The 12 Gauge Buckshot is the go-to ammunition for all shotgun-style weapons in RUST. Its ideal range is relatively short but is the most effective weapon in close-range combat.
Comparing the 12 gauge buckshot damage increase over the Handmade Shells, you should upgrade to the 12 gauge buckshot as soon as possible.
12 gauge buckshot’s payload is a spread of 14 individual pellets. While each pellet does a small amount of damage, you only need half the pellets to make contact with a player to kill an unarmored target.
To hit your target with as many pellets as possible, fire the 12 gauge buckshot at a target’s center of mass. Between the shoulders and below the neck is the sweet spot.
While it is tempting to aim for headshots as your target approaches, you will do more damage by focusing your shots below the neck.