View Full Version : Which size shot?

David Berkowitz
April 26, 2005, 10:47 PM
I am a trap shooter have a question on which shot size to use.
I am being given two conflicting sets of advice between #7.5 & #8 shot.
There seems to be agreement on using 1 1/8 oz., but some say with #8 shot, you get MORE SHOT in the pattern, hence a better chance of hitting the bird. Others say you get a BETTER pattern with #7.5 and that gives you a better chance of hitting the bird.
I think it sounds more logical to use more shot, but I am also thinking that the 7.5 will offer more momentum at longer distances, and that will help.
I currently shoot 16 & 21 yd fairly well and only fair at 27 yard.
I load 1 1/8 oz, 16.9 grs of 700x, #209 Winchester primers, and AA shells.
I'd like your opinions on which shot size breaks more birds, or at least, what size shot you use.

April 27, 2005, 12:19 AM
A lot of trap shooters like #8 shot for the reason you stated, but 7 1/2's are a little bigger for handicap shooting at longer distance. If you're not a pro, you don't have to worry about the 1 bird advantage out of a hundred that #8's might provide.

April 27, 2005, 02:59 AM
I shoot an extended full choked BT-99 and I definitely notice more hits with 7.5's, especially since I am not a really quick shooter or using a modified choke. I also enjoyed good success with a faster 1 oz. load the first time out this year without any noticeable recoil, although I usually shoot a 1 1/8 oz. target load @ 16 yards. The faster shot delivery seemed to produce more instantaneous hits on target without "lag".

April 27, 2005, 03:16 AM
Pattern board, pattern board, pattern board.

Figure out at what yardage you are breaking the majority of birds and go from there. At 27+yards deffinately go with 7.5's, I like STS Nitros for game shooting back beyond 35 yards, I have good luck back to 23 yards with 8's and shoot 8.5's with confidence back to 20 yards. I shoot quick on targets, but I'm mostly a skeet shooter that dabbles in trap.

For just shooting I use almost exclusively 1oz loads back to 23 yards or so.

April 27, 2005, 05:35 AM
This is why you need to pattern your gun to find out what it likes. Shoot both and see what load puts the most pellets in the center of the pattern at 40 yards for your handicap targets. I use 7/8 oz, of 8 1/2`s for 16 yard shooting and 1 1/8oz. of 7 1/2`s for handicap shooting. From the 16 yard line you can use 7 1/2,8`s 8 1/2 or even 9`s as long as you have the speed behind the little guy`s.(1200 fps.) And don`t forget the most important part,keep your head down on the stock and watch your target !!!!!

Big Yac
April 27, 2005, 01:48 PM
Magnum 7.5 shot(1 1/8oz) is what I use in my trap loads. I use 17gr of Red Dot in a Remington STS, Gun CLub or Nitro 27 hull, this is good for 1200fps. My gun is a BT-99 with a fixed full choke barrel. All my trap guns are fixed full choke and this loads works well in all my guns...cant really change the chokes anyways :D

I do have several loads for when we get into shoot offs and get moved farther back too. One is using Hodgdon Longshot powder and 1 1/8oz of manum 7.5 shot going 1585fps...it works pretty well and wakes up everyone around you :) Another load I like is using Federal paper hulls and Herco. For these I use 1 1/4oz of hard #5 shot going around 1330fps. If you ever experiment with larger shot you might want to check with your local range since many ranges do not allow shot larger than 7.5. Mine however does allow the larger shot and doesnt have to worry about the shot traveling too far and hitting something.

Another thing, Red Dot has been my main powder since I started reloading about 13 years ago. I have also used Green Dot, Herco, American Select and some Hodgdon Longshot. My preference is with Alliant powders...mostly Red Dot.

April 27, 2005, 03:26 PM
A lot of guys around here use 8s from 16-23 yards and farther out they use size 7 1/2s, mainly because the velocity doesn't drop off as fast with the slightly bigger shot, all else being equal.

One of the best recreational trap shooters I ever saw used the lightest AA shells he could find, as he had bone cancer and couldn't stand even the light jarring of a standard 1 1/8 oz. trap load. I know I have to get a whole lot better before I get to the point where 7 1/2 vs. 8 will make a difference in my scores.