Quantcast

Shot Sizes for Clays

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by elktrout, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. elktrout

    elktrout Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Messages:
    362
    Location:
    Colorado
    I am working on getting into various clays shooting activities and have some questions about shot sizes. Assuming 12 gauge one to one and an eighth ounce loads of shot, what have you found most successful for the following:

    Trap 16 yd line: 27 yard line:

    Sporting Clays:

    Skeet:


    Thanks for offering your experiences.
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    8,878
    I use 1 1/8 ounce 7.5 for trap in singles and handicap.
     
    Armored farmer and entropy like this.
  3. entropy

    entropy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    6,600
    Location:
    G_d's Country, WI
    Trap: 1 1/8 of 7.5's any yardage, 1250 fps.
    Sporting Clays, same load, but 1300 fps
    Skeet 1 oz 8's or 9's 1150-1200 fps. I haven't shot Skeet in 30+ years.
     
    ColtPythonElite likes this.
  4. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,259
    Location:
    South Eastern Illinois
    ^^^^the same here^^^^
    I only buy one size shot for all my clay target sports......#7.5.
     
    ColtPythonElite likes this.
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    24,302
    I thought I was going to standardize in 7 1/2 but realized I had been hitting more with 8s. But then I never got to 27 yards, either.
     
    ChanceMcCall likes this.
  6. kudu
    • Contributing Member

    kudu Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Messages:
    3,622
    Location:
    north central indiana
    I love running 8.5 shot size all across the board, will switch to 8's during colder weather and 7.5's back beyond the 27 yard line for games. Right now I am running 7/8oz loads of 8.5's and am crushing trap targets at 23 yards. Some sporting targets are way out there, but on the courses I shoot 8's are plenty. Cold weather makes the targets a bit harder and tougher and then you might go up a size in shot. All my smaller gauges I run 8.5 shot right down to my .410.
     
  7. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Messages:
    212
    Location:
    Central MN
    I run 7 1/2 only for handicap yardages and long Sporting Clays targets. I make up a lot of them before fall to double as my dove and pigeon loads, and have no problem using them up at 16 yard trap, but I do seem to get better target breaks with the 8s. I usually use 8s for everything else. I would use 8 1/2 more for the short games, but it is difficult to find locally. I usually softball my loads, shooting around 1125fps, and they break clays just fine without the extra recoil and blast.
     
  8. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Messages:
    10,301
    Location:
    Hopewell Big Woods
    Hard magnum 8 shot are deformed less on firing. Tighter patterns. . More pellets allow a more open choke for hunters clays. Same 8 for skeet & trap. Magnum #8's best for small gauge skeet, 20, 28.

    EDIT- Mag #9s in the 410 for skeet. If you count and weigh #9 pellets, there are more magnum pellets in 1/2 oz of shot. The increased amount of antimony, makes the pellet harder and lighter.

    For 27 yd trap, load to 1200 fps, with 1 1/8 oz.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  9. PapaG

    PapaG Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,753
    Location:
    Il
    I have had the most success with a AA duplicate load of 7 1/2 for trap at all yardage although I often shoot an ounce of 8 as far back as 20 and can see very little difference. I don't do sporting clays and I use 9s or 8 1/2 s for skeet.
     
  10. George P

    George P Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Messages:
    1,823
     
  11. elktrout

    elktrout Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Messages:
    362
    Location:
    Colorado
    Thanks, everyone. I formerly thought that 8s were too light to break a clay bird that was getting out there. But, you have convinced me to try lighter payloads of 8s and get the benefit of less recoil while still having a full pattern.
     
    243winxb likes this.
  12. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,154
    I agree on preference for lower MV. Aside from the milder recoil (which really isn't a big factor, but if it comes without a penalty I'll definitely take it), lower MV patterns hold together tighter (because the air resistance doesn't disrupt them quite as much), and they lose velocity at a slower rate than high MV loads. The end result is that the difference in MV at the target distance isn't as much as it was at the muzzle, and the pattern tends to remain more uniform out to a longer distance.

