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Hook & Barrel
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best 12 gauge shotgun ammo for sporting clays

Your Choice of Shotgun Ammo Can Make or Break Your Next Sporting Clays Competition

When it comes to serious sporting clays competition, skimping on super-cheap, low-quality ammunition is a recipe for disaster. The money saved simply doesn’t make up for missed targets that would likely have been broken had quality 12-gauge shotgun ammo been part of the equation. 

Fortunately for serious clay shooters, many ammo companies produce and market purpose-made shotshells specifically for this fun and challenging game. Let’s take a look at six 12-gauge loads to consider before your next trip to the range. 

Federal Premium High Over All  

Federal Premium High Over All  

The folks over at Federal Premium have been making top-quality shotshells for decades, and their sporting clays loads are no exception to that rule. Their new High Over All 12-gauge shotgun ammo is made for elite clay shooters. The shells’ hard, high-antimony lead payload produces the most consistent patterns possible, while the solid brass head and hull design make reloading easier than ever. Federal has 14 different 12-gauge offerings in the HOA line, with shot ranging from 7.5- to 9-shot in both 1- and 1 1/8-ounce loads. Velocities range from 1,145 to 1,335 feet per second (fps), allowing clay shooters to find a load that is just right for their shooting style.  

Federal Top Gun Sporting  

Federal Top Gun Sporting  

Another great clays load from Federal, the Top Gun Sporting line gives shooters confidence when the chips are down. Specifically designed for sporting clays, these shotshells push their payloads fast to shorten leads, yet reduce felt recoil to allow for quicker follow-up shots. These shotshells utilize hard shot, a consistent, reliable Federal primer, an eight-segment crimp, and a unique wad column for consistent patterns. The loads are available with 7.5- or 8-shot with velocities ranging from 1,250 to 1,330 fps.

Winchester AA Super Sport Sporting Clays 

Winchester AA Super Sport Sporting Clays 

Winchester designed its AA Super Sport Sporting Clays shotshells specifically for busting clay birds when shooting sporting clays at longer ranges. The extra heavy loads of shot and powder, combined with hardened, concentric lead shot and premium AA wads, reach out to break clays when other rounds won’t. High-quality primers and powder ensure reliable ignition every shot. Plus, these shells are loaded with reloadable high-quality plastic hulls and brass bases. Twenty-six different 12-gauge loads are available in shot sizes from 7.5 to 9 and velocities from 1,145 to 1,350 fps.

Remington Premier Nitro Sporting Clays  

Remington Premier Nitro Sporting Clays  

Remington Ammunition is also no stranger to sporting clays shotshells. And that company’s Premier Nitro Sporting Clays loads are definitely worth consideration by anyone looking to score better next time out. Made with avid sporting clays shooters in mind, these shells’ higher velocities make long crossers easier to hit. Plus, their unique gold hull has earned a reputation as one of the most “reloader-friendly” designs ever to hit the clay target-shooting world. Remington offers four 12-gauge loads in this round with 1 to 1 1/8 ounces of 7.5- or 8-shot and muzzle velocities from 1,290 to 1,350 fps.

Fiocchi Shooting Dynamics Target 

Fiocchi Shooting Dynamics Target 

Made for the shooter on a budget, these shells might be more affordable than some others but they can break clays with the best of them. Powered by Fiocchi’s industry-leading primers, the Shooting Dynamics line blends first-run chilled lead shot with one-piece cups, cushioned wads, and clean-burning powder for reliability and downrange performance that belies its price point. With 18 different 12-gauge loads in the lineup shooting 7/8 to 1 1/8 ounces of 7.5 to 8 shots at velocities from 1,075 to 1,350 fps, there’s a Dynamic Target Load for any clays shooter.

B&P Mach 

B&P Mach 

Baschieri & Pellagri might not be a household name to many in the shooting world, but shooters familiar with B&P know these are some top-quality sporting clays shells made with the serious shooter in mind. B&P Mach is the company’s premier line of superior-performance shotshells made utilizing the innovative Gordon Case for outstanding performance. The line’s 12 different 12-gauge offerings feature 7/8 to 1 1/8 ounces of 7.5, 8 or 9 shot leaving the barrel at 1,250 to 1,365 fps.

Final Thoughts

Sporting clays is a tough game that requires keen hand-eye coordination and a lot of practiced shooting prowess. To be successful, shooters need to take advantage of the best equipment available to them. For those struggling with low scores, or even accomplished shooters just wanting to shoot a little higher scores, the above-mentioned 12-gauge shotgun ammo might just make the difference they’re looking for. 

Shotgun Tips & Tricks to Hit More Targets

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