Winter 2018

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24 PULLUSA MAGAZINE WINTER 2018 THE FIELD C OAC H K ELV IE'S C ORNER "SHOT" SIZE MATTERS! WHICH SHOT SIZE FITS YOUR EQUIPMENT AND PERSONAL SHOOTING STYLE? by JASON KELVIE illustrations by TOM RICHMOND he debate over which shot size to use for 16-yard trap has been a staple of conversations around gun clubs for years. Everyone from Olympians to All-Americans to the casual shooters at your local club have debated whether or not 7.5 shot is better than 8, or 8.5, or 9 shot, or vice-versa. All shoot- ers want to get it 'right,' but trying to figure it out can be daunting. Is there really only one size that fits all? WHAT IS 'SHOT?' 'Shot' refers to the pellets in a shot- gun shell. Various types of shot- guns shells can have different sizes of shot. The smaller the shot size number—7.5, 8, or 9—the larger the diameter of each pellet in the shell. Because of the difference in shot d i a m e t e r, s h o t g u n s h e l l s w i t h a smaller shot size will have fewer pellets in the shell. A shotgun shell with 8 shot will have more pellets than a shell with 7.5 shot. Did you just realize that you have more chances to hit the target with 8 shot because it has more pellets? Be careful! It's not quite that simple. CHOOSING YOUR SIZE There's no question that either 7.5 or 8 shot will work for 16-yard trap just fine. The real question is which size best fits your personal shooting style, and how that shot patterns out of your shotgun. If you are a quick shot who prefers to break the targets before they get very far out, I would recommend 8 s h o t . At s u c h c l o s e r a n g e , t h e increased number of pellets will give you a better chance at breaking the target versus the 7.5 shot. On the other hand, if you take more time before you pull the trig- ger, allowing the targets to fly out a fair bit, then I would recommend 7. 5 s h ot . T h e l a r g e r p e l l et s h ave more mass, which will increase your chances of breaking targets at longer distances. Smaller shot might not have the power to do much more than scare the dust off the targets. THE PATTERNING BOARD I love the patterning board and so should you. It is one of the most effective tools to use to learn how various brands of ammunition, shot sizes and chokes affect how your shotgun shoots. When determining your shot size, you should let the pattern deter- mine what size is best for you. Don't be shy about trying multiple shot sizes as well as various manufactured shells. Chokes can also play a role in determining which shot size you should use, but keep it simple and use the choke you've already settled on during prior patterning sessions. Once you find a shot size and a shell manufacturer you like I highly recom- mend you stick with it. Consistency is the key to breaking more targets! ✪ W H AT ' S YO U R S T Y L E ? Q U I C K S H O OT ER S W I L L B EN EF I T F R O M U S I N G 8 S H OT, W H I L E T H O S E W H O T EN D TO L E T TA R G E T S F LY FA R T H ER S H O U L D U S E 7. 5 S H OT. TIPS T JA S O N K E LV I E / U S A H S C T L C OAC H ED U C AT I O N A N D S U P P O R T M A N AG ER

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