I have used 8's on the past for trap out past 50 yards, but my current loads use 1oz of #7.5. The #8s seemed to work just fine. I was using 7/8oz of #8s and when I went to #7.5 I also jumped up to a full ounce to maintain pellet count. I went up a size when I started shooting all the way back at the 27yd line in hopes of retaining a little extra oomph at impact 50 some yards away. I must also note that I shoot lower velocity loads, around 1085fps, to lower recoil a bit. 1200fps would offset the smaller shot size.
If the other posts haven't convinced you let me add my opinion...You Bet! Having shot registered trap for a number of years I used 1 oz of 8's exclusively for all my 16 yd targets. I always liked this same load (17.2-17.4 grains of Clays, Claybuster wad, AA hull and Winchester primer for a velocity of 1180fps) back to 22 yards for my handicap targets. I then went with a light 1 1/8 oz load of 7 1/2's for the same reason Pumper describes for the longer handicap distances. I also shot some informal skeet using my 1 oz loads of 8's and absolutely crushed those targets-almost to the point of overkill-so I backed off to the same load with either 9's or 8 1/2's. Then I discovered Sporting Clays. Again, the 1 oz loads performed flawlessly (wish I could say the same about myself).
When the club where I shoot regularly was just getting started a number of shooters were struggling to break out of the 50's and 60's. Their solution was to use more powerful loads, and guess what...they are still shooting in the 60's. I continued to use my "weenie loads" and marched right on past these guys.
My best scores at sporting have come when I did not switch chokes or shells all the way around the course devoting my attention to the targets. Too, at a clinic which I attended where we were required to attempt crossers at 60 yards from a high tower the same light loads of 8's broke targets with authority. All I did differently was choke up to full. The only reason I don't use a one ounce load of 7 1/2's is that I have never found a load that patterns well in my gun, and therefore, I have no confidence in them. No more targets than I see which require the use of 7 1/2s I will just stick with the 1 1/8 oz load at around 1180 that I like for them.
I second what instinctive shooter says about the 1 oz load. I load almost the same load only with a Claybuster windjamer wad and 18.5 grains of Clays powder and can consistantly crush targets at all clay games with ease. I have even broke trap targets at 37 yards back. Thats a bird out at the 60 yrd distance. Not hard breaks, but dead targets. It only takes about 3 or 4 pellets to break a clay bird. The only time I change is with Sporting Clays if I have long rabbit targets . Then I switch to 1 1/8 oz of #7 1/2. It does take more then 4 pellets to break a rabbit target.
I bought a used MEC from a trapshooter that was set for 1oz #8, 18 grains Clays, WAA12SL wad, Win 209 primer, AA or STS hulls. I shoot trap, skeet, skrap, 5 stand and SC with this setup with good results. I use the same setup for 7-1/2, 8, 8-1/2 and 9 and have no complaints. If it's not broke don't fix it.
I will challenge you to do one thing-shoot a pattern with one of those 3 1/4 dram "screamers" and one with a load like the other posts have been discussing and make a simple visual comparison. I don't care if you choose to use a new shell (like STS or AA) or a reload along the lines of those described...and I don't care what choke you use or the distance you shoot from. I guarantee that the cheapies you speak of will not even come close to holding a pattern like the "lesser" loads, and that is what the post is all about-performance. Too, comfort in not having the added recoil from unnecessary speed factors into one's performance. Cheap is cheap, but like I have to tell my wife (who works at WalMart), a bargain ain't a bargain if it is something you don't have any use for.
You are correct when you say that there are shells that pattern better than others, and I understand the dynamics of shot hardness (i.e. antimony content) and the disadvantages that can occur with hotter loads due again to pellet deformation.
I would have no use for promotional ammo if I were shooting competitive trap (especially because of the ranges) or any of the other sports if I was shooting for anything other than recreation. As in all sports, and I'll use golf as an example (since I was a participant in the game for several years) I came to realize that my scores would not improve simply by spending more money on my equipment. The best ball available and a lowly rangeball would hardly make a difference in my game. What mattered was how well I struck the ball. Furthermore, my game would not appreciably improve if I went out and traded my $200. clubs for a set of Pings, or whatever was the hot brand at the moment.
