SHOTSHELL VELOCITY: Speed Doesn’t Kill
Here is my experience regarding shot shell velocity in a nutshell: the faster you push the payload the more you and your accuracy will suffer.
With today’s marketing propaganda being all about “Hyper Sonic Velocity” and “Speed Kills” slogans, target shooters and especially waterfowl hunters are being sold a bill of goods, resulting in a situation that is not only negatively effecting their shooting capabilities, but is also hurting our health and longevity for the sports we love.
Here’s what’s happening: The best patterning loads are between 1145 – 1250 feet per second (FPS). The worst are ones that exceed 1350, and the new hunting loads that exceed 1400 are outright worthless.
The slower the payload leaves the muzzle the better, because you get fewer damaged pellets which means you have fewer “flyers,” the damaged pellets that leave the effective pattern due to wind, G-forces, and gravity. (Flyers and blown patterns are also caused by over choking, especially in hunting loads, which we will discuss later in the article.) Less velocity also means less felt recoil, less perceived recoil, less muzzle flip, faster recovery of equilibrium for follow- up shots, fewer blown rotator cuffs, fewer neck problems—not to mention lower ammunition costs.
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