Over the past couple weeks I've seen several posts talking about the classic getting 7mm buckshot to the 'head eyes' by a scav 100m away. I commented on someone's post, but figured this deserved it's own post for discussion purposes.
To start with some IRL numbers (all rough averages): 12 GA 00 buckshot are .32cal pellets (8.1mm) weighing around 60 grains, and will usually have 9 pellets. The avg. muzzle velocity of 00 buckshot shells is around 1200-1300 fps, which is faster than 9mm and 45 ACP, for comparison.
*note these are rough numbers, different brands and bullet weight will give different numbers.
We end up with:
00 Buck – 1200 fps – 60 gr – 200 ft*lb energy
9mm – 1150 fps – 115 gr – 325 ft*lb energy
45 ACP – 825 fps – 230 gr – 400 ft*lb Energy
That means that you are essentially firing 9- *almost 9mm shots* – not as much energy as the buckshot is lighter, realistically closer to .380 ACP, but since it's not in the game we'll use 9mm for comparison. These 9 *"almost 9mm shots"* are fired in an inaccurate spray pattern, which can be tightened/loosened with chokes. That large/heavy of a projectile will retain it's momentum quite well, though as it's not aerodynamic like a normal bullet, not quite as well. As such, it would be 100% still have the energy to be deadly out to 100-200m or farther, with the main issue being accuracy. A lucky hit to the head is ABSOLUTELY deadly, especially considering this is a game, and instead of modeling blood vessels, brain, and bullet trajectory, the head just has a health pool, do x amount of damage to it and it's dead.
Birdshot/clayshot on the other hand, with much smaller pellets, have a much higher air-resistance to momentum ratio, and thus slow down much quicker (think falling feather vs falling baseball), and due to their size are already not very deadly, there's just a lot of them (75 ish pellets for BBB size, 2 3/4" shells I believe)
Obviously there's a middle ground in between with things like 3-8 shot, and smaller buckshot types. The shell is a fixed size, so the bigger the shot, the less of them there are, and visa versa.
Tarkov is one of the only games that models shotgun damage even remotely correct, with most games such as COD, just having a shotgun do little/no damage after 15 feet.
TLDR: Yes that buckshot being able to 1 tap you to the head at 100m is realistic, the bigger issue being the spread/accuracy of AI, not the ability of a lucky pellet hitting you in the head being able to kill you.
Source: I work in the ammunition/firearm industry, and have close to 7000 hours in the game, so I feel I at least sort of know what I'm talking about on either end.
Feel free to tell me what you think.