Pressure And Recoil

Dear Technoid:

My wife shoots sporting clays with a Beretta Silver Pigeon I. I have been reloading AA shells with Federal Premiers, Clay Buster wads, 3/4 oz. shot, and Pro Reach powder. The result is pressure of 8,200 with a speed of 1,300 fps. I have been looking for Pro Reach for the past nine months with no luck. I am looking for a powder that will give me low pressures with 1,300 fps. Do you know of another powder or different load that can get the same results?


Both Alliant and Hodgdon have powders which will meet your needs for a 3/4 oz 1300 fps 12 gauge load. Just go to the reloading manuals on their websites. You can do it faster than I can copy all that stuff down.

But why do you want low pressure? Your wife’s Beretta will stand all normal pressures. You don’t need to limit your powder choices by holding out for a low pressure one.

Pressure has absolutely nothing to do with calculated recoil. That depends only on payload, muzzle velocity, gun weight and the constant used for the speed of the gas used in some formulae. If you want low recoil for your wife, lower the velocity. Running that 3/4 oz at 1150 fps vs 1300 fps in an 8# gun, will lower recoil from 12.2 ft/lb to 9.9 ft/lb, a 19% drop. And it won’t make the slightest difference in target breaks.

That said, the Olympics require 24 gram (a whisker under 7/8 oz) loads and they are generally run at 1350 fps in bunker, double trap and international skeet. So the pros know something that I don’t. Or, they are more immune to recoil than I am.

Best regards,
Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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