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Since I have nice 1 1/8 and 1 1/2 oz loads working nicely, thought Id try a light 7/8 oz load too.
Allthough I dont mind recoil, I
tried this published load-

AA hull
18.3 g hodgdon clays
win 209 primer
win WAA12L wad
7/8 oz. (hard 7 1/2) shot
1250 FPS

Thought to myself, its a little harsh yet, so finally found through testing, that 15 G. of powder was the least I could use and not have unburnt powder in the bore. Must be close to minimum pressure ??

Well, at a light 15 grains of powder and 7/8 oz. , I broke just as many targets as with my normal 1 1/8 oz load. Then later that day, did the same with my old 1 1/8 load. Now I really believe its really the person behind the gun. :)

So, I have a load that is light to shoot, low recoil, low noise, could shoot all day.

Anyways, im paranoid-- is underloading a shotshell dangerous?

Rick618
Shotgun Expert
Posts: 348
(3/31/03 7:09:23 pm)
Reply ...
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Its not all just the person, many of the pro skeet shooters have swapped to 1 and 7/8 loads. One of the benefits is the shooter is not hit with recoil shot after shot. There are several available loads in the 1200fps range.
Another thought is that these are more square loads, like the 1oz 16ga load...this is supposed to relate to better patterns.

One thing that could happen, if there is not enough powder is that the wad may not leave the barrel.

Instinctive Shooter
Shotgunworld Ambassador
Posts: 58
(4/1/03 7:32:06 am)
Reply Re: light 7/8 oz. load
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Regarding your concern about "underloading" shotshells-there do not appear to be the same concerns doing this as there are with rifle/pistol cartridges. As Rick says in his post the big concern would be with getting too light and not having the wad exit the bbl. Rick also makes a comment about "square" loads. This is a reference to the length of a shot charge being equal to its width (i.e.-a 1 1/8 oz 12 ga load will be longer than a 1oz load). There seems to be a correlation of sorts whereby loads that are equal in both dimensions throw the best patterns. Rick is also right about the effectiveness of these 7/8 oz loads. Look at many of the International sports-they are required to use these (or similar) lighter loads, and their scores certainly have not suffered. As far as your concerns about safety, you have taken the proper approach to loading. Start with a known, safe load and work down. I have loaded this same combination you speak of, and at some point the crimp may begin to fold in too much allowing the shot to spill out. That would definitely be a stopping point. Have you considered using a buddy's chronograph to check the speed of your light loads? That is always interesting although it won't tell you anything about pressure. The manufacturers have a standard below which they state that shells won't perform reliably especially in cold weather. This point also seems to be the point where you begin to notice a lot dirtier bore, so you were also right to be looking for this in checking your loads as you decreased the charge.

chad e
Shotgunworld Ambassador
Posts: 39
(4/3/03 7:17:37 pm)
Reply light 7/8 oz. load
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Thanks guys for the replies.
I was concerned about light loading, since I had read about a couple of guys that reloaded metallic cartridges for rifle and pistol too light, and had some air space in the cartridge. The result was a "detonation" -blew thier guns up, there lucky to be alive considering what happened to thier guns.

Well, thinking more about it now, I dont think theres much air space in my shotshells, I use at least 40 lbs or more of wad seating pressure. You can tell from the feel and the sound of the wad seating, hear that powder compress a bit, makes a crunchy sound. The light loads seated at more than 40 lbs, and could "feel" it compress a little.

Off topic, I had what I think was bad Hodgdon Universal powder one time.
Had several shells that were weak, and 3 that were duds. Quite noticeable. One shell I could actually see the shot and wad flying through the air,(nice pattern hee hee) the other two, saw the shot fly about 3 feet and no bang. lots of unburnt powder in the gun. no bang, just a "poof" , and the wad jammed in the barrel. bummer.. Switched to Clays, no problem since..
Keep shooting and reloading guys-

Instinctive Shooter
Shotgunworld Ambassador
Posts: 64
(4/4/03 7:00:52 am)
Reply Re: light 7/8 oz. load
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Chad,
Regarding your light loads...I doubt that your powder was defective. If it was then none of your loads would have functioned properly. Odds are that you had a loading problem-something like a tipped wad, a powder charge that didn't drop properly, a damp hull interior, etc. We have all had "bloopers" from time to time, and as long as it is something that is not consistently a problem most of us don't worry about it. I know the frequency of such loads is greater the more times I load a hull. I have also quit picking them up unless they are ones that I accidently drop.
 
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