May 10, 2014
Hi, my name’s Rich Nemitz and I’m a “loadaholic.”
I’m going to confine this discussion to clay target loads, not hunting loads. They are different animals on different ends of the spectrum, in most cases.
For much of my shooting career I was an ammunition manufacturers dream. I carried a variety of shells out onto the course that would make a sporting goods store owner blush and shout “Halleluiah”!
Light 7 ½’s, heavy 7 ½’s, light 8’s, heavy 8’s light 8 ½’s light 9’s, spreaders in 8’s & 8 ½, yikes!! What was I thinking?? Or was I, maybe too much? Aha, maybe a salient thought there!
Well, like many shooters, and I’ll confess my primary venue is sporting clays, I wanted to be prepared for every possible situation.
Too much thinking, too many choices, not enough focus. You don’t need it.
Now, my multiple load insanity aside, I love the speed, and that’s caused me to beat the living daylights out of myself for years. Shooting 1300 fps, 1 1/8 oz., handicap+ loads just made me feel confident. For the most part, I really didn’t need them, I just knew someone else might be shooting them and that I couldn’t give away anything in competition.
There’s an old saying in the shooting world, heavy loads kill on both ends of the gun, and I’m here to tell you it’s true. (Some will tell you that my occasional odd behavior and thought processes is due to my brains being rattled loose by those loads.)
The point of this confession is that you don’t need those different loads and you certainly don’t need heavy or super fast loads to be successful in any of the clay target shooting sports.
A standard 2 ¾ dram, 1 1/8 oz. of 7 ½’s or 8’s going 1145 fps will break any target, anywhere. The issue remains the same, you just have to hit the target!
Even better yet, move to a 1 oz. payload.
They are light recoiling, a pleasure to shoot, hit hard, moderately fast and will reduce fatigue. Anyone who has spent time working on patterns will tell you they generally pattern as well, usually better, than
1 1/8 oz. loads.
FITASC is an International version of sporting clays, regularly shooting targets at 40-70+ yards. The standard payload used to be 1 ¼ oz. A real eyeball spinner. A few years ago they mandated the use of 1 oz. loads, and guess what, shooters scores & averages went up (and I think the targets got tougher!)
Really, 7 ½’s or 8’s won’t make much difference, a 7 ½ gives you a slight advantage at distance, edge on trap targets and hard edged rabbits because of that added energy.
Sometimes simple is better, just shoot 7 ½’s.
Me? Well it’s too late for me (see brains shook loose comment), but YOU have a choice, make it the right one!
Like Dad said, do as I say, not as I do.