7/8 vs 1-1/8

Dear Bruce,

I am confused about something. Can you explain to me, once and for all, whether or not a shot charge of 7/8 ounce will break a clay target, specifically a skeet target, better than a full 1 1/8th load of shot? In other words, is their some proof that can substantiate the reason why the International Trap and Skeet scores went up after mandating a lighter shot charge?

I have read some of that technical stuff in the archives about it, but am still unclear.

I always thought the more lead you can put in the air, the greater your chances were to break the bird.

I would appreciate your input on this. Also, thanks for adding some of my questions to your site.


Dear Greg,

More barnyard effluent has been written about the “improvement” of scores using 7/8 oz loads than you can shake the back end of a cow at. Naturally, I would like to add another layers to the corral.

More is always better UNLESS you can’t take the recoil. You can Trust The Technoid on this one. Look at it this way- there is a 7/8 oz load riding on top of every 1-1/8 oz shot column. That extra 1/4 oz of shot has to go somewhere. Most of it will go into the pattern. Even if the last 1/4 oz of shot isn’t as efficient as the first 1/4 oz,

Yes, some Olympic discipline scores went up with the 24 gram (a tiny bit under 7/8 oz) loads, but not at first. At first they went down, except for bunker where they lowered the speed and distance to make up for the smaller shell. Skeet scores are now back up to what they were with the old 28 gram (one oz) loads.

Does that mean that the 24 gram loads are better? Not hardly. Olympic athletes get better every year. Shooters are no exception. Scores with the old 1-1/8 oz loads got better each year, so International Skeet had to change the rules and add more doubles to toughen the game up. The philosophy behind Olympic skeet as an elite sport is very much different that it is in our domestic skeet game.

If people run faster and throw farther in each Olympics, why on earth shouldn’t the natural progression be to also shoot better? Gotta be. Going down in shot size did slow the progression down a bit, but now talented athletes have overcome the smaller shell and scores are back up.

Remember, the 28 gram one oz shell and the 24 gram 7/8 oz shell were around when it was legal to shoot 32 gram 1-1/8 oz loads, but no one used them in preference to the heavier loads. I will absolutely guarantee you that every national team of consequence tried them out to see if there was any advantage. Everyone, and I mean everyone of Olympic caliber, ended up shooting the largets shell that the law allowed.

On reason that scores with the small shells are not tremendously less than they are with the big shells for some people is that most people can’t handle recoil. If someone is sensitive enough to recoil, they may actually shoot 7/8 better than 1-1/8. This doesn’t mean that the 7/8 oz load is better (it isn’t), just that the person shoots it better. There is an important difference. Switching to a soft kicking gas gun lets you have your cake and eat it too.

Like a lot of “facts” and “statistics”, you have to look behind the scenes to understand what is really happening. Higher scores happen in spite of smaller shells, not because of them.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

This entry was posted in Shotgun related. 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.