.png 12 gauge slug shells have a listed 30% chance of dropping an empty hull, but they do not actually reference the 12 gauge hull item, so they don't actually provide 12 gauge hulls.[verified]



  1. Dragon's breath on Wikipedia
  2. Fallout: New Vegas 10th Anniversary Charity Stream (reference starts at 3:07:46)
    Joshua Sawyer: "'Is coin shot a real thing?' I don't know, I mean, like... so, actually, God, what's the name of the guy? [...] There's a YouTuber who has a channel that's all about guns. [...] It's Paul Harrell! [...] I feel like Paul Harrell did a penetration test with coins, I think. [...] It's a thing that you could do, but, it's not really that effective. I actually got the idea from watching... oh, God, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Movie with James Coburn and Kris Kristofferson, whomst played Chief Hanlon in the game. And there's a point in the movie where Kris Kristofferson's character picks up a shotgun that the guy guarding him uses that's filled with either dimes or quarters, or something, and he destroys him. [...] And it's a great scene, and also, yes, there's a Stand Alone Complex - Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex episode that has a woman who, she's a communist assassin basically, and her arm has a shotgun inside, and she loads it full of coins, which is really, really cool."
  3. "Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. - Fem's shotgun arm scene" on YouTube
  4. "Shooting Dimes in a 12ga. Shotgun" by Paul Harrell on YouTube