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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Purchased some Browning BPT shells in 12 gauge in 7.5 shot. The box states the velocity is 1,300 feet per second.

Same shells in 8 shot with all else being equal state velocity is 1,145 feet per second.

Know the difference between 7.5 and 8 is not much nor is the velocity change, but this is not what I expected to see.

How can it be that the lighter shot is slower?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Because they loaded less powder in those shells ;)

With an equivalent mass of shot, the size of the shot is immaterial.
 

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Because all else is not equal. Probably the shot charge is lighter in the 7 1/2 shot or it is a different load. Manufacturers have gotten away from the old "Dram Equivalent" designation and now show velocities on the box.

An 1145 fps 12 gauge load with 1 1/8 oz. of shot would have been a (very roughly) 2 1/2 dram equivalent load. A 1200 fps is a 3 dram load. 1300 is close to a 3 3/4 dram load.

FPS is a much more honest and accurate way to designate what is in the box.

Good luck and all the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Appreciate the feedback. Don't purchase many shotgun shells and going dove hunting and shooting clays thereafter early in the fall and looking to get all the velocity I can in target loads.

Hoping the additional velocity will increase my chances, don't miss many doves out in front of the bird.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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The velocity will make very little difference, compared to your shooting form. Follow through and don't worry about what is printed on the box ;)

If you think velocity is a big deal with shotshells, then figure out the time of flight difference to say 30 yards and how much lead that translates into.... a gnat's behind, basically. In fact, velocity can kill patterns..... so you should probably put a few on the pattern board, and decide from there.

More velocity = more recoil = more fatigue.

Likely you'll get a few more pellets in the pattern with 8s, but you won't know till you try. The quality of the wad can make a larger difference than one might think.
 

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I have been shooting 3/4 to 1 oz. loads in 12 gauge for quite awhile. I've not noticed a huge difference in scores on the Skeet or Trap field or for that dove numbers, but quite a bit easier on the shoulder. I love 28 gauge for dove (410 not so much). 410 is okay for quail though. As Mike noted, 100-150 fps. makes very little difference on lead on the Skeet/Trap field. Some like a little zippier shell on the SC or 5 stand courses...but honestly, it really doesn't matter. I no longer seek that 99.2 average as I once did...95 is just fine.

Good luck and all the best.
 

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For dove hunting I prefer AA sporting clays loads, for pass shooting these are one of the best loads there is, the 1450fps velocity cuts the lead down to a foot or two on those screamers as long as your not sky busting. Steel shot works just as good on fragile doves as lead in my experience. For walking up doves most any lead trap or skeet load will have less holes in the patterns than cheap game loads and score more hits, this is assuming your not practicing your shotgunning skills on opening day of the season. Two days of 3 rounds of skeet each day will make a huge difference in opening day success. Don't use these loads in old guns with fixed full chokes.
Winchester AA Super Sport Sporting Clays Ammo 12 Ga 2-3/4 1oz #7-1/2 (midwayusa.com)
 

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For dove hunting I prefer AA sporting clays loads, for pass shooting these are one of the best loads there is, the 1450fps velocity cuts the lead down to a foot or two on those screamers as long as your not sky busting. Steel shot works just as good on fragile doves as lead in my experience. For walking up doves most any lead trap or skeet load will have less holes in the patterns than cheap game loads and score more hits, this is assuming your not practicing your shotgunning skills on opening day of the season. Two days of 3 rounds of skeet each day will make a huge difference in opening day success. Don't use these loads in old guns with fixed full chokes.
Winchester AA Super Sport Sporting Clays Ammo 12 Ga 2-3/4 1oz #7-1/2 (midwayusa.com)
The only 1450 loads that Winchester makes is steel shot. Sorry, but I wouldn't wish those on my worst enemy. A 1 oz. load from 1150-1300 fps. will do the job quite nicely.
 
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I've shot quite a bit of steel shot duck hunting and never seen any damage to my guns, steel being lighter doesn't carry energy down range as well as lead but that's certainly not a factor in hunting a delicate bird like doves.
Why the anti-steel stance JWS?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I got to thinking about this and looked around to see what time of flight for shotshell pellets is. There is an NRA document:


Mostly it's about max range, but there is time of flight for 7.5 shot at 1,200fps, let's use 30 yards as an example (I don't think I've ever hit a dove farther out than that, personally):

TOF at 1,200fps: .09 sec

How fast do doves fly? I found one web page that suggested 55 mph, I know I've been a passenger in a vehicle driving down the highway with a bird flying parallel to the road, it is probably pretty close! Anyway, 55 mph = 80 fps or so.

80fps * 0.09 sec = 7.2 feet travel distance. Yeah.... 8 feet or so of lead on one crossing at 30 yards sounds about right! No wonder I can't hit them any farther out.....

So.... can't find numbers for 1,145fps and 1,300fps, but if you scale this up / down proportionally, the lead would (probably) go from about 7.5 feet for the slower load, to about 6.6 feet. I don't know if scaling the time of flight by the percentage difference in the muzzle velocity is a close approximation or not, but considering how close the loads start out, it can't be too terribly far off.

Naturally, the difference in lead with increase with increased range.... but I doubt I can hit a dove any farther out than 30 yards, personally. So for me it would make much less difference going from a faster to a slower load, than swinging and following through correctly.

YMMV, as the saying goes.
 

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Every shotgun shell I shoot is loaded to 1275 fps, no matter the shot size. Velocity of the shot is what determines the speed of the swing, so standardize that first thing. A skeet field and a few cases of shells will do that nicely.
I load 19/greendot and 1 1/8 for target and doves.
Skeet targets 'go through the hoop' at 27 yards. I've watched a blindfolded 25 straight twice. It IS a timing game.

