Q I have been offered the use of a piece of land to shoot clays, however, it is surrounded by pasture land and I’m not sure that the area is large enough to contain shot. Could you please advise me at what distance the shot from a 12-gauge cartridge will fall to the earth?
Graham Whittaker, Cheshire
A The CPSA recommends, based upon its own research, that at least 275 metres is required for shot fall out. However, the maximum distance lead shot will travel depends on a number of factors that inter-relate to make it all-but impossible to state the precise distance shot will travel.
The main factors are shot size, cartridge velocity, angle to the ground the shot is fired and wind speed. Strong winds can have a major impact on distance, considerably increasing how far shot will travel when the wind is behind the shot.
The usual distances clay target sized lead shot (maximum permitted size for competition use being UK No 6 = 2.6mm diameter) might travel in still air, when fired at the roughly optimal angle of around 32 degrees from the horizontal, is likely to be some 225 yards. However, add in a force four wind factor and this could rise to nearer 260 yards but with a force eight wind, some 350 yards! (Note: non-lead shot types behave differently, with denser materials travelling further and less dense types travelling less far).
If you restrict the shot size you use this will bring the maximum distance – with no wind – down to nearer 215 yards for UK No 7 shot, and with 7.5 shot 205 yards.
You clearly recognise the importance of ensuring that your shot will not fall onto neighbouring ground unless permission for such has been agreed – preferably in writing. Being aware of the potential problems that could arise is essential in avoiding conflict, which could jeopardise the shooting ground or worse.
Contact the CPSA or BASC for more information: www.cpsa.co.uk or www.basc.org.uk. Richard Atkins