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 Post subject: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:20 pm
Posts: 278
Anyone can do what they want, but I don’t get it. People seem to relish shooting smaller bore guns for clay games. A friend of mine often shows up with a 20. I hear people expressing their preference for using a 28. And every now and then I hear of someone who is tickled by how much fun using his 410 is. Why?

I’m assuming that 7/8 oz of shot is the minimum shot load generally believed effective for clay shooting...reliably breaking a clay target at the distances encountered in the popular clay games. Not universally believed, but generally believed. I know some folks shoot
lighter loads, but it isn’t the norm. And 1 oz is even more commonly understood as the appropriate minimum load when the results matter such as in competition. Even heavier loads are commonly selected. Am I wrong that those are the minimums no matter what gauge is being used? In other words it takes a certain number of a certain size pellets thrown down range to reliably break clay targets. Up to a point smaller bore guns can throw those pellets as well as larger gauge ones, but at what price in recoil? You could make a 20 ga gun as heavy as a 12 ga one, but that isn’t the usual case, is it? If you have to deliver a minimum weight of pellets, and a heavier gun let’s you do that more comfortably than a lighter one, why would you choose a gauge gun that is almost surely lighter rather than heavier?

Didn’t I mention that you can do what you want? I’m just trying to understand why there is thought to be more than one sensible choice.



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Last edited by moishepipick on Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:52 pm 
Tournament Grade
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Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:11 pm
Posts: 121
Location: Missouri, U.S.A.
I’ve had chronic shoulder pain that lessens and intensifies sporadically for quite a few years now. At one point when it was particularly bad, I switched to shooting .410 exclusively. The light recoil meant that I was once again able to enjoy shooting clays without having to endure excruciating joint pain and headaches. That was a good enough reason for me to justify the existence of sub gauge guns. I also enjoyed the challenge of a .410 on skeet; you don’t have much room for error with only a half ounce of shot coupled with how poorly most .410’s pattern.

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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:20 pm
Posts: 278
ThrowAway wrote:
I’ve had chronic shoulder pain that lessens and intensifies sporadically for quite a few years now. At one point when it was particularly bad, I switched to shooting .410 exclusively. The light recoil meant that I was once again able to enjoy shooting clays without having to endure excruciating joint pain and headaches. That was a good enough reason for me to justify the existence of sub gauge guns. I also enjoyed the challenge of a .410 on skeet; you don’t have much room for error with only a half ounce of shot as badly as most .410s pattern.

So, in fact, as I suggested, you only were able to get light recoil with a sub-gauge gun by reducing the shot load to a level not really effective or competitive for the game. It seems that was a compromise you had to make considering your physical problem. I understand that. But I see folks shooting sub-gauge as a choice, not a necessity. Why would they do that?

But wait! If you wanted low recoil, why not shoot the 1/2 oz load out of a bigger, heavier gun than a .410? Wouldn’t that be even better?

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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:34 pm
Posts: 5732
Google some shoot results from sporting and skeet competitions, as well as 4 barrel sets, carrier barrrls w/tubes, etc..

As to the ‘why’? It’s fun, challenging, helps reduce felt recoil......pick one or all.


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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 4:08 pm
Posts: 2570
You've made a lot of assumptions that aren't correct. No one ever said 7/8 ounce was a minimum load. Most good shooters don't shoot lighter guns. Tubes or barrel sets on their sporting guns is the norm. Shooting a 3/4 ounce 28 gauge shell in an 8.5 lbs. gun is wonderful.

If you shot sporting clays competitively you would know that shooting sub-gauge courses is part of the game. Some shooters prefer them. It's a challenge.

If you shot skeet you would know that to compete you have to shoot 4 gauges. If you shot skeet.

It's fun and challenging.


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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:20 pm
Posts: 278
Rooster booster wrote:
Google some shoot results from sporting and skeet competitions, as well as 4 barrel sets, carrier barrrls w/tubes, etc..

As to the ‘why’? It’s fun, challenging, helps reduce felt recoil......pick one or all.

Are you saying folks don’t show up at the range with a sub-gauge gun to shoot the same weight load they could shoot out of a 12 gauge gun? Wouldn’t using the heavier gun with the light load do the best job of reducing felt recoil?

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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:20 pm
Posts: 278
drawdc wrote:
You've made a lot of assumptions that aren't correct. No one ever said 7/8 ounce was a minimum load. Most good shooters don't shoot lighter guns. Tubes or barrel sets on their sporting guns is the norm. Shooting a 3/4 ounce 28 gauge shell in an 8.5 lbs. gun is wonderful.

If you shot sporting clays competitively you would know that shooting sub-gauge courses is part of the game. Some shooters prefer them. It's a challenge.

If you shot skeet you would know that to compete you have to shoot 4 gauges. If you shot skeet.

It's fun and challenging.

