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 Post subject: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:29 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:49 pm
Posts: 230
Question for the group.

I'm not going to get into premium vs promo loads or brands, but I do have a question about target loads for sporting clays. I see a lot are pretty fast loads (1300 fps or faster). Is there a reason for that?

I'm having good luck with the 1 & 1/8 oz loads that are 1145 fps (Winchester calls these light target loads for super target and AA's). I currently don't see any advantage to any faster shells other than recoil...




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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:34 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:40 pm
Posts: 115
Most shells you will see on the sporting clays course range between 1200-1300 fps.

If you’re shooting a charity course or something more novice focused there’s no advantage to a super fast shell. When you get out to some bigger targets the speed may be wanted. Consistency I feel is very important so I’ll shoot the same shell at every target. Don’t need to start worrying about something else!


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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:35 pm 
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Personal choice and for myself I shoot 1oz around 1200 FPS and that will break any target out there and not beat you up :) But that's just me :)

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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:34 pm
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hopper810 wrote:
Personal choice and for myself I shoot 1oz around 1200 FPS and that will break any target out there and not beat you up :) But that's just me :)


Just me too:-)


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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:49 pm
Posts: 230
zxcvbnm wrote:
Most shells you will see on the sporting clays course range between 1200-1300 fps.

If you’re shooting a charity course or something more novice focused there’s no advantage to a super fast shell. When you get out to some bigger targets the speed may be wanted. Consistency I feel is very important so I’ll shoot the same shell at every target. Don’t need to start worrying about something else!


What is the advantage on the longer courses of the speed? Less lead on the target? I would assume choke would be a better approach, but that's the reason I posted the thread to begin with lol.


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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:23 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:26 pm
Posts: 46
Jim Eyster (whose family has done more high end barrel work/tuning than most), says no one should ever shoot a shell over 1200 fps. I don’t remember the specifics, but I remember he said it has to do with barrel harmonics and distorting the load/pattern/pellets. Most successful competition shooters I know are somewhere between 1200 and 1300 fps.

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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:39 pm 
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cclark31 wrote:
What is the advantage on the longer courses of the speed? Less lead on the target? I would assume choke would be a better approach, but that's the reason I posted the thread to begin with lol.

Once the shot leaves the barrel, the ballistics are the same regardless of what choke it came thru on the way out. The only difference with different chokes is how quickly the shot cloud opens up.
If you could see the trajectory of the shot cloud, the higher muzzle velocity will give you a slightly flatter trajectory for a given distance.


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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:04 am
Posts: 422
hopper810 wrote:
Personal choice and for myself I shoot 1oz around 1200 FPS and that will break any target out there and not beat you up :) But that's just me :)

This +1 !!!! 1 oz 1200 works great for me


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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:47 pm 
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Check the chart and decide for yourself :) To me not enough difference between the higher FPS shells vs the 1200 FPS to make me want to take the extra recoil and what starts faster slows faster :wink: But your call and what gives you confidence :)

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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 9:53 am
Posts: 1326
Dmaroon wrote:
Jim Eyster (whose family has done more high end barrel work/tuning than most), says no one should ever shoot a shell over 1200 fps. I don’t remember the specifics, but I remember he said it has to do with barrel harmonics and distorting the load/pattern/pellets. Most successful competition shooters I know are somewhere between 1200 and 1300 fps.
Anthony Matarese, who has won a few tourneys, now shoots 1290 FPS. I like soft shooting loads but for advice on how to break the most sporting clays targets I’ll look to the guy that actually does it.


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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:49 pm
Posts: 230
Stuck-N-Kali wrote:
cclark31 wrote:
What is the advantage on the longer courses of the speed? Less lead on the target? I would assume choke would be a better approach, but that's the reason I posted the thread to begin with lol.

Once the shot leaves the barrel, the ballistics are the same regardless of what choke it came thru on the way out. The only difference with different chokes is how quickly the shot cloud opens up.
If you could see the trajectory of the shot cloud, the higher muzzle velocity will give you a slightly flatter trajectory for a given distance.


