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Thread: 1/8 ounceof shot?

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master


    richhodg66's Avatar
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    1/8 ounceof shot?

    How much difference does it make down range?

    I've been shooting a few rounds of trap each week for a couple of months now, beginning to make good on a back burner resolution of mine to become a better wing shooter. Been having a lot of fun, met some good folks and have enjoyed a pretty steep improvement curve, Saturday I hit 17 out of 25, a personal best, with my little Stevens 5100 16 gauge.

    I'm about to start handloading for it even though I have quite a few factory shells. Picking a load, how much difference is a 7/8 ounce load from a one ounce load generally speaking? Seems like it ought to not mean much, and the 7/8 ounce load (shot isn't really cheap) would be like getting every eight shell for free. Recoil isn't really an issue, just wondering what kind of down range difference I might see, particularly since I'm a marginal shooter anyway.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Hogtamer's Avatar
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    The density of the pattern is the key. Depending on choke and velocity you may do just as well with 7/8 oz. Plus, you can load 7/8 a little faster than 1oz, which tends to keep the pattern tighter. You're right, at near $50 for a bag of shot it's definitely not cheap!
    "My main ambition in life is to be on the devil's most wanted list."
    Leonard Ravenhill

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master


    richhodg66's Avatar
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    I'm shooting a relatively short side by side with what I assume is IC and MOD barrels, I know the right barrel patterns a little tighter than the left.

    I have actually been giving some thought to taking a different gun out to shoot a round and see if a longer barrel and tighter choke might make a difference. I may take the Ithaca this evening.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    I got back into shotgun sports due to 7/8 oz loads and still use them for most games. I was at the Olympic Training Center for other reasons and heard Lloyd Woodhouse was a good coach. Since I was totally confused about all the Olympic & lnternational sports, I asked him about it. He spent an hour telling me about the games, the guns, and the loads. I mentioned that I was beat after 50 shells at trap. He said "l have 100# girls shooting two flats a day". My teeth fell out. Interesting part is he said the committee keeps trying to make the games harder, and in so doing, took a path of reducing payload on the assumption that scores would fall. Each time they reduced loads, the scores went up. Caveat, they didn't limit speed. As far as I know they are still using 24 gram or 7/8 oz loads and they work fine. So have confidence in your load, but use enough powder, like 17 grain Red Dot. Sure, you get a denser pattern with more shot but it costs more, and adds more fatigue and maybe even a flinch. There is always a compromise, l guess that goes a long way for a lot of problems today... Most of all, ENJOY!

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Yeah, tigher chokes for Trap, Lighter chokes for Skeet.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master
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    It all comes down to pellet count and weight of payload.

    The bottom line: There's no free lunch in physics.

    An increased pellet count will allow a larger pattern that still has the required density that the target will not "sneak through".
    Of course there's a practical limit to this, but all else being equal - a higher pellet count allows a larger pattern (more open choke) that is still dense enough to consistently break targets. This comes at a cost. A higher pellet count means more payload weight, more recoil and more of those expensive little pellets per shot.

    A lower pellet count requires a tighter pattern to maintain the needed density. This means the shooter has to be a little better because the margin of error is smaller.

    SO, in theory, a shooter using a higher pellet count can take advantage of a more open choke (larger pattern) and break a few more targets that would have otherwise been outside of a smaller pattern.
    In reality, a smaller pattern might force you to become a better shooter.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Hogtamer got it right, pattern density breaks birds. The range I belong to also has a trap range, and I pick up unbroken targets to use as rifle targets. You'd be surprised to see how many unbroken targets have one, two and occasionally 3 shot holes in them. A tighter choke will break more birds, but also requires more skill to hit them.
    I'd also suggest shooting skeet or sporting clays rather than trap. Trap shots are all going away and the birds are normally broken at approximately the same distance from the gun, about 25-30 yards if I remember correctly. Skeet and sporting clays provide incoming and crossing shots at different distances. If most of your wingshooting consists of going away shots, trap will help you. If most of your wingshooting is on decoying ducks and doves, skeet or sporting clays will be much better practice. This is coming from someone who shot in a trap league for years and whose wing shooting is probably 99% decoying ducks and doves.
    I'm slow, 3 very good posts while I was typing

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Drawing from the chart in the "NRA Firearms Fact Book" listing nominal pellet counts for lead field loads:

    #8 pellets
    7/8 oz = 359 pellets
    1 oz = 410 pellets
    1-1/8 oz = 461 pellets

    So 1/8 ounce is the difference of roughly 51 pellets if we're talking about #8 shot.

    There's a limit to how fast you can push those little lead pellets before they start to deform on firing and open the pattern up. I'm in the camp of the late Don Zutz that believes you can get too fast and lose all of the advantage of that extra speed.

    Hard shot, good wads, gentle forcing cones (maybe even back bored barrels) and just enough speed to get the job done; makes for consistent patterns. I've been shooting the same, fairly tame, #8 pellet 7/8 oz. 20 ga load for about 25 years. I could go to a faster load and maybe 7 1/2 pellet and squeeze a bit more range out of it, but WHY? What are you going get? 5 more yards?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    $50.00 for a bag of shot! I still have about 500 lb that I paid $5 a 25 lb bag. Too bad that most of it is #6.
    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialismóby vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. Ayn Rand

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy Greg's Avatar
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    farmerjim

    if you have any bags of 2's or better yet Magnum 2's, PM me Please !
    God Bless ya'll
    Greg

    Je suis Charlie

    "You can observe a lot by watching."- Yogi Berra

    Shooters Talk Refugee

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    IMO distance makes more difference.

    At 50 yards + that extra 1/8 oz or 1/4 oz helps fill in holes.
    But at 25-30 yards those clays are being blown to powder by a good square hit. So hit them square.

