Shotgun-Insight . . . . summary of results
Miroku 6000 skeet gun.
The repeatability of the spread indicates how well the shell (powder, crimp, wad etc) work with the gun. The hit probabilities show the suitability of the pellet count to the choke and distance. For the Miroku skeet gun under test the distance is taken to be 21 yards (distance to the centre peg on the skeet layout).
First consider the average spread and repeatability of the spread:
Average spread summary at 21 yards for Miroku 6000 skeet gun.
The table shows that for all practical purposes all the shells with large sample sizes have similar spreads and similar repeatability. The exception to this is the Express SuperComps that were incredibly repeatable - far better than any other shell tested.
(As an aside there is no evidence of 24g loads being more repeatable than 28g loads - a claim some make citing pellets being crushed in the heavier payloads causing more misshaped pellets and pattern deterioration.)
Also included in the table is the pellet count of each shell. Given that the spread is similar between all the shells the effect of pellet count on probability of hitting the clay can be compared on a like for like basis. Indeed, for skeet where the distances are known and fixed, hit probabilities are the most important metric.
Average hit probabilities for No.9 shells from Miroku skeet gun.
Some observations on the above:
There's no substitute for pellets in the air! Note how the 28g Winchester and RC1 with their 600+ pellets give much better coverage especially on the edge of the pattern (see edge-on 0-30" hit figures). Although not shown here the latest Express ProComp 28g No.9 Specialist Skeet shells contain ~720 pellets. Moderate shooters who don't always place the clay in the middle of the pattern would benefit most from this extra pellet coverage. There is one drawback though: the recoil is noticeably stiffer, especially with the RC1. For users of lighter build or with lighter guns the 24g Winchester gets very close.
The SuperComp although very repeatable simply doesn't have the pellet count to match the other 28g loads or the Winchester 24g. Users of large build or with heavy guns (with a little choke) who shoot late and want the confidence of a larger pellet to break the more distant clay might benefit from this shell, but generally for skeet the pellet count is too low and the recoil heavy.
The Hull ProSkeet was noticeably milder on the shoulder than the other 24g shells. For users with light guns, or guns with some choke in who shoot a little slower this would be an alternative. This might be a good match for a good shooter using a B25 skeet gun (relatively light and often choked nearer 1/4).
Also of interest is the Express HV 24g load. Despite having fewer pellets than the Hull ProSkeet it achieved very similar hit probabilities (almost identical using the 0-30", sum or norm overall figures). The relatively good shot to shot repeatability of the spread helped to make up for the low pellet count. If this shell had had the expected pellet count of 492 or higher it could have been really good.
With the Miroku test gun with its very wide spread there is no substitute for pellet count so if restricted to 24g the Winchester X3 is the way to go. My personal choice is this for practice and the 28g Winchester for competition.
(c) Dr A C Jones