Long Shots


Dear Bruce,

I’m having trouble in shootoffs where the 108 and 90mm targets are thrown crossing between 60 -70 yards some is even getting further. I do not have a load or choke combination that will break this target. I have tried a Beretta 390 and Browning 425 with 1/1/8 oz loads #71/2 shot. When I try to up the velocity the pattern disperses. I’m using Briley Chokes in each shotgun and they are factory barrels. Should I be using copper plated shot, considering even longer forcing cones, or a different brand choke. What velocity do I need?

thanks Samuel

Dear Samuel,

If those 60-70 yard birds are edge-on, those are pretty long targets for a shotgun to break reliably regardless of the choke or shell. 70 yard 90 mm would be a handful for any shotgun and any shotgunner.

I don’t think that velocity buys you much at that distance. In fact, I think it may hurt you for just the reason you mention. All things being equal, the faster you start the shot, the more the shot is damaged and the less true it flies. Lead is only a function of what you get used to anyway.

You don’t mention what constrictions you are using for these space shots. Obvioiusly, you want the tightest pattern possible. Talk to some “card” shooters. These guys get incredibly tight patterns. They play a game where they shoot a shotshell at a paper card with an “X” on it. The person with a pellet closest to the center of his “X” wins. The guns are highly specialized, but most of the card shooting matches use standard shells supplied by the competition committee so that everyone stays equal. If you want a choke that is beyond “trap” full or even “turkey” full, take a look at a card gun. It’s a whole new world.

No matter what you do, you are going to have to spend a fair amount of time at the pattern board. You will definitely want 90% in a 30″ circle at 40 yards. More is better. You can’t just buy performance like this unless you get extremely lucky. You are going to have to lay in a bunch of chokes and perhaps a brake hone and start testing.

Also, pick up a copy of Lyman’s “Shotshell Reloading Handbook” 4th edition. It has the drop figures for distance. You will want to hold a little high on a 70 yard crosser. High and wide too.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

This entry was posted in Shotgun related and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.