    And if in doubt work on shooting them a touch closer.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Cap'n Morgan's Avatar
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    You said it yourself "particularly since I'm a marginal shooter anyway." Your benefit from using an ounce of shot compared to 7/8 will be to small to notice. Once you get more proficient (and you will. Trust me) and every target suddenly counts, you can go for the full ounce load.
    Cap'n Morgan

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I love this forum, 100% good advice. 7/8 oz of shot, the international load at 1350fps, breaks bunker trap targets with authority. Bunker is a much more difficult game than ATA trap. Twice the angle spread, 50% more target speed and there are 15 different traps used for a round. They do not throw the same speed, they throw the target the same distance, roughly 80 yards vs 50 I think for American.
    The advice to shoot sheet (low gun) and sporting clays to improve wing shooting is spot on. I know trap coaches that teach ďaimingĒ the gun, so wrong but trap targets can be broken that way. Crossing targets will burn that shooter every time. Looking at the bead causes a disconnect from the target and a stopped or slowed gun, miss behind. Trap can teach bad form, skeet and sporting not so much.
    Shooting a sxs on trap is a hard way to go. The width of the barrels costs you some time by blocking your view of the targets coming from below the barrels. Also that IC barrel is a bit loose, the mod is perfect. Use the M37, if itís at least modified choke. I can break 16 yard trap targets with IC and 7/8 but I can shoot them almost off the arm, many thousands of international skeet targets make you kinda quick. I donít like to shoot trap that way, costs me a few targets vs taking my time to get a really good visual lock on the target.
    One thing that will make you better is shooting chips. Break the target, then break a chip. Yes, a decent pumpgun shooter can do it and bunker shooters almost always shoot their chip. It keeps your eye on the target and creates better follow thru on the first shot. I have done it with youth that were flirting with 25 straights, lots of 22 and 23 and occasional 24s. Several broke their first straight shooting chips. Two things, retained focus on the first shot, finishing the shot correctly and they were focused on the chip not counting their breaks. Let the score keeper count your breaks, adds stress toward the end and changes the way your body moves leading to a miss late in the round.
    I have been coaching since 03 and coaching international sheet and a little bunker since 08, seen lots of ways to miss! Shotguns are a ball but donít take rifle ideas there. Low gun 16 yard trap is pretty good flushing bird practice, but you better have a really good gun mount!
    Oh, if a bunker shooter was allowed to shoot 1 1/8 oz, they would use it on the 2nd shot for sure. That second shot is at 50 yards or better! I shoot 7/8 or less on everything but sporting and ZZ birds. Just donít add an 1/8 oz hoping for that lucky bb to get a chip on a target you did not point well. Enjoy the 16 ga guns, and frequently shoot a solid rib 16ga 37, itís a modified too.
    Last edited by rking22; 06-23-2020 at 11:24 AM.
    ďYou donít practice until you get it right. You practice until you canít get it wrong.Ē Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Morgan View Post
    You said it yourself "particularly since I'm a marginal shooter anyway." Your benefit from using an ounce of shot compared to 7/8 will be to small to notice. Once you get more proficient (and you will. Trust me) and every target suddenly counts, you can go for the full ounce load.
    I agree with this. I ended up switching to International Clay's powder and use 1 1/8 oz. of 7 1/2's (from memory - been awhile). My son and I shot a lot of 16 and handicap. We also played a game between us of not shooting the bird till it was about a foot or so from the ground. Closer to the ground the better. Sporting Clay's is also a great way to learn as you are exposed to a lit if different shot angles and approaches.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    You'll get better faster using the lighter charge of shot, and with a smaller pattern.

    There's some level of scatter gun competition where all the finalist types are so good-
    everybody would get a perfect score on a regular range.... until they all switch over to using .410s.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    OK folks. Enough of this idle chit-chat. This ain't your Grandma's sewing circle.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    You will be fine. The load I've been shooting all year is 7/8 oz of #5 shot in the CB0078-16 wad with 16 grains 700x. I've tried this in Fiocchi, Federal, and Remington hulls, with the Fiocchi 616 and Federal 209A primer. It has tested safe with all combos. Velocity is around 1275-1315 fps, which is higher than I like, but seems to pattern well. With #5 shot, I get the occasional non-break. With a lower pellet count, I usually get one or two out of a case (of 135) that I pick up later with a single hole in them. With #8 shot, this would be less of a problem.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Not quite an apples to apples comparison, but using a Browning BT-99 Plus 12 ga. with a Brilly IM choke tube. Using 1 oz of 7 1/2 with Solo 1000, don't remember the charge but a 34 bushing for a MEC. About 1200 - 1250 fps. I was good all the way from the front line to the back and a little further. At about 29-30 yrds I don't know if I was running out of shot, choke, shooter or some combination of the above. When I was shooting regular I never broke 25 from the back line but I had a lot of 22s, 23s, 24s.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    Skeet and sporting will both help you become a better game shot and better yet if you shoot low gun. IMO trap tends to make one an "aimer" which is great with rifles but not so much shotguns. The 1/8 oz. is meaningless. Use enough choke, concentrate on the target (not the bead!) and get some good coaching .
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C. S. Lewis

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Well, I have some 7/8 ounce loads I think I'll try when I go out this evening. We'll see if there's any difference for me.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Have you taken a couple shots on the pattern board to check point of impact ? Lots of times it won’t be what you think it is. Don’t aim it, just focus on the boards “mark” and put about 3 shots on it from 20 yards. You want to have about 60% of the pattern above the mark, 40 below and centered left to right. A few minutes Can save you some major frustration.

    Taking the 37?
    ďYou donít practice until you get it right. You practice until you canít get it wrong.Ē Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

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