12ga VS 28ga Question


March 11, 2006, 08:41 PM
First let me start off by saying I know little about shotgun loads and what one can do with them. I have reloaded before but just standard loads. Here is the big question(s): What would happen if you loaded 12ga shotshell like a 28ga shell. If you used 3/4 or 7/8 oz instead of 1 1/5 oz would it still perform? Would the lighter shot load pattern well? I am sure it would recoil less if nothing else just due to the physics. It seems that there is a large difference in the price of guns between the different guages with of course the 28 guage being twice the price in some cases just because of the guage.:mad:



If you enjoyed reading about "12ga VS 28ga Question" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
March 11, 2006, 08:49 PM
I know many people that load the 7/8oz loads in 12ga. Most all use O/U's as they will not reliably work auto's without a lot of tweaking on the guns. People do it for recoil and a few to save money on reloading, 1 1/8oz vs. 7/8oz price of shot. Most cases the speed is increased to over 1300fps. The joy of shooting a 28ga is something you need to experience. It will hit targets on a skeet field as well as a 12ga with half again more shot in the pattern. The rule of 86 as sm always says, payload to bore ratio is is ideal for the little gun.

If more people would buy 28 gauges, the price of shells would come down eventually. So tell everyone to buy a 28ga. ;)

March 11, 2006, 09:03 PM
kudu nailed it.

Also take note that for Int'l Shooting the payload is limited to 24 grams.
Conversion is :
Grams: 24 = Ounces: 0.846575064

See : http://www.fiocchiusa.com/cat_target.php

12IN24 International
12 ga / 2 3/4" /Max /1350 / 24 gram

A good recipe book will have Hull IDs by description and color pictures and divided by gauge and ounce loadings. Once that is read / practiced and understood, then reading loading data from any powder company makes more sense.

I always suggest folks read Brister's Shotgunning: The Art and The Science
To assist with most questions asked of shotgunning. Brister addresses chokes and loads , along with patterning ...along with a host of other great information.

"Matter of bore - not choke" - Brister.

28 ga is indeed that good!!

The 3/4 oz loading in 28 ga is THE "payload to bore" ratio that makes the 28 ga what it is.

You want to shoot 7/8 oz...use a 20 ga or a 12 ga.

Now a 3/4 oz in a 20 ga is sweet! IF..If your semi will run it, and the pattern boards usually reveal this to be a good loading using high antimony shot...especially nickel or copper plated.

I used to have a sweet 5/8 oz load in 28 ga...used for kids, tyros and did great out of single shot 28 ga guns "kid sized" ( Rule of 96)..other stuff too...

Umm...hey kudu, check into that 28 ga 5/8 oz load, you have gals coming up and Larry does too...

Thanks...and Larry Thanks you too....:D

March 11, 2006, 10:09 PM
"payload to bore"

This is a concept I have not heard before. I did not know there was such a thing. I will try to locate a copy of the book referenced and see what it has to say. So with the international payload limit of 24gm, and that being roughly 7/8 oz, the light weight must not effect pattern at all other than volume of shot on target. I still need to figure out what "payload to bore" is, how it is figured, and what the overall effect of the perfect load. So much to learn.


Dave McCracken
March 11, 2006, 10:21 PM
The Geezer Squad has a couple centuries of accumulated shotgun experience. Most of us use 7/8 oz loads when we shoot 12 gauges. The big difference I see in my hits is less smoke when I center things right. No prob there.

My current load, right from Hodgdon data.....

STS hull.

Winchester 209 primer.

Claybuster clone of the WAA12SL wad.

18 gr Clays powder.

35 lbs wad pressure.

7/8 oz of Starshot 7 1/2s.

Estimated 1250 FPS, 6 ft/lbs of recoil in a 7 lb shotgun.

March 11, 2006, 10:24 PM
Regarding patterns with light loads...

Remember, trap typically uses #8 shot. 7.5 is sometimes used for long handicap and in the wind, and perhaps a few eccentrics use #9 for singles, though that's ordinarily a skeet load.

That's 300-400+ little pellets, even with 7/8 oz. Patterns might deteriorate a bit if you use light loads of large shot, though it's hard to think of why you would.

And even Aguila mini shells work surprisingly well in break-action trap guns.