    Years ago when I did a lot of different types of shotgunning I ran hundreds of pattern tests and proved this out with my guns and my loading components (shot, wads, powder charge, and hulls). I found that there were almost zero instances where higher MV was a net benefit.
     
  13. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,308
    Location:
    Western NY State
    This thread has been real informative for a relative "noob" like me. Just began shooting sporting clays last summer and don't know all that much about this subject. So far I've pretty much settled on #7.5's for all my 12 ga. usage in two different guns. Although I have a few boxes of 12 ga. #8's that were given to me that also seem to work well. My next sporting clays "experiment" is gonna be trying some 16 ga. #6 shot "Dove & Quail" loads with a claimed velocity of 1165 fps from my dad's old 16 ga. pheasant gun. That should be interesting ( especially with a full choke), as I've never used anything smaller than 12 ga. with # 7.5 & #8 shot.
     
    ChanceMcCall likes this.
  14. George P

    George P Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Messages:
    1,823
    If you're shooting at a regular club (as opposed to your backyard), #6 is usually prohibited because it can carry too far off the property.
     
    Sappyg2.0 and Rudolph31 like this.
  15. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Messages:
    10,301
    Location:
    Hopewell Big Woods
    The 27 yard lead, should be about the same as at 16 yard load, with 1 oz at 1075 fps.
     
  16. Sappyg2.0

    Sappyg2.0 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2018
    Messages:
    158
    The largest shot allowed at the club I shoot with is 7.5. Sadly, I think a lot of people dont care or bother to know the rules.

    8s are fine for just about everything that needs doing for clay games IMO.
     
  17. entropy

    entropy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    6,600
    Location:
    G_d's Country, WI
    My club actually allows 6's; a few guys will shot a round with their pheasant loads after they are done with Trap for the year.
     
  18. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Messages:
    212
    Location:
    Central MN
    One club I shoot at doesn't regulate shot size (unless shooting an official event). It's a rural range with a country mile of real estate. Good place to use up
    "mystery shells," (makes for an interesting round of skeet when some of the AAs are a bit more and faster than 1 1/8 at 1200fps!) oddball components, or get some practice with my field loads or steel shot on the skeet or SC range. The general rule at trap and skeet ranges is 7.5 max, 7 steel.
     
  19. George P

    George P Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Messages:
    1,823
    What's fun is shooting skeet with a max pigeon load - 1-1/4oz running 1330..................
     
    Sappyg2.0, entropy and Random 8 like this.
  20. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,308
    Location:
    Western NY State
    I've never heard of a shot size restriction at my club.... But maybe I should ask. Or could it be because they have over 400 acres and I'm assuming they have the shotgun ranges set up so shot won't carry off the property? That's a good point, though, and I think I'll ask.
     
  21. kudu
    • Contributing Member

    kudu Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Messages:
    3,622
    Location:
    north central indiana
    My club has 7.5 as the max size. 6's carry 30-50 yards further than the smaller shot. If you have ever been peppered with shot, you would appreciate the difference. I have just been stung, without drawing blood.
     
  22. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Messages:
    212
    Location:
    Central MN
    Better yet. My "tundra" backer pheasant load, real late in the season when we're walking on the ice hunting frozen cattail and bulrush shorelines, is 1 1/2oz Nickel plated 4s running in the 1350fps range over H longshot. It's loaded in an old style AA hull, and the permanent marker has long since worn off of these. One ends up in the mystery shell pile sometimes.
     
    George P and entropy like this.
  23. entropy

    entropy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    6,600
    Location:
    G_d's Country, WI
    Sounds a lot like my Dad's pheasant loads (And duck load before steel shot) : Size 5 Lubaloy, as much as he could cram in, with the shortest wad and the most Blue Dot he could put in. They were skirting 1350 at an ounce and three eights.
     
  24. RUT

    RUT Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,044
    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    >>My club has 7.5 as the max size<<

    This is pretty much the rule here in the Northeast.
     
  25. George P

    George P Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Messages:
    1,823
    Pretty much the rule anywhere, unless they restrict it to smaller shot.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice