Ammo velocity, should I choose fast or slow?

The process of developing Muller Chokes included years of testing.  I did ALOT of shooting.  Some on targets, some on game, some on patterning boards, moving patterning boards, on water,  etc, etc.  I have tested many different ammo's ranging in velocities from 1145 FPS to 1550 FPS.  And, I've tested my competitors chokes alongside my own.  Much of what I write about on this blog is a result of what I've learned.

Among other things, I developed a first hand knowledge that RECOIL IS NOT YOUR FRIEND and if you choose to shoot a fast load,  well, you are going to be dealing with MORE RECOIL.

Here is the good news.  The only benefit a fast load has over a slow load is when shooting a target that is close, fast,  and for which you have a very small window.  The farther a target is, the slower you want the load leaving the muzzle.  I know it sounds backwards but let me explain.

When you shoot a high velocity load (which I consider to be anything 1300 FPS or faster), more pellets are damaged and deformed leaving the shotgun hull. BB's in the back get all beat up more than a softer load. And if thats not bad enough, when these high velocity loads exit the muzzle, the resulting forces are so much greater than a slower load that the pellets start to spread out faster and more inconsistently than a slow load.  So, on a close target, faster loads may result in a slight advantage.  But if the target is not very close, then a slow load is better for two major reasons:

  • more undamaged pellets make it to the target giving you better chances of actually breaking it
  • at a distance of approximately 40 to 50 yards, the slow load actually catches up to the fast load!!  (The reason I say approx 40 -50 yards is because wind speed, direction and air temperatures and humidity can effect this distance).

I would much rather have less recoil, less muzzle flip, faster equilibrium recovery time and more pellets to the target by shooting a slower, less punishing load.  It is a win/ win situation.   Oh, and they are less expensive than the faster loads...go figure.

Comments (6 Comments)

Your very welcome Ernest. I am happy to hear you noticed the difference. I am working on spreading the word thru testimonials and experience.

Posted by Jimmy M on January 31, 2014

To continue my previous blog on the speed of ammo…..I have CHANGED MY MIND…..Jimmy is right!…..I just came from the dove fields and was killing doves out to 50yds. with 2 3/4 dram eq. 1175fps 1 1/8 ammo size 7 1/2 shot….(even if you have a shotgun that doesnt kick much even with the hotter loads-just knowing it in your mind DOES have an effect on your shooting)If you are not thinking of recoil—-you are ONLY focusing on the target………Thanks again,Jimmy…..

Posted by Ernest Tillman on September 27, 2012

Since reading Jim’s blog about ammo velocity,I have tried about 25 different velocity ammos with various shot sizes and shot amount (7/8 1oz and 1 1/8oz)in my Browning back-bored .738-(forcing cones lengthened to 5")semi-automatic and have found several things to be true with MY gun: 1) The 1 oz. get on target faster and perform and pattern the best 2)The 1145fps,1185fps produced more recoil in MY gun than the 1300-1350fps—in fact the 1300-1350fps with 1oz had no recoil! 3)With MULLER CHOKES,I can see the wad out close to the broken target even at 40 yds..but I did not see this happen until I started using MULLER CHOKES which tells me the CERAMIC TEFLON INFUSION is a reality in that the chokes are very slick and that the wad (and hence the shot also)are getting on target quicker with less resistance coming out of the barrel…and the chokes DO NOT get dirty because of this as well…
In conclusion I think (and this is my opinion) 1)MULLER CHOKES can make any shotgun perform better with more different varities of ammo,just find ammo with the least recoil and best pattern for YOUR gun 2)Probably each shotgun is different in it’s performance with different velocities and shot size 3)Once again my opinion: Back-bored barrels with lengthened forcing cones can make a difference in lowering felt recoil and less damaged pellets and you can shoot more open chokes further (I think generally speaking these two things are underrated),,But it all came together when I started using MULLER CHOKES….Once again,,,,,Thanks,Jim…..I am really enjoying hitting about 20% more targets than before and especially those “STARBURST breaks”…I look forward to meeting you at the THE TRIPLE CLASSIC Simonton,Tx. May 3-8th….Your friend,,,Ernest Tillman.

Posted by Ernest Tillman on April 19, 2011

To better sum up my previous blog,I guess what I am trying to say is my conception of one way which is MY way of how to enhance the pattern and energy of the shot and thus improve performance is to remove what I see as the 4 places of resistance to the wad/shot combo going down your shotgun barrell with 4 different strategies and this has proved to work for me. 1) Shoot a back-bored barrell shotgun—a .732 to .745 vs. the standard .728 2)Lengthen or actually remove the bottle neck (called forcing cones) at the point of shot explosion from the standard app. 1 1/4" to a polished 5" 3)Instead of the standard 12g shot size which is 1 1/8oz. go to the standard 16g which is 1oz.—It can get on target quicker and you will be surprised in how well 1 oz. can pattern 4)Last and certainly not least (and this was the missing piece I found 3 weeks ago)put in MULLER CHOKES which DO NOT get dirty and are slick because of the CERAMIC TEFLON INFUSION and what you have when you pull the trigger is your wad/shot combo going like greased lighting down your barrell to the clay target or bird much quicker…This is the conclusion of this un-educated man trialing and playing with the art form and science of what is called “shotgunning” for the last 16 years….My thoughts may not have a scientific basis of fact but they work in the field and on the sporting clays course….Thanks for letting me post this….I wanted to add to what Jim called the conversation about chokes,,,,Shooters talk a lot about chokes and ammo but seem to leave out talking about the back-bored barrell and lengthening forcing cones strategy which I know from experience can have a positive effect on shotgun performance..

Posted by Ernest Tillman on April 20, 2011

Thanks Darrell. Recoil is nobody’s friend. It catches up to all of us, sooner or later!

Posted by Jimmy Muller on May 30, 2012

Good comments Jim. This makes sense. The older I get the less I can stand or handle the recoil. I shoot the Winchester AA Super Handicap 1250 feet/sec and have considered the 1150 to 1200 feet/sec light target load AA’s from Winchester. I will keep you posted..

Posted by Darrell H on March 29, 2011

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