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groovy mike's picture
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Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2496
Range report – 16 gauge Stevens.

I recently acquired a single shot Stevens 16 gauge.  I took it to shoot trap with last week and was pleased with the result.  Shooting reloaded shells packed with an ounce of #8 shot over seventeen grains of Bullseye powder I busted birds fairly regularly.  In fact slightly better than my average with my 12 gauge.  I was impressed.  This week I decided to shoot the same 16 gauge single shot with factory loaded ammunition.  I had a box of Winchester #8 shot game loads, a box of Remington #9 shot, and a box of Federal #8 shot.  I fired the Winchester and Remington loads.  I shot terribly.  I mean REALLY terribly.  Like hitting under 10 birds out of 25 when I normally hit 17 or 18 brids.  My son then fired the box of Federal shells.  He only hit 5 birds.  By contrast on his next round he used a 12 gauge Remington pump gun and shot 21 out of 25 birds with a gun he had never held before.  The kid is good, but with the 16, he was horrible.  Based on this week’s shooting – 3 brands of ammo, and 2 shooters hitting less than 1 out of 3 targets.  I'd throw that gun away.    But how is it possible that last week’s score was better than average with the same shooter and the same gun?  Can it be that the reloaded shells were so much more accurate that they doubled the number of birds hit over three different brands of factory loaded shells?  I guess the only thing to do is to try to duplicate the load that worked so well and see if I can hit anything with it next week.  Does anybody else have a theory?

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
in my experience

Has very little to do with the loads or the gun.  Has mostly to do with the shooter. Sometimes you're just going to have an off-day at the range.  Happens to me too.  I shoot clays all the time. In my experience with both trap and sporting clays I haven't found where either reloads or factory ammo is any better than the other. There are just too many other veriables (including the shooter) to give a true answer. Have patterned quite a few different shotguns using different chokes with different loads from reloads to factory ammo.  Sure some pattern better than others, but when it came to breaking the clay bird what really mattered is how well I was shooting that day.  I've seen guns and shells that didn't pattern all that well on a board but still could pulverize clays when the gun was shot correctly. I've had days too where my wife has shot a 85 out of 100 when I've shot only 30/100 on the sporting clays range......my wife rarely shoots guns. Confused

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