Ammo velocity, should I choose fast or slow?

January 23, 2011

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.