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I have just stared shooting bunker at my local gun club- it was a blast - now I want to start reloading bunker loads but am having difficulty finding much info.

I currently reload ATA loads: STS hulls, fiochi primers, clays powder, 8 shot, and claybuster wads.

I have been given a 24gm shot bushing for my spolar. The best I can find the STS hulls and the fiochi primers are ok. What Im not sure of is powder- Im understanding most bunker loads have a velocity around 1350. Should I still use the clays powder, should I go to international clays?? What about wad selection, and shot size( I have read 7 1/2 most common but some use #8)

any help would be appreciated

Bob R
 

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Down here {Australia] I load 20.5 grns Clays Universal[ we call it AS50 here] Win AA 24 gm wads , win primers into AA or STS cases for 1350 fps and only 8000 psi [ book figures] . Clays put pressures up around 10,000 psi
 

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I load on a Spolar with the 7/8oz bushing. The scale says I'm dropping 25 grams worth of 7 1/2 shot which counts out to about 12-15 extra pellets. I use both Winchester and Remington hulls with Winchester 209 primers, Clays powder and either Downrange or Claybuster wads. I can get the Claybusters at my local club, so that is the usual wad. Hal Hitchcock
 

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Hodgdon has 24 gram data for 700X, PB, and SR7625

they also have a lot of data for 7/8 ounce loads. International Clays, I think, was made for this kind of load.

Looks like there are a few moderate pressure loads with Titewad, and Clays, too, depending on what components you use.
 

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I have.. from the very start of time.. mixed 7.5's and 8's.. Sometimes 8.5's if they are laying around my bench.. At 1330 fps.. they work well at any range I can hit the bird.. I take shells out of the equasion.. and shot size... Just put the lead on the target.. I can't really tell you what is best.. just EVERY shot I've missed in the last 5 years was ALL mine.. not the shell.. not the target.. and not a unseen chip.. Usually.. either behind.. or under..

A few years back..the was a "Sale" on 1 1/16th oz.. #12 shot.. 3 Euro a box..I had to try them.. I've never shot #12 in anything except a crimped 22 shotshell.. With full choke in hand.. I destroyed many a bunker target.. Even got a few 2nd shots.. While I would not make it common practice..A well plced shot.. and a full choke can and does work..

For what it's worth.. Most of the shells the Olympic team shoots are AA International #7.5's In Europe.. while they stock both.. the 7.5's are the most popular.. I see brand loyalty over there much stronger than shotsize..And.. same as here.. they save the really good stuff for regestered shoots.. and usually practice with the less expensive shells..
 

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Clays is perfect for bunker loads in the 1300-1350 range; International Clays, which was developed for bunker loads when heavier shot charges were legal, burns incompletely in 24 gram loads in this range giving erratic performance. I start with Hornady's data and adjust according to chrono data to achieve the above velocities.

A nominal 7/8 oz shot bushing actually drops less than 24 grams because bushings are calibrated with pure lead which is more dense than the high-antimony shot (ie, Remington Magnum) you should be using for bunker (to resist pellet deformation). I used a gram scale and carefully enlarged the 7/8 oz bushing in my Spolar to drop exactly 24 grams +-0.5 grams.

Winchester primers tend to be hot but work flawlessly in the Spolar so I use them exclusively. I would prefer Remington since I use only STS hulls but they are dimensionally different than Winchester and do not feed as well in the Spolar. Dickie Spolar can give you a fix but my experience was that you still get frequent primer mis-feeds.

With STS hulls, Winchester 12L or 12SL wads work very well - I prefer the 12SL as the shot load is completely contained in the shot cup. Claybuster equivalents also work well but seem to leave more debis in my barrels so I stick with Win.

Current manufacture Win AAs do not load well in my experience - the top of the wad sits higher in the hull than STS and I can't help but wonder if pellets are deformed when the hull is crimped. Since a uniform pattern is your best friend in bunker shooting, I stick to STS.

Hope this is helpful----
 
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