Yes, Shotshell Payloads Matter!
Five years ago, Neil Winston showed this quite conclusively. Shells of 1 1/8, 1, and 7/8 ounce of Remington Hard 8’s from the same bag were assembled. Red Dot powder was used to drive them all at 1200 fps as measured with an inductive chronograph.
Regardless of the old wive's tales, half-baked theories, and what some folks prefer to believe, the best available version of the truth is simple: payload matters more than any other factor in shotshells. No 3/4 oz. load is as effective as a 1 oz. load, no 1 oz. load compares to a 1-1/8 oz. load, and so it goes.
The .410 stinks compared to a 28 gauge, the 28 gauge fails compared to a 20 gauge, and the 20 gauges fails in comparison to a 12 gauge. Not that bore diameters matter greatly: there is no evidence that they do. But payload does matter and you can't form an effective pattern from pellets that aren't there in the first place. If we want to believe otherwise, we are only fooling ourselves.
When payloads are reduced in clay sports, it is invariably to create a handicap. Even the better shooters have a more difficult time with the .410 in American Skeet, despite targets that follow the same, known flight path at very short range. All though some would dearly want to believe that a light payload in a hunting applicarion is just as effective as a heavier payload, it isn't so and it never has been.
Copyright 2015 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.