RotoMetals2Inline FabricationMidSouth Shooters SupplyRepackbox
Titan ReloadingWidenersLee Precision

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: Mixed shot sizes

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    705

    Mixed shot sizes

    A friend of mine’s father reloaded shotshells for many years but in his late 80’s, he started making mistakes and decided to stop. My buddy doesn’t load for shotgun so he gave me a bag of mixed shot; the old fellow accidentally mixed #5 and #7-1/2 in about equal proportions. I honestly think he just didn’t see the “7” on the one bag and thought it was all number 5. That being said, this is probably 20 lbs. I only load for dove and upland game so was hoping this would still work OK on field loads. Has anyone intentionally, or otherwise, used mixed shot sizes with any success?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Posts
    113
    I would shoot it. it would be ok for upland birds. I've shot #6 and #4. It did the job.
    You could find someone with a classifier mesh and separate it out, but to me it would be a waste of time. I looked at and compared #7-1/2 and #8 and found different sizes in each bag. The hull doesn't care what size you shoot as long you load by weight and can close the crimp. There are some factory loads that mix sizes on purpose so???

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Plymouth County, IA
    Posts
    690
    I haven't used any mixed sized shot loads, but I did have the same issue once. I trade lead for shot here. I look for #5, got a couple partial bags once in a trade. One bag had about a half cup of 7.5s or 8s in with it. I am quite picky with things. Read about screens, but I came up with a solution. I had a mesh bag that onion sets had come in, I ran the shot through that bag and worked it around...the small shot got through the mesh but not the 5s, it took a little time, but i needed to get those seperated! Maybe a bit of OCD.
    Take a kid to the range, you'll both be glad you did.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    7,369
    I have plenty of shot so I would not use mixed shot for hunting...but I am anal about stuff like that.

    It will depend on the ranges you normally shoot birds. Over dogs, at 30 yards it may not matter at all. Shooting pheasants at 60 yards, the 7 1/2's may be a tad light on energy.
    Don Verna


  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    4,684
    I had a bag or so of 9’s I’d not had a use for and a piece of bag of 8’s that I use very little any longer . Over time both got mixed with 7 1/2’s . I saw no difference in my breaks on long clay targets or feathered targets for that matter . Anymore I keep 4’s and 6’s for tower shoots , 7 1/2’s for dove quail and clay targets , and finally a bag or two of Magnum 9’s for the 410 . So at the moment I’ve got a big pile of 7 1/2’s a bag or two of 4’s , 3 or 4 bags of 6’s and a bag or two of Mag 9’s . This isn’t counting Bismuth shot I’ve got several sizes of that but in increments of 5-10 pounds .
    Parker's , 6.5mm's and my family in the Philippines

  6. #6
    Boolit Master



    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    South West Texas
    Posts
    600
    Used to buy bags of mixed shot cheap and used it for trap/skeet loads and never noticed any issues.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Franklin, TN
    Posts
    1,424
    The factories do it in Turkey loads as I recall. I haven't shot any, but apparently it works for some folks.
    Rick

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    705
    Thanks for the responses. I’m just gonna load this shot like anything else and see what happens.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Just outside Gun Barrel City, Texas
    Posts
    6,627
    I had some that was mixed one time. Sorting or sifting was more trouble than it was worth just for target loads.

    What I did find out is you can shake & stir them around in something about 4-5" deep,
    and most of the larger size will come to the top.
    I think it works the same way as how all the little pieces of potato chips end up in the bottom of the bag.

    It's not a perfect solution, but it helps if you want to keep some of just one size.
    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.


    OK People. Enough of this idle chit-chat.
    This ain't your Grandma's sewing circle.
    EVERYONE!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jul 2022
    Location
    Godzone country ,New Zealand
    Posts
    192
    now me....I would chuck some #3s in the mix as well and just load it up and be happy....
    I did it on purpose when loading for the wee .410 the 8s &#9s filled in pattern up close but the 3-4-5s were the heavyweight punchers that did bulk of the work, we have shot just about every waterfowl species we have got using them...including giant canada geese...not many and up close or woundies but enough to know they work if you have a tight choke and can put the pattern where its needed to be. I loaded up 3/4oz loads in 3" hulls using 296 or lilgun and our son just loved using it.... for woundie ducks on water out to 40 yards it simply left all our steel loads for dead,for close range woundies on water it was ideal,stuff all recoil and head shots no issue.
    use your mixed up shot,guarantee you will not notice the difference.

  11. #11
    Banned


    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Southernmost State of the Union
    Posts
    4,940
    I've shot mixed shot many a time and wouldn't hesitate to use it for doves.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    1,329
    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    I have plenty of shot so I would not use mixed shot for hunting...but I am anal about stuff like that.

    It will depend on the ranges you normally shoot birds. Over dogs, at 30 yards it may not matter at all. Shooting pheasants at 60 yards, the 7 1/2's may be a tad light on energy.
    At 60 yds a rifle sounds about right

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    'Bout a hundred miles from the Gulf of Mexico
    Posts
    1,022
    We have a Littleton shot maker, the learning curve was kinda tough to start with, so, yeah, I’ve shot mixed sizes before! Did fine on skeet birds and 16 yard trap. Load it, shoot it, you’ll be satisfied. Just my opinion. Good luck.
    I firmly believe that you should only get treated by how you act, not by who or what you are!!

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy

    Electrod47's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    336
    Actually that sounds like a good enough blend for Dove Loads. I mean Heck Its all recreation and sky bustin' ain't unheard of.
    “You should tell someone what you know. There should be a history, so that men can learn from it.

    He smiled. “Men do not learn from history. Each generation believes itself brighter than the last, each believes it can survive the mistakes of the older ones. Each discovers each old thing and they throw up their hands and say ‘See! Look what I have found! Look upon what I know!’ And each believes it is something new.

    Louis L’Amour

    The Californios

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    705
    I've looked at the bag a little closer and now think there is some #9 in there as well. I'm going to mix it thoroughly and put together some 1-1/8 oz 12 ga loads. I don't think the birds will care.

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Bloomfield, Nebraska
    Posts
    6,036
    A Buddy pf mine years ago was a real shotgun reloader and once a year he swept up all the spilled shot from the garage floor and gave it to me. Everything from #8 to #2 goose shot. That is what I have used for the last 30 years, Duxks, Pheasants, goose, Turkey and coyote. No problems at all. Mostly shot from a trade gun a a lot in 1 oz loads for my 2 1/2 12 ans 16's.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy super6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    S.C
    Posts
    373
    I recently cut a federal Hi power 2/3 shell # 4 and found mixed shot, Looks as some buck was in the mix.
    takeo Shimizu , The father of organic chemistry

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    705
    Quote Originally Posted by super6 View Post
    I recently cut a federal Hi power 2/3 shell # 4 and found mixed shot, Looks as some buck was in the mix.
    Might be more common than we think - very few people typically cut open shells to measure shot size so the factories could be doing anything - how would we know?

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy super6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    S.C
    Posts
    373
    I am all about reverse engineering as I reload my shells. I was looking more at the shot cup and wads to replicate the load. They are small game killers. I will rebuild as they are.
    takeo Shimizu , The father of organic chemistry

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    705
    Quote Originally Posted by super6 View Post
    I am all about reverse engineering as I reload my shells. I was looking more at the shot cup and wads to replicate the load. They are small game killers. I will rebuild as they are.
    Makes perfect sense to me.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check