March 11, 2006, 11:03 PM
There is indeed an Art and a Science to Shotguns and Shotgunning.

Payload to Bore ratio is simply the amount of shot (wt) going thru a bore diameter.

Allow me to use the Classic Garden Hose example.

You have a certain amount of water traveling thru a certain diameter of hose.
Depends on task as to how much water one needs to travel and exit the hose.

Choke is akin to the adjustable nozzle or spray attachment.

Makes no matter what a barrel or choke is "marked" - what does the actual pattern for tasks reveal once seen on a pattern board.

Now just like spraying a garden hose, the pattern / spray will differ from stationary to moving targets.

Not all the water arrives at the same time - nor do pellets. This is called a "shot string".

The 28 ga with its 3/4 oz loading being unique to the ~ .540 bore diameter has "short shot strings" meaning more of / most of the shot arrives at the same time. This is why clays and game shot with these 28 gauge loadings of 3/4 oz loads are hit so "hard". All them pellets hit at the same time...

This is also why moving targets are hit "better"....remember not all that water being sprayed at a moving target is arriving at the same time....roll a ball out and shoot a spray of water at it. Then shoot a stationary ball...note the difference in how "late droplets" ( late pellets) are ineffective at hitting the moving ball ....same difference on clays or game.

A .410 will throw the same pattern as a 12 gauge on a pattern board. Less density due to 1) less pellets and 2) that .410 payload getting more deformed "squishing" thru a smaller diameter.

One may have in fact "been on" that target / gamebird with a .410...the longer "shot string" means there were holes that target/ gamebird flew thru.
Pellets were simply "not there" when they needed to be.

.410 is the most challenging gauge to shoot in skeet.

28 gauge scores are the best...check any tote board of the scores, the 28 ga is always the best scores.

Yes - do get the book. I have always recommended it to folks, and will continue to.

I see all them folks nodding heads and going " oh boy - does Steve ever mention that book all the time..

Yep...one CAN miss with all them pellets. In fact too many going too fast can actually do more harm in blowing patterns that one with less payload going slower.

Art and Science indeed.


Do check Dave's Patterning 101 sticky at the top of the forum.


March 12, 2006, 12:38 AM
Dave, your 7/8oz load looks almost identical to my own! I just loaded up my first batch of 'em the other day, have yet to try them out yet. I've been using 1oz with 700x for the past few months and have had great results with it. But then the other day I shot a few rounds with a friend's 28ga and was downright amazed at how I was hittin' 'em just like it was a hard-hitting 12ga! So, now I'm trying some lighter loads for fun.

Wait a second, all shotgunnin' I do is for fun...

Dave McCracken
March 12, 2006, 10:22 AM
28 gauge shotguns do not know they're little.

CZ, if you can get 8 1/2 shot, try them. Enough bigger than 9s to get good hits at trap ranges, still a dense shot cloud.

March 12, 2006, 10:25 AM
Yeah, I can get 8.5 shot, I've been using 8s. I'll try it out next time I buy componenets!

March 12, 2006, 10:07 PM
if you want to load 28 in a 12, you can, sort of.
I'm currently shooting 3/4 ounce 12 ga loads, same amount of shot as a 28 ga.
How do they work?
Alreayd had one 100 with them in skeet, and a bunch of 98, and 99s, in the last month i've started using them
Here's the formula I'm using
PMC primer
Claybuster 7/8 ounce wad, winchester clone, Claybuster works much better than the winchester wad
16 grns of promo
Which is higher than a lot of people shooting this load, but seems good to me.

March 13, 2006, 03:39 PM
:D :D :D

March 13, 2006, 09:01 PM
By chance do you know of any 3/4oz loads using either Clays or Unique? I've got the right wads to give it a try, I'd have to wait awhile before I could make it to Reno to pick up a different type of powder though.

Larry Ashcraft
March 13, 2006, 09:33 PM
I'm not sm, but I just glanced through the Hodgdon manual. NO 28 ga loads for Clays. I use Universal for mine. Apparently Clays is designed for the 12 ga.

I don't have any info on Unique though.

March 13, 2006, 09:55 PM
Thanks Larry, I thought as much about Clays.

If you enjoyed reading about "12ga VS 28ga Question" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!