PRO TIPS with USAMU -Shotgun Loads


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Pro Tip -  SFC Glenn Eller – Shotgun Loads


I know sometimes shotgun shells can be overwhelming. There are so many choices in the store. Well in today’s Pro Tip, I’m going to show you how to choose the right shotgun shell for your needs, whether it is clay target shooting or hunting.


In clay target shooting, we’re limited by the amount of shot we can have in our shotgun shells. For the Olympic games that’s only seven-eighths of an ounce, which is not much shot. So we have to change the size of our shot based on the distance we’re going to shoot the targets at. .


Now what you just saw is me shooting Olympic Double Trap. That’s a little bit quicker than I typically shoot the targets. So I’ve got to adjust my shot size so I can break the targets where I’d like to in competition.


Here, I’ve cut open a seven-eighths ounce number 9, so you can see how much shot is inside of it. You can tell there are quite a few pellets but they’re small, which means when you shoot, they’re going to slow down quickly upon exiting the gun and won’t have as much downrange energy.




Here I have the seven and-a-halves. As you can see there are fewer pellets, but they’re larger so they carry their energy further downrange. That’s why I use them on my second barrel at doubles to make sure I get as much energy on the target as possible.

So here I’m loading the nine in the bottom for the close bird and the seven and a half in the top barrel for the far bird. Pull!


In hunting, it’s important to choose the load based on the game you’re going to be pursuing, and how much recoil your shoulder can take.




Here we have three typical loads that you would find at any sporting goods store, a light seven-eighths ounce seven-and-a-half, an ounce and a quarter seven-and-a-half, and both of those could be used for small game like dove or quail.

And last we have an ounce and a quarter number two's, which would be used for waterfowl hunting. As you can see, the only difference between the ounce and a quarter and seven-eighths ounce is actually the number of pellets in the shells and the amount of recoil your shoulder is going to take.


The last shell we’re looking at today is an ounce and a quarter number twos. It’s a heavy load made out to reach ducks and geese at long ranges. It may not be the most comfortable shell to shoot, but it can be effective at long ranges.

Now let’s go shoot a few shells and I’ll show you the difference in the recoil. As you can see the light loads are fairly pleasant.

The medium loads still aren’t too bad.

And there’s some kick. So the next time you’re about to go to the store, before you go hunting, or before your next trip to the gun range, hope you use these tips to choose the right load.




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