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Discussion Starter #1
Hello:
I have never really been a good trapshooter as the furthest I have ever been handicaped was 25 1/2 yards. Around 15 to 20 years ago, I stoped reloading and have been purchasing new shells through Walmart, usually using the Federal 4 paks.

Since I first started using these cheaper shells my scores have taken a tumble as as I have also steadily received yardage reductions. The last time I shot in an ATA tournament I was now shooting from the 20 yard line and I still could not post a good score.

With getting older, being retired, any skills that I once had I thought I was washed up in this game. A few weeks ago, instead of using the Federal 4 pak shells to shoot winter events, I decided to purchase new AA's instead.

To my amazement I started breaking good scores again, something that I thought I would never see again. Maybe it's just a hot shooting streak but I really don't think so.

My question is, could using the premiun AA shells compared to the Walmart Federal shells really have that much effect on my shooting especially in cold weather winter events where I shoot 16 yard and 24 yard handicap targets? Anyone know the percentage of Antimony being used in the Federal 4 pak shells compared to the premiun AA shells?
Steve Balistreri
 

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One of the biggest differences in the Mao Mart promo loads and the AA shells is the shot quality. The cheapie loads have soft shot, and the AAs use harder shot. This means less distortion in a tight choke.

What I found is the patterns tend to be a bit sucky when putting the cheapie shells through a full or extra full choke. They seem to pattern their best in a mod choke. They also do well out of my backbored barrel, since it's designed for less shot distortion.

As an experiment, you could try to cheapies with a mod choke for 16 yard and see how you do, and reserve the AAs for handicapped with a full. This might save some budget money if it works OK.
 

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I did a Neil Winston type test a few years ago. Homemade shot vs Rem shot. Rem shot pattern efficiency at 40ys was 2.5% better. Any factory shell will have better shot than that homemade shot so I would expect the difference to be less. Bet you wouldn't really see a difference in scores.
 

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Your perception is your reality. If you believe it matters, then yes, it absolutely matters.

If you need some objective validation, all you have to do is shoot a couple of patterns with each load at 35 yds and take a look. No need to count holes and figure percentages, but taking the time to circle each hole with a Sharpie will improve the visual effect. The whole thing will only take 20 minutes and will be very satisfying. That's the most efficient way to answer whether there's any difference between 2 loads out of YOUR gun with you on the trigger. You can put the whole question to rest, you'll gain confidence in your shooting, and no one else's opinion will matter.
 

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I used some cheapie federals a few times and noticed they performed very poorly from yardage. Shot good scores at singles and doubles with them though.
 

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At 16 yards and also at short yardage ... any shell that goes "BANG" is better at breaking birds than the shooter using them! At 27 yards there is a very slight difference in patterns between prom and premium shells.

Like you, I am an Old Phart and some days I have trouble breaking high 80s and other days I will break 100. It all depends on how well that creaky old body is functioning that day.
 

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If your score matters to you, why handicap yourself from the start with sub par ammo? Use the best equipment and shoot the best ammo you can afford or make, and that way you know that your score is only a function of your skills and not some other deficiency.
 

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I have found the cheapy federal shells to be to slow for my style of shooting at anything more than 16 yards. The AA's I buy are much faster and fit my style of shooting for handicaps.I currently reload and load my handicap shells 100 to 150 fps faster than my 16 yard shell and it made a great difference for me.
 

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Look on the ground and see all the 2 piece wads, not even to the trap house. Tells me patterns opening quicker so use a tighter choke for the cheapies.

You want to lower your cost try re-claimed shot in a windjammer wad with promo powder. The load is great for 16 to 20 yards and fun.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Don:
Years ago, I use to use the windjammer wad and if I remember correctly it was blue in color and produced lower recoil, as I liked it. I have never tried promo powder, will look for some and try it.

All I can say is that it was fun breaking some competitive scores again, something that I have not done in a good number of years. Who knows, if I can start shooting some respectable scores again and my health holds up, I just might start shooting ATA tournaments again as that would be a lot of fun as I have missed it. Shooting a few good scores made me realize just how much I love this sport.
Steve
 

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The farther you go back the better shell you need. I practice and shoot for fun with the home-made shot. But, if I want to shoot to the best of my abilities (very few i might add). I shoot new AA's. I was having trouble shooting any straights when I first started shooting (long ago), and all I was using were reloads. And I remember an old Trapshooter telling me when I was having those troubles to use new shells. I did and it worked, the straights started coming. I worked for me, and still does.
 

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For the average shooter I seriously doubt you'll notice much difference in your scores, the only real difference will be on your credit card statement. For the big dog shooters at the back fence, premium shells are probably justified, but for the vast majority of league and ATA shooters, doubtful. Save your money and practice more.
 

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So, new premium shells only work for the "All Americans" and Top Guns ..??? Ahhh, now I got it ... I guess that makes sense to some but not many ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
 

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The Federal and Winchester 4 packs from wal- mart seem to work very well for me, and a lot of others that I know. Serious Hanicap shooters seem to use the Winchester or Remington hanidcap loads. I really agree with what was said above, the 4 pack shells are just fine! I would use the savings from the cheaper shells to shoot more.
 

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shoobedoo: WOW, you've been here for 2 months and you know everything. Maybe you're a Troll. Wise up and listen to those who know something. WPT has been here forever.
 

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My limited findings have been that for long caps, hard shot puts more pellets in the pattern. West coast Magnum loaded with 21 grains of Green Dot will make a shell very similar to A Remington Nitro, also 18 grains of Tight group. In my gun, Greendot puts a few more pellets in the pattern with a hair denser core. Premium shells or premium reloads are better mainly for just long caps. MHO others may find different results. Singles and doubles I have not seen the difference that I do at long caps. Scott
 
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