Shot Weight for Clay Games


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JeffDilla
February 21, 2012, 03:38 PM
Being new to clay games, I was a little leery when choosing a case of ammo today. I knew I wanted 8 shot, but was unsure which weight I wanted; 7/8 oz, 1 oz, or 1 1/8 oz. I ended up buying the 1 oz simply because I noticed that's what a few of the guys at the club were shooting. However, it got me wondering, what are the advantages/disadvantages to the different loads?

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oneounceload
February 21, 2012, 04:45 PM
More pellets means more pellets in the air to break targets; however, more pellets (in loads of equal velocity), also means more recoil.
Certain clay games have limitations - American trap, American Skeet and American sporting clays have a limit of 1-1/8 ounces. International trap and skeet use 24 gram (about 7/8) as a maximum. International sporting clays, aka FITASC has a 1 ounce limitation (28 grams)

In trying to make it harder for international competitors, they did them a favor as scores actually went UP after lowering the payload to 7/8. Their speed is faster, sometimes running over 1300fps.

Dave McCracken
February 21, 2012, 04:58 PM
I use 7/8 oz for most everything. Were I more of a skeet shooter, I'd load up 3/4 oz loads in both 12 and 20 gauges.

But for an all around clays load, 7/8 oz works, is easy on my arthritic frame and runs a little cheaper.

Peter M. Eick
February 21, 2012, 06:15 PM
I am a casual shooter but I am running all of my loads at 1 1/8 oz. I am coming to conclude though that dropping back to an 1 oz or even 7/8 oz would be a better choice.

JeffDilla
February 21, 2012, 06:25 PM
Thanks, fellas. I bought a case of Winchester Super Target loads. Hopefully they'll work well, although I've read some unfavorable reviews regarding the use of steel instead of brass and having them stick in the chamber. I'm guessing that might be more of an issue in pumps and autoloaders rather and O/Us. Time will tell . . .

oneounceload
February 21, 2012, 07:47 PM
Peter, for typical clay games, the 7/8 oz loads will kill anything out to reasonable distances unless you choke fairly tight

gpb
February 21, 2012, 08:10 PM
I'm a casual skeet shooter, shooting about 75 to 150 12 gauge shells a week. The gun I use is a side by side that weighs around 7 pounds. I typically use a 7/8 ounce load. It's easier on me, the gun, and my wallet. I really don't notice any less performance from 7/8 than 1 1/8 ounce loads. The 7/8 work so well for me, that I've begun experimenting with 3/4 ounce 12 gauge loads.

243winxb
February 21, 2012, 08:53 PM
More pellets means more pellets in the air to break targets Well said. When there is $$$ on the line, more is better. You will pick up a bird now and then with frige hits. In other words, the outer edge of the pattern will contain more pellets to break the target.

Dave McCracken
February 21, 2012, 10:37 PM
Ultra light loads, 7/8 and 3/4 oz, work best with top quality components. That keeps pellets in the pattern and the density up.

I use hard shot, a good wad and enough powder for 1200 FPS or less msot of the time.

A top 7/8 oz load will have as many pellets IN the pattern as 1960 ammo with 1 1/8 oz.

PJR
February 22, 2012, 07:53 PM
I've played with all sorts of weight and velocity combinations. Perfection for me at least is 1 ounce of hard #8 at 1,200fps.

243winxb
February 23, 2012, 06:20 PM
yes, buy "magnum" shot, it deforms less. If shooting 410 skeet, "mag" #9s are a must. More pellets for the same 1/2 oz weight.

interlock
February 24, 2012, 04:34 AM
i shot my very best round with a 3/4 oz load of 7 1/2 hull comp x. My favourite load is 1 oz of 7.5 the cartridge is hull intercomp. the smaller loads are reputed to shoot more uniform patterns. I don't know if thats true. I do know that here in the uk they are cheaper. I also know that steel shot is getting cheaper than lead. my son uses steel for clays from his 20 gauge and its fine... so long as we are not trying to stretch the limits. This year i plan to use one brand of cartridge all year. So in response to op s question. I would go with whatever is widely available and cheap 3/4 , 7/8 or 1 oz all are good.

Pete D.
February 24, 2012, 06:17 AM
I had been using 1 1/8oz loads for 16 yard Trap. Then tried one ounce....they worked just fine. Now I have started to load 3/4 oz. Shot a few the other night and did not notice any change in effectiveness.
Pete

Mark8252
February 24, 2012, 09:59 PM
If you are on target the smallest amount of shot will break your clay target. If not the largest amount will not break your target. If you can consistently hit your target using the larger amount you will likely find that you can also do it with the smallest. You will soon realise that its your ability thats breaking the target....not the amount of shot. Experienced skeet shooters will go to smaller guages such as a 28 or 410 knowing they have the ability to break the target. It is not as hard as you might think. Its just repetition or practise.

Liberty1776
February 24, 2012, 10:22 PM
Over 40 years, I have reduced my loads from 1 1/8 oz down to 7/8. I am always amazed at how well the 7/8 do. I have also decided on 7 1/2 for shot size, as it works just as well at 16 as 8's, and I like it a little better for the occasional fun round we shoot at 29 yds...

wolfe
February 24, 2012, 11:44 PM
I've been shooting the exact same load for over 20 years, 1 1/8oz. I load #8 so I can shoot trap or skeet with the same load. I realize I might pick up a target or two with #9 on skeet but I don't shoot enough to justify keeping the shot around.

I know a lot of our local guys have dropped to 1oz loads to reduce recoil and improve speed.

I like to feel a gun go BANG so a little recoil is OK.

I agree that if you are on target it doesn't matter how much shot you use... :)

AFK
February 25, 2012, 10:40 PM
I've played with all sorts of weight and velocity combinations. Perfection for me at least is 1 ounce of hard #8 at 1,200fps.
+1 on this. Perfect for Sporting Clays

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