<I><blockquote>"Not with regards to ATA registered shoots but with regards to local Sunday afternoon informal trap shooting..."</blockquote></I>Why would you shoot "informal" practice with something different than you would shoot registered events with? If the point is to break targets, why introduce more variables?<I><blockquote>"#9 shot puts over 80% more shot in the air than #7½ shot."</blockquote></I>Yes, but they're also smaller and lighter, slow much more quickly and carry much less energy down range.<I><blockquote>"Will #9 shot be an advantage at 16 yard line ?"</blockquote></I>Maybe if you can hit targets right in front of the trap house while the pellets still have some speed and energy and a lot of company. Otherwise, I can't see it.
For casual shooting singles I've found that a light #8 1oz load is very pleasant and effective. Wind and temperature certainly will impact performance, however, on a calm, warm afternoon this load is a real pleasure to shoot from 16 yards and as far back as 25 yards.
When wind and cold temperatures come into play your best bet is a 7 1/2 HDCP load and sometimes that doesn't seem to be enough!
#9s will work...sometimes...but conditions will have a huge impact on how well they will perform.
I tried this. Didn't notice any difference in my scores.
And the answer to the question about why shoot something different for informal Sunday shoots than you would shoot for registered...I've been shooting trap for over 20 years. Never shot a registered shoot. Not much available here in Vermont. Yes, they exist, but few and far between. And always a bit of a drive.
<blockquote><I>"I strongly suspect most of the "advice" you'll get on this is just repetition of trapshooters "Old Wive's Tales", with no personal knowledge or experimentation."</i></blockquote>flincher...
You don't know me; you don't know what I know or what I have tried. The man asked if there was an advantage to it; there isn't. Congratulations on doing what you are supposed to do: break all the targets. If you want to attribute it to using tiny shot, have at it. But do you get the same result each and every time you use that load? If not, there's no advantage for you either, is there?
The real advantage comes from pointing the gun at the bird. Put in a full choke and shoot targets. The full choke will have more pellets in the center core and you will know when you centered the bird. It will give you more chips if you are hitting with the fringe - but you will still break those birds.
Most new shooters hit birds further from the trap house; so lighter shot is not a good option as it loses energy faster. Stay with 8's or 7 1/2's - whatever your gun patterns well.
I went through the same BS when I started. I used 8 1/2's in 1 oz loads to save money and reduce recoil. Yes, they work - most of the time. A couple I shoot with use that load and they get "dusted" targets occasionally - one or two every hundred. That is NOT acceptable if you want to shoot at A or AA levels.
A few shooters use 9's for the first shot of doubles. It is a very close shot. They use an open choke and it works for them.
The only real "advantage" is that you can keep the pellet count up above that of larger shot while loading reduced weight shells for the comfort level. Example: There are (roughly) 512 #9 pellets in just 7/8 oz of shot while it takes 1 oz of shot to get 480 #8 pellets or 1 1/8 oz of 7 1/2s to get 388 pellets. If you want soft shooters for beginners, youths, teaching, economy, or just light recoil, go for the 9s and 7/8 oz of shot and watch clays appear to hit a glass wall. I've posted several 100s with them in singles. My experience was shooting my skeet fodder at trap practice when I had nothing else and I liked what I saw many years ago.....breakemall....Bob Dodd
From the 16 yard line.. Rock salt.. well placed would break the bird.. The true answer here will be told on the pattern board.. While 99% of my targets were and will be shot with 24 gram shells at 1330.. ANY shot size in the guns I shoot will destroy targets.. If you pattern 7.5's and see spots the target can get thru.. go to 8's.. then 8.5's then 9's if you must..My answer has been 8's to 8.5's.. but every barrel is different.. Then again..the most open choke I own is .028 for trap..
If you shoot 1 oz. or more.. I would think any legal shot size would be just fine.. If you're looking for that extra bird..ALWAYS shoot light 1 1/8oz..You'll have the edge.. not much.. but an edge over lighter shot charges.
Again.. the pattern board is your friend.. and you'll need to balance payload and speed..which makes up the basic elements of recoil..with the gun weight staying the same.. Let us know what YOU find out with your pet shotgun..
slugbug1; I've used, over the years, 700X and Clays predominantly. Use fast burning powder, Winchesters 12L gray wad or the CB clone or the Federal 12SO wad or a clone. I've dallied with the Down Range pink wad at the recommendation of several on here but my machines simply don't function well with them. Mostly Winchester primers but also many Cheddites. I keep the velocity up around the 1215/1230 area for a good clean burn and adequate pressure......breakemall.....Bob Dodd
Remember that a few excellent rounds with a load is not enough "proof" you have a good load. You may know, or at least think you know, after shooting 20-30 thousand rounds what works for you. And what works in the summer at 90 degrees will perform differently when temperatures fall into the 20's/30's.
We do not know if 2 hits with #9's are better than a single hit with 7 1/2's. Yet it is easy to find birds on the ground with 3 (or more) holes that have not broken. No one really knows how much energy it takes to chip a bird. We will NEVER know. There are too many variables. I have "dusted" birds (granted not many) with 7 1/2 shot at 1150-1200 fps muzzle velocity. That tells me you cannot hit a bird too hard.
It is an interesting journey, and there are many opinions on the best route to get there. We can be an opinionated bunch. So weigh the advice you receive. In the end, YOU must have confidence in your load.
If you are certain that a dense cloud of 9's gives you the edge, you will shoot better than using 7 1/2's with a pattern you believe is full of holes. We tend to meet our expectations.
Hammer, at 16 yards I would stick with # 8 l/2 size shot. When and if it gets cold where you live under say 40-45 or so, start to use # 8 shot to help break the harder (cold,frozen) targets. Keep it simple and fun. Good Luck and Break-em all. Jeff