Wally Mart 20 Promos


Bruce,

I was interested in the 20’s and my question is whether you have any experience with this 3/4 ounce load or if at that price they would at least be worth trying. I assume that with the reduction in payload to 3/4 ounce that recoil still should not be excessive with the 1275 velocity, what do you think? I recognize that this is probably not quality shot and uses cheap wadding, but it appears to be an attractive price for some clay target shooting.

Randy

Dear Randy,

Ah! The siren song of cheap shells.

How good are the shells? Well, I just don’t know. I haven’t tried any of the 20 gauge Remington promos out, but I did shoot a bunch of the Remington “Gun Club” 12s. They are sort of promotional loads. The Remington Gun Clubs had very soft shot and patterned identically to my reloads using that Peruvian “hard” shot.

In the tests I ran, the Remington STS 1-1/8 3 dram #7-1/2s averaged 285 pellets in a 30″ circle at 40 yards from a particular Beretta “full” choke. The Victory 480s 1-1/8 #7-1/2s did about the same. The Remington Gun Clubs and my Peruvian shot reloads both averaged about 250 through the same choke. That’s 285 vs 250. So, the STS and Victorys were better than the Gun Clubs and reloads, right?

Maybe. It gets more interesting when you compare the center densities and the annular rings. I use a center ring of 20″, a second ring of 20″ to 27″ and a third ring from 27″ to 30″. The great part of that 35 pellet difference occurred in the first ring of 20″. The two annular rings measured about the same with all four shells. True, the premium shells were a little more consistent, but they were close.

Unless you are dealing with real long shots (unlikely with a 20), the most important part of the pattern is not the center 20″ circle. It is the second 20″ to 27″ fringe. Just about any clay target that you hit with the center 20″ circle will break even with the lesser ammo. It’s the fringe that counts and there the shells are equal.

Of course, this is in two dimensions and the cheap shells will obviously have longer shotstrings due to having softer shot. But there really isn’t that much difference. And, while higher speed doesn’t shorten shotstrings (actually it slightly lengthens them), it does get the shotstring through quicker which effectively shortens it.

As to recoil, in a 7# 20 gauge, a standard 7/8 oz shell at 1200 fps has 12.42ft/# recoil. A 3/4 oz shell at 1275 fps has 10.73, a bit less. So the promo shell kicks less on your shoulder and in your wallet.

Bottom line: If absolute maximum performance isn’t a requirement, the Wal-mart Remington promotional loads ought to be just fine. The shorter the range, the better they will look. If you miss one at long range, it probably isn’t the shell either.

Note, I say all this not having short the shells and assuming that they are a direct comparison to the Remington 12 gauge Gun Club ammo. The shells you are looking at may not be. I believe that Federal still markets some “All Purpose” loads through Wal-mart. When I last tested them, they were fully the equal in quality to the Federal Gold Medal target loads. Absolutely equal. Things may have changed now as I haven’t shot any for a couple of years, but they used to be the all time great bargain in 12s.

Best regards,

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

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