Great explanation, I get it more now. Like a flatter trajectory on a rifle bullet. I wouldn't have though in those term with the shorter distance the shotgun pellets fly, but they would have the same time of curves just a must smaller range!


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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 5:55 pm
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Location: Indiana
cclark31 wrote:
Stuck-N-Kali wrote:
cclark31 wrote:
What is the advantage on the longer courses of the speed? Less lead on the target? I would assume choke would be a better approach, but that's the reason I posted the thread to begin with lol.

Once the shot leaves the barrel, the ballistics are the same regardless of what choke it came thru on the way out. The only difference with different chokes is how quickly the shot cloud opens up.
If you could see the trajectory of the shot cloud, the higher muzzle velocity will give you a slightly flatter trajectory for a given distance.


Great explanation, I get it more now. Like a flatter trajectory on a rifle bullet. I wouldn't have though in those term with the shorter distance the shotgun pellets fly, but they would have the same time of curves just a must smaller range!


More retained pellet energy at longer distances too.


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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:29 pm
Posts: 2688
Location: Central Maine
There are countless opinions and theories on the topic. I have shot ammo with speeds ranging from 1050 to 1350. Over time I have gravitated to the 1150-1200 fps as my preferred. If it’s a 200 or more target day I feel way better at the end

If I am feeling good and my eyes are doing well it doesn’t really matter what shells I load and shoot. I will score pretty well Reducing speed and payload does make for better comfort without question

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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:58 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:17 pm
Posts: 268
Location: Trinidad, CO
It has been my experience that faster loads have more open patterns. I shoot 1 1/[email protected] at those dastardly rabbits. I think it helps.

s/f Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:12 am
Posts: 5593
On the average SC's course many targets are inside 35 yards. Look at what FITASC shooters do with 1 oz loads and bunker shooters do with around 7/8th loads. If you center the target it will break. These targets come in a box marked "fragile as eggs". Shells and other equipment doesn't make up for mediocre shooting skills. The shot swarm needs to be properly placed.


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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:50 pm 
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Loads and speeds, everyone has a different take.

Here's mine.

Going to 1300 FPS to shorten lead at any distance is a misconception and absolutely a terrible reason to use more velocity.

If you are using more velocity to break targets further out (50 plus yards), again that is the wrong reason for using high velocity ammunition.

The correct reason to use more velocity is to increase pellet energy over the entire range of target presentations. There is never a bad reason not to have more pellet energy. There is no downside.

The point of higher velocity ammunition(and more choke) is to break every target that you properly point......PERIOD. The more pellets, the more pellet energy the better chance you have of breaking a properly pointed target.

On the flip side not everyone can handle 1300 FPS ammunition, because of recoil, so you will hear all kinds of reasons not to use higher velocities and most of that is BS.

Bottom line is YOU need to try all the different loads and figure out what works best for YOU.

All this other stuff is BS.

Oh yeah....I have found that 1 oz. loads of #7.5's @ 1250 FPS are the best load for me. I can easily handle the recoil and I have broken solid scores using those loads.....and my shotgun patterns them well. I use that load all the time practice and competition.

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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:58 pm 
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Well said Mark {hs#

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Rose City Clays - Tyler TX
5H Shooting Sports Frankston TX ( Formally the Chicken Ranch)
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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:02 pm 
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Thanks hopper810!!


{hs#

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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:32 pm 
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Location: Acton, CA
dogchaser37 wrote:
Oh yeah....I have found that 1 oz. loads of #7.5's @ 1250 FPS are the best load for me. I can easily handle the recoil and I have broken solid scores using those loads.....and my shotgun patterns them well. I use that load all the time practice and competition.

Pretty much sums up my experience.

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 Post subject: Re: Target Loads for Sporting Clays
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:35 pm 
*Proud to be a*
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Location: Athens,TX.
My go to's are [email protected] and work WELL with my gun/choke combo :)



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Rose City Clays - Tyler TX
5H Shooting Sports Frankston TX ( Formally the Chicken Ranch)
Caney Creek- Teague TX


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