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kamml,

From the 16 yard line my wife uses 8-1/2s. I have used 9s in the past myself. Smokes 'em real nice.

If you're a very deliberate shooter and wait until the clays are descending you might consider 7-1/2s.

Ka6otm
 

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Typically one would use hard 8's at 16 yards, with 8.5 giving you a few more pellets in the load.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hard vs soft shot

If I am using an improved cylinder choke will the soft shot make a difference in pattern size from 16 yards with 8 1/2-9 shot? I currently have only hard magnum on hand, but my supplier has chilled available. Ken
 

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I think you may find that IC and soft shot will give you too open a pattern. Remember that the breaking point for birds at the 16 yard line would be about 34-35 yards. I suggest at least a Mod choke, and perhaps Imp Mod. I also like the magnum shot for Trap, although it is not required for Skeet (breaking point generally less than 24 yards).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Confusion over choke to use

One of the supposedly more experienced shooters at the trap range stated that improved cylinder is the choke of choice. I had read that full choke was preferred. So I am confused, it appeared to me that I broke birds with the improved cylinder, but I broke them with the full as well. With a 12 ga 1 1/8 load of 8 shot from the 16 yd line, what is recommended by our esteemed panel of experts. :?
 

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Didn't really intend to get into this one but will.

To begin with the 20 gauge is not normally used on a trap range. Even from the 16 yard line a 7/8 oz. charge of shot is light. Were I going to use a 20 ga. as in the original question I'd use a modified choke and would select a load using either an ounce or 1-1/8 oz. of #8-1/2 shot. Now that's what I'd do IF I were gonna use a 20 ga.

As to the question of what is the preferred choke to use from the 16 yard line? Most would select a modified or IM choke. Would an IC work? Sure if you are a fast shooter it might even be better. BUT I'm NOT a fast shooter and I much prefer a modified but from a 12 ga. gun using 1-1/8 oz. of #8-1/2 shot sure an IC would do.

As you start backing up from the 16 yard line in handicap trap you want no less than a modified choke and once you past about the 19 yard line or there abouts the IM is better still. Most better shooters are gonna use a full choke however. They feel that if they just plain miss the target that's their fault but if they are on they want to KNOW the target will be smashed.

I've never seen a person who is a real trap shooter using a more open choke than modified and few use less than an IM for singles no matter the range. When I shot I used a full at all ranges from 16 back. We used to play a five shot game at my club back when I owned a skeet/trap range. We had marked off 37 yards (yes 10 yards more than max handicap distance) and we shot from there. Using a Y model 12 Trap gun with Full choke and 1-1/8 oz of hard #8 shot in a 1-1/4 oz shotcup and using an IMR powder I was able to reach 1550 fps. This is the only load I ever broke all five of five with at this game. It was a tough game to go clean on. This was a strictly money game. Ya put your money up. We all took five shots and the winner took all the money and then we did it again and again.

GB
 

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GB, kamml,

Actually 20 gauges are used for trap a lot at my local range. Why? Because there are a lot of kids and small women shooting them. My wife is a case in point. She stands 5' 1" and weighs 103 lbs soaking wet. A 12 gauge, even with a cut down stock is just WAY too large/cumbersome for her. Shortest arms and smallest hands I ever saw in an adult female. Plus, she doesn't compete. It's just for fun and warming up for Pheasant season.

The difference in scores between a 12 and a 20 is small. For me, it amounts to about 1-1/2 birds per round. And, I'm talking about 7/8 oz. loads of 8-1/2 shot. Anything more than that tends to beat her up a bit, so I just shoot the same stuff as she does to simplify things.

I also shoot about 8 rounds of trap a year with my Browning 20 gauge for practice for Pheasant season. The reason is simple. The gun I compete with is a typical Trap gun. Shoots about 14" high at the 27 yard line. My 20 gauge is a typical field gun. Shoots dead on. I have to shoot a little trap to get back in the practice of using a field gun. I could raise the comb some and make the little Browning shoot like a trap gun but when a bird flushes, I tend to revert to shooting anything I am carrying like a field gun. The trap practice just reinforces that for me.

My gun is an IC/Full (typical for upland hunting) and I use the full choke for trap. The IC will break them but just in a few large chunks and I shoot fairly fast. My IC patterns more like Skeet 1. My wife's is Modified/Full (she's more deliberate than me) and she uses the Modified for Trap.

Incidentally, her gun will actually smoke (not break) the clays from 16 yards using the Modified choke and 7/8 oz of 8-1/2s. Our local State champion even asked to shoot it once as he couldn't believe it himself. I think it changed his mind about some of the misconceptions he had about a 20 gauge.

Ka6otm
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thougtful Reponses

My intention is exactly the same as yours, my daughter will use her 20. I will bang away with a 12. I appreciate the advice on shot size and choke. I will hunt up some 8 1/2 shot on Friday and develop a 1 ounce load over the weekend. She can break clays regularly with the 7/8 load so my thinking is the 1 oz. will provide a little more opportunity and the larger shot size will improve on that in trap even more. I will set her up with modified choke for trap and when we our team progresses into the skeet matches I will switch back to the IC or skeet choke tube. Our last 5 stand is tomorrow night (Thurs) where all birds are around 20 yards, so the IC isn't a handicap. Thanks again. Ken :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A good 20 ga. Trap Load

Use a BP Trap Commander wad with 1 ounce #8's (couldn't find any 8 1/2s), Fiochi 2 3/4 hull, Win 209 primer, and 24 grains of Longshot. The daughter had the best score on our mixed team and the team won the match 6 to 9. This is a fast tight load even from a modified choke. I agree an improved modified would probably work even better. Ken :D
 

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Re: Confusion over choke to use

kamml said:
One of the supposedly more experienced shooters at the trap range stated that improved cylinder is the choke of choice. I had read that full choke was preferred. So I am confused, it appeared to me that I broke birds with the improved cylinder, but I broke them with the full as well. With a 12 ga 1 1/8 load of 8 shot from the 16 yd line, what is recommended by our esteemed panel of experts. :?
"Choke" is performance based, not constriction based, nor based on what your choke tube might be stamped.

You have to shoot at paper at your target distance to see what a specific load is doing in a specific gun-- that is the only way.

Bruce Buck has several good articles on shotgunreport.com

http://www.shotgunreport.com/TechTech/TechnoidArchive/25-Nov-02.html
 

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While I don't agree with an awful lot that Randy says,I tend to agree with his post here.The choke designation on the barrel is only a reflection of barrel constriction.The real proof is what the patterning board shows you.Trap is a game of tight chokes.Those who keep opening up their chokes to get a wider pattern are only using that as crutch to make up for poor shooting.At 16 yards,with an ounce of 7 1/2 or 8's(I prefer 7 1/2)a properly centered shot is going to smash the target regardless of choke.At the longer handicap distances,an open choke will allow the occasional bird to slip through the pattern.How many times have you seen dust fly off a target but no chip.Because most events are decided by only a single target you can't afford to lose even one bird,especially because of poor gun or ammo performance.My personel preference is a tight improved modified choke with one ounce of 7 1/2 hard shot.This gives great performance at all targets from 16 yards to 27 yards.If(when) I miss a target I know that it's me and not the gun or ammo that I use.
Dave
 

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My son and I are getting reliable breaks with 7/8oz of #8 hard shot. The particular load is:
Winchester AA hulls
Winchester 209 primer
15.5 grains Unique
Remington RXP20 wads

We use it for skeet, trap, and sporting clays. We use improved cylinder for close shots, but mostly we use modified.
 
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