What is an 8 Gauge Shotgun Used For?

by Jennifer Gigantino
Shotguns are most commonly seen in 12 and 20 gauge varieties.

Shotguns are most commonly seen in 12 and 20 gauge varieties.

Featuring a bore diameter of .835 inches, the 8 gauge shotgun packs a real punch. Since the beginning of the 20th century saw advances in smaller gauge shotguns, the 8 gauge is rarely used.


In the late 1800s, the 8 gauge shotgun was popular for hunting duck and other waterfowl. Though it is illegal for hunting in the United States, it still enjoys occasional use in the United Kingdom.


The 8 gauge shotgun was too large to be practical for duck hunting.

As shotguns and shells became more efficient in the beginning of the 20th century, the 12 gauge shotgun became more effective for hunting and the large, clumsy 8 gauge became obsolete. It was banned for waterfowl hunting in 1938 by the Federal Firearms Act.

Industrial Use

Remington makes a large 8 gauge shotgun called the MasterBlaster, intended to clean and remove build-ups in industrial kilns, mines, silos, boilers and quarries. Remington also makes special zinc slugs for this application.

About the Author

Jennifer Gigantino has been writing professionally since 2009. Her work has been published in various venues ranging from the literary magazine "Kill Author" to the rehabilitation website Soberplace. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and digital media from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Photo Credits

  • Aimed shotgun, with depth of field image by cdbdi from Fotolia.com