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Old June 8, 2011, 09:01 PM   #1
Join Date: April 20, 2011
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New to trap and sporting clays

First off it is so addicting! It is so much fun to go out with my 17 year old son and shoot. I have modified chokes in both our guns, is that the right choice. I guess I'm not the brightest when it comes to this sport so I'm sure my next question wll be stupid. What does the shot mean on a box of shells? I have been using 2 3/4 with 1 1/8 load 7 1/2 shot. Only because this is what someone told me to buy. Would this be an ok choice? Sorry for my ignorance on the matter but thanks for any help.
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Old June 8, 2011, 09:08 PM   #2
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You are dead on right about it being addictive. As I only started shooting in January, I will let the guys who know what they are talking about explain things.
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Old June 8, 2011, 09:10 PM   #3
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Yea I can't get enough of it!
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Old June 8, 2011, 09:18 PM   #4
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2 3/4 is the length of the shell in inches. 1 1/8 is the weight of the shot load in ounces. This is a pretty typical load for most 12ga target shooting. 7 1/2 is the size of the individual shot pellets. Shot ranges from #12 (not seen very much anymore) all the way down to #2, then it goes BB, BBB, then to the "buckshot" sizes of 0,00,000,0000 etc. 7 1/2 size is a tad on the large size for target shooting but certainly usable. Most shooters will use #8 for trap and clays and #9 for skeet. Using a smaller size (higher number) gives you more pellets per load thus increasing your chance of hitting the target. The downside is that smaller shot doesn't carry as much energy downrange so you can occasionally get a hit that doesn't shatter the clay.

I'm far from an expert but I find that it is a little easier for me to get clean hits with #8 shot.
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Old June 8, 2011, 09:34 PM   #5
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Thank you
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Old June 8, 2011, 11:18 PM   #6
big al hunter
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google "shot size chart" to see the different sizes of shot. I find it helps to see it rather than explain it.
You can't fix stupid....however ignorance can be cured through education!
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Old June 9, 2011, 12:20 AM   #7
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The larger the individual pellets, the more energy they carry and the farther they will go. The smaller the shot the more pellets you have per a given weight and more pellets means more chances to break the target. When I started shooting skeet and trap (just after the recession of the glaciers and before sporting clays became popular) there were two basic target loads: #9 (small) shot for skeet and #7-1/2 (a little larger) for trap shooting.

Standard trap and skeet loads were the general rule; but, there were exceptions. Some skeet shooters would use heavier shot (#8-1/2s or even #8s) to buck the wind. The #7-1/2s were used in trap to break targets from the 27-yard line. Some shooters think of them as overkill for 16-yard (the most common trap) and use #8s to get more pellets.

With the popularity of sporting clays, all the rules changed. No longer were all of your targets generally at the same distance as they are in a trap or skeet event. With clays you could have a long shot and then a close in. Many shooters carried a variety of loads and selected the one best suited for a specific target presentation. Also, the ammo manufacturers offered a greater variety of target loads.

The #7-1/2s you have can be used successfully in all of the shotgun sports. They are the max range target loads. I know some shooters who use #7-1/2s exclusively in all events. You must realize that you'll be giving yourself a little handicap with the closer shots where more, smaller pellets could be used.
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Old June 9, 2011, 06:47 AM   #8
Jim Watson
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Handy trivia: Subtract the shot size from 17 and you get the diameter of the pellet in hundredths of an inch. No 7 1/2 is specified at .095" for example. That does not apply to buckshot, No 4 Buck is not the same as No 4 shot.

I don't know the history, but for some odd reason, No 7 1/2 is a common shot size but you hardly ever see straight No 7s. When I was young, the old timers would reminisce about the "Pigeon Load" of 3 1/4 DE + 1 1/4 oz of No 7 which had not been readily available for many years. I had to special order some with No 7 1/2 for my Uncle because he thought Express loads kicked and Walmart or even target loads lacked range.

I do remember when No 8 1/2 came out. It was based on calculations that it would take no more hits to break a target than No 8 but would put more pellets in the pattern.
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