Why is so little written about the other option…staying with 1-1/8 oz. shot and reducing the powder charge,a la Big Green STS light target and undoubtedly others?
If lead versus velocity is academic..and the shot have sufficient energy to break any claybird ( other than assinine Annie Oakley pot shoots from 60-70 yards), isn’t this a better option than reducing shot charge weight? I’m assuming that with proper modification of the gas ports, you can get your beloved gas guns to function with a 2 1/2 dram load.
The following applies to lead shot, not steel. I have often said that I load everything that I shoot to 1200 fps. It is partly a fib. I often load to 1150 fps. Unless you are shooting marginal loads at long distances, like the ISU shooters, the tiny bit of extra energy from high velocity does nothing. You would be far, far better served by increasing pellet size. High velocity loads just degrade pattern due to setback. They contribute very little to energy. At 40 yards the difference between a lead #7-1/2 starting at 1135 fps and one at 1330 is 1.2 ft/lb vs 1.4 ft/lb. At 60 yards the difference falls to .8 vs .9. A #7-1/2 at 1135fps has the same energy as a #8 at 1330.
Recoil from a 1-1/8 oz load starting at 1150 fps equals slightly over 16 ft/lb, the same as the recoil from a 1 oz load starting at 1275 fps or a 7/8 oz load at 1430 fps. Pick your poison. To me the choice is clear. When shooting lead, I would, and do, pick the slower load with more shot every time. I simply don’t understand otherwise intelligent people who lower their payloads to cut recoil, but then speed things up to “get even”.
I don’t go much lower than 1150 fps because I often travel and have to buy shells. Factory target loads under 1150 are not always available and I want to always practice with what I will shoot in the matches. I don’t think that there is anything ballistically wrong with loads at 1100 fps, but I don’t use them for that reason. My Beretta and Remington gas guns will all shoot 1100 fps 1-1/8 oz loads just fine if I slobber them up with BreakFree CLP in the winter. My guns will not shoot the 950 fps 26 gram Winchester low noise featherweight loads.
If I had to pick one load for every clay target game, it would be hard to beat a 2-3/4 dram 1150 fps 1-1/8 oz load of #7-1/2s.
The Technoid at http://www.ShotgunReport.com
(Often in error, never in doubt.)