My clay shooting is with friends, who I often shoot better than in spite of the bargain ammo I shoot, or their better guns. Its about fun, and the affordability of that fun. You see, on a teacher's salary I can hardly justify shooting more than a couple thousand rounds a year, and with that amount of practice, I'm not likely to challenge the professionals of the sport anyways, even if I wanted to.
Would I hit a few more targets in a round of sporting clays if I spent $40-$50 on a case of 12 gauge shells instead of the $30-$35 I usually spend?
But the price of that performance improvement is not cost effective for me personally. Every thirty bucks I save on ammo pays for a round of sporting clays, and other things far more important than the sport of shooting itself.
I posted my message because the thread was "1 oz #8 shot." My comments were not off topic. I made no claim to the superior quality of these Winchester Super Game loads, but rather my motive was to let some folks know that these shells were being sold at an incredibly low price...the lowest I've seen around these parts for the last two years.
I have looked into the reloading issue and have concluded that it would make no sense for me as a 12 gauge shooter. I respect those who have the time and interest in reloading, but I'm perfectly content with what I can find in the marketplace, ready to shoot.
I certainly respect the reasons for which you purchased the bargain priced shells, and I did not intend for my remarks in response to your original post to sound condescending. You are entirely justified to spend as you see fit, and neither I, nor anyone else, has a right to tell you otherwise. My reason for posting what I did was simply to discourage the original poster, SJ, from using the type shell you describe and expecting the same results from it as can be obtained from the use of the better performing shells that are loaded to the lesser velocity.
Heck, for close range quail hunting what you purchased would most likely be better, but since the question seemed to me to deal with performance at greater distances on clay targets that is how I tried to gear my response.
If it makes any difference, I, too, was a teacher-couldn't hack it. The kids were so unruly that I had to get out as I had no support from the administration. I have nothing but the utmost respect for those of you who are still at it. As far as salaries are concerned...most of us on this site are probably in the same boat. The small amount of disposable income we have could probably be put to better use, but our love of the sport is an important part of our lives, too. And yes, we will spend as we see fit on what we want.
I would have to agree with instinctive shooter on the topic of cheap shells. Most are not only cheap but low quality. Inconsistant velosity, low quality components, non-reloadable hulls. Cost wise they are atractive but there is a reason Winchester sells them that cheap. Yes for casual shooting it may only cost you a bird or two or three. You should still pattern these loads. You will be surpised at how many holes there are in the pattern at 30 yards. I assume these are the 20 rd boxes as well not a full box of 25?
But it all still comes down to if your happy with them, go for it. One should realize these bargin shells are not high quality shells but may be cost affective for you.
I would have to agree with instinctive shooter on the topic of cheap shells. Most are not only cheap but low quality. Inconsistant velosity, low quality components, non-reloadable hulls. Cost wise they are attractive, but there is a reason Winchester sells them that cheap. Yes, for casual shooting it may only cost you a bird or two or three. You should still pattern these loads. You will be surpised at how many holes there are in the pattern at 30 yards. I assume these are the 20 rd boxes as well not a full box of 25? This is another marketing angle many of the shell mgfrs have gone to in order to keep the cost of a "box" of shells low.
It all still comes down to if your happy with the shells shoot them. One should realize these bargin shells are not high quality shells but may be cost affective for you.
I knew that, but I'm only 24. 1oz of shot loaded in a 16 is roughly the same length as width, yielding a very good three dimensional pattern. Think of the nomenclature, 16ga means 16 1oz balls. Now you may say "wait, shot is not loaded in a sphere but in a cylinder." I know, but said cylinder is not the same diameter as the bore. In fact, it is smaller by about the same amount that the displaced shot extends the cylinder. Voila, dead bird magic.
1 oz. of 8 is a great load alot of trap shooters use it at 16 yds . and not bad at handicap back to bout 23 yds . but the less is better attitude doesnt work when your getting back further 7 1/2 at 1 1/8 is best for handicap
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