Breaking an incomer easier than an outgoing?

Ole Wise Shotgun Wizard,

I am back again and have yet another question and I cannot imagine any better source than you. This is strictly theoretical but what the heck. If a clay is an incomer, would it increase the probability of a break with an 8 as opposed to an outgoing target at a given distance? What I mean to suggest is does the incoming velocity of the clay add to the energy of the impact? I am thinking that an edge on incomer at a given distance might be better served by the size 8 shot. Yes, yes, I know, one needs to shoot closer to the target. I cannot let that interfere with my theories.

Thanks in advance.



Great question. I’m not at all sure that I have the answer, but it would seem to me that the speed of the target should be incorporated into the speed of the shot to determine impact velocity. If so, the speed of impact would be the shot speed, plus or minus the target speed.

If you buy into that, here are the numbers. Let’s say that the average clay target speed is 40 MPH. I’ve seen all sorts of numbers, depending on whether the bird is shot off the arm or just before it hits the ground. If you want to use a different number, help yourself. 40 MPH is about 59 fts.

Let’s use 30 yards distance and #7-1/2 shot as our test. A #7-1/2 shot which starts out at 1200 fps is going 742 fps at 30 yards. If the target is stationary and not changing distance from the gun, that #7-1/2 pellet at 742 fps has 1.56 ft/lb of energy to hit that target with at 30 yards.

But if the target is going away at 40 mph (59 fps) at 30 yards, the #7-1/2 will hit that target at 742 minus 59 fps or the equivalent of 683 fps or approximately 1.34 ft/lb of energy.

If the target is coming towards you at 30 yards and you add the target speed to the shot speed (742 + 59 = 801) you would get approximately 1.85 ft/lb energy.

That’s quite a difference in striking energy, if the theory holds true. If it turns out that the theory doesn’t hold water, just aim harder.

Best regards,
Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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1 Response to Breaking an incomer easier than an outgoing?

  1. Are we can really talking about this? And I thought it was hard to get guy from changing chokes at every station.


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