View Full Version : Lighten up a little....

Dave McC
May 24, 2002, 10:03 PM
The occasion was the end of preserve hunting sason, and Buddy had pulled strings to get us on some preserve land to shoot holdover ringeck and chukar over his Springers.

His shotgun was a H&H 28 gauge, a little art work that shot, a SXS masterpiece that cost more than my 4X4.

Mine was of lower cost, but a nice little French or Belgian Didier, boxlock with nice wood and engraving, open chokes(.008 and .015") and all the goodies. It weighed 6 lbs, 5 oz and you'da liked it on first sight. Trust me on that.

My loads were AA heavy trap loads in 7 1/2 for the right bbl, an oz of 6s for the tighter left. Not usual pheasant fodder, and some of these birds had been on their own for a few months, tougher than pen raised birds by far. But, I had had the chambers lengthened and didn't want to push a light gun built the year my Father was born.

We took about 20 birds that day, none got way that we hit, and most were DRT. Dead Rat Thar. The Springers didn't have many run downs, maybe 2.

I was impressed with Buddy's 28 of course, and tha fact that it's 3/4 oz of shot seemed to whack them just as hard as my 12. Buddy was deadly with the thing.

Long story short, those pixie loads kicked butt. Shots were 25 yards or less.

Unfortunately, most folks fall prey to the More Is Better syndrome. If a 1 1/4 oz pheasant whacker
is effective, 1 1/2 oz oughta really do the trick, huh?

Well, there's lots of folks out there not shooting to their potential because they believe the myths and buy the heavy stuff.

Any upland bird here in Md can be taken nicely with 1 1/8 oz of hard shot at an appropriate range and with suitable pattern density. Pheasants are borderline, wild ones are tough.

Testing light loads for Son's initiation into shotguns found me busting trap targets nicely from the 16 yard line with 1100 FPS, 7/8 oz loads. No smoke, but solid hits. As of now, I think I've ran more 25s at trap with 1 oz loads vs the 1 1/8 oz loads.

So, if you're a little sore after shooting your shotgun, or developing what I call the other F word (Flinch), lighten your load. This is a case often of less is more. You'll not lose many targets. You'll feel more comfortable, and you may even shoot better.

Dropping 1/8 oz is dropping kick 12%. Slowing the load contributes more relief. Would you like 20% less kick? I do...


May 24, 2002, 11:19 PM
"Would you like 20% less kick? I do... "

Me too. Went to 1oz target loads bout an eon ago.


Dave McC
May 26, 2002, 06:42 AM
Sam, if the International Trap folks can score well at their difficult game with 24 gram loads, folks of average skills oughta do OK with 1 oz loads for Trap, Skeet and SC.

If anything, I shoot better scores at trap with the lighter load, tho I've not kept records to pinpoint the difference.

For the reloader, it's nice to get another 50 shells out of a bag of shot,too.