Why would I want to shoot skeet? I just want to understand why folks show up at the range with a light sub-gauge gun and standard weight shell loads thinking they are going to feel less recoil. Why a guy wants his son or daughter or wife to shoot clays with a 20 ga instead of a 12 ga to realize less recoil even though the load weights aren’t reduced. Don’t tell me that doesn’t happen. I see it all the time. Folks here talk about it all the time. I’m just trying to understand it. And what I am reading in response to my post is helping...some. I know it will probably pain you to hear it, but your answer was actually helpful.

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Last edited by moishepipick on Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:34 pm
Posts: 5732
No, I’m not saying that.

Yes, heavier gun+less payload generally equals less felt recoil, but that wasn’t your original question.


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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:52 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:20 pm
Posts: 278
Rooster booster wrote:
No, I’m not saying that.

Yes, heavier gun+less payload generally equals less felt recoil, but that wasn’t your original question.

This is a conversation. Conversations move around.

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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:55 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:34 pm
Posts: 5732
Funny, feels more like you’re bait casting again:-)

Put the time in. Go to a shoot or two, I’d suggest you ask some questions, but we all know you would discard the answers and advice your get;-)


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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:18 pm 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:03 pm
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Location: Mid-Missouri
Because it's fun.


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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 4:08 pm
Posts: 2570
moishepipick wrote:
drawdc wrote:
You've made a lot of assumptions that aren't correct. No one ever said 7/8 ounce was a minimum load. Most good shooters don't shoot lighter guns. Tubes or barrel sets on their sporting guns is the norm. Shooting a 3/4 ounce 28 gauge shell in an 8.5 lbs. gun is wonderful.

If you shot sporting clays competitively you would know that shooting sub-gauge courses is part of the game. Some shooters prefer them. It's a challenge.

If you shot skeet you would know that to compete you have to shoot 4 gauges. If you shot skeet.

It's fun and challenging.

Why would I want to shoot skeet? I just want to understand why folks show up at the range with a light sub-gauge gun and standard weight shell loads thinking they are going to feel less recoil. Why a guy wants his son or daughter or wife to shoot clays with a 20 ga instead of a 12 ga to realize less recoil even though the load weights aren’t reduced. Don’t tell me that doesn’t happen. I see it all the time. Folks here talk about it all the time. I’m just trying to understand it. And what I am reading in response to my post is helping...some. I know it will probably pain you to hear it, but your answer was actually helpful.


If you don’t want the shoot skeet, why do you continue to post in the skeet forum?

People do lots of dumb things. Most folks that post here totally understand felt recoil, gun weight and fit, and that relationship to load size. Ask the guys at the “range” that do that why. 99% of the time they’ll say that’s what they own.


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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:44 am
Posts: 391
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
Because variety is the spice of life! I have more than one shotgun so why not enjoy them all to the fullest. I used to shoot 12 ga for clay targets. My scores were good enough I wanted a bit more challenge. I went to smaller gauge and found out if you are on the clays they break just as well anyway. If you aren't on them that day the gun doesn't know it. I enjoy the choice of which shotgun I want to shoot on a particular day.

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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:31 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:50 pm
Posts: 2447
Location: SE Ohio...where ruffed grouse were
Some folks get bored with shooting one gauge.....and, some folks like yellow.
There are other reasons.


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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:20 pm
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Because if you can master a 28 built on a 20 frame shooting a 12 gauge game; it becomes something magical...........and you have a built in excuse if you suck that day! :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:20 pm
Posts: 278
Hidden way down deep in the replies to my questions are some really good answers. Thanks for that. Regarding the rest, no biggee. I can always count on a few of you to make it all about me personally. Meanwhile I did learn what I wanted to find out, and that’s a good thing. Until next time, via con Dios.

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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:01 pm
Posts: 313
Location: Central Florida
Because I really enjoy breaking clays with a 20 and a 28 gauge !!!! My best score at the private gun club that I'm a member of was 24 out of 25 on the 5 stand. I did it with a 20 gauge 870 Wingmaster!


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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:39 pm 
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floridaford wrote:
Because I really enjoy breaking clays with a 20 and a 28 gauge !!!! My best score at the private gun club that I'm a member of was 24 out of 25 on the 5 stand. I did it with a 20 gauge 870 Wingmaster!

Need a "LIKE" button.............good job!

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The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory, Aldo Gucci

Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience, George Carlin


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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:20 pm
Posts: 278
floridaford wrote:
Because I really enjoy breaking clays with a 20 and a 28 gauge !!!! My best score at the private gun club that I'm a member of was 24 out of 25 on the 5 stand. I did it with a 20 gauge 870 Wingmaster!

Nice job indeed. So what was the load weight of the shells you used?

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 Post subject: Re: Why shoot a smaller bore?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:50 pm
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Location: The wilds of rural central California
Bladeswitcher wrote:
Because it's fun.

End of discussion, imo. {hs#

tp



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