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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was checking the Black Friday deals at my local gun shop and they had the Remington STS #8.5 1-1/8oz 1145 for $95 per flat. I don't shoot skeet and probably not going to reload. Are they any good for sporting clay?
My preferred load is 1oz 7.5 at 1180. The cheapest load I can find right now is Herter's for $100 shipped.
 

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I probably shoot about half of my sporting targets with 8.5 shot. They work well on anything (but rabbits) out to 35-40 yards. They are best for any target that shows a lot of face at any distance. Seems like a good price and I'd expect the recoil will not be too much more than your 1 oz. load.
 

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Keep in mind that SAAMI, on target loads, allows for +/- ½ pellet size (+/- .005" dia.) of variation; a No. 8 (.090") target load could contain pellets ranging in size from No. 7 1/2 (.095") down to No. 8 1/2 (.085").
Nominal 8.5 shot will be 8s, 8 1/2s & 9s, and will work fine, except as said for rabbits because of the thick rim
 

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Is the recoil more noticeable than 1oz at 1180? I was thinking to pick up 10 flats.
I think you will notice a small difference. The question is how much will it impact you? If you do 100 round sporting clays course on a weekend, probably not much. However, if you shoot a flat of shells on a weekend, I think it would have a noticeable impact. It would on me anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Is it better to buy premium shells in less than ideal loads or go with cheap promos like herter’s in desirable loads for the same price?
1 1/8 oz 8.5s also has more recoil than 1oz 7.5s.
At $100 per flat I feel herter’s are currently overpriced. STS was around $100/flat even pre covid at least in my neck of the wood.
 

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As others have mentioned, 8.5 works very well for sporting clays. I've used it in circumstances ranging from "fun" shoots to leagues and registered shoots ranging from local up to The Open and World shoots. It is my primary shot size for small bore events as it gives decent shot density with adequate energy for any reasonable and many unreasonable range.

With an ounce and an eight on hand I would not think twice about using it wherever one would feel 8s are adequate and most places one would use 7.5. I shoot tight chokes (Modified is generally the most open I'll go) and find even 9s break targets much further than expected if enough pellets hit the clay. You may not get a break or a chip with only a couple pellets but put a dozen or more on the clay and it will break unless a 30+ yard edge on clay or rabbit and even then you will often be surprised.
 

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Is it better to buy premium shells in less than ideal loads or go with cheap promos like herter’s in desirable loads for the same price?
1 1/8 oz 8.5s also has more recoil than 1oz 7.5s.
At $100 per flat I feel herter’s are currently overpriced. STS was around $100/flat even pre covid at least in my neck of the wood.

I think that's a great question.

I buy premium shells in 7 1/2 for longer birds. Cheap stuff in 8 (or 7 1/2 if that's all i can get) for close stuff. So the idea of a premium 8 1/2 doesn't really make a whole lot of sense to me. BUT the price is what i'm seeing shooting dynamics and other cheap loads for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think that's a great question.

I buy premium shells in 7 1/2 for longer birds. Cheap stuff in 8 (or 7 1/2 if that's all i can get) for close stuff. So the idea of a premium 8 1/2 doesn't really make a whole lot of sense to me. BUT the price is what i'm seeing shooting dynamics and other cheap loads for now.
That’s exactly what I currently do. Shooting dynamic are $10.99 here. Federal and herter’s can be had for $8.99 - $9.99. 1oz federals are not as readily available as herter’s.
Need to decide which hurts more. Spending $100 per flat on Herter’s or the extra 2.5lbs of recoil from 11/8 oz STS load.
 
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