View Full Version : 12 gauge "Trap" cartridge re-load question

April 3, 2009, 10:45 AM
Didn't know where to put this one, but figured the more serious trap sportsman probably re-load their shells so my question is this. I have been trap shooting for years, but it has been "farm" trap shooting with the thrower at the same range as me. I have been reloading my 12 gauge shells with 1 oz 8.5 shot in the 1100 fps range. This has handled the close in shooting very nicely and saved my shoulder. Well, I am about to start shooting at a Sportsman club and would like to know if this cartridge will do OK at the 16 yard range and beyond. I have been running a mod choke but would guess I would need to move over to a full choke at those ranges with this cartridge.

I know I have been rambling here a bit, I am about to order shot, and hate to order another bag of 8.5 if there is a better shot size for the range. What have some of you "experienced" trap shooters had success with and what Dram. The one thing I do appreciate is just enough power to get the job done, as I like my shoulder. I know this will have a bit of a spectrum as everyone is different but I don't want to show up to a gunfight with the wrong size gun, figuratively speaking. I like the pattern of the current cartridge, I just don't know if it will have the Ummffff by the time it meets the target. Any suggestions

April 3, 2009, 11:51 AM
You'll be fine at the 16 yard line with that load. I've shot 16 yard trap with 9's - with no problem.

1100 fps is a personal choice. Personally I like a faster shell - but balistically, it won't make a huge difference at a kill range of around 35 yards ( you are at 16 yards from house / then as bird flys, it levels off between 35 and 40 yards from you / you want to shoot it as its still rising - not leveling off or falling ). 1100 fps is probably 2 1/2 or 2 3/4 Dram equivalent.

My personal 12ga load - for virtually every clay game - Skeet, Sporting Clays and Trap - is 1 oz, 8's, at 1225 fps.

For your load - I would stay with a Modified Choke for any Trap shooting from the 16 - 20 yard line. Beyond 20 yard line, I go to Improved Mod, and Full at 25 yard line ( and at the 21 yard line, I move up in shot size to 7 1/2's ). The larger the pellet / the lower number of pellets it takes to break a target / and the larger the pellet, the heavier they are, and they more they sustain the energy needed at range to break a target.

But the loads you are using are fine for casual Trap shooting. But you may get responses from shooters that use nothing other than 1 1/8 oz of 7 1/2's / at 1200 or 1250 fps - there isn't a right or a wrong answer. Sometimes I shoot Trap with a 28ga ( 3/4 oz of 9's ) and I break my share / and while I'm not saying a 28ga is a great Trap gun / its for fun ....

April 3, 2009, 04:28 PM
Shouldn't be much of an issue - when I reloaded for 12 gauge, I loaded a 1 oz light load (hence the screenname) that ran around 1150-1180 fps. When I did MY part, the shell more than adequately did its. I know some folks know loading 3/4 oz at less than 1200 for practice - their scores haven't dropped

Dave McC
April 3, 2009, 05:02 PM
It'll work if you put it in the right place.

One of my pet loads is 7/8 oz of HARD 8.5 shot at 1150 FPS. Out of a tight Full choke, it demolished trap singles. Good for the first shot on doubles.

And it's a creampuff load for arthritic, old shoulders.

With a LM choke in a couple different shotguns, it works for sporting targets also out to 35 yards or so.

April 3, 2009, 05:09 PM
Wish I could say it was old, :D but when I go I'll shoot 200-300 rounds and with the 3 dram stuff it starts to hurt the shoulder. Last time I went out with store bought rounds my wife asked who I got into a fight with when I took my shirt off.......

April 3, 2009, 05:14 PM
It sounds to me like you have a problem in the way you are mounting your shotgun / or a fit issue on your stock.

I'd suggest you talk about it among some of the guys at your gun club that can watch you shoot / and make some suggestions to help you out.

Shotgunning should not beat you up. Many of us shoot 200 shells a day / 2 or 3 days a week - without any shoulder or face pain. I rarely shoot anything under 1 oz / or under a velocity of 1225 fps - especially in a 12ga.

April 3, 2009, 05:23 PM
For 12-ga practice, the majority of my loads are 7/8-oz 8s at 1200-1225 pfs, and they work well for skeet and 16-yard trap. I'll step up to 1 or 1-1/8 oz for my second shot of trap doubles. You just have to be mindful that some of the sissy loads may not function in all auto-loaders -- just one of the reasons hinge guns are popular with re-loaders. Keep in mind, the smaller your pattern, the more accurate you'll become with practice. It's amazing how many folks think they have the leads all figured out until they give the .410 a try.

Have fun and be safe,

April 4, 2009, 08:48 AM
I was taught to mount it correctly, now the fit may be wrong, and I will need to get that checked. I don't want to come off a sissy here, I just feel there is no need in wearing yourself out with power loads for hours on end. It to me is like playing golf, I would rather swing with rhythm and consistency for 18 then swing hard and long for 9. Same with trap, I just find the lighter loads wear on you less over the coarse of a day, so my mental focus is more linear. That and it doesn't help to be shooting the above rounds then pick up a box of store bought 7.5 3dram cartridges, one would think they just switched calibers.........

Ricky B
April 4, 2009, 01:12 PM
It's not a question of being a sissy. If your wife asks who you got into a fight with, that implies bruising. And there's usually a bad reason for bruising, one that can be fixed.

In order of what I consider to be the ease of fixing the problem, here are some common solutions:

Improve the mount
Improve the fit of the shotgun
Wear a vest with recoil pad on the shoulder
Change the recoil pad on the gun to a Limbsaver or Kick-Eez or the like
Use a lighter load (this could be no. 1 for many)
Use a heavier gun (or add weight to the gun)
Use a gun with a different action (i.e., going from a break-action or pump to a gas operated gun will result in a noticeable reduction in felt recoil)
Add a recoil adjusting mechanism to the stock, like a Gra-Coil or BumpBuster (for an HD shotgun, Knoxx)

April 4, 2009, 11:54 PM
7/8 ounce of 7.5 shot running at 1250 fps. If you do your part, this shell will break anything. No recoil and you can shoot this load all night on singles trap.

April 5, 2009, 01:24 AM

I'm not calling anyone a sissy for using lighter 12 ga shells. Hey, I shoot .410s in a heavy gun with a air stock. The term is used to identify the load: Where 1 oz 12s are lite loads, what are 7/8 oz 12s -- lite-lites, super lites, xrtra lites? With the guys I shoot with, everyone knows you're talking about 7/8 12s when you mention sissy loads. If the term bothers you, we can call them 20-ga equivalent 12 ga loads.


April 5, 2009, 06:28 PM

April 6, 2009, 02:11 AM

Please see PM.