I agree that it is dirty, but it sure shoots well for me. In 1 1/8 I shoot it from a Fed GM, Win209, 23 gr., Blue Duster (WAA12 Clone), at 12 fps. It's mostly a handicap load for me, but I do shoot it from 16 yds when the wind is humping and I want a 1 1/8 oz. load instead of my normal 1 oz.
There are much better choices for trap loads, it takes careful wad, primer and hull selection to make consistent 1 1/8" loads. 800X makes great heavy 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 oz 12 gauge loads, and also good 20 & 28 gauge loads. But it does not meter well. It is possible to get consistent loads if you manipulate the press in a crisp and consistent manner. I learned to bump the handle at the bottom of the stoke and and let the handle return home with a little snap (MEC Grabber) to make sure the bushing filled properly. If you are a "meek" press operator or load on a hydraulic loader, I would not even think about using 800X. I loaded so much 800X in my early years that I still bump the handle.
I guess I should define what "better choice" means to me; consistent performance across wide temperature range, excellent metering through the loader, non-critical component selection, and lastly economy.
In no particular order Red Dot, Green Dot, Promo, Clays, 700X etc all powders designed by their manufacturers to be used for 12 gauge target loads.
Many other slower burning powders will "work" for target loads, but they are not optimized for such.
I once had three 12 pound kegs of 800X. I shot several thousand trap loads; Federal field hull, F209 primer, 21.5 gr 800X and AA12 wad. They shot well broke targets well. One cold spring morning I arrived at a shoot with 4 boxes except for substituting a Claybuster AA12 clone wad. Bloop, flup & poof, It was funny to everybody but me. The same load with a Rem 209 shoots fine.
I've used 800X for some heavy pheasant loads. The drops out of my MEC were so inconsistent that I used my redding powder measure. I try to keep all my loads between 9000 and 10000 PSI. Low pressure loads have given me very inconistent velocities.
I've been watching this thread with interest as I had two cans(one now) of 800X. I wanted to know what it was like for myself and didn't have any other use for it so I loaded up a few boxes.1 1/8 shot, 24gr 800X, Fed 12S3 wad, CCI209M and Win AA hull. Yup its dirty. In fact its filthy, but in the overunder the next shot cleans it out. Powder drops were inconsistent out of the 600JR by up to a grain and a half. Soft shooting for a load that is supposed to be going 1250fps and they all broke targets well. I plan on loading up the rest for practice as its starting to warm up here and I think they'll work just fine in the heat. Beats letting it sit on the shelf. JW
Wow, to think that for some 20 plus years I have been loading 800 x for everything from 1 1/8 ounce to 1 5/8 ounce in both warm and cold ohio winters I have never heard of some of the shit I have heard hear. Obviously some of you guys either don't know how to load slow burning powder and probaly never will. This is one of the most versatile powders made, As far as dirty, hell yes it's dirty but aren't they all when you runa patch down them. Good luck, Tim