Doves were a semi-pro sport when I was growing up. Bag limits were generous and within a hundred miles was three states to hunt with seasons running from early Sept, to mid Dec. It took an over 85% average to win any money.

There are two ways to miss with a shotgun and doves highlight both of them. Stopping the swing is about 80% of misses. The other 20% is the result of lifting your head off the stock. BOTH are unconscious acts but can be overcome.
I taught shotgunning to rich people in Aspen on holiday. Most could write a check for anything they desired.....but skill. Some were stubborn to a fault. This was before affordable video cams so it was my word against theirs and one Spanish guy got downright belligerent when I'd tell him he lifted his head (again). I told him I'd prove it to him but it could be uncomfortable for him but it would prove what I'd been telling him. He went for the test. I put a strip of two sided carpet tape on his comb and had him mount the gun and call for the target. I'm sure I imagined the sound of his beard hanging onto the tape but it was clear from his reaction he'd just had an epiphany. DON'T lift your head! It sounded like Velcro.
To prove stopping of swing, duct tape about two ounces of weight to the muzzle and you can feel it 'keep pulling' the gun around after the shot.
Both are easy to catch on video cam, of course.
Swing from the ankles up and your whole body swings with the gun. It's almost impossible to stop the swing if done that way. Shotgunning is a golf swing in the sky.
 
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You pretty much nailed it Jack, lifting your head or stopping your swing are the two big culprits in most misses except......maybe dove hunting where even experienced good shots don't lead the target far enough more often than not. I notice that the leads are nearly cut in half by using high velocity sporting clays loads on stations 3-4-5 the crossing targets in skeet, instead of 3-4' leads they're 1.5-2' leads.
I teach skeet at my local gun club, dry firing on a moving target can stop people from closing their eyes and lifting their heads, to keep people from stopping their swing I have them shoot a second shot if they miss the first one on a target, they almost never do with practice. Being ready for the second shot means they're unlikely to close their eyes or stop swinging. If someone is being difficult I'll offer to watch closely and let them shoot my gun, when they're not watching I'll load a couple of empties in the gun, you see people do some crazy stuff when it's not masked by the recoil of the gun and it's patently obvious to them as well. They're much more humble after that and start listening to instuctions.
Btw unless your one of those shotgunning legends you'll stop your swing, jerk the trigger, lift your head or close your eyes more than a couple of times in 100rd skeet day.
Because of my shoulder surgery I haven't shot a single round from a shotgun this year, thinking in August I should be healed enough for some 410 action, probably be a miracle to hit 50% of the targets after not shooting since last October.
It's a difficult thing to convince people that shooting skills are perishable, if you don't practice regularly your not going to be very good.
 

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My dad was on the edge of being a very good dove shot. I was retriever and the smeller of fired hulls until I was nine years old. Dad's boss was a rich guy with many contacts and lots of share-cropped small farms in Fl, Ga and Al. I became a 'mascot' of sorts in the dove field and knew who had the shotguns they'd let me try if I retrieved birds for them. Dad entered every dove derby for years and I strived to beat him on every shoot. I finally did at 16 with a 71% dove day with a 36 bird limit that we both got easily.
We had a trip planned and I was given a shotgun to go to Cuba for ten days in 1955 but politics intervened.
Daddy shot a Rem Model 11 16 ga with a poly choke on it. He only loaded two shells. He said if the first is a miss, double the lead and try again. It works more often than not!
 

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Purchased some Browning BPT shells in 12 gauge in 7.5 shot. The box states the velocity is 1,300 feet per second.

Same shells in 8 shot with all else being equal state velocity is 1,145 feet per second.

Know the difference between 7.5 and 8 is not much nor is the velocity change, but this is not what I expected to see.

How can it be that the lighter shot is slower?
If you load less powder in the shell ... the shot flys slower .
The loading companies have more than one powder dispenser and they have more than one type of powder . All of this is used to regulate the velocity of the shot .
Very common thing ...when buying shells / ammo don't assume anything .
Gary
 

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I've chronographed alot of factory shotgun ammunition, like 22lr it's usually very close to the advertised velocity. Also patterned lot of them as well, never seen an inexpensive game load in 12 or 20 that patterned well, for whatever reason 410 and 28 game loads are surprisingly good.
 

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I've shot quite a bit of steel shot duck hunting and never seen any damage to my guns, steel being lighter doesn't carry energy down range as well as lead but that's certainly not a factor in hunting a delicate bird like doves.
Why the anti-steel stance JWS?
The early steel loads were absolute crap. That law came out when I was in college and just about made me quit duck and goose hunting. The early handloading for it was almost non existent. I've never worried about it hurting any of my shotguns, but my waterfowl guns are not high end by any stretch. If I were to do any goose hunting now, I think I would use hevi-shot.

I like to hunt Sandhills, but you can use lead for them as they are not considered waterfowl. I have a dove lease that covers almost 11,000 acres across multiple sites and it seems as if i spend as much time scouting as hunting. A few of the sites won't be available til end of September as they will be used for early teal hunting.
 

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Thank God for great dads, aye JBELK.
 
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I was always a better Dove shotgunner than my Dad and his buddies from a young age. It drove my Brother crazy. I started with a Winchester 42 that was borrowed that I still wish I had. I learned a lot from those older guys though (now I am one). Duck hunting took me into my teenage years before I really got good. We had a large cattle lease that bordered on one of the larger brackish water lakes in Galveston County and I hunted every day during the season from the time I could drive (hardship license at 14). Back then I had a nice Model 12, a Japanese catalog SXS, a couple of SSF SXS and a Winchester 1400. In my late teens into my 20's I really got into shotguns and have owned many since that time.

As JBelk has said a time or two...find a gun and buy it...and again and again and again.
 
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