Best Skeet Load


Dear Bruce

What’s your suggestion of the best skeet load. Gun is a 12ga o/u. Currently loading MEC 9000G bushing 32 with Clays, 1 1/8 hard 9’s and Clay Buster wads with AA hulls. I have loaded 1oz. and 31 bushing but seem to get better patterns with the 1 1/8 oz. load and recoil feels the same.

Bobby

Dear Bobby,

Everyone has their favorite skeet load. Personally, I’ve never found a one ounce load that put as many pellets into the 30″ circle at 21 yards as a carefully developed 1-1/8 oz load. Less is less and more is more. That’s not to say that many people don’t shoot the lighter recoiling one ounce load better. Many do, but it’s a recoil thing, not a ballistics thing. I just prefer to handle the recoil by using a gas gun in 12 gauge rather than sacrifice 12% of my pattern size. If you don’t notice any recoil difference, then definitely stick with the larger load.

I’m not sure how much it all matters. Look at all the champion American-style skeet shooters who set records using the tubed 20 gauge in 12 gauge competition. Of course, I also look at all the great shooters who switch to a gas gun and full loads when they shoot 12 gauge. The 12 gauge event has become more of an endurance event these days, so fatigue plays a part.

So, what’s my favorite 12 gauge load? Dunno. I switch around more than a teenager in a sneaker shop. I tend to prefer fast burning powders for 12 gauge 1-1/8 oz skeet loads, but I’m not wed to any one brand of powder. Red Dot, 700X, Clays, Titewad and Promo have all worked fine for me. I also alternate between Remington factory wads and Claybuster Remington clones for use in my STS hulls. I can’t see any meaningful difference. I’m not saying that there is no meaningful difference in the powder/wad combination, I’m just saying that I don’t see it. So much has to do with the particular gun you use the shell in. One thing I always do is use high antimony shot in all my shooting. That does make a difference, though it matters less with #9s in 12 gauge skeet than with #7-1/2s for trap and sporting.

As an aside, I’m not at all impressed with the powders that claim to burn “Cleaner! Whiter! Brighter!”. Maybe so, but so what? I put a lot of powder through gas guns and have never noticed that I’ve had to clean more or less often due to a “dirty” fast powder than with a “clean” fast one.

If I really were a dedicated American-style skeet shooter, I’d probably spend an afternoon patterning all the factory shells and then go to work making up a reload to duplicate the best of them. But I’m not, so I don’t. Remember too, a load that works well in one guy’s gun may not be best in yours. The load is only one of many variables which affect pattern. By far the most important pattern variable is the ability to put that pattern in the right place. Everything else is applesauce.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)
http://www.ShotgunReport.com

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One Response to Best Skeet Load

  1. fsand says:

    Enjoyed it. Agree with that last sentence!

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