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12 Gauge Buckshot is a common load of shotgun shell, composed of seven to nine 00 "double-ought" steel pellets. A standard shell has quite a bit of recoil, so a low-recoil variety is provided to law enforcement and other markets.
In Battlefield 3, 12 Gauge Buckshot is the default ammunition for all shotguns. It inflicts the most damage against infantry (often a one-hit kill), but only at close range. In addition, 40mm grenades from the M320 grenade launcher can be loaded with buckshot.
Although the stopping power of the 40mm buckshot is high, it isn't recommended for use due to its low rate of fire. The M26 MASS is better suited for close range due to its higher rate of fire and similar amount of damage.