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Any clay pigeon shooters here?

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  • Any clay pigeon shooters here?

    Just asking first to see if there is any response, as I have a question. Thanks
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  • #2
    The trouble I have with them is no matter what I do, I just can't get them to taste good.

    Actually, we throw a few before bird season to tune up. Other than that, I used to shoot on a trap team in a former life. For a little while, we would hand throw them and shoot them with .22s. You'd be surprised at how good an average person can get.

    Not sure if I can answer your question but I can try.

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    • #3
      I'd like to get back into clay pigeon shooting. Anyone else here seen their skills go to hell when they got older? I was never an expert but 20 years ago I could at least hit more than I missed, now it's quite the opposite. Not sure if it's rust or aging eyes. I'm hoping to get a little better and plan for my next shotgun purchase to be a smoothbore flintlock.

      Louis Knapp

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      • #4
        In high school and for quite a few years after I used to shoot clay birds quite a lot. It got to be so easy that we moved the thrower around quite a bit to make it more like skeet shooting. Even then it seemed like I'd rarely miss a bird. Not only a clay bird but live ones as well. I was an avid wing shooter for many, many, years. A number of years ago I stopped bird hunting, especially duck hunting for a very long time. Only as of about 6 years ago did I get back into it. Yes, I was pretty frustrated when it came to shooting steel. Oh I'd hit ducks "alright", but not like I used to, and I've yet to be as good as I was. Maybe I'll just have to except that I may never be that good again, I don't know. I don't really know if it's because of age, eyes, or just not shooting enough steel to get good enough again. So thus comes my question. I'd really like to shoot more clay birds, not only for practice but I just always really enjoyed it. What little I've done recently I've taken my son and he really enjoys it as well. As we all know shooting steel is different than shooting lead, which is what I only shot for well over 40 years. Maybe old habits die hard? As I said, I'd love to do a lot more shooting, but I'm not about to spend the kind of money they want for steel shot shells these days to practice on clay pigeons! So I guess my question is based on physics as well. I'd like to figure out what lead shot round, ie, shot size, load, and velocity, would be a close equivalent to a good steel round for ducks, so I could practice with it rather than the steel. We know steel is faster but actually slows down faster as well. And we also know that we are advised to up the size of shot in steel than we used to use for lead. I would think a person could get a fairly close comparison for normal shooting ranges if he actually took the time to figure it out. The basic idea of this goes back to the same logic that a person uses when he practices with his high powered rifle, ie, you practice with the same round you plan to hunt with. I'm sure somebody has thought of this before, but is it doable? Is it worth trying? Let me know your thoughts....Thanks.
        Last edited by 4merguide; 01-18-2021, 22:58.
        Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 4merguide View Post
          In high school and for quite a few years after I used to shoot clay birds quite a lot. It got to be so easy that we moved the thrower around quite a bit to make it more like skeet shooting. Even then it seemed like I'd rarely miss a bird. Not only a clay bird but live ones as well. I was an avid wing shooter for many, many, years. A number of years ago I stopped bird hunting, especially duck hunting for a very long time. Only as of about 6 years ago did I get back into it. Yes, I was pretty frustrated when it came to shooting steel. Oh I'd hit ducks "alright", but not like I used to, and I've yet to be as good as I was. Maybe I'll just have to except that I may never be that good again, I don't know. I don't really know if it's because of age, eyes, or just not shooting enough steel to get good enough again. So thus comes my question. I'd really like to shoot more clay birds, not only for practice but I just always really enjoyed it. What little I've done recently I've taken my son and he really enjoys it as well. As we all know shooting steel is different than shooting lead, which is what I only shot for well over 40 years. Maybe old habits die hard? As I said, I'd love to do a lot more shooting, but I'm not about to spend the kind of money they want for steel shot shells these days to practice on clay pigeons! So I guess my question is based on physics as well. I'd like to figure out what lead shot round, ie, shot size, load, and velocity, would be a close equivalent to a good steel round for ducks, so I could practice with it rather than the steel. We know steel is faster but actually slows down faster as well. And we also know that we are advised to up the size of shot in steel than we used to use for lead. I would think a person could get a fairly close comparison for normal shooting ranges if he actually took the time to figure it out. The basic idea of this goes back to the same logic that a person uses when he practices with his high powered rifle, ie, you practice with the same round you plan to hunt with. I'm sure somebody has thought of this before, but is it doable? Is it worth trying? Let me know your thoughts....Thanks.
          Boy, that's a good question. I'm not sure if you can get there for the very reason you mentioned, the differing densities of the two materials. It complicates things more if you hunt upland birds with lead then switch to steel for MW.

          Good question, I think the only thing you could do to mitigate the cost is reload the steel.

          If it helps, you're not alone in your duck boat, I ain't the shot I used to be either. I look at it like this, the more I miss, the more hunting I get to do. Have fun, good luck.

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          • #6
            Yes, I do believe there is a good chance that you would never be able to get the two shells to shoot exactly the same, but think with all the different types of lead loads still available, there might be a chance to get fairly close. I just may have to knuckle down and do the math with all available info we have on how both types shoot. And yes, I used to reload shot shells and still have my old Mec reloader. Only problem is setting it up to reload steel. I've looked into it a bit and it's not a major change, just have to change out a few components. Other than that the only problem is, I've never seen any store that carries steel shot. I guess I'd have to order it, and with the cost of shipping I really don't know if it would be that cost effective overall. I may look into that more. Anyway, thanks for the input.
            Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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            • #7
              I shoot shot gun leagues every week, I use to work at the birchwood gun club i know i dont shoot as much as some people but i have quite a bit of range time shooting skeet, trap and sporting clays. I also have been duck hunting for 25 years. For what it is worth i think it would almost be impossible to match up a lead shell to a steel shell. I have some reasoning behind this.
              1. Chokes, steel and lead act different through the same choke.
              2. Amount of bb's would have to be counted some how to make sure the same amount of shot is in each shell. which i think would be tough to do, example, for easy math a one ounce shell will have 20 steel pellets which would be roughly 13 pellets. so you would have less shot going through the air when trying to come up with a lead load.
              3. Trap machines throw generally on pretty consistent speed, birds do not.
              4. if your shooting birds at 30 yard and using a modified choke you probably have an allowable lead error of +/- a foot or so ( assuming you have about a 2' diameter pattern at 30 yards) for if a shot is going 250' faster i do not think it is going to require too much additional thought on how far to lead.
              5. The calculations and instincts that are going on in your head while you are leading a duck happens so fast that i dont think you have much time to say well its flying this fast and that means i have to be "x" amount in front of it.
              6. Most over the counter trap shells are shooting around 1200 FPS, looking at my duck shells they are around 1450 FPS so youre only looking at ~250 FPS difference in steel loads to trap loads.

              Shooting birds/clays is like all other sports. If you stop shooting for a long period of time you start to lose some of the skills you once had. I dont shoot much during the summer and it takes me a few times at shot gun leagues to get back in to the swing of things. (see what i did there)

              I think a better solution would be to pattern your gun with a few different chokes to see which one shoots the best with what ever shell you're going to be using.

              And besides isnt going out and shooting clays way more fun the math problems?!
              I will never be a "Prostaffer" its not that I am not good enough
              but its because I refuse to pimp products for free.

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              • #8
                I think the best idea would be to match the speed of your loads. Steel shot is normally loaded faster than lead. Putting the center of your shot pattern on target is more important than pattern density. This advice provided by someone just now getting into the clay shooting business, but I killed a bunch of ducks back in the day.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Redlander View Post
                  I think the best idea would be to match the speed of your loads.
                  That's pretty much what I was thinking.

                  Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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