Just in case; many shoot 8s everywhere; many shoot 7 1/2s everywhere; many shoot 7 1/2s at long yardage (your guess for definition); many swear there's no difference; many insist their gun likes or prefers 8s or 7 1/2s. I'd say you're safe deciding just about any way that builds confidence....breakemall....Bob Dodd
I won a handicap at the Grand with heavy 8½ long ago and have been a proponent of more bb's all my shooting career.
I have shot from the 27 since 1976, one short reduction to the 26 for one shoot, then back on the 27 ever since... I shoot 8's. I will shoot 7½ if I can't buy 8's, but it's not my preference.
I should probably qualify this with the fact that I shoot extremely fast, so this is a matter to consider. I suspect that if you take a long time to pull the trigger, the target is further out, and then maybe you may have to reconsider the above, or maybe not?!
While patterning is, even I admit, Don, perhaps more an intellectual exercise than a practical one, I wonder how you could possibly "know that this improves pellet distribution without having to do any boring pattern testing."
7 3/4 shot. What a brilliant idea. Then you could finally shoot with peace of mind. You could clear your head of all doubt and know that if the target didn't break, you missed. Or....maybe I used the wrong choke.
In the summer months when targets are dry, 8's from 16 yards. In the winter months when they seem to absorb moisture, I'll go to 7 1/2's.
Beyond 24 yards I and my peers shoot 7 1/2's. Also because I'm now slower at second shot in doubles, 8's for first shot, 7 1/2's for second.
Works for me but maybe not everyone.