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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Warning this is a light hearted conversation not meant for die hard purists who might get their panties in a bunch. Go watch tv or reload some shells.

i opened up a bag of shot marked 7-1/2 and just for grins and giggles, measured a dozen pellets or so. Disappointed with the results for the shot sizes averaged mostly below the excepted size of .094 or .095” (depending on your source) and found measurements that would be more like 8’s (between .085 and .093. I would say the average size is .088.

i took some screening material I had and found two screens closest to .085 and .095” and sorted the bag of shot. What I ended up with was one container about 60% of the bag falling between the two screens which made if mostly over 8’s but less than 7-1/2. There as about 35% less than 8’s but slightly bigger then 8.5 and the remainder of the shot (5%) actually 7-1/2. This was new shot, not reclaimed but not what I consider a major brand like West Coast-Lawrence shot.

So here is what I have learned from this. In the past, I would buy half 8‘s, half 7-1/2’s with an occasional bag of 8-1/2’s. From now on I am only going to buy 7-1/2. I did this for the first 20 years I reloaded then about 20 years ago made it complicated buying 8’s and 8-1/2’s. I am going to reload under the idea all 7-1/2 shot I buy is really a duplex or triplex blend of shot between 8-1/2’s to 7’s.

I think that from now on with someone starts the weekly thread of “8’s va 7-1/2’s,” a more correct title of such a thread should be “ 8-1/2’s vs 7’s and everything in between.” But then there would be no reason for such a thread would there?
 

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Many moons ago I loaded one load for everything, 1145 fps of 1.125 oz of 7.5 magnum shot. Simplicity at it's finest. Broke everything that I pointed correctly, yes even the 27 yard targets and the "Annie Line". (there might have been some #6 shot sneak into the Annie shells). Then I decided to fine tune my loads to the game being played. #8 shot, 1 oz 8.5, 1200 fps, 1180 fps, etc. Just about the time I get the MEC 9000 tuned into one load, I decide to switch to something else. I'm thinking I'm going back to the KISS method as soon as I get these oddball sizes of shot and wads used up!!! And, I find another jug or several of Green Dot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Rick, what brand of shot was it?
I would rather not say, because I did not intend to start this thread to knock the shot supplier. I cannot always find West Coast-Lawrence brand, so I take what I can get. In this case it is locally sold in the South West. WC-L is not pure either, but I find it is much closer to size printed on the bags.

As a note of interest, if you read some of the threads here about pellet hardness? Not only does this occur in nagged shot, but in factory shells too. It turns up in premium and lessor US made shot shells as well.
 
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This is where you have been advised to only use a FULL Choke , no matter what size shot you use ! The 20" core needs to be full of 8 1/2's ....😃
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Warning this is a light hearted conversation not meant for die hard purists who might get their panties in a bunch. Go watch tv or reload some shells.

i opened up a bag of shot marked 7-1/2 and just for grins and giggles, measured a dozen pellets or so. Disappointed with the results for the shot sizes averaged mostly below the excepted size of .094 or .095” (depending on your source) and found measurements that would be more like 8’s (between .085 and .093. I would say the average size is .088.

i took some screening material I had and found two screens closest to .085 and .095” and sorted the bag of shot. What I ended up with was one container about 60% of the bag falling between the two screens which made if mostly over 8’s but less than 7-1/2. There as about 35% less than 8’s but slightly bigger then 8.5 and the remainder of the shot (5%) actually 7-1/2. This was new shot, not reclaimed but not what I consider a major brand like West Coast-Lawrence shot.

So here is what I have learned from this. In the past, I would buy half 8‘s, half 7-1/2’s with an occasional bag of 8-1/2’s. From now on I am only going to buy 7-1/2. I did this for the first 20 years I reloaded then about 20 years ago made it complicated buying 8’s and 8-1/2’s. I am going to reload under the idea all 7-1/2 shot I buy is really a duplex or triplex blend of shot between 8-1/2’s to 7’s.

I think that from now on with someone starts the weekly thread of “8’s va 7-1/2’s,” a more correct title of such a thread should be “ 8-1/2’s vs 7’s and everything in between.” But then there would be no reason for such a thread would there?
This doesn't surprise me at all. Keep in mind, most shot is NOT perfectly spherical. Not even close...

I know that will come as a surprise to many...

In fact, a lot of pellets are shaped kinda like a rugby ball, and there is a long axis and a short axis.

What you are probably finding, especially if you are placing the pellets on a flat surface and measuring that way, is that the pellet naturally lands on whatever side it likes, and usually that is the flattest side of a non-spherical shape.

So the dimension you are measuring is the smallest dimension of that shape, whatever it is.

I find this to be true even with cut-open cartridges from major manufacturers.

And you are right, the manufacturer's screening of the shot may be poor as well.

Bottom line...it probably doesn't make a hill of beans worth of difference when shooting trap.
 

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I wonder if it's due to the fact they crank out more 7 1/2s and 8s than any other shot size therefore the QC is a little slack or if all sizes are smaller than advertised.

For example, would a bag of 6s yield mostly size 7 or 7 1/2s?
 

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I think there are good days and bad days in the shot making business, like other manufacturing.
I formed this opinion from measuring our Hummason shot from Ontario, some quite old and some new.
 

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But then there would be no reason for such a thread would there?
Like that has ever stopped us!

In seriousness though I have noticed the same thing before and it does seem to vary batch to batch quite a bit. I have also had some miss labeled bags (I assume) of premium shot that all measured 7.5 when the bag said 8.5. Didn't make much difference to me, but I mostly shoot singles and doubles...
 

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Like Abolt243, I went to one load years ago...1 ounce 71/2s at 1200 FPS, for a couple of reasons...inventory( one powder, one wad, one primer, one shell, one shot size) and never having to wonder if I had the “correct” shell for next target.
 

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Dude.....I'm a Sporting Shooter, you're freakin' me out and I'm gettin all paranoid!
 

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I use Lawrence for Caps but ,shoot some star shot for 16 yd. It has low antimony ( about 2%) but ,so do most promo shells . It works for me on the front line. I have found their shot to average below advertised size in a lot of cases so when I use the Star Shot I go with 7-1/2s . A lot of their 7-1/2s are closer to #8 .
 
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