The Fiocchi Forbidden Load – Accidentally Awesome

I’ve had pretty good luck with Fiocchi Defense Dynamics buckshot. It’s been a solid defensive buckshot load that’s pretty dang cheap. Recently, I watched a video by Demonstrated Concepts LLC regarding a Fiocchi load of buckshot that Fiocchi might have made an oopsie with. They have a pretty standard nine-pellet 00 buckshot load. The problem there is that they loaded the shells with nine pellets of No.1 buckshot. 

This could be a mistaken run. I have had a lot of experience with Defense Dynamics, and I have half a case of the standard 00 buckshot. It works great and is just a standard 00 buckshot. Rhett of Demonstrated Concepts dissected the No. 1 load and weighed and measured the pellets. 

They were somewhere between .30 and .29 caliber. Fiocchi is now openly admitting that this is a Number 1 load, even though the box clearly states it’s a 00 load. This has sent retailers like Midway in a bit of a spin, and they’ve clearanced the load, so I pick up 500 rounds just because. 

The Fiocchi Forbidden Load – Why

Why buy someone else’s mistake? Mostly because this load will result in very low recoil. A nine-pellet No. 1 load at 1,250 feet per second promises to be a pretty awesome low-recoiling load. This load is the equivalent of a 20 gauge No. 1 load, so 20 gauge recoil in a 12 gauge platform will prove promising. 

I like shooting PGO 12 gauges like the Remington TAC-14 and the Mossberg Shockwave, but obviously, the recoil is a bit intense. This load seemed to be the perfect food for the Shockwave and TAC-14, as well as a general low-recoiling, high-performing round. This Fiocchi load seems to be defined by the blue semi-transparent hull. My true 00 Defense Dynamics load is a clear, transparent design. 

You can tell there is some extra room in the hull by how deep the crimp goes downward. It’s a bit of a waste of space. They could have trimmed the shell a bit and taken up less tube space, and maybe we could have squeezed one more in. My five-round tube holds exactly five, and with the tube loaded, it was time to shoot. 

Patterning the Load 

I used a TAC-14 with a cylinder bore choke to pattern the load at 10 yards. That was a fair range for the old pirate gun. I used an IPSC A-Zone and fired three rounds at three different targets. At 10 yards, the pattern was contained neatly to the A-Zone. The pattern was roughly the size of my palm. It’s not micro sized like a Flitecontrol round, but it also doesn’t cost 1.50 a round. 

I went back to 15 yards, and the load opened up a bit more. Some pellets leave the A-zone but are a long way from leaving the target entirely. They get into the C-Zone and stay there. While it doesn’t compete with loads like Federal Fltiecontrol, it competes well with premium loads from Remington, Winchester, and other major companies. 

Recoil & Reliability 

The recoil makes shooting the TAC-14 an absolute dream. It’s light and far from brutal. My hand is preserved and saved from the ferocity of the PGO 12 gauge design. That’s being dramatic, as the Raptor grips are fairly soft as far as stockless shotgun options go. The TAC-14 can still feel fierce with the right load, so finding a softer load is always nice. 

The Fiocchi load proved to be quite nice. It’s easy to handle and easy to fire. Hitting two targets with two shots quickly was easy. You can run the gun very quickly, and it’s quite satisfying. The No. 1 load might be smaller than the 00 pellets, but they will penetrate deep enough to stop the threat. No.1 pellets are the smallest pellets capable of consistent and adequate penetration. 

In terms of reliability in a pump gun, there were no problems. It worked fine in the Mossberg 940 and Benelli M4 as well. I don’t have recoil-operated or inertia guns, so I can’t say if they would work well with these shotguns. In the semi-auto designs, it was crazy soft and quite a bit of fun to shoot. 

Get It While The Getting Is Good

If you’re a shotgun nut or fan of the PGO 12 gauge, then grab a case or two. It’s a great load, and it might not be around for long. I say that Fiocchi should make it a standard part of their lineup and even trim it down to 2.5 inches. In my experience, 2.5-inch shells work perfectly in shotguns without the need for adapters and allow for one extra round of ammo. I’m glad I picked up two cases of it. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.