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Depends on target distance, and presentation. If you are thinking the 8.5's will open up with the tight choke and the core remain, at least thru none of my guns will 8.5's or 9 shoot any more open than 7 1/2's.

8.5's are good little pellet, but so is an 8, I wouldn't dedicate myself to having nothing but 8.5's, but on full face targets (bats/chondells/curlers etc) that shell will do fine, to a considerable distance----otherwise choose 8's and on edge targets and distant---7.5's.
 

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8.5's with a LM choke seems like an odd combination to me.

#8.5 shot is for short-to-mid range targets. It can handle targets at slightly longer ranges than #9, but it will run out of energy before a #8 or #7.5 will.

LM is a mid-to-longish range choke. It is tight enough to handle the longest targets on some of the courses I shoot, and all but a few of the longest targets on the rest.

The way I see it, if the range is long enough to require a LM choke, #8.5 shot is not big enough, you should use #8 or even #7.5. Conversely, if the range is short enough for #8.5 shot, you would be better off to open up your chokes to IC or even Skt to get a bigger effective pattern.

In practice, when I don't want to bother changing chokes, I use LM and #8. I feel like some of the longer targets are already stretching the limits of #8 shot, and #8.5 is likely to lose me a few targets by barely chipping them and not breaking off pieces big enough to see - not reliably, anyway. For the shorter targets, a load of #8.5 through a LM choke won't do anything that a load of #8 through the same choke won't do. For a short target with that much choke, you have adequate pattern density with any shot size, and you don't need to go to smaller shot to get more pellets.

Some people would disagree, but I feel like #8.5 shot is a ******* size. It is neither fish nor fowl. It is not the best choice for the longer targets because it doesn't have as much energy per pellet as #8 or #7.5, and it isn't the best choice for close targets because it doesn't contain as many pellets as #9, which would allow you to use a Cyl or Skt choke.
 

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I think most of the targets I shoot are within 35 yards. I reload most of the ammo I shoot, and I prefer 1 ounce loads to save wear & tear on the gun and me, and it stretches the bag of shot. One "free" shell every 8 reloads...
That being said, I think I like 8 1/2 shot because it fills the pattern better with a 1 ounce load. I think you get 407 pellets of #8 per ounce, and 483 per ounce of #8 1/2 shot. That's according to Lyman's data, anyway. So you would think the #8 1/2 would fill the pattern a little better than #8 in a 1 ounce load. I used the Fiocchi White Rhinos in #8 1/2, and broke everything that my shooting partner in the tournament was breaking with #8's and #7 1/2's. Not as many, but I think that's 'cause I ain't that good to begin with.
Sort of to paraphrase what the guy said in "Apocalypse Now", when I'm shooting one ounce of #8 shot, I wish it was #8 1/2, and when I'm shooting #8 1/2 shot, I wish it was #8's!
Regards, George :roll:
 

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i'm gonna carry along some 7/8oz 8 1/2's on some of those benefit shoots, a lot of the targets are close, why beat yourself up, you can still have the velocity without the recoil, and faster 2nd shot recovery.
 

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I shoot SC every week, more if I can help it. For the last 20 years I have used 2.2 mm English 8`s (which I believe equate to your 8.5`s) for 95% of my shooting. I carry a handful of 2.3 mm 7.5`s but cannot swear that they are more effective on the edge on going away stuff. LM and 8`s is plenty good. This week just gone I won a shoot by a single bird. On a tricky stand we had a R/L quartering crosser at 30 plus yards followed by a simplish looking flattish teal at under 30 yards break point. The wind was making the simpler teal harder to hit than the first. I shot 3/4 for the first & 1/2 for the teal with 2.2 mm 8`s as usual. One of the teal rose and dived at the break point and I had to ride it out to over 40 yards. It broke lazily and saved my score. :lol: :)
 

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I shoot 7 1/2's at everything....like Chris pointed out, you may not know if a target is a biodegradable UNTIL it is thrown, dust comes off but no pieces separate...LOST BIRD.

You may not have a good read on the distance...who can say --every time--the difference between 30yds and 38 yds, for instance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
All very good points!

I think I'll stick to 1oz. 8's.

I just bought 2 flats of CCC Competition's in 8's so we'll see!

I guess if I do my part, the little orange disk will break. :D
 

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Actually #8 are better for Bio's than 7 1/2's. Bio's are a softer target, and the 7 1/2's will punch holes through. 8's will break the target better - even the longer ones. With the exception of rabbit targets - get all 7 1/2's. This was discussed on a post awhile back, and I agree with the results.
 
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