View Full Version : Question about Trap Ranges

North Bender
March 11, 2008, 09:08 PM

I wrote earlier that I'm a nooby to shotguns and this question will prove that.

I'm looking at remediating a shotgun range. I've worked on ranges that shot all calibers before but never a shotgun-only range.

I don't know the guns so I ask:

How far will typical lead shot fly? What type of shot is fired? I understand that steel shot is not used by trap shooters.

Any response is very appreciated.

March 13, 2008, 12:43 AM
some are not.
1. range of shot depends on the shot size, as #2 shot will go farther than
#7-1/2. The reason is that a rule of Physics state that a velocity of a unit will be divided equally among the sub-division of that unit.
In the barrel the shot is a large mass, when outside the barrel and wad drops off, the shot dispersed (spreads out) each piece of shot taking an equal portion of velocity. The lighter the mass the shorter the range, the heavier the shot mass the greater the velocity and the range.

Some trap ranges here in Puget sound area limit shot size to 7-1/2 or less (e.g.: 8 or 9)

Hope this help explains.

Added following:
Steel shot at present is not used due to high cost, most trap shooter will for practice, shoot over a case a day. reloading helps defray costs.
BUT a registered shoots they must use new factory loads or purchase shells at the shoot. Just to keep things equal amongst trappers.

March 13, 2008, 07:35 AM
There are some eco-friendly ranges that require steel target loads. Fortunately, they are not in my area.

Shot doesn't travel too awfully far out of light target loads. It is nothing for us to see deer feeding just beyond pellet range at the range I frequent. Typically, they are about 75 yards out.

With the current price of lead shot, reloading may or may not save you money. I have seen bags of shot for as much as $55 recently.

March 13, 2008, 06:28 PM
The range I went to last fall had high-tension wires running right through the middle of it, with most of the stations shooting toward the towers / lines. Not sure what the actual distance was to the lines, but apparently it was far enough from the stations that the shot wouldn't cause any problems. Made me a little nervous shooting there though.

The ranges I've been to here in SE Michigan limit the shot sizes allowed to 7 1/2 or less. I haven't seen a graph of shot arcs for different shotgun loads, but I'm sure that there's something out here on the Internet. Anyone have a link for something like that?

chris in va
March 13, 2008, 10:00 PM
We've got a really good range about an hour from my house. Skeet/trap/wobble/5-stand/sporting clays.

There's a line of trees about 150 yards from the shooting positions. You can certainly hear the shot hitting the trees when I wear my electronic muffs. But it takes a second or so, and it doesn't look like it's tearing them up too badly.

Frank Ettin
March 13, 2008, 11:52 PM
In registered competition, shot larger than 71/2 is prohibited, and shells may be no more powerful than 3 dram equivalents and have no more than 11/8 oz. of shot. Many excellent and competitive shooters use 1 oz. of 8 or 71/2 over 23/4 DEs.

March 14, 2008, 05:42 AM
I can't help with how far the shot will go, but most skeet/trap/sporting clays ranges I've been to have a 7.5 shot size limit.

March 16, 2008, 07:26 PM
It all depends on how the range is constructed. If the shooters are shooting toward a forward sloaping hill then most of the shot willbe located against the hill. If it's flat or sloaping awat or downward then the shot will fly farther. The only way to find out the extent of shot coverave is to take soil samples for testing. Also the age of the range will give you an idea of how much material has to be removed. Samples taken on a grid and depth basis will tell you what you need to know. Tom F.

North Bender
March 17, 2008, 05:56 PM
Well, thanks everyone for the replies! I didn't receive immediate comment and didn't look back for a bit.

On another forum a range of around 150 yards was discussed, which is what some alluded to here. You guys are the first to say that 7 1/2 shot is a limit and that's real usefull.

Of course, I was just looking for some opinions. Opinions don't sway regulators. We'll be in the field this summer, and yes, jaguarxk120, we take samples on a grid. Samples are located with GPS, plotted against satellite photos, each location is scanned for lead with an X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrophotometer and confirmation soil samples are taken from 10% of the locations. This project is small as only shotguns were fired and the range operated for just a few years.

The regulations for cleaning up ranges are very squirley. The govt knows that if all lead was required to be moved from all ranges across the country it would bankrupt the nation. So just like disposal of pressure-treated telephone poles, there are relaxed requirements that can be usefull to know about.

March 18, 2008, 09:57 AM
At our trap and skeet ranges we only allow 7 1/2 , 8,, 9 shot to be used. We just had a lead recycle company clean our trap field and they found shot as far as 125 yrds out. They took 23, 55 gallon drums of shot off the trap field alone (a ten year accumulation) .

March 18, 2008, 02:24 PM
At our trap and skeet ranges we only allow 7 1/2 , 8,, 9 shot to be used. We just had a lead recycle company clean our trap field and they found shot as far as 125 yrds out. They took 23, 55 gallon drums of shot off the trap field alone (a ten year accumulation) .

Did they pay you for the lead?